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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    City of Lights, City of Casinos, City of Sin -- Must be Las Vegas!
    Posts
    1,512
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys View Post
    I use NiMh and Lion batteries. I treat them both the same - fully charge then use until the device stops and recharge.

    My laptop battery hasn't suffered and my mobile phone battery lasted longer than most other phone batteries for the same phone.

    Quite honestly the don't discharge fully thing only ever applied to NiCad batteries - which nobody save for some cheap and nasty tool manufacturers use now.
    Actually, you are NOT supposed to fully discharge LiPo (lithium-polymer cells not to be confused with lithium-ion) batteries which are NOT cheap. Some LiPo batteries also have an automatic cutoff (they are not supposed to be discharged beyond a certain point or charged beyond a certain point). In addition, LiPos should be charged at least once a year to prevent over discharge and should be stored at 30-50% capacity. Myself, I also use a thermal cutoff when charging LiPo cells--usually 11.1v 3-cell packs (LiPos have a higher cell voltage rating than the typical rechargeable battery).

    NiCD (nickel-cadmium) cells are basically "memory" type batteries and should be discharged and/or recycled in order to obtain a full charge. If not, they will only charge from the developed memory, which means the typical charger may think the battery is fully charged yet it is not.

    NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) cells on the other hand don't really have a memory, so those batteries don't necessarily need to be deep cycled. However, if the batteries haven't been charged for some time, it may be necessary to recycle them or "condition" them for them to achieve a full charge. These batteries should also be charged soon before use and not be "hot" when charging.

    Myself, I own several chargers including a Triton computerized peak battery charger, discharger and cycler that charges: LiIons, LiPos, NiCd, NiMH, and Pb batteries. It also requires a separate power supply. However, I have yet to try and charge LiIons with it though the basic charge set up is the same as it is for LiPos.

    The "length" of the charge also depends on the mAH rating--Thinking like an automobile fuel tank, the larger the number the more storage space. I don't know about anyone else, but the AAs I purchased at the camera store (for my Speedlight) where 2400mAH when I had already been using GP 2500mAHs for quite sometime. Of course, the hotter the charge, the less life of the battery.
    Last edited by TNB; 09-19-2006 at 08:47 PM.
    Canon G10 - Nikon D3 - Sony P&S - Flickr Account - Non-updated Website

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    For my AAs I bought a 10 minute charger which has a built-in cooling fan. It reconditions my AAs as well as charging/discharging. It even indicates when one is bad!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    City of Lights, City of Casinos, City of Sin -- Must be Las Vegas!
    Posts
    1,512
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys View Post
    For my AAs I bought a 10 minute charger which has a built-in cooling fan. It reconditions my AAs as well as charging/discharging. It even indicates when one is bad!
    Here Wal-Mart and few other stores sell 15 minute chargers; however, that doesn't mean the chargers are very good or are the batteries. Cooling batteries when they are charging is also not that good of idea since it can lead to false peaks--meaning a battery doesn't obtain a full charge. Ideal conditions would be charging each cell individually and "matching" the batteries to get the longest overall charge since the overall charge will only last as long as the weakest cell. Quite frankly, I can fry batteries with my charger if I turn up the amps and it will take a lot less than 10 minutes though that also means the batteries won't have a long life or hold a long charge--my Triton also has a built in cooling fan to help keep the charger itself cool. The separate power supply is to help achieve and maintain "clean" power since "dirty" power may also lead to false peaks. Basically, different types of cells should be charged at different volts and different amps depending on the conditions. For example, I may charge anywhere from 1.2 amps to 4.5 amps depending on the number of cells in the pack and the size of the cells, i.e. sub-c's get a higher amp treatment.
    Last edited by TNB; 09-20-2006 at 11:21 AM.
    Canon G10 - Nikon D3 - Sony P&S - Flickr Account - Non-updated Website

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    308
    One other thing that might work is to try to find someone else who has a Panasonic and ask if you could borrow their charger. As far as I know, the FZ1/2/3/5/7/10/15 all use the same battery. The FZ20 might also. I think the FZ30 is the first model to use the bigger battery. Anyway, if you can try to charge your batteries in someone else's charger, that should give you an idea as to whether it is your charger or the batteries (or the camera) that is the problem. Good luck.

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