Cons to running netbook on AC power?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by ams963, Nov 29, 2013.

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  1. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I wish to use my netbook in AC current power that is remove the battery and only run on charger.

    Kindly point out the cons in doing this and any damage to the battery or the netbook itself.

    Netbook: Acer AO532h
     
  2. guest

    guest Guest

    1. You're doing something important with the computer.
    2. Sudden electricity shutdown or other power disturbance.
    3. YOU ARE DEAD!

    It might also affect the hardware too. But not necessarily means it will always create hardware problems.
     
  3. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Battery lost or damaged. Time = money. And of course portability.

    The pros of doing that is sort of controversial as well.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    PIInfinity,

    That's how we've been running our laptops/netbooks for 8 years. Never had to buy a battery. The 8 year old battery seems almost new when I use it.

    Maybe we're lucky but we've never seen the cons.
     
  5. guest

    guest Guest

    The battery is fine. What we need to worry about is the computer. Unless the netbook is connected to an UPS, then it should be fine to remove the battery. If not, I just think that extending battery life with that method is not worth the risks.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Most of our computers are not connected to a UPS. Again, I think the risks are exaggerated.
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    If the battery is removed then surely running the notebook without it cannot cause damage to the battery. The only issue then is storing the battery. It should be in a cool, dry place, safe from being banged around or knocked off a shelf.

    The netbook itself is designed to run off the power supply, and the power supply is designed to run the netbook while charging the battery. Since the battery is removed and the power supply is only running the netbook and not loaded down with charging duties, as long as the charger is out in the open - well ventilated and not blanketed with dirty clothes or years' worth of heat trapping dust, there should be no problems.

    The battery, however will continue to age, even if not used. So don't expect it to last indefinitely. You could store it in the refrigerator (NOT freezer), as long as it is not exposed to spilled liquids or being banged about. HOWEVER, it is critical you allow it to get to room temperature before inserting it into the netbook to prevent condensation damage.

    Risks?

    It should be noted ANY TIME a computer suddenly loses power, there is a risk of hard drive corruption that can lead to loss of critical and valuable data - not to mention an unbootable computer, and/or downed network.

    ANY TIME there is an "extreme" anomaly (excessive surge or spike), there is a risk of permanent damage to computer and/or network hardware that can lead to loss of data.

    A "good" UPS is like having an deterrent security system on your car or home. Hopefully, you will never need it.

    If you don't live in a big apartment complex but live or work in a fairly new home or facility, your utilities are buried and not on poles, you don't live in Tornado Alley or a hurricane zone, you keep a current backup of all your data, and you can afford without major pain to totally replace your computer and networking hardware on a moment's notice, then I agree, you may not need a "good" UPS with AVR.

    But if any of those scenarios apply to you, I would urge you to put all your computers, expensive big screen TVs, expensive home theater audio equipment on a "good" UPS with AVR.

    Remember, destructive surges and spikes do not have to originate from "the grid". A failing refrigerator, microwave oven, toaster, AC unit, or $15 1500W hair dryer made in some backwoods factory in China under management and supervision of corrupt officials using parts made in a sister factory up river can send destructive anomalies down the line.

    For many people, the data is worth much more than the hardware. For others, it is critical to have an operational computer and network 24/7/365 - that is, any downtime is totally unacceptable.

    So the "risks" are not exaggerated at all. They are very real. The question is, what are "the odds" those risks will destroy your data, your computer equipment or your network gear, or create unacceptable downtime? If low, then you can "risk" not having reliable, and safe power. If the odds are those risks might affect you, then "invest" in a good UPS with AVR.
     
  8. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

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    @Bill Bright
    Thank you so much for clearly explaining. I understand now and have noted the points. This will help me a lot. :)

    Thanks everybody for taking the time in helping me on the issue. I think I got the points.
     
  9. dansorin

    dansorin Registered Member

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    you are one step away from panicking, take it easy. remember, 99% of the desktops run like this, with absolutely no problems.
     
  10. guest

    guest Guest

    Then I believe you don't live in a country where electricity shutdowns is such a common thing to happen. You should move to my country, plenty of fun. From bad public services, superfluous prices, stupid and unclear laws, and annoying neighbors.
     
  11. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    I run my laptop without the battery 99% of the time. After 3 1/2 years the battery still lasts more than 4 hours. :D
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Made me laugh. We do have issues at present.
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Which means 1 out of every 100 has problems. With more than a billion Windows systems out, that means 10 million are subject to problems! And that's not even counting Mac or Linux system, which are just as susceptible.

    In many small companies, they have no spares just sitting around ready to be swapped into place - even if they have current backups of their data. And most home users have just one computer, and sadly most don't have current backups either.

    Personally, I believe you are one-step away from catastrophe if you don't have your computer and network equipment on a "good" UPS with AVR! The ATX Form Factor standard requires all PSUs to "hold" voltages for just 19ms (milliseconds) during abnormal power events. That is much faster than the human eye/brain can detect. A "good" UPS can react easily within that time frame.

    And note a surge and spike protector is little more than a fancy and expensive extension cord that does absolutely nothing for abnormal low voltage events like dips (opposite of spikes) or sags (opposite of surges) or brownouts (long duration sags). And for high voltage events (surges and spikes), the surge and spike protector simply chops off ("clamps") the tops off the sine waves, leaving a not-so pretty voltage for your power supplies to compensate for.

    A "good" UPS with AVR will help shape (regulate) the sine wave into something more easily used by the devices plugged into it. In low voltage events, it will use the batteries to boost the voltage up to normal levels, and in extreme high voltage events, it will use the batteries to dump the excess voltage (which batteries can absorb with ease), and/or dump the excess to ground (Earth).

    Note I keep saying "good" UPS with AVR. Like power supplies, there are cheap, good, and best. The best are very expensive at $400 or more, and not needed for most users. The cheap present a "dirty" output and may not have a fast enough "cut-over" time to prevent equipment shutdowns. A "good" UPS with AVR will a "true sinewave" or near "approximation sinewave" outputs that your equipment regulator circuits can easily deal with, and very quick "cover-over" times.

    Certainly, many countries suffer power problems more so than others. But you don't have to live in one of those to suffer from power problems. I live in the US, but right in the middle of Tornado Alley where severe weather is common (though severe weather can be any where).

    That said, backup power during a power outage is only the icing on the cake. Destructive anomalies can come from other faulty electronics inside your own home, a car hitting a pole, the power grid being overloaded during a heat wave. The "AVR" automatic voltage regulation is what really makes a "good" UPS worth having.

    It does not take hardware "damaging" power problems to corrupt your hard drive - it only takes bad timing and lousy luck. In the nearly 40 years I've been maintaining computers, I've seen corrupt hard drives 3 or 4 times that required a full format and re-install of the OS. Of course all data was lost. And once a power outage occurred while flashing the BIOS - that turned the motherboard into a brick - and that's when I finally go the funding for the UPS I had been asking for in the shop.
     
  14. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    As for neighbors - primarily if you live in multi-family dwellings like apartment buildings, you never know what they will plug into their wall outlets. They may plug a window air conditioner into the same outlet as their refrigerator which is on the same circuit as their microwave - and the wall your computer is plugged into.
     
  15. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    I don´t think so. Electrical networks are just not built that way. If my neighbor overloads their circuits the way you describe, an automatic circuit breaker will trip in their apartment, isolating the problem.
     
  16. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Sorry, but you are an idealist.

    Sure, "new" apartment complexes have to meet "new" codes and regulations and have totally isolated electrical circuits. But there are 10s of 1000s of old apartment buildings, converted houses, "over shop" apartments, and the like that are 30, 50 or 60 years old or older that don't meet today's electrical codes and don't have to either - not until remodeled. Many still have post WWII and Korea War era aluminum wiring and use fuses - not circuit breakers. And many older apartments and homes still have two conductor wiring (as my house built in 1960 did, and still does in the basement) and ground to the cold water pipes too, instead of to a discrete ground.

    Plus, even in a modern facility, you should not assume it was wired properly, or has not been damaged. This is why every home should have a AC Outlet Tester too. I recommend one with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) indicator as it can be used to test bathroom and kitchen outlets too. These testers can be found for your type and voltage outlet, foreign or domestic, at most home improvement stores, or even the electrical department at Walmart.

    So, I wish you were right, but sadly, we don't live in an ideal world.
     
  17. dansorin

    dansorin Registered Member

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    you couldn't be more wrong. as Robin A. pointed out, electrical circuits are simply not built that way. even 50 years ago they weren't built that way. i do that for a living so i should know.
    it seems you have a doom's day kind of philosophy, so i guess no one can talk you out of it.
     
  18. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Was my example an extreme example? Yes. I am not saying it is common but if you think it never happens, then you too are living in a dream world.

    I specifically noted there are many older homes and buildings that have been converted into apartments that don't meet (and perhaps never did meet) code. These buildings were never built to have more than one oven, more than one refrigerator, or any [window] air conditioning. If you don't believe that - especially as someone who says you "do that for a living", then I am sorry, but it is clear your job (and training! :() has given you a very limited exposure to the real world.

    There are apartments behind my house right now that used to be a college. Five of the buildings were built between 1890 and 1903. They were converted into apartments during WWII for bomber factory workers at the Air Force base (Army fort back then) 1/2 mile from here. They have been plagued with electrical problems for decades. There are now 4 buildings because one burned down 2 years ago when someone in one top floor apartment connected a space heater and the wiring overheated all the way down to, and including the faulty, ancient distribution panel in the basement. That took out power to the entire building, then blew the transformer's fusible link for the whole complex! The power then on my block went down, came back on, went out and back on again in a matter of a couple seconds sending all my UPS into alarms and on to batteries. Should that have happened? Of course not! But do things like that happen? Of course they do!

    And speaking of colleges, dorm rooms (and military barracks) are another example where one residence may share a circuit with an adjacent residence.

    If you live in an area with frequent severe weather or a flakey power grid you would know that power often does not "gracefully" go out, then "gracefully" come back on. That would be nice! But no, it often "flickers" quickly on and off - bang, bang, banging on our electronics. That is terribly hard on sensitive, high-speed digital electronics - especially those that use cheap power supplies with inadequate voltage regulation - as is often the case with entry-level computers, or computers assembled by inexperienced self-builders.

    But is my example even worth arguing about now? NO! Because the cause of the power anomaly is not the issue. The issue is power anomalies happen - even in brand new, up-to-code, facilities.

    IF your data is invaluable and/or uninterruptible access to your data is essential, and if replacement costs of your hardware (including the downtime) would put you in a bind, then you should put your hardware on a "good" UPS with AVR.

    If you don't care about your hardware, if your data is not worth more to you than your hardware (or you do daily backups and store them off-site), then it may be no problem for you.

    It's called planning for any eventuality. And yes, as an electronics technician paid to maintain such equipment, it is my job to plan for any scenario that may impair access to my, or a client's data. If you are, or have ever been responsible to ensure an organization has 24/7/365 access to "mission critical" data and hardware, you would research causes and plan for such events too. There are many people who rely, and are totally dependent on their computers, the data they access through those computers, and the tasks (personal, educational, financial, and work) they perform with those computers. I work for them. And I have presented my comments here based on "real world" experience supporting such hardware for 40+ years.

    Again - you hope you never need it, and chances are you may not. But you hope you never need that dead-bolt on your door, or life insurance either.

    Also, it is critical to note that surge and spike protectors rely on "passive" devices called MOVs (metal-oxide varistors). MOVs are like motorcycle helmets. When they save your noggin when you slam into a curb, you replace the helmet with a new one. Same with surge and spike protectors. They wear out, and can only safely absorb extreme anomalies a limited number of times, often just once. But sadly, most users keep them forever! :( A "good" UPS with AVR uses "active" circuitry and "intelligence" and very robust batteries that don't need to be thrown out after they save your butt.

    There is a downside and that is the SLA (sealed lead-acid) batteries need to be replaced about every 3 years. But this can typically easily done by the user.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
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