Rechargeable batteries

  ukthesis 12:45 12 Nov 2007

I use rechargeable batteries for my digital camera. However, I notice that I have to recharge them more and more, even after a few shots. This is probably because there is still some "memory" left in the batteries. Someone said I can fully discharge these batteries by inserting them in a torch and leaving the torch on overnight. But do torches take this type of battery rather than the other type (those than you can't use with digital cameras)? Also, have you any other suggestions on ways to fully discharging rechargeable batteries before they are charged up again?

  mymate 12:53 12 Nov 2007

I buy Hybrio rechargeable batteries ,they dont loose their charge when you are not using the item you put them in.
Dont know what to answer about getting rid of the charge on charged up ones .Sounds like you need new batteries .
I got mine from amazon they were doing a deal .

  Les 12:56 12 Nov 2007

I use rechargables in my torch, wireless headphones, camera - no bother. Some of these batteries will not hold a charge - some do. I bought cheap rechargables in Poundland - they are good - on the other hand, I've hand another well known brand and they were hopeless. So, providing the battery is the correct size for the torch - yes you can discharge them in this way.

  hssutton 13:03 12 Nov 2007

most cameras use NiMH batteries and these do not suffer from the "memory effect" fully discharging Nicadd by using such as a torch can actually damage them. click here

If you are having to recharge after a few shots then look elsewhere for the problem. Are your batteries up to the job? what rating are they? Is your charger of a suitable size/type. Are the contacts on the camera faulty?

  mymate 13:23 12 Nov 2007

Les i dont find the £1 shop ones any good at all.They are only 800 -1000mAH.
The Lidl ones are good when they have them in stock they are 2500mAh 4=£1.99.
The £1 shop ones dont last anytime at all.

  ukthesis 14:14 12 Nov 2007

So there should be no memory effect? I read somewhere that there might be (this was in a book on digital photography, too.)

  Noels 14:52 12 Nov 2007

click here

Look at Battery Info for details about battery types etc. I found it interesting and useful.

  Diemmess 14:55 12 Nov 2007

One step towards peace with your batteries might be to look at this item at 7dayshop
click here

Currently offered at a good discount. I bought one a few months back together with a set of high capacity AA NiMh 2600mah batteries.

This charger will charge from 1 - 8 batteries at a time, mixed AAA or AA.
It also has a charge discharge facility and treats each battery separately, by sensing its state of charge rather than a fixed charging time.

  Diemmess 15:06 12 Nov 2007

It only takes ONE poor battery in a set to fail to deliver and make it seem the whole lot are duff.
Worth checking with a voltmeter individually and at the point where they have begun to show insufficient oomph.

1.2volts is the lowest figure before they must be recharged. You might find 3 which are giving 1.3+ volts and one baddy with 1.2 or less.

  Totally-braindead 15:40 12 Nov 2007

I've used rechargable batteries for many years in my radio control models long before digital cameras made their appearance.
With cameras as pointed out you need high capacity batteries, 2100 mah or above is best and these will depending on your camera give you maybe 100 shots sometimes more. Use a lower capacity battery such as an 800 - 1000mah and you'll be lucky to get a dozen shots as the voltage will drop below the power needed to power the camera.

Nicads do suffer from what is called the memory effect, and to keep them in good shape its necessary to cycle them. That is to flatten them or nearly flatten them and then charge them up. Do this perhaps a couple of times and providing the batteries have not already been affected they will be almost as good as new. Depending on how much you use the batteries you might need to do this a couple of times a year.
NIMH batteries are the same as Nicads but do not suffer from the memory effect, it is worth noting though that a Nicad charger may not fully charge a NIMH battery. You really need one that is designed to charge both.
Now I have a cheap LIDL charger and it has a charge/discharge button on it so if you wish you can use this to cycle your batteries, as I said you're better doing it a couple of times. The charger was about a fiver and you get get cheaper than that.
If you find the cycling thing to be too much hassle then be prepared to change the batteries every so often, they aren't expensive so its not a major problem. Or buy NIMH batteries which have no memory problems but do buy a charger that mentions being able to charge NIMH.
One thing I should perhaps point out about both types of batteries. If you fully charge them and leave them lying about they will discharge themselves over time, perhaps as much as 20% over a few weeks (thats of the top of my head I don't have the exact details to hand).
So while having 2 sets of batteries for a camera is a good idea you might find if you leave them sitting for a few months when you come to use them they are flat. So if you are going out with your camera its a good idea if they have been lying about for ages to give them a boost. Also worth mentioning perhaps that you can now get cheap fast chargers and they can charge suitable batteries to full in about an hour. I wouldn't recommend charging cheap batteries in this sort of charger as you can in fact damage them. Some batteries are fast charge and some are not.

Heres a cheap fast charger with 2 x AA batteries, you haven't said what batteries you use so its just an example click here and a better one that also works overseas as it can take 110 volts if needed click here

  Stuartli 15:48 12 Nov 2007

It was the Ni-Cad batteries that required to be discharged first as they do have a "memory" - this is not necessary with Ni-MH versions.

Ni-Cad also have a much lower capacity rating; are these the type you are using?

One other point. When recharging, if you have an older battery charger and modern high capacity Ni-MH rechargeables, you may need to switch the battery charger on again after the initial recharge period has finished.

I find I have to do this two or three times (I've trained the other half to do it for me when she sees the green light come on!) even using an "intelligent" fast battery charger.

By the way, Ni-MH batteries, when not in use, lose about one per cent of their charge daily.

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