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  1.    #1  
    I know this is an old topic and having just gone throught all posts related to NiMH batteries/programs on the VC board, I am still scratching my head as to what the best program(s) to use for monitoring the voltage when using NiMH batteries with the Visor?

    So far I have read about NIMHSet, Battery Info, Battery Level Hack, Bat Panel, as well as Chronohack and Uptime. What have people's experience been in using them?
  2. #2  
    I use Launcher III v1.5.2 and ChronoHack/Panel to monitor actual battery voltage (not percentage), and Uptime to set the battery type to NiCd and to monitor the time of battery usage. From what I've read in various newsgroups and VC posts, this is sufficiently similar to NiMH settings, and most users change the batteries around 2.3 volts as it starts to discharge noticeably faster after that (not as fast as NiCd's, mind you). From my experience, changing the battery type only changes the percentage, not the actual battery voltage.

    IMHO, a battery voltage monitoring program that interprets the voltage as a percentage of total charge is just that - an interpretation. And that depends on what the software writer decides is a reasonable discharge curve characteristic of the battery type. Therefore, I say just go by the actual voltage, not by the percentage charge remaining.

    Anyways that's just my $0.02...
  3.    #3  
    Viosrdoc, I am somewhat confused now. If the only reason for the .7 shortcut or the changing of the battery type to NiMH/NiCd is so that the "percentage" bar of the Palm OS dispaly the proper percentage, then for those of us who are monitoring the acutal voltage (2.35V for recharging), wouldn't it be pointless even to set the battery type?
  4. #4  
    You have a very valid point there.

    So, really, we don't even need to set the battery type if we are monitoring only the actual voltage, because voltage is voltage... it doesn't matter what the source is.

    In my case, then, I don't really need to set Uptime to NiCd.
  5. #5  
    Well one reason to set Uptime to NiCad is so the warning thresholds are set more appropriately. Even if you don't go on the percentage gauge, it's worth it to spend a second to change it so the alarm goes off at a more suitable voltage.
  6. #6  
    I think one of the driving reasons to get the battery monitoring applications is so that the threshold levels that trigger the low battery warnings are properly set for the different discharge curves of the different batteries.

    For example, I understand that NiCads drop off very fast, so you may need to have the low battery warning come on sooner to give you ample time to swap them out.

    I was recently on a drive to change to NiMHs, but after even buying them (and the charger), I found out I could buy a pack of 16 Duracells for $7.00 at Costco. At this rate, I'll only spend about $14.00/year on batteries for my Visor and not have to worry about any hacks, funny readings, etc. So now I use the rechargeables on other things around the house (wall clocks, remotes, etc.)
  7. #7  
    Good points made, but we actually have more time to swap batteries than the one minute quoted in the manual. I have found it to be around 20 minutes for mine! Yes, that is 20 minutes of the Visor sans batteries! So theoretically, if the batteries were suddenly knocked out and lost from the Visor, we have some time to drive/walk to the nearest convenience store to get some batteries...

    You may want to switch around your Visor to rechargeables and your remotes/clocks to Duracells for 2 reasons. First, rechargeable batteries tend to self-discharge at 10% per month even just sitting on the shelf without usage, whereas alkalines can standby for 5-6 years. So, you may find that your remotes/clocks may need batteries changed at the most inopportune times. Secondly, rechargeable NiMh in my Visor allow me to overclock and use the backlight with abandon knowing that one set (which cost me $7) will last me conservatively some 500 recharges. That is 9.6 years(!) at the rate that I swap my rechargeables every week.

    [This message has been edited by visordoc (edited 01-15-2000).]
  8. #8  
    Visordoc, I agree that Nimh's are really most cost effective when you use them in high drain (fast draining) devices due to their poor self discharge properties. Using them in low drain devices is a waste. But don't lump all rechargeables in that category. Rechargeable alkalines hold their charge on the shelf very well which is one of the reasons why I use them.

    Also, I'm a bit confused about some of these battery applications that allow you to change the battery types. What's the difference between those and just using the shortcut.7 ? Thanks.

  9. #9  
    bregent1: In my case, I guess the way I use my Visor (overclocked at 22Mhz, 2-2.5 hours on-time per day) would make it a high-drain device.

    You're right on the long shelf times of rechargeable alkalines, but after trying out some Renewals, I found them to being able to recharge only 15-20 times... so they weren't very cost effective for me, even when factoring in their lower cost.

    Both shortcut.7 and apps that change battery types achieve the same end result, ie. adjust the display of percentage of charge remaining for different battery types due to different discharge curve charateristics. However, the shortcut dot commands could be a bit more dangerous as they can mess up the Visor if you wrote in the wrong number! If you want to know more, try here:

    As far as I know, shortcut.8 (invert backlight) doesn't work on the Visor as it does on the Palm.

  10. #10  
    Visordoc, I think that any device that drains batteries in a few days is a high drain devices, regardless of how much current it draws when it's on. The way most of us use our PDA's around here make them high drain

    I'm curious about your experience with Renewals. I've been using them for several years and also have not been too impressed and am getting about 15-20 recharges. But I noticed that the new ones in the store now claim up to 100 recharges as opposed to 25X. Was your experience with the old, new or both? Thanks,

  11. #11  
    I had tried the Renewals about a year ago, so that must have been the old ones. Maybe the new ones have been improved...

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