Batteries

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David Frydman
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Batteries

Post by David Frydman »

I use SAnyo Eneloop rechargeable AA batteries as I have found these are the only ones that live up to their claims. There are a lot of clones of which I may have tried 4 or 5. None meet their claims.
The latest Eneloops just received make amazing claims and I believe them. Rechargeable up to 1500 times, up from 1000 times.
And 85% capacity after one year and 75% after THREE years. This fantastic. It means if you use various pieces of equipment they will still work after 3 years or more.
If you put a normal NiMH battery away for a couple of months it is usually dead.
Also Lithium rechargeables in digital cameras are often dead after afew months but can be recharged.
If you leave them for one or two years they may not hold a charge at all, although repeted charging can force them back into life sometimes.
If you never recharge a new rechargeable then it may have a shelf life of ten years. However, once you have recharged it you must not leave it idle for long.
I use Lithium throwaways in my IS binoculars, which have a shelf life of over ten years.
I have left Duracell Alkalines in equipment for ten years and although they may not work they usually don't leak. Most other batteries leak, although I have not had a leaking lithium battery.
Clones for Lithium rechargeables can be O.K. but there are many instances where clones have spontaneously combusted and in some cases burnt down houses. That is some manufacturers insist you use their overpriced batteries.
If you buy a used camera with a rechargeable battery it is likely the battery will not hold a charge or be on the way out. Often this is the reason they are cheap especially with odd batteries.
Some equipment still requires nickel casmium batteries.
For old cameras mercury cells are almost not available and alternative hearing aid batteries don't last long and alkalines are a different voltage giving slightly wrong readings. Special adapters are available, but anyway meter cells are often faulty or the glue sticking them to prisma has failed.
Incidentally the older Eneloops claim 75% after two years. They are made in AA AAA and possibly 9volt?
It is also possible to get throwaway 9volt lithiums for smoke detectors etc.

Regards, David.
Lady Isabella
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Post by Lady Isabella »

David - Interesting stuff, I am a bit confused when you say that a normal Ni-MH battery will be dead after being put away for a couple of months.Do you mean it simply loses it charge, or the battery is no longer fit for use?
I only ask this for I have been using the same 4 AA Ni-MH in my digital compact camera for the past 9 years. Five years ago I did not use the camera for 10 months, but after re-charging the batteries have been working fine and taking lots of pictures and still don't signs of giving up.

Regards.
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Dear Isabella,
NiMH batteries just lose their charge after two months or so but charge up fine.
Sanyo Eneloop are advanced hybrid batteries which others have copied but badly. Sanyo have recently upped the game with their batteries. Apparently they are the only ones that work with certain dog collars, maybe AAA size.
Possibly ordinary electronic dog collars but also ones that work like TENS machines. These ones that give small shocks are I think banned in Wales but are the subject of research in England and Scotland as they can save dogs being put down when they are perfectly controllable by a skilled dog specialist. And then by responsible owners.
It is the rechargeable Lithium standard camera batteries which are small but pack a punch that go irretrievably dead if left for maybe one to three years. That is why old digital cameras may not be the bargain they seemed to be.
There are certain makes like Annsmann and one or two others that are respected, but some of the really cheap and not so cheap replacements are downright dangerous as they can explode causing injury or suddenly burst into flames.
I think some batteries maybe lithium are not allowed in aircraft hold luggage and maybe not carry on. however laptops use them so presumably you can carry thm as habnd luggage.
I think it is recommrendecd with laptops to sometimes use them battery alone as with mains lead the lithium rechargeable ovrheats and life is shortened.
There are very fine but enormously expensive military batteries which we don't see.
Incidentally the latest Sanyo Eneloop says they are good to minus 20C.
Also lithium dispoable are very good in the cold and also weigh less than Alkaline and last about 6x longer in the IS binoculars.
Nickel cadmium are still used for some applications but are difficult to find.
It is pretty stupid to use alkaline AAs in digital cameras as you may get 40 or 50 shots instead of the 300 to 400 that I get from Eneloops. And similar from FRESH Nimh, but these quickly self discharge.
Scanner battery packs often go irretrievably dead.
On another matter old flashguns can be got back from the dead say 10 year old ones, by repeatedly charging them, maybe ten times. I think that the resistance that builds up can be overecome. Not always, but I have brought completely dead flashguns back to life.

Regards, David.
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Some related matters is that I think lead solder was banned by the EU. This is O.K. for large mass produced items, but was complete overkill for for instance the Hassleblad X PAN panoromic cameras of which few were made but caused their demisr.
It may be justified for the loss of Yupiteru scanners for the same reason, but I think the number made and sold did not warrant wholesale banning of lead solder.
Similrly mercury is nasty, but at least a few of the tiny camera cells that work for years at I think a constant 1.35 volts could have been allowed to continue with perhaps a recycling scheme. The wholesale banning means probably millions of fine 35mm cameras cannot use their meters properly, although as I said for instance the Minolta clc metering system used two cells in parallel to give highly accurate readings but thesemeter cells were balsamed to the prisms and any proper service needs them to be checked and probably rebalsamed., so old Minolta SRT cameras are probably not metering accurately anyway.
But some of these EU laws in fact create massive waste and disposal of useful stuff. In many instances the EU rules are crazy and do not use joined up thinking. The EU is one of the world's most wasteful organisations and in a way a dictatorship.
My own opinions of course.
Regards, David.
Lady Isabella
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Post by Lady Isabella »

David Frydman wrote:Dear Isabella,
NiMH batteries just lose their charge after two months or so but charge up fine.
.
Many thanks David.
Grendel
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Post by Grendel »

the other point to remember is with the rechargers, I use a charger that independantly recharges each cell, but a lot of the chargers charge 2 cells in series. the problem here lies in the fact that even used together brand new cells and older ones alike vary slightly in their exact capacity, if you discharge a set of cells and charge them in pairs, if a cell with a slightly larger capacity is charged with one of less capacity, even the most intelligent charger cannot know when the smaller cell is full and stop charging, even if it does stop when the smaller capacity one is full then the larger capacity one will not be. if it doesnt stop, the lower capacity cell will each time be slightly overcharged, with an increased chance of reducing its full capacity still further.
my charger independantly charges each cell to its maximum, it can also recondition cells and do a health report stating the exact capacity. for example I bought a set of 4 1300maH rechargeable NiMh cells and their capacities were 2 at 2500maH and 2 at 1050maH, so if for example they were charged as pairs as 1300maH then two would be 20% overcharged whilst the other two would only be just over 50% charged.
also when you use the batteries then you are limited by the capacity of the smaller capacity cell, plus you stand a small chance if you continue to use the battery set after one cell has reached 0 capacity, of reversing that cells polarity rendering it dead.
I maintain a spreadsheet of my rechargeable batteries, giving their current measured capacity, so when I am using them I select cells for use based upon a set capacity, plus or minus 5% to get a set of cells that are around the same capacity for best performance.
It makes a bit of a gamble to just use them with the manufacturers charger bought with them, but then I suppose they will want you to replace them frequently when individual cells die, a set of non functional batteries may just mean one cell has died.
Grendel
Grendel
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Post by Grendel »

heres the one I use and can reccomend:-
http://www.maplin.co.uk/mh-c9000-wizard ... ser-217893
the thing to watch is wheter they can charge single batteries independantly, most that can will say so in the description, others will say they charge 2 or 4 batteries.
Grendel
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Thank you for that Grendel,
With the Sanyo Eneloop it is important not to use a very fast charger.
In fact some NiMH i bought with fast chargers got so hot I refuse to use this charger as it seems unsafe.
Getting back to Eneloops They are sold t very good prices with a 7 hour charger for AAs and this is ideal.
However I take about 150 to 200 photos a day and I use the faster Eneloop charger which charges two or four Eneloop AAs in 2 1/2 to 3 hours. It gets a bit hotter but as it is sold with the Eneloops I suppose it is O.K. although reducing the life somewhat.
I kkep my batteries in pairs in 4 compartment plastic battery boxes.
This charger is not that intelligent as it charges either two or four AAs or AAAs.
I am not as organised as you and let the batteries take care of themselves.

I have given presents of Eneloops and their clones. With an infrequent user the user quickly complains the clones are not keeping thir charge and die quickly.
The Eneloops seem better.
With me I have quite a few sets and charge them frequently and this seems to suit them better.

Incidentally throw away Lithium have a distinctive sweet sickly smell that last years in a drawer. Either AA, button cells or the weird Polaroid lithium that were used in the crazy Sinclair portable TVs.
Sinclair often made very poor choices in such things as batteries even though a talented inventor a lot of his stuff is a bit crazy.
I still have his small white calculator, Cambridge? that used reverse polish logic or some other such nonsense.

The Polaroid batteries were I think used in something like the Polarois SZ 70?? camera.

Regards, David.
Grendel
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Post by Grendel »

I remember the fast chargers that came with fuji cameras and rechargeable batteries - we had these for a time at work, and the way the batteries sat two on two, the back two batterys could overheat while charging- leading to (in more than one case) the charger getting hot enough to melt the plastic.
with my charger I can set a low charge rate - or whatever charge rate I want, on a recondition cycle I can also set a discharge rate as well.
I find that rechargeable battery technology is generally little understood, with many myths of battery memory and other such things, a lot of people are just interested in the battery equivalent of plug and play.
having read the eneloop website I have to say that I am interested, such that next time I need to replace any of my rechargeable batteries i will definately consider them for the replacements.
Grendel
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

I have used the eneloops for a few years now and they still work fine.
The clones though have obviously suffered and give much less shots per charge.
I get 300 plus photos from 2 AA Eneloop in Canon A720 or A590 and 400 plus from 4 Eneloop in Canon A650. I don't use flash much but I do use the screen a lot and take no special steps to conserve bateries.

I sometimes don't use my Konica Minolta Z6 for a year and the eneloops still give plenty of photos straight off with no recharging. This is marvelous for vrechargeable batteries. I use this camera for Noctilucent clouds and specialised flash photography that other cameras can't cope with.

David.
Barry B
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Batteries

Post by Barry B »

One of my interests is flying radio controlled model aeroplanes where a lot of trust has to be placed in your reciever batteries.
Sanyo eneloop batteries are indeed a worthwhile advancement over standard NiMH cells, but I have still found some to lose a significant charge over a few weeks inactivity.
They should not be allowed to discharge below 1.0V/cell nor be charged at a greater rate than 1C (with an "intelligent" charger using Delta peak voltage detection and preferably temperature cut off). For normal trickle charge use 0.1C (200amp for a 2A pack).
The favorites at the moment appear to those distributed by Overlander.
Incidently the trend is changing to the use of LiPo's (lithium polymer) although these have definite safety issues and their use should be approached with caution.

Regards
Barry B
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

Are those by Overlander AA? What type are they?
The improved Eneloops I got recently were from the Small Battery Company.
I just used a Canon A650 idle for about a year and the Hybrids worked fine, They were not even Eneloops.
I mainly use them in Digital compacts and Radio receivers.

Regards, David.
Barry B
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batteries

Post by Barry B »

David

I've had a look at Overlanders website and it now appears that the batteries they distribute are now Sanyo and not a clone.
They are AA size and sold singly or in assembled packs.
I would think that the degredation that I and others have experienced is due to the high current demands in driving multiple servos, this may well not be a problem with photographic equipment.

Regards
Barry B
David Frydman
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Post by David Frydman »

I tried to send a long piece about Panasonic cameras some of which can only be used with panasonic battery packs. See this week'sAP letters.

They say to protect camera and customer from personal injury.

My computer seized up.

Regards, David
Grendel
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Post by Grendel »

Li Ion batteries are tricky things - the lithium in them is a very reactive metal when it comes into contact with water - they also have problems if over discharged when you start charging again (the cause of a number of laptops catching fire a while back, and I seem to recall to do with condesation forming as they initially charge) so to get round this they almost always have a protective circuit built in to them that prevents them from being charged when they have got too discharged, this can be got round with a high boost then proper charging - certain phone companies can do this with phone batteries to get them working again. so it all comes down to the protective circuitry, if a company wants to restrict whose batteries you can use in their product, then they can just build in a descrimination circuit into that protective circuitry to stop everything but their own batteries to be able to be used.
here:-
http://www.buchmann.ca/faq.asp
is just about everything you ever need to know about rechargeable batteries.
Grendel
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