FlashMe Kills Battery Life?

Discussion in 'Other Flashing Hardware & Software' started by yee, Oct 28, 2006.

Oct 28, 2006

FlashMe Kills Battery Life? by yee at 2:29 AM (2,363 Views / 0 Likes) 16 replies

  1. yee
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    Member yee DOTA 4EVER

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    Lately, I've flashed about 30 DS Lites, and out of them all, there has been 2 that have reported having battery issues.

    For example, one of the DS Lites only last for 2 hours and another DS was fully charged and after touching it for the first time after a few days, it dies after 5 minutes.

    Shed some light on this for me!

    Thanks
     
  2. RyuKakashi

    Member RyuKakashi GBAtemp Fan

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    I don't understand how this would change battery life at all. I would assume that just having a GBA cart in there is sucking battery life but I'm convinced that all claims on any battery issues can never be truely proven.
     
  3. Shinji

    Member Shinji ҉҉ ҉҉

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    Turning the DS on supposedly kills battery life too =P

    It shouldnt change battery life, actually, Pass devices drain battery life more than flashme does I believe...
     
  4. Opium

    Former Staff Opium PogoShell it to me ™

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    Flashme does no affect battery life. It's more or less a bootstrap that will launch code from the GBA slot. No power required.

    Using a GBA flashcart however may affect battery life. Depends on what these people are using, but flashme wouldn't be the cause of power loss.
     
  5. Shinji

    Member Shinji ҉҉ ҉҉

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    Bootstrap bill says: b [​IMG] d

    From what I remember back in the GBA days is that Flashcarts draw more power than official game carts...
     
  6. cory1492

    Member cory1492 GBAtemp Maniac

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    yee: lookup info on lithium ion batteries, you will see that they have a "memory" for how many times they have been charged, usually written to some kind of PROM, and normally accessed by the device by a I2C protocol (to tell battery temp esp. while charging, to find out optimal discharge/recharge stats, to kill the battery at the end of its life cycle etc). When it is working properly, it is meant to maintain safe charging and discharging operations and essentially disable the battery when it is no longer safe (crosses fingers and hope $ony didn't make the DSLite batteries too.. [​IMG] )

    The only thing I can think of is if some of the DS batteries wind up with corrupted data in the PROM, they could think the battery is discharged when it is in fact not. No one I know of has looked into resetting the batteries at this point, so probably the best bet (if under warranty) is to have them replace *just the battery* (if that is at all possible).

    IMHO, flashme wouldn't affect anything to do with the battery hardware (best to try the same battery in a different DS though, to be sure).

    PS: I asked quite a while back if anyone knew how to reset DS batteries and got a lecture on how they are not like NiCad which you could just use a resistor to short the contacts to force a full drain... so I too had a bit of a hill to understand the newer charging circuits and protection circuits [​IMG]
     
  7. ejx982

    Newcomer ejx982 Member

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    If you imagine your battery as tiny strips of metal that crumple when the battery is low. When you charge it, the strips of metal straighten, but not all the way 100%, more like 99.8%. If you treat your battery correctly.. that is not place it in heat, cold, and you discharge it near the end before recharge you'll get the 99.8%. If you play for only a few minutes, then charge it, and repeat your battery will "relearn" and think it's only a few min in duration.

    These was a plague for the NiCad batteries... NiMH improve this greatly. Li-Ion does to NiMH what NiMH does to NiCad. It is much more resistant to this 'memory' effect, but it is still prone to this if you don't treat the batteries well. The best way to use anything that has a battery, is use it until the "low" light hits, then charge it to full. I have cell phones, DS, ipods, notebooks, and I still have very close to full battery life even after 2+ yrs of use. I sugguest you do the same.

    Oh.. it's common knowledge that the use of a Slot2 backup device + slot 1 pass device reduces the battery life by 1/2 because they just require more power. If you stop using them, and use a real cart it should go back to it's normal duration. It has no long term effects unless you don't take care of it.

    Personally, I think the jury is still out on Flashme / Slot 1 device. I haven't read any documentation or test trials on how long the battery lasts using Flashme or a DS-X. It would be nice if a chart was built.

    Hope this helps...

    ejx982
     
  8. yee
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    Member yee DOTA 4EVER

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    Yes, I know all the charging and use of battery, but the PROM stuff, that's some good reading right there baby!

    I have told them to try to replace the battery, and have already told them about the deep charges, etc.

    At first, I also believed that battery life wouldn't have anything to do with flashing because my DS hasn't had any problems whatsoever. But you know, might as well write a post and see what responses I get [​IMG]

    I'll keep this updated and thanks for all the input guys, I really appreciate it.
     
  9. cory1492

    Member cory1492 GBAtemp Maniac

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    yee: I knew I read all that stuff on Li-Ion long term volatile data storage batteries for a reason... though I don't think it was apparent at the time, and generally the watch cell style Li rechargeable batteries (like what is in EZ carts) have no protection/memory circuits [​IMG] I have seen at least 2 people's posts in the past few weeks of b/n DSLites (I don't even think flashme was even considered before they found the problem ) where the battery only lasts a couple hours out of the box- replacing the battery has fixed it for them, as far as I know.

    ejx982: if you want to take the quote out of context, you are welcome to. What I was talking about is simply this (and it is explained in the next sentence or so of the post you short-quoted): it is known that the protection circuit in my PSP battery records how many times (in a EEPROM, interfaced to the PSP through a serial I2C line) it has been charged, and will effectively disable the battery from being further used or charged after ~10,000 charges (even if it could actually last 3million on this specific battery, 10,000 is some kind of fail safe to protect their butts, I guess). It would also tracks data on max charge/discharge, if that data was skewed... short battery usage is the result. There are indeed more than a few PROM counters that have been hacked in various expensive batteries. Now THAT is memory, nothing like NiMH memory where it is just residual chemical properties that is called "memory" from a consumer standpoint, with no actual memory storage device in the loop.

    In Li-ion batteries, the chemicals/metals inside actually degrade (no longer react in the same manner producing electricity) under much different conditions than ejx982 describes.

    The optimal time to charge these batteries for longer life is when it reaches "storage levels", or around 40% charge (rarely the "low" on devices, which is nominally at 20%); fully discharging them (like with a short or resistor) will make the chemicals lose their properties; storing them for longer periods at full charge (or extremely low charge, 10% or less) continues the degradation along a predictable graph, which is MUCH faster than storing them at 40%.

    For the first couple charges you probably should discharge the battery until the device shuts itself down for the chips to get an accurate "log" of the power range (so it doesn't have faulty data to work with at the get-go), and every 10-20 charges after that, to keep the protection circuits and battery range stored in the internal electronics of the battery "up to date" (ie: it has data and can tell the device to shut off before the battery reaches a state that would critically deplete the chemicals inside rendering them inert, and can tell the device that "I'm full" when it reaches the top end - and can then also use that data to tell the device the current power level much more accurately).

    As to hot/cold: if it is extreme heat or extreme cold, it can damage LI batteries, but these things have an amazing range of temps (especially when compared to older technologies like non-rechargeable AA batteries) which they can be stored at (not necessarily used at) with little to no effect on the batteries chemicals.
     
  10. Shinji

    Member Shinji ҉҉ ҉҉

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    Holy crap cory, you shoulda wrote a review on the DS battery when they were having the review comp. XD

    This information could help alot of newbie DS users with their charging habits.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. RyuKakashi

    Member RyuKakashi GBAtemp Fan

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    This is quite interesting. So when the DSlite goes red, at what percent would that low be? 20%? So it's best to let it drain the first time and charge it all the way and then from then on, charge at 40%?
     
  12. Firon

    Member Firon GBAtemp Regular

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    cory1492: temperature is important with lithium ion batteries. The higher the temperature, the faster they lose permanent capacity. So if you keep your battery at 40C for a year, it'll lose way more capacity than if you kept it at 25C for a year.
     
  13. apofaz

    Member apofaz GBAtemp Regular

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    as cory already mentioned, every NEW battery needs some full charges and full discharges (until it switches off automatically) before they have their full power.
    also, don't take your DS to skiing, temperatures beneath 0°C are hardcore battery killers.
     
  14. cory1492

    Member cory1492 GBAtemp Maniac

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    And I'd have to say that 40C would be considered an extreme (ie: a "not normal" temp for room temperature). If you want to get technical about though, I'd say the optimal storage condition for a Li battery would be in the 10-15C range with the battery at ~40% charge (shelfed, meaning not in a unit that is draining power at all) and the farther away you get from that the more the active components in the battery will degrade (though, even at extremes the degradation is going to be much less than previous technologies). So in other words, don't leave it on the radiator for a couple months, and don't leave it outdoors in Alaska during the winter... and that will extend the time it takes for the batteries use time to shorten (unless you are unlucky like a couple others and wind up with some kind of defect in the program).

    All that said though, I have not taken apart the DS' battery to ascertain exactly what, if any, circuitry lies within it - they are cheap enough and have a low enough expected duty cycle that it could very well be next to none (500 charges - far less than I would have guessed), with all the protection circuitry handled strictly by the DS itself. But I do have some handy links thanks to Google:

    Nintendo DS Rechargeable Battery Frequently Asked Questions
    Battery and Power Problems
     
  15. yuwing

    Member yuwing GBAtemp Fan

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    That's 1/15 chances. only 6%. insigificant.
     
  16. yee
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    Member yee DOTA 4EVER

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    Whether it is insignificant or not, it still happened and it didn't happen prior to being flashed or at least that is what they are telling me.

    I've told them to test the batteries and I'll let you guys know.
     
  17. Timo710

    Member Timo710 GBAtemp Fan

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    The DS lite answer is simple , the DSlite doesn't have a lot of battery normally when it is in level 4 brightness , add up a flashcard and its not weard to only have 2 hours left , the 5 minute story is something nobody could explain.
     

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