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Reconditioning a Powerbook Battery

My Powerbook battery has slowly lost its capacity to hold charge for any reasonable amount of time. I recently read about the free Coconut Battery utility and some tips on how to recondition your battery to recover some of the lost capacity.

Battery before conditioningAfter downloading Coconut Battery, I found out how bad my battery had got: From an original capacity of 4200mAh, my battery capacity had reduced to only 1225mAh, a mere 29%! (see left)

Battery after first conditioning cycleI then set about reconditioning the battery. This involves firstly charging until the computer shows 100% and the power plug changes from amber to green. Then the power is disconnected and the laptop used as normal until it goes to sleep on low power. Leave it for a couple of hours then charge it again back to 100% without using it.

After this the battery capacity had increased by to 1737mAh (see right) – an increase of 41% but still only 41% of the original capacity (a strange coincidence). I will try another cycle to see if I get another improvement. I also have a spare battery which I’ve just checked is in an even worse condition – its current capacity is only 11% of its original capacity so that will also need conditioning.

Don’t Believe the Low Battery Warning

It is interesting to note that in trying to drain the battery, the laptop carried on running long after the low battery warning and after the battery was shown at 0%. I have drained my iPhone in a similar fashion (and intend to do so on a regular basis) and this also continued to function long after the 10% battery warning. If most people do, as I did, and plug the charger in when the battery warning comes on, it is hardly surprising that batteries lose their capacity as they are not being properly cycled. Perhaps battery warnings should be set much lower.

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