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Old January 24th, 2012, 08:29 AM   #1
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Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

I was wondering if anyone has advice on what rechargeable AA batteries they are using on their Tascam DR-100.

We recently had to use AAs as the main Lithium Ion battery ran out during a shoot. However of all the AAs we tried none seem to have enough to last more than a few minutes (literally!). We were using a radio mic via XLR input which I am guessing requires more. According to the manual the recommended NiMH batteries are "HR15/51" but this code doesn't seem to bring up any definite options here in the UK.

Any advice or experience would be greatly appreciated!
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Old January 24th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #2
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

If Phantom power is activated using some receivers, (G2/3 for instance) that can drain a recorder or mixer battery in a few minutes.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 03:40 AM   #3
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

Thanks Rick.

I do know that the Phantom power was definitely switched off on the Tascam itself, but didn't realise that the radio mic receiver also has a Phantom power switch too.....? Is that what you are suggesting? I'll have to admit that I thought Phantom power didn't apply to radio mics. We were using Sennheiser EK100 G2s....
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Old January 28th, 2012, 09:37 PM   #4
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

Have you selected the correct battery type in the DR-100's software menu. That could account for an erroneous battery scale reading.
Receivers DO NOT have Phantom power or said switches. Nor do body pack transmitters. Some plug-in transmitters do, but that would not cause external device battery drain issues.
"HR15/51" .. AA batteries are AA batteries, though most rechargeables have slightly less voltage, that wound not account for your problem. If the recorder's Phantom prw. is out of the equation, and you ruled out a bad batch of batteries... I would suspect a faulty unit. You should get a minimum 4 hours or so.

Last edited by Rick Reineke; January 29th, 2012 at 09:48 AM.
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Old January 30th, 2012, 04:38 AM   #5
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

Many thanks Rick. I can confirm that the Phantom power switch is off on the Tascam unit, and that the battery selection option is correct -either 'Alkali' for non-chargeable or 'Ni-MH' for rechargeable AAs.

I am interested to hear that you can get 4 hours using AAs on your unit when recording via XLR (no Phantom power) -have I got that correct? I will test another batch of batteries this week and see if I can get anything beyond the few minutes that resulted last time. Otherwise maybe it is a faulty unit.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 09:30 AM   #6
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

Hello, I seem to be having this same problem but cant find a solution anywhere.
I have a Sennheiser MKH50 in input 1 of my DR100 and a Sennheiser G3 Radio Mic Receiver in input 2. Once the radio mic receiver is plugged in, my battery life lasts around 5 minutes. Can anybody explain why?
I have tried switching to line level but get no signal from either input.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 09:37 PM   #7
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

I am going to check that in a minute. I have a brand new DR 100Mk2 sitting on my desk. I will say this about the included lithium battery. I ran a test yesterday to see how long it last. Well I got a total of 6 1/2 hours using a Senny ew 100 g3 lav. (no phantom) The interesting thing and why I ran the test was, that the battery seems to drop bars really quickly. You start out with 3 bars. Within 30 minutes i was at 2 bars. At about 2 hours I only had one bar left and it lasted for another 41/2 hours on that one last bar. I thought that to be weird. And I ran that test with no other battery installed.
So at 61/2 hours i got a low battery warning. So I had 2 eneloop AA's. I waited about a minute after the warning just to see how long I had. So at a minute after the warning I slip in the 2 AA's and it switches over 2 minutes after I put them in. So it might be safe for me to say that the warning gave me 3 minutes.
I just started a test with 2 eneloops. They have been going for about 30 minutes. They weren't fully charged so I don't know where that will take me. But interestingly when I turned them on they were on 2 bars and almost instantly went to 1 bar.
It will be interesting to do a test with a fully charged pair. I really wish someone would come out with a battery charger for this unit. The you could just use AA's to switch over.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 10:26 PM   #8
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

Just did a quick search for "Tascam DR-100 battery life" and the first hit I got was about a thread complaining about the short battery life for AA batteries.

The original poster called Tascam and according to the poster, Tascam said one needs to manually go into the menu and change the battery setting to AA batteries from Lithium Ion.

The person who got this information never came back to say if it worked or not (that I could find).

In another review it was said that according to Tascam the alkaline batteries would last 2 hours but in their test the alkalines only lasted 1.3 hours but got 5.7 hours on the Li.

It seems to me that the complaints about the AA's may be related to not knowing about editing the menu. Like my wife always tells me: "Read the Manual." I tell her I've got male genes and real males don't have to read Manuals. What ever you guys do, if this is the problem be sure not to tell your S.O. otherwise they'll know they're right and they'll blab it to all the other women.

Oh, and one more thing. It seems that NEW rechargeables like to be cycled a few times before they reach their full storage potential so doing a test straight out of the box may not give the most satisfying results.

Last edited by John Nantz; January 26th, 2013 at 12:13 AM. Reason: and one more thing.... battery workout, added NEW
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Old January 26th, 2013, 12:08 AM   #9
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

John,
I started another test with 2eneloop AA's. And I have to add that these are 2 years old. I will try some fresh ones at some point. I am right at 2 hours and counting. I suspect I will get at least 3 hours out of them.
I have them set as NiMH just as they should be. But they all show up as AA anyway.
All to say 6 1/2 hours on the standard included battery and at least 3 hours on AA's ain't too shabby.
The thing to do would be to start off with the AA's as the main. After 3 hours it automatically switches to the main for another 6 1'2 hours. Then at that point go into the menu and set the included battery as the main again and get another 3 hours when the main where's down. (you can switch settings while you are recording) That's 12 and 1/2 hours That should get you through the day.

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Old January 26th, 2013, 12:20 AM   #10
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

If a person can get that much time then that's a lot better deal. It certainly pays to know how to work the system. Seems a lot of battery complaints stem from not having figured out the best battery workflow.

Another thing I read from one post, if I remember it right, the unit doesn't automatically, by itself, switch to the alternate battery so that means you kinda have to watch what's going on.

It would be nice if they would have designed a few more bars so one could get a closer read on what's left.

The other thing affecting battery life is what is being used and if everybody has a different kit then one is comparing apples and oranges.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 12:28 AM   #11
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

John,
The unit DOES automatically switch from one battery to the next. But after it has switched the first time, let's say from the AA's that you had setup as main. Once they switch to the internal, you go into the menu and set the internal as the main. And then load more AA's and it will automatically switch to the AA's.
It's a very nice system if you customize your workflow.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 11:18 AM   #12
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Re: Tascam DR-100 -rechargeable AA batteries?

I can't speak for how long you'll get, but I typically run my DR-100 with the combination internal lithium battery and these http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058GZWXQ with zero problems (no phantom power). In fact, I use those for all of my AA powered sound gear, including my Sennheiser G3 lavs. They work great, and I highly recommend them.
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