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  1. #1

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    NiCad "Behavior"

    An upfront admission: After 30-odd years as a shooter, I have never - until this past spring, with the purchase of a MD2/MB1 - used NiCads in any of my equipment.

    So, my question: Do NiCads discharge of their own volition? If so, how quickly? Why do I ask? As soon as I picked up the aforementioned drive, I charged up the batteries, bolted on the drive, and went out shooting the same evening. After shooting a couple of rolls, I set the camera aside for a spell (as I mentioned in another post, I rotate through my various bodies over the course of the year). For most of the past several months (excepting the Highland Games in Victoria and the Calgary Stampede), I have spent the bulk of my time shooting black and white (PanF Plus, of course) landscape work with the Blads. This weekend past, I went to grab the F2AS to shoot the Anomie Festival at SFU; to my surprise, the batteries were near death! Is this typical, or is it rebuild time?
    An assortment of F-series Nikons (F to F6, excluding the F4) with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.

    Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.

  2. #2

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    Typical

  3. #3
    ath
    ath is online now
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    NiCds are more or less empty after 3 to 6 months. NiMHs even faster with the exception of the RTU (Ready to use) types. Even the cheap supermarket brand I checked had 86% capacity left after 3 months.
    Regards,
    Andreas

  4. #4
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Yea, NiMH are the way to go these days.

    NiCads are extremely fidgety.
    I hate em.

  5. #5

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    They also develop a 'memory' if they recharged before they are completely discharged. I made myself a small device out of a damaged Nikon F90 battery holder where I could fit 4 partially discharged Ni-Cads and they were connected by soldered wires to a 6V bulb and allowed to discharge naturally.

    After several full charges and full discharges the full capacity was attained and they didn't discharge so quickly

  6. #6

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    NiCads love to be worked and slowly devour themselves if left charged and stored. If not in use discharge to 1 volt per cell and put them in the refrigerator. NASA runs theirs down to Zero and puts a short across them then stores them cold. Freeze no, cold better.

  7. #7
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Also, if you put two more NiCd batteries in series which are not at the same charge level, the higher voltage battery will discharge into the lower voltage one. Then, as time goes on, both batteries might end up going flat.

    My solution has been to keep batteries in groups and to always keep those groups together. Charge and discharge/use the groups together. Having two or three groups of batteries also helps them to last longer. While one is charging, one is being used and the other one is "resting" in reserve.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  8. #8
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    The most important thing is the first 3 charge cycles, that sets the tone for the battery's memory, you charge fully, discharge to 3% roughly, then charge fully, then discharge again, then charge fully a 3rd time and it will last a long time, the first two charges won't last as long as the 3rd will


    Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  9. #9
    Hexavalent's Avatar
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    The results of over-charging are commonly perceived as "memory effect". Cheap chargers can seriously cook NiCads (they should not get hot), causing a major loss of capacity.
    - Ian

  10. #10

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    Nicad batteries, in my own experiences, are very unpredictable. It may be holding decent charges for weeks and months, and die very quickly in a way it discharges very fast one day. Left unused and discharged, it can refuse to accept charge. Over charge it once and it'll die. Discharge it too far few times and it'll die. I'm not sure about memory effect as commonly stated. There are many many Internet references but it's not clear to me they are referring to true memory effect or just a plain degradation.

    I agree fully with Ian. Cheap charger does not shut off.... and end up over-charging.

    With better technologies around, I would not use Nicads.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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