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Khenglish

[HARDWARE MOD] Battery cell upgrade success

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So back when I got my P150EM, one of the deciding factors on getting it was that due to optimus/enduro, the battery life was respectable. I wanted the top hardware while still having some mobility. Over time though, the battery became more and more worn out, to the point where I hardly got over an hour of life out of it. New batteries are stupidly expensive, and Clevo used cheap cells for it in the first place. I wasn't paying $100 for a mediocre replacement battery. I decided to pay $50 for top end cells to boost capacity by 30% and get over 6h of battery life. I figured that this could get messy, and luckily a friend let me have his nearly dead P150HM battery for me to have some spare parts.

 

So I swapped the cells, while destroying the plastic battery shell in the process, and got a battery that worked just like it still had the old cells. Figuring I needed to reprogram the EEPROM on the battery pack, I started removing the glue all over the EEPROM chip to get it in my programmer. I stupidly forgot that I was working on a  BATTERY, which meant that it was ALWAYS ON, and poured MEK over it, blowing a fuse.

 

After getting pissed off and giving up for a few months, today I gave it another go. I got the EEPROM chip out and started taking guesses at how to reprogram it. If I guessed wrong, good thing the fuse was blown so I don't melt anything. I figured out that battery EEPROM contains the capacity info in terms of mAh for a pair of battery cells. I searched for the default 5200 mAh (1450 in hex) and found it. I then raised this to 6800 mAh (1A90 in hex). It was a success! Nominal battery capacity was now 100640 mAh total.

 

So now I knew I could probably program things right after enough tries. It was now time to get the battery operational again. I bridged the fuse, and the battery came back to life. Sort of. It would charge when off, but not on. It would run, but windows reported no battery drain (infinite energy!?!?!?!?). In short, the battery EEPROM was not being updated at all as the battery state changed. I was under the impression that if  Ilet it charge, it would not stop until overvoltage protection kicked in, and if I let it discharge, it would not turn off until the system BIOS detected an undervoltage scenario, which is far below the safe discharge voltage of the battery. I figured for the time I'd just let it be and try to get the EEPROM right.

 

Next was looking for the wear capacity. This is the capacity left in the battery as it ages. Using hwinfo64, I got the wear level, converted it to hex, and found it in the EEPROM. I then changed it to only 5% wear instead of 74%. I left some wear because I did let the cells sit for a few months, and I was directly soldering to the cells, which isn't really good for them due to the heat from the iron. This was a success. Current charge % correctly dropped as well.

 

So now I needed to get the battery charging right. My only option was to rip apart my old, but fully functional P150EM battery. I found that the fuse was actually really weird with 3 prongs, and only 2 prongs were supposed to have 0 resistance. I had soldered all 3 together on the P150HM battery. I switched the EEPROM chips and boards, then hoped it would work and not require me to run and get the fire extinguisher.

 

It worked! The battery is now charging properly as I type this. It also discharges right too. It looks like the laptop will try to overcharge it a bit since the current charge % was a little low vs reality, but that should just give it a little extra wear, with the charge % being calibrated properly at 100%.

 

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I'm not sure how I'm going to get that back in the shell...

 

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So an update:

 

I managed to get the pack in a shell. The first time I tried this I broke a cell connection and the battery stopped working. I have since redone most of the solder connections and it randomly started working again. Here it is in the shell:

 

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The left side is not quite down all the way, but good enough. I lost the battery pack rubber foot literally the next day. Hopefully it will turn up soon in the bottom of my backpack.

 

Windows has been annoying. I had to calibrate the battery gauge so I had to drain the battery as low as possible. It was reading a full charge as 67%. I got to listen to the wonderfully useful Clevo low battery beep from 5% to 1%. Luckily it turns off at 1%. I then drained the battery for an hour and a half at supposedly 0% until the EC detected an undervoltage and shut the battery off at the real 0%. The battery then charged up to 100%, but after running it down to 25% one day windows got confused and averaged the last calibration with the old cells with the current, knocking the gauge off 17% despite it being completely correct. I did another full drain to fix it again and this time reinstalled the battery driver. Hopefully it will stay calibrated now. I haven't drained it very low since because well... that now takes over 4 hours, so I don't know if windows will screw up the calibration again.

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I'm having the same problem with the battery case, except that i kinda bent the case, your post is also useful for knowing the boundaries to cut without making fire party XD

 

Why didn't you use Samsung cells instead of Panasonic? I think they have longer service life

Edited by tmash
typo

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And btw, do you have any idea about the manufacturing date of a new battery? Having a model number P150HM sounds suspicious, that over 4 years old (-30% of capacity due to shelf life XD) 

Guess its going to cost me to get a new one, should fail soon in case it is over 4 years old :/ , properly disassemble , rip out the cells and replace, or end up getting unofficial batt: http://www.replacement-laptop-battery.co.uk/clevo-p150sm-battery-36615.html (still not cheap, yet cheapest i could find)

I was able to get ~6 hours on batt too with cpu undervolting and under Linux first month, and it degraded fast till mid 2015 (since Feb 2014) :(

Edited by tmash

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what type of programmer did you use for the eprom?

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Hey man great effort! These kinds of tricks really test the ingenuity of a technophile! Congratulations on creating a custom battery map. Let us all know how it turns out in a week to a month and beyond.

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Clevo batteries only have an EEPROM?

All the batteries that I know always have a bq24xxx or a bq25xxxx that will lock-up :(

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They do have a controller, but it doesn't seem to care with the battery info suddenly changing.

 

I also did not have a fully dead battery. Maybe if I did the controller would have locked up.

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i have a problem with my battery, if i unplug with 100% battery, it will shut down in about 10 min. do i need to recalibrate?

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Usually when that happens the battery is just too old. Do the following to try to recalibrate:

 

In the power options set it to sleep at the critical battery %. Drain the battery until this forced sleep, then immediately turn the computer back on. Then use the laptop until it shuts down without warning. After this then let the laptop charge back to 100%. If there is no battery life increase after this, you need a new battery.

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7 hours ago, Ratman said:

How often should the battery be recalibrated?

 

 

Only when you suspect there is a problem. You slightly damage the battery any time it is drained for any reason.

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I'm searching for the BMS (the electronic) inside this battery, unfortunately while reducing the size of the battery itself I've accidentally hit a small pad with the negative terminal and the electronic has gone in smoke. It was working beatifully before trying to reduce the cable wiring. If someone has a dead battery lying around for this laptop, can you contact me? I will buy the electronic right away.

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It sounds like you blew the fuse. Replace or bypass it. You'll also have to flash the eeprom to any backup that you may have because the controller will have set a flag that the battery is dead.

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Wow that's great man. Maybe i want to try with my laptop death battery. Thanks for sharing :)

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Hello everyone,

Khenglish, your input on the clevo p150s has been invaluable. Thank you! For instance, I'm planning to sand off the coolers on my used schenker p150em next.

 

So, the laptop came with a P150HMBAT-8 14.8V 5200 mAh 76.96 wh battery that gives me maybe 20min of light web browsing.

I don't know anything about laptop battery repair and I don't know how to reprogram an eeprom chip. 

If anybody can point me to a good primer on how to do this, it'd be much appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sysfunk

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