Nikon EN-EL4a battery with MH-21 charger (MB-D10 PDK1) question

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Pete A, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. Pete A

    Pete A Guest

    I took advantage of a special offer on a MB-D10 Power Drive Kit PDK1,
    which includes the EN-EL4a battery and MH-21 charger. The problem I
    have is trying to unravel the circular references between the camera,
    battery, and charger user manuals, then trying to balance that lot with
    maximizing the life of the Li-ion battery.

    The EN-EL4a will not be in regular use. Optimal long-term storage
    charge for Li-ion batteries seems to be around 40% - even at that
    charge level it would more than serve my occasional need to extend the
    camera's internal battery.

    Should I charge the battery just until the 50% green LED on the charger
    stops flashing? This would obviate the problem of storing the battery
    for long periods at near full charge.

    Any ideas on when I should use the "calibrate" button on the charger?
    I've read a few dire warnings about doing this on a new battery.

    Thanks in advance,

    Pete A, Dec 27, 2011
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  2. Pete A

    Savageduck Guest

    I use the MB-D10 + EN-EL4a with my D300s.
    I keep a charged EN-EL3a in the camera as a secondary battery as
    back-up for the EN-EL4a.
    So my power needs are met with 2 x EN-EL3a and 2 x EN-EL4a, each one
    labeled "A" & "B", the extra batteries being kept in my bag and swapped
    out for charging.

    I normally swap out for recharging when the primary EN-EL4a is
    somewhere between 25%-40%. I leave it in the charger until fully
    charged and then return to my bag as the new back-up.

    The manual does not recommend attempting to charge a fully charge
    Li-ion battery, and that is the reason I remove it from the charger
    after it is fully charged.

    It is only necessary to calibrate if a calibration lamp starts blinking
    when you put the battery in the charger. The reason for calibration is
    so the charge state can be accurately measured. Even then the manual
    states that you are not obligated to calibrate if the calibration lamp
    blinks and you just need to charge.
    I have been following the protocol I am using with the EN-EL4a since
    January 2009 and I have yet to have the calibration lamp blink, so I
    have yet to calibrate either of those two batteries, and I have
    experienced no issues with what seems to be endless power for the D300s.
    I would say the time to calibrate is going to dictated by two factors;
    the blinking calibration lamp, and/or inconsistent charge

    Also, I use the Nikon GPS, GP-1 which draws power from the camera, and
    I will turn the camera on when going out for a shoot. I leave it on in
    standby for hours with little discernible drain.
    Savageduck, Dec 27, 2011
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  3. Pete A

    Savageduck Guest that was EN-EL3e not 3a
    Savageduck, Dec 27, 2011
  4. Pete A

    Pete A Guest

    That makes sense for anyone who uses their camera quite often. Instead
    of being concerned about leaving my EN-EL4a for long periods at full
    charge, I need to take a lot more photos.
    Thanks, that is so much easier to follow than the manuals.
    I left my camera in standby for a several weeks and was surprised to
    find the battery had plenty of charge left. I switched if off and went
    out to take some photos. It _had_ drained the battery, but in standby
    it doesn't update the battery indicator in the top-panel display. I
    shan't make that mistake again.
    Pete A, Dec 28, 2011
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