Matthew says that he's been having issues with a used Apple MacBook laptop maintaining a charge. Leo says to change the battery. If that's an issue, then he can move to the charger itself, and they fail. If it's not the power adapter or the MagSafe, then look to the cords. Outside of that, it will point to the circuitry inside. He can download Apple's diagnostic software, it's been leaked online. But if there's something inside, Apple will require replacing the logic board, and that's nearly the cost of an entire computer.
Rick is a teacher and he did a science experiment with a weather balloon and his GoPro. But it shut off after a few minutes, even though he had an external power source. What happened? Leo says that Lithium-Ion batteries don't do well in extreme temperatures, and several thousand feet up, it's -40 degrees up there. So it's likely the camera batteries died because of the cold temperatures. That's why those who do this, use an insulated box to house the camera and batteries.
Chaz recently upgraded to a new laptop But his old laptop still works, and it just needs a new battery. Is that an easy repair? Rich says that it probably is. The best thing about the Internet is we can learn how to do just about anything. Also, a 10-year-old laptop often has an easier time with repairing/replacing components like batteries. Rich recommends iFixIt, where Chaz can input his laptop model and get instructions on how to do that. Of course, Youtube is also a great resource.
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Leo says Anker, Aukey, and Belkin are the best places to buy third party lithium-ion batteries for devices. Stick with reputable manufacturers. Otherwise, users risk having an explosive event.
There's a lot of conflicting information about how to properly care for a lithium-ion battery (the kind of battery that is in your smartphone). There are basic things we know are bad for batteries, including extreme temperatures (hot or cold), overcharging, and complete discharging. Fortunately modern devices, including all smartphones today, are built to protect the battery automatically. For example, your phone will shut down before the battery is completely depleted, and it won't allow it to overcharge either.
Mike has a Motorola G4 and he wants to know if it's best for his battery to keep the phone plugged in whenever possible. There's been articles that claim it's best to do it differently, though. Leo says there's a lot of lore about lithium ion batteries, and Leo isn't even convinced that we understand how they really work. Leo gets his information from BatteryUniversity.com.
Jessie keeps getting robocalls and the numbers they get are either disconnected or bogus. Leo says that they are bogus, and according to a recent survey, by 2019, 80% of cell phone calls will be robocalls. And nobody knows what to do about it. Most are from overseas. They forge the caller ID, and will even do it with the recipient's area code and prefix. The reality is, legitimate companies will not be calling. They'll be using mail. Jessie can log her number into the DoNotCall.Gov database.
Karen's laptop has stopped charging. It's 10 years old. Leo says that her laptop has a lithium ion battery and it has probbaly just worn out. They won't take a charge after about 500 recharges, and after 10 years, it's very likely that's what it is. But Windows 10 has a feature in the command line. She can get to it by pressing the Windows key, and then typing CMD and enter. Then she should type "powercfg /batteryreport." This will give her a report on her battery's health. It gets saved to the hard drive and she can open it with her browser.
Larry wants to know if he should spend the $29 to replace his iPhone SE battery considering the battery is over 80% capacity. Leo says that the charging capacity will continue to drop as he continues to recharge the battery since there's only a limited number of recharges he can have. But having said that, with over 80% capacity, he's probably alright. Realistically, replacing the battery will probably only add six months to that phone's life. But the battery replacement on the iPhone SE is $79, not $29.