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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:11 AM   #1
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Is my battery charging properly?

Hey guys,

I've owned a VX2100 for about four years now along with a Hahnel HL-XL782 battery. The Hahnel has been steadily declining in performance up until the point last week when it took about five hours of charging to display 180 minutes at which point it said Full and wouldn't charge further (which is way too little for that battery) it ultimately lasted for about 20 minutes of shooting before dying on me, I just assumed this was due to the age and usage of the battery)

I took the camera for a service where no faults were discovered, they also seemed to charge the battery as it now reads 300 minutes (although I haven't used it yet to test its performance.) I also bought a new battery (Hahnel HL-XL982, which is an L-Series generic)

I loaded the 982 into the VX2100 straight out of its packaging and connected it to the AC adapter. It immediately read that it had about 700 minutes of charge and was almost full - after about an hour charging it displayed that it was Full at 820 minutes (when the camera is on with the LCD screen open it displays 712 minutes of charge and through the viewfinder, about 900 minutes). I've read that this can happen with the new batteries (pre-maturely displaying a full charge) so I took out the battery, re-loaded it and started charging again but it still read that it was full.

Now I'm not too sure if this is accurate or not, I was expecting the battery to be almost empty when I first loaded it in for charging and was anticipating a few hours of charging time - it seems a bit weird that after about only an hour its reading as being fully charged - I obviously don't want another repeat of the battery dying on me after twenty minutes but I don't really know what to expect.

Should I take it that it's fully charged and expect a good 800 minutes or so out of it or what? I'm a bit hesitant to discharge it as I may not be by the camera when it starts to empty and I've been told not to let an L-ion battery fully discharge as it damages the cells.

Any advice? Is it normal for new batteries to require such a short amount of initial charging?

Thanks for any help!
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:36 AM   #2
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I use Sony 970s and they all fluctuate somewhat so I wouldn't worry too much about it. The first battery sounds like it might have lost a cell so it will show all kinds of crazy numbers and never really be fully charged since there are 1 maybe 2 cells that aren't working. It'd make a good 2nd or 3rd battery.

Whenever I've gotten new battery's I charge them overnight first before I use them. Just an old habit I made a long time ago and continue with.

I would try to run it down pretty low then charge it fully.
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Old November 29th, 2010, 06:59 AM   #3
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Thanks Don, I'll let it charge overnight. I'm not too clued up on Li-on batteries, can they be charged up at any point - say after maybe 5 hours of use - or is it recommended that they're drained before being charged again?

Do you suspect the battery isn't fully charged? I've unplugged the camera from the charger now that the battery (new one) is displayed that it's full - is it safe to put back on the charger overnight or should I drain it first?

Thanks again, I never used to discharge my old battery before charging it again so I want to get the most out of this one :P
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Old November 29th, 2010, 12:39 PM   #4
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Li-Ons are very flexible about charging. They can be charged at any point, BUT, in reality you might want to run it down pretty low every once in a while before recharging it. At some point ALL batterys will go away eother a cell or 2 or it won't hold a charge but it takes a long time with the Li-On batterys so use it until it's almost empty then recharge it and use it again. :-)
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Old December 29th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #5
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I know it's an odd thing to say, but batteries degenerate (i.e. lose their capacity to hold a charge) if they get warm. Irreversible chemical changes occur at a faster rate the higher the temperature, and every time you charge a battery it gets warm. In fact it gets warm as you use it, and kit such as the 20DW2 video light is really tough on batteries simply because of the high current drain and the lamp filaments themselves heating up the cells.

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