CF-31 and the second battery

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by David Cortner, Aug 16, 2020.

  1. David Cortner

    David Cortner Newbie

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    I’m new to the Toughbook world and to this forum. Sorry to start with a question (typical, right?). I bought a used CF31-4 (8GB, 500GB, i5-3340M, 2.7Ghz, touchscreen, Intel HD 4000 graphics, the previous owner installed Win10) as a telescope control computer. It will run a mount, an imaging camera, and a guide camera at night and a video camera for solar photography by day without my having to sweat dew, unexpected rain, or dust. Works really well. Yay. BUT, it does not detect the second battery which I added separately (also used). The second battery is a CF-VZSU1431U. I’ve charged everything overnight repeatedly, but the battery utility says the second battery is “not detected.” (I thought the description “Intel Graphics” meant that the graphics was onboard, but now I note that system info shows a 2GB Intel graphics card which may mean the second battery is not for me.) So, is my CF31 one of those that can’t use that auxillary battery? Or is Win10 the issue? Or is there some switch to set or setting to switch?
     
  2. Geraout

    Geraout Notebook Consultant

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    The 3340M processor means that you have the standard version - not the performance version with the discrete graphics card - so your battery should work.

    If you have a look at this Bob Johnson video on how to fit a GPS card,
    you can see the media battery connector ribbon at about 9:40.
    The performance versions don't have this ribbon. It may be worth checking the ribbon connector is seated properly.

    Welcome to the forum!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
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  3. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Try charging it with the main battery removed.
     
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  4. David Cortner

    David Cortner Newbie

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    That's encouraging. I'd about talked myself out of ever getting this to go. And thanks for the quick response and the welcome.

    dc


     
  5. David Cortner

    David Cortner Newbie

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    Aha! That might have done it. Right now it acknowledges that the 2nd battery exists, albeit at 0% charge. Will post how it goes in a few hours. Thanks.
     
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  6. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Happy 2 help.
     
  7. David Cortner

    David Cortner Newbie

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    Yessir. The formerly useless media bay / aux battery is now at 99%; I have at least 2 hours of extended run time, and at the very worst, it lets me swap main batteries as needed to get through long, clear nights of guiding and imaging. (In the short term, it means I don't have to risk life and lung going out to the Post Office to mail a battery back.) Thanks and kudos all around.
     
  8. Old Gator

    Old Gator Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks to Shawn for helping me with the same issue on my CF-31 some time ago. He pointed out the existence of a Panasonic external charger that allows charging both a main battery and a media bay battery simultaneously outside of the computer. I bought one on ebay for a reasonable price. That allows recharging a dead second battery (or main battery) without having to remove the main battery. A forum search should reveal the Panasonic part number.

    The problem comes about because the media bay battery is discharged below the voltage level where the charging circuit can detect it when the main battery is installed. When both batteries are installed but the computer isn't used for some time, the system happily switches to the media bay battery when the main battery runs low. But it continues to discharge the media bay battery until the voltage is too low. So if the computer isn't going to be used for awhile it's a good idea to remove the second battery to avoid the problem.
     
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  9. David Cortner

    David Cortner Newbie

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    Thanks for the battery tips. That external charger is a terrific idea for the long run-times I expect to be dealing with (if the weather ever clears or I can ever travel back to the clear, dark southwest). Now that I know the product is available, they're easy to find (Amazon, eBay, etc). Not quite as sexy an upgrade as 16GB of RAM or a TB SSD, but that's 100% on my gotta-have-it list.
     
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