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good source for 9 cell battery

T430 and later, plus T530 and later series specific matters only
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liynus
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:52 pm
Location: Roseville, Calif.

good source for 9 cell battery

#1 Post by liynus » Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:42 am

t430
thinking about 9 cell battery
for cheap
-anyone have good sources?
it's so random on ebay
-how is battery life on linux with 9 cell? worth it?
right now current 6 cell that came with laptop give me 3 hourish
-slowly and surely getting my t430 up to speed


>>
t430, 1080 screen mod, classic keyboard, SSD, i5-3230M CPU @ 2.60GHz, Intel Graphic, Base Heat Sink, stock Wifi

atagunov
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Re: good source for 9 cell battery

#2 Post by atagunov » Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:54 am

I'm happy to report alright-ish experiences with a 6-cell KingSener battery from AliExpress on my X220 since January this year. Up to around 4 hours run-time browsing internet and watching youtube over WiFi. I'm using TLP to limit performance.. hmm was it to 60% when on battery? These batteries cost around £30 inclusive of delivery and arrive in about 3 weeks to UK, no more than a month in my experience. I have actually purchased 3 of them for different Thinkpad models but I'm only using one so that's the one I'm reporting positive experience with. I purchased KingSener after seeing some positive reviews in reddit. Haven't seen a negative one yet.

I tried to use charging limits but had bad results with both original and KingSener batteries. So I'm now using a start charge threshold of around 70% but my stop charge threshold is 100%. I wish I could keep it lower but in my experience then you can find your charge tanking too faster after your battery has discharged to about 30%. So every charge is now a full charge for me. (Note that in TLP you can't just set start charge threshold only, you have to set both start and stop for them to have any effect at all but you are welcome to set stop threshold to 100%).

BTW please be advised that so-called "slice" batteries exist. They plug from the bottom into docking connector. I don't have advice on where to get them, but please be aware that once you get yourself a nice regular battery you can consider also getting a "slice". Please also be advised that a script exists that allows you to draw power in a balanced way switching between main and slice batteries under Linux. I guess that script is advisable to prolong slice battery life.

If you decide to order a KingSener battery please choose carefully which Ampere-hour option your order. Confusingly the offers on AliExpress don't say "6-cell" or "9-cell", and neither do they specify the battery capacity in Wt-hours as would have been natural to me. Instead they specify Ampere-hours. Because of this confusion I ended up purchasing a 9-cell X201 battery while what I really wanted was a 6-cell one. There are several shops on AliExpress and among them two-three with the world "official" in the name :) I don't think it matters that much which one to buy from but you could still try to spot the one with highest feedback.. Think it will be one of the "official" ones.

P.S. I hope you're using TLP, right? In my view it's a must-have for Linux Thinkpad users.
P.P.S. An alternative to KingSener is to hunt for a good genuine battery on ebay. I think Panasonic-made batteries have received especially high praise on this forum. I don't know however how to distinguish a Panasonic battery when buying on ebay.. Obviously once you have it plugged in "tlp-stat -b" will tell how that battery identifies itself, e.g. if it says it's "Sanyo", "Panasonic" or possibly something else.. But how do you distinguish while it is advertised for sale on ebay? I don't know.. For what it's worth both of my T520 still rock original 9-cell batteries about 8 years old and they are still okay.. Think they are giving you at least 4 hours runtime. Don't remember what % of original capacity they report. As an additional piece of evidence in favor of KingSener: they behave exactly as expected after "tlp recalibrate BAT0". E.g. they update their remaining capacity, it is indeed slightly bellow their design capacity. Like you would expect from an honest properly functioning battery controller. The worst no-name knock-offs in contrast may always report remaining capacity equal to design capacity, bad boys..
X220, 2 *T520

liynus
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:52 pm
Location: Roseville, Calif.

Re: good source for 9 cell battery

#3 Post by liynus » Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:40 pm

wow thanks for the deep and knowledgeable reply
1) no I don't know much about TLP but a google search is in order right now
2) thanks for the AliExpress tips. I was pleasantly surprised by my 1st shopping trip there for the connector for my 1080 screen. I thought it would take months for something to arrive, it was just a couple of weeks. Some ebay items take longer.

liynus
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:52 pm
Location: Roseville, Calif.

Re: good source for 9 cell battery

#4 Post by liynus » Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:47 pm

looks like TLP is on by default in ubuntu which I am running

atagunov
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Re: good source for 9 cell battery

#5 Post by atagunov » Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:33 am

liynus wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:47 pm
looks like TLP is on by default in ubuntu which I am running
Hmm.. so do you have /etc/tlp.conf file?..

For what it's worth here's how I installed it recently on my T520 after a fresh Ubuntu 20.04 install (btw I do recommend Ubuntu 20.04, it boots a lot faster than 18.04):
# right now this does seem necessary; newer versions are put there but for 20.4 central Ubuntu repository already contains the latest
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp

# powertop is not part of TLP nor required to use it; but "sudo powertop" tells you what you current power draw is while on battery; very handy; info can be retrieved in other ways too
sudo apt-get install tlp tp-smapi-dkms acpi-call-dkms smartmontools linux-tools-generic powertop
As you can see there quite a number of modules there: tp-.. acpi-.. I think I tried to install just "tlp" first but then when I did "sudo tlp-stat -b" it complained that it was missing some extra modules in order to provide full functionality so that is probably how I arrived at this longer list. Or maybe I was also reading tlp website..

And then I edited that /etc/tlp.conf to say
START_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT0=62
STOP_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT0=100
The machine is almost always plugged in so start threshold is pretty low. STOP as I said doesn't work that well in my experience so I keep it at 100. But you still need that line in or else START won't work either. I think on my X220 that I carry around more I have something like this
CPU_MAX_PERF_ON_BAT=70
All these lines are there but you need to uncomment them.

Overall I think TLP is an essential tool to make Thinkpads run longer when on battery. powertop in contrast is only good to be invoked occasionally from command line to look at how things are.. and then close it :) Don't think it's that useful beyond telling you your current power draw on battery.

P.S. actually when I'm not lazy then after a 100% battery charge I allow the Thinkpad to discharge the battery to around 70%. I read somewhere that the batteries last longer if stored at middle charge.. Allegedly both very low and very high charges gradually corrode either cathode or anode.. On the other hand now I'm lazy and I've forgotten to do that, so my batt is still at 100%. Ideally keeping stop charge threshold at 75% would have achieved what I want but it seems it just doesn't work well. My theory is that the battery controller (the chip inside the battery) get confused.. And the way to get it out of confusion is to charge to 100%. Then it has a good reference point and shows realistic % remaining.
liynus wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:40 pm
thanks for the AliExpress tips. I was pleasantly surprised by my 1st shopping trip there
I quite like AliExpress, at least here in the UK they have become almost like Amazon. Well there are two differences: one is that if you don't like what you purchased you just return it to Amazon. Not so easy to do with shipment from a few thousand km. And secondly rarely but there are some slow shipments. I also think that out of perhaps 30 items I ordered this year one hasn't arrived even after a few months and will need to ask for a refund. However all 3 KingSener batteries arrived promptly and physically in a good shape.
X220, 2 *T520

liynus
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:52 pm
Location: Roseville, Calif.

Re: good source for 9 cell battery

#6 Post by liynus » Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:34 am

there is a TLP file to edit.
I did install Slimbook battery preferences perhaps that is why this is the case.
I think that uses TLP settings to change the different modes.

Have you trailed Slimbook, it's a bit easier due to the GUI mode for new users.

atagunov
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Location: London, UK

Re: good source for 9 cell battery

#7 Post by atagunov » Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:18 am

liynus wrote:
Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:34 am
I did install Slimbook battery preferences perhaps that is why this is the case.
I think that uses TLP settings to change the different modes.
Have you trailed Slimbook, it's a bit easier due to the GUI mode for new users.
Nope, would you like to share a link? Though I guess I'm reasonably happy with how things currently work for me, I am confident that I'm getting the latest version of TLP and remain in control :)
X220, 2 *T520

liynus
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:52 pm
Location: Roseville, Calif.

Re: good source for 9 cell battery

#8 Post by liynus » Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:55 pm

sure look at this post.
https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2019/05/sli ... zer-ubuntu
easy gui for those less well versed in the command line
It's made by Slimbook a Spanish linux laptop maker

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