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Powerbook G4 Titanium 1Ghz OSx 10.3.9

edited February 2013 in General
Hi John,

I have a G4 1GHz titanium laptop and recently have been using it heavily to VNC into 4 linux servers simulatenously running some heavy applications for CAD and CAM, the titanium laptop is fantastic, super fast in VNC mode (as all the processing is done by other machines) but has one issue its not portable as the battery pack died about 4 or 5 yrs ago.

So I have just purchased a chinese branded pack for $26 and it worked but has an intermittant fault were the power (from the battery pack when disconeected from the mains power) just vanishes (batteries are fully charged) and switches off which kills everything as the mains is not plugged in. I though the problem was with the low grade chinese terminal connector onthe battery pack so decided to open the battery pack and utilise the 8 x lion cells form the chinese pack to replace the 8 dead cells in the genuine battery pack, by the way the electronic circuit boards in the non geninuine battery pack are completely different to the geninunie battery pack whihc also has sensors that the chinese one doesn't.

So the revitalised battery pack has the following issues
- displays 0% when the power cord is plugged in, power cord does change to amber (green when no battery pack is present)
- but then after 10 mins the battery symbol changes to X )no battery available)

I have tried a PMU rest with no luck.

Could it be the internal resistance of the lion cells from the chinese battery pack is different to the internal resistance of the geninuine sony cells that were in the case and this will prevent correct operation. Yet it kinda worked when I first plugged the chinese battery pack before embarking on soldering adventures as it showed 100% and then decreased after an hour to 84% not before killing power and requiring a reboot 2 or 3 times.

In an nutshell is there a way to get a new battery pack for these machines that work, or do you know of some tips that can solve the issue.

I also note int he geniniune pack there were two temp style probes, maybe these are trigger as the temperature is different?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.




  • Hi! Thanks for the post!

    You are way beyond me when it comes to going into the batteries, transplanting the cells, etc. -- I've never done any of that stuff, so I can't really offer advice as far as that goes.

    But I have used a ton of cheap Chinese batteries, and pretty often you get one that is really flaky, or that does not behave consistently, so you might just want to try another, and from another source. I'd try to return the original, since they usually have a warranty, and the vendors are used to taking returns...often they don't even ask for the old one to be sent back, because they don't want it.

    There may be a technical explanation for its failure, but given how prone to failure they are, and how cheap they are to begin with, it's probably just best to get another. And then, at least, you'll have a working battery with which to establish a baseline, and maybe you can then more effectively troubleshoot the other battery.

    I'd also recommend using Coconut Battery if you don't already, because it provides more info than the built-in Apple tools. It's free. Make sure to download the PPC version, because I think by default they give you the Intel version.

    There's a slight chance, I mean like less than 1%, that the battery connector, DC-in, or board are bad, but the problem most often is just a bad battery. And people most often don't have a good battery to test with, so that gets them thinking the problem might be other things.

    You can still get OEM on eBay, but they are all used, and it's debatable at this point whether an OEM battery of that age is any better than a new 3rd party battery.

    Good luck, and sorry I don't have more technical details!


  • Hi John

    Thanks for your quick reply much appreciated.

    I think you are right, go with another chinese battery pack, they are so inexpensive you can try a couple of times!.... so I will give it another go.

    I agree any OEM used battery packs at this stage of the game are going to be well and truly into their cycle counts and would not expect a lot of life from them!

    I will get some battery monitoring software for OSX 10.3.9 installed as well to see what is going on, found this one which looks good.



  • No problem, and thanks for the link -- I hadn't tried that one!

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