info lithium battery prob

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by roy davidson, May 9, 2005.

  1. roy davidson

    roy davidson Guest

    It was my daughters birthday yesterday, I put the video camera on charge for
    three hours before she got up. The camera only lasted about a second each
    time I tried it. Its an info lithium or something like that. Last time this
    happened I
    put a small dc motor across the battery and left it to empty the
    charged it as normal. It worked until today, about 8 months since the last

    There was charge in the battery, the motor has been running overnight
    now so what's going on?

    roy davidson, May 9, 2005
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  2. roy davidson

    Dave R Guest

    Lithium Ion batteries have a limited number of charge/discharge cycles.
    Something like 1000, but that may be manufacturer dependent. My laptop
    battery went the same way, it would look like it was charging and got to
    100%, but would die within minutes, and there's no way it had 1000
    charges. It was spent though. Bought a new one and all was well.
    Dave R, May 9, 2005
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  3. roy davidson

    Tony Morgan Guest

    They also lose capacity if unused for long periods after being "put
    away" in other than an uncharged condition [1]. Obviously that is the
    cause of both examples that have been given here.

    It's a catch-22 situation. If you discharge before "putting away", then
    you lose one charge cycle each time you do it.

    [1] An "uncharged condition" in this context is not
    *completely* flat, but is the state of small
    residual charge that is the point at which the
    camera/camcorder tells you that the battery
    needs charging. You can see this with a new
    battery: if you use a voltmeter you'll see that
    there is a voltage there, but put it in the
    camcorder and the camcorder won't run until the
    battery is charged.
    Tony Morgan, May 9, 2005
  4. roy davidson

    Mark Guest

    You might have wrecked the battery by discharging it too deeply. See
    p8 in here:

    Cameras, phones, laptops etc are designed to turn off before the
    cells are discharged too much.

    Mark, May 9, 2005
  5. roy davidson

    Harry Guest

    If the motor's been running all night, there was plenty of charge in the
    I would suggest maybe looking elsewhere for the reason the machine was
    shutting down after 1 sec. that's often what they do in fault mode.
    If it's been stood for a while (Not sure if that's what you're saying),
    there are lots of possibilities.. but a repair ctr. sounds fav. to me.
    All you can reasonably do is check for obvious stuff like tape jammed, head
    drum stuck, foreign objects in the mech.
    Course it could still turn out to be the battery ;-)
    Harry, Jul 21, 2005
  6. roy davidson

    Peter Guest

    Sony also had major QA problems with their infolithium batteries. Only
    certain batches/types. They eventually )after everybody's warranty ran
    out) admitted to this with a statement on their website, aimed at the
    DSCP camera owners.
    Peter, Aug 10, 2005
  7. roy davidson

    Tony Morgan Guest

    I think that if you carefully read the small print on a Sony camcorder's
    warranty, the battery is specifically excluded (or limited to something
    like 30 days). I'm told that it is the same for most camcorders.

    Anyway, clone batteries are so inexpensive now, I personally don't
    consider it an issue.
    Tony Morgan, Aug 10, 2005
  8. roy davidson

    Peter Guest

    Agreed; however a part of the problem appears to be the firmware in
    the cameras. I have a 1999 PC100 cam which has been absolutely
    faultless; the original batteries are still performing perfectly.
    Do they universally work? I am in electronics product design, and see
    that a lot of effort is going into crypto chips for anti counterfeit
    for batteries. The extra cost of a really secure solution is about 50p
    (mostly in the battery) but evidently some manufacturers think it is
    worth it.
    Peter, Aug 10, 2005
  9. roy davidson

    Tony Morgan Guest

    Lion batteries have a life dependent on the number of charge/discharge
    cycles. Full capacity is maintained over the first 100 full
    charge/discharge cycles, then they progressively lose capacity. It's the
    same for laptop batteries.
    Nothing to do with "crypto chips. If you break open a camcorder (or
    laptop) battery, you'd have seen that there's nothing more complex than
    two resistors and a zener diode (in the battery).

    Perhaps you're getting mixed up with printer cartridges (specifically
    Epson printer cartridges).
    I'm puzzled as to the security aspect in relation to battery life, or to
    charge state.
    Tony Morgan, Aug 10, 2005
  10. roy davidson

    Peter Guest

    Actually, it is :) Dallas/Maxim (one name that comes to mind
    immediately) are doing chips that contain a unique serial number and
    implement a relatively secure challenge/response protocol - intended
    for batteries.

    It's quite possible that almost nobody is using these devices
    currently, however.

    I am talking about "Infolithium" type batteries; these contain a chip
    that integrates the current going in and out of the battery, and
    implements a simple protocol which the camcorder can use to get the
    current battery state. Of course it's imprecise; for starters it
    cannot take account of internal battery leakage and anyway the battery
    chemistry prevents any accurate estimation of what is in there -
    except when full or empty.

    Same idea for printer cartridges, but I suspect the budget for making
    those secure is a lot smaller.
    Peter, Aug 10, 2005
  11. roy davidson

    Tony Morgan Guest

    So am I.
    Nonsense. Break open a battery to see for yourself.
    If you are indeed an electronics designer, then apply Kirchoffs to a
    network of two series high-impedance batteries across the battery, with
    one bridged by a zener (to set the minimum operating voltage
    monitoring). The camcorder uses an op-amp to determine the charge
    remaining and (when the current reaches the zener voltage) the
    disconnection of the battery during operation.

    Not exactly rocket-science to an electronics designer.
    Tony Morgan, Aug 10, 2005
  12. For Tony: Suggest you at least do a google for Infolithium chip before you post.

    For everybody else: Let's not start yet another flame war, he's wrong, everybody
    or anybody who researches the matter can see he's wrong, so it's not worth

    Quote from Sony:

    InfoLITHIUM L-Series

    Lithium batteries allow far greater recording time than the previously used
    Ni-Cad options. What’s more, Lithium batteries can also be recharged at any time
    without causing any “memory effect”. Using a new quick charge system,
    InfoLITHIUM batteries can deliver one hour of continuous recording time from
    only a 15 minute charge! Also, with Sony’s InfoLITHIUM battery system an IC
    chip is incorporated in the battery.


    Stuart McKears, Aug 10, 2005
  13. roy davidson

    Tony Morgan Guest

    And I'd suggest that you open a spent InfoLithium battery up and see for
    yourself (I assume you have a meter about the place). In your job I
    would have thought you'd have several spent batteries sculling about the

    I don't gullibly absorb all the stuff that marketing droids shove out.
    Such is the stuff of urban myths.
    Tony Morgan, Aug 10, 2005
  14. roy davidson

    Tony Morgan Guest

    I should perhaps have added that Sony (like all the other
    camcorder/digital still camera manufacturers) aren't too happy about the
    volume of "equivalent" batteries that are freely available - typically
    £12 against a £54 Sony badged battery.

    Sony laptop batteries do indeed have a small memory chip incorporated.
    This gives a unique identifier, and also holds the incremented value of
    charge cycles. But then, Sony laptops give you a "goodness" barchart
    reading based on the reading of the memory chip's total charge cycles.
    Camcorder don't have this facility for the reasons that I've stated.
    Perhaps this is the "chip" that you have referred to.
    Tony Morgan, Aug 10, 2005
  15. No I don't have any spent batteries around the place, all my current batteries
    still work, the oldest 3+ years is only a little down on original spec. Now, I
    wonder why that is, maybe because I'm happy to pay a reasonable price for a
    reasonable battery.

    If you believe that InfoLithium batteries with chips are a con and the chips
    don't actually exist when everybody else does, then fair enough.


    Stuart McKears, Aug 10, 2005
  16. roy davidson

    Tony Morgan Guest

    In message <>, Stuart McKears
    Perhaps you can tell me what the "original spec" is. I've never ever
    seen one published? And perhaps more to the point, how do you check your
    batteries against the spec?
    I've got four batteries. One Sony NP-FM50. One Sony NP-FM91 and two
    clones of the same. All bought between two and three years ago. I did
    have another Sony NP-FM50 and a NP-FM71, the FM50 failed after only two
    months use - that's when I discovered the small print in the warranty
    concerning batteries, and the FM71 gave up the ghost after about ten
    months. The FM91 clone which was bought with the camcorder still gives a
    good life.

    I've got several friends who use clones without problems.
    Tony Morgan, Aug 11, 2005
  17. roy davidson

    :::Jerry:::: Guest

    You got a bit mixed up there Tony I suspect, I think you really meant
    to say, "I've got several clones who I use as friends without
    problems" !... :~)
    :::Jerry::::, Aug 11, 2005
  18. Steve Franklin, Aug 17, 2005
  19. <Snip usual arrogant response to genuine query)

    They actually get a physical message come up on the display '"Use the
    InfoLithium Battery Pack" how much more crystal do you want it to be Morgan?

    Be a man and admit for once in your life you are wrong.

    The betting shop is now open, I'm offering 10/1 of any admission of being

    1/1000 for any of the following sidestepping the issue, attacking everyone,
    obfuscation of the OP's comments, going quiet on the thread, Loudly singing
    the Welsh national anthem with fingers in ears.

    Any takers...?

    Jerry? Shall I put you down for a tenner?
    Steve Franklin, Aug 17, 2005
  20. "...I replaced the battery with another FM-50 (Off-brand from nations
    largest store) and the camcorder powered up, gave a message that the battery
    was not a Sony and powered down. Appears you need to use a Sony battery
    only, as their is some new chip technology that won't let others copy their
    over-priced batteries anymore..."


    Another real world user account. Far be it for me to put a questoin to an
    'electronics genius' like you Tony...but hmmm there does appear to be a
    pattern appearing here?

    So hang on...just explain for us simpletons again...I applied Kirchoffs
    (just one coat) and had my Zener bridged and all the came up on the screen
    was the service code TM003. I checked the Sony Service manual which
    explains - 'Please insert a non Morgan bollocks juggling battery'

    Please explain Tony.

    Not exactly rocket-science to an bollocks juggler of your calibre.
    Steve Franklin, Aug 17, 2005
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