Killing Batteries

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Dudley Hanks, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    So, the protection circuit could have impacted the
    rechargeable lithium-ion battery in my GPs, but the non-
    rechargeable battery in the Canon is a different animal.

    Are you aware of any design quirk in a non-rechargeable
    lithium battery that could be impacted by cold temps?
    Dudley Hanks, Feb 15, 2014
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  2. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Now, that is interesting, as most of the batteries that died
    were new. That is why it was so obvious, and that is why I
    got so pissed.

    Perhaps, with the CR2 batteries in the ST-E2, I should use
    fresh batteries inside and keep a partially discharged one for
    use outside in the cold.

    Either that or keep the battery in my pocket and only put it
    into the ST-E2 just before I go to shoot, extracting it
    immediately after done.

    Hmmm, this is getting interesting.

    Thanks for that info. I'll let you know if it helps.

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Feb 15, 2014
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  3. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    No, that 24 hours is much weaker than the more direct sunlight
    received farther south. Ask anybody who studies vegetation.
    The lack of large plants north of the Arctic circle has more
    to do with lack of sunlight than cold temps.

    OK, we'll go with that ... ;)>

    But, it's irrelevent because we're not talking about taking
    pics in the warm days of July, we're talking about freezing
    batteries in Dec - Feb. So, permafrost is irrelevent...

    Not when considered in the light of the discussion.

    No, I'm saying they have nothing to do with double digit
    negatives and freezing batteries...>
    No, I'm saying it has nothing to do with the discussion.
    Just like your observations have nothing to do with double
    digit lows and freezing batteries.

    Keep focused Floyd...
    So, Floyd, tell me again the lowest temp recorded in your area

    How much colder is it than the lowest temp recorded in

    Unless you can show me how much colder Barrow actually gets
    than Edmonton, in absolute terms, your averages just refer to
    the amount of time you spend at a temperature, and have
    nothing to do with whether or not you have to deal with any
    temps that are actually colder than the temps we deal with

    So, if Barrow is so much colder than Edmonton, why don't you
    have a recorded low temp that makes Edmonton's look like a
    tropical high?

    Because, in the cold months, the time period that pertains to
    taking pics in freezing temps, Barrow simply isn't any colder
    than Edmonton (in absolute terms).

    Certainly, I'll grant you that Barrow sees more time in the
    deep freeze, but we do our time there too.

    And, if you want to attribute Edmonton's recorded low to a
    freak, one time occurance, where is Barrow's similar one time
    occurance that would make our low look like a hike in a rain

    It hasn't happened because, for whatever reason, we catch the
    same weather systems you do, just not for the same length of

    But, Floyd, if it makes you feel better, and because I'm
    feeling particularly generous today, I'll rephrase my
    statement and say:

    When it comes to cold temps, Edmonton gets just as cold as
    Barrow, or, at least, it gets pretty darn close...

    There, is that better?

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Feb 15, 2014
  4. Dudley Hanks

    Guest Guest

    all batteries are affected by cold temperatures.
    Guest, Feb 15, 2014
  5. It has just a PTC component to prevent overheating by excessive current.
    It's self-resetting and you'd find it nearly impossible to trigger at
    sub-zero temperatures.
    Kevin McMurtrie, Feb 15, 2014
  6. You keep making up "facts" that are untrue.

    The widely recognized Koppen system for quantifying climate
    was originally based on the understanding that temperature
    affected where trees grow. It is much more sophisticated now,
    and also recognizes such things as precipitation and other
    restrictions on water (drainage for example).

    But note that record high or low temperatures are not part of
    climate classifications. Nor are daylight hours.

    In high latitude areas with lots of light that are isolated from the
    moderation of an ocean and instead have not only cold winters
    but also longer and warmer summers (in Alaska, Fairbanks and the Matanuska
    Valley are places like that) there is significant farming, which
    produces record sized vegetables. The size of a given plant may
    be governed by hours of sunlight, but whether it will grow or
    not depends on temperatures and water drainage.

    Note that there is no *lack* of plants north of the Arctic
    Circle. Barrow is a botanist's delight! The tundra is covered
    with a very thick layer of vegetation with a fabulous variety.

    Stop imagining what would support your ideas and claiming it is
    fact, and start learning about what exists. Try a Google search
    on "treeline arctic" and learn about reality.
    It is hardly irrelevant!

    Permafrost doesn't formed in the summer months. It is entirely
    a product of winter. And you've just highlighted the
    distinction with your "Dec - Feb" time frame! Barrow is below
    freezing from late September through early June. And the
    average temperatures are, as we've seen, significantly lower
    than Edmonton.

    But the summers do show the differences just as much as do the
    winters, and are also therefore quite relevant. As noted, it
    *commonly* snows at any time of the year, and what you think of
    as "winter" conditions are common for Barrow even in July.

    Certainly that is an important distinction for a photographer,
    because in effect the entire year in Barrow is what you think of
    as winter.
    Explain how a once in a lifetime low temperature will ever
    affect your ability to take pictures? The average temperatures
    are what will affect what you can do, the extremes are not.

    That is why climate classifications do not take high and low
    records into account. It's irrelevant for climate study just
    as it is for photography.
    That is a totally meaningless comparison.

    The fact that an average January day is 20 degrees colder in one
    place compared to another is very significant for a photographer.
    The fact that cold weather equipment problems are constant for
    eight months in Barrow, as opposed to three months in Edmonton
    is also very significant.

    That fact that in Barrow a photographer is very likely to
    experience freezing whether, ice, and snow, in every month of
    the year is also significant.
    That is exactly what the *average* temperature charts do show!

    The extremes show just exactly nothing in relation to photography.
    Temperature extremes are interesting, but that is much like
    the difference between weather and climate. We are concerned,
    as photographers, with climate. If the weather is bad you just
    wait a while and it changes. If the climate is wrong you have to
    change your latitude (or your way of working).
    But it *clearly* is. How can you deny that, given the facts
    that have been shown? How cold is Edmonton in October?
    Barrow is below freezing. How about November? Barrow is
    below freezing. (Not just occasionally either. Every single
    day in October through April is below freezing all day long!)
    Not just more time, *vastly* more time. And from October
    through April we just do not get above freezing.

    It's a whole different world. That's why Edmonton is listed
    with a "Koppen Dfb" climate while Barrow has a "Koppen ET"
    climate. They are far from being the same.
    One time occurrences, either in Barrow or Edmonton, don't make
    any difference to a photographer. The average temperatures
    clearly show the difference that will affect a photographer.
    Actually Edmonton does not catch the same weather systems. Most
    of the time Edmonton can be relatively colder than average only
    when the northern half of Alaska is relatively warmer than
    average. To get a cold air mass from the Arctic to push that
    far south in Canada requires a warm air mass move into Alaska.
    You are still trying to make Edmonton into something it is not.
    Your climate isn't the same as Churchill, Iqaluit, Inuvik, or
    Cambridge Bay. Barrow's climate is.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Feb 15, 2014
  7. Dudley Hanks

    philo  Guest

    Here is what I think happened. More than likely the batteries have an
    internal fuse that opens if there is excess current.

    If the batteries are cold and the voltage drops you would not expect the
    fuse to blow but here is a probably reason:

    An electronic device is not a "passive" device such as a resistor.
    Electronic circuits containing semi-conductors are known as "active"

    As a very basic example let's suppose you have a device that requires 5
    volts and at full load draws one amp.

    Suppose you have a 10 volt battery to power it.

    If you used a 7805 voltage regulator

    It could take the 10 volt input and give a regulated output of 5 volts.

    (For the sake of this example and to keep the calculations simple I'm
    going to say the device is 100% efficient. Power in = Power out

    If the device is running at the full load of one amp
    Ohm's law P=IE thus

    1 amp x 5 volts = 5 watts output

    Input 5 watts divided by 10 volts = 0.5 amps

    Now let's suppose the battery voltage drops to 6 volts

    Your total load is still 5 watts

    so 5 watts divided by 6 volts = input current of 0.833 amp

    As you can see, if the load operates at a fixed amount of power,
    as the input voltage drops, the input current increases.
    (This is not at all what you see in a passive circuit)

    Just for the sake of this example, if the battery had an internal fuse
    rated at 0.8 amps it would blow if the battery voltage drops to approx 6

    So, that's what I think happened and if the batteries read zero voltage
    that would confirm my hunch.
    philo , Feb 16, 2014

  8. Just to throw in an additional wrinkle:

    The A2 had a built-in 5 fps motor drive. In cold weather,
    would not the motor drive draw additional current, given that
    the film would be less pliable, the lube for moving parts less
    viscus, etc? If so, that would also increase the draw on the

    Take Care,
    Blind Apertures, Feb 16, 2014
  9. Floyd, I'm going to state my question one more time, and then
    that is it for you and this thread, since you are intent on
    turning a question about batteries into a discussion about
    harsh climates.

    My question was whether or not other photographers had
    experienced lithium battery failure in their devices in
    temperatures below -15C to -20C.

    Now, given that Edmonton experiences these temps in the winter
    time, as does Barrow, and given that Edmonton's recorded low
    temp and Barrow's are the same for the purposes of this
    discussion, any input you had regarding whether or not you had
    experienced any failures at that temperature would have been
    helpful. Clearly, you have not, so anything else you might
    have to say is irrelevent.

    I will grant you that your climate is more harsh than Edmonton'
    s, but, for the purposes of this discussion, I really don't
    care what kind of vegetation you have, how warm it gets in
    Barrow in the summer, or whether you have permafrost or not.

    I'm only concerned about whether any of your lithium batteries
    have died at temps less than -15C or -20C, and if so how much
    time it took for the failure to occur.

    Too bad you can't keep on track, Floyd.

    Take Care,
    Blind Apertures, Feb 16, 2014
  10. Dudley Hanks

    philo  Guest

    That's certainly a possibility is probably a better reason that the
    example I gave. The bottom line is that if the internal fuse blew, it
    would have been due to increased current demand.

    If the batteries were weak and you tried to charge them they probably
    would have functioned for at least a short period of time...but since
    they were apparently totally dead, it seemingly must be from an internal
    philo , Feb 16, 2014
  11. :)

    So true...

    Let me rephrase.

    Are you aware of any design quirk in a non-rechargeable
    lithium battery that could be impacted by cold temps so
    dramatically that the battery could fail?

    Take Care,
    Blind Apertures, Feb 16, 2014
  12. As I previously pointed out, I've never experienced such
    failures, and know of no other photographers that have. But the
    one single point that you has been bringing up is that valid (as
    opposed to many that aren't) is if we don't use exactly the same
    batteries, then that experience has little significance in
    regard to those batteries.

    That makes the only battery discussion of significance
    specifically those two batteries, not camera batteries or
    Lithium batteries. And not how batteries in general deal with
    cold temperatures.
    You are the one who goes on and on with trivially obvious
    false information about it. You haven't been able to
    provide rational and focused information about the batteries
    you asked about either.
    That's because you have a limited range of experience and
    interests, not because it isn't significant to photographers in
    general. The prime example is the ridiculous insistance that
    record low temperature has any significance at all. Heh, look
    up the lowest recorded temperature in the state of New York and
    then try telling me the climate there is the same as Barrow and
    presents photographers with the same challenges.

    There are in fact 8 of the Lower-48 states that have record low
    temperature lower than the record for Barrow or any other
    location on the North Slope. Rather obviously that doesn't make
    any of them even similar, from the perspective of a
    I've previously posted that information.
    I do track *facts* instead of the out of focus nonsense you
    continue with!
    Floyd L. Davidson, Feb 16, 2014
  13. Dudley Hanks

    Guest Guest


    according to energizer, lithium 2cr5 batteries will work as low as -40c
    (-40f), but they don't say what the reduction in capacity is.

    however, humans don't work well in those temps. just stay inside. :)
    Guest, Feb 16, 2014

  14. I wonder if any tests were actually done in a cam like the A2
    at -20C or lower, or whether somebody just pulled a battery
    out of a freezer and checked to see how much current it could

    I think I'll have to give energizer a call and dig a bit

    Thanks, NS.
    Blind Apertures, Feb 16, 2014
  15. Dudley Hanks

    Robert Coe Guest

    >In article <>, Floyd L. Davidson
    : >
    : >> >>>> I'm not talking about lead acid batteries, just Li batteries.
    : >> >>>> And, no, I'm not throwing away good batteries.
    : >> >>>
    : >> >>> But, as I pointed out, lead acid batteries are the ones
    : >> >>> that might display what you say you are experiencing,
    : >> >>> and then in a way that is rather specific.
    : >> >
    : >> >But, have you ever heard of a Canon A2 or HP PDA that is
    : >> >powered by a lead acid battery? Your observation is
    : >> >irrelevant to the issue.
    : >>
    : >> You are totally missing the point, which is why it seems irrelevant.
    : >>
    : >> There is a mechanism by which batteries are damaged by cold temperatures.
    : >> Your batteries do not and cannot have water in the battery. Therefore
    : >> they are not damaged by cold temperatures.
    : Is water the only part of a battery that cold impacts? I
    : think not...
    : >
    : >he doesn't have a lead acid battery in his camera, so what a lead acid
    : >battery does in cold weather (or any weather, for that matter), is not
    : >relevant. why even bring it up?
    : >
    : >something *else* is causing the problem.
    : >
    : Why does something else have to cause the problem?
    : The Li batteries die when used in my Canon A2 or HP PDA
    : devices when those devices are used at temps of -15C to -20 C.
    : The "KISS Principle" (Keep It Simple, Stupid) suggests that
    : the cause is the battery, since it is the variable that most
    : closely relates to the observable event.
    : Just because the Li chemical process is not known to result in
    : widespread failure at low temps does not mean that cold temps
    : are not the culprit.
    : After all, batteries are made of materials. Most materials
    : expand or contract as they warm and chill. Perhaps, the
    : conductive path within the battery has some undocumented
    : defect which can result in a breakage at prolonged exposure to
    : temps below a certain point. If so, that could be the reason
    : why the battery dies, even though the chemical process goes
    : along its merry way. Right?
    : Kind of like Apple's accessibility app Voice Over. At least 2
    : bugs escaped Apple's notice prior to the launch of the system.
    : The bugs, though only manifesting themselves on iPads and
    : iPad mini's, renders the devices all but useless when using
    : the Apple "Numbers" app, and cause considerable confusion to
    : any blind user who puts more than 9 icons in a folder on the
    : home screen.
    : So, even though Apple has a fairly good reputation for being
    : accessible, there are problems only those users who use /
    : configure their device in a fairly specific manner. Perhaps,
    : there are properties to Li batteries that you are not aware of
    : because you have not been exposed to situations in which they
    : manifest themselves.
    : NS, I'm surprised you have already formed your conclusion
    : without fully appreciating the nature of the issue.
    : Take Care,
    : Dudley

    I don't have time just now to slog through the rest of this thread, but has
    anybody asked whether the problem could be with your battery charger, rather
    than with the battery?

    Robert Coe, Feb 16, 2014
  16. Dudley Hanks

    Robert Coe Guest

    : > (Floyd L. Davidson) wrote:
    : >>>
    : >>>>On 02/14/2014 04:44 AM, Floyd L. Davidson wrote:
    : >>>>>>
    : >>>>>> I'm not talking about lead acid batteries, just Li batteries.
    : >>>>>> And, no, I'm not throwing away good batteries.
    : >>>>>
    : >>>>> But, as I pointed out, lead acid batteries are the ones
    : >>>>> that might display what you say you are experiencing,
    : >>>>> and then in a way that is rather specific.
    : >>>
    : >>>But, have you ever heard of a Canon A2 or HP PDA that is
    : >>>powered by a lead acid battery? Your observation is
    : >>>irrelevant to the issue.
    : >>
    : >>You are totally missing the point, which is why it seems irrelevant.
    : >>
    : >>There is a mechanism by which batteries are damaged by cold temperatures.
    : >>Your batteries do not and cannot have water in the battery. Therefore
    : >>they are not damaged by cold temperatures.
    : >>
    : >>>>That's correct...if a lead-acid battery is /discharged/ and subjected to
    : >>>>freezing temperatures, the (mostly water) electrolyte can freeze and
    : >>>>cause permanent damage. I've not see any other type of battery suffer
    : >>>>permanent damage if subjected to cold.
    : >>>>
    : >>>>
    : >>>>> I've *never* seen a Lithium battery damaged by cold.
    : >>>>>
    : >>>I have.
    : >>
    : >>It is being suggested that something else is in fact causing
    : >>any damage.
    : >>
    : >>>>>> Each battery that has died, I have kept and repeatedly tried
    : >>>>>> for a couple of weeks, inside, where it is warm. And, no,
    : >>>>>> they have not come back to life.
    : >>>>>>
    : >>>>>> Floyd, you and I both live in cold parts of the world, but do
    : >>>>>> you spend as much time outside as I do? For the same lengths
    : >>>>>> of time?
    : >>>>>
    : >>>>> Apparantly I spend more time outside, and in much colder
    : >>>>> temps that you do. I'm a getting too old to spend days
    : >>>>> at a time anymore, but hours at a time still happens.
    : >>>>>
    : >>>>> We don't think -35C here is all that cold. -40C is
    : >>>>> where "cold" starts.
    : >>>
    : >>>Really? I just checked your forecast and compared it to
    : >>>Edmonton's:
    : >>>
    : >>>Current temp for Anchorage: -11C
    : >>>Current temp for Edmonton: -10C
    : >>>Expected low for Anchorage: -12C
    : >>>Expected low for Edmonton: -11C
    : >>
    : >>Ohhhhh... Edmonton and Anchorage are about the same! Whoopee.
    : >>
    : >>But, I live in Barrow. That is 725 miles north of
    : >>Anchorage, with two of the tallest mountain ranges in
    : >>North America between. Anchorage is relatively the
    : >>tropics, being affected by the warm currents of the
    : >>North Pacific. Barrow is a point of land sticking out
    : >>into the Arctic Ocean.
    : >>
    : >>The current temperature here is -31C, and the predicted
    : >>low for today is -34C. That is with a fairly typical
    : >>wind of 15 MPH, giving a Wind Chill of -46C.
    : >>
    : >>Another significant difference is that Edmonton get 3 or
    : >>4 times as much precipitation as Barrow, and in fact has
    : >>had more rain in a single day that Barrow sometimes gets
    : >>in an entire year.
    : >>
    : >>>Our climates aren't all that different. Here in Edmonton, we'
    : >>>ve been known to clock lower temps than you, or even Siberia
    : >>>for that matter. Every now and then, we even go on record as
    : >>>having a temp that rates in the bottom 2 or 3 for the globe.
    : >>
    : >>First, your average temperature is way way higher than
    : >>Barrow. The lowest recorded temperature in both places
    : >>does happen to be the same, at -49C. Barrow's highest
    : >>ever temperature was only 26C, while Edmonton's high
    : >>record is 38C
    : >>
    : >>The climates are *vastly* different.
    : >>
    : >>--
    : >>Floyd L. Davidson
    : >>Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)
    : >>
    : >
    : >So, the bottom line is that Edmonton and Barrow aren't that
    : >much different during winter, the time in question...
    : Sheesh. Day and night different.

    Well, yeah. But the observation that night lasts all winter in Barrow isn't
    exactly a commentary on the temperature. :^)

    Robert Coe, Feb 16, 2014
  17. Dudley Hanks

    Guest Guest

    they're non-rechargeable batteries.
    Guest, Feb 16, 2014
  18. Dudley Hanks

    Robert Coe Guest

    : > (Floyd L. Davidson) wrote:
    : >>>So, if it's not a new thing, what's the big deal?
    : >>>
    : >>>Yeah, your cold stretches are longer than ours, but ours get
    : >>>just as cold...
    : >>
    : >>Is that so... Do you have trees growing there? Are you so far south
    : >>that not only are there trees, but you are on the edge of the prarie
    : >>grass range?
    : >
    : >I'm not a herbologist, but I think the vegetation growth has
    : >more to do with hours of sunlight than temperature...
    : Barrow, during the summer months, gets 24 hours of sunlight a
    : day. Clearly temperature is the operative condition.

    Temperature obviously matters. But I suspect that the most operative condition
    is the shortage of (unfrozen) water. As you pointed out several times, Barrow
    is situated in a desert.

    Robert Coe, Feb 16, 2014
  19. Dudley Hanks

    Savageduck Guest

    I believe Dudley has been talking about non-rechargeable Li batteries
    from the start.
    Savageduck, Feb 16, 2014
  20. The "most operative condition" is temperature. Even when water
    is available in the right amounts temperature is still the
    factor that decide which plants can grow. Trees are a prime
    example. There's a twist though, because it isn't how cold it
    gets, but the fact that it doesn't get warm that counts!

    When Koppen first worked out his classification system for
    climate he took into account how cold and for how long a region
    was. That was later adjusted to equate all time below freezing
    as essentially the same. Trees, for example, do not grow during
    months when the temperature is even close to freezing (roughly
    at about 10C). Barrow has an "ET" climate classification, which
    means the average temperature in the warmest month is below 10C
    (50F). The lack of trees is not related to how long the
    temperature is below freezing, but to the fact that it rarely is
    above 10C.

    Water is a really interesting condition in an Arctic climate
    though. While Barrow is a desert, it is a very wet desert too.
    Very little rainfall (less than 5 inches equivalent annual
    rainfall, which includes snow), yet there is water on the
    surface everywhere. Due to permafrost the surface water is
    never absorbed into the ground and instead must move on the
    surface. During the spring (May and June) very few places are
    dry. By July and August that changes and at least 75% of the
    surface lacks standing water even though it may be soggy or

    The types of vegetation change from place to place depending on
    water. It isn't elevation so much as if the water can drain.
    There is a continuum of variety in the vegetation that matches
    water availability. That can literally be seen when drainage
    varies with elevation changes of less than 1 foot over either
    very short distances (inches) or very long distances
    (kilometers). By the same token an elevation change of many
    feet might result in the same drainage conditions for it's entire
    extent, and the plant variety will be one thing at the top,
    another for the entire slope, and something completely different
    at the base.

    Suggestions that there is no vegetation in the Arctic are
    hilarious. It's a botanist's paradise! And anyone who likes
    macro photography or just photographing plants is in paradise
    all summer long. That is in more ways that one too! Most of
    the plants around Barrow, as an example, are known... but very
    poorly documented. Anyone who wants to could make a name for
    themselves by spending several summers documenting plants.
    Floyd L. Davidson, Feb 17, 2014
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