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1. What is the difference between Ni-Cd, Ni-MH and Lithium Ion batteries?
Batteries in portable consumer devices such as a laptop, camcorder, and cellular phone, etc., are typically made using either Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) or Lithium Ion (Li-ion) battery cell chemistry. Each type of rechargeable battery chemistry has its own unique characteristics:
Ni-Cd and Ni-MH:
The main difference between the two is that Ni-MH battery (the newer technology of the two) offers higher energy density than Ni-Cds. In other words, the capacity of a Ni-MH is approximately twice the capacity of its Ni-Cd counterpart. What this means for you is increased run-time from the battery with no additional bulk or weight. Ni-MH also offers another major advantage: Ni-Cd batteries tend to suffer from what is called the "memory effect". Ni-MH batteries are less prone to this problem and thus require less maintenance and conditioning. Ni-MH batteries are also more environmentally friendly than Ni-Cd batteries since they do not contain heavy metals (which present serious landfill problems). Note: Not all devices can accept both Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries.
Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) has become the new standard for portable power in consumer devices. Li-ion battery produces the same energy as Ni-MH battery but weighs approximately 20%-35% less. This can make a noticeable difference in devices such as cellular phones, camcorders or notebook computers where the battery makes up a significant portion of the total weight. Another reason Li-ion batteries have become so popular is that they do not suffer from the "memory effect" at all. They are also environmentally friendly because they don't contain toxic materials such as Cadmium or Mercury.
2. Is it possible to upgrade the device's battery to a newer chemistry?
Maybe. Ni-Cd, Ni-MH and Li-ion are all fundamentally different from one another and cannot be substituted unless the device has been pre-configured from the factory to accept more than one type of battery chemistry. Please refer to your manual to find out which rechargeable battery types the particular device supports or use our Battery Quick Finder Wizard to find all the replacement battery for your device. It will automatically list all of the battery types supported by the your specific device.
3. My new battery isn't charging. Is it defective?
Usually NO. New batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge the new battery two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity It is generally recommended an overnight charge (approximately twelve hours). It is normal for a battery to become warm to the touch during charging and discharging. When charging the battery for the first time, the device may indicate that charging is complete after just 10 or 15 minutes. This is normal with rechargeable batteries. New batteries are hard for the device to charge; they have never been fully charged and not broken-in. Sometimes the device's charger will stop charging a new battery before it is fully charged. If this happens, remove the battery from the device and then reinsert it. The charge cycle should begin again. This may happen several times during the first battery charge. Don't worry; it's perfectly normal.
4. How can I maximize the performance of my battery?
There are several steps you can take to help you get maximum performance from your battery: Prevent the Memory Effect - Keep the battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Li-ion batteries which do not suffer from the memory effect. Keep the Batteries Clean - It's a good idea to clean dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. This helps maintain a good connection between the battery and the portable device. Exercise the Battery - Do not leave the battery dormant for long periods of time. We recommend using the battery at least once every two to three weeks. If a battery has not been used for a long period of time, perform the new battery break in procedure described above. Battery Storage - If you don't plan on using the battery for a month or more, store it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. Ni-Cd, Ni-MH and Li-ion batteries will self-discharge during storage; remember to recharge the batteries before use. Sealed Lead Acid - (SLA) batteries must be kept at full charge during storage. This is usually achieved by using special trickle chargers. If you do not have a trickle charger, do not attempt to store SLA batteries for more than three months.
5. What is a "smart" and "dumb" battery?
Smart batteries have internal circuit boards with smart chips which allow them to communicate with the notebook and monitor battery performance, output voltage and temperature. Smart batteries will generally run 15% longer due to their increased efficiency and also give the computer much more accurate "fuel gauge" capabilities to determine how much battery running time is left before the next recharge is required.
6. The Do's and Don'ts of Battery Use Battery Do's:
Fully charge/discharge battery up to 4 cycles before achieving full capacity of a new battery Fully discharge and then fully charge the battery every two to three weeks for battery conditions. Run the device under the battery's power until it shuts down or until you get a low battery warning. Then recharge the battery as instructed in the user's manual. Remove from the device and store in a cool, dry, clean place if the battery will not be in use for a month or longer, Recharge the battery after a storage period Ensure maximum performance of the battery by optimizing the device's power management features. Refer to the manual for further instructions.
Do not short-circuit. A short-circuit may cause severe damage to the battery. Do not drop, hit or otherwise abuse the battery as this may result in the exposure of the cell contents, which are corrosive. Do not expose the battery to moisture or rain. Keep battery away from fire or other sources of extreme heat. Do not incinerate. Exposure of battery to extreme heat may result in an explosion.
USB 1.0 can operate at 1.5 Megabits per second (Mbps).
USB 1.1 allowed a maximum transfer rate of 12Mbits/second. USB mice and keyboards need only 1.5Mbits/s to function. That performance level is also named 'USB'.
USB 2.0 has a raw data rate at 480Mbps, and it is rated 40 times faster than its predecessor interface, USB 1.1, which tops at 12Mbps. Originally, USB 2.0 was intended to go only as fast as 240Mbps, but then, USB 2.0 Promoter Group increased the speed to 480Mbps in October 1999.
You can use USB device with USB 1.0, USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 as long as your PC or laptop has USB ports, but USB 2.0 device transfer data at 480 Mbps on systems with USB 2.0 support only.8. How long do batteries last?
The life of a rechargeable battery operating under normal conditions is generally between 500 to 800 charge-discharge cycles. This translates into one and a half to three years of battery life for the average user. As your rechargeable battery begins to die, you will notice a decline in the running time of the battery. When your two hour battery is only supplying you with an hour's worth of use, it's time for a new one.9. How does the hard drive feature of iPod work?
iPod can double as a hard drive for your computer. This allows you to transfer files and applications from your computer to the iPod and take them with you wherever you go. iPod is smart enough to keep your data files separate from your music collection so that they will not be accidentally erased when you are updating your music.10. Battery care and use instructions
iPod offers three ways to transfer music from your computer. You can select one of the following update modes from the iPod Preferences menu in iTunes:
Ni-Cd batteries, and to a lesser extent Ni-MH batteries, suffer from what's called the "Memory Effect". What this means is that if a battery is continually only partially discharged before re-charging, the battery "forgets" that it has the capacity to further discharge all the way down.
To illustrate: If you, on a regular basis, fully charge your battery and then use only 50% of its capacity before the next recharge, eventually the battery will become unaware of its extra 50% capacity which has remained unused. Your battery will remain functional, but only at 50% of its original capacity. The way to avoid the dreaded "Memory Effect" is to fully cycle (fully charge and then fully discharge) your battery at least once every two to three weeks. Batteries can be discharged by unplugging the device's AC adaptor and letting the device run on the battery until it ceases to function. This will insure your battery remains healthy.13. What is a "Smart" / "Intelligent" battery?
"Smart" / "Intelligent" batteries have internal circuit boards with smart chips which allow them to communicate with the notebook and thus better monitor battery performance, output voltage and temperature. Smart batteries will generally run 15% longer due to their increased efficiency and also give the computer much more accurate "fuel gauge" capabilities to determine how much battery running time is left before the next recharge is required.14. What's the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom?
It's important to understand this difference, as you could end up mighty disappointed with the results if you get one rather than the other.
The problem with digital zoom is that you lose quality when you do this -- your images will tend to be more "pixelated" than the same image taken with an optical zoom camera. This is due to the "interpolation" the camera uses, which is a nice way of saying that it makes a guess about how the picture should look while zoomed in. Having optical AND digital zoom on a camera isn't bad, but we suggest try to avoid cameras with only digital zoom.15. How do digital cameras work?
In contrast to a conventional film camera, in a digital camera the light is focused onto an image sensor called a CCD (charge coupled device). The CCD is a collection of light-sensitive photosites that produce an electric charge when struck by light. These charges are converted into numbers that are stored in the memory (usually on a memory chip). From there, the whole image can be displayed, sent to a computer, or even printed directly on a printer.
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