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Old August 9th, 2012, 02:23 PM   #1
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Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

My dr100 goes through batts like crazy. I did audio for interior dialogue a few days ago, and over a 6 hour period, it went through the li ion internal battery and 2 sets of double a's. I also noticed that the battery level meter goes down quickly.
Has anyone else expeienced this? I noticed it when i first got it last year, but din't use it much and forgot about it. I assume that using the phantom is part of the problem ( 0r maybe all of it). I had my sd302 with me, but was having issues with it, so for the sake of time, just used the Tascam. I think I*'ll try the sd302 with its' own phantom, and turn off phantomk on the Tascam and see if that helps. And of course, the ound is better running into the 302 first, and out to the Tascam.
Anyone know how much time on a set of AA's you're supposed to get , with and without phantom?
Bruce Yarock
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Old August 10th, 2012, 08:27 AM   #2
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

No one else has had this problem?
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Old August 10th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

Sorry, I don't have a DR100, so I can't answer your specific questions. But please allow me to toss out a few generic comments.

First, yes, phantom undoubtedly is part of the equation. You don't get something for nothing: powering two mics will obviously reduce the battery life. Why not give it a full charge, turn off phantom, put it on the bench, and start recording. That will give you one useful piece of info.

Second, you say you went through two sets of AAs. That statement is missing any useful information. What kind of AAs? New NiMH? What's the A-hr capacity of those cells? How recently were they charged? NiCd cells (not likely, they have fallen out of favor of late)? Alkalines? Generic "drug store" cells?

Also, what about the display? Were you running the backlight constantly? That, too, will use significant power.

When all is said and done, I hope you find a good solution.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 10:22 AM   #4
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

Second, you say you went through two sets of AAs. That statement is missing any useful information. What kind of AAs? New NiMH? What's the A-hr capacity of those cells? How recently were they charged? NiCd cells (not likely, they have fallen out of favor of late)? Alkalines? Generic "drug store" cells?

Also, what about the display? Were you running the backlight constantly? That, too, will use significant power.

Greg
First I started with the recorder's own Li-Ion internal battery. I think there's something wrong with it because you're supposed to be able to charge it via usb in the pc. I seem to remember the charging light going from amber to green when fully charged, but now it stays amber, regardless of how long you leave it plugged in. And the battery meter shows only one out of 4 bars. So I guess that li-ion battery is bad.

Second, I put in 2 enrgizer rechargable nickel metal hydrides-2300mah.

Third - I put in a set of regular energizer alkalines aa's that they sell in Home Depot.

I was using only one mic with phantom.

I think I'll try your bench test, with and without phantom and see what i get.
Thanks for the feedback.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

Yes, the thing eats batteries in phantom power mode. I ended up buying a phantom power supply (Denecke PS-1A) so I could leave it off with the tascam. Been working well since.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 01:49 PM   #6
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

I just dug into my "haven't used in a long ime" toy box, and found an AKG 18B phantom power unit. Apparently it's not enough power becuase there's almost no signal. Works great with the SD 302 though.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 07:22 AM   #7
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

The AKG B18 doesn't have circuitry to step up the output voltage, so it only provides 18v from the two 9v internal batteries. I have one that has worked well for my 12v phantom mics, but as you say it can't adequately power mics that need full 48v phantom.
What mic are you using?
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Old August 11th, 2012, 09:09 AM   #8
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

Tht's what I figured. I don't ever remeber needing only 18v phantom power for any mic I've had.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #9
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

Bruce:

The manual says it takes "about six hours" to charge the Li-Ion battery from a USB port. Are you giving it at least that much time?

Also, are you sure your USB port provides enough current? Some don't! The manual suggests that you do NOT charge through a USB hub, but directly from the PC. And some laptops have only marginal current capacity. You could also try a small 120vac->USB power converter.

And if the Li-Ion battery really is bad, that might cause the AAs to discharge more quickly than they would otherwise. (No way to predict that without analizing the recorder's hardware and possibly firmware too.) If you're convinced the Li-Ion pack is not fully charged, leave it out of the recorder and repeat your bench tests with only the AA cells.

Also, if you're using NiMH AA cells, but the recorder's menu is set to "Alkaline" then the battery indicator will indicate "low charge" prematurely, because the voltage curve is different for the two types of cells. So if you're going to use NiMH, be sure the recorder is set accordingly.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 04:50 PM   #10
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

Greg

The manual says it takes "about six hours" to charge the Li-Ion battery from a USB port. Are you giving it at least that much time?

I left it charging all night, and the light still remains amber.

Also, are you sure your USB port provides enough current? Some don't! The manual suggests that you do NOT charge through a USB hub, but directly from the PC. And some laptops have only marginal current capacity. You could also try a small 120vac->USB power converter.

I plug it directly into the usb on the pc, not a hub.

And if the Li-Ion battery really is bad, that might cause the AAs to discharge more quickly than they would otherwise. (No way to predict that without analizing the recorder's hardware and possibly firmware too.) If you're convinced the Li-Ion pack is not fully charged, leave it out of the recorder and repeat your bench tests with only the AA cells.

Where is the li ion battery ( missplaced my manual)?

Also, if you're using NiMH AA cells, but the recorder's menu is set to "Alkaline" then the battery indicator will indicate "low charge" prematurely, because the voltage curve is different for the two types of cells. So if you're going to use NiMH, be sure the recorder is set accordingly.

Understood. I changed the settings going from one type of AA to the other.

Thanks
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Old August 11th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #11
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

Greg,
I found the li ion battery and remove it.
Bruce
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:23 AM   #12
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Re: Tascam dr100 eats batteries!

I did a sound gig lst week for a Canon 7d shoot. Turned off the phantom on the Tascam, and ran the mics first into the sounddevices 302, using its' phantom, then into the Tascam. Got much more battery time.
Thanks guys.
Bruce Yarock
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