Viability of an ML 1220 rechargable battery for RTC | CMOS (11th gen)

You mean copies and quotes.

Without reading all you can get a very distorted and unbalanced approach and for legal reasons it may be good to ask Framework if you can see their correspondence as by definition it wasn’t for the public to read.

I will be emailing support and explaining I want to copy my questions to them here and for them only to answer if they are happy for me to copy their replies too. :slight_smile:


My guess is tech support is doing their best but this is an Engineering and Product Management issue. Unfortunately, there is a serious lack of transparency to the public over the real root of the issue and its making me very suspicious of framework overall. I feel like I’ve been suckered into the exciting idea of an open and transparent company that wants products to be good, fair, and to last but in practice there is still quite a bit of obfuscation going on.

I would really prefer framework leadership to acknowledge there is an issue and agree to look for a fix. Given they are signaling the opposite via support - they believe the issue does not affect the majority of users (but still there is an issue) - I’d want them to offer to take my machine back for refund as I believe it fails to deliver what is generally expected by customers of this type of technology.


I don’t even have this problem and I feel the same way.
At first I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they “have a lot going on” but at this point it seems clear that they’re being overly cautious about commenting on problems.
I can see where that’s coming from – if they acknowledge problems or innadvertently over-commit to a solution that never materializes it’s easy to argue you shouldn’t have said as much.
But there is most certainly a better balance from what we’re seeing – radio silence is the exact opposite of what I expected from this company given the community enthusiasm that they have to work with.

Fire the lawyers!


Just to update.

I’m going to write Have just drafted a letter to Framework and will post it here as a downloadable pdf for comments etc. and then send it when I think the forum users are happy that it fully addresses the issue(s) as seen by the users.

All the best

OK this is going to take some time. This is only a rough copy but it’s playing on my mind and I want to get on with it.

Below post #26 is a download of my letter.


In UK law they need to fix the problem, issue a refund or risk court action. In the US there is a chance of a class action lawsuit if enough people feel aggrieved. This shouldn’t be the case though, they could fix the problem, it maybe costly for them. To not respond after the amount of chatter on the forum, to my mind, shows an amount of contempt for their users.
It’s a real shame that things have deteriorated to such an extent, causing such bad feeling, when people really wanted to help make Framework viable. Bad press is never a good thing, but, for a start-up, even more so.


Just uploaded my first draft of a letter, to Framework, no threats of lawsuits etc. Just questions that may help understand their position in detail.

Please message me direct, not on this topic with any ideas I have missed and please excuse my layout etc. as I have a dyslexia strain.

Hmm! Not so worried about Framework, now they show it can be done others will cash in and in that respect bad press is helpful to others.

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To be fair rechargeable RTC batteries cost more, so I don’t see this as a micro-optimization. If the drainage issue was not present, this battery would last even longer than a non-rechargeable.

The battery retains BIOS settings as well. Being able to maintain the clock might also be a component involving the TPM and Secureboot. Most computers use these.

I know this doesn’t help anyone suffering the drainage problem here, but both of the Framework laptops I have do not exhibit that issue. To be fair, I use my laptop at least once during a week, and it is charged usually once a week. My wife’s stays plugged in with the 80% threshold active, unless she needs to go somewhere with it.

Perhaps just mentioning somewhere that the laptop should be plugged in at a minimum of once a week might prevent this issue?

I understand how frustrating this is for people though.


its not optimising for cost, its optimising for repairability/sustainability. On paper a rechargeable battery is better than a single use in both aspects. In reality, it’s not the case.


What? I use Eneloop Nimh batteries to power a HP 200LX. I have 4 of the Eneloop batteries. Each of them are rated for 10 years worth of recharge-ability. How would it be cheaper for me, or more sustainable for me to use normal AA batteries?

For your information the HP 200 LX will go about a month on a set of batteries with moderate use. In 10 years that would mean I need to buy 240 batteries to match what buying only 2 Eneloop batteries will do for me.

I’m sorry reality seems to bear this out quite nicely. Or am I misunderstanding your meaning here?

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You’re misunderstanding, I am speaking in the context of button cell RTC batteries. The non-rechargable ones last years, the rechargeable ones cost more drain the primary battery and are depleted in under a week of no mains power. Ergo, the non-rechargeables are much better for this use case and are actually more sustainable in the long run.


I have posted a warning on the Fairphone site where I had promoted the Framework…

That they drain is not an intentional design decision. Under normal circumstances, where this draining wasn’t an issue, they would be the better sustainable solution. I doubt very much that it was intentional that the RTC batteries drained in a few weeks. This is what I mean.


I’m still not convinced this is the case. In my experience, the non-rechargeables last well in excess of five years, i’ve seen ten years+ plenty of times. Rechargeables, which very often have lesser capacity, will almost certainly have depleted their recharge cycles long before this point and will have needed replacement already. Button cells aren’t eneloops, which are without question, exceptional batteries as far as rechargeables go.

I honestly believe framework would be better off ditching the rechargeable button cell and just mounting a holder for a standard cr3032 or cr2016 button cell. It would be more sustainable and trivial to obtain replacements when necessary, which would (should) be extremely rare.


How about an expansion card with an RTC :slight_smile: rather than having to open the laptop with it’s risks :slight_smile:

I’m sure I’ve seen some incorporated in a sliding drawer.

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Given what has been stated via support and customer experience, they have stated this is a design decision but have not provided any explanation as to why. The benefit to them stating it this way is they can pretend this isn’t an issue and don’t have to plan to fix it. The detriment is we are left to believe they plan for this laptop to only be usable for 2 weeks when completely shut down without being connected to power - even though there is plenty of main battery power available (and require users to manually set clock on each use) - yet they didn’t disclose this to buyers despite the fact it is different and limiting versus every other laptop out there. I would not have bought this laptop had I known of this limitation and now am stuck with it. Any other laptop would be more sustainable and require less maintenance given this flaw.

They have now told me they won’t fix the issue, they recommend I sell my laptop 2nd hand, and have stopped replying to my support ticket.

My view of framework has done a 180 faster than any other company I’ve ever dealt with.


My ThinkPad x200 and W520 are in the ten years+ range at the moment. They have yet to give me any hassle for the CMOS/RTC battery. (but I know that’s coming)


Yeah, the justification / rationale is publicly missing here (unknown to us).

I personally believe that the rechargeable CMOS/RTC battery was selected as a temporary workaround, with them initially hoping the drain issue would / could be fixed. i.e. I’m speculating that CMOS/RTC drain issue was a known product issue even during the design stage.

Plus, a ‘reset circuitry’ has been added to the 12th gen board seems to indicate that some reseting procedure will still be expected / stating as ‘normal operating procedure’ going forward. …because now, they’ve explicitly designed and implemented for it.

I see nrp is ‘replying…’, let’s see what the messaging / damage control is.

For some info on the RTC battery KTS ML 1220 here is an equivalent.


Note from the write up

Using rechargeable batteries can save you a lot of money. Despite the higher cost of such products, they can have more than 100 charge / discharge cycles, which allows you to replace the same number of ordinary alkaline or salt batteries. The ML1220 battery belongs to this category of power supplies.

Charge time
From 4 to 8 hours

Not 24 hours

Can I charge
The ML1220 cell is a battery, but charging is not necessary, because the device’s board already has the ability to supply the necessary voltage for its charging to its contacts.

It is not quite right to compare the the more common CR 2032 used in many laptops etc, as they have a capacity of 240mAh compared to the ML1220 of only 18mAh so they can be expected to last considerably longer if doing the same task.

Let’s say 13 times more longevity, so if the ML 1220 could last four weeks the CR 2032 would last a year.

Given the experience of others and myself the CR 2032 last for many years so the ML 1220 would hopefully last 4,5 or six months or more.

But given it’s capacity it does require changing regularly which is where the issue really is. Why does it discharge so quickly and why can’t the main battery look after it?

These are questions I’m submitting formally by the way via a direct letter to Framework proper :slight_smile:

By the way the service life of the CR 2032 is only 30 days so that it last for years goes to show how little drain there is in most computers.

The capacity of a CR 1220 is only 40mAh so it may last six weeks and then have to be replaced, so the ML version is ‘better’ as it could last for years.

So size matters, Skinny laptop, skinny RTC battery


I still have hope for Framework…and the ‘platform’ I bought into. But they really need to put out a quality, reliable product with no bad surprises…otherwise it’s not going to fly with the masses. “Fan base” model isn’t sustainable. Framework will eventually need to compete in the laptop space…like a normal laptop, used by the average joe / jane.

I went from the honeymoon phase, to “wtf is this”, to sour-bitter phase…and I’m now in the “hell, I’ll wait it out and see” phase.

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X220 approaching 12 years. 9 cell battery and no RTC issues. Replaced the main battery a few years ago and it works like new. Never had to manually set the clock. Never had to connect AC power when the main battery had juice.

When the CMOS/RTC does need replacing, I am happy to do it given its extremely long life and zero hassle. This is the true way. Why wouldn’t framework do it this way? The attempts to hide what is really going on is the most concerning of it all.

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