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Old Jul 28, 2007, 2:27 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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I have a Sanyo Xacti CG6 camera that can be charged through the USB port (when connected to the PC). I wonder if this US Modular PowerAid external Li-ion power pack is compatible with the camera:

(please read the detail specs)


This is basically an external Li-ion battery with higher capacity and voltage, that can be used to recharge devices of lower voltage/ output.

The Sanyo battery is 3.7V 720mAh. The AC battery charger of the Sanyo is 4.2V 650mA . The specs of the PowerAid says it can used with "most devices with mini USB", "charge any Lithium battery working below 2000mAh". Its output is 5.5V/700 mA, 3400 mAh. The PowerAid only lists a few officially compatible devices which does not include this camera.

From research on the web, I understand the standard voltage of PC USB is 5V. I cannot find any information from the US Modular website to say that the voltage is lowered to 5V at the USB port of the PowerAid.

I know little about electronics, but I think the voltage is more important than the current when you talk about compatiblitiy with chargers. I wonder if the voltage of the PowerAid (5-5.5V) is too high for the Sanyo battery (battery charger is 4.2V).

I did some reading on the web and understand little of it, but I think the main problem with charging voltage being too high for the battery is heat generation, which may damage the battery immediately or shorten its lifespan in long run.

Please correct me if I am wrong, and I'd appreciate some advice. Thanks in advance.

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Old Jul 31, 2007, 12:37 PM   #2
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Posts: 358

Hello Blindsight,

Li-Ion cells can do strange things (rapidly venting accompanied by flames comes immediately to mind...) when charged to higher voltages. The normal maximum voltage is 4.2 volts. If you charge above that you risk damage, and poor cell life.

Thermal runaway initiates at just over 4.4 volts, so it would be interesting to see what happens if the charger really charges to 5.5 volts...

It could be that the initial open circuit voltage is 5.5 volts, but it drops when a cell is inserted to charge. This is still not a good way to charge Li-Ion cells.

I would suggest you pass on it.

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