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Dead batteries

A_Harrison 13 261 Canada
30 Aug 2005 4:43PM
For some reason my camera(Minolta Z1)shows my batteries as very low of power,even if I have just put new ones in.
There is nothing wrong with the batteries as I use them in other devices after I take them out.
At the moment I only seem to be getting 5 to 10 minutes of life out of a set.

any ideas Allan

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sillyconguru 13 4.4k
30 Aug 2005 4:49PM
Make sure that the camera's battery contacts are clean. Wiping the contacts with a clean cloth can help. Or, a fibreglass pencil is a good tool to remove any heavy oxidization.
A_Harrison 13 261 Canada
30 Aug 2005 5:13PM
I tried using rubbing alchol on the connections,maybe I will try somthing a little more course.thanks for your help.
sillyconguru 13 4.4k
30 Aug 2005 5:30PM
I assume you're using Ni-MH batteries. If so, how many times have the batteries been charged?

What are the other devices you use the batteries in? Digital cameras need quite a high current; if the batteries are slightly bu99ered, they won't last long in a camera but they might be OK for other things.
Scotty 13 64 1 Scotland
30 Aug 2005 5:49PM
This might sound a bit too obvious, and I am not sure what sort of batteries a Z1 takes, but it sounds as though it is more likely you are using the wrong type of AA batteries.

Assuming you are using AA size, it is important to take into account the mAh rating. If you are using just any rechargable battery (NiMH) then there is a chance you are using one with too low mAh rating.

The mAh rating effectively tells you how much power the battery can supply within a given time. a 1000mAh battery can supply a 1000mA load for 1 hr, or a 500mA load for 2 hrs, depending on the condition of the cells inside the battery. If the battery you are using has too low a mAh rating, the point at which the battery cannot supply enough power comes up quickly, and the camera powers down. When you put the battery into different equipment, the power demands will be less, and the battery can then supply the power to the device.

It sounds as though you are using a battery with a mAh rating of about 600mAh, where I would recommend using one of at least 1300mAh for a digital camera. Look in electrical stores or Argos / B&Q, and you can find rechargeable AA batteries of about 2500mAh. Changing to a higher mAh battery could well be your solution. This is why normal alkaline batteries often will not power a digital camera, as their typical mAh rating is often below 500mAh.

Also make sure you are fully discharging the battery as far as the camera will allow, as NiMH can suffer from memory technique where a partial discharge of the battery before recharging forms a chemical barrier inside the cells of the battery, and prevents proper charging eventually.

Keeping contacts clean also helps, but is more likely to prevent the item working at all than a rapid discharge of the battery.

Hope that this is not too technical, but this is a common problem that I've seen a few times.

All the best, and I hope that helps
Happy Snapping!
A_Harrison 13 261 Canada
30 Aug 2005 7:18PM
Thanks Scotty,thats a lot of answer to my question.I don't use rechargables.This problem happens with every kind of battery I have tried.(Energizer,Duracell),even cheapies I used to be able to shoot over a 160 picture before they died but no more.
It has to be somthing else.
Edit.....Z1's use double A's
User_Removed 14 3.3k Russian Federation
30 Aug 2005 11:23PM
When I was still using my Z1, it ate up standard AA's in a matter of minutes. Making the change to rechargable NiMH's made a whole world of difference, not to mention saved me money...
A_Harrison 13 261 Canada
30 Aug 2005 11:33PM
but the camera used to work for up to 6 or seven hours before the batteries would die for over a year.then one day I could only get a couple of minutes out of them.

could there be another reason that made this happen.

Scotty 13 64 1 Scotland
31 Aug 2005 12:18AM
Standard batteries very rarely work on digital cameras, certainly not on my Fuji 4700 I have - it was 1300mAh NiMH batteries or nothing! I think at some points depending on what battery was being used, the camera would refuse even to power on!

Besides, go for rechargables mate! Better on the environment and your pocket in the long term!

Dirty contacts I wouldn't have said would have caused a power drain, unless there is severe corrosion or contamination on them. If it is not something to do with the type of batteries you use, then it's the camera that's duff. I still reckon you should try hi power NiMH batteries.....
sillyconguru 13 4.4k
31 Aug 2005 2:42AM
I wasn't suggesting that dirty contacts would cause a power drain. Dirty contacts will increase the resistance in the power circuit, thereby not allowing enough power to flow.
geoffmclark 15 238
31 Aug 2005 9:35AM
If this has suddenly started happening as you seem to be saying then there is something wrong with your camera and no amount of changing to recharged batteries etc is going to have the right effect.
If it's not the battery contacts at fault then it suggests that you have a cicuit board electronics problem and it needs a pro fix.
Using rechargeables might give you better life per set but still not up the standard you should get were there to be nothing wrong with the camera in the first place.


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