1. xenohbutton

    OP xenohbutton Member
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    Hello everyone,
    I was wondering about 3DS batteries. I got a few of them (consoles), and of course I don't play on all of them all the time at once. When I check eBay from time to time, sometimes I find consoles with taken out batteries. After quick research it seems it for that the batteries don't "blow up". Or just so they don't damage itself and the hardware.

    This made me wondering – when is the time you should put out battery from your console? And not only console, I assume it goes also for controllers and maybe other electronics.

    Maybe it would be easier to think about it with two hypothetical situations:
    1. Let's say I bought New 3DS XL in 2016. I played it quite a lot, but stopped 2018. Should I take out my battery now or it doesn't matter now?
    2. Let's say I have original 3DS from 2012. I play on it until this day, but rarely – for example once per 3 months. Should I remove battery from the console when I don't play it, even if it's 3 months gap?
     
  2. KleinesSinchen

    KleinesSinchen GBAtemp's Backup Reminder + Fearless Testing Sina
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    It is hard to give a definitive answer to that. While Li-ion batteries can show thermal runaway behavior (and this would obviously be bad for the console), this is rare and highly unlikely to happen spontaneously on unused devices if there is no previous damage on the battery.

    Some devices are always on (standby) which is bad. In the context of Nintendo products, the Wii Remote and the Wii U Gamepad have this problem (I call it a design flaw: Gamepad listening permanently if the console turns on). After a few weeks of not being used a fully charged Gamepad battery is empty. The self-protection shuts off to protect from extreme deep discharge. (Slow) Self-discharge takes over from there. Using a Wii U only once in a while will destroy the battery through frequent deep discharge so I would recommend to disconnect the battery when the Gamepad is not in use for a longer time.

    None of the DS systems has those problems to my knowledge (really turn off, not only close the DS). I own(ed) at least one of each model (sold my first O3DS) and have never seen a problem like that. Keeping the clock and maybe some SRAM running will take less power than the self-discharge of the battery. If you charge a DS at least once in half year (or once a year) to about 60%, a working Li-ion should not go below safe values. The optimal storage condition is 40-60% charged, cool (not extremely cold) and dry.
    If a Li-ion is really swollen (any Li-ion gains a little more volume over time) you should remove and replace it.
    =========

    On other devices… I simply do not know what for example a smartphone/tablet does if you select "Shutdown". Is it really off to the point only the clock is running? However, removing batteries in modern smartphones is not viable and will often cause damage depending on the model so I would not recommend it (I wish the people responsible for that would have to eat their glue go to jail.) All laptops I've seen (not that many to be honest) didn't draw power from the main battery after complete shutdown.

    Your best bet on non-removable batteries is monitoring the discharge after a month of the device being unused. If there is no noticeable drop chances are the device shut down completely.
     
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  3. flowlapache

    flowlapache GBAtemp Regular
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    Thanks for your explanation! Now I'm afraid with my wiiU gamepad not use since last summer!
     
  4. xenohbutton

    OP xenohbutton Member
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    Why 60%? I usually charge battery to full and then leave the console like this.

    Also did I understand - even if I don't use console for a year, I should turn it on and discharge and then charge again? Or just charge?

    IN the other hand, I always turn off my consoles when I don't use them. So... They should be safe either way?
     
  5. KleinesSinchen

    KleinesSinchen GBAtemp's Backup Reminder + Fearless Testing Sina
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    Charge the battery and test it. It shouldn't die if this doesn't happen more often.

    I've many DS (please don't ask) and naturally can't play them all regularly. None of them deep discharged or had the battery defective. I think it is okay to leave the batteries in.
    Charging once in a while is only for compensating self-discharge. Might not even be necessary each time you check.
    ============
    :!: Disclaimer: The following part is extremely shortened explanation written solely from memory without research. Might contain errors. I can't guarantee everything is correct.

    The 40-60%… I can't tell you exactly why on chemical level.
    Li-ion ages faster when fully charged and does not like extreme voltages. On Li-ion voltage goes down on discharge. Voltage (other than on NiMH) can be used as rough estimation for charge level (some batteries additionally use coloumb counters/energy meters for more accurate "fuel gauge").
    In theory you can get store/get more energy in/from a Li-ion by rising the "full mark" (charge to 4.3V) and lowering the empty mark (discharge to 2.8V). You would get about 110% of the rated capacity at the price of massive loss of cycles (dead after a few times torturing like this) and overcharge can lead to thermal runaway.
    On the other hand, lowering max voltage and rising min voltage (max 4.0V, min 3.3V or similar) you will get a lowered capacity on each cycle but gain a lot of these flat cycles. Typical LiCoO2 as used in consumer electronics delivers about 500-750 cycles between 10% and 100% but often can endure 2000 cycles between 20-80%.

    Long story short: I don't think it makes much difference, but the recommended charging level for storing Li-ion is about half full – least stress for the cells is in the middle.
     
    Scott_pilgrim and xenohbutton like this.
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