Good charging practices?

mad555

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Mar 7, 2022
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As always with anything rechargeable.. i start wondering whats the best way to keep the battery in good condition. i know li-ion and ni-mh and all them types have different preferences due to their composition etc.. but i dont really know whats best. is it use it till it dies then full charge... always leave some charge... is it safe to leave it plugged in or should i disconnect when full.. etc. Any advice would be appreciated, thankyou :)
 

Ruder Laplace

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Feb 5, 2022
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OMG... short answer first 😅

* Slow charge is the key. Not at what % start/stop doing it.
* It is ok to unplug it when fully charged (even a bit better at 90%), but should not be a worry with smart devices.
* It is ok to charge it before fully discharged (arround 5-10%), but should not be a worry with smart devices.

At long term, you'll probably barely see a significant difference with the last 2 points (there will be, but, for me, it does not offset the worries) if you do the first, but you'll surely see it just with first one.

I spoil the details for not making this thread too long, 😂
Nowadays any device is smart enough to know how to charge his battery and when to turn it off.
But, usually, devices are designed to charge fast because people wants everything and now.

"Charge before reaching 10% and up to a 90%" is the common sentence you find over internet.
That is not quite the best practice.
Charging slower is what trully preserves you battery life.

The point of 10-90% is because charging fast at 1/99% is worse than at 50%.
You may imagine it as filling an empty glass.
If you open your water tap to the maximum instantly, it slpash (IRL you tilt a bit the glass to avoid that, but you get my point).
And if you keep filling it fast when is almost full filled, or you end with less water than the glass can hold (if you stop before spilling anything), or whenever you stop after spilling (even if you do it for 3 hours) it is not fully filled if you closed it abruptly.

Usually power flow is refered as a "flow" because it is quite similar to a plumbing system.
My example is not perfect, but I hope you get the point.

What I do is use a power suply that matches the speed of charge with my mobile capacity calculating the 7-8 hours I spend sleeping.
3000mA battery / 400mA P.S. (400mA/h) = 7.5 hours

But, after that, leaving it plugged or not is almost irrelevant because it doesn't waste enough power while not ussing it as to make a significant diference spending that time "off" between consuming from the battery or from the wall power supply.

You should see in any modern (and not so) device draining battery up to 90-95% after fully charging even being connected, and then, recharging again (that actually preserves battery life better than not using it and holding the 100%, despite seeming anti-intuitive. Think about it as if the battery where a balloon. Less battery, less pressure).
It is more common con laptops (wich are more likely to remain connected), but even if your mobile doesn't do it, it is no harmfull because you unplug it every day.

And, for charging it before 0%, again, devices are smart enough.
When it says 0% doesn't actually mean 0mA in your battery. It means the capacity is low enough to not bean able to ensure the minimum level required for the components.
But, still, remember the glass example and that the company design is to do it fast...
 

mad555

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Mar 7, 2022
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heya ruder! ty for the tips and sry for the delay ^^
nice n slow haha yes i can relate a little to that as i have a couple rc cars with strong li-po batteries and i charge them slow (they are 5000mah iirc and i charge @1a) sumone had told me same thing. But are you implying i use a special charger for the deck?! im not sure i feel comfortable with that :eek:

so far ive been draining it to about 10/20/30% then charge to 100 (leaving it plugged) etc etc. i think it uses li-po too as there is LITHIUM written on the parcel i got it in. i couldnt find the actual specs on the steam deck site... just the fancy mah rating and fluff text.
 

Ruder Laplace

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Feb 5, 2022
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But are you implying i use a special charger for the deck?! im not sure i feel comfortable with that :eek:
Yeah... that's the tricky part...

Being a Valve's product thier charger will be better than others in some terms.
But think about the opposite. You can charge the Deck even from a computer's USB.
And, at the end, power is just current flowing.

If I weren't to use it as a laptop docked to the Dock, I'll charge it from a USB 2 (half an Amp).

But, yes, if you feel safer with the Deck's charger, connecting it at 10% is fine.

In fact, I tried to find for you all a graph about battery charging "speed" where you can see that about 75% (if I remember that right) it decays over time, so the battery doesn't stress too much.
But I wasn't able to find it again (can't remember if it was from Linus...).
It was something like this (sorry about my mspaint skills):
1647013554222.png

So Valve is aware about this consumer's worries and does it better than just right enough.
 

markipolo

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May 23, 2022
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154
Based on my experience, it's best to let your battery charge until it's full. This will also let your device rest, and you to focus on other things that doesn't require using your device, so it's a win-win for all aspects.

Letting your battery charge until full before using it will also extend its life. Another tip: Don't use your device immediately after it's fully charged. You should wait for at least an hour so your device don't overheat.

Additionally, since we're on the topic, you should still watch your device from time to time while it's charging so it won't overheat and maybe cause a fire.
 

Kupfer

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Feb 3, 2022
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Based on my experience, it's best to let your battery charge until it's full.
It completely depends on your usage behavior and preferences. If you are on the road a lot and want to get the most out of the battery, then it makes sense to charge it to 100% every time. However, it is a fact that the battery wears out way faster when charging to 100%. You can avoid this extreme load and wearout by using the Deck mostly between 20% and 80%. So do not discharge below 20% and do not charge above 80%.
As far as I know, the Deck notices when it is connected to the power supply for a long time and discharges itself to 80% to save the battery. If the Deck remains connected to the power supply and you play, the battery is bypassed and the Deck is powered only by the power supply. Ideal for a continuous use as a PC on the dock.
Letting your battery charge until full before using it will also extend its life.
No. The battery wears out faster when charging to 100% every time.
Another tip: Don't use your device immediately after it's fully charged. You should wait for at least an hour so your device don't overheat.
Where did you get this information from? That doesn't make much sense.
The worst case scenario in terms of temperatures would be if the Deck is using the fast charge function (up to ~80%, after that, the Deck charges slowly to reduce battery wear out) AND you are playing a demanding game, so the power supply is pumping the full 45w into the Deck. And even then, the charging-IC is sufficiently protected. It only gets a bit over 90°C, but according to the spec sheet, it is allowed to get much hotter (up to 130°C IIRC). Before anything starts to burn, the charging-IC shuts down and the power is cut.
Additionally, since we're on the topic, you should still watch your device from time to time while it's charging so it won't overheat and maybe cause a fire.
Yes ok, if you are a bit paranoid and really worried about having a defective Deck, you should keep an eye on it when charging. Just like you would on your cell phone, laptop, bluetooth speakers, game console controllers, tablet, electric toothbrush, razor, Switch, and any other device with a built-in battery. A healthy device will not burst into flames.
 
Last edited:

Philuu

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Feb 3, 2022
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Valve has put in some Battery QOL implementations in regards to fully charging it.
Some Users had reported getting a pop-up mention that the Steam Deck will discharge at 100% when plugged in to improve battery health so it would be slightly easier to not mess up imo.
 

markipolo

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May 23, 2022
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Valve has put in some Battery QOL implementations in regards to fully charging it.
Some Users had reported getting a pop-up mention that the Steam Deck will discharge at 100% when plugged in to improve battery health so it would be slightly easier to not mess up imo.
yup, QoL is the way. I'm hopeful that Valve will continue to introduce new features. 😀
 
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