your rechargeable battery die an early death?
your batteries healthy
are a frequent source of problems for portable video, audio and
computer equipment, and, unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation
out there about how to take care of them. Just to set the record
straight and help you get the most out of your investment, I thought
you should know...
Not all rechargeable
batteries are the same. There are two types commonly used
in today's camcorders: nickel cadmium (ni-cad) and lead acid.
Small electronic devices, such as palm-sized camcorders and
cell phones, typically use ni-cads, and full-sized camcorders
usually use lead acid. It is important to identify which type
you have before charging or storing them.
should be totally drained before recharging. This type of
battery is notorious for developing a "memory."
If you frequently use the battery for 15 minutes and immediately
recharge it, then it may soon run only 15 minutes, even on
a full charge. It is better to leave the battery partially
discharged between uses unless you will store it more than
a few days. For longer storage, run the battery all the way
down, then recharge it before storing. Ideally, a full discharge
and recharge should occur on a regular basis, such as once
Lead acid batteries,
on the other hand, should be recharged immediately after use.
This is crucial! If they are stored partially or totally discharged,
they may never recharge again. This is true even if you use
them for only 10 minutes. Fully discharging them can actually
shorten their life.
loss. All types of rechargeable batteries lose power capacity
with time. Lead acid batteries can be recharged roughly 500
times with slightly less usable power each time, but even
unused they can lose up to 20% of their capacity each year.
Ni-cad batteries can be recharged roughly 1,000 times, losing
capacity with each charge, but again, even unused they can
lose as much as 10% of their capacity each year.
- Remove the battery
when storing. Some camcorders drain batteries even when
turned off. Not all models are designed this way, but it does
occur. Some camcorders will use automatically use the installed
rechargeable battery to power the date/time circuits and other
memory functions when it is present, even though these circuits
normally draw power from separate backup batteries installed
by the user. This drainage will discharge your battery completely
in a few months and can destroy lead acid batteries. It is good
practice to always remove your battery before putting away your