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Old 01-27-2010, 07:28 AM   #1
PuppettMaster001
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Default Panasonic Toughbook dead batteries, battery conditioning

I work for an ambulance company that just made converted to electonic patient care reports. To complete these reports, each ambulance crew has a Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 assigned to them. A huge problem I am having is keeping the batteries in good condition. Because they need to stay mobile with the Toughbooks for hospital and patient signatures, the Tougbook is constantly being put on and pulled off of the charger. Over time these batteries lose thier ability to hold a full charge and only last <20min at "100%" charge. I know there are many other people out there that have to deal with situations like this. I am curious as to how they are handling this issue.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:34 PM   #2
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You need to specify Toughbook model and age. All batteries have a life. Anything over 3 years is excellent. Average life is somewhere between 2 and 4 years. Other factors also impact battery life - especially ambient temperatures. Extremes of hot or cold are bad. Temp inside a vehicle parked in a motor pool can be wide ranging. Are the units brought indoors when the vehicle is put away?
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Here is some more info:

Model: Panasonic Toughbook CF-19
Age: About a year old
Temps: The Toughbooks are usually somewhere in a hospital or in the air conditioned ambulance so they see a minimal amount over room temperature. When the vehicle is put away the Toughbooks are brought into an air conditioned supply building to be distributed to the next truck.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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Under those conditions, there shouldn't be a big battery problem. Do they spend enough time plugged in to A/C to get them up to speed? This type of use may indicate a need for battery rotation. The CF-19s are not cheap machines.

The specs for the Li-ion battery pack is 9-10 hours. Charging time is 4-5 hours when off, and 6-7 hours if on. Do they get that?
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:55 PM   #5
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While the Toughbooks are on the road they definitely do not see enough AC time. Because of the nature of use, they are constantly on then off the charger. When the Toughbooks are returned at the end of the shift, the batteries are pulled out and put on a battery charger. I do not have the make/model offhand right now but it has 10 battery bays.
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:29 PM   #6
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make sure that is a functioning approved 10 bay device - all it takes is a slight deviation in power delivery - power handling - and voltage to destroy a battery.

Also keep note that charge cycles must be counted as well as life - most people do not enter a charge cycle every single day - if you run the battery diagnostics and see 500-600 cycles - might be just time to replace.

if that battery tray is not panasonic - you best get rid of it - you will void your warranty on the batteries instantly and i would bet that would be 99.9% the problem.

something as silly as voltage droop when all 10 batteries getting loaded because of underengineering is all it takes - not much droop at all ..
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:32 PM   #7
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i deal with cf29's all the time in cop cars and fire trucks and even after a few years they have better life than that, and they spend most of the time on the cord

and emulex is right, anything non panasonic they will nail you to wall for
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:16 AM   #8
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Wow that sucks. This is the charger that we have:

http://www.rrc-ps.de/en/products/bat.../features.html

I am going to see how many of our other organizations are using this chrger to see if they are having this issue as well. Looking at the Panasonic website, the only approved chargers are the ones made by Lind.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:30 PM   #9
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We use T5's, T7's and T8's. The multi-bay charger we have is a Panasonic CF-VCBT7U, and our Home Health and Hospice staff use the Lind car adapters.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:56 PM   #10
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Hey I work with the toughbooks and wanted to know if any one from you company has read the battery tips that are included on every Panasonic laptop. They state that a new battery must be calibrated from the laptop. This is most likely your problem.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:26 PM   #11
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Forgot to update this post. It was actually the muti-bay charger that we were using. Since getting the old one exchanged, we haven't had any issues with the batteries at all.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppettMaster001 View Post
I work for an ambulance company that just made converted to electonic patient care reports. To complete these reports, each ambulance crew has a Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 assigned to them. A huge problem I am having is keeping the batteries in good condition. Because they need to stay mobile with the Toughbooks for hospital and patient signatures, the Tougbook is constantly being put on and pulled off of the charger. Over time these batteries lose thier ability to hold a full charge and only last <20min at "100%" charge. I know there are many other people out there that have to deal with situations like this. I am curious as to how they are handling this issue.

Thanks in advance!
You are worried about the batteries because they are not being fully discharged?

Last edited by cbn; 07-28-2010 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Computer Bottleneck View Post
You are worried about the batteries because they are not being fully discharged?
No, my main concern was the batteries were only lasting <20 minutes at full charge. But it ended up being the multibay charger we were using. Once replacing the chager, we were getting about 4 hours on full charge.
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:29 AM   #14
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yup that is why you need to periodically check the output voltage

if you can't do that . keep track using a kill-a-watt on the multibay charger.

most laptops have that rapid charge to 90% now so multibay's are going out of style big time.
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