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Old October 21st, 2013, 12:31 PM   #1
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OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

The college I work for bought a pair of JVC HM-750s about three years ago and we got a pair of Anton Bauer Dionic 90 batteries free as part of the package.
When they were new, I was getting around 4 hours of constant run time.
On a shoot this past weekend, I had to swap them after only 2 hours.
I'm wondering if this is normal life expectancy for these batteries.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 01:04 PM   #2
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

It is more about how many discharge cycles they have been through, the nature of those cycles, and how the batteries have been stored.

With a 80% discharge per use expect around 400 cycles.

If you store the batteries fully charged expect a 15-20% loss in capacity per year whether you use them or not.

If you store the battery between 50-80% charged you reduce the capacity loss to just a few %. If you don't discharge the battery beyond 50% you can increase the charge cycles to more than 1000.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

Thanks Chris.
I'm going to guess that both batteries have been used about 200-300 times (together, not each one) in the past 3 years.
It's extremely rare that I discharge them completely, usually no more than 75%.
When I come back from a shoot, I put them on the chargers and leave them on all the time. I recall reading on the AB site some time ago that that was recommended practice.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 01:51 PM   #4
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

If they are the newer LiON chemistry then leaving them on the charger between uses is not the best practice for a long life.

If they are NMiH then it is OK to leave them on the charger between uses.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 05:13 PM   #5
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

The Dionic 90s are LiON but the other question is what charger are you using. If it's the Tandem 60/70 or any other non intelligent charger, I wouldn't leave the batteries on the charger too long after it's fully charged. If it's the 2702 or 2704 intellicharger then it is OK to leave the batteries on it since those chargers condition the batteries while on the charger. I used to leave mine on the charger for weeks at a time during my slow season and never had a problem with them not holding a full charge.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 05:44 PM   #6
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

I had my first set of Dionic 90's last 5 years, with periods of hard use followed by weeks of non-use. I never left them on a charger. Sometimes they would run down so far there was nothing on the display. Even the guys at AB were amazed at the length of service I got out of them, considering this kind of "abuse".

My second set were Dionic HC's and they too have lasted well, about 4 years now. Much less use than the Dionics. I charge them up once a month or two if they aren't used otherwise.

Maybe I'm just lucky?
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Old October 21st, 2013, 06:06 PM   #7
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

My charger is the Tandem 70.

I was curious so I sent an email to AB asking about this issue and leaving the batteries on the charger. Here's their response.

The average expected lifespan for those batteries is 18-30 months.
Keeping them on the charger is the best way to optimize longevity.


Looks like it's time for new batteries :(
I've been looking at the ones from batteries4broadcast as they're a LOT cheaper than the comparable AB ones and, from the googling I've done, they have a good reputation.
If I do go that route, I'll have to buy a new charger as these ones don't work with AB chargers.

If anyone has other suggestions, I'm all ears - or in this case, eyes :)
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Old October 21st, 2013, 06:13 PM   #8
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Kujbida View Post

The average expected lifespan for those batteries is 18-30 months.
Keeping them on the charger is the best way to optimize longevity.


I'm surprised by this, as that definitely isn't the best way to store lithium ion batteries. Storing them at 0% or 100% charge puts the cells under stress which gradually reduces the capacity. As someone said above, keeping them somewhere between 30% - 80% is the best way to store them.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 10:22 PM   #9
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

Wow, 18 to 30 months. I'm shocked by that. I think my 90s went for about 4 years with pretty consistant but not extreme use. I'm talking about 12 to 18 hours of use per week for roughly 45 weeks a year. I was using a 4 position intellicharger so maybe that helped or at least made me feel like it did or maybe I just got lucky.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 10:25 PM   #10
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

Try running them on an intelligent charger with discharge circuitry before you discard them. I find that Anton Bauers get "forgetful" if you don't get them on a diagnostic charger every once in a while.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 10:00 AM   #11
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

Don, it's beginning to look like I should've invested in an intelligent charger from the beginning but I was a rookie with this type of battery (all I had previously was NiCad belts) and didn't know any better.

Shaun, that means laying out at least another $1200.00. Probably money well spent but trying to explain that to my boss who is not technical at all is another matter.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 11:25 AM   #12
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

Mike, if you have a rental shop nearby maybe you could rent one for a day or 2 to re-condition the batteries or perhaps you could find someone that has one (a studio) that you could rent it from.
Anton Bauer is costly up front but I gotta say their stuff is great.
I wish I was still using them but I sold off all of my batteries and charger a few ago and the HM700 I got had V-Lok along with some IDX batteries and charger. They work great but I do miss my ABs.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 12:01 PM   #13
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

Great idea Don. I'm heading up to Toronto Ontario (the closest city to me that might have one available) in a few weeks so I'll see if I can drop them off for reconditioning.
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Old October 23rd, 2013, 09:09 AM   #14
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

Just wanted to try to clarify a few things here, as I know a few things about the AB products and their design approach.
It is true that no matter what, even if not in use, Li-Ion cells age, about 3-5%/year. Cycling, elevated temperature and heavy loading accelerate the aging process.
The industry standard is to store Li-Ion cells/batteries at about 40% state of charge as storing them at full charge accelerate aging, and fully discharging is even worse as it can just kills them if allowed to go down to zero volts. The problem with AB smart batteries is their internal electronics drains the cells fairly fast even when not in use, faster then more simple/less expensive batteries with minimal circuits inside. If left unplugged, they would self discharge in a few months down to zero, and damage the cells. In order to mitigate that, AB people recommend keeping them on the charger for "conditioning" while truthfully it is to prevent full discharging.
As far as using their high end charger vs more basic model, the truth is if the Li-Ion cells are gone, there is no charger, no process that can help. If the smart battery, like Dionic, internal fuel gauge needs re-calibration (which is a different problem altogether) the high end charger will cycle it and reset the electronics so the state of charge indicator reflects true charge information. But do not confuse this with trying to rejuvenate the Li-Ion cells.
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Old October 24th, 2013, 11:01 AM   #15
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Re: OT: Anton Bauer battery life expectancy?

Alex, thank you very much for providing some extremely (to me anyway) useful information. It is appreciated.
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