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View Poll Results: Have your Sony battery/ies (NP-FS11 for DSC-P1) degraded much earlier than you expected?
Yes 7 77.78%
No, but I don't use them a lot 2 22.22%
No, and I do use them a lot 0 0%
Not got this battey, but I have problems with other Sony InfoLITHIUM batteries 0 0%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jan 6, 2003, 4:20 AM   #1
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Default Sony NP-FS11 - any more suggestions to make them work?

[This message is also on the Sony forum]
[20Feb03 - see response from Sony Customer Service added further down this topic]
Hi
My DSC-P1 still does good stuff, but I can only take one photo at a time (really). I have tried flattening my two NP-FS11s with a torch bulb (with the hope that the computers would reset) - that certainly proved they weren't flat when the camera says they are (they ran a 250mA bulb for several hours). And on recharge and first use they seemed to do better, but now they are back to "permanently flat" (I just have time to take one photo before the camer shuts down). BUT if I plug it into the PC it lasts much longer (a real amount of time). I've also tried flattening the batteries by repeated power-cycling, that doesn't seem to help, although when the batteries were newer I think it did.

So:
My batteries (rather than the computer) do work (as proved by bulb and PC Mode).
The "useful life per charge" has been dropping, to the point that it is now essentially zero.
The tricks that used to seem to get them to work a bit no longer seem to be effective.
Sony (at the last time of asking) deny there is any known problem (despite pointing out the endless comments about the same problem).
I see (on Amazon for instance) that others have these problems.

My only conclusion is that this is a deliberate design issue; perfectly good batteries have been programmed to "age" prematurely to force us to buy more expensive batteries.
I had expected to upgrade to a P9, but that is no longer likely.
Is there a "dissatisfied sony battery user group" anyone knows of that I can join?

Dave Turnbull, Oxford, UK

PS: And just last week I found that two screws were missing from the case. And there are the endless emails trying to sell me this that and the other accessory, but no actual "service". I really am getting disenchanted with Sony.

PPS: There used to be more messages about these problems on this forum, I thought? Do old messages get archived to somewhere?

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Old Jan 7, 2003, 8:44 AM   #2
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I have a similar problem with my DCR-P3 video camera (same battery tehchology). Especially when the batteries are unused for a while the camera shuts down allthough the batteries are quite well charged (did some measurements with ballast). I read an article that talks about oxidation (extra internal resistance) in batteries causing a voltage drop -> sony camera thinks that the battery is dead.

My camera behaves the same way. In the beginning it shows 160 mins of time left and the suddenly shows low batt -> shuts down.

I've also contacted Sony several times..no response..those batteries are damn expensive and should work several years instead of few months
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Old Jan 13, 2003, 6:49 PM   #3
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I made a custom battery pack for my DSC-P1 after being fed up with the Sony NP-FS11 battery and it's issues.

I shall post about it soon. I'll include some pics and construction for anyone interested.

So far, I have used the setup twice, and used the battery for about 6 continuous hours with LCD on, flash for every photo and the battery voltage barely drops over that time (I did charge the battery between occasions though).

It would be a near perfect solution for those who want an extremely long battery life, without the hassles of InfoLithium, but don't mind carrying around a little extra weight.
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Old Jan 18, 2003, 3:25 PM   #4
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Atlantis

Please do post info on your home made battery pack! You never know when that info will be useful.... My camera usage might change and I could find myself wanting more power.
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Old Jan 22, 2003, 3:01 AM   #5
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Referring to David.. The problem is that the battery (in electrical sense) is in a good condition, but Sony camera battery monitoring/battery's own processor says it is not thus forcing the customer to buy new batteries. I did several charge/discharge cycles with resistive load equivalent to nomimal power dissipation. I measured the voltage drop/current every 5 minutes. My Sony DCR-P3 camcorder shuts down in less than five minutes, but the battery is still capable to produce high current with small voltage drop.

I agree with David..strange customer policy from Sony.
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Old Feb 5, 2003, 5:11 AM   #6
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My custom setup should be posted shortly. Just making up a web page which covers all aspects of the battery and usage stats.
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Old Feb 18, 2003, 6:29 PM   #7
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Default Your battery website

Hey there. I too am having problems with the NP-FS11. Sent it off to Sony and their response was, you guessed it, "Battery problems". What BS. I bought a new battery and treated it like gold....full drain the n full recharge...after about 1 month....same issue. It charges to a full change (About 90 minutes) and then works Ok until the infolithium reads 60 minutes, then it goes dead.

Please Help!!!!
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 7:18 AM   #8
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I don't have the (mis) fortune to own one of these but here are some observations:

Quote:
My batteries (rather than the computer) do work (as proved by bulb and PC Mode).
This test isn't everything. Ability to supply high peak current and maintain the normally fully charged terminal voltage is what counts. As batteries age, their internal resistance goes up, that means for the same peak current, the terminal voltage will drop.

I'm guessing, but Sony's battery monitor will compare the batt voltage on load with what it thinks it should be and turn off everything if it measures lower - even if you can still run a bulb.

The answer is to find substitute batts with a higher peak output current at the same voltage, better still if you can use a batt pack which is say 0.5 volt higher when fully charged.

Haven't experimented with this, often the battery management is done via a third wire to the pack. If their battery capacity monitor is poor, it might be possible to disable it.

Most pc's with capacity monitors have facility to 'calibrate' batteries. The pc first discharges then recharges and the monitor resets itself to full, meaning the batt really is fully charged. Connecting batts to bulbs screws all this up.

So with a full batt in the cam, what happens if you 'reset to factory defaults'? Or leave a batt out of the cam a couple of hours so it forgets its settings, then replace? If it writes the charge state into NVRAM you're stuffed.

My 10 cents! VOX
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 9:48 AM   #9
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Good News!
A few weeks ago I contacted Sony Customer Services in the UK (in Thatcham), consequently I sent my camera to their Service Centre (near Heathrow).

A very helpful woman at the Customer Service Centre has just been on the phone. It would seem that there is a known fault on the camera which causes this problem. The fault is not common, they are fixing my camera and returning it (FOC).

I did suggest that they would do themselves a lot of good if they made this knowledge available on their website and made sure other information centres knew about it.

Whether the same type of fault affects other cameras with these batteries, I don't know.

My confidence in Sony is somewhat restored (pity there was so much avoidable annoyance first) - now I just have to wait for camera to be returned.

Good Luck
Dave Turnbull
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 10:00 AM   #10
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I'll bet they've re-programmed the firmware for the battery monitor!
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