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Multiple batteries for a laptop?

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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August 16, 2009 8:22:18 PM

Forget the why for a minute. Is it possible to devise a system so that a laptop might have access to multiple batteries? I know most laptops only feature one battery slot. So would it be possible to create a hub that interfaced multiple batteries with a single laptop battery slot? Now obviously there are two theoretical ways to do this. 1) Switch from an old battery to a new battery in the chain. OR 2) Draw power from all batteries evenly.

I'd imagine option 1 would be the easiest setup to create.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever done anything like this? Are there any sites detailing how to do something like this? What would I need to do? Thanks in advance. Sorry if this is in the wrong section. Too bad Tom's Hardware doesn't have a section for hardware hacking.
a b D Laptop
August 16, 2009 8:44:13 PM

Most business notebooks feature external battery packs that mount underneath the notebook using the same ports a docking station would. Besides this, some notebooks carry two battery bays, and some allow you to remove the optical drive in favor of a battery.

You could, I suppose, make a battery and then hotwire it to the motherboard battery connector. The sensible choice for power draw is to switch the draw from one battery to another. Draining both batteries equally would be rather complex, and may yield unexpected shutdowns and failures.

You could, of course, always modify the battery you have and add extra cells to it, too.
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August 16, 2009 8:56:15 PM

See, you hit on one of my main problems. I don't understand how a battery supplies power to a laptop motherboard. I've built my own desktop PC, so I know that a power supply unit simply connects to the motherboard in one of those. What is the setup in a laptop? If I knew, it might be easier to devise the hub that I talked about.

I guess I'll need to save up some money and try to find a cheap old scrap laptop that nobody wants anymore and then experiment with that.

One new problem I thought of was interfacing the hub with the laptop and the batteries with the hub. Batteries interface with the slot in a set way, it's not some cable that connects between the two. That means that a hub would have to interface with the laptop in a set way, and so would the batteries to the hub. (At least to be durable they would. A hack like you mentioned would work.)
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August 16, 2009 8:58:04 PM

After some quick research I discovered external chargers for laptop batteries. They might facilitate a better hack.
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a b D Laptop
August 17, 2009 1:30:17 AM

An external charger will waste more power than having a second battery. Charging a battery with a battery is not very efficient. It's easier, sure, but it won't achieve the results a full second battery will.

Notebooks aren't a far cry from desktops - they're just very small. A battery just plugs straight into the motherboard through a connector. That connector has to have solder points, which is your main point of entry if you're to add a battery.
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August 17, 2009 12:27:15 PM

bestway is to buy an extra battery, charge both the night before and use one after another. most laptop bags carry 2 batteries.
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January 21, 2013 3:21:18 AM

I was researching this too and decided to buy 3 inexpensive laptops of 400 each and with a 5 hour battery life. That's 15 hours of battery life and 3 separate computers. All the parts and power cords are of course interchangeable too. And if you are on the road you can still fit them all in 1 backpack, connected to a small power strip and then just plug in that one main power strip cord to the electric source to charge all 3 simultaneously. You can probably even get $300 laptops and even less if used. Considering most external sources are about $200 or so for 5 extra hours, that seems a waste.
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