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I posed a question regarding battery management with portable clinical workstations,
particularly wireless, on the Fam-Med discussion list
in June of 1998. As promised, this is a summary of contributions to date (rev: 01 Feb 2002).
I'd love to hear from folks who've handled battery management with portable clinical
- Did you use a wireless LAN?
- What kind of charge length did you get?
- How many swap batteries/chargers did you use?
- How long did batteries last before they had to be discarded?
- In an inpatient setting a wireless unit (portable?) was used extensively without a need
to swap batteries. In this setting there were frequent "idle" periods, during
which the device was charging. In the first two weeks of use only one full discharge
- At one setting batteries last 2-3 hours. Laptop can be plugged into a docking station
and the battery swapped for a charged replacement.
- a very experienced user (Randall Oates) cannot report on battery half-life as they have
abandoned use of portables. They experienced high theft rates and users preferred the
display areas of fixed workstations.
- Paul Kleeberg likes the duct tape approach:
- My favorite solution was the laptop duct taped to a IV pole with a car battery or two at
the base to supply power and to assure the the pole was not knocked over. It was on a
wireless LAN. I recognize that it is not that practical but had its own elegance. Maybe it
is just that I am into duct tape.
- Charles Zelnick has been using the CruisePad
- Using the Cruisepad from CruiseTechnologies on a Citrix/Proxim server/ wireless Lan
setup we get easily 4 hours on a battery charge, especially if we set the screen to sleep
after 5 minutes idle time.
- On the same LAN I can squeak 4 hours our of a Compaq 486 Win95 laptop if I plug into the
charger once or twice during a half-days work. Swap batteries at noon, ready to go for the
- We have 1 battery charger per pad, 7 batteries for 2 B&W pads, and the 1 color pad.
None have worn out in 2 years (we're about due I guess).
Author: John G. Faughnan.
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