Panasonic Toughbook dead batteries, battery conditioning

Discussion in 'SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs' started by PuppettMaster001, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. PuppettMaster001

    PuppettMaster001 Golden Member

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    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&#37;" 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!
     
  2. corkyg

    corkyg Elite Member<br>Super Moderator <br>Peripherals
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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?
     
  3. PuppettMaster001

    PuppettMaster001 Golden Member

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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.
     
  4. corkyg

    corkyg Elite Member<br>Super Moderator <br>Peripherals
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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?
     
    #4 corkyg, Jan 27, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  5. PuppettMaster001

    PuppettMaster001 Golden Member

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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.
     
  6. Emulex

    Emulex Diamond Member

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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&#37; 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 ..
     
  7. Zargon

    Zargon Lifer

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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
     
  8. PuppettMaster001

    PuppettMaster001 Golden Member

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  9. t_ski

    t_ski Diamond Member

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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.
     
  10. GregFuzion

    GregFuzion Junior Member

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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.
     
  11. PuppettMaster001

    PuppettMaster001 Golden Member

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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.
     
  12. cbn

    cbn Lifer

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    You are worried about the batteries because they are not being fully discharged?
     
    #12 cbn, Jul 28, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  13. PuppettMaster001

    PuppettMaster001 Golden Member

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    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.
     
  14. Emulex

    Emulex Diamond Member

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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&#37; now so multibay's are going out of style big time.
     
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