Calibrate Battery?

Discussion in 'Smartphone Battery Discussion' started by Kobe24, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. APQuijano
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    APQuijano New Member

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    Hello! New to the forum and somewhat a smartphone noob and had a question about calibrating.

    I just recently got the Razr MAXX and I was one of those guys who didn't charge the phone to 100% while off out of the box (I was just way too excited). Only had the phone for a couple of days and was wondering if it's still possible to properly calibrate the phone using the "charge to 100% while off" method. If so, does the phone need to be in a particular charge state to do this? For example, can I calibrate the phone when it's at 75% or does it need to be lower?
  2. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Great question and the answer is yes and no...

    No, I'm not going to leave you hanging. LOL! Yes it can be calibrated to the battery at any time, and no it doesn't need to be at any particular charge level, since the three step charge, discharge, charge runs the phone past the flag points. Also, there is no lasting "damage" to not having done it immediately. The only reason why I stress you do if you can is because MOST people are going to do just what you did, use it till you drop as soon as you get it. There is a risk of pushing the battery voltages so low that the phone won't respond to the charger (White Light of Death), or may begin looping during boot (bootlooping), or cycling through power ons and offs (powercycling). This could happen if you use the phone till the level reaches 0% and the phone shuts down on its own. Unfortunately if this happens it can be difficult, and even not possible to recover from.

    So go forth and conquer. Do the meter training and you'll be fine. :biggrin: You'll want to charge to 100% with power off, then use to 15%, and then power off and charge to 100% with power off again. After that, if you perform that practice about every 3 months or so, you'll be good to go.
  3. APQuijano
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    APQuijano New Member

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    Thank you very much your quick response and time! I definitely will make sure to make this is common knowledge to friends and family now.
  4. Trash Can
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    Trash Can New Member

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    Hey Professor, a good student always challenges his teacher. :D

    To an outside observer like myself, a lithium polymer battery is a lithium polymer battery. So why would charging recommendations vary from one manufacturer to another? Specifically, any idea why Apple recommends a full charge/discharge cycle once per month? The last paragraph on this Apple battery page says:

    I realize we're making an Apple to Razr/Bionic/Rezound comparison (pun intended), but conflicting information can be confusing information. :icon_eek: Any insight that you can provide would be greatly appreciated, as many members here are former or current iPhone/iPad owners.
  5. DamianD
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    DamianD Member

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    If during calibration (charging with power off in the cycle 15% to 100%) happend a general power outage for 5-10 minutes, after the power failure charging restarts, this has some effect for calibration/battery?
  6. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Sorry I'm just seeing this now, but let's run with it.

    You're thought process is not flawed, there are variables that determine what constitutes a full discharge. For one device manufacturer, a 0% of capacity may be at 3.2V, whereas another may peg it at 3.0. Obviously 3V is much closer to the "protection" Voltage of between 2.2V & 2.9V, so if one manufacturer says run it down, and another one says don't, the difference could be the cutoff voltage.

    Second, all Lithium batteries are not created equal. Lithium Ion Polymer Pouch Packs (in the RAZRs), are a different breed than all other LIPO batteries and are both higher in energy density and also come with their own unique characteristics.

    Another important issue is that with the LIPO Pouch Cells, the phone itself contains the protection circuits and charging circuits, so each phone manufacturer can tweak the various levels for things such as running voltages, cutoffs for charging and discharging, and the protection level. Apple may actually have their discharge level cutoff at a higher voltage than Motorola, and as a result there is a bigger cushion between 0% and the potential cutoff protection voltages.

    Also I checked the page you linked to and saw the quote you referred to, but I did also find this http://www.apple.com/batteries/, and it says in one section:
    "You can also recharge a lithium-ion polymer battery whenever convenient, without the full charge or discharge cycle necessary to keep nickel-based batteries at peak performance. (Over time, crystals build up in nickel-based batteries and prevent you from charging them completely, necessitating an inconvenient full discharge.)"


    This is in direct contrast to the quote you showed. Perhaps the issue here is what they call "completely running it down". In the RAZR, completely running it down is to 15% (10% with Jelly Bean), NOT to 0%. When the phone tells you it's time to plug in (the "Low battery warning at 15% - 10% with Jelly Bean), then you can reasonably conclude it's time to plug in.

    The same holds true for the iPhones. What people do is misinterpret that information to mean 0%. If Apple OR Motorola wanted you to discharge to 0%, they'd say it this way; "use your phone until it shows 0% on the display". If they wanted you to use it until it powered itself off with a completely deep-discharged battery, they'd say; "run your phone until the phone shuts off on its own". that's NOT what it says.

    If your car manufacturer told you to run the car till it was empty once a month, how many people do you think would actually do it? NONE? You'd have to drive on "E" for many miles, and then you would also have to carry with you a gas can full of gas so you could start the car again and drive it to the nearest station after it stalled at completely empty. I really don't think that either Apple OR Motorola meant "completely discharged" when they say "completely run it down".

    In fact, the same thing Apple is saying is what I've been saying too...charge to 100%, use to 15%, charge to 100%, or in layman's terms, "Charge to 100%, then completely run it down, then charge to 100% and use normally". This is a meter calibration cycle. Nothing new here folks, move along.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  7. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    No, none whatsoever. It would simply pick up where left off and continue.
  8. DamianD
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    DamianD Member

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    Ok, ...I just thought that it may occur an error in the calibration and a correct and safe way would be to resume the whole process again (discharge to 15%, power off and charge to100%)
  9. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Here's some more interesting information from Apple, which also corroborates my claims;
    Standard Charging

    Most lithium-ion polymer batteries use a fast charge to charge your device to 80% battery capacity, then switch to trickle charging. That’s about two hours of charge time to power an iPod to 80% capacity, then another two hours to fully charge it, if you are not using the iPod while charging. You can charge all lithium-ion batteries a large but finite number of times, as defined by charge cycle.
    [​IMG]Charge Cycle. Using and recharging 100% of battery capacity equals one full charge cycle.

    A charge cycle means using all of the battery’s power, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a single charge. For instance, you could listen to your iPod for a few hours one day, using half its power, and then recharge it fully. If you did the same thing the next day, it would count as one charge cycle, not two, so you may take several days to complete a cycle. Each time you complete a charge cycle, it diminishes battery capacity slightly, but you can put notebook, iPod, and iPhone batteries through many charge cycles before they will only hold 80% of original battery capacity. As with other rechargeable batteries, you may eventually need to replace your battery.


    They're also showing the collective charges of the first 40%, then 20%, then 30%, and finally half of the next 20% constitutes the first 100% cycle (1 cycle), and the second half of the last 20%, along with the 50%, and 40% of the next 60% constitutes the second 100% cycle (2 cycles). So in that graphic, he's already 20% into his third 100% cycle.

    Sound familiar? Remember what I said all along, complete 100% cycles (or a collective of multiple partial cycles)?

    What they're showing is the following:

    Charge to - Use to

    100% ----- 60% (first 40% consumption),
    100% ----- 80% (next 20% consumed),
    100% ----- 70% (next 30% consumed),
    100% ----- 80% (next 20% consumed),
    100% ----- 50% (next 50% consumed),
    100% ----- 40% (last 60% consumed).

    The same could be accomplished like this:

    Charge to - Use to

    80% ------ 40% (first 40% consumption),
    60% ------ 40% (next 20% consumed),
    70% ------ 40% (next 30% consumed),
    60% ------ 40% (next 20% consumed),
    90% ------ 40% (next 50% consumed),
    100% ----- 40% (last 60% consumed).

    or;

    Charge to - Use to

    60% ------ 20% (first 40% consumption),
    40% ------ 20% (next 20% consumed),
    50% ------ 20% (next 30% consumed),
    40% ------ 20% (next 20% consumed),
    70% ------ 20% (next 50% consumed),
    80% ------ 20% (last 60% consumed).


    In those three examples, the first one would yield the shortest overall battery life because each charge was to 100%. The second would yield longer battery life because only 1 of the charge cycles took the battery to 100%. The third would yield the longest battery life, because the battery remained in the range of 20% to 80%, or the widest sweet spot.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  10. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Great thought process. The reason it doesn't throw off the calibration cycle is because the calibration flags are only set when the battery reaches the 100% charge (sets the "Full" flag), and when it reaches the 15% discharge (sets the "Empty" flag).

    Still, a great question. :biggrin:
  11. DamianD
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    DamianD Member

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    What's interesting is that after a 5 minutes general power outage (when the charging was around 40% ) the rest of the cycle completed much faster - it reached 100% in 1h 55minutes. A normal cycle of 15%-100% always take 2h25-2.30 m on my Razr. So...it "fully" charged with an half an hour faster :confused:

    p.s.: the phone also went back to 15% more faster than usual
  12. shadowsjc
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    shadowsjc New Member

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    bump - if i calibrate my battery per the instructions (drop to 15%, charge with phone off to 100%, repeat), but then later on i swap batteries out a few days later (i have a spare that i use when i can't reach a charger), does that mean that the calibration will get messed up?
  13. TisMyDroid
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    TisMyDroid New Member

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    Great question shadowsjc. FoxKat would be the best to know the answer to that.

    Paging FoxKat! You're needed in the OR...DF!

    sent from my Note2 using tapatalk 4 beta
  14. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    The answer is...well, probably. You see, when a metering system is calibrated to the battery, it's calibrated to THAT unique battery. NO two batteries have the same signature (maximum voltage at full charge, minimum voltage at the proper fall-off signature, discharge curve)...no two have the same capacity, even if off the same manufacturing line, no two batteries have been charged and discharged exactly the same way, so they will be at different points in their respective life cycles. Different variances in the concentration levels of the Lithium paste used in these batteries, varying thicknesses and levels of purity in the metals, varying levels of manufacturing techniques and precision, varying temperatures and humidity during the manufacturing process...the possible variables are infinite, and with each differing variable, a different battery is created. Take any two right off the line, place them on a battery testing station and they will produce different specifications. That's why there are "tolerances" such as +/- 5%.

    It's really not much different than saying identical twins born only seconds apart, have virtually 0 chance of dying only seconds apart. Each twin will live different lives, eat (charge) differently, burn calories (discharge) differently, and as a result, one will die significantly sooner than the other. I know the analogy is quite a stretch but it's easier to comprehend.

    Now, if you start with two identical batteries, and you use them interchangeably and always rotate them, always charge them in the same way, and always resume charging at the same point of discharge, they will tend to "moderate", becoming very similar in voltages and current capacities, and as a result, the metering system will be relatively accurate for both. On the other hand, if one is a standard battery and the other is an extended battery, all bets are off.
  15. comk4ver
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    comk4ver Member

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    Thank you Foxkat, MD I'm juggling between three batteries and was wondering what to do in my case. (Verizon Galaxy Nexus: two standard and one extended).

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  16. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    I would do the calibration with the stock batteries, and based on the ratings of the stock versus extended battery (mAh for each), I would simply find out how many more hours it should give me (i.e. 16 Hrs for 1,780 mAh vs 29.6 Hrs for 3,300 mAh), reduce that by 10% (i.e. 26.6 Hrs), and use that as my cutoff when using the extended battery.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
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