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Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/25/2017 3:03 PM

Merry Christmas.

I dug out my old Motorola Droid phone that has been in a drawer for 3 years and turned it on.

Amazingly, it still had an almost full charge. Took 10 minutes to get to 100%.

I can't find any specific information on long term storage. Plenty of, "This is the way I charge my phone; for max battery life do this or that," but I just wonder if this typical of a 5+ year old phone that hasn't been charged/used for 3 years.

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#1

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/25/2017 3:21 PM

I've read that lithium batteries can be stored for 10 years no problem....In my experience they do tend to lose some charge over time, and my old ipod's seem to go almost completely dead...It must have something to do with the device not being completely disconnected in the off position...so I guess it depends on the device..

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#5
In reply to #1

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/26/2017 12:30 AM

This is definitely true for at least some kinds of lithium batteries. I once turned on a 20-year-old Macintosh (SE, I think) computer that had been sitting in my garage for several years, and still had its original PRAM battery (a 3.6V lithium 1/2AA size, [Varta brand if I recall correctly], NOT a rechargeable). I was amazed to find that it still indicated the correct date. The time was off a little, but the clock chip had to have been running continuously for all of those 20+ years, powered most of the time by that battery.

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#2

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/25/2017 6:22 PM

Is there any chance Santa has charged it recently behind your back (where Santa stands for a family member of yours, no costume required)?

Another possibility is taking into account that battery chargers limit the power with the temperature of the battery. If the official charger is 500mA and you are using one of the current 3A chargers, that means 6 times faster charging in a cold place, so 10 min does not sound as preposterous as you make it sound.

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#3
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Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/25/2017 6:45 PM

No, on both counts.

No one else knew, or cared, where it was.

I noted that the charge level seemed very high as soon as I powered it up, before charging.

This may not be unusual for these batteries, I don't know.

I have a Kindle reader that won't hold a charge for even 6 months.

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/27/2017 5:52 AM

That is not the way chargers work. The device being charged determines how much current to draw. However capable the charger, if the device only wants 500mA, it will draw only 500mA.

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#10
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Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/27/2017 11:43 AM

What you say is true for some chargers and for some devices being charged, but definitely NOT true for many chargers and many devices. It is especially not true for general-purpose chargers designed to charge a range of batteries/devices, or when a charger designed for one device is used (incorrectly) to charge a different device.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/27/2017 1:08 PM

Indeed, I agree with you for the general situation. My assertion was intended to apply to the thread discussion of mobile phones, so perhaps I should have said: "That's not how phone chargers work". I could add: "That's how it works for my electric car as well"

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#12
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Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/27/2017 2:38 PM

Agreed. It is wise to remember that many participants in CR4 jump in at the middle of the conversation, and may not be aware of the context, so make statements that are as correct as possible without that context.

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#4

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/25/2017 11:55 PM

Is it possible that the battery doesn't really have a " full " charge ? Maybe it's capacity is say, 50% . So you charged it up and it says full, 100% of 50% capacity.

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#6
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Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/26/2017 11:14 AM

"Full charge" is generally understood to mean the battery has been completely charged to it's full potential, whatever that potential may be. So, no, it's probably not representing a "full" charge in terms of what the battery could/should be able to provide out of the box and within it's first year of use. Batteries age:

Graph credit: Electronic Component News

Probably not as drastic as 50%, but yes it's 100% of a smaller amount depending on how old the battery is.

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#7
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Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/26/2017 11:37 AM

I think that you are Tony are correct.

What I assumed to be a minor miracle was just the way these batteries age.

It just died after being on for less than 24 hours, mostly asleep.

I've reconnected it to WiFi and will run it through some charge/discharge cycles over the next few days.

Thanks to everyone.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/26/2017 2:36 PM

I am not so surprised. The spec for a Dallas DS12887 real-time clock module of PC XT era which I have to hand has a minimum of 10 years clock operation at 25'C on internal lithium battery with 1 minute per month error.

The tolerances on battery leakage, typical to max are considerable as are CMOS chip typical to max consumption (e.g. CD4017 counter quiescent current 0.5 to 20 microamp @ 5V) . And Motorola would do a proper "worst case" design.

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#13

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/27/2017 5:00 PM

Yep. A Nokia (usual disclaimer) dumb-phone is in daily use here that fits that description. It's great to use - no-one can send any sort of crap in the way of video messages, pictures, YouTwitFace links, audio, spam, and other nonsense, etc., and it forces people to do the exact thing for which it was originally designed - TALKING TO SOMEONE AT THE OTHER END!

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/27/2017 5:37 PM

PWS,

When did G.B. Shaw write that homily about communication?

He was born in 1856, so certainly did not write that till later.

Maybe 1876, when he heard the telephone had been made?

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/29/2017 10:31 AM

The only thing required to prove the theory is two people.

Failure to communicate is universal.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Cell Phone Left Unattended/Uncharged for Three Years

12/27/2017 10:24 PM

I kinda had my doubts that twitface was a real word, I thought he meant twotface, then I found out that there is a twotface that won't twit on twotter.

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