Lithium batteries not recommended?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tnom@mucks.net, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Just purchased a Sony Cybershot DSC-H1...The manual says...

    You can not use lithium batteries. I have always used non
    rechargeable lithium AA's for emergency back ups. Why doesn't
    Sony want these batteries used?
     
    , Sep 13, 2005
    #1
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  2. Kinon O'Cann Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Just purchased a Sony Cybershot DSC-H1...The manual says...
    >
    > You can not use lithium batteries. I have always used non
    > rechargeable lithium AA's for emergency back ups. Why doesn't
    > Sony want these batteries used?


    Probably because the initial voltage of lithium cells is higher than
    alkaline or rechargeable and could damage the camera.
     
    Kinon O'Cann, Sep 13, 2005
    #2
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  3. Dave Cohen Guest

    "Kinon O'Cann" <> wrote in message
    news:EpzVe.3$...
    >
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Just purchased a Sony Cybershot DSC-H1...The manual says...
    >>
    >> You can not use lithium batteries. I have always used non
    >> rechargeable lithium AA's for emergency back ups. Why doesn't
    >> Sony want these batteries used?

    >
    > Probably because the initial voltage of lithium cells is higher than
    > alkaline or rechargeable and could damage the camera.

    Canon says same thing.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Sep 13, 2005
    #3
  4. Ron Hunter Guest

    Kinon O'Cann wrote:
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Just purchased a Sony Cybershot DSC-H1...The manual says...
    >>
    >> You can not use lithium batteries. I have always used non
    >> rechargeable lithium AA's for emergency back ups. Why doesn't
    >> Sony want these batteries used?

    >
    > Probably because the initial voltage of lithium cells is higher than
    > alkaline or rechargeable and could damage the camera.
    >
    >

    LIthium batteries are capable of very high current flow, and if the
    camera is designed for the lower current values of alkalines, then it
    may not be able to handle the lithium battery current. If this is the
    case, then it is a matter of very poor circuit design on the part of Sony.


    --
    Ron Hunter
     
    Ron Hunter, Sep 14, 2005
    #4
  5. ASAAR Guest

    On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 02:40:21 -0500, Ron Hunter wrote:

    >> Probably because the initial voltage of lithium cells is higher than
    >> alkaline or rechargeable and could damage the camera.

    >
    > LIthium batteries are capable of very high current flow, and if the
    > camera is designed for the lower current values of alkalines, then it
    > may not be able to handle the lithium battery current. If this is the
    > case, then it is a matter of very poor circuit design on the part of Sony.


    Cameras are designed to operate over a particular voltage range.
    They aren't designed to use the battery's internal resistance to
    limit the current. I'm quite sure that AA lithium batteries that
    provide slightly lower voltage (whether by pre-using them or by
    using a diode in series with them) would not cause any damage,
    despite their being able to supply greater current than alkalines.
    Put another way, if an external power pack was made from alkaline D
    cells, which probably can supply greater current than lithium AAs,
    the use of the D cells wouldn't damage the camera. The battery type
    capable of delivering the greatest current is NiCad (approx. 1.2 v
    max., just like NiMH), despite their much lower capacity. If the
    manual also says to avoid the use of NiCads, it's probably because
    of their much shorter run time per charge, not because the camera
    would draw too much current.
     
    ASAAR, Sep 14, 2005
    #5
  6. Bill Funk Guest

    On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 02:40:21 -0500, Ron Hunter <>
    wrote:

    >Kinon O'Cann wrote:
    >> <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> Just purchased a Sony Cybershot DSC-H1...The manual says...
    >>>
    >>> You can not use lithium batteries. I have always used non
    >>> rechargeable lithium AA's for emergency back ups. Why doesn't
    >>> Sony want these batteries used?

    >>
    >> Probably because the initial voltage of lithium cells is higher than
    >> alkaline or rechargeable and could damage the camera.
    >>
    >>

    >LIthium batteries are capable of very high current flow, and if the
    >camera is designed for the lower current values of alkalines, then it
    >may not be able to handle the lithium battery current. If this is the
    >case, then it is a matter of very poor circuit design on the part of Sony.


    The way I understand it (and I'm not an EE) is that a device such as a
    camera doesn't care how much current is available, as long as it meets
    the minimum required.
    IOW, a battery pack with 50 Ah won't hurt a camera anymore than a
    battery pack with 2Ah (2000mAh) will.
    No?

    --
    Bill Funk
    Replace "g" with "a"
    funktionality.blogspot.com
     
    Bill Funk, Sep 14, 2005
    #6
  7. Ron Hunter Guest

    ASAAR wrote:
    > On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 02:40:21 -0500, Ron Hunter wrote:
    >
    >>> Probably because the initial voltage of lithium cells is higher than
    >>> alkaline or rechargeable and could damage the camera.

    >> LIthium batteries are capable of very high current flow, and if the
    >> camera is designed for the lower current values of alkalines, then it
    >> may not be able to handle the lithium battery current. If this is the
    >> case, then it is a matter of very poor circuit design on the part of Sony.

    >
    > Cameras are designed to operate over a particular voltage range.
    > They aren't designed to use the battery's internal resistance to
    > limit the current. I'm quite sure that AA lithium batteries that
    > provide slightly lower voltage (whether by pre-using them or by
    > using a diode in series with them) would not cause any damage,
    > despite their being able to supply greater current than alkalines.
    > Put another way, if an external power pack was made from alkaline D
    > cells, which probably can supply greater current than lithium AAs,
    > the use of the D cells wouldn't damage the camera. The battery type
    > capable of delivering the greatest current is NiCad (approx. 1.2 v
    > max., just like NiMH), despite their much lower capacity. If the
    > manual also says to avoid the use of NiCads, it's probably because
    > of their much shorter run time per charge, not because the camera
    > would draw too much current.
    >


    Doesn't compute. An alkaline has an initial voltage of 1.6 volts, and
    the current AA lithiums 1.7 volts. That's just not a significant
    difference, even if 4 are in series. Perhaps someone really KNOWS why
    Sony doesn't recommend lithium disposables. My suggestion was speculation.

    --
    Ron Hunter
     
    Ron Hunter, Sep 15, 2005
    #7
  8. Ron Hunter Guest

    Bill Funk wrote:
    > On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 02:40:21 -0500, Ron Hunter <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Kinon O'Cann wrote:
    >>> <> wrote in message
    >>> news:...
    >>>> Just purchased a Sony Cybershot DSC-H1...The manual says...
    >>>>
    >>>> You can not use lithium batteries. I have always used non
    >>>> rechargeable lithium AA's for emergency back ups. Why doesn't
    >>>> Sony want these batteries used?
    >>> Probably because the initial voltage of lithium cells is higher than
    >>> alkaline or rechargeable and could damage the camera.
    >>>
    >>>

    >> LIthium batteries are capable of very high current flow, and if the
    >> camera is designed for the lower current values of alkalines, then it
    >> may not be able to handle the lithium battery current. If this is the
    >> case, then it is a matter of very poor circuit design on the part of Sony.

    >
    > The way I understand it (and I'm not an EE) is that a device such as a
    > camera doesn't care how much current is available, as long as it meets
    > the minimum required.
    > IOW, a battery pack with 50 Ah won't hurt a camera anymore than a
    > battery pack with 2Ah (2000mAh) will.
    > No?
    >

    That is the way it should be, however engineers have been known to take
    some interesting shortcuts in order to save a few cents per unit in
    consumer devices.


    --
    Ron Hunter
     
    Ron Hunter, Sep 15, 2005
    #8
  9. "Bill Funk" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > The way I understand it (and I'm not an EE) is that a device such as a
    > camera doesn't care how much current is available, as long as it meets
    > the minimum required.


    Well, for what it's worth, I am an EE - and I still can't figure out why
    some manufacturers don't like lithiums. I face the same issue with the
    battery grip for my Canon 20D - I can install 2x proprietary batteries, or
    use a caddy containing 6x AA. With the 2x 1400mA packs install I can take
    over 1000 shots - with 6x AA alkalines installed I can only take a few dozen
    shots - and - you guessed it - I'm "not allowed" to use lithiums.

    I've get to hear a good answer why.
     
    Cockpit Colin, Sep 15, 2005
    #9
  10. imbsysop Guest

    On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 21:58:24 +1200, "Cockpit Colin" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Bill Funk" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >
    >> The way I understand it (and I'm not an EE) is that a device such as a
    >> camera doesn't care how much current is available, as long as it meets
    >> the minimum required.

    >
    >Well, for what it's worth, I am an EE - and I still can't figure out why
    >some manufacturers don't like lithiums. I face the same issue with the
    >battery grip for my Canon 20D - I can install 2x proprietary batteries, or
    >use a caddy containing 6x AA. With the 2x 1400mA packs install I can take
    >over 1000 shots - with 6x AA alkalines installed I can only take a few dozen
    >shots - and - you guessed it - I'm "not allowed" to use lithiums.
    >
    >I've get to hear a good answer why.
    >


    The alkalines cannot deliver the current peaks required, their
    internal resistance is too high, combined with a slow (chemical)
    regeneration this sinks down efficiency like a stone in water ..
     
    imbsysop, Sep 15, 2005
    #10
  11. imbsysop Guest

    On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 03:49:03 -0500, Ron Hunter <>
    wrote:

    >ASAAR wrote:
    >> On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 02:40:21 -0500, Ron Hunter wrote:
    >>
    >>>> Probably because the initial voltage of lithium cells is higher than
    >>>> alkaline or rechargeable and could damage the camera.
    >>> LIthium batteries are capable of very high current flow, and if the
    >>> camera is designed for the lower current values of alkalines, then it
    >>> may not be able to handle the lithium battery current. If this is the
    >>> case, then it is a matter of very poor circuit design on the part of Sony.

    >>
    >> Cameras are designed to operate over a particular voltage range.
    >> They aren't designed to use the battery's internal resistance to
    >> limit the current. I'm quite sure that AA lithium batteries that
    >> provide slightly lower voltage (whether by pre-using them or by
    >> using a diode in series with them) would not cause any damage,
    >> despite their being able to supply greater current than alkalines.
    >> Put another way, if an external power pack was made from alkaline D
    >> cells, which probably can supply greater current than lithium AAs,
    >> the use of the D cells wouldn't damage the camera. The battery type
    >> capable of delivering the greatest current is NiCad (approx. 1.2 v
    >> max., just like NiMH), despite their much lower capacity. If the
    >> manual also says to avoid the use of NiCads, it's probably because
    >> of their much shorter run time per charge, not because the camera
    >> would draw too much current.
    >>

    >
    >Doesn't compute. An alkaline has an initial voltage of 1.6 volts, and
    >the current AA lithiums 1.7 volts. That's just not a significant
    >difference, even if 4 are in series. Perhaps someone really KNOWS why
    >Sony doesn't recommend lithium disposables. My suggestion was speculation.


    Why not ? the initial voltages as you mention for Alkaline and Lithium
    being what they are, in a 2-battery set will have 3V2 or 3V4 where a
    "rechargeable" NiMH will have 2V4. At the delivered peak currents that
    might be more than enough to bust todays micro-electronics .. (look at
    computer CPU power consumption and what overclockers do .. fortunately
    CPU's are build to cope with the 0.1/0.2V overcharge ..)
    What surprises me is that also NiCd's get banned ..
    FWIW
     
    imbsysop, Sep 15, 2005
    #11
  12. redbelly Guest

    imbsysop wrote:

    > The alkalines cannot deliver the current peaks required, their
    > internal resistance is too high, combined with a slow (chemical)
    > regeneration this sinks down efficiency like a stone in water ..


    Do you mean the lithium batteries? They're the ones the manufacturer
    says not to use.

    Mark
     
    redbelly, Sep 15, 2005
    #12
  13. imbsysop Guest

    On 15 Sep 2005 05:29:41 -0700, "redbelly" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >imbsysop wrote:
    >
    >> The alkalines cannot deliver the current peaks required, their
    >> internal resistance is too high, combined with a slow (chemical)
    >> regeneration this sinks down efficiency like a stone in water ..

    >
    >Do you mean the lithium batteries? They're the ones the manufacturer
    >says not to use.


    OP suggested he saw the problems with his 6x alkalines setup ...
    suppose Lithium should eb ok except maybe for their high initial
    Voltage ? (as said here 1.7V?)
     
    imbsysop, Sep 15, 2005
    #13
  14. ASAAR Guest

    On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 12:32:30 +0200, imbsysop wrote:

    >>Well, for what it's worth, I am an EE - and I still can't figure out why
    >>some manufacturers don't like lithiums. I face the same issue with the
    >>battery grip for my Canon 20D - I can install 2x proprietary batteries, or
    >>use a caddy containing 6x AA. With the 2x 1400mA packs install I can
    >> take over 1000 shots - with 6x AA alkalines installed I can only take a
    >> few dozen shots - and - you guessed it - I'm "not allowed" to use lithiums.
    >>
    >> I've get to hear a good answer why.

    >
    > The alkalines cannot deliver the current peaks required, their
    > internal resistance is too high, combined with a slow (chemical)
    > regeneration this sinks down efficiency like a stone in water ..


    That's not the reason. The battery grip was defective, and some
    couldn't even take a few dozen shots. About a month or two ago
    Canon identified which ones should be returned to them for repair
    (based on serial number, IIRC). There's probably a news item about
    it on dpreview.com
     
    ASAAR, Sep 15, 2005
    #14
  15. Bill Funk Guest

    On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 21:58:24 +1200, "Cockpit Colin" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Bill Funk" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >
    >> The way I understand it (and I'm not an EE) is that a device such as a
    >> camera doesn't care how much current is available, as long as it meets
    >> the minimum required.

    >
    >Well, for what it's worth, I am an EE - and I still can't figure out why
    >some manufacturers don't like lithiums. I face the same issue with the
    >battery grip for my Canon 20D - I can install 2x proprietary batteries, or
    >use a caddy containing 6x AA. With the 2x 1400mA packs install I can take
    >over 1000 shots - with 6x AA alkalines installed I can only take a few dozen
    >shots - and - you guessed it - I'm "not allowed" to use lithiums.
    >
    >I've get to hear a good answer why.
    >
    >

    Remembering that I'm not an EE...
    Is it possible that, under the camera's load, the Lithium batteries
    might deliver too much voltage, while the others might have their
    voltages dropped by that same load?

    --
    Bill Funk
    Replace "g" with "a"
    funktionality.blogspot.com
     
    Bill Funk, Sep 15, 2005
    #15
  16. Bill Funk Guest

    On 15 Sep 2005 05:29:41 -0700, "redbelly" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >imbsysop wrote:
    >
    >> The alkalines cannot deliver the current peaks required, their
    >> internal resistance is too high, combined with a slow (chemical)
    >> regeneration this sinks down efficiency like a stone in water ..

    >
    >Do you mean the lithium batteries? They're the ones the manufacturer
    >says not to use.
    >
    >Mark


    You snipped too much; redbelly was answering why alkalines deliver so
    little performance.

    --
    Bill Funk
    Replace "g" with "a"
    funktionality.blogspot.com
     
    Bill Funk, Sep 15, 2005
    #16
  17. ASAAR Guest

    On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 03:49:03 -0500, Ron Hunter wrote:

    >> Cameras are designed to operate over a particular voltage range.
    >> They aren't designed to use the battery's internal resistance to
    >> limit the current. I'm quite sure that AA lithium batteries that
    >> provide slightly lower voltage (whether by pre-using them or by
    >> using a diode in series with them) would not cause any damage,
    >> despite their being able to supply greater current than alkalines.
    >> Put another way, if an external power pack was made from alkaline D
    >> cells, which probably can supply greater current than lithium AAs,
    >> the use of the D cells wouldn't damage the camera. The battery type
    >> capable of delivering the greatest current is NiCad (approx. 1.2 v
    >> max., just like NiMH), despite their much lower capacity. If the
    >> manual also says to avoid the use of NiCads, it's probably because
    >> of their much shorter run time per charge, not because the camera
    >> would draw too much current.
    >>

    >
    > Doesn't compute. An alkaline has an initial voltage of 1.6 volts, and
    > the current AA lithiums 1.7 volts. That's just not a significant
    > difference, even if 4 are in series. Perhaps someone really KNOWS why
    > Sony doesn't recommend lithium disposables. My suggestion was
    > speculation.


    But it was poor, ill-informed speculation to assume that because a
    battery type can deliver higher currents that a camera would draw
    currents in such huge amounts that it would be damaged. I still
    think it may be a voltage related problem. While the difference
    between alkaline and lithium AAs may only be 0.2 volts if 2 AA cells
    are used, that's only the no-load difference. When the camera is
    turned on there's a fairly large current drawn even when the camera
    is doing nothing, and the alkaline battery's higher internal
    resistance should cause the voltage that they're supplying to drop
    substantially lower. Now the voltage difference between alkaline
    and lithium, supplied by fresh batteries to internal circuits might
    rise to 0.5 volts or more. That might well be enough to have some
    internal components operate out of spec. It might not even damage
    the camera, but may result in lower quality images, cause the AF to
    operate more poorly, or have some other side effect.
     
    ASAAR, Sep 15, 2005
    #17
  18. Ron Hunter <> wrote:
    >>> LIthium batteries are capable of very high current flow, and
    >>> if the camera is designed for the lower current values of
    >>> alkalines, then it may not be able to handle the lithium
    >>> battery current. If this is the case, then it is a matter of
    >>> very poor circuit design on the part of Sony.

    >> The way I understand it (and I'm not an EE) is that a device
    >> such as a
    >> camera doesn't care how much current is available, as long as it meets
    >> the minimum required.
    >> IOW, a battery pack with 50 Ah won't hurt a camera anymore than a
    >> battery pack with 2Ah (2000mAh) will.
    >> No?
    >>

    >That is the way it should be, however engineers have been known to take
    >some interesting shortcuts in order to save a few cents per unit in
    >consumer devices.


    It happens that the ability to supply very high currents, even
    if for just a very short time, *can* be very significant. For
    example... in a circuit that charges a capacitor! And when the
    intent is to provide short recycle times, it is very likely that
    indeed the current limiting might well be a function of the
    battery itself.

    That means that it is possible the circuit could draw too much
    current for 1) the battery itself, 2) the wiring (tiny traces),
    or 3) for the available electronics. I would suspect in this
    case it would be the electronics.

    --
    FloydL. Davidson http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
    Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)
     
    Floyd Davidson, Sep 15, 2005
    #18
  19. Guest


    >It happens that the ability to supply very high currents, even
    >if for just a very short time, *can* be very significant. For
    >example... in a circuit that charges a capacitor! And when the
    >intent is to provide short recycle times, it is very likely that
    >indeed the current limiting might well be a function of the
    >battery itself.
    >
    >That means that it is possible the circuit could draw too much
    >current for 1) the battery itself, 2) the wiring (tiny traces),
    >or 3) for the available electronics. I would suspect in this
    >case it would be the electronics.


    You may have found the answer. Lithium's can supply the
    high impulse current used to charge a flash for example.
    However they do this at a higher voltage than the
    recommended NIMH.

    If A 1.2 volt NIMH = 1, then a 1.5 volt lithium = 1.5625

    So that a Lithium AA could potentially increase the wattage
    of a flash by a factor of 1.5625
     
    , Sep 15, 2005
    #19
  20. ASAAR Guest

    On Thu, 15 Sep 2005 16:18:51 -0400, wrote:

    > You may have found the answer. Lithium's can supply the
    > high impulse current used to charge a flash for example.
    > However they do this at a higher voltage than the
    > recommended NIMH.
    > If A 1.2 volt NIMH = 1, then a 1.5 volt lithium = 1.5625
    >
    > So that a Lithium AA could potentially increase the wattage
    > of a flash by a factor of 1.5625


    That's not correct, for several reasons. You didn't consider that
    alkaline batteries are not prohibited, and they have voltages more
    in line with lithium than NiMH batteries. It also assumes that the
    charging circuit charges the flash capacitor to levels based on the
    existing battery voltage. This would produce widely varying flash
    power, depending on whether the batteries are fully charged/fresh or
    near the end of their capacity. Not a slight, but a very large
    difference, which would produce inconsistently lighted images.

    Lastly, the flash capacitor is charged to a much higher voltage
    than that supplied by the batteries. As the batteries are depleted,
    the time required to charge the flash capacitor increases. While
    this isn't clear proof that the charging circuit is trying to boost
    the capacitor's voltages to a predetermined fixed level, that's what
    it is doing, as can implied by the specifications listed in the
    manuals provided with the better flash units. In other words, if a
    battery was used that provided a high voltage (higher than 1.5
    volts), the charging circuit would cut off when the flash capacitor
    reached its appropriate charge level, and wouldn't overcharge the
    capacitor due to the voltage supplied to the charging circuit being
    higher than NiMH batteries provide.
     
    ASAAR, Sep 15, 2005
    #20
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