DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Discuss older Nikon-based Kodak digital SLRs, including DCS 100, DCS 200, NC2000, DCS 400/600/700-series, etc. Ask questions, post general comments, anecdotes, reviews and user tips.
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DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Post by Webmaster » Tue May 12, 2009 6:36 pm

So - you've bought yourself one of those old, impressive Nikon F5-based Kodak DSLRs, only to realize you've brought home a potential power nightmare? No need to panic. Here's everything you need to know:

http://www.nikonweb.com/dcs_batteries/

Feedback, additional info, tips and tricks appreciated.

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Re: DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Wed May 13, 2009 1:29 pm

Very handy. I'll reiterate that the pack I bought from Bestbatt seemed to be new, and worked fine, at least in a Canon D2000.

The mention of recelling packs intrigues me. The DCS 460 I bought recently has three home-made battery packs. They're made out of standard AA rechargeables, arranged in a two-by-three configuration, held together with thick tape. They seem to be linked together with soldered bits of metal that join the terminals, and they work fine, although the camera tends to briefly show a low battery warning after taking a few shots (the power seems to build up again after a short pause). I know very little about electrical stuff and the only time I soldered anything was at school, with unimpressive results. One of the packs no longer holds a charge, and so I cut it open, hence the above.

It makes me wonder if there is a way to use the battery cradle that comes with Canon's SLR portrait battery grips. E.g. the BG-E2 grip for the Canon 20D has a cradle (the BMG-E2) that holds six AA rechargeable batteries, and it would be great if there was a way to charge up the batteries in a standard battery charger, put them in the BMG-E2, wrap it up in plastic to stop the batteries falling out, and gaffer tape this contraption to the back or bottom of the DCS 460, with the appropriate power connector. I have no idea if this would work, or if the voltage would be absolutely wrong, or if the idea could be extended to the DCS 520 and later models; doubt if the battery tray would fit inside the later DCS cameras. The DCS 460 is enough of a kludge as it is that another bit of kludge would not seem amiss.

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Re: DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Post by Webmaster » Thu May 14, 2009 10:01 am

The article has now been updated with a new "Breaking in the battery" section, including some useful info.

I've also come across a $29.95 battery on eBay - from Hong Kong - incl. shipping. Assuming the 2150 mAh battery is working properly (and I have no reason to believe it isn't), this is the cheapest option I've seen so far. In fact, some sellers charge the same amount just for shipping. Item 260406539317, seller luck-to-you (yes, I know..) 99.5 % positive feedback (1739 items sold).

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Re: DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Post by Anssi Krooks » Fri May 15, 2009 7:15 am

Nice and informative article, thanks.

After reading it I remembered that I have one dead battery that was left in the camera for too long. Using a healthy battery pack and two paper clips I was able to "jump start" it and it's now charging. My personal record in terms of battery life was just over 300 shots with fresh pack, but in general with my shooting style I got around 100 shots with one pack and even less if temperature was cold. In -40 C I got once 10 shots until camera went completely dead. Keeping the battery inside a warm pocket for a while gave another 10, but it was very frustrating to change batteries constantly. ;)

I have a habit to connect the camera to AC adapter every now and then to keep the internal battery alive as my 760 doesn't get that much use these days. But is there any general suggestions how to deal with the NiMH batteries over long period if they are not used? Should they be charged regularly or just let them be?
D1X, DCS PRO SLR/n, DCS 760, DCS 420c & Canon Pro70

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Re: DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Fri May 15, 2009 12:45 pm

Anssi Krooks wrote:I have a habit to connect the camera to AC adapter every now and then to keep the internal battery alive as my 760 doesn't get that much use these days. But is there any general suggestions how to deal with the NiMH batteries over long period if they are not used? Should they be charged regularly or just let them be?
This is the kind of thing that troubles laptop owners. I have an Asus Eee netbook, which also drains the battery when it is sitting idle. A number of people have taken to draining the battery to around 40% capacity and storing it in a fridge over long periods of time, with the caveats that (a) you would have to make sure it gradually warms to room temperature once you have taken it out of the fridge, and (b) the Eee uses li-ion batteries rather than NiMHs, and (c) it might be nonsense. The problem is that there is a lot of repeated, Chinese whispers-style stuff floating around the internet that is copied and pasted from elsewhere.

I suppose that's one good thing about the DCS 315/330 and the DCS 200 - as far as I remember they used standard AAs.

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Re: DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Post by Webmaster » Fri May 15, 2009 12:47 pm

Anssi Krooks wrote:Should they be charged regularly or just let them be?
You'll find plenty of information on the web. Search Google for "store nimh batteries" or "nimh shelf life", for example. Unfortunately, the advice is often inconsistent. Some sources say that Ni-Mh batteries can be stored indefinitely (and be restored to full capacity by running them through 3 full charge/discharge cycles), while others suggest that you should recharge the batteries every 30 days:

"Always be sure to store your rechargable nickel metal hydride batteries in a charged state. Charge your stored rechargeable batteries at least every 30 days or so in order to keep your batteries in tip top shape, even if you do not use them."

http://www.thomas-distributing.com/rech ... teries.php

Another one: "Nickel-metal-hydride can be stored for about three years. The capacity drop that occurs during storage is permanent and cannot be reversed. Cool temperatures and a partial charge slows aging."

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-19.htm

According to Wikipedia, "The self-discharge is 5-10% on the first day, and stabilizes around 0.5-1% per day at room temperature", perhaps suggesting that the battery should be recharged every three to six months (depending on temperature)?

Not sure if this helps, but as you'll soon discover (browsing the web), there's no definite answer to your question. In any case, it's good for you - and your batteries - to take the camera outside and get some fresh air once in a while!

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Re: DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Post by Anssi Krooks » Fri May 15, 2009 4:31 pm

I'm charging all my NiMH batteries (DCS 760, DCS 420 and Nikon D1x) every 1-2 months based on some online knowledge, but I was pondering if this is completely waste of time and even harmfull for the batteries in long run in contrast to that situation where batteries are charged only when they really are used (which in my case is maybe few times a year).
D1X, DCS PRO SLR/n, DCS 760, DCS 420c & Canon Pro70

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Re: DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Post by Stan Disbrow » Fri May 15, 2009 9:13 pm

Hi,

The best bet for NiMH packs is to leave them out of the camera. Charge them up first, then set them on the shelf. When shooting, cycle between the packs. I use a marker, and mark mine #1, #2, #3, etc. If I used #1 last time, I'll use #2 this time and #3 next time.

On a long day of it, of course, I'll go thru all three packs - or most of the charge in the last one, anyway. I'm getting essentially one 2 GB card to a pack on my 760c, so usually I have one pack in the camera with two cards and then switch packs once I see that the camera has changed cards. I keep the third pack and card in the bag in case I'm shooting too danged much and need another card and pack! :p

This method means that if the camera has been shelved for a couple days, then the internal clock is screwed up and I have to set it upon power up. Of course, my lithium back-up battery is long gone on all three of my Kodaks, and even though I could change them out myself, I'm too lazy! it's easier to reset the real time clock... :p

Oh, if the pack(s) have been sitting for more than a month, it's a good idea to pop them into the charger before heading out shooting. It does no harm to NiMH to charge when it's still pretty much charged up. NiMH is not subject to the ancient 'memory effect' that older NiCds once were. Actually, any NiCd made after about 1990 wasn't either. I still prefer to re-cell packs with NiCd rather than NiMH as NiCd has a much longer useful life than NiMH does.

Note, that I mean years of service here, not number of shots on a charge. NiMH have more capacity than NiCd does, but I always get at least ten years of service life in regular usage with NiCd and have never obtained more than five or so years out of NiMH in 2-way radio applications. This also holds true for power tools, BTW. That said, I prefer to use NiMH in cameras for the greater mAh capacity they offer. :)

Later!

Stan
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Re: DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:34 pm

Stan Disbrow wrote:This method means that if the camera has been shelved for a couple days, then the internal clock is screwed up and I have to set it upon power up. Of course, my lithium back-up battery is long gone on all three of my Kodaks, and even though I could change them out myself, I'm too lazy! it's easier to reset the real time clock... :p
Old thread, but I recently won an auction for a DCS 760 - let's hope this one doesn't go on the fritz, like the last one I had - with the (huge) box, the all-important charger, but a duff internal battery. I tried opening up my old 760 but could never wiggle the back off, but looking on DPReview I notice a chap back in 2006 posted some fairly comprehensive instructions on changing the internal battery:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readf ... 683&page=1

Involves a soldering iron, so it's beyond my ken. Apparently the battery is a Panasonic CL1220-1VC. This appears to have been discontinued long ago, and the modern equivalent is apparently a Panasonic ML1220, which has a larger capacity:
http://www.stereo2go.com/displayForumTo ... 7856455368

The device in the link is a kind of distant ancestor of the iPod, a "walk man". My worry is that the battery - after ten years of sitting inside the camera - will start to leak, although from what I've read lithium batteries tend not to. The poster raises the interesting possibility of upgrading the camera's internal buffer, with a paragraph of such technical insight that it made me wonder if Mr Disbrow above has a doppelgänger, or lost twin:

"The memory in the socket J3 appears to be a 144-pin SODIMM package. The carrier is unusually large, with room for 16 chips but populated with only 8. The Chips are made by Infineon, HYB39S256800CT-7.5, which means that they are 3.3V, SDRAM, 256Mbit per chip, x8 architecture, standard product, Die Revision C, TSOP 400 mil (contains lead), PC133 3-3-3. Since there are 8 chips per socket, I _think_ this means that we are dealing with 8 * 256Mbit / (8 bits per byte) = 256MB of PC133 non-ECC CL3 low-profile SODIMM. So I also think that one ought to be able to replace this module with a 512MB module, but I have no idea if the architecture would recognize the larger installed RAM and make use of it."

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Re: DCS 500/600/700 battery/power info (NikonWeb article)

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:06 pm

Incidentally, after having got the camera - with about five batteries - I can confirm that the trick below (from Nikonweb's guide to the camera's batteries) worked for me, too:

"And here's yet another variant: "With my 620x nimh batteries, I just stick the totally dead batteries in the charger, wait for the flashing yellow, yank it out, wait a couple seconds and stick it back in over and over and over. About the sixth or seventh time, I get the solid yellow and the battery charges up."

This is with a later-model battery that has gold lettering. After about the fifth time it almost seemed to "catch", but started flashing after a minute; the next time it charged up. It's all a far cry from the batteries in my 5D MkII, which have individual serial numbers and can be monitored throughout their life by the camera.

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