The little button on the batteries of powerbooks

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
What's this button for? when pushed it causes the LEDs to light up. Is it just like a battery test or something? Battery reset maybe?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    It tells you how much capacity is left in the battery. I think it's the least precise but also the most accurate method of seeing how much capacity the battery has. I guess it's good for determining the capacity if the PowerBook isn't on, or if you want to see how much juice a spare battery has on its own.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    what's the purpose of pushing it then? surely an indicator doesn't need to be pushed
  • Reply 3 of 18
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    So it doesn't drain the battery constantly by having the lights on? Yeah, they don't take up very much energy, but if they're lit constantly for a few years, they might reduce the battery's capacity a small amount.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    there are four green LEDs. Each one probably draws 7mA at 3.7V nominal, which is the rated volatage of a single LiIon cell. I imagine that there's also a little A2D converter chip in there, perhaps in the form of a tiny microcontroller (a small processor). I'd probably do it with a very small 8bit microcontroller and a switch chip.



    Anyway, that's like 30mA at 3.7V to light all four LEDs. 30mA @ 3.7V is more than enough power to run the newest 802.11 chips in standby mode. (i.e. when they're not transmitting or receiving). If that's .1W and your PB has a 60Wh battery, it could power the lights alone for 600hours. So it's wise to keep them off when you can even though it's just a tiny bit of power.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    there are four green LEDs. Each one probably draws 7mA at 3.7V nominal, which is the rated volatage of a single LiIon cell. I imagine that there's also a little A2D converter chip in there, perhaps in the form of a tiny microcontroller (a small processor). I'd probably do it with a very small 8bit microcontroller and a switch chip.



    Anyway, that's like 30mA at 3.7V to light all four LEDs. 30mA @ 3.7V is more than enough power to run the newest 802.11 chips in standby mode. (i.e. when they're not transmitting or receiving). If that's .1W and your PB has a 60Wh battery, it could power the lights alone for 600hours. So it's wise to keep them off when you can even though it's just a tiny bit of power.






    *nods head*





    *pushes button*
  • Reply 6 of 18
    mike peelmike peel Posts: 185member
    A senior member of these boards didn't know that...?



    I'm in shock.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Wrong Robot

    *pushes button*



    Run now... run... BOOOOM!



    EDIT: Sorry, I don't want make you feel bad for your question. By the way, charge level indicator buttons on batteries exist at least from the Wallstreet era.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    For the record, this powerbook is the first laptop* I've ever had, it's also the first laptop I've used extensively(we always had a tower at home, or iMacs) so, as far as laptops go, I am only 4 months old.









    *sorry apple, I mean 'notebook'
  • Reply 9 of 18
    mike peelmike peel Posts: 185member
    It's a pity deadpanning doesn't work online... Ah well.



    The only reason I knew was because a friend showed me it specifically a while back (this was when I owned a PC notebook; was envious...). Another one of the Apple touches, very useful when you have more than one battery.



    Are Apple portables laptops or notebooks? I'm thinking more laptop; notebooks being the ones with desktop processors in, e.g. P4's. Or perhaps they're more deskbooks, Apple-sized being notebooks (in here including PCs with mobile chips), and the really thin, low-powered things being laptops... I dunno.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    Apple specifically goes out of the their way to not call them laptops anywhere on their site. Because they get too hot, they are not recommended to use on your lap.



    that's why they are notebooks, or portables.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Wrong Robot

    For the record, this powerbook is the first laptop* I've ever had, it's also the first laptop I've used extensively(we always had a tower at home, or iMacs) so, as far as laptops go, I am only 4 months old.





    Not that this will add something in the discussion, but the info you was looking for is already in your Powerbook's manual .
  • Reply 12 of 18
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    Not that this will add something in the discussion, but the info you was looking for is already in your Powerbook's manual .



    touché

  • Reply 13 of 18
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    My mom calls binders notebooks. that is just as annoying. I mean come on it's a binder. My spiral bound notebooks are notebooks.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    mike peelmike peel Posts: 185member
    Ah, the good old days when we all used paper. No need to worry about whether you had enough battery life left, or worrying about accidentally dropping the machine (paper bounces), or technical glitches - and the only virii you could get affected just you, not your work. Wait, I've spent too much time with PCs. Macs cope with half of that... :S



    Apart for the mention of a battery, I think this post counts as off topic. *goes to wake up*
  • Reply 15 of 18
    jwri004jwri004 Posts: 626member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mike Peel

    Ah, the good old days when we all used paper.



    Are you talking about the printer spawn??? My printer keeps on giving birth to lots of these little suckers, but alas none have grown into printers.



    Must dash and feed the virus on my PC...
  • Reply 16 of 18
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jwri004

    Are you talking about the printer spawn??? My printer keeps on giving birth to lots of these little suckers, but alas none have grown into printers.

    .






  • Reply 17 of 18
    machemmachem Posts: 319member
    If I remember correctly, pushing and holding the button until the lights go out also resets the on-battery power manager.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    mike peelmike peel Posts: 185member
    I've just noticed: when my battery is charging, the LED's constantly show the current charge level. Which seems a bit pointless, considering they're on the bottom of the laptop... :S
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