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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 10th, 2008, 01:30 AM   #1
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Used PD150 battery issue?

I purchased a PD150 for $1000 two weeks ago and it had less than 10 hours on it. Doesn't have any signs of wear whatsoever, very clean.

Possible problem is that it was stored with the battery in it. Appears to be working fine, though the battery is virtually worthless at this point.

I know storing cam with battery is a no-no, but I don't know why? Anyone have any suggestions as to problems I might have with this cam as a result of this?
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Old May 10th, 2008, 06:47 AM   #2
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What kind of problems are you having with the cam?

As far as I know the only real problem you will have is a possible dead battery that you should be able to recharge.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I know storing cam with battery is a no-no, but I don't know why?
I keep hearing this as well, but so far no one has ever explained why. So I now regard this as an urban myth.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #4
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You may regard it as a myth but it is not true.

Just like your television set, it consumes power waiting for your to turn it on / off, open the tape door, etc.

All of my cameras will draw down the battery except for the DSR-300 which has a 'real' power switch.

The only off switch on non-pro Sony cameras is to remove the battery.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 05:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mike Rehmus View Post
All of my cameras will draw down the battery except for the DSR-300 which has a 'real' power switch.
Yes, obviously, but why is this bad? And obviously the cam is plugged in so actually the opposite happens... the battery is actually charging, not being drawn down all the time.

I've yet to hear anyone explain why this is a problem.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 10:10 PM   #6
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Sounds like, if what Mike says is true, that the battery will be drained completely during storage if left on the cam, and if I'm not mistaken a lithium battery stored with no charge can be ruined that way. Is that it Mike?
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Old May 11th, 2008, 12:14 AM   #7
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You don't keep Lithium Ion batteries plugged in all the time. IIRC, max time is 24 hours unless you have a fancy charger. I don't know how the charging works where you leave the battery on the camera and plug in the camera because I never used mine. I have separate computer controlled chargers for all of my Lithium Ion batteries. Since I have about $3000 worth of them, this only makes sense.

Lithium Ion batteries drop a percentage of their charge when they sit idle and eventually they will self-discharge all by themselves.

I run ALL my batteries through a charge cycle every 30 days unless I've been using them and gave them a recent charge. Ni-Cads get discharged and fully recharged.

I've only had one Lithium Ion battery refuse to accept a charge and that only happened after I'd had it for about 8 years. I know some of my older batteries have a somewhat reduced capacity but that is typical of Lithium Ion chemistry.

Where in these posts did you read that the camera was plugged in, Adam?
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Old May 12th, 2008, 06:40 AM   #8
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I used the cam for the first time Saturday and it performed beautifully, so no problems there. The battery that was left in it is worthless, doesn't hold a charge to well, but that is truly no big deal. A virtually new PD150 for the price I paid more than makes up for it. So all is definitely well.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 07:37 AM   #9
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like most chemical battery, the charge/discharge process involve some chemical to be transformed in some way.
the stable form of the chemical is reached when battery is drained, while the "unstable" form (the one storing the energy) is created by charging the battery.
Since the unstable tends to go back naturally to the stable form more or less fast, it is expected to see a charged battery to discharge by itself.
if your battery is totally empty, there are chances the chemical process cannot be reversed, most of time because the electrode are covered with the stable form of the chemical.

Lead battery can discharge very fast (weeks) , forming sulfat crystal .
NiCad, NiMh, Li-ion are usually slower (especially li-ion, that can be stored months if charged).
Since NiCad have memory effect it was very difficult to store them charged without impacting life of the cell.
NiMh wear at charge process, so the faster you charge them, the better, and they do not like deep discharge.
Li-ion are very unstable when discharging and the more energy you pack in a small volume, the more you can expect to see a battery to set fire or explode.
High power battery usually do not like fast discharge.
You can ask 10 to 50x the nominal current of a lead battery (a car can drain 400Amps from a 40Amps) but you can hardly ask 2 or 3x the nominal current from a li-ion cell without taking risks.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #10
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To add one small note to Giroud's post.

Most batteries (of any chemistry) have a lifetime of about 3 years under regular use. Anything beyond that is a bonus.

Here's an old news guy trick - always print a number and date on your batteries with a Sharpy to keep track of their life cycle. After 3 years replace them - sooner if they don't seem to be holding a charge as long.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 12:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Rehmus View Post
You don't keep Lithium Ion batteries plugged in all the time.
Why not? I do. The "CHG" light on the cam goes off when the batts are full, and the same goes for my external chargers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Rehmus View Post
I run ALL my batteries through a charge cycle every 30 days
Why? Isn't this unnecessary with Lithium Ions?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Rehmus View Post
Where in these posts did you read that the camera was plugged in, Adam?
No, sorry, I wasn't clear; I didn't mean I read that anywhere, just that that's what I do, and it just seemed logical to me that others do too. It just never even occurred to me that you wouldn't just plug your camera in after coming home from a day's shooting. I mean, why wouldn't you do that? I unplug, shoot, replug when I come home. As LIons have no memory effect I have yet to hear anything that says why this isn't a good idea. And as the "standard" lifespan of these things is allegedly three years or so, what's the downside to this? That's all I was asking.

And I have extra batteries that live in their chargers all the time so I'm always ready with plenty of spares. Is there a better way? I really want to learn more details about this stuff; I've been asking this question on a variety of boards for two years now and no one has ever come up with a scientific answer other than "never do that." No one can ever say why.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #12
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depends the charger.
Some charger are dumb, they just charge until they reach a voltage level.(NiCad)
(dumber are lead acid charger just sending current to the battery until you disconnect).

new chargers (since many years) are smarter. They use a charge strategy (depends the battery technology) which is a mix between temperature, voltage and amps and pulses given or read from the cell.
a very smart charger (like the one on laptop) should switch to trickle charge mode at end of charge, so you can leave it connected.
This require electronics on the battery and is common on Li-ion cells.
on NiMH , the electronic is usually on the charger.
Since high capacity battery for video takes forever to charge (my sony NP970 take several hours to charge) , it is a good idea to get a battery on the charger in case of emergency.
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