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Old 09-18-2012, 05:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

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I recently bought a high capacity battery on eBay. This is the double capacity type that's twice as thick, requiring a special back for the phone with a hump in it to accomodate the new battery.

It came with a special tray, in which I was required to fit my standard battery and the new battery to do some sort of programming to the new one, presumably to make the phone think it's a genuine one.

After I'd programmed it, I put it in the phone, and the phone seemed to think it had exactly the same level of charge as the original battery did before I swapped them - about 80%. Does that mean the level of charge is stored on the battery? I haven't seen this behaviour when swapping between different standard batteries, although I've never used a high capacity one before.

Then I charged it until it reached 100%.

I should mention at this stage that I've loaded two battery monitoring apps - Tiny Meter 1.3.0 and BatteryWatch 1.9.34. The former because it does a really good job of keeping a permanent log of battery charge levels (but no graphs) and the latter because it can display graphs of recent levels. So I'm not guessing about the charge levels, I'm actually logging them.

Anyway, I used the phone for a couple of hours, browsing the web, playing music, etc. The charge level stayed on 100% the whole time.

According to the logs, after about 4 hours, the charge level suddenly dropped from 100% to 90%. Then it seemed to drop at a normal rate for a while.

About 3 hours after that, possibly when I unlocked it, the charge level ROSE from 81% to 85%. Since then it has dropped at a normal rate.

Does anyone know what's going on with it? Is the phone gradually learning that the battery has a higher capacity? I.e. will it eventuially settle down and report the correct charge levels? If so, how long will it take? Would it help to flatten it before the next recharge?

Or has the "programming" process perhaps confused it into thinking that it actually is the original battery, and it's occasionally correcting an estimate of the charge level? I.e will it always be erratic?
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

It just did it again. It jumped from 73% to 78%.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

Lithium Ion batteries produce very nearly the same voltage over the full useful range from fully charged to nearly depleted. Because of this the battery management system has to keep track of the amount of current going in and coming out to learn the discharge curve capacity of the battery in order to correctly asses the level of charge. Part of the problem is indeed the programming process whereby you copied the identity from the OEM battery to the new battery. Any time you swap the two you will confuse the battery management system.

If your new battery didn't come with instructions on how to deal with this, you should do some reading on the care and feeding of Li batteries.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

Quote:
Originally Posted by hrbuckley View Post
Lithium Ion batteries produce very nearly the same voltage over the full useful range from fully charged to nearly depleted. Because of this the battery management system has to keep track of the amount of current going in and coming out to learn the discharge curve capacity of the battery in order to correctly asses the level of charge.
That makes sense. It corrected it's esimate again a few times, then remained at 1% charge for 3 or 4 hours, with the backlight on continuously and Google Maps running, before deciding that it really was flat, and it shut of wireless, then shut down .
Quote:
Part of the problem is indeed the programming process whereby you copied the identity from the OEM battery to the new battery. Any time you swap the two you will confuse the battery management system.
So it thinks it's the same physical battery? Or that it's just the exact same type of battery?
Quote:
If your new battery didn't come with instructions on how to deal with this, you should do some reading on the care and feeding of Li batteries.
Unfortunately it didn't. Perhaps they assume you're replacing the old battery, or replacing one of the same capacity.

Do you think the phone will learn how to estimate the charge for this battery? And if it does, will it then have to relearn it for the original low capacity battery, and the new one again after it's done that.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

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Originally Posted by pshute View Post
Do you think the phone will learn how to estimate the charge for this battery? And if it does, will it then have to relearn it for the original low capacity battery, and the new one again after it's done that?
And if I do have problems when I swap the batteries from now on, can I fix it by swapping my original battery with a friend's?
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

It almost looks like your spending too much time on the battery apps. As suggested they may not be able to accuratly show the levels. I would use the number shown in the options or tools folder. Keep in mnd the more you play the faster the battery will drain. I would use the phone for a few days, charging it each day overnight and see what your average use is and how much it drains.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsac View Post
It almost looks like your spending too much time on the battery apps. As suggested they may not be able to accuratly show the levels. I would use the number shown in the options or tools folder. Keep in mnd the more you play the faster the battery will drain. I would use the phone for a few days, charging it each day overnight and see what your average use is and how much it drains.
The battery logging apps are reporting the same levels as the phone's native apps.

The problem is not that it's draining too fast, but that it's getting the levels wrong. I'm actually trying to drain it as fast as I can to test it out.

I'm happy with the time I'm getting out of the standard battery and this new one, but I'm worried that I'll end up with it going flat unexpectedly, or appear to be about to do so when it isn't, because the phone is confused.

FWIW, I've had the battery apps installed for a long time, and they don't appear to change the battery consumption significantly.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

Ok so then the only thing that would cause the fast drain is an app that constantly check via the internet and uses the radio. Another thing is the service level the phone sees and how much it "looks" for a cell signal. The only other caution I would suggest is to not allow the batterys to darin below 20%. LI batterys will fail if constantly drained below that level.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsac View Post
Ok so then the only thing that would cause the fast drain is an app that constantly check via the internet and uses the radio. Another thing is the service level the phone sees and how much it "looks" for a cell signal. The only other caution I would suggest is to not allow the batterys to darin below 20%. LI batterys will fail if constantly drained below that level.
I was thinking that taking photos with flash might help drain it faster than anything else. I'll give it a try once it's charged up again.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

Another interesting behaviour is that the battery temperature being recorded is alr 25 degrees C. When the standard battery was in, the temperature was always varying, and was between 16 and 33 degrees.

Either this new battery really doesn't vary much, it's not reporting the correct temperature, or the phone is misinterpreting the temperature signal. (I assume the battery reports its own temperature, but perhaps there's a heat sensor in the battery compartment.)
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

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Originally Posted by pshute View Post
Another interesting behaviour is that the battery temperature being recorded is alr 25 degrees C.
I meant to say it's always 24 or 25 degrees. Don't know what happened there.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Odd discharge behaviour with high capacity battery in 9800

Quote:
Originally Posted by pshute View Post
And if I do have problems when I swap the batteries from now on, can I fix it by swapping my original battery with a friend's?
Yes, your BlackBerry probably thinks the new battery is the old one. It will eventually learn the new capacity but if you change it back it will become confused again. The real issue here is that each time you deplete a Li battery to the point where voltage drop clearly indicates it is empty you have caused about twice as much wear as you would have if you started recharging at about 20% capacity. So you don't want to swap the batteries back and forth too much. On the other hand if you want to use the original battery in the future you can't just ignore it. If you do it will eventually discharge below a critical level and become inert.

The battery management advice that has come with my BlackBerry Smartphones has been quite good in that it strikes a good balance between getting the longest life out of the battery while still providing adequate time between recharges. Li battery chemistry is quite complex and difficult to manage, but the phone power management system and OEM batteries are quite intelligent. Together they provide a much better user experience than previous battery technologies. After market batteries may not be able to meet the same standards. This could be why you are seeing a constant 25C battery temperature. The battery pack should have a thermal sensor built in, but may not.
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Last edited by hrbuckley : 09-20-2012 at 07:24 AM.
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