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Old Feb 23, 2007, 11:41 PM   #1
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Is their a device I can buy to check how much life my batteries have left. Or what is the best to find out.
Also is it true the higher the MAH in the battery pack can have some damage to the camera.
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 3:49 PM   #2
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Hello Imacer,

Yes, No, well... sort of.

How's that for an answer...:-)

A voltmeter can give you a very rough idea of what condition yourbatteries are in. If it reads 1.44 volts, it is fully charged. If it reads under 1.2 volts, it is fully discharged. Everything else in between indicates that it is partially charged.

Please note that this is for NiMh chemistry and we are looking at open circuit resting voltage.

The next step is to look at how a battery behaves under load. If you know the load your camera puts on the battery, you can do a series of tests and if you get a certain voltage under load, it means that you have roughly this much capacity left.

If you review the testers at www.ztsinc.com you will see that that is what they are doing. The ZTS tester pulses a load on the battery and measures the battery voltage under load. It then compares this voltage to what they have stored in memory. They have done extensive testing to come up with the values they store in memory and if your battery is similar to the ones they based their results on, and if your load is similar to the load they are using, you will get accurate results.

In actual use, we have found the ZTS to be very useful, but not accurate. You quickly learn that when a cell measures 40%, it is good for a few more pictures, but you better plan on recharging soon.

It is also very good in finding a "dud" cell in a set.

It is not perfect, but it gives a lot more information than an open circuit voltage reading.

Your second question refers to the capacity of the cell. First of all, understand that the labeled capacity of a cell is not absolute. Some brands take liberty with their labeling, and all labeled capacity is optimistic at the higher loads we are using.

In general, the more capacity, the longer the runtime. To get around the labeling "issues," let me modify this to say the more the actual tested capacity, the longer the runtime. Longer runtime does not damage your camera.

Think of it like this. If your automobile has a 20 gallon fuel tank, it can go farther than if it had a 16 gallon tank.

Tom
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 4:15 PM   #3
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SilverFoxCPF wrote:
Quote:
Hello Imacer,

Yes, No, well... sort of.

How's that for an answer...:-)

A voltmeter can give you a very rough idea of what condition yourbatteries are in. If it reads 1.44 volts, it is fully charged. If it reads under 1.2 volts, it is fully discharged. Everything else in between indicates that it is partially charged.

Please note that this is for NiMh chemistry and we are looking at open circuit resting voltage.

The next step is to look at how a battery behaves under load. If you know the load your camera puts on the battery, you can do a series of tests and if you get a certain voltage under load, it means that you have roughly this much capacity left.

If you review the testers at http://www.ztsinc.com you will see that that is what they are doing. The ZTS tester pulses a load on the battery and measures the battery voltage under load. It then compares this voltage to what they have stored in memory. They have done extensive testing to come up with the values they store in memory and if your battery is similar to the ones they based their results on, and if your load is similar to the load they are using, you will get accurate results.

In actual use, we have found the ZTS to be very useful, but not accurate. You quickly learn that when a cell measures 40%, it is good for a few more pictures, but you better plan on recharging soon.

It is also very good in finding a "dud" cell in a set.

It is not perfect, but it gives a lot more information than an open circuit voltage reading.

Your second question refers to the capacity of the cell. First of all, understand that the labeled capacity of a cell is not absolute. Some brands take liberty with their labeling, and all labeled capacity is optimistic at the higher loads we are using.

In general, the more capacity, the longer the runtime. To get around the labeling "issues," let me modify this to say the more the actual tested capacity, the longer the runtime. Longer runtime does not damage your camera.

Think of it like this. If your automobile has a 20 gallon fuel tank, it can go farther than if it had a 16 gallon tank.

Tom

So, Tom wher should I get my after market batteries from than and good ones.
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