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Focus Enhancements FireStore
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 09:18 AM   #1
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Brand new FS-4 won't charge now...

I received my FS-4 about a week ago, just in time for the weekend. I charged the 'internal' batteries (the one it comes with and a spare I got with my purchase) on Friday afternoon, and used them both on Friday night. After the shoot, I successfully transferred by files to PC and recharged both batteries in preparation for Saturday's event. Saturday's event went well, and I was able to transfer the footage to PC afterwards without incident.

Problem:
...but then I tried to charge the batteries for just the third time. And guess what? Nothing happens. (I'm using the AC adapter.) The "Charge" LED does not light, and it's not just the light; leaving the unit plugged in for hours does nothing to charge the battery.

Workaround:
Based on posts on this forum, I ordered a 14.4v external battery, which came with a plug suitable for the FS-4. I didn't receive the external battery until after the charging issue with the FS-4 started, and when it arrived, I charged it up and decided to see if IT could power the FS-4. Sure enough, when connected to the FS-4, the external battery can not only run the FS-4, but also fully charges the FireStore's internal battery. As such, I have a workaround that will let me cover a high school football game tomorrow night and a wedding on Saturday. However, I still have the problem of the non-working AC adapter-charging function using the Focus-supplied charger.

I know there are representatives from Focus Enhancements on this site - that availability of support and information is one of the reasons I chose the FS-4 - and I'm hoping for some advice on how to get my problem resolved as quickly as possible.

Thanks in advance!
- Terry
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 01:59 PM   #2
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what you need to do is to isolate the problem.

plug your fs-4 ac to dc power supply into the wall and measure the voltage with an ohmmeter... it should be ~15.1 vdc... there is also a running status page with voltage readouts, that is selectable from the fs-4 front panel display... if you read your fs-4 manual, it'll tell you that the fs-4 will run without a battery installed... so you should be able to remove the battery and check the status page to see if the wall wart is putting the correct voltage into your fs-4.

also note that the status lites may read out differently than the manual sez... matt from focus has posted the correct readout a few weeks ago on this forum.
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 10:25 PM   #3
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The AC > DC converter won't power the unit when the 'internal' battery is not attached. My external 14v battery WILL power the unit without the other battery.

I don't own an ohmmeter. But regardless of whether the converter is putting out 0 volts or 11 volts, it's obviously not enough to run the FireStore. I guess it's the converter that needs replacing.

With the 14v battery attached, the "Status" readings are something like this:

With 'internal' battery installed:
SUPPLY1: 1.83 V
SUPPLY2: 3.28 V
SUPPLY3: 4.89 V
BATTERY: 12.56 V

Without 'internal' battery:
SUPPLY1: 1.83 V
SUPPLY2: 3.28 V
SUPPLY3: 4.89 V
BATTERY: 3.63 V

"Status" with the Focus-supplied 'internal' battery and AC > DC converter:
The readings are all same as above, except for the "BATTERY" reading, which was slightly lower during the test - and it did not change when the converter was plugged in (unlike with the external battery).

So what does this tell us? Do I really need to succumb to electronic geekdom and buy an ohmmeter? How about I just take it to the guys at Radio Shack? (In reality, I'm hoping someone from Focus just recommends that I send the AC > DC converter back for a replacement, since it is apparently the faulty piece of the puzzle.)
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 12:02 AM   #4
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fwiw, my "without internal battery" numbers were similar to yours, except that the battery number was 1.68v... probably pretty meaningless anyway without a battery.

good idea to ask the radio shack guys, it's worth a shot... sometimes you can get a cheap ohmmeter on sale for $10 or less, probably be good enuf for this deal.

if you are getting the correct status charging lites, per matt's post out here, with the external battery charging up the internal battery, it kinda does sound like your wall wart is d.o.a.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 08:19 AM   #5
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According to Matt's post:
===================

Here is the correct battery light status info:

States of Charge LED
_* Off ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ No Charger Connected
_* Green ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Charge Cycle Complete
_* Amber/Green ___ ___ __ Float Charge Mode (Charge almost complete)
_* Amber__ _ ___ ___ ___ ___ Fast Charge Mode (Maximum Charge Rate)
_* Red ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Charger Error
_* Red/Amber ___ ___ ___ No battery installed / battery error
_* Amber Blink ___ ___ Charger voltage insufficient

===================

What I get when the charger is connected is "Off" (no LED).
If the voltage were insufficient it should be amber, and if it there was a "charger error" (I suppose the FS-4 would have to recognize the charger was attached), the light should be red. Logically, it seems it doesn't even recognize the charger is attached.

I suppose I could replace the unit with a "universal charger", but it seems to me this should be covered by Focus Enhancements.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 03:05 PM   #6
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perhaps the focus unit is monitoring the voltage in two different places: at the charger input plug on the bottom of the fs-4, and at the battery connection... that might explain it's ability to tell when there is no charger connected?

i'm just guessing here, but if your charger wasn't putting out any voltage at all, it might indeed show up as no charger connected.
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Old September 23rd, 2005, 03:06 PM   #7
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Yes it sounds like the AC adaptor is defective

Hello Terry,
if you can call Focus Enhancements support at 763-398-1658, we'll set you up with an RMA to replace the defective AC adaptor. I completely agree with the diagnosis in the email string. If an external 14V power supply charges up the FS-4 battery but the supplied AC adaptor does not, then the AC adaptor sounds like the culprit.

If you don't want to call you can email us at support@focusinfo.com, but I have to warn you that we were hacked last night and the email box isn't available at the moment. Kids...... :-)

Sorry the AC adaptor went out on you, but we can replace it & you should be good to go.

Thanks,
Jim at Focus
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Old November 10th, 2005, 10:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Olson
Hello Terry,
if you can call Focus Enhancements support at 763-398-1658, we'll set you up with an RMA to replace the defective AC adaptor. I completely agree with the diagnosis in the email string. If an external 14V power supply charges up the FS-4 battery but the supplied AC adaptor does not, then the AC adaptor sounds like the culprit.

If you don't want to call you can email us at support@focusinfo.com, but I have to warn you that we were hacked last night and the email box isn't available at the moment. Kids...... :-)

Sorry the AC adaptor went out on you, but we can replace it & you should be good to go.

Thanks,
Jim at Focus
hello jim,

reveiced my new "large" batt. (180 min) last friday. right after putting it on the charger, i received a full red light.
i do have 2 "normal" batts. which work fine, and charge fine. also my fs-4 works fne with the 2 small. batts.
the unit runs with the new batt. removed, only the charger.

since i purchased the batt. from b&h, and after talking to your customer service, a return and exchange was authorized with b&h. and worked out exellent.

today i received the new batt, and guess what..same thing. red light..does not work in my unit.
since i am only an hour away from your campell place, i called them at 4:30 pm closed, but also end a e-mail to focus.

i am in dire need of this batt. and wonder what your answer is?

thanks


i
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