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External batteries

simon_711

New Member
Just wanted to throw a subject out to everyone about batteries. On my previous camera (an old Olympus e10) I was using batteries at an alarming rate and im my search for a solution I came across the Digipower DPS-9000S. This solved my problems, I could take about 150 flash photos with the built in flash before I had to recharge. So lastnight I tried it on my sd10 and it works like a champ. It plugs into the external power plug and is auto setting for voltage. I will update as I try it out with this camera, not knowing yet how power hungry it is.

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laurence2

Well-Known Member
What great timing! Thank you for posting this information.

My SD-14 is eating up batteries at a fast rate also. I don't know if the batteries are just not holding a charge, or what. However, the original battery that came with the camera is not performing well either. Unless...maybe there is something going on with the SD-14 that needs to be fixed. It's disappointing to have to change and charge batteries after only about 1 hour of use.:mad: Luckily, I have four batteries so that I can keep on shooting -- but not all that long, darn it.
 

Robert.4507

Well-Known Member
Hi Laurence,

Sorry to hear about your experience with the battery life. Do you think the charger is topping off the cells completely?

My SD14 came with the Sigma BP21 and it works well. I would say it gets more than 250 shots per charge. I purchased an SD kit and the vendor supplied a spare battery CTA Minolta DB-NP-400 1500mAh. Its first charge produced about 50-60 exposures. During the first ten days, the performance only got worse. Down to less than 20 exposures. The vendor replaced the battery with same model and the performance is better.

During the time that I tried to condition the battery, I purchased two more. Type Lenmar DLM400 1600 mAh. Both started with about 50 exposures first charge cycle and then conditioned with several charges. They get more than 250 exposures per charge and have a very slow self discharge rate.

I have not done a very precise performance study between the three different types of batteries. However, it does seem like I change the DB-NP-400 more frequently than the others. All four batteries are about 4 months old.

The characteristic of the battery that failed: the performance degraded over a period of 10 days. By the end of the first two weeks, going straight from the charger to camera, by the 4th shot the battery icon was already blinking. I was prompt to notify the vendor and they replaced it without hassle, but would not drop ship the replacement, until they received the defective unit.

If you have a multi-meter, it would be possible to check the voltage of the cells after a complete charge cycle. Are all the batteries the same? Or is one the sigma and the other three different?

I hope you find some of this helpful. It does not sound like normal operation what you describe.

Good luck with your camera and pictures,

Robert
 

netzuser

Banned
This link gives a bit more info on it: (watch the date)
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I prefere the PG21,it has the additional release botton and can be equiped
with cheap NP-400 replacement batteries. :)
Regards
Uwe
 

Guest .

Banned
Well,...

the PG21 battery grip might be a good idea to those who find the SD better to hold in hands making use of it.

Energy supply is not much of a problem using a single standard NP-400 accumulator in cam.

Full capacity is always available after recharging it several times.... so no panic if it runs flat quickly when it is new.:rolleyes:

See you with nice pictures

Klaus
 

laurence2

Well-Known Member
Wow! THANKS Jesito, and THANKS Uwe! And THANKS Klaus! It's great to have others' knowledge about these things.

Oh...and Jesito, I wanted to let you know that the procedure you sent me to disassemble the aperture lever on the Pentax mount, so that it won't protude into the SD-14 IR dust shield, worked great! I love that I haven't degraded the mount, and that it's reversible!

You guys, I'm today in the process of discharging all my batteries (original Sigma and 4 BP-400s), using the slideshow feature on the SD-14. I will then number them and do some comparisons after charging them all up. I need to weed out the differences to see if any of them are still strong.

Thanks again!
 

OyvindS

Well-Known Member
User tips

Laurence

You might find something useful here:
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Wow! THANKS Jesito, and THANKS Uwe! And THANKS Klaus! It's great to have others' knowledge about these things.

Oh...and Jesito, I wanted to let you know that the procedure you sent me to disassemble the aperture lever on the Pentax mount, so that it won't protude into the SD-14 IR dust shield, worked great! I love that I haven't degraded the mount, and that it's reversible!

You guys, I'm today in the process of discharging all my batteries (original Sigma and 4 BP-400s), using the slideshow feature on the SD-14. I will then number them and do some comparisons after charging them all up. I need to weed out the differences to see if any of them are still strong.

Thanks again!

Be prepared to charge them each several times.
Li-ion should not actually need to be seasoned, but it might be some cell-alignment.
Good that you use the slide show to empty them, just shorting the connectors is not good for the battery.
Also, never leave batteries discharged for longer periods, as they leak a little, and it is critical if they go below a certain treshhold.

My single battery (Sigma BP-21) has lasted for nearly two years now, and 16.000+ shots. At best I got 400 RAWs in one charge, still I get several houndreds.

Kind regards
Øyvind Strøm
 

laurence2

Well-Known Member
Laurence

You might find something useful here:
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Be prepared to charge them each several times.
Li-ion should not actually need to be seasoned, but it might be some cell-alignment.
Good that you use the slide show to empty them, just shorting the connectors is not good for the battery.
Also, never leave batteries discharged for longer periods, as they leak a little, and it is critical if they go below a certain treshhold.

My single battery (Sigma BP-21) has lasted for nearly two years now, and 16.000+ shots. At best I got 400 RAWs in one charge, still I get several houndreds.

Kind regards
Øyvind Strøm

THANKS Oyvind! I already have them marked to charge and discharge three times, just to be sure.

And, I do know that one of the BP-400 / BP-21 was sitting in the camera case for about 4 or 5 months. That would certainly explain it - I got about 50 shots out of it, perhaps 45 minutes of shooting time.

Yes, using the slideshow is the way to go. I wouldn't even want to attempt a "fast short" on the batteries to drain them.

Excellent information, and I appreciate it.

Laurence (Larry)
 

sendhil76

Active Member
Hello Laurence,

Li-Ion chemistry does not require any initial charge-discharge cycles for full capacity conditioning.

If you are are having short discharge cycles...i would suggest checking the battery with a multimeter for full charge voltage and voltage when discharging at 0.7C , roughly equal to 1A with the 1500mAh battery. And you can please share that data here as it will be useful for me to study them when going about the same with my set of batteries! (I think your battery cycle life is nearing its end...probably old batch...BUT only proper tests can give accurate understanding!)

Interesting to read this post as just today i finished designing and procuring components for a portable Li-Ion battery charger! (Going on a trekking expedition next week which will keep me away from human habitation and technology for over two weeks in sub-zero temp!) Am going to build it tomorrow and will run some tests on my batteries to let you know what voltages and currents to look out for when testing your batteries!

Also, most interesting thing about Li-Ion chemistry is that its 'end of life' starts the day the battery is manufactured...irrespective of the charge-discharge cycles or how well you have maintained your battery. (Unlike Lead Acid which can be maintained for years.)

Takeaway: ALWAYS buy LATEST batch of Li-Ion batteries.

For long term storage, ensure battery state of charge is not more than 50% and put in refrigerator or approx. temp. of 10 deg Celsius. (This tip is "just in case" and not a good way to go as capacity loss will still happen though at a slower rate.)

Hope this helps!

Stay well.
Sendhil.

P.s: Yvind, i am VERY envious that you got 400 shots from your battery...thats something which i have never experienced!!!
 

OyvindS

Well-Known Member
Batteries continues

Hi

Hello Laurence,

Li-Ion chemistry does not require any initial charge-discharge cycles for full capacity conditioning.

If you are are having short discharge cycles...i would suggest checking the battery with a multimeter for full charge voltage and voltage when discharging at 0.7C , roughly equal to 1A with the 1500mAh battery. And you can please share that data here as it will be useful for me to study them when going about the same with my set of batteries! (I think your battery cycle life is nearing its end...probably old batch...BUT only proper tests can give accurate understanding!)

Interesting to read this post as just today i finished designing and procuring components for a portable Li-Ion battery charger! (Going on a trekking expedition next week which will keep me away from human habitation and technology for over two weeks in sub-zero temp!) Am going to build it tomorrow and will run some tests on my batteries to let you know what voltages and currents to look out for when testing your batteries!

Also, most interesting thing about Li-Ion chemistry is that its 'end of life' starts the day the battery is manufactured...irrespective of the charge-discharge cycles or how well you have maintained your battery. (Unlike Lead Acid which can be maintained for years.)

Takeaway: ALWAYS buy LATEST batch of Li-Ion batteries.

For long term storage, ensure battery state of charge is not more than 50% and put in refrigerator or approx. temp. of 10 deg Celsius. (This tip is "just in case" and not a good way to go as capacity loss will still happen though at a slower rate.)

Hope this helps!

Stay well.
Sendhil.

P.s: Yvind, i am VERY envious that you got 400 shots from your battery...thats something which i have never experienced!!!

I have read reports who says more than 1000 shots on one charge... No further details.

I am also aware that Li-Ion chemistry should not require discharge-charge cycles, but never the less, most users get improved battery life after a few recycles. As I wrote, I suspect it could be something with cell alignment.


Kind regards
Øyvind
 

kakou

Active Member
I have read reports who says more than 1000 shots on one charge... No further details.

That sounds awfully high, and with no further details, I would be quite skeptical.

I am also aware that Li-Ion chemistry should not require discharge-charge cycles, but never the less, most users get improved battery life after a few recycles. As I wrote, I suspect it could be something with cell alignment.

I don't know what you mean about 'cell alignment.' A discharge cycle simply recalibrates the battery level indicator in the camera (or laptop or whatever) to match what's actually being reported by the battery, instead of shutting down prematurely.
 

laurence2

Well-Known Member
Well, I have some non-scientific data to share with my charge/discharge cycles of the five batteries that I use.

Unfortunately I don't have a multi-meter, so couldn't use any baseline voltages for comparison.

However, here is some useful information, or at least I think it is. :z02_deal:

1. Batteries: 4 Minolta NP-400, and 1 Sigma BP-21 (All the same of course).
2. Test: Discharge and charge batteries 3 times.
3. Log the discharge time of fully charged battery on Sigma SD-14 "looping slideshow", with 2-second intervals, mode.

Oldest battery Minolta NP-400 about 4 years old, and approximately 35 discharge/charge cycles over lifetime:
Discharge time on slideshow: 12 minutes

Battery Minolta NP-400 about 4 years old, and approximately 30 discharge/charge cycles over lifetime:
Discharge time on slideshow: 28 minutes

Battery Minolta NP-400 about 18 months old, and approximately 15 discharge/charge cycles over lifetime:
Discharge time on slideshow: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Battery Minolta NP-400 about 18 months old, and approximately 10 discharge/charge cycles over lifetime:
Discharge time on slideshow: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Battery Sigma BP-21 about 2 months old, and approximately 10 discharge/charge cycles over lifetime:
Discharge time on slideshow: 4 hours, 36 minutes

Conclusion: Obviously pretty much what I would suspect -
1. As the battery ages, the ability to hold a full charge decreases.
2. The higher numbers of charge/recharge cycles possibly reduces ability to hold a full charge.
3. Surprised with the high degree of degradation of the older batteries that have about 30-35 cycles. I thought they
would do better, since they are advertised as capable of "hundreds of cycles".

What I will do:
1. I will retire the two oldest batteries to the recycle bin.
2. I will continue to keep track of the remaining three batteries, so that I know when to retire batteries and purchase new.
 

OyvindS

Well-Known Member
That sounds awfully high, and with no further details, I would be quite skeptical.

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I don't know what you mean about 'cell alignment.' A discharge cycle simply recalibrates the battery level indicator in the camera (or laptop or whatever) to match what's actually being reported by the battery, instead of shutting down prematurely.

A recalibration of the battery level indicator? Possibly, but why is several recycles needed then?
I have read about cell alignment somewhere...

kind regards
Øyvind Strøm
 

Guest .

Banned
Hi All,

1) Li ION Batteries do not have any memory-effect-problems! Therefore you do not have to recharge them from time to time to "format" all the cells, wired in line.
2) Li ION Batteries develop their full capacity not until several recharging cycles.
3) After their "peak performance" they constantly decrease in their capacity.
4) After around 300 complete recharging cycles their capacity will have run down to ca. 40% .... time to replace them!

However ... I think the SD14 is quite well powerd with a quality NP-400 battery. When out of power, It takes just a few seconds having it reloaded again.:) I do not see any real problems coming up with power supply.

See you with nice pictures

Klaus
 

laurence2

Well-Known Member
Hello Klaus. Thank you for the information. In my case, it seems it only took about 35 cycles for the older ones to become weak. However, they are pretty old as well -- does just "sitting" over time weaken these batteries? I understand that they will discharge over those longer times, but I am surprised that mine are only taking a weak charge.
 

kakou

Active Member
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That says he gets 300-400 most of the time (which in my experience is on the high side as it is), with the 1000 apparently a bit of a fluke.

A recalibration of the battery level indicator? Possibly, but why is several recycles needed then?

Maybe the new battery has no calibration data at all or it's way off because the battery has been sitting in a box for a while not being used, and it needs more than just one cycle to fully calibrate it?

I have read about cell alignment somewhere...

I'd be curious to see what that is, since I've never heard of it.
 

kakou

Active Member
does just "sitting" over time weaken these batteries? I understand that they will discharge over those longer times, but I am surprised that mine are only taking a weak charge.

Lithium Ion batteries degrade whether you use them or not. 2-3 years is typical until the reduced capacity becomes a problem, sometimes maybe a little longer.
 

Guest .

Banned
Well yes ... decay starts with having them charged the first time.

Never used, they can grow really old. Do not ask me why (I am no chemist) .... I just read it.

See you with nice pictures

Klaus
 

laurence2

Well-Known Member
kakou and Klaus, thank you. Of course I also assumed that they degrade over time...I was just surprised at how much the older ones degraded, with the combination of a couple of years time, but only about 35 cycles.

So it appears that I will more than likely look at exchanging batteries out at least every couple years or so.

So at least something came out of it.


Looks like we can pretty much toss this thread now. THANK YOU, all of you, for helping me to clarify why my own batteries degraded so heavily.
 

Steaphany

Well-Known Member
To the rumors of 1000 shots from a single BP-21, I have a comparable example.

I have two BP-21s, the first came with my SD14, purchased in October 2008 and the second in January 2009. I did not specifically perform a break in and simply gave each an initial full charge before putting them to use. I also purchased my Power Grip at the same time as the second BP-21 and since they have been used together and charged when the SD14 shows that their power is not at peak.

This past Easter, I set up my SD14 to run a time lapse shoot and I decided to stop when the SD14 was flashing the battery level indicator. After the SD14 settled from it's marathon, no more than 10 seconds after pressing the stop button on the intervalometer, the battery indicator stopped flashing, so it was not actually as low as it indicated.

Now, the numbers: 2,147 exposures, one every 5 seconds for 179 minutes. The focus was set to manual and no flash was needed or used.

I have a link to the time lapse video here in my original thread:

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Anyone can watch the video to see every exposure, this was no fluke and it's not a myth or rumor. At the time, I had no idea that my SD14 was running so well and I was actually disappointed to have to cut my time lapse shoot short.
 
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