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Thread: Overcharging?

  1. Master Droid
    altjx's Avatar
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    #1

    Overcharging?

    I sort of asked this question in someone else's thread...

    Is there any thing such as "overcharging"? For example, I've developed a habit years ago of always keeping my phone on the charger when I'm not using it. I keep it on the charger when I'm at work and when I'm at home. The only time I take it off the charger is if I'm driving, calling someone on the phone, or just not near a charger and out and about.

    Being that I left my previous phones on the charger for the most part, is there any harm in this? I've always done this because ever since a year ago, I've experienced a situation to where the lights went out at home, and I had to depend on my phone's flash light app to get me around, but I didn't have enough battery life. Or when the Internet went out at home and I had to depend on my phone for the Internet. Ever since these two situations, I've always made sure my phone's battery was as full as possible.
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  3. blackhawk1134's Avatar
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    #2
    I wonder the same thing.
    I do that too. I heard it doesn't hurt these newer types of batteries
  4. Master Droid
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    #3
    I don't think it will hurt anything. As far as I know, the phone will turn off the charge mode and go into trickle maintenance mode when the charge is full.

    Foxkat is the resident expert on all things battery (and most other stuff as well). I'd like to hear his opinion as well on this.
  5. Master Droid
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by blackhawk1134
    I wonder the same thing.
    I do that too. I heard it doesn't hurt these newer types of batteries
    Interesting. Can anyone verify this?
  6. Master Droid
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    #5
    I think it could cause some bad battery meter readings on days where it is off the charger (but I dont' think it will actually hurt the battery), but I'm not sure. As Jkaod said, I'd be really interested to hear FoxKat's take on it.
  7. Super Moderator
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by altjx View Post
    I sort of asked this question in someone else's thread...

    Is there any thing such as "overcharging"? For example, I've developed a habit years ago of always keeping my phone on the charger when I'm not using it. I keep it on the charger when I'm at work and when I'm at home. The only time I take it off the charger is if I'm driving, calling someone on the phone, or just not near a charger and out and about.

    Being that I left my previous phones on the charger for the most part, is there any harm in this? I've always done this because ever since a year ago, I've experienced a situation to where the lights went out at home, and I had to depend on my phone's flash light app to get me around, but I didn't have enough battery life. Or when the Internet went out at home and I had to depend on my phone for the Internet. Ever since these two situations, I've always made sure my phone's battery was as full as possible.


    This is not a problem for these phones and for this type of battery, as long as the charging system on the phone is working properly and you are using the stock charger (the one that came with the phone). If you are using any other charging appliances, all bets are off.




    Quote Originally Posted by jkaod View Post
    I don't think it will hurt anything. As far as I know, the phone will turn off the charge mode and go into trickle maintenance mode when the charge is full.

    Foxkat is the resident expert on all things battery (and most other stuff as well). I'd like to hear his opinion as well on this.

    jkaod is nearly 100% correct (no offense intended ). The type of battery you have in this phone is called a Lithium Ion Polymer Pouch Cell, and unlike other batteries that can take a continuous charge (like Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride), or in some cases actually prefer to be on charge constantly (like Lead Acid batteries), these batteries can not sustain a continuous charge - whether at full current or even reduced "trickle" rate. If this battery were to remain on constant charge, the battery would eventually self-destruct in a pretty violent way (noxious gasses, small explosion, torch-like extremely high temperature flames...).

    Now, don't panic since as jkaod explained, the phone knows this and once the battery reaches about 90% of full, the charging system reduces the charge rate to a "trickle" and will continue to gently "top off" the battery to 100% - the maximum recommended charge. Once it reaches 100%, the phone's charging system actually shuts down charging altogether. You can tell when that's happened by looking at the battery indicator. If it's charging, it will have a tiny black lightning bolt on it and the level will appear to be going from a low to full level and back again. If fully charged and the charger has shut off properly, the battery will be a solid green and there will be no animation or lightning bolt. The phone will also report on the display when you hit the power button that the phone is fully charged, and to unplug the charger to conserve energy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xfactorx316 View Post
    I think it could cause some bad battery meter readings on days where it is off the charger (but I dont' think it will actually hurt the battery), but I'm not sure. As Jkaod said, I'd be really interested to hear FoxKat's take on it.

    You bring up a great point. We are creatures of habit - yes, but also every one of us operates differently (different habits) than any other, so I may use my phone for long periods of time off the charger, and may charge 1-3 times during the day (night, in the car going to work, again when coming home), where you may plug in at every opportunity (as altix does), and only depend on the battery when absolutely necessary, and someone else may only charge once every night. Since we're not all created equal, but the battery in our phones are, different usage and charging patterns have different effects on our individual phones.

    A phenomenon known as a "parasitic load" is created when charging the phone while the power is on. This causes the metering system to become confused as to what the actual power in the battery is and how much current the battery is drawing during charge versus how much is the phone actually using at the same time. Over time, this causes the meter to become out of sync with the battery and can result in either indication of levels that are less or more than actual, and can even result in phones that will not respond to a charger at some point. Fortunately if the phone is powered off when charging, the parasitic load isn't there, AND it also corrects the error in charge level reporting by the meter...if you practice "safe charging" as I indicate below.

    To minimize meter error by "training" the meter to the true capacity of your individual battery you should practice "safe charging" about every 2-3 months. Follow these steps and you'll be fine;

    1. Next opportunity when you won't need the phone for several hours, power the phone off (press power and hold until the menu, then choose "Power off".)
    2. Now, plug the phone into the stock Motorola wall adapter that came with the phone and using the stock Motorola cable.
    3. The phone will self-boot into "Charge Only" mode (and a large animated battery will appear on the screen).
    4. Allow the phone to charge uninterrupted for at least 3 hours, or until it indicates 100% (to check, press either VOLUME button briefly and the display will awaken).
    5. Once the phone has reached 100%, you can remove it from the charger, power it up and use normally, but do not charge again until the phone reaches the "Low battery" warning at 15%.
    6. Once the phone has reported "Low battery", repeat steps 1 thru 4.
    7. After the 2nd full charge, you can use and charge the phone as you normally would until the next 2-3 month "safe charge"


    So in short, every 2-3 months, charge with power off to 100%, use to 15%, charge to 100% with power off, and then you are practicing "safe charging".

    Also, avoid allowing the phone to discharge to 0% (self-power down), under any circumstances, and if it should power down on its own due to a depleted battery, get it onto a charger as soon as humanly possible to prevent deep-discharging the battery and suffering "white light of death", "bootlooping", or other depleted battery problems.

    Good luck!

    "Professor FoxKat"
    "Saving DROID Razr's, one battery at a time. :-)" - (credit SallyC)
    Avatar is Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86, from "Get Smart" (with his signature "Shoe Phone"), a SitCom TV series by Mel Brooks & Buck Henry, based on the spy thriller series, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.".
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  8. Master Droid
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    #7
    Thanks FoxKat!
  9. Master Droid
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    #8
    Thanks oh great guru (Foxkat). No offense taken at all. I've learned everything I know about batteries from you. I bow to the vastness of your knowledge. Whenever there is a battery question, which is frequent, I think we all wait for the master to speak.
    Someone else recommended a battery sticky. That would be a great idea and have Foxkat be the first post with all of the above advice. It would save you lots of time not having to repeat the same thing over and over. It should be a sticky or a separate sub-forum for every phone as it applies to all cellphone batteries.
    FoxKat likes this.
  10. Master Droid
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by FoxKat View Post


    This is not a problem for these phones and for this type of battery, as long as the charging system on the phone is working properly and you are using the stock charger (the one that came with the phone). If you are using any other charging appliances, all bets are off.






    jkaod is nearly 100% correct (no offense intended ). The type of battery you have in this phone is called a Lithium Ion Polymer Pouch Cell, and unlike other batteries that can take a continuous charge (like Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride), or in some cases actually prefer to be on charge constantly (like Lead Acid batteries), these batteries can not sustain a continuous charge - whether at full current or even reduced "trickle" rate. If this battery were to remain on constant charge, the battery would eventually self-destruct in a pretty violent way (noxious gasses, small explosion, torch-like extremely high temperature flames...).

    Now, don't panic since as jkaod explained, the phone knows this and once the battery reaches about 90% of full, the charging system reduces the charge rate to a "trickle" and will continue to gently "top off" the battery to 100% - the maximum recommended charge. Once it reaches 100%, the phone's charging system actually shuts down charging altogether. You can tell when that's happened by looking at the battery indicator. If it's charging, it will have a tiny black lightning bolt on it and the level will appear to be going from a low to full level and back again. If fully charged and the charger has shut off properly, the battery will be a solid green and there will be no animation or lightning bolt. The phone will also report on the display when you hit the power button that the phone is fully charged, and to unplug the charger to conserve energy.




    You bring up a great point. We are creatures of habit - yes, but also every one of us operates differently (different habits) than any other, so I may use my phone for long periods of time off the charger, and may charge 1-3 times during the day (night, in the car going to work, again when coming home), where you may plug in at every opportunity (as altix does), and only depend on the battery when absolutely necessary, and someone else may only charge once every night. Since we're not all created equal, but the battery in our phones are, different usage and charging patterns have different effects on our individual phones.

    A phenomenon known as a "parasitic load" is created when charging the phone while the power is on. This causes the metering system to become confused as to what the actual power in the battery is and how much current the battery is drawing during charge versus how much is the phone actually using at the same time. Over time, this causes the meter to become out of sync with the battery and can result in either indication of levels that are less or more than actual, and can even result in phones that will not respond to a charger at some point. Fortunately if the phone is powered off when charging, the parasitic load isn't there, AND it also corrects the error in charge level reporting by the meter...if you practice "safe charging" as I indicate below.

    To minimize meter error by "training" the meter to the true capacity of your individual battery you should practice "safe charging" about every 2-3 months. Follow these steps and you'll be fine;

    1. Next opportunity when you won't need the phone for several hours, power the phone off (press power and hold until the menu, then choose "Power off".)
    2. Now, plug the phone into the stock Motorola wall adapter that came with the phone and using the stock Motorola cable.
    3. The phone will self-boot into "Charge Only" mode (and a large animated battery will appear on the screen).
    4. Allow the phone to charge uninterrupted for at least 3 hours, or until it indicates 100% (to check, press either VOLUME button briefly and the display will awaken).
    5. Once the phone has reached 100%, you can remove it from the charger, power it up and use normally, but do not charge again until the phone reaches the "Low battery" warning at 15%.
    6. Once the phone has reported "Low battery", repeat steps 1 thru 4.
    7. After the 2nd full charge, you can use and charge the phone as you normally would until the next 2-3 month "safe charge"


    So in short, every 2-3 months, charge with power off to 100%, use to 15%, charge to 100% with power off, and then you are practicing "safe charging".

    Also, avoid allowing the phone to discharge to 0% (self-power down), under any circumstances, and if it should power down on its own due to a depleted battery, get it onto a charger as soon as humanly possible to prevent deep-discharging the battery and suffering "white light of death", "bootlooping", or other depleted battery problems.

    Good luck!
    There should be a "stickie" thread compiling all of foxkats battery advice and tips.

    Awesome job.

    David
    FoxKat likes this.
  11. Master Droid
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    #10
    By the way Foxkat, don't tell the Boy Scouts I work with about that "torch like, extremely high temperature flame" thing. It might give them ideas.
    FoxKat likes this.
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