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Anton Bauer Batteries suddenly stopped charging


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#1 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 01:40 PM

I have 4 of the AB 14.4v Pro-Pac batteries, with a Dual Fast Charger. The charger doesn't have and LCD, just some LEDs to tell the status.

I was on a shoot this weekend, and three of the batteries wouldn't charge.

The red and green lights on the front just flashed, and according to the manual, means the charger is talking to the battery to see how it's feeling, and what best to do to it.

Well it did that for over 10 hours, with no charge. One of them actually went to red after 4 or 5 minutes, then after an hour or so went to green. But didn't result in a genuine charge. (that's kind of alright, since I knew that one of the batteries was bad. I figure it's that one)

These have been working fine for the past 2 months since I got the used rig, and then all of a sudden they stopped working.

Any insight that anyone can give me?

I can kinda afford having them recelled, but I'd like to use them as long as I can.

Thanks
Bryan

Oh, I was also wondering if maybe the heat killed them. they were in a case out in the sun for about 3 hours. But i'm assuming that batteries are very often in the sun on a shoot or whatever. Did I possibly kill them that quickly?
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#2 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 02:26 PM

I have the same batteries with a Quad charger. The problem may be due to moisture/condensation inside the batteries, or heat. If the batteries are too hot or too cold (instable temperature) then they will not charge until the charger recognises that the temperature is stable and suitable for operating (Hence the red/green alternating lights) They probably don't need recelling.
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#3 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 02:38 PM

I have the same batteries with a Quad charger. The problem may be due to moisture/condensation inside the batteries, or heat. ...They probably don't need recelling.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi Jason,

These have been inside for overnight, and fairly stable with the tempature. Condensation is another issue that I can't check, and I guess the only way to fix that is wait?

I know that one of them needs recelling, and i'm cool with that. Is there any advice for upgrading options when I recell? Any suggested companies?

thanks again
Bryan
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#4 Jamie Hammond

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 02:51 PM

Hey all,
Ill double what Jason said. I have the same and my charger does have the LCD. One of my batteries is continually registering as being to HOT to charge. I tend to leave it on the charger for a few hours more and eventually it settles down and charges to full capacity. All the batts are kept together so I don't think its pysically too hot. I think maybe its memory is just a little unstable, I know mine is......... I wouldn't worry just yet.

C Ya

J :lol:
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#5 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 03:45 PM

Hi Bryan,

I'm not sure about recelling options over on your side of the pond, I'm sure someone will be able to help out on that. But I wouldn't be afraid to go looking to see if you can get any cheap new / already recelled batteries to save you the trouble. I can remember people on here saying that they prefer to buy new or good condition used than to recell, from a financial point of view it may be more worthwhile. Once you have some prices for recelling you'll be able to decide for yourself.

It may also be a good plan to get hold of one of the newer InterActive AB chargers, that way you can upgrade to Digital batteries which is useful. (The digital ProPacs don't work with the older chargers for some reason) I plan on buying the 2702 quad model when I can afford it. You also get the display readout and discharging options etc with that.
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#6 geoff shotz

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 11:09 AM

bryan- go to your local tv station and introduce yourself. i'm betting that they use anton bauers too. then see if they will let you use a charger with a discharge module. leave them there, well labelled as yours of course, for the weekend and let the charger do it's best to refresh them. then you'll be able to tell which are in good shape and which are not. ohh yeah, check all the fuses on your batteies as well. then, if all else fails, and they are still not up to snuff, call b and h photo in new york or better yet, james lee at 16by9 in burbank, calif. and buy some new batteries. hope this helps.

geoff
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#7 pauldudeck

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 03:20 PM

Bryan,

You can contact the Anton/Bauer Customer Support Dept at (800)541-1667 and they can give you information with regards to the batteries and charger. If you give them the serial numbers of the batteries, they will let you know how old they are and can probably tell you if they need to be replaced or not.

Also, let them know that the exact model number of the charger you are using. You may be able to upgrade to newer batteries, such as the Dionic 90 or HyTRON 120 battery.

Regards,
Paul Dudeck
Anton/Bauer, Inc.
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#8 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 09:13 PM

Thanks Paul

I call Anton B... gave them my serial numbers. My batteries are 12 years old.

I hear that's pretty old. *grin*

Right now I have a dual charger, and 4 batteries. I spoke with the people at Anton Bauer, and they say to keep the batteries on the charger for the best conditioning. And that leaving them off the charger can be bad for them. I beleive them I think.

Anyway, I have a few options that I need help with. Maybe I should start a new thread, but I'll try here for now.

I could...

1. Buy 4 new ProPac 14s + Another dual charger

2. Buy 2 new HyTRON 120 batts, and a dual charger for them (I'm guessing that 2 new HyTRONS would be almost as good as 4 Old ProPacs?)

3. Re-cell all 4 of the old ProPacs, and start saving for when they die again. =)

Any other options that you experienced people have?
I'm trying to do this cheap, but professional...

Bryan
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#9 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 09:38 PM

Hi there,

Talking about recelling AB, I sent one of my old Hytron 50 that would not charge anymore to Rathbone and I am waiting for it to come back and see how it compares with my new set of Hytron 50. I will come back to you on their service and recelling products as soon as I have the battery in hands.
Has anyone tried them yet? I can't seem to find a thread on this site.
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#10 Chip Monk

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 10:54 PM

3. Re-cell all 4 of the old ProPacs, and start saving for when they die again. =)

Any other options that you experienced people have?
I'm trying to do this cheap, but professional...

Bryan

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'm a re-celling fan. Check out this link

http://www.batteriesplus.com

I did 4 of my mini bricks thru them, here locally, and they are running great, and the price was right. $89 each. I asked them once about the regular sized bricks, and they quoted me a price, which wasn't that much more. Can't remember.

If there's a store locally for you, it saves you the shipping.

Look into different chargers too, something with a cycling feature. I have a frezzi 2100A, which does wonders for keeping ni-cad batteries alive and healthy. (It also does Ni-Mh)

There are cheaper alternatives for chargers too. Like R/C Car chargers. A lot of them do from 1-24 cells, charge and discharge. That would be a good one to keep at home on the workbench to tech them out. Mr McConkey posted a while ago about some findings he had. May be worth looking into.

Take Care,
Chip
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#11 pauldudeck

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 10:02 AM

"I call Anton B... gave them my serial numbers. My batteries are 12 years old.

I hear that's pretty old. *grin*

Right now I have a dual charger, and 4 batteries. I spoke with the people at Anton Bauer, and they say to keep the batteries on the charger for the best conditioning. And that leaving them off the charger can be bad for them. I beleive them I think.

Anyway, I have a few options that I need help with. Maybe I should start a new thread, but I'll try here for now.

I could...

1. Buy 4 new ProPac 14s + Another dual charger

2. Buy 2 new HyTRON 120 batts, and a dual charger for them (I'm guessing that 2 new HyTRONS would be almost as good as 4 Old ProPacs?)

3. Re-cell all 4 of the old ProPacs, and start saving for when they die again. =)"


The list price of the ProPac 14 is $355.00 and the HyTRON 120 is $595.00. Both of these batteries come with a three (3) year MAXX warranty, and should provide you with up to 5 years of service life.

It is true that (2) two HyTRON 120's will provide you with almost the same amount of run-time as (4) four ProPac 14's. If you chose to carry less weight and want the extended run-time from a battery, the HyTRON 120 is the way to go.

Not to knock recelling, but all they are doing is cutting open you case and inserting cells. They don't ensure that the cells are properly matched or balanced, nor will they guarantee that the LCD fuel gauge (if applicable) will function properly, which technically it won't, since it needs to be re-calibrated. Also, the life span of a recell battery is typically 18 months, give or take.

Paul
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#12 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 10:33 AM

The list price of the ProPac 14 is $355.00 and the HyTRON 120 is $595.00. Both of these batteries come with a three (3) year MAXX warranty, and should provide you with up to 5 years of service life.

It is true that (2) two HyTRON 120's will provide you with almost the same amount of run-time as (4) four ProPac 14's. If you chose to carry less weight and want the extended run-time from a battery, the HyTRON 120 is the way to go.

Not to knock recelling, but all they are doing is cutting open you case and inserting cells. They don't ensure that the cells are properly matched or balanced, nor will they guarantee that the LCD fuel gauge (if applicable) will function properly, which technically it won't, since it needs to be re-calibrated. Also, the life span of a recell battery is typically 18 months, give or take.

Paul

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks Paul for the continued help.

Right now I have two batteries that charge, and seem to work alright. My thought was this:

Recell the two that are not working. Possible cost $300
With the next job I get, purchase another (new) dual charger, so that I can keep all 4 batts on charge at all times. I would have 2 dual chargers, and 4 ProPacks.

Next job would allow me to purchase 2 HyTron 120s, and I'd sell the old ProPacks, and keep the recelled ones. (2 chargers, 2 Hytrons, 2 Recelled Propacks)

Later, change out the two Propacks for two Hytrons.



As for Recelling, I know it's inferior to new batteries, but financially speaking, it seems ok for a temporary fix. My batteries don't have an LCD readout.

I think there is a .5Lb weight difference in the ProPacks, and Hytrons that would require me to tweak the balance when I switched, but I'd be ok living with that for a little while, until more $ rolls in.

*shrugs* Does that sound like a crazy plan? if not, can you reccomend a dual charger that would charge the Hytrons and 12 year old Propacks?

Thanks again
Bryan
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#13 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 02:19 PM

Bryan,

B&H Photo in New York had great prices on AB products (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/). Hytron 120s are just under $500 (http://www.bhphotovi...e.x=0&image.y=0).

Good deal. Also, from time to time, AB has B-Stock available. These are new items (with full warranty) that have been shown off at trade shows. Dealing with AB directly (and Paul) has always been a positive experience. They are very knowledgeable and pleasant.

Yes, you will have a slight rebalance between ProPac14s & Hytron 120s, but nothing you can't do while wearing the rig, walking to "1." I love the Hytron 120s and now use them as my primary battery (but I still have a couple ProPac 14s kicking about).

The idea of a second charger is a grand one. Not only is it better for the batteries long term life, it is a crippling blow if your only charger goes down (unless the camera uses AB bricks & charger too).

Hope this helps.
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#14 RobinThwaites

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 04:38 AM

Hi Bryan

Another alternative is to get hold of a PAG charger with the revitalise programme on it. PAG chargers are two wire and will ignore the battery trying to talk back, the problem may be massive cell imbalance in which case the PAG charger will use it's internal software to slow charge and rebalance the cells After that the AB charger will probably work.

12 rears is a long time so to be honest I thing new batts or a recell is on the cards, also note that AB probably would not condone the above procedure but I have seen it work.

Robin Thwaites
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#15 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 09:39 PM

I am an advocate of recelling and I honestly wish that Anton Bauer would reconsider the idea of recelling their batteries...... I hate spending a ton of money every 3 years for batteries and then "throwing" them out. I would just assume spend money getting them recelled and use the same shells for many years to come. That way I avoid polluting waste, change in style of battery and change in weight.
I don't understand why Anton Bauer doesn't adopt a policy of recelling or at least readopt their trade in policy. Either way, there is an incentive to recycle and reuse rather than buy buy buy and throw away. It seems to me that if the shell and the electronics are good in the battery, why can't one exchange shot cells for new ones?
So to answer your question about the battery issues you face;
1) keep your old batteries, recell them, and with the money you save,
2) buy a new charger.
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