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Rubbish camera batteries

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Periproct, Mar 26, 2007.

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  1. Periproct

    Periproct Guest

    My proprietary camera batteries don't last long when new and as I'm not a
    photography enthusiast I find, when the camera does come out, the batteries
    have discharged to the point of not taking a charge.

    My cunning plan is an external battery pack of standard (cheaper and higher
    capacity) NiMH. Trouble is I need a dummy battery of the correct shape and
    with contacts in the right place to wire my external battery pack to.

    What do you reckon to me removing the guts of one of my dead Lithium Ion
    batteries? Am I going to die in terrible pain? Googling just tells me they
    are fine in normal use but I'm not sure about cutting the things up.

    I do have a paint spraying respirator as well as an unused one left over
    from some asbestos removal at work. Rubber gloves and everything done on a
    big sheet of plastic to be disposed of afterwards?
  2. Cut a wooden dowel the same diameter as the battery to the right length.
    Stick two brass thumbtacks in the ends and solder wires to these from the
    battery pack.
  3. Periproct

    Periproct Guest

    Unfortunately the battery isn't a standard cylindrical shape.

    Having had a further google I'm getting the impression that there is quite a
    risk of Lithium Ions exploding if you chop them up so maybe I should carve
    myself a wooden one.
  4. Guest

    The problems with lithium batteries appears to be thermal runaway when
    charging. Lithium is not particularly toxic (it might even stabilise
    your mood, if you injest some) so if the battery is near flat, I can
    see little problem with removing the guts.

    I have a Sony Mavica, which came with a battery that lasted about 2
    years (accepting a considerable loss of capacity). Li Ions die whether
    used or not, so I suspect that this was merely old stock. I bought a
    non-proprietary battery when the Sony became unusable, and it has been
    going strongly for six years. Probably needs a new battery now, and
    use this as a spare. I rarely charge the thing past where the charger
    light goes out, although you can stick an extra hour's worth in. Use
    them gently, and they last better, or is it that I just feel better?

    ps Lithium metal is flammable and reacts violently with water giving
    off hydrogen. Lithium hydroxide thus formed is very caustic. Use a
    face shield as you should, doing most of the things I do without one.
    Luckily I now need glasses and no longer suffer from regular foreign
    bodies in the eyeball.

  5. Yes. Wood or plastic but don't saw these suckers.
  6. Guest

    That's only possible (unlikely) if charged. You don't have to saw it
    in two. Lever the plastic moulding apart with a screwdriver and just
    pluck out the Li-Ion cells. Remember (which I usually don't) where the
    screwdriver is going to end up if it slips off your target.

  7. Periproct

    Periproct Guest

    I've bought three since I've had the camera and they are all dead. Having
    done some more googling it seems they like to be stored at 40% charge. Not
    sure how I'm going to organise that.
    A timer set to come on for an hour a day with a power strip plugged into it
    with everything that needs to be kept charged was suggested to me. Maybe not
    the best thing to do with Lithium Ion batteries tho'.
  8. john jardine

    john jardine Guest

    That's what I have. One of those motorised thingies with a ring of plastic
    indents. Set for 15 minutes per day and charging a heap of power tool and
    other rechargeables.
    Having used rechargeables for about 1000 years, my feeling is that if they
    aren't Lead acid then they will be trouble. (despite anything the makers
    and technologists say otherwise).
  9. SparkyGuy

    SparkyGuy Guest

    That's what I have. One of those motorised thingies with a ring of plastic
    Make & model?
  10. john jardine

    john jardine Guest

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