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Old 01-28-2009, 09:35 AM   #1
kleykenb
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battery question

Hi all,

I have a general question about battery use in devices like a notebook and the DR1000S but because of the 'discharge' bugs within the DR1000S the question became more vital to me.

The question :
Will a battery use up its 'charge-cycles' while a device is plugged into the power mains ? Of course if a battery is not fully charged it would, because it would then charge up to full capacity but what if a battery is charged completely, would the power be provided directly to the circuitry or would the power first have to go to the battery and then to the circuitry or would the battery be 'by-passed' ?

My battery of the DR1000S has been fully drained repeatedly over the 2 weeks that I have had the device, simply because it appears to be turned-off while it is not. This is a big concern, this will basically mean that the battery will go through it's charge cycles while I am not even using it ! And eventually will result in me having to pay iRex for a undoubthfully expensive battery replacement sooner than normally necessary ! While I'm otherwise happy with the device this seems a serious issue and seen that iRex is not coming out with a fix for the bug I am really hopeing that at least leaving it plugged in to the power mains will reduce the inherent damage to the bug does to the battery.

Last edited by kleykenb; 01-28-2009 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:13 PM   #2
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I don't think having it plugged in to the mains will cause any significant "wear and tear" on the battery life. Usually it's the discharge/charge cycle that limits the effective life of a battery. Keeping it plugged in, even if power is moving through the battery as the device is used, shouldn't hurt it.

Regarding your other comment, a lot of DR users feel the same way. I've seen several posts over on iRex's forum complaining that the current state of the battery usage will lead to premature battery failure. Hopefully they will fix a lot of that in the 1.5 update coming out on Monday, but they have not made any official statements as to offering any kind of battery replacement discount for early adopters.

One thing that has been discussed a lot is the shutdown problem where it continues to drain the battery while off. Some of the speculation is that there is a document that fails to close completely and that even though the device appears to be shutdown, there are still processes running that are "stuck" on the open document. One thing that some people have reported is that if you close your documents and then "safely remove" the memory card before you shutdown, you won't have the battery drain problem anymore.

I think iRex will fix this as soon as they can repeat the issue and figure out what the problem is. I'm just not sure if it's something they've been able to identify yet, or if it'll be in a later release. Usually with software, diagnosing what is causing the bug is the hard part. Once you've identified it, fixing the code is relatively easy. The last time their developer posted on the forum, it sounded like they were aware of the issue but were still trying to diagnose it.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:56 PM   #3
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Good to hear the 1.5FW is coming out on monday ! I've only had the device for a few weeks but I can imagine how frustrating it must have been for 'early adopters' to have to wait this long... That said, iRex is not the only one that seems to rush devices with 'unfinished' firmware to market. I was an early adopter of the Cybook Gen 3 and although the device has been on the market for more than a year only it's latest firmware felt like being where it should have been at the 'go'. In some way it adds fun to see your device actually get better and better with age (and firmware revision) .. a bit like wine :-)
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kleykenb View Post
Good to hear the 1.5FW is coming out on monday !
Hopefully. Estimating software dates is not an exact science, so I wouldn't set Monday in stone. However, when they give a date that close (it was only a few days ago that they said it would be out Monday), it usually means everything is done and they're basically just "shrink wrapping" the boxes (or in this case finalizing the install scripts, etc).
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:27 AM   #5
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According to the Wikipdedia article on Lithium-ion batteries, li-on batteries should be charged early and often and should not be frequently fully discharged and recharged. See the article for more details.
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