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Old 01-18-2008, 10:07 AM
HarryHood HarryHood is offline
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Default All about the battery. Expected lifespan? Specs? Charging tips?

First let me say that this is a great website and forum, some fantastic info!

Background:
I am 99% sure I want a 4GB Clip. This will be my first DAP and I have been looking and researching for about a year (I am really picky). I will use it mostly in my car through aux input jack (3.5 mm) playing 75% music (jambands, jazz, rock) and 25% podcasts. I like the small size, screen, no video/pics, and seems easy to use. HOWEVER, my main concern is the battery. I am fussy about taking care of my stuff and am on a pretty tight budget so I need something that is reliable and will last as long as possible. If this took a AAA NiMH it would be PERFECT! So.....

1. How long should I expect the battery to last? (Years? Hours? Charging cycles? not shure how this is usually stated)

2. If I could get the specs for the battery I could look for a repleacement as I am willing to attempt a DIY R&R even if I had to glue it back together.

3. To maximize the batery life should I run it on a car charger while in use or not? I have heard conflicting things on the value of car chargers (at least in relation to cell phones).

Thanks in advance for any help!
-Matt
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2008, 11:49 AM
Mikerman Mikerman is offline
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Battery life all depends on usage and other conditions (such as temperature). I typically read that rechargeable batteries of this type last around 300-500 cycles. It then often is stated that this is not any type of recharges, but full recharges--partial recharges only count as a partial recharge.

Thus, if you recharge half a charge 2 times per week, you have one full recharge cycle a week, for 52 per year, meaning that in theory, the battery will last 6-10 years. On the other hand, if you fully charge the player 3 times per week, you could expect the battery to last 2-3 years plus. Of course, this all is very rough.

I have a separate player as my main player, and plug it in to the wall or car whenever I can (which is most of the time). The battery in that player is still going strong, after 4 years.

You may want to check out batteryuniversity.com, a great source for battery information. It also gives tips on battery usage, and states that a lithium-ion battery in use typically lasts between 2-3 years.

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-21.htm
http://www.batteryuniversity.com/parttwo-34.htm
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2008, 02:08 PM
jsc315 jsc315 is offline
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i have had batteries last me up to 6 months to 5 years. Usually its a faulty battery if it only lasts a few months to a year. Some of my old MP3 players i have had for 5-6 years and still get almost the amount of charge out of them since the day i got them. The only problem is they are a bit outdated.
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2008, 02:35 PM
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HarryHood welcome to abi >> Hope you enjoy the news, reviews, compare & forums.

1 – Not really sure, but I have a Sansa that’s over a 1 ˝ years old and it’s still getting 19 hours off a charge. BTW if you have a problem within the 1st year, SanDisk is very good about replacements.

2 – This is really not worth the trouble, before the time you’d need to replace the battery, you’ll be ready for another player.

3 – Nothing wrong with extending the portable use by keeping it charged while in the car.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2008, 03:15 PM
HarryHood HarryHood is offline
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Thanks for all the great info! Makes me feel much better. Now I am fully convinced. If only I had placed my order a week ago, Amazon now states 1-2 months up from 3-5 weeks for ship time!! oh well whats another month (he tells himself...HA!)
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2008, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryHood View Post
Thanks for all the great info! Makes me feel much better. Now I am fully convinced. If only I had placed my order a week ago, Amazon now states 1-2 months up from 3-5 weeks for ship time!! oh well whats another month (he tells himself...HA!)
You might want to just buy a 2 GB to hold you out untill the 4 GB becomes available, you could always give it away or sell it once you get what you want. I picked up a 2 GB on sale just after Black Friday for $34.00 and I'm truely impressed with the SQ, but not enough for me to give up my cowon
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2008, 03:49 PM
HarryHood HarryHood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
You might want to just buy a 2 GB to hold you out untill the 4 GB becomes available, you could always give it away or sell it once you get what you want. I picked up a 2 GB on sale just after Black Friday for $34.00 and I'm truely impressed with the SQ, but not enough for me to give up my cowon

I wish, but I am on a REALLY tight budget, where every dollar (penny) counts. Of course if you want to donate to the cause..............HAHAHA!!!
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2008, 09:18 AM
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One other thing to consider is that the OLED display of the Clip has a lifespan of ... I think it's 2000 hours, maybe somebody can confirm this. So use that backlight timer wisely.
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2008, 09:20 AM
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It's very very stupid that the OLED doesn't turn off while charging...
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2008, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfkt View Post
It's very very stupid that the OLED doesn't turn off while charging...
Not while charging via USB, anyway.

I wouldn't be surprised if Sandisk does something about this in a near-future firmware release.
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2008, 11:22 AM
HarryHood HarryHood is offline
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Thanks for that reminder. I did read about the OLED in another thread. So it seems like that may be more of a limiting factor than the battery. So when you say "backlight timer" does that mean that the screen is still readable when the light is off, or is the screen totally dark? I will probably do most charging from the wall or car so the light should be off then, right?
Thanks again.
-Matt
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2008, 01:41 PM
Mikerman Mikerman is offline
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Totally dark; it can be turned on by a press of the center button.

And, yep.
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  #13  
Old 01-19-2008, 10:35 PM
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OLED in the Clip is supposed to last 5000 hours. You'll notice the out of box brightness setting is about 60%; there's headroom to bump it up as it ages.

I've posted over on the Sansa forum about the charging display blanking; seems like common sense. I use a wall plug USB charger most of the time because of this.
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2008, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Click View Post
OLED in the Clip is supposed to last 5000 hours. You'll notice the out of box brightness setting is about 60%; there's headroom to bump it up as it ages.
Information about the OLED lifespan was taken from a post on the SanDisk forum by YueIBM. It was worded in such a way as to suggest that YueIBM is an employee or representative of SanDisk and that he had inside information as to the design of the Clip. Here is what he said:

"Our Sansa Clips have OLED displays that wear out much quicker than backlit LCD displays, so keeping it on all the time would probably not be the best idea. (5000 hours, or about 208 days always on is the lifespan of typical OLED displays, and blue pixles are said to wear out the quickest)"
Here is a link to that post: http://forums.sandisk.com/sansa/boar...id=61597#M1161

YueIBM's profile describes him as a forum "Newbie" and says nothing about an official affiliation with SanDisk. However, his claim of a 5000 hour lifespan does match the information found here in Wickipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic...emitting_diode

"The biggest technical problem for OLEDs is the limited lifetime of the organic materials. In particular, blue OLEDs historically have had a lifetime of around 5,000 hours when used for flat-panel displays, which is lower than typical lifetime of LCD, LED or PDP technology – each currently rated for about 60,000 hours..."

Although it seems like a waste of a limited resource to have the OLED turned on throughout the entire USB charge cycle, this issue is something of a red herring. It will still take several years for most users to "wear out" the display on their Clip. By then the battery will also be getting weak and most of us will have likely moved on to a still more advanced micro MP3 player.

Last edited by Kilgore Trout; 01-20-2008 at 09:18 AM. Reason: ******* link was broken
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  #15  
Old 01-20-2008, 10:07 AM
Mikerman Mikerman is offline
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Good points. Even assuming that the display is on during recharge and assuming that the display is on for 20% of the play time, the battery would have been well beyond its 300-500 lifecycles, at over 700 cycles, before the display would be at its end (this assumes that all play is done using the battery).

Still, it just seems wasteful for the display to be constantly on (and a bit distracting and ostentatious) during USB charge. Hopefully (although not a big deal), something for a future upgrade--a more discreet flashing connected display of some sort every 5-10 seconds would be preferred.
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  #16  
Old 01-20-2008, 01:51 PM
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It's also constantly on when the player is plugged in not just for charging, but for use as a removable drive while in MSC mode. If one is recording in realtime to the Clip (as I do), that's more hours whittled away from the display's lifetime.
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  #17  
Old 01-21-2008, 06:20 AM
omega52 omega52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikerman View Post
snip

Still, it just seems wasteful for the display to be constantly on (and a bit distracting and ostentatious) during USB charge. Hopefully (although not a big deal), something for a future upgrade--a more discreet flashing connected display of some sort every 5-10 seconds would be preferred.
I have the latest firmware (v0.1.01.18A) & I can turn the unit off while charging through the USB to PC cable. I am assuming that it is still charging.
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  #18  
Old 01-21-2008, 11:49 AM
Mikerman Mikerman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omega52 View Post
I have the latest firmware (v0.1.01.18A) & I can turn the unit off while charging through the USB to PC cable. I am assuming that it is still charging.
Thanks for the tip! However, it's now looking like charging doesn't occur when the player is off, at least when connected to AC. People are checking it out when connected to the computer via USB as well.

(For those who want to know, shut the player down by holding the on/off switch in the up position for about 5-6 seconds.)

Update: The results seem the same with USB--it's been reported, based on a trial, that the player doesn't charge from USB when turned off as well.

Last edited by Mikerman; 01-22-2008 at 08:40 AM. Reason: Updated information
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  #19  
Old 01-22-2008, 05:50 PM
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You know, we'll be fine when the display goes out! The Clip will just turn into a Shuffle!
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  #20  
Old 01-22-2008, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SansaRulez83 View Post
You know, we'll be fine when the display goes out! The Clip will just turn into a Shuffle!
Ha ha ... true ... then someone will have to post a comprehensive "press the buttons in this sequence to do this" user's guide.
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