Degradation of battery.

Discussion in 'Smartphone Battery Discussion' started by Jpasz, May 19, 2012.

  1. FoxKat

    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Question; You mention "battery protocol", could you elaborate for the crowd?

    Also, going with battery metering at 1% increments, although providing greater precision, will not necessarily yield greater accuracy of representation of the battery's State of Charge (SoC). Lithium Ion Polymer Pouch cells (the ones in the RAZR and RAZR MAXX) have a uniquely flat slope of voltage during the largest range of the SoC, between about 20% remaining and between about 80% to 100%. See below:


    View attachment 50554


    It's this ability to maintain a highly stable voltage over the greatest portion of the discharge cycle that makes it such a good battery for our purposes, however it comes at a cost. The meter has an extremely difficult time knowing just where in the discharge cycle the battery is. Furthermore, varying discharge rates due to using small, moderate and large amounts of power in intervals throughout the day results in varying voltages and creates additionally confusing data for the meter. See below:


    View attachment 50553


    By monitoring the remaining capacity so closely you'll find yourself often getting frustrated at what seems like large amounts of power lost over relatively short periods of time, and an especially rapid decline from near 20% to the depths of the discharge cycle. It's not unlike a car's "Distance till empty" gauge in that it monitors both "levels" (*read voltage), and consumption rate (*read load or rate of power use) and tries to come up with an iterative solution to the levels. This is the main reason why the meter can become very skewed from the actual SoC and start to mislead both in charge level and in when the phone is critically discharged. This can be even more of an issue if you frequently recharge before the battery reaches the 15% "Low battery" level and especially if it never gets there (as you mention rarely getting below 60%).

    The battery is not like a gas tank, where there is a set level at maximum safe capacity (where the pump shuts off automatically), which remains the same until the tank develops a leak, and a true level of "empty" when there is no more Gasoline and the car stalls. Batteries are more like a shrinking reservoir which holds less and less charge as time goes on, and this also creates a problem for the meter since it must "see" the new points where the levels reach maximum charge and where they start dropping off rapidly (charge and discharge flags) in order to adjust it's reference data and know what the new, lower capacity is over time and then be able to make more accurate iterative estimates of SoC at any point in the discharge cycle. See below:

    View attachment 50555

    Note: Image above shows 10% as the discharge flag set-point, however in our phones it's 15% "Low battery".


    Therefore, doing routine charge and discharge cycles that never meet those flag points means the meter is running off of estimates that begin to stray from actual levels more and more as time progresses and charge cycles are completed. There is a way to "train" or re-train the meter to the levels and make sure your meter is most accurate all the time.

    Steps are as follows:
    1. At the next opportunity where you won't need the phone for at least 3 hours, power the phone off (hold Power button, and then select "Power off").
    2. Plug the stock wall adapter and stock charging cable into the wall outlet and phone (the phone will boot into charge only mode).
    3. Allow the phone to charge to 100% capacity (to check at any point along the way, briefly tap either the up or down volume buttons).
    4. Once the phone has reached 100% capacity, disconnect, power up and use normally (but watch the meter as it nears 15%).
    5. Once the phone reaches 15% and the screen displays the "Low battery" warning and "bongs" at you, power the phone off as soon after as possible (note: DO NOT let it drain to 0%).
    6. Now, repeat steps 1 through 4.
    In the future, you should perform this procedure about once every 2-3 months depending on your usage pattern...if you use it heavily and discharge mostly through the entire charge cycle, this should be performed more often, and if you are a light user and rarely get to 15%, you should do this less often, however in any case you should perform this after about 40 cumulative 100% charge/discharge cycles, so if you typically use about 50% of the charge daily, you should do this every 80 days (50 * 100 = 5,000 / 50% = 80 cycles), and if you use 75% typically, such as from 100% to 25%, this should be performed about every (correction) 53 days (40 * 100 = 4,000 / 75 = 53).

    Good luck and let's hear more from you! :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  2. Jmoore1701

    Jmoore1701 Member

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    Good Gravy, FoxKat! Your knowledge in this area is beyond impressive! Are you an engineer...or some other variety of genius?
     
  3. bruben7886

    bruben7886 Member

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    Naaaah....he's just a regular guy....who was bitten by a radioactive battery during a field trip to the battery museum..... :)
     
  4. FoxKat

    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for the complement, but most of the information is collected from other reliable sources. I do understand it all, and that comes from a LOT of reading and comprehension, but it takes a bit of common sense to weed out the credible information from the totally unreliable. In this age of information, there is at least as much bad information as there is good. When someone invents a search engine that can vet the information on the fly and only provide accurate information (substantiated by highly credible sources), they will make Google look like Gargle. :biggrin:
     
  5. FoxKat

    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    I thought I'd take a moment to further explain why the discharge curve gives the meter such a hard time. Look at the curve on the top illustration of my earlier post, and compare it with the one with the flags. If the discharge rate were a straight line like the one on the flags illustration, the meter's computer could know at any moment how much power the battery has because it would only need to look at the voltage, and since the voltage decreases linearly (meaning in a straight line), it can simply project that line after only getting two consecutive readings, even if they are very close together time-wise.

    On the other hand, the illustration at the top shows the voltage decreases rapidly initially, then gradually slows down to a crawl, then accelerates, and finally drops like a rock nearing the end of it's capacity. So for the meter's computer to know where it is in the discharge cycle, it has a real strong indication at the beginning and at the end, but a very mild reference to changes in voltage during the middle of the curve. Since the phone uses differing amounts of power while doing different things, there are times when it's pulling very little power (current) which allows the battery to keep the voltage high, and there are times when it's pulling comparatively high current, and that causes the battery's voltage to drop while it's trying to keep up with the increased current draw.

    If the meter happens to take a reading DURING one of those heavy current pulls, it will see a voltage that is significantly lower than the very gradual slope in the middle of the first illustration and interpret that as a lower % remaining in the battery. Then if the next reading is when the current pull is mild, the voltages can actually be higher than they were just a short time ago, and the meter then has confusing data, almost as if it's been on charge for a while, however the meter knows it hasn't been on charge since it detects when a charger is connected. So what does it do with that new, higher voltage reading? Well, it most likely tosses it, and as a result the meter may show 30%, when you actually have 40%.

    On the flip side, if you charge with power on, the opposite happens. This time, the phone is using power WHILE the battery is also drawing power to store. The meter is watching how much power is being consumed and is trying to determine when the battery is full. The chart below shows how it operates, but the difficulty comes when the meter is looking for a signature voltage plateau and current draw decrease that identifies the battery is in the final phases of charge, so it can reduce the charging rate and "top off" the battery, and eventually so it can terminate charging altogether. the following illustration shows how a charging cycle goes when the phone's power is turned off.


    View attachment 50589


    However, if the phone should pull an increased amount of current for a period of time (such as during a background sync), causing the voltage which normally increases while charging to instead level off or dip toward the right of Stage 1 or of Stage 2, and since the battery is pulling little current, it can appear to the meter that the battery has reached that signature voltage plateau and it will signal the charger to either go to Stage 2 charging, or perhaps to shut off completely, thereby giving you the "100%" indication when the battery may only have perhaps as little as 85% of charge.

    This is why the ONLY way to assure a FULL charge is to charge with power off. The question is, do you NEED a FULL charge, or simply enough to get you through your day? If you plan to be away from any power source for an extended period of time, then perhaps the night before you should charge with power off. If you typically plug in several times throughout the day, then a full 100% charge isn't "mission critical".

    As I've said so many times before, think of your phone's battery meter the same way you do your car gas tank. You probably don't watch it nearly as closely and yet you probably don't stress over it either. You probably don't fill it every time, do you? And you CERTAINLY don't let it drain to 0% or else you're the guy I often give a rid to who I see carrying an empty 1 gallon gas can to the nearest station while your empty, stalled car is sitting on the side of the road. Add some gas (power) along the way when you're near a filling station (power outlet), and you'll get to your destination without stalling (phone shutting off).
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  6. FoxKat

    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    You are correct, the 4 steps are the process that puts things back in sync, but just to clarify - it's not the battery that's being trained or conditioned, it's the meter. The battery is already in good condition (as statistics prove over 90% of phones returned for bad battery show the batteries being in good condition), but the meter is just not sure where the actual capacity is and just what is full and just what is empty. So "training" the meter, gives it the information it needs to give more accurate readings moving forward.

    As for batteries being better and having to live up to the expectations of people, again you couldn't be more right. However all you have to do is read a few threads about "battery dying" or "bad battery", or "phone died, won't charge", to understand it's a big problem and it deserves far more attention than it gets, and far more dissemination of accurate information on the proper care during charging and discharging than is already out there.

    This is the whole reason we've devoted an entire forum area to just this subject, and we may be the only forum of our kind that has done this to date. I haven't seen a separate discussion forum elsewhere devoted to only Smartphone batteries discussion, and I'd be interested to know if there are any others out there.
     
  7. CaptainSS

    CaptainSS Silver Member

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    Phenominal information! ( sound of applause) Great Forum and great Mods (and decpiples) I feel better.

    Training my meter tonight, I went out and bought some treats (pet store lady looked at me funny when I said,
    "No Dog, they're for my phone".:icon_eek:
    Follow up question. Bought and installed an OtterBox cover today, I am concerned (will watch) my phones internal teperature.
    I am hoping this isn't going to be my newest paranoia.
     
  8. FoxKat

    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Treats, HILARIOUS!! :icon_ rofl:

    There's an interesting thread question...which is your phone more like, your dog or your cat?

    Regarding the Otterbox, there is no question that the phone will run warmer in ANY case. There is so little "space" inside these "sandwich phones" (a phrase I've just coined...record it for history), for heat to dissipate into and moderate, that if the heat can't radiate directly into the open air, it will build up inside.

    At least one of the many battery health sites I have done research on says to remove your phone from the case while charging, don't use a "wireless charging pad", since they require placing the phone on the wireless power pad (which is warm itself), and not to charge in direct sunlight (such as in a car).

    Getting the phone into and out of these cases can be a royal pain, but it will help preserve your battery's life, since the temperature at which the phone battery charges directly relates to how long it will last.
     
  9. FoxKat

    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Hey everybody. I'm starting a new company. Phonesmart, a store where you can buy all kinds of treats for your phone, such as Phone Beds, Climbing poles, Phone Cages (for those who want to cage train your phone), books about how to care for your phone, what to do if you have a phone that will not obey, training collars for your phone, and all manner of products to make your phone a happy phone. We also have an open door policy regarding phones...you can even bring your phone to the store to meet and socialize with other persons' phones. We will have grooming for your phone, and obedience training classes that you can sign up for, where you and your phone learn how to coexist and support each other. Please just make sure you clean up after your phone. Vaccinations are on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  10. 94lt1

    94lt1 DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    I'm glad viruses aren't easy to catch yet with android.. cause mine isn't vaccinated. I don't want phone flu lmao

    DROID RAZR MAXXIMIZED!!!! PREPARE TO BE VANQUISHED!!!
     
  11. Jpasz

    Jpasz New Member

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    That's battery protocol, those 4 steps.

    At any rate, even if the 1% increments aren't as precise as 1% would suggest perfectly, it's still better than the stock battery indicator. On top of the fact that I'm sure the inability to read and report the battery perfectly also affects the stock indicator, on stock the 40% looks more like 50%, 60% looks like 70%, and often the battery indicators that are floating around online simply look better, and can better match a ROM and theme. The battery indicator can't be THAT far off compared to stock, I usually don't let it go below around 30%, and if it's measuring 30% when the actual battery is at close to 0%, then there's something deeply wrong with what I'm doing, not really the deved indicator.

    At a certain point you're not comparing the 1% to stock anymore, it looks like. On top of the stock battery having no text to properly explain its battery indication, my old DX stock battery would indicate fully charged while 1% said it was 95%. 5% may not be an incredible amount, and I hadn't re-calibrated the battery (read: performed battery protocol) in a while, but I've read (from you somewhere else on these forums I bet) that the battery hits around 95% or 90% when charging and then trickles the rest of the way, while stock battery indicator would show a full charge, 1% shows the trickle. (now, this is more of an educated guess than something I've researched extensively, so if it's wrong then just ignore it... I'm aware they have different batteries, but it could still be true I think)

    tl:dr stock indicator looks like crap and is misleading as it is, devs make better looking indicators, imperfect as they may be.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  12. FoxKat

    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Perhaps my comments were a bit misleading. Whether the stock meter or a third party one, the levels indicated will be comparable and similarly accurate (meaning close to actual), but the 1% meters will be more precise (smaller graduations). Precision does not mean accuracy. You can make a precise cut and removal of an appendix on a patient as a surgeon, but you can be totally inaccurate about which patient it was supposed to be performed on.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR MAXX using Xparent ICS Tapatalk 2 with Google voice to text translation. Please excuse any minor spelling, punctuation, capitalization or grammatical errors.
     
  13. CaptainSS

    CaptainSS Silver Member

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    Hysterical! Ahh yes, our phones.....the "latest" obsession. Is it Happy? Sad, Too warm-Does it need a jacket? Am I spending too much time with it, not enough? OhMy!
    Will it love me when it gets old enough to decide on its own, will it visit me when I am p00ping in my pants:blink:
    I just don't know. Have I downloaded too much stuff, is it abuse?
    I have to go now, I haven't checked my battery since I started typing. Has anyone heard, IS there a New Better phone coming? Soon?
    I'm jittery, I hope there is some coffee but not too close to my phone (I mean Baby)
    :icon_eek:
     
  14. 94lt1

    94lt1 DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Dude your gonna stress it out!! That's too much pressure for a phone :)

    And of course it has to be comfortable.... I'm designing a phone AC unit... its gonna sell like hot cakes!! :(

    DROID RAZR MAXXIMIZED!!!! PREPARE TO BE VANQUISHED!!!
     
  15. FoxKat

    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    We need to talk about an exclusive deal on the Phone-A-Conditioner. I want to carry them in my store. :p

    Phonishioner??

    Aircaphoner?

    Chillular Phone?

    How bout Chill-Your-lar Phone?

    Batterator?

    Recellulator?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
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