HP Photosmart 318, Always Thinks Batteries are Low

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by M.H., Feb 13, 2007.

  1. M.H.

    M.H. Guest

    I have a HP Photosmart 318 camera, and the problem is that it never
    thinks the batteries inside of it are charged. It will complain of low
    battery life, even if I've inserted fresh AA batteries that read over
    1.5V using a Digital Multimeter. I've tried leaving the battery
    compartment empty for hours, but then encounter the same issue again
    when inserting batteries. The contacts inside of the battery
    compartment are clean, although the black paint over the contacts is
    slightly worn away. I've noticed this seems to be a not uncommon issue
    with the Photosmart 318. Is there anything I can do to fix it? Thanks.
     
    M.H., Feb 13, 2007
    #1
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  2. M.H.

    ASAAR Guest

    On Tue, 13 Feb 2007 23:58:40 GMT, M.H. wrote:

    > I have a HP Photosmart 318 camera, and the problem is that it never
    > thinks the batteries inside of it are charged. It will complain of low
    > battery life, even if I've inserted fresh AA batteries that read over
    > 1.5V using a Digital Multimeter. I've tried leaving the battery
    > compartment empty for hours, but then encounter the same issue again
    > when inserting batteries. The contacts inside of the battery
    > compartment are clean, although the black paint over the contacts is
    > slightly worn away. I've noticed this seems to be a not uncommon issue
    > with the Photosmart 318. Is there anything I can do to fix it? Thanks.


    Uh, I've *never* encountered paint over any battery contacts.
    When alkaline batteries leak, they usually leave a whitish deposit,
    so I don't have any explanation for what may have produced the black
    coating. I'd try scraping it off to see if you can get down to bare
    metal, but before doing that, I'd check with HP to find out if the
    black stuff was put there intentionally and serves some purpose.

    BTW, batteries may provide short life, but battery meters or
    indicators don't complain about "low battery life". They'll
    complain about low voltage, which can imply little remaining life.
    But if for some reason the meter or indicator is inaccurate and
    providing bad information, the camera may still be getting the
    expected life from its batteries. The manual should indicate what
    kind of battery performance the Photosmart 318 gets from both
    alkaline and NiMH batteries. How does this compare with what you
    actually are getting? You can live with an inaccurate meter, but if
    the camera is getting very short life from the batteries, it's time
    to replace it with one that works properly. With the exception of
    extremely expensive cameras, if you no longer have warranty
    protection it's almost never cost effective to have a camera
    repaired.
     
    ASAAR, Feb 14, 2007
    #2
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  3. M.H.

    M.H. Guest

    ASAAR wrote:
    > But if for some reason the meter or indicator is inaccurate and
    > providing bad information, the camera may still be getting the
    > expected life from its batteries.


    It's not. When it incorrectly believes the batteries to be drained, it
    refuses to take pictures. Although after a few seconds, it just shuts
    itself off. The batteries are fully charged, as measured both before
    and after with a DMM.
     
    M.H., Feb 14, 2007
    #3
  4. M.H.

    Eugene Guest

    M.H. wrote:

    > ASAAR wrote:
    >> But if for some reason the meter or indicator is inaccurate and
    >> providing bad information, the camera may still be getting the
    >> expected life from its batteries.

    >
    > It's not. When it incorrectly believes the batteries to be drained, it
    > refuses to take pictures. Although after a few seconds, it just shuts
    > itself off. The batteries are fully charged, as measured both before
    > and after with a DMM.


    What kind of batteries? Also a DMM doesn't present an accurate measurement
    of battery voltage because battery voltage can drop depending on load. So
    a low battery can show a good voltage when measured by a light load like a
    DMM but when a real load is put on them it will drop low.
     
    Eugene, Feb 14, 2007
    #4
  5. M.H.

    ASAAR Guest

    On Tue, 13 Feb 2007 21:50:39 -0500, Eugene wrote:

    >> It's not. When it incorrectly believes the batteries to be drained, it
    >> refuses to take pictures. Although after a few seconds, it just shuts
    >> itself off. The batteries are fully charged, as measured both before
    >> and after with a DMM.

    >
    > What kind of batteries? Also a DMM doesn't present an accurate measurement
    > of battery voltage because battery voltage can drop depending on load. So
    > a low battery can show a good voltage when measured by a light load like a
    > DMM but when a real load is put on them it will drop low.


    I completely agree. A DMM can't provide useful battery
    information unless the batteries are so bad that even under the
    DMM's extremely low load the batteries show low voltage. But from
    what M.H. said, there's probably something wrong with the camera.
    Bad rechargeable batteries can sometimes trick people into thinking
    that they are fully charged when they really aren't usable, but
    since the camera won't work with fresh alkalines either . . . uh oh.
    I hope those alkalines were really fresh, and not just considered
    fresh just because the DMM said they were. <g>

    A last resort test would be to try lithium AA batteries, which
    have a slightly higher voltage than alkalines. If they also can't
    allow the HP 318 to operate, they should be removed and saved. The
    camera might have some scrap value on eBay, but I'd either toss the
    camera or have someone embed it in a block of Lucite, since as a
    paperweight it might then once again have more value than the
    lithium AA batteries. :)
     
    ASAAR, Feb 14, 2007
    #5
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