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Old 01-22-2005, 12:27   #1
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Laptop power supply questions...

Greetings all. This is a great corner of GT!

I just got a new laptop - Gateway 520 series, Pent 4 @ 3.08 gh - and am very pleased so far. I work in two cities for the same company, so it is on the go with me all the time between three locations.

First issue - I'd like to use an A/C adapter at each location. Gateway wants 5 gajillion dollars for a factory a/c adapter. Is there a SAFE alternative, so that I don't have to climb under desks 10X a week, and/or have a messy looking work area with with the adapter being visible?

Second issue - I'm afraid to install my battery. The last laptop I had that was plugged in all the time KILLED The battery to the point it didn't last long enough to boot up the machine.

I very rarely need a computer that is capable of power without an a/c power source but I'd like to have to option when I fly, etc.

The damn battery on this new unit is located in such a way that the battery serves as the fourth point of stability - i.e. if it isn't installed, the thing bounces as I type. Drives me nuts.

So I need the battery installed for stability, but I need to figure out how to make sure the battery doesn't get killed since my machine is plugged in 99.9% of the time it is being used...

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Old 01-22-2005, 12:37   #2
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The newer li-ion batteries work much better than the older nickle ones, so no more worries about memory and such. Power charging software should be better as well. One thing to consider is heat though. Sounds like you have a P4 in yours, so that equals heat, especially if you have a high power graphics card. Get a cooling tray for it. Some guys slghtly disconnent the battery, so it isn't getting charged, but supports the case. I don't think it is necessary myself, as i plan on replacing the battery every few years anyway.

edit-multiple spelling errors made on PDA corrected

Last edited by jason10mm; 01-22-2005 at 16:04..
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Old 01-22-2005, 13:06   #3
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The "old" computer I was using was also a gateway, with a li-ion battery... I think your point about heat is a good one.

Cooling tray?? What??

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Old 01-22-2005, 15:43   #4
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Old 01-22-2005, 16:34   #5
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I have an older model Gateway laptop -- SOLO 5300. I bought it Jan. '01. 99.9% of the time, I use it at home on my desk, plugged up to A/C. My first battery lasted less than a year even though I very rarely used D/C power. When I called Gateway for advice, I was told that it was good to use battery power at least once every week or two until the power status gets down to the 5%-10% level and then recharge it fully. Also, I don't know if this helps, but I disconnect it from the A/C every night before bed and plug it back up in the morning. I'm still on my 2nd $100 each, it's not something I want to replace very often. One last thing, I make sure that I use the laptop on a hard surface that will allow good circulation to the air vents on the side and bottom.

FWIW, my Gateway has been just fine for my needs which aren't really very great. I use it every day for a few hours, just for web browsing and word processing.
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Old 01-22-2005, 18:06   #6
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Most of our laptop users have a several power bricks, one for home, one for the office and one for travel. (We get corporate prices) We have always suggested (strongly) to our laptop users to work off the battery at least twice a month. If the laptop is setup correctly you will get plenty of warning before your battery runs down. We tell them that upon arrival to work, not to plug in the AC until the warning and that if they have to leave their laptop to be sure and Save everything.
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:22   #7
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I am going on my third year with my laptop and my battery still provides over two hours of power running simple operations.

I take mine to my part time security gigs and watch movies and listen to the music files with it. I use a power inverter in the car rather than pay what they wanted for the 12 volt plug.

I do use a small surge protector for it but I have had real good luck with this set up. I couldn't make it without that inverter.

And I run off of battery at least twice a week and run that battery optimizer program every now and then.
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