NTLK Re: Which rechargeables to use

From: Gruendel, Frank 3837 PPE-WT (Frank.Gruendel@de.heidelberg.com)
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 07:41:57 EST

Steve asked...

>Here's what I need to know: what
>kind of rechargeables do I need to buy when I go down to KMart next, or do
>need to find an official "Newton Battery Pack" somewhere for this?

Myq replied...

>You can make your own with NiMH AA rechagables with the battery tray and
>modifications, although I've never done it. There's instructions on the

Adam chimed in...

>NiCd batteries have a
>different pattern of power draw and the Newton can't accurately predict the
>battery level of NiCd batteries.
>The best strategy I have come up with is to buy a brick of 40 AA batteries
>for $12.99 (no brand) this usually lasts me 6 months.

To save bandwidth I'll answer all of that in one mail.

1) As to making your own rechargeable, you'll probably find instructions
   somewhere one level deeper than http://www.newton-lifestyle.de/artikel/
   It's a german site and the instructions will thus be in German.
   Unfortunately, our stupid network is currently down, so I can't verify
   this url right now.
   Personally, I wouldn't recommend bothering due to 3)

2) To express what (I think) Adam means a bit more clearly: The Newton can
   predict the remaining battery capacity fine as long as it knows which
   kind of batteries are installed in the machine. This is why all Newtons
   prior to the MP2K have a switch that is depressed by the original Apple
   battery pack. The MP2000/2100 have two contacts in the battery pack with
   a little electronics attached within the battery cage for the same
   Both versions tell the MP that a rechargeable pack is installed. For all
   Newtons up to the MP 130 this will mean NiCd's (as rechargeable packs
   sold by Apple for these machines were always based on this type), for
   everything younger this will mean NiMH's (as all packs for the MP2K were
   based on NiMH).

3) There are a couple of workarounds. If you, like me, aren't eager to
   a dead battery pack, thus effectively preventing using the batteries in
   any other device, you can put them in just like normal batteries. If you
   don't trick the Newton into thinking a rechargeably pack is installed,
   MP will think that non-rechargeable alkalines are installed and calculate
   remaining capacity accordingly (wrong). Nine out of ten times this means
   you either don't get a battery low warning at all or you get it only
   before the MP automatically shuts off.
   The good news is there are apps that let you control when the battery low

   warning occurs. I don't know the names right now, maybe someone else can
   You can even replace the NiCd rechargeables by NiMH cells. Although the
   charge curve of all Newtons up to the 130 is for NiCd's, many on this
list have
   reported they are doing this all the time and it works. Most likely you'd
   get optimum performance out of the batteries, but still way more than out
   of NiCd's.

4) As to the "brick" solution, I'd rather not comment.

Sorry for the long-winded post. I had the feeling this needed some


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