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Battery Tips    
Battery Tips

Batteries > Getting the most out of your battery

Product Use Tips

Any battery or accessory you purchase from us is guaranteed!

  • 100% Original Manufacturer Compatible
  • Guaranteed to Meet or Exceed Original power specifications
  • Full 1 Year Warranty (on most items)

Our batteries are made using the highest quality cells available and utilize all of the proper logic boards, thermal protectors, thermistors and circuit breakers to ensure the highest levels of battery safety, reliability and efficiency.

In order to guarantee optimal battery performance and life we recommend you read the new battery instructions below.

General Battery Usage

  1. Quick Tips
  2. Battery Do's and Don'ts
  3. What Are The Different Types of Battery Chemistries/Technologies?
  4. What is the "Memory Effect"?
  5. Is it Possible to Upgrade My Device's Battery to a Newer Chemistry?
  6. What Should I Do If My Battery Isn’t Charging?
  7. How Can I Maximize Battery Performance?
  8. How Are Batteries Rated? (What Are Volts and Amps?)
  9. How Long Do Batteries Last?
  10. Should I Recycle My Old Battery? How?

Laptop and Desktop Computer Batteries

  1. What are Main Batteries?
  2. What are CMOS or Clock batteries?
  3. What are RAM or Resume batteries?
  4. How Long Will the New Battery Power My Device?
  5. Is it Possible to Upgrade My Laptop's Battery to a Newer Chemistry?
  6. What is a "Smart" Battery?
  7. How Can I Maximize Battery Performance?
  8. How Long Do Batteries Last (What is the Life Span of My New Battery)?
  9. What Should I Do If My Battery Isn’t Charging?
General Battery Usage

1. Quick Tips - Battery Care Instructions:

  • Your new battery comes in a discharged condition and must be charged before use (refer to your computer manual for charging instructions). Upon initial use (or after a prolonged storage period) the battery may require three to four charge/discharge cycles before achieving maximum capacity.
  • When charging the battery for the first time your computer may indicate that charging is complete after just 10 or 15 minutes. This is a normal phenomenon with rechargeable batteries. Simply remove the battery from the computer and repeat the charging procedure.
  • It is important to condition (fully discharge and then fully charge) the battery every two to three weeks. Failure to do so may significantly shorten the battery's life (this does not apply to Li-Ion batteries, which do not require conditioning). To discharge, simply run your device under the battery's power until it shuts down or until you get a low battery warning. Then recharge the battery as instructed in your user's manual.
  • If the battery will not be in use for a month or longer, it is recommended that it be removed from the device and stored in a cool, dry, clean place.
  • It is normal for a battery to become warm during charging and discharging.
  • A charged battery will eventually lose its charge if unused. It may therefore be necessary to recharge the battery after a storage period.
  • The milliamp-hour (mAh) rating of the eBatts.com battery will often be higher than the one on your original battery. A higher mAh rating is indicative of a longer lasting (higher capacity) battery and will not cause any incompatibilities. An eBatts.com battery will, in most cases, outperform the original by 30% to 50%.
  • Actual battery run-time depends upon the power demands made by the equipment. In the case of notebook computers, the use of the monitor, the hard drive and other peripherals results in an additional drain upon the battery, effectively reducing the battery's run-time. The total run-time of the battery is also heavily dependent upon the design of the equipment. To ensure maximum performance of the battery, optimize your computer's power management features. Refer to your computer manual for further instructions.

2. Battery Don'ts:

  • Do not short-circuit. A short-circuit may cause severe damage to the battery.
  • Do not drop, hit or otherwise abuse the battery as this may result in the exposure of the cell contents, which are corrosive.
  • Do not expose the battery to moisture or rain.
  • Keep battery away from fire or other sources of extreme heat. Do not incinerate. Exposure of battery to extreme heat may result in an explosion.

3. What Are The Different Types of Rechargeable Battery Chemistries/Technologies?

Batteries in portable consumer devices ( laptop batteries, notebook batteries, camcorder batteries, cell phone batteries, PDA batteries, digital camera batteries, cordless phone batteries, UPS batteries, power tool batteries, etc.) are principally made using either Nickel Cadmium (NiCad), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) technologies. Each type of rechargeable battery technology has its own unique characteristics:

  • NiCad and NiMH: the main difference between the two is the fact that NiMH batteries (the newer of the two technologies) offer higher energy densities than NiCads. In other words, pound for pound, NiMH delivers approximately 100% more capacity than its NiCad counterpart. What this translates into is increased run-time from the battery with no additional bulk to weigh down your portable device. NiMH also offers another major advantage: NiCad batteries tend to suffer from what is called the "memory effect". NiMH batteries are less prone to develop this dreaded affliction and thus require less maintenance and care. NiMH batteries are also more environmentally friendly than their NiCad counterparts, since they do not contain heavy metals (which present serious landfill problems).
  • Li-Ion has quickly become the emerging standard for portable power in consumer devices. Li-Ion batteries produce the same energy as NiMH batteries but weigh approximately 35% less. This is crucial in applications such as camcorders or notebook computers, where the battery makes up a significant portion of the device's weight. Another reason Li-Ion batteries have become so popular is that they do not suffer from the memory effect AT ALL. They are also better for the environment because they don't contain toxic materials such as Cadmium or Mercury.

4. What is the "Memory Effect" ?

NiCad batteries, and to a lesser extent NiMH batteries, suffer from what's called the "memory effect". What this means is that if a battery is continually only partially discharged before re-charging, the battery "forgets" that it has the capacity to further discharge all the way down. To illustrate: If you, on a regular basis, fully charge your battery and then use only 50% of its capacity before the next recharge, eventually the battery will become unaware of its extra 50% capacity which has remained unused. Your battery will remain functional, but only at 50% of its original capacity. The way to avoid the dreaded "memory effect" is to fully cycle (fully charge and then fully discharge) your battery at least once every two to three weeks. Batteries can be discharged by unplugging the device's AC adaptor and letting the device run on the battery until it ceases to function. This will insure your battery remains healthy.

5. Is it Possible to Upgrade My Device's Battery to a Newer Chemistry?

NiCad, NiMH and Li-ion are all fundamentally different from one another and cannot be substituted unless the device has been pre-configured from the factory to accept more than one type of rechargeable battery. The difference between them stems from the fact that each type requires a different charging pattern to be properly recharged. Therefore, the portable device's charger must be properly configured to handle a given type of rechargeable battery.

Refer to your owner's manual to find out which rechargeable battery types your particular device supports, or simply use our search engine to find your device. It will automatically list all of the battery types supported by your machine.

6. What Should I Do If My Battery Isn’t Charging ?

For safety reasons new batteries are not shipped in a fully charged condition. As such the battery must be fully charged before use. Before the initial use please complete two to three charge cycles in order for the battery to display its full capacity. This means the battery should be fully charged and then fully discharged (so that the battery is completely dead) several times. The battery may become warm during the charging cycle. This is part of normal operation and does not indicate an error or defect. If the battery does not reach its full charge please take it out of the device and reinsert it. This should reset the charging function and allow for the battery to be fully charged.

7. How Can I Maximize Battery Performance?

There are several steps you can take to insure that you get maximum performance from your battery:

  • Breaking In New Batteries - New batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge your new battery two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity.
  • Preventing the Memory Effect - Keep your battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Li-Ion batteries which do not suffer from the memory effect.
  • Keep Your Batteries Clean - It's a good idea to clean dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. This helps maintain a good connection between the battery and your portable device.
  • Exercise Your Battery - Do not leave your battery dormant for long periods of time. We recommend using the battery at least once every two to three weeks. If a battery has not been used for a long period of time, perform the new battery break in procedure described above.
  • Battery Storage - If you don't plan on using the battery for a month or more, we recommend storing it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries will self-discharge during storage; remember to break them in before use. Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries must be kept at full charge during storage. This is usually achieved by using special trickle chargers. If you do not have a trickle charger, do not attempt to store SLA batteries for more than three months.
  • For Notebook Users - To get maximum performance from your laptop battery, fully optimize the notebook's power management features prior to use. Power management is a trade off: better power conservation in exchange for worse computer performance. The power management system conserves battery power by setting the processor to run at a slower speed, dimming the screen, spinning down the hard drive when it's not in use and causing the machine to go into sleep mode when inactive. Your notebook user's guide will provide information relating to specific power management features that will help you maximize your notebook battery performance.

8. How Are Batteries Rated? (What Are Volts and Amps?)

There are two ratings on every battery: volts and amp-hours (Ah). The Ah rating may also be given as milliamp-hours (mAh), which are one-thousandth of an amp-hour (for example, a 1Ah battery is 1000mAh). Amp-hours are a rating of the amount of energy that a battery can store. Another way of looking at it is to say that the higher a battery's amp-hour rating is, the longer the battery's run-time will be. Some of our batteries will have higher amp-hour ratings than the original battery found in your device and will not cause any incompatibilities. On the other hand, while the voltage of the Hi-Capacity battery may not be identical to the original battery, the voltages must be within a reasonable range. In order to rate the voltage of the cell, a voltage value between 3.0 and 4.2 must be picked. The voltage that is picked is called the "nominal" voltage, which means that it is for naming purposes only, whereas the actual voltage of the cell depends on the state of charge. Historically some manufacturers picked 3.6V while others picked 3.7V to name the cell. The functionality and performance of either cell is identical and cannot be differentiated by the device. The explanation above applies to a single Li-Ion cell in series.  When a battery has two or more Li-Ion cells in series, the voltage is multiplied by the number of cells in series, as in the table below:

Number of Li-Ion cells in series
Nominal voltage
Type of device
1
3.6V or 3.7V
Cell phones and Digital cameras
2
7.2V or 7.4V
Digital cameras and camcorders
3
10.8V or 11.1V
Laptops
4
14.4V or 14.8V
Laptops
Thus,
A Li-Ion battery labeled 3.6V is the same as a Li-Ion battery labeled 3.7V.
A Li-Ion battery labeled 7.2V is the same as a Li-Ion battery labeled 7.4V.
A Li-Ion battery labeled 10.8V is the same as a Li-Ion battery labeled 11.1V.
A Li-Ion battery labeled 14.4V is the same as a Li-Ion battery labeled 14.8V.

9. How Long Do Batteries Last (What is the Life Span of My New Battery)?

The life of a rechargeable battery operating under normal conditions is generally between 500 to 800 charge-discharge cycles. This typically translates into one and a half to three years of battery life for the average user. As your rechargeable battery begins to die, you will notice a decline in the running time of the battery. When your two hour battery is only supplying you with an hour's worth of use, it's time for a new one.

10. Should I Recycle My Old Battery? How?

Nicad, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries should be recycled. Be environmentally conscious - do NOT throw these batteries in the trash.

If you don't know where your local recycling facility is, call the Portable Rechargeable Battery Association at 1-800-822-8837. They will provide you with the address of the recycling center nearest to you.

Laptop and Desktop Computer Batteries

1. What are Main Batteries?

The main battery (also called the power battery) is the battery pack which allows a laptop or notebook to operate independently of an AC power source. These rechargeable laptop batteries are designed to operate the computer for a certain amount of time (generally 1 to 4 hours).

2. What are CMOS or Clock Backup?

CMOS batteries and Clock Backup batteries perform the same function in desktop and laptop computers: when the computer is turned off, the battery maintains the time and date, insuring their accuracy when the system is once again restarted. More importantly, the battery saves the computer's CMOS set-up configuration, which allows the system to efficiently re-boot once it is restarted. The computer knows what type of hard drive it is dealing with, etc. Not surprisingly, these batteries are known alternatively as CMOS batteries, Real Time Clock (RTC) batteries, or simply internal batteries.

The most common CMOS battery chemistries are Lithium, Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) and alkaline. They are usually somewhere in the 3 to 7.2 volt range and either solder onto the motherboard or simply plug in via a snap-in connector (depending upon the computer manufacturer's design).

In most cases, replacement of the CMOS battery is an easy task. It is simply a matter of locating the battery on the computer's motherboard, removing it, and plugging in a new one. As a rule, internal batteries should be replaced by the same type of battery which was originally used in the machine, or according to the manufacturer's specifications. The major exception to this rule are older IBM compatible computers which come with a NiCad battery soldered onto the motherboard. These computers usually have a three or four pin male plug, with two of the pins connected via a jumper (this is generally found in the same area of the motherboard as the original battery). This plug gives you the option of leaving the soldered battery in place and replacing it with a plug-in type battery. Removing the jumper tells the computer to ignore the battery soldered onto the motherboard and to look to the pins for its power source. IMPORTANT NOTE: NiCad batteries are rechargeable, whereas Lithium and alkaline batteries are NOT. Therefore, Lithium and alkaline batteries must be replaced by equivalent batteries of the same type. Attempting to replace these non-rechargeable batteries with a NiCad will result in a non-functioning battery, due to the fact the computer lacks the proper charging circuitry. If a motherboard lacks the above-discussed provision for an external battery, the NiCad battery MUST be unsoldered and replaced by a NiCad battery ONLY. Attempting to use an alkaline or lithium battery in place of NiCad on such a board could be hazardous. These batteries are not designed to be recharged, and an attempt to do so may cause the battery to "burst", or explode.

CMOS batteries generally last for two to three years, although some (especially the lithium type) have been known to last much longer. Ironically, the less you use your computer, the faster the CMOS battery will run out. This is because when your computer is turned off the battery begins to function. It is recommended to replace the CMOS battery approximately once a year, or when servicing the computer. If your computer has been idle for an extended length of time it is a good idea to change the battery. Changing the battery is a relatively easy and inexpensive task, especially (as I'm sure many of you out there know) when compared to trying to reconfigure a computer which has lost its CMOS settings.

3. What are RAM or Resume batteries?

Some notebook computers are designed with a dedicated battery for backing up RAM functions when the machine is temporarily shut off. This feature allows users to change the main battery pack without losing the current applications and settings residing in RAM (Random Access Memory). This is called a "battery hot swap" - switching the main battery pack without having to turn off the computer.

These type of batteries are alternately known as bridge batteries, RAM batteries, or resume batteries.

Most RAM batteries are rechargeable NiCad and will last around 2-3 years. It is recommended that you replace your notebook's RAM battery when replacing the CMOS battery.

4. How Long Will the New Battery Power My Laptop?

This is difficult to determine. Actual laptop battery running time depends upon the power demands made by the equipment. The use of the monitor, the hard drive and other accessories results in an additional drain upon the battery, effectively reducing its running time. The total running time of the battery is also dependent upon the design of the equipment. Generally, a new eBatts.com battery will run at least as long (and usually longer) as your old battery did when it was new.

5. Is it Possible to Upgrade My Device's Battery to a Newer Chemistry?

NiCad, NiMH and Li-ion are all fundamentally different from one another and cannot be substituted unless the device has been pre-configured from the factory to accept more than one type of rechargeable battery. The difference between them stems from the fact that each type requires a different charging pattern to be properly recharged. Therefore, the portable device's charger must be properly configured to handle a given type of rechargeable battery.

Refer to your owner's manual to find out which rechargeable battery types your particular device supports, or simply use our search engine to find your device. It will automatically list all of the battery types supported by your machine.

6. What is a "smart" Battery?

Smart batteries have internal circuit boards with smart chips which allow them to communicate with the notebook and thus better monitor battery performance, output voltage and temperature. Smart batteries will generally run 15% longer due to their increased efficiency and also give the computer much more accurate "fuel gauge" capabilities to determine how much battery running time is left before the next recharge is required.

7. How Can I Maximize Battery Performance?

There are several steps you can take to insure that you get maximum performance from your battery:

  • Breaking In New Batteries - New batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge your new battery two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity.
  • Preventing the Memory Effect - Keep your battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Li-Ion batteries which do not suffer from the memory effect.
  • Keep Your Batteries Clean - It's a good idea to clean dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. This helps maintain a good connection between the battery and your portable device.
  • Exercise Your Battery - Do not leave your battery dormant for long periods of time. We recommend using the battery at least once every two to three weeks. If a battery has not been used for a long period of time, perform the new battery break in procedure described above.
  • Battery Storage - If you don't plan on using the battery for a month or more, we recommend storing it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries will self-discharge during storage; remember to break them in before use. Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries must be kept at full charge during storage. This is usually achieved by using special trickle chargers. If you do not have a trickle charger, do not attempt to store SLA batteries for more than three months.
  • For Notebook Users - To get maximum performance from your battery, fully optimize the notebook's power management features prior to use. Power management is a trade off: better power conservation in exchange for worse computer performance. The power management system conserves battery power by setting the processor to run at a slower speed, dimming the screen, spinning down the hard drive when it's not in use and causing the machine to go into sleep mode when inactive. Your notebook user's guide will provide information relating to specific power management features.

8. How Long Do Batteries Last (What is the Life Span of My New Battery)?

The life of a rechargeable battery operating under normal conditions is generally between 500 to 800 charge-discharge cycles. This typically translates into one and a half to three years of battery life for the average user. As your rechargeable battery begins to die, you will notice a decline in the running time of the battery. When your two hour battery is only supplying you with an hour's worth of use, it's time for a new one.

9. What Should I Do If My Battery Isn’t Charging ?

For safety reasons new batteries are not shipped in a fully charged condition. As such the battery must be fully charged before use. Before the initial use please complete two to three charge cycles in order for the battery to display its full capacity. This means the battery should be fully charged and then fully discharged (so that the battery is completely dead) several times. The battery may become warm during the charging cycle. This is part of normal operation and does not indicate an error or defect. If the battery does not reach its full charge please take it out of the device and reinsert it. This should reset the charging function and allow for the battery to be fully charged.

And now the disclaimer

Any statements and data in this file are for general information purposes. They represent the latest technical status at the time of publishing. We reserve the right to change the data in this file without prior notice. The technical information is given in a descriptive way and does not guarantee any properties or enlarge any warranties given.

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