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Batteries


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21 replies to this topic

#1 finGrabber

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 03:18 PM

Hey Dan,

what are the best batteries for any Oly 5050?? Since Grenada is only 2 months away, I want to solve my battery issue

Kimmie

#2 Scubatooth

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 05:04 PM

For my C5050 I use rechargeable as they have twice the power of alkaline.


The power issue with allot of digital cameras is that even when the camera is off and the batteries are installed they are still being discharged slightly and if left for a month or two when you turn on the camera and take a shot or two the batteries are empty for the camera at least. Normally there is some life left in the cells for non-high power devices light flashlights, keyboards, my film cameras, etc.

What I normally do is that I use a set of alkaline cells in the camera when in storage and then for when I'm shooting I use rechargeable.

This above is for alkaline; I will get into the rechargeable below.

If I go to techie on something just ask me to simplify.

To power my rig I have been using Sanyo nickel metal hydride (Nimh) cells to power the camera, strobes and focus lights. The ratings of the cells are between 2100-2500 mah (milli amp hour) cells, and there are AA NiMH cells up to 2700 mah. There are several versions of cells on the market that you can get through several sellers. My recommendation for sellers that these cells and chargers are ripvan100.com and Thomas-distributing.com, the first being for cells and the second for chargers (see below)

I normally get the industrial cells which are normally shrink wrapped in a single color and has the specs stamped onto it. The industrial cells are in my opinion are the best cells in that they are tested at the factory to make sure that they are going to survive there first 10 charges, which if a cell is going to die that when it will happen this testing you don’t get with branding shrink wrapped cells for rechargeables. Also the cells testing makes sure that the cells are close in capacities so that when being used one cell doesn’t discharge quicker then the rest and cause the device they are in to power off. beyond this theres not much to the cells other then charge and use them. The industrial cells are at times alittle cheaper then the branded cells but it depends on the seller. I will mention though that the new Enloop cells on the market are iffy right now as im seeing a split in reviews, so the jury is still out and i will review them in about a year when theres more information about them.


As for chargers there is only one charger that I recommend and that is the lacrosse BC-900. The reason I like this charger and recommend as it is charges each cell individually and I can adjust the charge rates of each cell and see how much charge the cell takes and how long it charged for, reasons behind this are over time if you know how the cells have charged you are able to see if a cell is starting to fail. The other feature of this charger that I really like is that I can cycle the cells to keep them in top condition. By cycle I mean charge and then discharge them as if the cells are allowed to sit for a period of time they may not be able to work to the full potential until they have been cycled a few times to get them fully “awake”. Normally before a major period where I will be shooting a lot I will start about a week out and will cycle all of my cycles about 5 times before I get to the event where I will need all of the power out of them. This same procedure works well if your cells have sat unused for a long period of time as it will wake them up and help them work to a minimum of ~80% of there rated capacity. Also it really doesn’t matter if you store the cells full or almost empty as I haven’t seen any proof that it hurts them. If the cells have been unused for a long period of time they will need to be recharged because of self-discharging.

I have been doing this for almost 10 years now with nicd and nimh and this process I haven’t had any cells let me down. The lacrosse charger is about $40 and to some may seem expensive but to me it’s the best money I have ever spent and I have 5 of these chargers and it gives me peace of mind that my batteries will be ready when I need them.


Even if you don’t use this charger my only recommendation is to stay away from “Fast chargers” in that they will in short work kill your batteries and you will be lucky if they last a year or more of doing fast charges. Look for a charger that charges at a max of 500 mah(.5 Amp hour) as for AA rechargeables that’s the fastest you would want to use as this is where the life-span Vs. power curves meet.

The major difference between alkaline cells and rechargables is that overtime they self discharge to zero. This can be a couple of days to a month it depends on the cells, if in doubt put the batteries on the charger and top them off as NiMH cells don’t have the same level of memory as NiCd cells did, they still have it but its reversible by cycling the cells like with the procedure above.


Does this help, did I confuse anyone?

Tooth

You (or anyone) interested in a back up c5050 or two plus a oly housing? I may be moving up to another camera and may sell my current setup.

Edited by Scubatooth, 04 April 2007 - 05:09 PM.

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#3 DandyDon

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 06:48 PM

Damn! Nice article there, Dan. Lots of good info. I knew some of it already, learned a lot still.

NiMH are not as bad as NiCDs about "memory" effect. I used to discharge my cell-phone weekly but now they all use Lithium, I think. I still do this with my portable phones at home - discharge & recharge weekly, leave them off of cradle 6.5 days a week. It irks me to see one left on the cradle all the time.

For rechargeable AA batteries, I learned the hard way that Wal-mart is not my friend. Finally got some good ones, but bought them from Thompson when I ordered my charger. This is the link to the one Dan suggested, and I see they have it on sale. :welcome: http://www.thomas-di...ery_charger.php

On previous advice from another photographer, I ordered this one from Thompson: http://www.thomas-di...buy.php3?page=a I used to drain my camera batteries after every trip, but love how I can use the charger to do now - just click once to drain & recharge.
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#4 Latitude Adjustment

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 06:51 PM

Kim I use rechargeables in my 5050 and change batteries every three dives. I buy the batteries and charger from Thomas distributing and have never had a problem with any of their stuff.
The charger I use will do AA, C and D batteries so I have all of my lights, camera and strobes covered.
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#5 Scubatooth

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 07:15 PM

Don

your right on the nicds, the process i had to go through with them to keep them in top shape was a pain in the rear to say the least and that was cells for my camera. It was much more complicated for the nicd cells i used when i was a sponsored RC car driver. The treatment of those cells(nicd) is almost a black art and voodoo as you are trying to pull everylast drop of power out of them. If i told you the procedures for those it would make your head spin to keep the cells from building any memory that would reduce the performance of the cells, and wasnt reversable.

with Nimh cells its much simpler to deal with and if the cell starts to develop some memory all you have to do is drain it all the way with a flash light and recharge and do it again and your back to when they where new.

Ray
Thats about the average i have heard from various boards; it depends on the shooter. Normally after 2 dives with the way i shoot on average the batteries are empty as im getting the red battery indicator on the 5050, but not flashing yet. I have had dives where i had to change batteries and cards (2gb) because there was alot to see on that dive(cozy prior to wilma). if i havent drained them i will discharge and recharge them for the next day or set of dives as i have another set of batteries on the chargers ready to go.


For the batteries look at this site. www.ripvan100.com under products and you will see sanyo 2700 mah cells for 3.50 a cell, and it appears the dont have the sanyo 2300 or 2500 mah cells anymore.

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#6 netmage

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 10:08 AM

Dan, Thanks for the links... Fortunately I have a 5% off coupon from Thomas from a recent C777II+ purchase, so its time to order more gadgets...

Now that lobster season is over, I need something to do on reef dives, might aswell pull the camera out... it's gotten a little dusty... Pulled out the batteries, placed them on the charger for a few hours, loaded em in the camera and headed for the boat. Jumped in the water and the darn thing wouldn't even power on... WTF...! Had to do a whole dive w/ an anchor clipped of.... (SP-350 & I have the firmware upgrade thats supposed to fix rechargable issues....)

And the lobsters definately know when the season is up..., ran into 7-8 of 'em on the reef....

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#7 Scubatooth

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 10:21 AM

Tim

your more then welcome for the info. Im going to take what i wrote and clean it up a little bit and make a good article out of it and i will post on SD (plus some other articles and reviews i need to finish) in this section.

let me know how many shots and bottom time you are getting on a set of AA in the sp350 as im looking at that camera to upgrade to but want to get some real world times to see if i should stay with AA or get the moby rechargeable CRv3 Li-ion battery from thomas-distributing Link

on your problem was that with AA or Li-ion cells? check a different set of batteries, if you still have a problem post it here and i will type out the steps to find where the problem is

Dan

Edited by Scubatooth, 05 April 2007 - 10:23 AM.

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#8 shadragon

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 10:44 AM

Agreed, I bought some 2500 NiMH AA's before I went to the Red Sea last year (There are 2900's out today). I use two in my Sealife camera and four in each of the two strobes. I took almost 125+ U/W pictures with the camera without a change of batteries. Didn't take a charger with me, but I did take a full replacement set of NiMH AA's and never used them. :thankyou: I did change the batteries in the camera before downloading the pics when I got home, but that was just precautionary.

I plan on taking my camera to Grenada with a fresh set of batteries installed and with the case seals greased. I hope to not crack the case as long as I am down there.

I drain and recharge them on a monthly basis to try and keep them in good shape. They have lasted very well and I have no complaints.

I tried NiCD's and threw them away (in the drug store battery recycling box - just in case there are any environmentalists out there...). In high drain devices like strobes they simply do not last.

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#9 DandyDon

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 12:14 PM

I took almost 125+ U/W pictures with the camera without a change of batteries. Didn't take a charger with me, but I did take a full replacement set of NiMH AA's and never used them.


You took 125 pics on a trip to the Red? I'll take that many in a day, then decide what I like. I do take the charger on trips, as well as the laptop to download. .

No, my pics are not great quality, but my non-diving friends enjoy them, and I've had some good comments from divers...
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#10 netmage

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 12:48 PM

on your problem was that with AA or Li-ion cells? check a different set of batteries, if you still have a problem post it here and i will type out the steps to find where the problem is


I'd run away from the Moby cells.. I bought two sets and the charger from Thomas when I first got the camera, had issues with a set right off the bat, Thomas sent me another, and all three did't last more than 1-2 charges. I havn't pushed it w/ them, I just don't have any confidence in them right now. I hook them up the volt meter, and they all register 0.00v

I'm using generics and Energizer 2500ma NiMH cells.

Be cautious about switching to the SP-350 now..., Costco used to carry them for a great price, now the ony place I've traced down is Olympus directly for refurb's.... If they've discontinued it, you might be able to pick up housings cheap... Since I have so much invested in the rig (Ikelite housing, strobe, etc), I'm going to pick up a spare or two just in case from their ebay store.
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#11 netmage

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:17 AM

Well, my 2 Lacrosse chargers arrived, and I setup 8 batteries to refresh..., I left the charge rate at the default, 200ma, so 2-3 days later and its still going strong. At least the charge cycle is creeping higher and higher... Another day or two, and I might actually get 2500-2700ma out of these babies!
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#12 Scubatooth

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:49 AM

might want to check the program there on as they may have charged and then discharged and then recharged as 2500 charging at 200 mah will be done in 12-13 hours.

I charge all of my batteries at 500mah and there done in about 5.5 hours but i use the charge program only and discharge with a flash light till they dim and then recharge.

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#13 divzac

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 12:41 PM

Wowww! Nice job everyone! Now I guess that I will have no excuses when it comes to battery issues and my 5050. Very informative, Thanks,Zach
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#14 netmage

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 01:32 PM

might want to check the program there on as they may have charged and then discharged and then recharged as 2500 charging at 200 mah will be done in 12-13 hours.

I charge all of my batteries at 500mah and there done in about 5.5 hours but i use the charge program only and discharge with a flash light till they dim and then recharge.

Tooth


Yea they are running on "Refresh" mode... so the repetative cycles to eliminate memory and bring to optimum capacity....
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#15 Scubatooth

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 02:09 PM

ok that might explain it. Try the flash light trick i mentioned above it helps to train the batteries to perform better (higher load then the charger is doing). I have done this since my days of being a sponsored RC car driver (offroad 2wd, buggy, truck and 4wd) where you need ever last drop out of them (in loads similar to what these cameras do when the flash is on. its comparable to a dead start where drawing 30 to 50+ amps in a short period of time isnt unheard of) doing this gets the batts to perform at top level till the last bit then the fall off the cliff instead going down gradually over the discharge curve.


I have a complete routine i go through with my batts i will post tomorrow as I have a test in a hour im studying for. Also I was sent some enloop cells by one of my old sponsors try out for product research.

Tooth

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