I had a ez v 1st edition with 2 gb card and running the 1.9 kernel. I gave it to my wife and got myself a ez vi with a 8gb card. I updated both cards to the 2.0 rev 4 kernel. Now both cards seen to use the ds battery fast! I switched cards between our 2 ds and took the old card back to 1.9 and now the older kernel card has a longer battery life.
Has anyone else noticed this?
Is this a possible bug in kernel 2.0 rev 4?
Is there just a setting i have thats wrong on my end that might be causing this?
Edited title to show better battery life with kernel 2.0 due to recent testing.
Last edited by my1423 on Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
I built a rig (basic ammeter between the battery contacts and the battery) to measure current from the battery but it seems the spare batteries (two in parallel) I used for it have self discharged quite a bit (not quite sure if we are into the realms of deep discharge but I would not count it out) so it will probably have to wait until the morning until I can get some sensible results.
We are guessing, if it exists, it might be due to things like rumble and whatnot being enabled as standard but I will leave speculation until I get some results.
Test results are in, if it does not say current is measured in milliamps (mA):
Apparatus was an ammeter (basic cheap multimeter with no auto ranging- we were in the 1-200 mA range for all tests and the meter can be used in the micro amp range anyhow) in series with the positive terminal of the two parallel batteries (batteries on their last legs really which I consider quite useful for this as it allows me to infer some things).
Test results Menu- 100-110mA to 130 (pictochat), spikes depending on what I am doing although that is probably obvious. Official carts: Warioware 120mA- fluctuates 8mA either way. Nintendogs- 137 mA Advance Wars dual strike- 124mA It should be noted on early boot/menu is lower (Nintendogs is 3d remember)- all values are for normal play scenarios unless otherwise noted.
Sleep mode with warioware 1.8-2.1mA Sleep mode with EZ5 1.90 OB9 and EZ5 with SDHC (see below)- 31.8mA flipping between 31.3mA and 31.8mA. For giggles adding my EZ4 with warioware (official) pumps current draw up to 148mA or so (varies quite a bit). I am guessing SRAM draw (similar for 3 in 1 if not worse due to motor).
EZ5 test = Tetris DS- CPU level 4. Were I to be going full on science mode then I would find a ROM of the games I was using up there but I will leave that for now. It should not affect it but in the spirit of a proper test it is my hacked version that plays the Korobeiniki all the time in original modes. Original DS- light on, sound up, no headphones, no wifi, flashme, nothing in GBA slot. EZ5plus with 1gig Sandisk.
EZ5 2.0 RC4- soft reset and everything. GBAlink, med rumble. 150mA - fluctuates 1.5 either way. EZ5 2.0 RC4- nothing, gbalink, weak rumble. 154mA - fluctuates 12 mA or more on occasion.
1.90 OB9- no cheats, low or med rumble (not that it matters) 160mA fluctuating 8 either side, high side more than low. Edit/update: Thought I make it a "proper test" Advance wars Dual strike (European version like my original) also clocks in the 150mA range (again varies) on 1.90 OB9.
For giggles with 8gig class 2 Sandisk with 1.90 OB9 148mA fluctuating 6 either side.
Summary/conclusion: 2.0 is more efficient and by a notable amount. I will note that the higher current draw triggered the red "charge-me" LED (my batteries are not doing so good so a "full charge" is around 25 minutes even for two of them in parallel) which I understand to be triggered by voltage; battery chemistry, especially rechargeable battery chemistry, is a weird and wonderful thing at the best of times and once you get near to "limits" and deep(ish) discharge scenarios it gets even worse. Long story short voltage drops as the "charge" does and more current draw is known to exacerbate such a condition (think a twist on internal resistance). It is then my opinion that the higher draw sucks down more charge which drops the levels faster (10% is not much but for say 8 hour play life it is still the better part of an hour) and also triggers the LED (and ultimately shutoff for similar reasons) faster than normal and I will also note many of you probably play into the "red zone" quite often which would probably last substantially less time.
Points of interest. Sleep mode with cart is an order of magnitude higher in terms of current draw in game (not sure about menu or "alarm mode" as such tests were not done and I am not willing to speculate on past experiences). 2.0 is more efficient although by less than 10% likewise it is 15% or so less efficient than an original cart (different game not withstanding). I noticed a current drop to around 60mA at one point in the EZ5 boot and other times I saw it hit 170mA. In a pure one off test SDHC seemed to be more efficient by a statistically significant amount. I would not read much into it without more testing of different makes and models though.
Post subject: Re: Kernel 2.0 and lowered battery life
Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:45 am
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:35 am Posts: 19
Wow good tests! Looks good to me. Nice to see Kernel 2.0 is preforming better. Sure does launch faster and loads everything i have put to it! Wonder why it seems to me to be needing charge more, maybe im playing it too much . Could it be using less power but making the red charge led come on earlier then usual? Is that even possible? I charge them as soon as the led goes red.
Did you have any cheat engines installed? I had none till 2 days ago. Did you have a ez Vi to test? Can you turn on or off any setting other then sleep that caused a power spike? Maybe its a setting on my end.
I had thought a sdhc would use more power, but after thinking about it with more compact, newer tech it should use less just as you rig proved. Even more reson to buy a newer v+ card!
If you still have the test bed all setup maybe you could test the competition and put it in a sticky. I have had a bunch of flash card brands, but the only one i have kept and still use id Ez flash. Still have my ez powerstar 2. I have always had good luck with them. Might be some good publicity for them.
One last thought, If the ds is set to one brightness level and then in the ez v menu the back light is set to another, Does it make a change in power consumption in game or just the same? Just noticed in playing with mine that the ds is at level 3 and in the ez vi menu its at level 2. My wifes was level 1 in ds menu and level 2 in the ez v menu.
Cheat engines I tested in 2.0RC4 as it was the theory put forward (it made little difference but the difference was measurable as noted in the test), I should have also clicked that the straight up difference between sleep mode with an official cart and the EZ5 was the same as the difference between running power draw difference on a game and on the EZ5 but I did not so it is here now.
Power "spikes" were mainly in response to 3d, wifi, sound and "loading" which is to be expected really.
I was surprised about SDHC as well but would sooner attribute it to different read code than more efficient silicon (it might also be a different design method for the SDHC). I did not really set out to test the differences though and I would have to do more before I can say anything there.
"maybe im playing it too much" I am going with a twist on gamblers memory too. That and in my case I have been leaving my DS on standby more often and sometimes forgetting it for some time.
Backlight: I have an original DS which only has on and off (unless you luck out and get one with the DSlite chip that flashme can then use). Light at menu and ingame: it is set using software so it should be fine. More on this here: http://nocash.emubase.de/gbatek.htm#dspowermanagement
I might be able to get my hands on a few of the different EZ5 revisions as well as some older GBA slot stuff (EZ4 and EZ2 here) but such a thing would seem redundant. Not that many people have been all that concerned with power since the days of the EZ2 (see powerstar) and seen as we are now in upgrade-workaround cycles with the DSi and games that will probably not change for a while (had we settled on the DS lite or shifts like the SP to the GBM then I predict things would be different.
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