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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old May 15th, 2003, 08:00 AM   #1
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Battery/Charging issues

Hi.

A few months back I bought a (no brand-name) 5,500mAh battery online for my XM2 (same batts as for XL1 I believe), from a site suggested by readers of this forum.

The battery was initially excellent - running for long periods of time. But after not very many charges (5 or so), and perhaps one fatal overnight charge (forgot to turn off :( ) it no longer seems to be holding a charge.

This may just be a problem with the recharger indicator, as it says it's fully charged after a rediculiously short recharge time - a mere 45min for example.

Within 20minutes of using the then "charged" battery, the power runs out (its only at 75% when first turned on), I'm hoping for now that this is a problem with the recharger unit indicator.

My question is, seeing this sounds to me as a problem with the charger... If I leave the battery on the charger for say 5 hours, despite the indicatator saying 100%, will it continue to charge?

Is anyone familiar with this problem?

Thanks.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 08:28 AM   #2
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It sounds like a warranty issue for the manufacturer or distributor. I would contact them for instructions on sending the battery and charger in for inspection. Overnight charging should not be a cause for concern. However, anything over 24 hours can be cause for concern due to residual heat build up.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 09:31 AM   #3
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It may be a memory problem that cheap batteries have. This is caused by charging a partially discharged battery. Try to make sure your battery is fully discharged before recharging it.

The more expensive, better made batteries, are resistant to memory problems. I just have a real problem spending $70 on a battery, and would rather buy two $30 off brands. If I can get a year or two out of them, I feel like I came out ahead.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 09:54 AM   #4
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Lithium Ion (Li-ion) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries do not exhibit memory effect phenomenon. Memory effect is limited to Nickel Cadmium (NiCD) batteries. The different types of batteries have different initial charging and storage requirements. Improper storage or charging will decrease battery performance and overall life, but not induce a memory effect.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 10:08 AM   #5
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My bad... It just seems as though my cheapies are starting to exhibit memory issues. Come to think about it... so am I... I think...
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Old May 15th, 2003, 10:26 AM   #6
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Hmm, will the charger continue to charge the battery even when the light indicates (wrongly) 100%?

If so thats just a minor problem I can live with.

I find it hard to believe the battery is dead as it is so new.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 12:16 PM   #7
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Where did you buy it from?
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Old May 15th, 2003, 12:25 PM   #8
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The Canon chargers do have a brain and will stop the charge when they detect full capacity. I don't know whether or not this is related to the manufacture of the battery, but I can say that this is the case with both the Canon-branded BP series as well as the Power 2000 batteries.

Battery manufacturers tout their capacity in milliampere-hours (mAh). But the number of rated charge cycles is just as important, although rarely cited. You may have just encountered a bad apple. But you may have fallen victim to a cheap battery scam. Lenmar and Power 2000 are the alternate battery brands that many folks have had good experience with.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 11:09 PM   #9
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Got the BP-941 from

http://www.sabahoceanic.com/vcanon.html

Bit disappointing really, and hard to believe as not more then a few charges ago it would have lasted a good day of on/off shooting, now it dies within the hour.

I also dropped it from about a meter (3 feet) once, on cement :(, could that have played apart?
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Old May 15th, 2003, 11:38 PM   #10
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Very disappointing, indeed. But at such a low price point I have to believe that corners were cut on this battery. Do you have another and, if so, is it also exhibiting a premature death?
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Old May 16th, 2003, 11:12 AM   #11
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I would say that dropping the battery could certainly have been the cause of your batteries decreased performance. Hard drops and heat are a batteries two worst enemies.
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Old May 16th, 2003, 11:53 AM   #12
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Jeff,
Out of personal curiosity, what would cause problems when these batteries are dropped?
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Old May 16th, 2003, 02:32 PM   #13
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The internal cells can crack and cause the active components to leak. While not as caustic as the acid in a car battery, it will damage internal components and may cause a short at a later date. The short can damage the camera at a later date. The leak rarely penetrates the plastic case and usually results in decreased performance (can't hold a charge, etc.).

My advice is to dispose of (recycle) any batter that has suffered a severe shock (dropping on hard surface, etc.).
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Old May 16th, 2003, 02:59 PM   #14
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That's good advice, Jeff, but is there any way of testing a battery for damage, other than charge-life (which can be variable and subjective)?
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Old May 16th, 2003, 04:59 PM   #15
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Test the battery under a load. Charge the suspect battery in a known good charger. Check the polarity (make sure + is plus and - is minus) with a VOM. If polarity is reversed, battery is defective. If polarity is good, power a camera in record mode (just record blank wall or black). Compare the time of suspect battery to known good battery.

However, the leak inside might be slow and a short may not develop for days, weeks or even months later. After a battery has been dropped, it use at your own risk.
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