Guide: replacing and upgrading laptop batteries

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by t456, Dec 29, 2015.

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  1. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Pm started.
    I will donate a working battery or two to the cause.
     
  2. CWB32

    CWB32 Need parts for my flying saucer.

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    additionally ...
    i have looked high and low , in sunshine , rain and darkness ...
    i have found no relevant information on "chipping" or re-programming a few different types of smart batteries .
    and yep , i know that sony is *very* protective of their "stuff" when it comes to their products (i was warranty repair for them for more years than i would care to admit) .

    the sony camera batteries are smart types ... at least they were a few years back .
    heh ... protective ... a guy made an after-market microphone that mated to the "hot shoe" jack ...
    it worked and was about 1/4 the price ...
    sony brought suit against the guy/company and it was pulled off the market .

    i mention this as an example of the length and extent that a company may/will go to "protect" their product(s) .
     
  3. Rezaul Hasan

    Rezaul Hasan Newbie

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    excellent guide but why picture are not showing guys?
     
  4. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

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    Don't know why they disappeared ... the links were simply gone :vbconfused: . Re-uploaded them and made a backup on Internet Archive's WayBack Machine, just in case.

    As to the possible issue with battery pack's firmware values overriding charge levels; planned to make a guide to overwrite the eeprom's firmware, but someone already posted one on Tech|Inferno a month or so ago. Site is down right now, but search there in case the refreshed pack doesn't charge to max capacity.
     
  5. Rezaul Hasan

    Rezaul Hasan Newbie

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    thanks mate for your quick response. Your awesome as like your guide.
     
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  6. Ionising_Radiation

    Ionising_Radiation ?v = ve*ln(m0/m1)

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    @t456, excellent, excellent guide, you ought to make this a sticky.

    My battery wear is nearly at 50%, and I get a third the battery life out of my machine as I used to do (at one point, I got seven hours of screen-on time; now, I hardly get two hours). I'm on the verge of purchasing six Samsung INR18650-35E 3.5 Ah cells for this, as well as a multimeter, soldering tool, dremel tool, etc. Have you found a way to reprogram the W230SS battery chip to reflect the newest values? Oh, and is it possible at all to slooooowly open the W230SS battery pack instead of slicing it open? I want to try to be able to put everything back together without duct tape (heh)...
     
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  7. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

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    Going to re-pack mine again too, but this time not with the ubiquitous Panasonic NCR18650B.

    Found out something while analyzing the battery firmware; the cut-off voltage is not only set by the fw, but also by a physical battery protection ic (example). Problem is that these are not programmable and are often set to a conservative value of 3.3V. This is a bit of a waste since most can be discharged further and there's still power left down to 3.0 or even 2.7V. The consequence of this choice is that we cannot get the full discharge from these cells and have to consider only the capacity down to 3.3V:

    [​IMG]

    So the 3000 mAh LG actually has 25% more capacity than the 3500 mAh Samsung after it is deployed in the battery pack. We might swap the protection ic for a different chip, of course. Ordered a bunch of these LG's already, but thinking about this ... perhaps I'd better find the protection ic that was used and order a 2.7V substitute. There is a small risk that the discharge is too much for the AC circuit to handle and that it will struggle charging it when the cells are down to zero.

    Mind that this has nothing to do with the reserve charge level set by the OS, which will permit entering sleep mode for a while and grant some leeway in the 'now-where's-that-adapter-gone-to' window.
    Yes, found the values with the help of @Khenglish 's excellent guide (see his thread on TI):

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is dry run (no cells) of a W870CU (3 cell pouch type), but it's all more of the same. Amazingly, there's no checksum anywhere, so updating these things is as easy as 1-2-3. By comparing the two it also looks like value 0x28-29 might indicate the software-set discharge level (factor 1.00 between both), but that will not help if the protection ic will not permit discharging below 3.3V. Haven't extracted the W230SS's yet, but it should be identical. Also, in hindsight it was silly of me to de- and resolder this tiny chip (a 0.5mm pitch TSSOP8); the middle pins of the battery connector are there to communicate the battery information and status over SMBus to the laptop. So we can simply hook up the DATA and CLOCK wires to the pins (#3 and #4 on the W230SS, respectively) and solder 3.3V and ground somewhere on the battery's pcb.
    Sorry, no. It's glue all the way on this model, so ... either glue it back or duct tape it is. There's not enough room for tie-wraps, but you might use black tape, of course.
    Thanks, appreciate it :vboops: !
     
  8. Primes

    Primes Notebook Deity

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    What is your guys' recommendation for which manufacturer of battery to buy? Panasonic, Samsung, ???
     
  9. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

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    Those, Sony and Sanyo all make very good, reliable cells. The LG seems ok, too. Mind that a lot of the 'unknown' brands bin and re-wrap cells of actual manufacturers. Take care when buying; these should go for at least $4-5 each, the high capacity types for up to as much as $7-8. Anything less means used cells or a fake wrapper over a cheap, low capacity cell.

    There's lots of scammers, unfortunately, so it pays to have a Li-Ion charger that can also measure capacity accurately. When the cells arrive simply measure each and file a claim if they're not the real McCoy. Check the various charger reviews for good ones. Got a SkyRC MC3000 and it works beautifully, but it is a bit of hassle to do normal charges with it, so have also kept the NiteCore D4 (there's also counterfeits of this model, so take care when buying).
     
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  10. Ionising_Radiation

    Ionising_Radiation ?v = ve*ln(m0/m1)

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    Thanks for the reply. Looks like I need to get myself a programmer as well.

    One question: why'd you set the battery current to 5A, though? That's assuming maximum power draw (10 A through each parallel cell, 10 A × 11.1 V = 111 W) in which case I probably wouldn't ever be using the battery at all, and be plugged in instead. Assuming a significantly lower power draw, we'd only be drawing roughly 1-2 A from each cell, in which case the 3.5 Ah cells look like a better choice (though not by much):
    [​IMG]As you mentioned in the end, it'd be a good idea to source around for another chip with a lower undervoltage protection, for at most 3.0 V...
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
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