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Compatible power supply?

This is a discussion on Compatible power supply? within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. A year ago I bought a used Compaq Presario CQ50 laptop/Windows 10. It was only $40 and has worked very


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Old 03-05-2019, 05:09 PM   #1
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A year ago I bought a used Compaq Presario CQ50 laptop/Windows 10. It was only $40 and has worked very well ever since, so I think I got a good deal. However, it doesn't keep the battery charged up. It goes down to about 3% before charging will kick in, which defeats the portability aspect of a laptop. I bought a new battery for it a few months ago and there has been no change. Today I noticed that the power pack is an HP. It's rated 90 watts and puts out 19 volts @ up to 4.74 amps. That should be more than enough, since the product specs say that a CQ50 needs only 65 watts, although the specs also say 18.5 volts, not 19. Could there be a compatibility issue with this power pack that affects the matter of keeping the battery fully charged?
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:18 AM   #2
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It goes down to about 3% before charging will kick in, which defeats the portability aspect of a laptop.
What do you mean it defeats the portability aspect?

Are you saying even when the charger is plugged in, it goes all the way down to 3%? If so, then yeah, there's a problem.

When unplugged, it is supposed to go almost all the way down, then before running out completely, go into hibernate mode so you don't lose any of your work. It sounds like that is what is happening. But when plugged it, they typically are allowed to discharge to around 80%, then charging kicks in to top it off again.

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Today I noticed that the power pack is an HP
Yes, HP bought out Compaq several years ago.

Chargers always (1) output a higher voltage than the battery. If you check your car voltage when running, you should see somewhere between 13.5 to 14.4V. This normal even though those are 12V batteries.

And the current/wattage value must be higher than the notebook needs because it must be able to support running the notebook and charging the battery at the same time.

The fact your charger does kick in, suggests it is working fine.

Did you calibrate the notebook to the new battery when you got it? The instructions to do this will be in your notebook user guide. The process calibrates the notebook's battery status monitoring feature with the battery. To calibrate it, you typically charge the battery all the way up, then unplug the charger and run the notebook until it automatically shutdowns and goes into hibernate mode. Then plug in the charger and fully charge it again.

If your notebook is normally plugged in 24/7 for days and days (as mine is) this calibration (deep discharge/charge cycle) should be done about once a month.

If you have never done this, you might want to run through the process twice, then one time once a month after that. They key thing is the battery must be allowed to fully discharge, then fully charge again.

Note this deep discharge/charge cycling used to be necessary because NiCad batteries suffered from "memory effect". And while Li-Ion batteries do too, it is much less prevalent with them. So you just need to do this to ensure the monitoring feature is calibrated to the battery.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:22 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for the info/advice, Bill. When I said portability, I meant that with the battery at 3% (where it is most of the time), I can't take this laptop anywhere and use it, because the battery is so low that it just turns the laptop off.

My last laptop always kept the battery fully charged. It was a Dell, not an HP, and so maybe there's a difference in the way the charging system operates? I doubt it.

Yes, it goes down to 3% with it plugged in, and as you say, that's a problem. But is it a software or hardware issue that governs how/when the battery is charged?

I didn't know about the need to calibrate the battery to the laptop, so I will do that.

Thanks again. I really appreciate your wisdom.
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:34 AM   #4
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When I said portability, I meant that with the battery at 3% (where it is most of the time), I can't take this laptop anywhere and use it, because the battery is so low that it just turns the laptop off.
And that makes sense. Batteries don't like being discharged to 0%. And with notebooks in particular, to avoid losing important data, there has to be enough in reserve to "gracefully" shutdown the computer. Simply crashing when nothing left can also lead to hard drive corruption - not good.

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My last laptop always kept the battery fully charged. It was a Dell, not an HP, and so maybe there's a difference in the way the charging system operates? I doubt it.
They are all pretty similar.

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Yes, it goes down to 3% with it plugged in, and as you say, that's a problem. But is it a software or hardware issue that governs how/when the battery is charged?
We don't know at this point. Since this is the same problem with 2 different batteries, it is not likely that.

One common problem with all notebooks is the power connector in the notebook gets damaged or simply worn out. So when plugged in, make sure you can see that it is actually charging. Since it is a common problem, most shops can easily repair this. It should take no more than 1 labor hour, plus the part.

If still doing this after the calibration, and you are certain it charges, then it could be the charger or the notebook itself. Note this could be why you only needed to pay $40 for it.
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