Are my batteries full?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Iconoclast, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Guest

    I recently posted a query re How to test Batteries and was told that there
    is really no good way of testing batteries.

    What do all you nice people do to make sure you have a set of full batteries
    in your camera?

    I use 2 sets of NiMH batteries. Is it OK to leave the second set in the
    battery charger all the time?
    --
    Walter
    The Happy Iconoclast www.rationality.net
    -
    Iconoclast, Dec 20, 2003
    #1
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  2. > What do all you nice people do to make sure you have a set of full
    batteries
    > in your camera?


    Charge them before use....

    > I use 2 sets of NiMH batteries. Is it OK to leave the second set in the
    > battery charger all the time?


    It depends on the charger. Personally, I would charge the day before use.

    David
    David J Taylor, Dec 20, 2003
    #2
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  3. Iconoclast

    Steve B Guest

    An intelligent or smart charger 'knows' when the batteries are fully charged by
    monitoring the small fall in voltage and possibly also a rise in temperature at
    the end of charge. Once the batteries are out of the charger it is difficult to
    tell if they're fully charged though, but you can get a rough idea by measuring
    the voltage on an accurate DVM when you know they're fully charged, make a note
    of that voltage , and use it as a comparison in future, but it's not very
    accurate.


    "Iconoclast" <> wrote in message
    news:RG%Eb.10444$...
    > I recently posted a query re How to test Batteries and was told that there
    > is really no good way of testing batteries.
    >
    > What do all you nice people do to make sure you have a set of full batteries
    > in your camera?
    >
    > I use 2 sets of NiMH batteries. Is it OK to leave the second set in the
    > battery charger all the time?
    > --
    > Walter
    > The Happy Iconoclast www.rationality.net
    > -
    >
    >
    Steve B, Dec 20, 2003
    #3
  4. "Iconoclast" <> wrote in message
    news:RG%Eb.10444$...
    > I recently posted a query re How to test Batteries and was told that there
    > is really no good way of testing batteries.


    You can try briefly measuring short circuit current. It's a fairly relevant
    parameter when using rechargeables for flashgun use, as it relates inversely to
    charging time. BUT, it may not tell you how much charge is left. However, my 2
    DVMs record widely different short circuit currents for the same cells, so it's
    probably wise to keep to the same meter.

    Instructions with a simple charger (constant current) stated that it was not
    recommended to leave charged cells on the charger. As others have mentioned,
    more sophisticated chargers monitor voltage drop when cells are charged etc.
    (and go into a trickle charge mode?)

    --
    M Stewart
    Milton Keynes, UK
    www.megalith.freeserve.co.uk/oddimage.htm
    http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/ms1938/
    Malcolm Stewart, Dec 20, 2003
    #4
  5. I keep two batteries in two separate small boxes, each labeled with the latest
    charge date.
    When I get ready to shoot, I choose the most recenly charged battery.
    If the remaining battery has not been fully charged within1 month, I throw it
    back on the charger to have it ready when needed. My Canon charger can restore a
    "dead" battery in about 1 Hr.
    Bob Williams.

    Iconoclast wrote:

    > I recently posted a query re How to test Batteries and was told that there
    > is really no good way of testing batteries.
    >
    > What do all you nice people do to make sure you have a set of full batteries
    > in your camera?
    >
    > I use 2 sets of NiMH batteries. Is it OK to leave the second set in the
    > battery charger all the time?
    > --
    > Walter
    > The Happy Iconoclast www.rationality.net
    > -
    Robert E. Williams, Dec 20, 2003
    #5
  6. Iconoclast

    HRosita Guest

    Hi,

    If I am going to take the camera to take pictures, I will charge 2 sets of
    batteries the night before, replace the set that is in the camera in the
    morning and take the other charged set with me. The set that I just took out of
    the camera I put in the charger so they would be ready.

    I find that batteries discharge even when not in use so I always want a freshly
    charged set in my camera.
    The new chargers are very fast (1 hour or less for AA) so I can even do it in
    the morning before cofee and they are ready when I am.
    Rosita
    HRosita, Dec 20, 2003
    #6
  7. Iconoclast

    Ron Hunter Guest

    HRosita wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > If I am going to take the camera to take pictures, I will charge 2 sets of
    > batteries the night before, replace the set that is in the camera in the
    > morning and take the other charged set with me. The set that I just took out of
    > the camera I put in the charger so they would be ready.
    >
    > I find that batteries discharge even when not in use so I always want a freshly
    > charged set in my camera.
    > The new chargers are very fast (1 hour or less for AA) so I can even do it in
    > the morning before cofee and they are ready when I am.
    > Rosita
    >
    >

    I do the same, but have a slower charger, and since my camera uses only
    2 AA batteries, I keep a CRV3 pack as backup. Never had to use it yet.
    Ron Hunter, Dec 21, 2003
    #7
  8. Iconoclast

    RustY © Guest

    "Steve B" <sbrads@nildramDOTcoDOTuk> wrote in message
    news:3fe48cdb$0$39226$...
    > An intelligent or smart charger 'knows' when the batteries are fully

    charged .........

    In my experience 'smart' chargers are like 'smart' bombs, they do sometimes
    make dumb decisions with potentially disastrous results. Pack a couple of
    spare sets.
    --
    For Welsh Military Flying visit .......
    www.groups.yahoo.com/group/V-A-S/
    RustY ©, Dec 21, 2003
    #8
  9. Iconoclast

    Junque Guest

    In article <bs28sf$sqt$>, Malcolm Stewart
    <> writes
    >"Iconoclast" <> wrote in message
    >news:RG%Eb.10444$...
    >> I recently posted a query re How to test Batteries and was told that there
    >> is really no good way of testing batteries.

    >
    >You can try briefly measuring short circuit current. It's a fairly relevant
    >parameter when using rechargeables for flashgun use, as it relates inversely to
    >charging time. BUT, it may not tell you how much charge is left.
    >However, my 2
    >DVMs record widely different short circuit currents for the same cells, so it's
    >probably wise to keep to the same meter.


    Different meters present a different burden so it is best to use meters
    which are identical in this respect, that said it is more important that
    the current does not collapse rapidly after connecting as this indicates
    a low remaining capacity. Of course it might be low because the cell has
    a low natural capacity so you will have to learn the characteristics of
    the cells you are using.

    >Instructions with a simple charger (constant current) stated that it was not
    >recommended to leave charged cells on the charger. As others have mentioned,
    >more sophisticated chargers monitor voltage drop when cells are charged etc.
    >(and go into a trickle charge mode?)


    This is a much better approach, it is of course important to use a
    charger that is suitable for you cells as a fast charger can cause
    damage with cells not designed for fast charge. The damage can extend
    much further than the cells and the charger! I blew a hole in the end of
    a 1800mA cell not designed for my 2A charger, it was the same make and
    colour as the 2000mA cells supplied with the charger, fortunately I was
    in the room and able to disconnect it before anything bad could happen.
    The over temp cut-out should have prevented disaster, but...

    --
    Ian G8ILZ
    - to reply directly use ian (at) newbrain (dot) demon (dot) co (dot) uk
    Junque, Dec 21, 2003
    #9
  10. "Malcolm Stewart" <> writes:

    >You can try briefly measuring short circuit current. It's a fairly relevant
    >parameter when using rechargeables for flashgun use, as it relates inversely to
    >charging time. BUT, it may not tell you how much charge is left. However, my 2
    >DVMs record widely different short circuit currents for the same cells, so it's
    >probably wise to keep to the same meter.


    This isn't a good idea. The impedance of a NiCd or NiMH cell is very
    low, so the current you measure depends mostly on the DVM's series
    resistor, not the state of charge of the cell (unless the cell is
    nearly dead). But if the series resistor is low enough (on a
    high-current range of the DVM) the current can be higher than the cell
    is designed for. If the discharge lasts very long, you can do
    permanent internal damage to the cell.

    High-current pulses of a few milliseconds are OK, but with a DVM you're
    talking about having high currents flowing for seconds.

    Dave
    Dave Martindale, Dec 21, 2003
    #10
  11. Iconoclast

    Dave Cohen Guest

    It's not a big deal, I got 350 shots from a set of batteries over a 3 week
    period. Same set gave me around 200 shots over a 9 week period. I carry a
    spare set and I would top off the spare set after sitting around for 9
    weeks, but who really cares whether it's 200 or 300 or even 120, just carry
    spares. Heck, with film the most you get is 24 or 36 shots before you have
    to open up the camera. Be careful with the smart charger, give the batteries
    some time to discharge before trying to top off, the switch to trickle
    charge relies on a voltage change when batteries come up to full charge.
    Putting cells back in charger when they are fully charged tricks my charger
    into charging at full and cells can get warm. Maybe the higher priced units
    don't do this.
    Dave Cohen

    "Ron Hunter" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > HRosita wrote:
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > If I am going to take the camera to take pictures, I will charge 2 sets

    of
    > > batteries the night before, replace the set that is in the camera in the
    > > morning and take the other charged set with me. The set that I just took

    out of
    > > the camera I put in the charger so they would be ready.
    > >
    > > I find that batteries discharge even when not in use so I always want a

    freshly
    > > charged set in my camera.
    > > The new chargers are very fast (1 hour or less for AA) so I can even do

    it in
    > > the morning before cofee and they are ready when I am.
    > > Rosita
    > >
    > >

    > I do the same, but have a slower charger, and since my camera uses only
    > 2 AA batteries, I keep a CRV3 pack as backup. Never had to use it yet.
    Dave Cohen, Dec 22, 2003
    #11
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