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Old February 4th, 2004, 04:04 AM   #1
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Do tapes/batteries have a shell life or expiration date?

I am currently using the new Panasonic DVM63MQ series and BP-930/945 batteries for my GL2 and wondering do these ever degrade in quality or degrade over the time? Do tapes or batteries usually have a shell life/expiration date of any?
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Old February 4th, 2004, 05:46 AM   #2
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I think that L.I. batteries have an extremely long shelf life if they are new (uncharged). Once you charge them---don't know. I have minDV tapes from the early days of miniDV. About a year ago I put one of them into my cam to dump its footage onto a VCR tape. It worked fine in the cam.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 06:17 AM   #3
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Lithium batteries (the ones used in still cameras) have a shelf life of up to 10 years. Lithium ion batteries (the ones used in many video cameras, cell phones) have a shelf life of 3 to 5 years from date of manufacture. They also have a recycle or recharge life of about 300 complete discharge and recharge cycles.
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Old February 8th, 2004, 11:08 PM   #4
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You need to retension the tapes about every six months. Fast forward to the end then rewind to the beginning. Keeps the tape from sticking to itself.
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Old February 13th, 2004, 12:43 AM   #5
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Keep reading it here and there that LiOn battery lifespan is not dependent on usage BUT the clock starts clicking at the time the battery was manufactured.

In other words, don't buy LiOn batteries to keep as spares if you don't need to use it. The capacity to keep its charge decreases with time (whether you use or you don't use the battery).

*** IMPORTANT ***
The above only applies to rechargeable LiOn batteries. It does NOT apply to primary cells (non-rechargeable ones). For those kind of batteries, the manufacturer usually prints the expiry date with the product.

=== TAPES ===
Someone corrects me if I am wrong -
Fast forwarding / rewinding a DV tape will wear the video heads down. My reasoning is this - if I Fast wind a "normal" tape, I can't see anything. But, on my DSR25 recorder, if I rewind/wind a DV tape, the timecode can still be seen. This implies that some recording/playback heads are still in contact with the tape when it is fast wind/rewind.

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Old August 5th, 2006, 07:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Diamond
You need to retension the tapes about every six months. Fast forward to the end then rewind to the beginning. Keeps the tape from sticking to itself.
So does this mean if I buy a stock of tapes that sit (say for a year) I have to fast forward them then rewind them at least once?
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Old September 6th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #7
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All compounded materials, even those produced in Nature, begin degrading on a molecular level, as soon as they are formed. Some things, such as the plastic and adhesives in videotapes, do this this fairly fast. I once bought 50
archive-quality VHS cassettes that had solid cases and were sealed in plastic.
Their original MSRP was $12. each. For the first 3 years, they gave better VHS reproduction than I'd seen on any other tape. But after that, they hit the wall and started having major dropouts. Even the new ones, that had been sealed until used, had big glitches when recordings were made. If tapes are kept in a cool and dry place, they will last longer, but not beyond the limits that chemical degradation puts on them.

The components of batteries are the same. Some types keep better when fully charged, some do better if discharged, but all of them are good for only so many charging cycles. I have 3 Sony NP-98 Ni-Cad camcorder batteries I bought 11 years ago. I used them a lot in a camera for over 5 years and since then, I've used them for a bicycle light. They still work, although they now give only about 75% of their original capacity. I also have an Energizer NiMH battery I got for the same camera and it still delivers about 90% of its capacity. However, most other consumer batteries I've had were good for only a small fraction of this time. The 12-volt Sony pro Ni-Cad NP-1 batteries I got almost 18 years ago, still give about 80% original capacity, on the rare occasions I use them. So, you get mixed results from different brands and models of batteries, but they are all going to go downhill, regardless of how well you treat them.
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