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Old August 19th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #1
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battery life question

Does anyone have a definitive answer on whether it's okay to leave the HVX batteries on the charger, or if it's better to take them off after they're charged? And for that matter, will the charger even keep them topped off after it ends its charge cycle? I've been pulling them off the charger, but (like most batteries) they lose about 1-2% of charge a day. If I go for a few weeks between shoots (that's not unusual... I do more editing than shooting these days), they're fairly depleted by the shoot, and I have to remember to re-charge them the night before.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 04:21 PM   #2
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Scott,

Jan from Panny or Alex Dolgin could answer this more succinctly, however I can tell you that the supplied Panasonic charger will automatically go into "trickle" mode when the batt reaches full charge.

My understanding of battery tech is that since camera batteries are not the lead-acid type it's best to let it naturally deplete itself over time if not used and charge it up when it's needed. The caveat is to not let it get to full depletion so as not to damage the cell.

With exception to lead-acid, most batteries actually acheive longer life as they go through the normal charge/discharge cycle. Of course over time their capacity and ability to hold a charge will diminish, but I'd say you're safe to fully charge the battery, let it sit then top it off as required for a shoot. I don't think you're doing the battery - or the charger - any favors by leaving it in a constant trickle-charge state.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 11:12 PM   #3
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Thanks... that was my impression (about the charge/discharge...I really didn't know if the charger had a trickle mode or not). Frustrating to have to remember to top them off the night before a shoot, though... the Anton Logic chargers have spoiled me.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 07:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Auerbach
Does anyone have a definitive answer on whether it's okay to leave the HVX batteries on the charger, or if it's better to take them off after they're charged? And for that matter, will the charger even keep them topped off after it ends its charge cycle? I've been pulling them off the charger, but (like most batteries) they lose about 1-2% of charge a day. If I go for a few weeks between shoots (that's not unusual... I do more editing than shooting these days), they're fairly depleted by the shoot, and I have to remember to re-charge them the night before.
Scott, Li-Ion chemistry does not allow for trickle top off (NiCad, Lead-acid do). The charger shuts off completely once the battery is full. I doubt it is smart enough (Panasonic OEM charger) to periodicly top off the battery. As far as self discharge, Li-Ion has very little, much less than the other chemistries. It is for sure not 1-2% a day, may be in a month. If your battery is self discharging, it might be defective.
HTH
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Old August 20th, 2006, 10:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Dolgin
Scott, Li-Ion chemistry does not allow for trickle top off (NiCad, Lead-acid do). The charger shuts off completely once the battery is full. I doubt it is smart enough (Panasonic OEM charger) to periodicly top off the battery. As far as self discharge, Li-Ion has very little, much less than the other chemistries. It is for sure not 1-2% a day, may be in a month. If your battery is self discharging, it might be defective.
HTH
Hmm... Thanks. I'll have to run a test and see if I can figure out how fast it's actually happening. It sure seemed like they were running down quite a bit in just a few weeks while I was busy editing.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #6
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2 chargers or 1?

Hey Scott,

I thought 2 batteries was enough to cover me for a 12 hour shoot yesterday, but I forgot to account for the big ones taking longer to charge. When I was doing that dubbing near a power supply I would switch to the adaptor, but of course the battery in the cradle stopped charging. I think I might just have to buy another charger. Another shooter told me there is a 2 batt. quick charger available. Know anything about these? I wonder if those quick chargers have any adverse effect on the life of a battery.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sargent
Hey Scott,

I thought 2 batteries was enough to cover me for a 12 hour shoot yesterday, but I forgot to account for the big ones taking longer to charge. When I was doing that dubbing near a power supply I would switch to the adaptor, but of course the battery in the cradle stopped charging. I think I might just have to buy another charger. Another shooter told me there is a 2 batt. quick charger available. Know anything about these? I wonder if those quick chargers have any adverse effect on the life of a battery.
See the post above from Alex Dolgin. He makes a 4-position charger, and has a 2-up model coming out. With the older NiCads, the fast chargers were definitely hard on the batteries. I don't know about the NiMH or LiIons.

That said, it might be cheaper to buy a second Panasonic charger... that's what I did. But I also have one of Alex's DC-DC converters on order. I hear good things about his products, and he's been a helpful contributor to this forum.
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