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Old 11-06-2007, 03:53 PM   #1
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PRS-505 Battery life -- unexpectedly short

Hi! I just went on a six day road trip with my PRS-505. I managed to forget to take my USB cable -- not to worry, I thought, this thing's good for 7000 page turns, isn't it?

Not so fast: the battery ran down over the course of about 100 hours, giving me a "battery low" warning (and subsequent power off) after that time!

I noticed it discharging on the first day, so tried experimenting with the sleep mode -- no joy. I was keeping it in its case and switched off when not in use: again, this didn't seem to stop the battery drain.

Am I misusing it in some way, or is there actually a problem with this device's battery life? (I must say that if it's the latter, I'm deeply unimpressed -- I get better power saving from my old Palm TX when the device is switched off!)
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:34 PM   #2
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Well, something is definitely not right there. I would suggest that you make sure your audio player isn't running, and do a full charge of the device (i.e. leave it plugged in until the charge light goes out). If it runs down like that again, then it's time to take it back to the store, I'm afraid, you should be getting ~3 weeks out of a charge even without using the "off" feature.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
you should be getting ~3 weeks out of a charge even without using the "off" feature.
Is that really correct? Are you saying 3 weeks in standby mode without actually using the device or 3 weeks of actual use?

I can read 3 or 4 books on mine switching to standby when I'm not actually reading and it goes down to 1 bar (I haven't let it go until any kind of warning). This is about 4,500 or so page turns on 4 days usage. I figured that was about normal.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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3 weeks in standby is normal on the PRS500.
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:46 PM   #5
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I posted something similar. I'm seeing ok battery life, but it definitely seems worse than my 500. I had actually expected it to be a little worse due to the increased memory, but I'm guessing it's about 50% of the battery life of my 500. I've had two 505's and they both seem to be worse in battery performance than the 500. Compared to other devices it's still very good, but just not as good as what I expected. I would estimate that I only get about 1500 to 2000 page turns.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:26 PM   #6
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3 cases..

Each of you should complain to Sony. There is something wrong with your devices. This is now a pattern of defect, not a single instance.

If any of you bought your Reader less than a month ago, take it back and exchange it.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:30 AM   #7
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I can't take it back; I'm in the UK (and bought it on a recent business trip to the US, a country I won't be revisiting until next year -- maybe).

NB: audio player isn't running now, but might have been before -- I've got no way of knowing. I'll remove the audio files, check that it's definitely not running, and see if the problem recurs; if not, it was a PEBKAC problem.

Last edited by cstross; 11-07-2007 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:31 AM   #8
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The Sony runs its operating system continually. If it's not used, it will train the battery flat, from fully charge, in about 3 weeks. On top of that, you have the power used for page turns. This usage will drain the battery in about 7,500 page turns.

The total power used is a mixture of the two. Eg, if, over the course of a week, you read about 2500 pages, you'd expect the battery consumption to be about:

33%, for the week

Plus another:

33% for the 2500 page turns

ie, the combination of the two will use about two thirds of the battery charge.

If you know you're not going to be using your Reader for a while, it's a good idea to genuinely turn it off. On the 505 this can, I believe, be done via a menu item.
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:10 AM   #9
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One thing to do for the battery is let it run fully flat and then give it a full charge. That may help hte battery. This goes for all rechargeable batteries.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:29 PM   #10
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One thing to do for the battery is let it run fully flat and then give it a full charge. That may help hte battery. This goes for all rechargeable batteries.
Lithium-Ion batteries should never run fully flat. For example:

http://www.rm.com/Support/TechnicalA...?cref=TEC71629

says: "Always charge the battery whenever possible. Frequent top-ups are much kinder to the battery than running it until it is flat."
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:12 PM   #11
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You can tell that the 505 battery is likely to be smaller just by the smaller form factor. But I don't think we have side by side disassembly pics to compare (yet).

The 505 seems to drain faster when in standby, but also has the option of turning it completely off, so it seems to be kind of a wash - personal preference probably determines which you like better.
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompe View Post
Lithium-Ion batteries should never run fully flat. For example:

http://www.rm.com/Support/TechnicalA...?cref=TEC71629

says: "Always charge the battery whenever possible. Frequent top-ups are much kinder to the battery than running it until it is flat."
It also says...

Calibrate a new battery by using it until it is fully discharged, and then re-charge it fully. Doing this once every month or two will help to keep the battery accurately calibrated.
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:23 PM   #13
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The calibration fully discharged is when the unit stops working. Fully flat I read as really totally flat. I just wanted to point out that fully discharging some types of batteries very often is a bad thing and fully flat can be extra bad.

Here was a better reference: http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:09 AM   #14
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Another 505 battery grump: I got mine at the end of October. I'd never even tried the audio functionality. The maximum number of page turns I ever got out of it on one charge was 503. It took me four full charges to read one 1700-page book (medium type size). This seemed unacceptable, so I called Sony and spoke with a PRS tech rep who didn't appear to know anything about the battery. He told me I wouldn't get anywhere near 7500 pages, and if I got 500, that was good.

Now the box says "up to 7500" and is footnoted "actual battery life may vary based on usage patterns." But if plain old reading - no tunes - means I only get 1/15th of the advertised battery life, I consider that some serious misrepresentation.

I figured I had a faulty unit. Sony would have repaired it for me, but couldn't promise I'd get it within three weeks. So I took my receipt and 505 back to Borders; they kindly exchanged it for a new one today. I've topped up the battery, and we'll see how things go this time.

When I put it down, I'll activate the "device shutdown" feature (I did this with the first unit):

Settings --> Advanced Settings --> Device Shutdown ... then press the bookmark function to complete the shutdown process.

To restart, turn the unit on using the power slide, as you normally would. Using the power slide to turn the device off does not shut the device down!


I'll follow these battery instructions from the previous post:
Batteries with fuel gauge (laptops) should be calibrated by applying a deliberate full discharge once every 30 charges.
... otherwise topping up the 505 after partial discharges.

And I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:00 AM   #15
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Just a few observations from a PRS500 owner.

The process of loading complex rtf files directly from the SD card - as oposed to the use of Connect SW (which I dislike) or use of lrf files - can eat the power at an alarming rate. You open a book and it might be several minutes until the reader "digests" the file. That is several minutes of intensive processor and memory utilization.

I open three or four new *.rtf books and I am one bar down. No pages read yet, no days of use. Just about 10 minutes of full speed running processor.
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