4.5 volt charger, not 5 volt?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by P Hoberg, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. P Hoberg

    P Hoberg Guest

    I have 3 FujiFilm digital cameras that all use the same type of 5 volt
    chargers. One of the chargers is missing, and I want to give my oldest
    camera to my daughter. I can only find 4.5 volt universal chargers that fit
    the camera's plug-in. I can set the polarity correctly. Will the slightly
    lower voltage damage the camera? Will it be sufficient to recharge the
    battery? I hesitate to "just try it" because of the possible damage. Is
    there a better place for me to post this query?
    P Hoberg, Mar 24, 2006
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  2. If one of the chargers is missing, that means you have 2, therefore why
    don't you give your daughter one of these 2?

    Dennis Pogson, Mar 24, 2006
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  3. P Hoberg

    Battleax Guest

    it will not charge the battery
    Battleax, Mar 24, 2006
  4. P Hoberg

    Ed Chilada Guest

    Chargers like this often have a fair degree of tolerance and
    personally I suspect it'll work. AFAIUI voltage is like a 'pressure'
    that pushes the current through, slightly less pressure shouldn't
    therefore cause any problems - it'll either work or not work.

    I've added sci.electronics.misc so one of the large-foreheaded boffins
    in there can either confirm it, or tell me I'm an idiot.
    Ed Chilada, Mar 24, 2006
  5. It probably won't damage the battery, but may not fully charge it either.
    You could try it and see.

    Or check online sellers or eBay for chargers for that battery type, whatever
    it is. You're apparently charging the battery in the camera, but there might
    be separate chargers for the battery type which should work at least as
    John Falstaff, Mar 24, 2006
  6. P Hoberg

    AZ Nomad Guest

    Digital electronics don't like being run at voltages for which they
    were not designed. Electronics gates may fail to fully turn on or off.
    At a lower voltage, some devices will draw more current and may exceed
    their design parameters.

    If the camera is worth more than $150, why not spend the $30 to find the right
    adapter? Get one used on ebay if you're too damn cheap.
    AZ Nomad, Mar 24, 2006
  7. P Hoberg

    SMS Guest

    Many of the universal adapters are not regulated, they are all nominal
    voltages. The better universal adapters are regulated and will be very
    close to the rated voltage.

    If the camera uses 4 AA NiMH batteries, then a 4.5V adapter won't be
    sufficient, in fact I'm surprised that they use a 5V adapter since this
    is barely enough, since at full charge the batteries are around 1.25V.

    Personally, with a 5V adapter costing about $6, I wouldn't bother with
    the universal model, but you'll have to buy the right connector for the
    Fuji camera and attach it to the charger with the proper polarity.

    The universal chargers are rather dangerous, as it's too easy for
    someone to accidentally change the voltage setting or the polarity.

    I think that the Fuji uses a 1.7mm diameter power plug (at least older
    Fuji's such as the MX1200 did), Radio Shack Catalog #: 274-1532. Not
    sure about the polarity.


    If you don't mind a little soldering, this is the way to go.
    SMS, Mar 24, 2006
  8. P Hoberg

    P Hoberg Guest

    Thanks, Steven, for a very helpful reply. The camera is too old to justify
    the cost of a new FujiFilm replacement, and the other 2 cameras are used in
    2 different locations so they each need their own charger. So my choices are
    to keep the old one as a backup in one of the locations, or risk ruining it
    by trying a cheap adapter. Or Ebay - some there may have promise. I'll look
    into your suggestions, and probably buy the daughter a new inexpensive
    digital camera.
    P Hoberg, Mar 24, 2006
  9. From his description I'd assume his Fujifilm has a Li-Ion battery, not four
    AA cells, since evidently he plugs the charger into the camera itself. The
    battery in that case is probably 3.7V, so a 4.5V adapter might be enough.

    My old Fuji MX-2900 is like that; the AC adapter also serves as a battery
    charger, with the battery in the camera. Most such batteries are available
    cheap on eBay and he might be able to find a separate charger for it there
    also, whatever his battery type is.
    John Falstaff, Mar 24, 2006
  10. P Hoberg

    SMS Guest

    The real question here is what camera is it, and what kind of batteries.
    If it's a 3.7V Li-Ion, or two AA NiMH, then 4.5V will likely be okay,
    and even 6V might be fine if 4.5V doesn't work. But if it's four AA
    NiMH, then 4.5V won't work (but 6V might work).

    Be sure to get the polarity correct with the universal adapter, the
    voltage being a little two high is probably okay, but the wrong polarity
    can quickly zap the camera. Canon uses negative tip, but most products
    are positive tip.

    I _do_ suggest a cheap adapter, but a 5 volt one that you put the proper
    tip onto. somehow.
    SMS, Mar 24, 2006
  11. P Hoberg

    P Hoberg Guest

    FujiFilm MX-700. Battery is model no. NP-100 - Lithium Ion 3.6v 1350mAh.
    And, yes, I plug the charger into any of my 3 camera to charge their
    batteries. I have purchased a COBY universal adapter CA-11, that is one
    integrated unit with the polarity and voltage switches on the transformer,
    so are less likely to be accidentally changed. One of the 4 rigidly
    connected male jacks fits the camera female exactly. So I'll give it a try.
    I'll let you all know if smoke is emitted! Thank you for the help.
    P Hoberg, Mar 24, 2006
  12. P Hoberg

    Cinder Lane Guest

    "Battery is model no. NP-100 - Lithium Ion 3.6v
    But is the 4.5v charger, regardless of the fact that it is called
    "universal," designed for Lithium Ion batteries? The differences in the
    charging algorithms for Li-Ion, NiMH, and NiCd are more important than
    the difference between 4.5 and 5 volts.
    It is probable that part of the charging circuitry is within the camera
    itself, and that the 5v charger is specially designed to work with it.
    Therefore, a "universal" charger is *not* what you need.
    Cinder Lane, Mar 24, 2006
  13. P Hoberg

    SMS Guest

    The Coby CA-11 is not regulated, so the actual voltage will depend on
    the load. Since you're overloading it (it's rated at only 300 mA, and
    just charging the battery with the camera off is 340mA), I think the
    actual voltage will be much less than 4.5V, so you may want to try the
    6V setting. A non regulated supply doesn't provide the actual voltage on
    the switch, the voltage falls as the load increases.

    The Fuji MX-700 draws about 340mA (measured) with the camera off and
    charging, and about 1000 mA if the camera is on with the LCD on.

    You might be able to charge the batteries with the Colby unit, but it's
    only 300 mA, which is extremely low for a digital camera that is
    charging an internal Li-Ion battery. You could get the Coby CA-44 which
    is 1000 mA, still unregulated.

    What you really should buy is either:

    a) Philmore 48-1190, which will do 5 volts, is regulated, and has the
    plug for the Fuji Camera. You can see it at
    "http://www.minute-man.com/acatalog/DC_Multi_Voltage_.html" it's the
    last item on the page. This is the proper voltage, supplies enough
    current, and has the proper plug. I've ordered from that source before,
    with good results. I don't think you'll find this product in any store.

    You can also buy the "http://sterlingtek.com/fujdigcamad.html" which is
    for Fuji only, for $15.

    Remember, it's not just the voltage, it's the current. Look at one of
    your Fuji adapters, I'd wager that it's rated between 1000 mA and 1800
    mA. 300 mA is way too low. But you might get it to work, as long as
    you're not trying to operate the camera from the AC adapter at the same
    SMS, Mar 25, 2006
  14. My recommendation: don't use it at all. The Fuji adapter is probably
    regulated, and delivers very close to 5 V under any load up to its
    maximum rating. The camera is designed for 5 V, but probably works fine
    over a range of voltages like 4.5-5.5 V.

    But the Coby wall wart, if unregulated, probably outputs 7-8 V with no
    load. This may be enough to damage the camera.

    A *regulated* 5 V adapter would be ideal. One that outputs 4.5 V
    regulated would likely also work, and not damage anything if it didn't
    work. But an *unregulated* adapter rated at 4.5 V could be

    Dave Martindale, Mar 25, 2006
  15. P Hoberg

    Yukio YANO Guest

    Nice story !! but the Camera actually runs on the Internal Battery . and
    none of the quoted nonsense applies.

    The quoted 4.5 Volts may actually be the Average Voltage from the
    Charger and may well be 5.0 volts peak, which is the part of the
    waveform that charges the batteries. The test is does the battery hold
    a full Charge after an overnight charge cycle. Try it!. Worst case is
    the battery will not come to a full charge . In which case you have your

    Yukio YANO
    Yukio YANO, Mar 25, 2006
  16. P Hoberg

    AZ Nomad Guest

    The AC adapter is magically wired to the battery without any electronics.
    AZ Nomad, Mar 25, 2006
  17. P Hoberg

    SMS Guest

    On many of the cameras that charge the Li-Ion battery internally, you
    can run the camera off the AC adapter without a battery in the camera at
    There is no waveform. This a DC charger, with capacitors to smooth out
    the rectified power.
    Probably true. Without a battery in the camera, if the camera is turned
    on, the 300mA wall wart won't do anything, since the load is so high
    that the voltage will be very low.

    With a battery in the camera and the camera on, the battery will
    continue to discharge, just maybe a little slower. With the battery in
    the camera and the camera off, it may charge the camera battery, maybe
    not, though at a higher voltage setting on the adapter, it may charge
    the, just a bit slower.

    Personally, I'd buy the proper adapter and be done with it. The proper
    adapter will cost around $20, including shipping, from Sterlingtek.com,
    or the universal Philmore adapter will coat around $25, including
    shipping from minute-man. Or a 5 volt regulated adapter from All
    Electronics is about $12 including shipping, but you have to buy the
    proper tip and solder it on, which is not worth the trouble.
    SMS, Mar 25, 2006
  18. P Hoberg

    SMS Guest

    The cameras that charge the battery inside the camera, have all the
    charging control circuitry inside the camera, and the charger simply
    puts out DC at a specific voltage (at a sufficient current). A "generic"
    charger is fine in this case, as long as it's the proper voltage can
    supply sufficient current.

    I like my Canon G2, which can charge the battery inside the camera, but
    most manufacturers no longer do in-camera charging.
    SMS, Mar 25, 2006
  19. P Hoberg

    SMS Guest

    Actually, on lithium packs, there is a separate contact for charging
    versus discharging. So you can have the situation where the device will
    not work without the battery in place, because there is no connection
    between the AC adapter and the camera electronics, only to the charging
    contact of the battery.

    On notebook computers, there are often similar models from the same
    manufacturer, with the same power jack, that use different wattage
    chargers depending on the CPU. Since low end notebooks often use a high
    power desktop CPU, versus the more expensive and lower power notebook
    CPUs, some cheaper models may need say an 85W charger, while the more
    expensive ones may need a 65W charger. Using the lower power adapter on
    the higher power notebook will charge the battery if the notebook is
    off, but the lower power adapter cannot operate, or charge the battery,
    of the higher power notebook that's turned on (though it will slow the
    discharge of the battery).
    SMS, Mar 25, 2006
  20. IMHO i don't think you are risking anything by trying it out. At worse, it
    won't be powerful enough, just like batteries that were running out.
    Richard Bornstein, Mar 26, 2006
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