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Dummy Batteries? (iBook G4)

dcr

Well-known member
Are there dummy batteries available for the iBook G4 (or other PowerBook/iBook) models?

I am presuming the battery in mine is dead.  Doesn't seem to want to charge.  Mind you, I only had the computer on for under ten minutes but still I would think maybe it would have gone from 0% to maybe 1% at least.

In any event, seeing as it is a lithium battery anyway, I'd kind of prefer to get rid of it anyway.

But, with the battery gone, there goes a foot as well, so it would be off-balance.  So, I'm curious if some kind of dummy battery is available to fill the gap.  If it wasn't lithium, I'd try disassembling it to see if just the outer cover, the part that matches the iBook, could be saved.

 

EvilCapitalist

Well-known member
I don't know if an actual dummy battery was ever made for the iceBooks, but I do know that the bottom cover with the foot is just glued on to the battery pack.   I remember having several come across my desk that somehow had that "cover" missing.  If your battery is already stone dead you could give removing that cover a go so you'd at least be able to cover the hole.

The other option is picking up an NOS battery.  I've had very good luck with the ones I've purchased and though I haven't bought any from this particular seller, it's eBay and since this one is sold new/sealed you've got the money back guarantee.  I figure ~$18 for an NOS OEM battery is about as good as you're going to find.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/143449758025

 

dcr

Well-known member
Thanks.  I may give it another shot at charging, but these lithium batteries always concern me.

I did manage to find a disassembly video on YouTube and it appears the inside of the iBook G4 battery is just six cylindrical batteries.  I've forgotten the battery number, but something like 18xxx, which are also apparently used in some flashlights.

Knowing that, I'm more confident in being able to take it apart safely.  Downside is that it has a pair of screws that requires some kind of tri-point screwdriver.  I have a set of these special screwdriver heads for all these screwy shapes but, of course, one that would work for the screws on this battery is not among them.

 

dcr

Well-known member
The batteries are 18650.

Still no idea of the size of the tri-point (y-type) screwdriver needed.

 

dcr

Well-known member
I think I may have the proper tri-point (y-type) screwdriver head now, after having purchased a set of repair screwdrivers a while back.  Haven't tried any of them yet.

Decided today to try to charge the battery to see if it will charge.  Initially, one green LED on the battery flashed.  After about an hour now--don't know for sure--the first green LED is solid green and the second is flashing green.  So, it appears to be taking a charge.  Will keep it charging a while yet to see how it goes.

On the one hand, I kind of wished it was dead just so I would feel free to remove the dead battery and keep the rest as a cover.  Still don't like Lithium Ion batteries.  Especially uncertain about one that's fifteen years old now.

Second-guessing myself now.  (1) I should have made sure one of the screwdriver tips actually fits before trying to charge the thing.  Just in case it does bulge, I could quickly(?) remove the battery before the plastic casing (cover) gets distorted.  (2) I should have bought/built a fire-proof box to store the battery in first, just in case.

 

dcr

Well-known member
Two solid green LEDs and the third is flashing.  So, from the charging front, looking good.  How long the computer will run off the battery will be another question.  Doubt it'll get the full six hours.

Does the iBook G4 have a separate clock battery?  I imagine it does.  I should probably check that out too.

 

dcr

Well-known member
Three solid green LEDs and the fourth (and final) is now flashing.  Seems to be charging fairly quickly which makes me wonder how well that charge will actually hold.  Will probably see shortly . . .

 

dcr

Well-known member
The fourth LED remains flashing after a longer period than the second and third LEDs remained flashing.  Perhaps even longer than the first one since an hour was only a guess as I hadn't noted when I started charging.

I suspect the fourth LED remains flashing because the battery is not going to charge to 100%.  I'll leave it for a while yet and see what happens.

 

dcr

Well-known member
I went ahead and booted it.  Did so while plugged in.  Set the clock, opened a couple files, then shut down.  Tested battery and the fourth LED is solid rather than flashing.  Booted from the battery and it shows the battery at 99%.  Not too bad.  Dropped to 98% after a minute or so, but didn't drop to 97% while I had it on for another minute or so.

It estimates that the remaining battery life is 2:58.  Not quite the six hours it is rated for, not that probably anyone ever got six hours out of it, but not bad for a 15 year old battery if it actually does hold up for that long.  Of course, with any active use, it'll probably drop faster.

 

EvilCapitalist

Well-known member
That sounds about right for recharging a seriously dead battery.  I've had good luck (knock on wood) with all of my G3/G4 iceBooks and 65W chargers, but when using the 65W charger (as opposed to the standard 45W) if the battery was dead and sitting for a while it does takes a good bit of time to charge back up to full.

Even back when these were new machines, the only way you could come close to getting 5 hours (on the G3 iceBooks) or 6 hours (on the later G4 iceBooks) was to put screen brightness down to a minimum, keep WiFi off, spin the disk down as much as possible, and essentially just not use the thing at all.  I think the closest I saw to either meeting the advertised time was 4.5 hours on the G3 and 4ish hours on the G4.  For the time that wasn't bad, considering many PC laptops were lucky to get 2 hours on a single battery, but certainly not the 5-6 hours Apple claimed.  I think that's why on the PC side you ended up with laptops that went the two battery route.  I can remember several HP/Dell machines where you could get a standard battery that sat flush with the rest of the case, an extended battery that stuck out of the back of the machine almost like a handle, and a secondary battery that latched on to the bottom of the machine and gave it an inclined platform, almost like a built in riser.

 

dcr

Well-known member
Haven't used it since last night but it's still showing a full charge (all four LEDs light up when the battery button is pressed) which is promising.  It's unlike the battery on a different laptop that used to drop like a rock towards its end.

I am pretty sure I never got close to the advertised rate on any battery either.  I know processor intensive tasks run them down, but I remember just using Pages would run the battery down faster than I would have thought.  I would have thought using a word processor would have been about the least taxing task for the battery.

 
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