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  1. mbaker911's Avatar
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    #21  
    I have been bothered by the "signal search" problem also. The battery can drain to almost nothing in just a few hours. I hope handspring or sprint will fix this problem.

    1) Backlight and screen stay on while searching for a signal. The auto off feature of the phone appears to be disabled during this time. I suspect that a large part of the battery drain is because the screen stays on during this process. The display of a regular phone uses less power, so it is not as big of an issue.

    2) The Treo does not appear to enter a sleep mode when unable to obtain a signal for prolonged periods. My old phone stopped searching for 10 minutes then tried again in such a situation.

    I would be very interested in a 3rd party or official sprint/handspring patch for this problem.
  2. #22  
    The Treo does not appear to enter a sleep mode when unable to obtain a signal for prolonged periods. My old phone stopped searching for 10 minutes then tried again in such a situation.
    Accordng to the quick start guide provided with the treo, it does have this power save feature. Which brings about one very obvious question.

    Excellent data potatoho


    -rob
  3. #23  
    potatoho, thanks for doing this experiment. Two things:

    1) How about trying a test where you actually use the phone, either for voice or data, with one test being where you have a green signal but no bars and another test where you have all bars (or something close to that)?

    2) The data you show doesn't look all that bad, IMO. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't your data suggest that when it's in a no-signal area (blinking red), it loses 10% of its battery in 6 hours? I was worried that it would lose all of its battery in that amount of time with no signal. I'm glad it isn't that awful. Or am I missing something?

    Scott
  4. #24  
    Scott R,

    In response to question/point number 2, the voltage on the battery doesn't drop to zero with a full dead battery. On my history, 3.72 volts equates to roughly a 40% charge according to the Battery Log application. I've experienced this same thing on my 270/Cingular with no signal. Luckily I have signal most everywhere I go.

    Don
  5. #25  
    1) How about trying a test where you actually use the phone, either for voice or data, with one test being where you have a green signal but no bars and another test where you have all bars (or something close to that)?

    That's outside of the scope of my problem. It would be a lot of work etc because I don't have anything above a weak signal here, and I'd have to do it all after 9PM or on the weekend so I don't use up my minutes

    So far I've been ok with the normal drain during usage. With my very low signal I consistently get 90 minutes of talk time before it goes critical. Supposed to be like an hour more, but I just chalk that up to it needing more transmission power because of the weak reception.

    2) The data you show doesn't look all that bad, IMO. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't your data suggest that when it's in a no-signal area (blinking red), it loses 10% of its battery in 6 hours? I was worried that it would lose all of its battery in that amount of time with no signal. I'm glad it isn't that awful. Or am I missing something?

    4.12V is 100%. 3.88V is like 78%. 3.69V is like 24%. So after 6 hours, there was only 24% charge left, which was showing the red on the battery etc. So it's really bad because it dropped 22% of it's juice just by laying on a table for 2 hours.
  6. #26  
    Don C and potatoho, thank you for enlightening me about battery voltages. Yes, this is bad. I may try a similar experiment of my own with both mine and my wife's phones. She recently came home from work and left her phone (turned on) beside the door of our walk-in basement (our walk-in basement door opens up to our driveway, in case you were wondering). That night she remembered what she had done and asked me to go get it. I figured it would have been blinking red and be dead (I'm guessing this was about 4-6 hours). When I got it, it was blinking red but the battery meter looked to be about 90%. This surprised me.

    My point is that perhaps there could be differences in phones? I know that my phone seemed to give me a low-battery warning after using it (data and/or voice) for a fairly short period of time in a low (but green) area of my house.

    Is there a free app you used to check voltage?

    Scott
  7. #27  
    Just out of curiosity, why do the voltages work the way they do? I would think that a dead battery would be close to 0 volts.

    Scott
  8. #28  
    Scott,

    I'm not an expert on the internals of batteries - I just know that as batteries drain, a potential still exists between the "plates" but the capacity (usually measured in mAH "milli-amp hours" goes to zero.) You usually want to get a battery with the highest mAH you can (at the needed voltage) - it will last longer. A quick search on the web will probably answer that question.

    The palm app I use to monitor the battery is called "Battery Log " It's shareware and keeps a simple history of charge cycles. There may be others that are better but I'll let others chime in...

    Don
  9. #29  
    I possible conclusion to the basement scenario you described would be that the phone was bouncing back to and from service. Maintaining service for the most part. You simply caught it while out.

    A positive trait to li-ion/polymer battery technology is that voltage is not supposed to drop until the battery is completely dead. So the device either works or it doesn't. None of the "wheels turning slow" symptoms that our alkalyine powered toys suffered from when we were growing up.

    The battery does show a drop in voltage which is technically not supposed to happen. Kind of like the no memory effect!

    Regardless, the batteries have come a long way.

    I feel like we are starting to get somewhere.

    Thanks for the info

    -rob
  10. #30  
    Originally posted by Scott R
    Just out of curiosity, why do the voltages work the way they do? I would think that a dead battery would be close to 0 volts.
    Nah they stay at their target voltage for the majority of their charge, and then they drop off in voltage very rapidly.

    The active range for the type of battery in the Treo is 4.15V-3.65V or something around there. Just like the active range for a normal AA cell is approximately 1.5V-.9V.

    A nifty thing in modern electronics is where they use DC to DC converters to suck the very last drop out of batteries. Lots of chips etc have a minimum voltage for operation and so once the battery cells can't keep that up, they are pronounced dead. But with DC to DC converters they can pump up the voltage and pretty well deplete the cell.

    My old BlackBerry was a master at that In fact the way it was designed, the AA cell was only used to run a Li-Ion charging circuit.
  11. #31  
    Originally posted by Scott R
    I may try a similar experiment of my own with both mine and my wife's phones.
    That would be cool. I know in another thread someone mentioned that this problem happened in other Sprint phones. That might indicate it's more of a radio problem.

    I tell ya, I feel kinda like an ***** for not noticing this battery drain earlier. All along I thought if I'd just make my wireless programs more and more efficient I would be able to go a *whole day* without charging. And it turns out to be draining itself just because it feels like it
  12. #32  
    potatoho, we should really submit your findings to handpring. This problem is beginning to point at them. I will if you are not up to it for any reason.

    Submitting the data probably wont bring any action, but during a search of this issue I came accross an email response from handspring blaming a member of this forum for not completely charging his battery on the initial charge. While doing so is a good idea, it would not lead to a problem with this type of severity. I feel like Handspring is reaching far into their bag in attempt to blame this issue on factors outside of their scope.

    Your data suggests this one is on them.

    -rob
  13. #33  
    I know in another thread someone mentioned that this problem happened in other Sprint phones. That might indicate it's more of a radio problem.
    I have caught all 7 of my previous phones in the sleep state. I want to blame the treo.


    This problem is also compounded by the fact that the sprint service operates at such a high frequency. The sprint signal is tough to get inside large builings. Other services operating in the 1000mhz area don't seem to have this problem. So it is critical that a phone operating on sprints network have solid powersaving features.


    -rob
  14. #34  
    Originally posted by robber
    potatoho, we should really submit your findings to handpring. This problem is beginning to point at them. I will if you are not up to it for any reason.
    I haven't talked to Handspring about it. But I just wrote to the Sprint contact from the old "Attempting to connection to PCS Vision Crashes Treo 300" thread.
  15. #35  
    Originally posted by NateS

    Hope I haven't overstepped my bounds here in this post. I only mean to try to be helpful to you.

    Regards,

    NateS [/B]
    Nate,
    No offense taken, and I appreciate your input. As far as I know the battery indicator was at least to the top of the shoulder in the icon both times. I usually check it before I take it off, and no, I don't have a home charger, only work and car, and that may solve all the problems, just keep it on charge all the time. that's just a matter of reprogramming the operator ;-)

    the worrisome thing is that all data went bye bye as described. Luckily I sync regularly and the backup was easy so no real harm there. I just wonder why there is not a deep sleep mode (like cell phones) or even a sleep mode that the Treo goes into to protect data in the apps.

    thanks again for your suggestions,

    B
  16.    #36  
    Anyone hit up any one of thier contacts?
  17. #37  
    I found this thread very interesting, although I know I'm coming into it very late. I bought my Treo 300 just before Xmas 2002 & took it with me last week on a Florida vacation. I've been using it all week to check my email & make phone calls; no problems until today. We went to Busch gardens & I left my Treo in the car while we were in the park - it was on at most for 7 hours today. I had left it turned on & in wireless mode, pretty much by accident. When we were leaving the park I wanted to see if I had any voicemail messages, & was shocked to find my Treo completely dead & ALL my data gone! It had started out the day fully charged - I couldn't believe it had turned into a practically worthless piece of technology by day's end. I have everything backed up on my home pc, but I won't be going home for a few days.....

    I look forward to see what happens with this problem.
  18. #38  
    Happened again to me today. Was playing a PC game and felt a burning sensation along my belt. Low and behold 11% of battery left and the back very warm.
  19.    #39  
    Wow, its a portable heater now! Perfect for melting snow and jumpstarting very cold cars.

    Scott? Can't someone write a third party app that very simply..

    Checks the network state
    if (state == unavailable)
    { start a timer for X minutes. At X minutes
    the system will either manually shut off the network
    (similar to the mechanic of holding down the power button, that'd be annoying though)
    or using internal calls, simple shut off power to the transmitter for Y minutes
    at Y minutes, give it 20 seconds to reconnect, if it can't disconnect again.

    Allow X and Y to be set by the user (or just hardcode it, i'd recommend X=5 Y=3)

    Any PalmOS developers got any ideas?
  20. #40  
    I just wanted to chime in here - I have a Treo 180 on Voicestream...er, T-Mobile...and I experience the same issue with the battery drain when there is spotty/no coverage. So it's probably a Handspring issue rather than a Sprint issue. (Someone else also posted about having this issue with a 270 too.)
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