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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
Sony PDW-F800, PDW-700, PDW-850, PXW-X500 (XDCAM HD) and PMW-400, PMW-320 (XDCAM EX).


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Old January 23rd, 2008, 01:35 PM   #1
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Random Battery Problems

We use Sony BP-GL95 Lithium-Ion batteries with all three of our PDW-F350 cameras. There are times when one battery will work on one camera but not another. Can't seem to find a pattern to troubleshoot. All cameras are latest firmware. Also have one battery who's indicator lights won't stop flashing. Any ideas or the name of an exorcist?
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 03:58 PM   #2
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Never had the problem myself, but this has something to do with a bad connection between the pins on the V-lock plate and the battery itself. Have you been using other batteries, like SWIT? This is what I found on the XDCAM forum. http://www.xdcam.com.au (you have to register to access the forum).

Re: camera shutdown
OK, regarding the SWIT battery issue
- whereby our customer was using a combination of SWIT battery(s) together with Sony BP-GL95 battery(s) together with his PDW-F350.

The issue was that after using the SWIT battery(s), the connection between the Sony battery(s) and the camcorder became unreliable - causing shutdown of the camcorder.

Our suspicion was that there was a tolerance issue with the SWIT battery(s) which was distorting the pins on the camcorder battery connector and so
I sent a SWIT battery to the factory for investigation.

Their report is as follows....

Two points of out of specification against BP-GL95 have been found.

1. Socket width is 0.7mm smaller than the spec.
2. Battery Hole diameter is 0.01mm smaller than the spec.

By the reason #1, backlash became wider that Sony Battery attached.
We suspect It caused giving stress to battery terminals.

Therefore, we do not recommend the battery made by SWIT to Sony products.

.....I believe that by socket width they mean the width between the centres of the two outer sockets is 0.7mm under spec - which is actually quite significant considering the nominal dimension in question is approx 33mm.

Certainly explains why the pins get distorted and the connection to the BP-GL95 becomes unreliable.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:53 PM   #3
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Thanks Ivan for your reply. Unfortunately, the Sony batteries are the only ones used on our cameras. I suppose there is a remote chance that one or more of our batteries are slightly out of spec and have created random pin tolerance issues but I'm inclined to think it is something else. I know I heard a long time ago that firmware had an influence on how certain batteries were read by the 350. I'm thinking of possibly starting from scratch and reloading firmware on all 3 cameras even though they all are at 1.54/ 1.62. I'm reluctant because I don't want to create new problems. Any other suggestions guys? I also have this weird issue with one of the batteries continuing to flash it's status LED's which makes me feel like I have a battery charger problem. These are the worst problems to troubleshoot...
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 08:05 PM   #4
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Dan, I can't swear that my memory is 100 percent on this one, but I seem to recall that there was someone whose battery contacts were iffy and had been replaced under warranty.

This is similar to Ivan's story and it may be that I read it on that forum a while back, but I don't remember reading that the batteries were the problem.

-gb-
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Old January 24th, 2008, 04:19 PM   #5
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Yeah Greg I'll get the connections checked out to see if that can be eliminated or not. What about the constant flashing LED status lights on one of our Sony Batts? Anyone else ever seen that? Bizarre.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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One of our F350s has this issue also...

We recently bought a second F350 from our Sony rep. The camera was his demo unit that he was replacing with the 355. I was running some tests on the unit in our studio when I accidentally bumped the Sony battery (BP-L60A) and the camera switched off and back on. It took me a few minutes to figure out what happened but once I jiggled the battery, I had my answer. The Sony battery was not making good contact with the connector and would shut off whenever the battery was even lightly touched. I thought that maybe it was just one battery with an issue but it happened with every Sony battery I tried.

Interestingly, when I repeated the test with an IDX (Endura E-10) battery there was no issue. I could not get the IDX to lose contact. The IDX are our primary batteries so it's not a big deal for us right now. I will send the camera in for battery connector replacement when the camera has some down time.

As a side note...I recently sent our original 350 in for a hot pixel issue. The maintenance note shows not only was pixel management was performed but also the battery connector was replaced. I didn't have an issue with that camera's battery connector but they replaced it anyway without me even asking. This tells me that there must be a known issue with the early battery connectors.

The long and short of it: Chances are it's the connector, not the firmware.

JA
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Old January 29th, 2008, 08:35 AM   #7
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Thanks Joseph. I've heard that several times now so I'm going to assume that's it. What about the flashing LED's issue on the battery itself, ever seen that? Sounds like a partial contact with the cam may have made this particular battery short or freak-out in some way.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 08:54 AM   #8
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Hi Dan,

I don't know what is causing the constant LED flashing on the battery but I'd be willing to bet that it is an error message. Do you still have the manual for the battery? If so, I would think there would be an explanation of the LED patterns there. I can't imagine a circumstance in which the connector could cause a short inside the battery but that doesn't mean it can't happen. Good luck.

JA
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Old January 29th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #9
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Yeah, checked the manual but none of the troubleshooting options shown pertain to what this battery is doing (all 4 LEDs flashing at the same time in green regardless of whether on cam, off cam or on charger). Holding check button for over 3 secs does nothing either. Don't have a service manual. Answer is probably in there.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 09:37 AM   #10
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Tracked down my Sony Service guy. There is a service bulletin on this that was sent out a while back for some of the original PDW-F350 cams pertaining to pin placement/tolerance with BP-GL95 batteries. They will fix it for free or send you the replacement part for the camera and you can do it yourself. I have three on the way.
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Old January 29th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #11
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Good to know. Thanks for the update.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #12
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Sony plays clueless

I gave a full report to our Sony rep about this intermittent unexplainable power failure. he had no clue and never got back with me. Over the past year and a half, our cameras have been getting progressively worse about shutting down with the least little tap or bump or touch. Also, our new Sony BP-GL95 Lithium-Ion batteries have become drained to a point less than our older 90, 75 and 60 bricks where they haven't even been affected. I wonder if Sony will step up and replace the BP-GL95 batteries or maybe a discount on new ones for replacement due to the fact. Ha! I have been researching on line for some time about this issue and finally found post on the subject. Elusive.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #13
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more of the same

join this group, research battery connection problems for the 330 or 350, go here and read the string of posts: XDCAM Pro User Group-Forum
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