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Maintaining batteries


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#1 Alberto Larios-Saavedra

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 05:55 PM

I read here in a posting I can't seem to find, that running the camera to drain batteries every month will keep them in good working condition (when the camera is stored and not used very often). My question is, doesn't the camera get damaged when not running any film through it? Is there a better way for maintaining batteries?
I hope I am being clear with my question.

Thanks,
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#2 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 08:29 PM

You coud just leave the camera on for a long time.
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#3 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 08:40 PM

Du-all sells a battery charger/conditioner that can not only charge a battery, but also drain it as well. It worked well a/ the NiMH batteries I used w/ my Bolex EBM.
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#4 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 07:14 PM

There is a good thread on battery maintenance on the steadicam forum. The standard thought is that you should leave them on the charger. One of my chargers has a discharge/charge feature which I use when my batteries aren't completely dead, but most of the time I just put them on charge. If you drain them and recharge them constantly you're only putting more cycles on them, which isn't great for the batteries.
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#5 Robert Glenn

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 08:47 PM

if i remember correctly what I read from Bescor, they charge them once every 6 months and dont let them drop under 50% charge and keep them in whatever optimal temperature they're supposped to be kept in
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 06:27 AM

I've heard 50% and 40%. Some people do this, and I guess it's fine. The problem is, how do you know when your battery is at 50% when you don't have it on a charger and you're not using it? I guess you could check them often with a voltmeter, but who's really going to do that all the time? I've heard of quite a few people who just left NiCads off the charger thinking they'd be fine and when they tried to charge them they found that they had dropped below a recoverable level and now needed to be re-celled. I guess you could decide to just put them on the charger every couple of weeks or however long you decide, but personally, I just leave them on the charger at home.
With Lithium Ion's, if you leave them off the charger for a certain amount of time they will permanently lose a small percentage of their capacity, so these are more important to keep an eye on.
I'm not sure about Nickel Metal Hydride.
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#7 Hal Smith

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 08:28 AM

You coud just leave the camera on for a long time.

Kenny,
There's a danger in completely draining NiCad batteries. If the battery's a bit old and all the cells aren't equal then when the first cell completely discharges, the others will reverse charge it - which kills that cell (for the technically inclined, use Kirchoff's Law to calculate this effect). You'll hear a lot of numbers about how low to safely discharge NiCads, the quoted figures tend to be conservative - but that's probably not a bad idea - better than killing a battery. Metal Hydride batteries have a different chemistry and I haven't personally seen this effect in them.
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