Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Batteries or Power Packs

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 29, 2006, 11:42 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2
Default

Well, I've just about had it with digital cameras and AA batteries!

I've just charged a set of Hama 2600mah AAs, put them in my Canon A510 and managed to take just 3 pictures, not even using the flash, before the 'change the batteries' message flashed up and the camera switched itself off. I'd been getting increasingly less life lately, but this isn't the whole story. I've NEVER had decent battery life over two cameras, two chargers and 6+ sets of batteries!

My first digicam was a Canon A40, which I bought with a Uniross Ultra-Fast charger and 4 Uniross 1700 nimh AAs. Most I ever got out of those was about 60 shots, all in one day (that was outside without flash too). More usually, I'd get less. I bought new higher rated batteries to little improvement. I blamed the charger at the time but soldiered on. Last year, the A40 had gotten so bad that it wouldn't power up at all even with freshly charged batteries. I bought a Canon A510 as a replacement, along with a newer Uniross (not a great deal of choice in the UK as chargers go) charger, along with both Uniross and Hama batteries. Still, I wasn't getting anything like the kinds of battery life most people were talking about, 50 shots at most. Also, just like with the A40, batteries left in the camera would be drained within two days.

Now, it's tempting looking back on all this to blame Uniross! I can't really see it being the cameras, because of the good reviews they both had for battery life, plus the unlikely bad luck of having bought two defective cameras in a row. Not impossible though, I suppose.

I just don't know what to do anymore. Buy a new, better charger/batteries? Or just go for a new camera with a proprietary battery? I'm happy with the A510 in almost every way except for battery life, so I don't really want to have to buy a new camera. But the thought of buying yet another charger and batteries only for them to not work isn't appealing.

Anyone got any thoughts/advice? I'm fed up! I want to take pictures, not worry endlessly about batteries!
neil23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 29, 2006, 12:55 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 726
Default

Maybe you should try Duracell/Energizer rechargeable batteries and the chargers specified for the batteries you bought. For example if you bought the Duracell 2500mah - High Capacity, get the Duracell 2500mah chargerand Vice Versa. Duracell and Energizer are the same quality. The higher the mah the more battery life you'll have, for example more shots.

For the Hama 2600mah AA's maybe you wern't using the specified charger and it only charged 100mah. Maybe you were using the FAST CHARGER, that wasn't SMART CHARGED. Next time you buy batteries buy Duracell or Energizer rechargeables and the specified charger for the batteries you bought. And one more thing if you get the FAST CHARGER, you have to get the SMART CHARGER to make sure it doesn't overcharge the batteries. It your batteries get overcharged then their basically done and you can't use them anymore.

shooting_rubber.
shooting_rubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 29, 2006, 5:46 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 358
Default

Hello Neil,

We need more information...

If you could charge your batteries up, set them aside for 15-20 minutes, then measure the voltage of each battery and write it down.

Next you need to set the fully charged batteries aside and let them sit for 24 hours. Then once again measure the voltage of each battery and write it down.

Finally you need to put the batteries in the camera and take shots until the camera signals that the batteries are dead. Once again measure the voltage of each battery and write it down.

Now you will be able to report your results and we can go from there.

Tom
SilverFoxCPF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 29, 2006, 6:06 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Sintares's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 647
Default

I have the LaCrosse BC-900 charger and it has lcd displays than can show how much charge the battery is taking, so you can charge and compare to weed out any underperforming batteries.

It has four independent channels so you dont have to charge in pairs, discharge, charge, test and refresh modes.

http://www.batterylogic.co.uk/techno...-i-charger.asp



Note a lot of whiners on this and similar forums will complain about this charger and baffle you with reasons why their pet/favorite Maha charger is better, does a better job of detecting battery voltage , can charge a battery 0.1 percent better etc etc..yada yada yada, heard it all before.

Its simple, this is a decent charger for the normal people among us that don't get out the multmeter/privately built testing rig each and every time they get some new batteries, just so they can squeeze out the last few shots from each battery.

Frankly with my Sony h1 with a 2.5" lcd on all time with two noname cheapass ebay 2700NimH batteries I can get 350 shots.

"Name" batteriesused witha "better" charger might get you 365 shots.

I really don't care, when I really want 15 extra shots I carry 2 more batteries..






Sintares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 30, 2006, 1:32 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 358
Default

Hello Sintares,

I love my BC-900 charger and use it regularly. I was pleased that La-Crosse was able to bring this full featured affordable charger to market. It gives you a lot of information about your batteries and allows you to do some testing on them as well. Add to that the refresh mode and it is simply outstanding.

However, we started receiving reports of the charger melting down. Most of the time it happened while charging 2500 mAh batteries at the 200 mA rate. This made the problem very confusing. You should be able to charge 2500 mAh batteries forever at 200 mA without melting the plastic of the BC-900.

We contacted La-Crosse and were told that this was not an issue. They cited that they have sold many thousand chargers and were not aware of this melt down issue. I believe we had around 10 people call and they all got the same information... "We have never heard of this problem before..."

I have discussed this with several people who design chargers and the constant comment I get from them is that this failure is not caused by the battery, but is a fault with the charger. Chargers are supposed to have safe guards to protect against high temperature, and damage.

Pursuing this further, we think we may have figured out what is happening.

Keep in mind that we are hobby people and not trained investigators. Also, keep in mind that we love this charger. We are just trying to figure out how a charger can get so hot that it melts the plastic housing.

One of our group discovered that one of the components used in the BC-900 is right on the edge as far as heat dissipation. If this component fails open, the charger simply stops working, however if it shorts out, it will charge the batteries at the maximum charge rate and will not terminate the charge on any of the end of charge signals that are usually used (maximum voltage, change in voltage, temperature, time, etc.). The maximum charge rate is 1.8 amps. At this rate, the batteries get hot and the charger melts down.

I continue to recommend this charger, however I also recommend that people using this charger place it on a non combustible surface away from other combustibles during use.

Electronic components age with heat. The charger malfunctions seem to occur after around 6 months of heavy use. Most people have been able to get their chargers replaced under the 1 year warranty, and we have not heard of the replacement chargers melting down.

Perhaps the newer chargers have this potential problem addressed. I am running a version 32 unit. The newer units are version 33, and I have heard something about a version 34.

Since there haven't been a massive recall of these chargers, I would assume that this problem is limited in scope. Perhaps they got a marginal set of components for the first batch of units.

Still, I know that the plastic they are using with the charger melts at around 194 F (90 C), so I just make sure that the surface the charger is sitting on is able to withstand that kind of temperature without problems.

Tom
SilverFoxCPF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 31, 2006, 12:11 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2
Default

Hi guys, thanks for the replies.

Tom - I'd try the tests you mention, but I don't have the means to do so.

I would buy a new charger if I was certain that it would improve my battery life. Although, I should mention that I have used the same charger to charge similar Hama batteries for my Mom's camera (a Canon A410) and those batteries seem to last longer. I've just tried the batteries (2 sets) that I charged for my A510 in the A410 and they lasted just a couple of seconds, like in my A510. So it would seem as though my sets either weren't charged properly by the charger or are faulty in some way.

I've seen a good deal on the Energizer 15 minute charger (£18). Would this be better than the Uniross X-Press 700 one I have?
neil23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 31, 2006, 1:02 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 726
Default

Energizer is a well known brand it it should work fine. Get the right batteries, like 2500 mah.

shooting_rubber.
shooting_rubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 14, 2006, 11:01 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9
Default

I've also had poor luck with NiMH batteries in my Pentax *ist DS. My problem was that the batteries would self-discharge if I went over just a few days (not even a week) after charging the batteries. Then I would only be able to get 10 or so shots before the batteries were depleted.

I finally decided to try using the Energizer Lithium AA batteries (not rechargeable) and they have worked great - I have several hundred shots on this set and the batteries still show full on my camera.

So it's been about 2 months since I "put away" all of my NiMH batteries. Just the other day, I was curious to see if any of the batteries had any charge in them. I went through my box and discovered that all 12 of the Energizer 2500mAh batteries were basically dead. However, my very old 1600mAh Rayovac batteries showed a full charge! The LaCross and GP 2000mAh batteries showed half-full. All of those batteries powered up the camera and took pictures just fine. I recharged the Rayovacs and I have them in the camera now and I have taken several dozen pictures on them.

If you read some of the other threads, you will see that the Energizer 2500's seem to have a problem with self-discharge. Perhaps their voltage sags a bit also? I don't know. I do know that I'm tossing mine in the recyle bin.

I just picked up a set of Eneloop AAs at Ritz Camera and I am giving them a try. They are supposed to have a very low rate of self-discharge. I don't know what their voltage stability is, however. They are only around 2000mAh, but that will be more than sufficient if I can actually tap into most of it.

I would recommend that you get a set of Lithium batteries and see if they work for you - though not rechargeable, they are still cheap on a per-picture basis. Plus, they are 1.5 volts, not 1.2 volts nominal, like the NiMH's. And keep your eyes open to new developments in rechargeable technology, perhaps the next round of batteries will be more robust.
dperreno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 17, 2006, 3:25 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 111
Default

SilverFox, I really was all set to buy the BC900, but when I read of the meltdown features I have to admit it scared me. Insurance wise this type of thing could be disastrous to an individual.
When looking for a charger it was and still is to my knowledge listed as the BC 900.
I had no idea that there were different versions (aka, 32,33,34) or what the different versions addressed !
This is a fault of the company, when something of this nature occurs it is there responsibility to address a recall, or face a lawsuit for maybe killing someone or burning down there home ! Either way they are going to loose, if it is something that can be proved. In this case it would be easy to prove with all the talk/cautions!!

I went with a Accu manager 20, it was at the top of your reviews and I couldn't find "ANY" problems with it causing hazards.
It certainly doesn't have all the features of the BC 900 or offer the perks, and I hear a little slower, but I rest a little easier with it's track record.
Changeling




Changeling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 25, 2006, 5:04 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4
Default

I got over 350 shots on an A40 with Quest NiMH from Walmart.
I now have an A95, the only problem was I don't use the camera enough with regular NiMH otherwise this will give hundreds of shots in a short period.

I got well over a hundred shots with regular Alkalines, I replaced them but they were still working fine.
Dave Cohen
Dave Cohen is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:24 AM.