Excessive battery drain (when off) on Canon Powershot A60

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Al Paca, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Al Paca

    Al Paca Guest

    I know this A60 is a fairly elderly camera now but I have a specific
    use for it.

    I have been conscious that if the camera is left unused for several
    weeks the batteries discharge more than I would have expected. I have
    tried several brands and capacities of Ni-MH batteries, including
    Hybrio and Eneloop, and they all suffer the same problem. Basically
    after about four or five weeks the batteries have been discharged to
    such a level that the camera won't turn on. My wife has the Canon A70
    which is the 3MP version of this camera and it does not exhibit the
    same problem.

    I Goggled for quite a while and found one reference which hinted at a
    design problem with the battery door causing a short. However, I set
    the camera up with the battery door open and bridged the link on two
    of the batteries and was able to measure the current being drawn from
    the four AA batteries with the camera switched off. The current being
    drawn was 1.5mA which I have calculated would deplete my Ni-MH
    batteries by about half after four weeks. I tried removing the CF card
    and also checking the date/calendar battery but they make no
    difference.

    So my question is, does anyone else still have the same (old) camera
    and do you suffer from the same effect? If that's the way they are
    supposed to be then I guess I could get used to leaving the battery
    door open when it is on the shelf.

    Any comments most welcome.
     
    Al Paca, Nov 9, 2008
    #1
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  2. Al Paca

    Vi Cuna Guest


    If it's only being used occasionally then why not try removing the batteries
    and keeping them in the fridge ? They hold current for longer if stored
    at lower temperatures.

    However - the performance of all Ni-MH batteries deteriorates by
    a specific percentage each year starting from the date of their original
    manufacture irrespective of how many times they've been charged.
    Although this rate may also may be temperature dependent.


    Vi
     
    Vi Cuna, Nov 9, 2008
    #2
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  3. Al Paca

    ASAAR Guest

    You doesn't notice the problem because his A60 isn't defective.
    Lithium AA cells can last much longer than alkaline batteries, but
    with very low loads, such as those from clocks and most cameras that
    are turned off, they don't last appreciably longer than alkaline AA
    cells. You can verify this by checking the manufacturer's data
    sheets for low load capacities. How's your A570IS doing? It's been
    many months since your relative returned it, and you've stopped
    braying the bogus misinformation about how bad its alkaline AA
    battery life is. Still getting a dozen shots from fresh AAs, or the
    hundreds that almost everyone else gets?
     
    ASAAR, Nov 9, 2008
    #3
  4. Al Paca

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Different battery technologies have different strengths. The
    advantage of alkalines is that they hold a change for a long time,
    but they run down quickly in high-current applications. The advantage
    of MiMH batteries is that they can store a lot of charge, but they
    can't hold it for a long time.

    And, of course, most cameras use electronic switches to turn on, which
    means that the off state is really a standby state that continues to
    draw a small amount of power. Just what NiMH batteries don't cope
    with very well.

    Solution? Keep a pair in a good charger that won't overcharge them.
     
    Ray Fischer, Nov 9, 2008
    #4
  5. Al Paca

    Dave Cohen Guest

    I've had eneloops last almost a year in my A95 which is only used
    occasionally. Gave my wife the old A40, again very little self discharge
    using Kodak pre-charged.
    Suspect a faulty camera which can still be serviceable, just don't leave
    batteries in. But you will lose permanent settings like date/time and
    cumulative exposure count.
    Dave Cohen
     
    Dave Cohen, Nov 9, 2008
    #5
  6. That sounds high. Yes, the camera may require some standby current when
    turned "off" because the power switch is electronic, but in any good
    design the standby current should be down in the microamps, not mA.

    More data: We used to have an A80, and batteries (4 cells) in it would
    provide at least a few shots for several months after a full charge.
    We now own an A720 (2 cells), and its standby current seems to be around
    1 uA or below (not enough to show up reliably on the 2.000 mA scale of
    the meter I was using).

    So I'd say your camera has a problem - either a design flaw in that
    model, or a problem in your specific unit.
    Does the A60 have a separate lithium time/date battery? Many Canons do.
    If so, you won't have to reset the date when you leave the battery door
    open.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Nov 11, 2008
    #6
  7. Al Paca

    Al Paca Guest

    Hi all, OP here.

    I just wanted to say thank you to all who replied, especially the two
    Dave's.

    The situation is that whilst switched off the A60 camera is drawing
    1.5mA from the batteries which leads them (regardless of type) to
    discharge to an unusable level in just over one month. As I pointed
    out, my wife has the A70, which is a very similar camera except that
    it is a 3MP device and has a slightly more powerful zoom. A set of
    Eneloop or Hybrio batteries in her camera will still work fine after
    one year of sitting switched off. As Dave Martindale pointed out, the
    current drain on her camera when switched off is a couple of microamps
    (uA) whereas my A60 is 1.5 milliamps (mA), so a factor of nearly 1000
    times more.

    So it looks like there is a problem with the A60, perhaps a problem
    with the electronic power switching. However, as it is such an old
    second camera and also just used occasionally it doesn't seem worth
    any expenditure to have the problem corrected.

    And to both Dave's, yes it does have a separate lithium 3 volt battery
    to preserve the date and time. That battery still checks out OK after
    several years. On that basis I will content myself with removing the 4
    x AA cells when it is not in use, until it finally packs in for good.

    Thanks for all you input, appreciated.
     
    Al Paca, Nov 11, 2008
    #7
  8. Al Paca

    Al Paca Guest

    Great tip. Thanks.
     
    Al Paca, Nov 12, 2008
    #8
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