Can charging via a shaver outlet damage cameras

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Matti Haveri, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Matti Haveri

    Matti Haveri Guest

    Can it be just a coincidence that my Olympus Stylus/mju300 died and a
    Nokia cell phone nearly died after I had charged their batteries using
    an electrical outlet for shavers while on a trip in Spain?

    Is it a no-go to charge batteries via a shaver outlet? Is this a known
    problem?? Is the shaver outlet's power output too small or wrong type
    for a charger? My quick Googling around didn't yield any warnings about
    this, nor did the camera shops know about this.

    ....the Olympus Lithium battery was nearly empty so I charged it using
    the Olympus charger. I connected the charger to the hotel bathroom's
    shaver outlet. The outlet had three holes: the other side's two holes
    read 110V and the other side's two holes read 220V. I used the 220V
    holes because it is what I use at home.

    The charge went as usual (red charger light turned to green after a
    couple of hours) but the Olympus didn't power up using this battery or
    any other known-good battery. The charged battery did power up other
    cameras so the battery seemed to be OK.

    Also a Nokia cellphone was charged via the same shaver outlet and it was
    initially dead after the charge. The phone was OK after it was recharged
    using a outlet for a TV I later found.

    BTW, the Olympus is still dead. Olympus wants an outrageous fixed price
    of 224 euros for _any_ procedure which requires opening the camera. I
    then heard that Olympus is the only vendor who now refuses to sell parts
    for independent repair shops (one repair shop was so disgusted at
    Olympus' recent parts policies that they don't now even touch Olympus
    cameras). So I couldn't get it even looked at anywhere at a reasonable
    price.

    My older camera was Olympus OM2N but after this repair experience I
    ditched Olympus and got a Nikon instead.

    --
    Matti Haveri <mattiDOThaveriATsjokiDOTutaeiroskaaDOTfi> remove ei roskaa
     
    Matti Haveri, Jul 25, 2004
    #1
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  2. Matti Haveri

    Bert Hyman Guest

    In news: Matti Haveri
    <> wrote:

    > The charge went as usual (red charger light turned to green after a
    > couple of hours) but the Olympus didn't power up using this battery or
    > any other known-good battery. The charged battery did power up other
    > cameras so the battery seemed to be OK.


    Was the battery in the camera at the time you charged it? It's ->possible
    that there was some sort of high-energy "noise" on the power line which
    passed through the charger circuitry and damaged your camera's
    electronics.

    Otherwise the entire scenario sounds quite unlikely.

    --
    Bert Hyman St. Paul, MN
     
    Bert Hyman, Jul 25, 2004
    #2
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  3. Matti Haveri

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Matti Haveri wrote:
    > Can it be just a coincidence that my Olympus Stylus/mju300 died and a
    > Nokia cell phone nearly died after I had charged their batteries using
    > an electrical outlet for shavers while on a trip in Spain?
    >
    > Is it a no-go to charge batteries via a shaver outlet? Is this a known
    > problem?? Is the shaver outlet's power output too small or wrong type
    > for a charger? My quick Googling around didn't yield any warnings about
    > this, nor did the camera shops know about this.
    >
    > ...the Olympus Lithium battery was nearly empty so I charged it using
    > the Olympus charger. I connected the charger to the hotel bathroom's
    > shaver outlet. The outlet had three holes: the other side's two holes
    > read 110V and the other side's two holes read 220V. I used the 220V
    > holes because it is what I use at home.
    >
    > The charge went as usual (red charger light turned to green after a
    > couple of hours) but the Olympus didn't power up using this battery or
    > any other known-good battery. The charged battery did power up other
    > cameras so the battery seemed to be OK.
    >
    > Also a Nokia cellphone was charged via the same shaver outlet and it was
    > initially dead after the charge. The phone was OK after it was recharged
    > using a outlet for a TV I later found.
    >
    > BTW, the Olympus is still dead. Olympus wants an outrageous fixed price
    > of 224 euros for _any_ procedure which requires opening the camera. I
    > then heard that Olympus is the only vendor who now refuses to sell parts
    > for independent repair shops (one repair shop was so disgusted at
    > Olympus' recent parts policies that they don't now even touch Olympus
    > cameras). So I couldn't get it even looked at anywhere at a reasonable
    > price.
    >
    > My older camera was Olympus OM2N but after this repair experience I
    > ditched Olympus and got a Nikon instead.
    >


    Hi Matti...

    The risk of electric shock in a bathroom is much
    greater than elsewhere in a house, so the rules for
    electrical outlets in them are much more stringent.

    I can't speak for Spain, but here we have two ways of
    meeting the extra requirement.

    The current system is using a ground fault protector
    outlet. Delivers full current, trips as soon as the
    tiniest fault occurs.

    The previous, and of course due to grandfathering still
    in existence is the use of a tiny isolation transformer
    between the supply and the outlet. This style
    severly limits the output current to only a few watts.

    Given that you had a choice of 110 or 220 my bet is that
    there were two transformers in your Spanish one, with
    very little current available - not nearly enough to
    quick charge your batteries.

    Now my next bet is that you have a timed charger...
    that it simply ran for two hours and said OK, they're
    charged. They weren't.

    Bottom line - charge them again with a "regular" outlet
    and they'll be fine :)

    Next trip charge them in the kitchen or living room, or...

    Hope this helps...

    Ken
     
    Ken Weitzel, Jul 25, 2004
    #3
  4. Matti Haveri

    Paul W. Ross Guest

    I just got back from a trip to Germany and Austria via river boat. I
    have an Olympus C-5000. The charger is marked 110/220 volt, 50-60 Hz.
    I ran it in the 220 volt floor jack with an adapter without any
    problem My battery does come out of the camera for charging.
     
    Paul W. Ross, Jul 25, 2004
    #4
  5. Matti Haveri

    Matti Haveri Guest

    In article <ohQMc.106650$Mr4.50334@pd7tw1no>,
    Ken Weitzel <> wrote:

    > Bottom line - charge them again with a "regular" outlet
    > and they'll be fine :)


    I have tried this many times but it doesn't help. The offending battery
    now works in other cameras. And other batteries don't power up the
    offending camera.

    It was an external charger, BTW.

    So it feels like there was something wrong with the power outlet and the
    batteries weren't properly charged. It is odd that putting the battery
    would break the camera. Maybe the battery initially had some odd charge
    which could break the camera's circuits (immediately after the charge
    the camera's LEDs very briefly and dimly lighted when the battery was
    inserted, after that the camera has been completely dead), then maybe
    after a proper charge the battery was reset more to the specs??

    BTW, it was very difficult to find a similar replacement Lithium battery
    for the Olympus on my trip when I was troubleshooting. My new Nikon can
    also use regular AA batteries which are easy to find if rechargeable
    batteries break.

    thanks for the input,

    --
    Matti Haveri <mattiDOThaveriATsjokiDOTutaeiroskaaDOTfi> remove ei roskaa
     
    Matti Haveri, Jul 25, 2004
    #5
  6. Matti Haveri

    Dave Cohen Guest

    Paul W. Ross wrote:
    > I just got back from a trip to Germany and Austria via river boat. I
    > have an Olympus C-5000. The charger is marked 110/220 volt, 50-60 Hz.
    > I ran it in the 220 volt floor jack with an adapter without any
    > problem My battery does come out of the camera for charging.


    My guess is this is a coincidence. Unless the batteries could be induced
    to produce a higher voltage or polarity reversal (against which devices
    are normally protected anyway), it's difficult to see just how a battery
    charged external to the camera could possibly harm the camera, inserting
    with camera on, but even then that shouldn't cause a problem.
    Look on the bright side, you're much better of with the AA's, cheaper
    and readily availabe.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Jul 25, 2004
    #6
  7. "Matti Haveri" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Can it be just a coincidence that my Olympus Stylus/mju300 died and a
    > Nokia cell phone nearly died after I had charged their batteries using
    > an electrical outlet for shavers while on a trip in Spain?
    >
    > Is it a no-go to charge batteries via a shaver outlet? Is this a known
    > problem?? Is the shaver outlet's power output too small or wrong type
    > for a charger? My quick Googling around didn't yield any warnings about
    > this, nor did the camera shops know about this.
    >
    > ...the Olympus Lithium battery was nearly empty so I charged it using
    > the Olympus charger. I connected the charger to the hotel bathroom's
    > shaver outlet. The outlet had three holes: the other side's two holes
    > read 110V and the other side's two holes read 220V. I used the 220V
    > holes because it is what I use at home.
    >
    > The charge went as usual (red charger light turned to green after a
    > couple of hours) but the Olympus didn't power up using this battery or
    > any other known-good battery. The charged battery did power up other
    > cameras so the battery seemed to be OK.
    >
    > Also a Nokia cellphone was charged via the same shaver outlet and it was
    > initially dead after the charge. The phone was OK after it was recharged
    > using a outlet for a TV I later found.
    >
    > BTW, the Olympus is still dead. Olympus wants an outrageous fixed price
    > of 224 euros for _any_ procedure which requires opening the camera. I
    > then heard that Olympus is the only vendor who now refuses to sell parts
    > for independent repair shops (one repair shop was so disgusted at
    > Olympus' recent parts policies that they don't now even touch Olympus
    > cameras). So I couldn't get it even looked at anywhere at a reasonable
    > price.
    >
    > My older camera was Olympus OM2N but after this repair experience I
    > ditched Olympus and got a Nikon instead.
    >
    > --
    > Matti Haveri <mattiDOThaveriATsjokiDOTutaeiroskaaDOTfi> remove ei roskaa


    I've charged batteries in a 120 V charger in Europe using the razor outlet
    in a hotel, with no problem. Usually, there is a simple transformer behind
    the outlet, since razors or electronic circuits don't usually care about 60
    Hz vs 50 Hz supplies.
     
    Marvin Margoshes, Jul 26, 2004
    #7
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