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Batteries charging when away


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#1 Janice Arthur

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 02:15 PM

Hi all;

I have and love Anton-Bauers so that's my battery system of choice.

Here's the question charging when I'm gone for long periods and of course I'm talking about times when not working and I leave all the batteries to simmer.

I've never had a problem in the past but I chased the qualities of my batteries closer then

I have old and new batteries and some are obviously less good than others and a charger or two that would set records for age.

As I leave for a week or two trips and even for a few days the thought of them cooking along has started to concern me. They charge on shelves under my stairs and where if heat built up there would be plenty of fuel to encourage them

So;

1) does anyone set up their charging stations away from other flammable stuff? Like the middle of their garages on cement floors?
2) does anyone else think about this?
3) no I do not have lithium batteries
4) precautions you take?
5) recently I did take them all off charge when I left; I just can't take the stress.
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#2 Nathan Chapman

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 11:57 PM

I don't have any Anton-Bauers, so I can't comment specifically on that, but we have a dual charger for IDX batteries, as well as a bunch of Sony and Canon batteries that just stay on charge.

 

The IDX stay on constantly. When they're full, they aren't even warm, so I imagine there's no power going through them.

 

The Sony and Canon batteries are both used frequently, and we have more batteries than chargers, so they get rotated around, and one lucky last battery left on charge until we need them. Again, whilst the power to the charger's on, there's no heat, so no power draw.

 

They all sit on simple shelving... not particularly away from anything flammable, but not close to it either.

 

During breaks (like the fortnight over Christmas / New Years), everything in the 'studio' section of our building in switched off. But, that's about it.


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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 06:58 AM

For what it's worth:

 

I never got into the habit of "cooking" batteries when not in use by leaving them on the chargers. I had a set of Dionic 90's that lasted 5-6 years or so without issues. The AB guys were kind of astonished to hear about their longevity and assumed I had left them on the charger every chance I could. Nope. That was when I was using them on a pretty regular basis so they would rarely run all the way down on the shelf anyway.

 

After the Dionics finally died I got a set of HC's, which are now at least 5 years old. Apres-Steadicam, I use them even more infrequently, and when I do the displays tend to be completely dead and they go into rejuvenate mode on the chargers. They all still work fine once they come back up, I haven't noticed any issues with run time etc.

 

Yes, I'm a complete dick to my batteries and they don't seem to care. YMMV of course.


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#4 Jerry Holway

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

There should be, on each manufacturer's website, recommendations for long term storage, for each type of battery. I remember reading the recommendations from AB and IDX; the AB rec's going back to NiCad's.

 

I believe IDX recommends leaving the batts in a state of 40% discharge for long term storage, but I'm not sure how to measure that other than relying on the little LEDs. And that info might be out of date.

 

Personally, I have a working method like Charles: I leave my PowerCubes alone and just charge them when needed or I happen to think of it. 


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#5 John Ritter

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:26 AM

30 plus chargers running full time 24/7 last 6 years......................

 

 

 

***Now the legal liability disclaimer: Never leave a charging battery unattended, all electrical devices can malfunction and cause a fire.

 

If you will be away from home for any amount of time just turn everything off, you can always charge up your batteries when you come back.

Do try your best to cycle batteries at least every 60 days for good performance.

 

John Ritter

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#6 Janice Arthur

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 06:59 AM

Hi all;

I've done every version of what you all describe above and I'm not always good about care and maintenance but I did try to leave them on charge as John shows

I've had my charging station for decades I'm just vocalizing what I've thought of more and more over the years. The new chemistries, that I have not kept up on, started me wondering too.

To answer Jerry's point the websites never say what 'long term' storage is. Is it a three day weekend or two weeks or more?
I also know why as with John's point the legal disclaimer is why they don't.

Even Nathan's company turns off power when the building is unoccupied for a week or so.

So yes I'm going to turn them off when gone for even a few days and on a daily basis probably leave the "newest/best" on.

Thanks.

Janice
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#7 Nathan Chapman

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 04:29 PM

The only other point I can think of is the amount of power all those indicator lights etc. use.

That may seem feeble, but there's a big push at the moment in Australia to save every watt of power, including from our tellies/microwaves/computer when they're not being used (well... By companies trying to sell us gizmos to auto-cut power to devices).

Still, if its you turning the switch off, and not a $60 glorified egg timer, every bit of power saved goes in your pocket... Right?
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#8 John Ritter

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 07:30 PM

 what 'long term' storage is. Is it a three day weekend or two weeks or more?
I also know why as with John's point the legal disclaimer is why they don't.

 

 

 

I consider long term storage, any time over 30 days this will be quoted different by many folks and manufacturers, so it is just my "opinion".

 

Normally you want to leave a battery on the battery pack manufacturers charger when not in use in order to have optimum

performance available when you are ready to use it.

 

Any good battery will hold at least 80% of it's charged capacity (note that capacity varies greatly with age and use conditions) for 30 days.

 

If you plan ahead a shutdown will not effect you or the battery, if you plan to store the battery for more than 30 days follow each manufacturers directions

but plan on cycling the pack at least every 90 days to exercise it, after 6months or more they can go completely dead with no recovery possible.

 

The newer chemistry batteries; Li-Ion, Li-Poly systems have even more safety features built in than the legacy systems, some are software based and some analog

so on the whole almost all of the possibility's are covered.

 

But as the design engineers saying goes: We make our products Idiot proof, it's just that God keeps creating better Idiots...............

 

***Now the legal liability disclaimer: Never leave a charging battery unattended, all electrical devices can malfunction and cause a fire. (have to show this again) :(

 

 

John Ritter


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#9 Rob Vuona SOC

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 06:01 PM

I used to keep all my batteries on Charge all the time,  THEN . . . .AVS had a Lithium fire, as they described it , "it was like a roman candle and could not be put out until it burned out"  Fortunately someone was there and they threw the charger out in the parking lot.

 

Ever since then, I am way too paranoid to charge them in my garage unattended,  I will always charge them at work, which is most of the time accept for ski season . . .    =)

 

JM2C


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#10 thomas-english

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 11:11 AM

Apparently Lithium batteries are damaged when fully charged and fully empty. They lose about 1% of charge a day. 

 

My new policy is to only charge the batteries I used that day and charge all the batteries once every 2 to 4 weeks depending on my life. 

 

"Cooking" batteries is a great way to reduce their longevity by all accounts. 


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