What's wrong with my batteries?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by G41.25, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. G41.25

    G41.25 TPF Noob!

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    Hi All

    Using a Finepix S9600 (not that that matters!) and have 2 sets of Energizer NiMH batteries (4 x 2500mAh and 4 x 2450mAh). I charge both sets using an Energizer 1 hour NiMH charger (CH1HR-2).

    The problem I have is that neither set of batteries will hold their charge for long. If I charge them just before use, they will last... well, I'm not sure, because I turn off the camera as often as possible when shooting; but I'd say they last for a couple of hours of photography. BUT if I charge them a day or two before use, when I put them in the camera, they either work for a few seconds or not at all! They are stored in the camera bag at room temperature. I've charged and decharged them several times to get rid of any 'memory effect' but I'm now so fed up with needing to take photos and finding that neither set will work.

    Has anybody experienced this before? Is it the batteries, the charger, or the camera even?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Firstly, NiMH batteries will discharge over time....so if you don't use them for a while, you may find that they are drained when you go to use them. They should last longer than a few days though.

    Also, it's not uncommon for these batteries to get old...where they don't hold a charge like they should. I'm guessing that this is your problem...even if they technically aren't that old. Part of the problem may be your charger...those one hour chargers aren't great for the health of your batteries.

    I've got a charger that will test batteries and will then tell me the actual capacity of the batteries. Even when brand new, they usually aren't up to the rated number on the side/package. Cycling can sometimes help, but sometimes they still won't take the size of charge that they are supposed to. There is a battery charger that I know of, that has a 'break in' feature. It slowly forces a charge into the batteries which can open up the lost capacity of these batteries, effectively bringing them back to life. It's the C-9000 (I forget which brand).

    I'd suggest getting new batteries, maybe have a look at Sanyo Eneloops. They are NiMH batteries but they have very little self-discharge, so they will keep their charge over time. You may also want to consider a better charger.
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have a related question...

    I just ordered some of these (12), everyone seems to love them so I figured I couldn't go wrong.

    I just got the Sanyo charger that comes with them (comes with a 4 pack - got two additional 4 packs (without charger)). Have you used this charger?

    This is really my first time using rechargeable batteries... I don't really know if the charger that comes with it is good or not... Should I be looking at other chargers?
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've used this charger and I seriously thing is degrades the lifespan of the battery by a significant amount when its used for quickly drained (and thus often recharged) batteries like those used in cameras and flashguns. I would strongly suggest looking at and getting a good recharging unit as a must - it might cost quite a bit now, but a good recharger will save you a lot when you don't have to keep purchasing additional AA batteries from shops because your camera gave out whilst you were out. - I belive Big Mike has good link for recharging units

    Also the Sanyo Enloops will (As mentioned) give you far more reliable batteries when you leave them for a period of time. I've recently started using these in my flash and it makes a terrific difference to have the flash ready to use without fuss rather than have to always recharge the night before (which is not ideal as one cannot plan every photography trip).
     
  5. Big

    Big TPF Noob!

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    I have had HUGE problems with batteries. (Those specifically) except mine are the 15 minute charge. They never last anymore. I used to get them to take 200+ pics, now it's down to about 20...
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know anything about the Sanyo charger, sorry.
    I can't find a link to the one I have, maybe it's discontinued, but it's basically the model below the one in the following link.
    HERE is the one that I'd recommend, especially if you have some older batteries that don't hold a charge anymore.
     
  7. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Old batteries will die very rapidly. One day you will happily use your camera all day long, charge the batteries, and the next day they will last 15 minutes.

    NiMH batteries do not have a memory.

    Cameras do not quickly drain a battery. They are slow to discharge in a camera. RC, where you will drain a battery in less than 10 minutes is rapid discharge.

    Using the flash will use up the batteries a lot faster than not using it.

    I don't think you should have to balance a pack of NiMH batteries for camera usage as you are not trying to get maximum power out in a rapid fashion like in RC. When charging NiMH batteries, the faster you push power into them, the more power you will get out, but they will drain faster. This is useful for RC where you want the power. Not in a camera where you want longevity in charge life. I would say you want a couple hour charge on camera batteries, something like 0.8C to 1C max. RC fliers sometimes charge at 10C and even 20C (1C would be like charging a 2500mah battery in 2.5 hours, just change the decimal in the mah rating. So for the 10C charge in RC, you would be charging a 2500mah battery in 0.25 hours, or 15 minutes just to put it in perspective for ya.)

    Everyone I always see recommends the Enelops. My personal recommendation is Rayovac because I have always used Rayovac NiMH batteries in my RC controller which also is used to charge the LiPo battery in my micro airplane. I used the same Rayovacs for 2 years in the RC, then transfered them to the camera and used them for 2 years. The Rayovacs are no more expensive than normal alkaline batteries at 4 for $5. Haven't looked or bought any in quite a while, but I recall other NiMH companies being $8-10 for a package of 4.
     
  8. Double H

    Double H TPF Noob!

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    200? Wow, I usually do not have to change mine until about 400+. I use them in my SB-800.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a LaCrosse charger BC-700. And I used to recommend it. But after noticed people reported melt down problem with the BC-9000 series, I will say if I am going to buy a charger now, I will go with the one Bigmike suggested. (Although my charger did not have any problem what-so-ever).
     
  10. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    The problem is not the cells, but the charger. Any time you slam that much current into a cell to charge it that fast, you are destroying it. Now you need new cells and a new charger....

    The fastest you should ever charge a cell is 1 hour, and that's if you need it right away. You need a charger that has a "soft charge" option.... it will give your cells a far longer life.
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's one thing I love about my charger. I have several different charging levels to choose from. I usually use the lowest/slowest setting, unless I have several sets to charge and a tight time limit.

    Also, I have a few different charging modes. I normally choose the discharge option, which fully drains the batteries before charging them up. I don't know if this really helps or not, but it's something I do when I have the time.

    Another thing I really like about my charger, is that it tells me the charging details like how long it's been charging, the voltage, the current mAh etc. It's not just a flashing light that gets faster as the charge goes up.
     
  12. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    The Maha 801 isn't quite as intricate, but it's got fast charge, soft charge, & conditioning. The biggest plus for me is that it holds 8 cells. I have an SB800 that uses 5 at a time, and I got really tired of charging four + one.


    :raisedbrow: I'd like to meet the person who fed you that line. Between cars, trucks, boats, planes, and helis, I've been around RC for a very long time, and have never heard that one.......:scratch:

    The faster you push power in, the more heat you generate....VERY BAD for cells, period. And, it doesn't matter how fast you push the power in, there is only so much a cell can hold, hence the mAh rating.
     

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