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Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: Winston
Date: April 04, 2012 03:56AM
My son left his white MacBook asleep and not plugged in over spring break, which killed the battery. No way to resurrect it. In researching replacement batteries, I came across this place which can replace the cells inside a laptop battery. Because they can reuse the protection circuits and the case, it's less expensive than buying a new battery, and you get OEM fit from using the old battery case with the refill.

There are several places that I found online that do this, but this is the one that was in the article I read:

[batteryrefill.com]

We've sent his MacBook battery and my 12" PowerBook battery (which worked, but only for a half hour or so) off to them for a "refill". Will report back on results. They charge $10 on top of the refill price for two-way shipping, giving you a USPS label for shipping outbound.

I am particularly hoping that my PowerBook battery will be a success. For less than the price of a Newer Tech battery from OWC I should get a better-than-new battery which works properly with sleep when the battery runs down (which the Newer batteries don't do on my PowerBook).


Good luck.

-Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2012 03:57AM by Winston.
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: OWC Larry
Date: April 04, 2012 06:49AM
I must be missing something - our NewerTech batteries are available $59 to $99... The refills look like they are $79-$89 + $10 + unspecified time. And the capacities they list are lower than NT. They claim 10% more juice than stock, but some of their stock values do not appear accurate. Reading their FAQ suggests they don't do any pre-test/condition of the batteries either.

Interesting



OWC Larry
Other World Computing
[www.macsales.com]
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: April 04, 2012 07:34AM
Winston, I'm with Larry on this one. I looked at similar solutions when MY son's MB battery died (after 4 years... yeoman service from a normally 3 year lifespan device). It wasn't worth it.

I can reasonably predict that the 'refurbished' battery will last you perhaps a year or a year and a half, especially if they left a couple of the 'original' cells in there. While LiON batteries do wear differently, they all wear out. Unless the refurb shop replaces all of the cells, you'll have a weak link in the chain that will kill it sooner than later.

Good luck, and do let us know your experience.

My Celtic Thrift gene kicks in and I really thought it was a good idea to 'fix' instead of 'replace'. But at least I recycled the old one.
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: JPK
Date: April 04, 2012 08:13AM
I checked into this a couple of years ago. There were only a couple of "rebuild" places and the two I found had very poor reputations and online buzz.

I ended up going with OWC, which I found to be comparable, but less expensive than an Apple OEM battery.

My recommendation would be to just to that!

JPK
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: tortoise
Date: April 04, 2012 09:28AM
Beware the claims of rebuilders, while my purchase was for power tools, the same logic applies. The rebuilt batteries never had expected capacity and in a few months I found them totally unsatisfactory. Gave up and bought new tools with new batteries.
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: sekker
Date: April 04, 2012 09:39AM
Thanks for the post.

I'm surprised the NT batteries are not fully compatible.

I rebuilt a Pismo battery years ago for fun. It worked, but I couldn't get the case to close properly so it had electrical tape on the outside!
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: Wailer
Date: April 04, 2012 09:54AM
My 2008 SR macbook battery also died recently. I let it sit too long with zero charge and unplugged. The magsafe adapters unplug too easily, so I only feel comfortable using this macbook at a desk.

Apple wants $129 for a new battery and NT ones are $99. That's 25% the value of the machine to me. Since I don't need 3 hrs of battery life (I only need 1 min in case of accidental unplugs), I may take my chances with the 3rd party batteries on Amazon for $27. I'd rather apply the $100 savings to a new machine in a year.
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: Winston
Date: April 04, 2012 10:04AM
Quote
sekker

I'm surprised the NT batteries are not fully compatible.

They probably are for the MacBook, but apparently there is some part that they can no longer get for PowerBook batteries that prevents them from causing the Mac to sleep. It just shuts down when the battery runs out of juice.

I also had problems with the three Newer Tech batteries I tried from OWC fitting properly. The first two stuck out noticeably at the front edge. The third still stuck out a little. By using the OEM case I should get the same fit as with the original.

I went ahead and sent the MacBook battery since I was sending the other one. I will save a few dollars over a Newer Tech MacBook battery.

The refill place claims they replace all the cells with new ones.


- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: OWC Larry
Date: April 04, 2012 02:43PM
To be clear - the affected model with sleep the PowerBook G4 12" aluminum and this is limited to that model only. Also - while it doesn't sleep and this is noted in the description clearly now (and since this came to light) - it does give proper battery life/time remaining AND prompt the OS level warnings. Essentially, the system only shuts down at zero power if warnings ignored. smiling smiley

We looked at cell replacement several years ago and for many good reasons chose to skip it despite having access to thousands of batteries via our recycling program. Anyway.

Quote
Winston
Quote
sekker

I'm surprised the NT batteries are not fully compatible.

They probably are for the MacBook, but apparently there is some part that they can no longer get for PowerBook batteries that prevents them from causing the Mac to sleep. It just shuts down when the battery runs out of juice.

I also had problems with the three Newer Tech batteries I tried from OWC fitting properly. The first two stuck out noticeably at the front edge. The third still stuck out a little. By using the OEM case I should get the same fit as with the original.

I went ahead and sent the MacBook battery since I was sending the other one. I will save a few dollars over a Newer Tech MacBook battery.

The refill place claims they replace all the cells with new ones.


- Winston



OWC Larry
Other World Computing
[www.macsales.com]
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: decay
Date: April 04, 2012 03:14PM
not sure how many Powerbook G4 12'' models are still in use out there... can't be worth the investment, IMHO.



---
I buy records. Getting rid of some? Let me know.
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: Winston
Date: April 04, 2012 03:21PM
Quote
decay
not sure how many Powerbook G4 12'' models are still in use out there... can't be worth the investment, IMHO.

The only one that matters to me is the one I use. :-)

Still cheaper than a new Mac, and it does what I need (save for not playing an occasional web video).


- W



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: Racer X
Date: April 04, 2012 05:38PM
I can see rebuilding power tool batteries, but probably not a laptop pack.
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: OWC Larry
Date: April 04, 2012 10:00PM
Plenty of things are well worth it on G4 and even G3 macs.... Some things arguably better.



OWC Larry
Other World Computing
[www.macsales.com]
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: decay
Date: April 05, 2012 10:00AM
i'm not against old hardware - just saying that investing lots of money into battery tech for old machines doesn't pay off - agreeing with OWC.



---
I buy records. Getting rid of some? Let me know.
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service
Posted by: kap
Date: April 07, 2012 09:30AM
Quote
decay
not sure how many Powerbook G4 12'' models are still in use out there... can't be worth the investment, IMHO.

Wife is a proud owner of one =)
However, we are looking at a refurbed mac mini now.



West San Gabriel Valley, California ... for the time being :-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2012 09:32AM by kap.
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Re: Laptop battery rebuild service-Update
Posted by: Winston
Date: May 07, 2012 02:25PM
Well, as it turns out they kept both the MacBook and PowerBook batteries for over a month and were not able to fix either of them. They were returned to us with no charge (and they'd paid for outbound shipping).

However, the MacBook battery (which was and is totally dead) does not fit back in the case as well as it did, and the PowerBook battery, which still works some, looks like a metal tab that should be inside the case ended up outside.

Bottom line: Don't bother, at least with BatteryRefill.com


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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