Care and Feeding of Camcorder Batteries

Taking Care of your camcorder Battery

There are three kinds of camcorder batteries. The three classes are Lead-Acid, Lithium-Ion and all others (Nicad, Nickel Metal Hydride (Zero Memory), etc.) You are basically stuck with the type your camera is designed and supplied with.

Because of the lack of information on Lithium Ion in regards specifically to camcorder batteries, this article will only adress the more popular Nicad,Nickel Metal Hydride and Lead acid types. When more data is available it will be posted. Please check back occasionally.

The easiest and most reliable battery is the Lead-Acid variety. This battery is basically the same as the one in your car and requires the same treatment. Always keep it fully charged! There is no need for discharging prior to recharge. Most chargers continue to charge after charge lights extinguish. Occasionally batteries may need to spend up to 24 hours on a charger to regain a maximum charge. There is no need to fear overcharging as chargers as usually contain safety circuitry to prevent excess heat buildup. Also most batteries are internally thermally fused to prevent meltdown and acid leakage.

NiCad or Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride batteries require more attention than Lead-Acid. These are the same batteries found in cordless phones. These batteries need to be fully discharged after use to promote long life. Do not short or drain to a 0 volts condition as this may damage the pack. Usually running a camera until it powers down from low battery a couple times will sufficiently drain a NiCad. A full charge cycle with extra time overnight if possible will allow a trickle charge to complete charging. Always store these units in a discharged condition and charge before use. A battery that has developed a shortened run time is said to have developed a memory. This is caused by a buildup in the battery that shorts around or bypasses storage area inside the battery. Repeated discharge and recharge cycles can in some cases return battery volume.
Always remember that a deeply used or discharged battery may need more than one trip on charger. Also, chargers will run for a set period of time or until a certain level of heat is obtained. After this high charge cycle a continuing trickle charge cycle will slowly 'top off' the battery to its full potential.

In addition to this, there are different manufactures cells that are used to make Nicad or Nickel Metal Hydride camcorder batteries. The cells will vary from Sanyo, Panasonic,(Everedy)Energizer, Duracell,Toshiba and various other manufactures in china. The batteries quality will differ from manufacture to manufacture but it may not be realized until the end of its life cycle. In other words you should not be able to tell the difference between brands unless the battery pack is either old or used. An important thing to be aware of is that some places will sell you a battery pack that is already 2 or 3 years old. You should ask when the pack was manufactured (Within reason. Approx. 2~3 months) because age will effect performance and longevity. A typical consumer averages about 1~2 years on a camcorder battery and yes you should be taking the batteries out of the camcorder when not in use.

Charging Camcorder Batteries

Care and Feeding of Camcorder Batteries

Care and Feeding of Camcorder Batteries

 


 Care and Feeding of Camcorder Batteries

Care and Feeding of Camcorder Batteries