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barrytoogood
26th November 2012, 02:20 PM
We all know that Olympus created undue pain by chipping the E-M5 batteries (and overcharging for them). Now at last it seems that someone has reverse-engineered the chip software and created a fully-compatible BLN-1 battery that works with the Olympus original charger:).

Look on Amazon for the Dot.Foto BLN-1 clone. I checked with a supplier who confirms it's fully compatible and the price is 18.99 in the UK - about a third of Olympus' price. I've just ordered two...

StephenL
26th November 2012, 02:22 PM
Thanks, and welcome!

Do let us know, when they arrive, if they indeed can be charged in the original charger.

bredman
26th November 2012, 02:27 PM
14.99 for a single or 25 for a twin pack. Looks promising.

barrytoogood
26th November 2012, 02:48 PM
Hmm..... the b******s dropped the price by over 3.50 since this morning when I ordered... And the two-pack deal at 25 looks even better - wasn't there before.

Now let's see whether they deliver as promised.

barrytoogood
26th November 2012, 03:32 PM
I contacted the supplier via Amazon to request cancellation of my order so I could reorder at the lower price and save nearly 15 on two batteries. they've just come back and offered to refund the difference on my order. Apparently they received a new shipment this morning at a lower price.

They seem very on-the-ball, so keeping fingers crossed:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Olympus-PREMIUM-Replacement-Rechargeable-Dot-Foto/dp/B00A7V66B4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353941510&sr=8-1

jamsa
26th November 2012, 04:37 PM
Whooppeee!!

Zuiko
26th November 2012, 04:39 PM
I'll follow this thread with interest! :D

mike_j
26th November 2012, 06:53 PM
That's great. I have been considering a genuine spare but hate the rip off. On the other hand I didn't want batteries that don't give the charge level, I have a couple for my Leica and it is very annoying.

I got a 10 amazon voucher from my credit card yesterday so that's only 15 in hard cash.

I'll report back

StephenL
26th November 2012, 06:55 PM
Both of my third-party batteries already show the charge left. But they have to be charged in a separate charger to the original.

DJMC
26th November 2012, 07:25 PM
Sounds good. Let us know asap what you think of them?

;)

ayewing
27th November 2012, 01:49 AM
Yes I am sure many of us will be interested to know if these batteries live up to the claims.

I am quite happy with my aftermarket batteries that cost 17 for two including a battery charger which also works with the official Olympus batteries.

OM USer
27th November 2012, 11:23 AM
Thank you for letting us know about the new batteries. As I have 4 from ExPro I'm not really in the market for batteries at the moment unless these turn out to have a proveable greater capacity - please keep us updated with how they perform. Do you know the voltage across the pins as it seems that Oly batteries deliver a slightly higher voltage than the third party batteries to date?

barrytoogood
27th November 2012, 01:47 PM
Re the voltage: the Oly genuine batteries state 7.6v, non-charger-compatible clones have typically been 7.4v (I already have two of these, plus the necessary second charger).

The pics on the Amazon site for these new Dot.Foto compatibles shows them rated at 7.4v. So I'd conclude that they are probably similar to earlier clones, with additional benefit of the Oly chipped software. That may mean they won't fully match the genuine battery's performance.

My main interest is to only have to take the Oly charger with me, as I know that it squeezes about 20% more charge into the genuine battery than the cheap clone charger. Hopefully it can do that for the Dot.Foto ones too...

When I have them I'll post an update.

DJMC
27th November 2012, 02:20 PM
Yes I am sure many of us will be interested to know if these batteries live up to the claims.

I am quite happy with my aftermarket batteries that cost 17 for two including a battery charger which also works with the official Olympus batteries.

I suppose there is an advantage in the Ex-Pro charger kit in that it includes a 12v car lead.

:rolleyes:

ayewing
27th November 2012, 02:45 PM
I suppose there is an advantage in the Ex-Pro charger kit in that it includes a 12v car lead.

:rolleyes:

Yes that could be useful though so far I have not needed it. Must try it out sometime.

DJMC
27th November 2012, 03:29 PM
I just sent this message to PowerPlanet, the Amazon trader:

Hi,
I noticed your product being discussed on an Olympus forum.
I have four questions:
1/ What is the difference between the two PREMIUM BLN-1 batteries for 14.99, ASIN: B00A7V4K1C & ASIN: B00A7V3TJ6?
2/ Original Olympus batteries are rated at 7.6v whereas the photo of yours shows 7.4v. How then can it be guaranteed to operate "in exactly the same way as the manufacturer original battery" when the voltage is different?
3/ Is the only difference between your battery and Ex-Pro's that yours charges in the Olympus charger, or does your battery charge to a higher capacity in the Olympus charger, as most Ex-Pro and other third party BLN-1 clone users say they only get about 80% charge in the Ex-Pro or other chargers?
4/ One advantage the Ex-Pro seller has is that they sell a charger with a 12v car cable (and EU/USA adapters), either on its own or with a battery: ASIN: B008DRR4SI & ASIN: B008B93O50. Would you be able to supply a similar charger, which works with your 'Premium' BLN-1 batteries? This could be sold on its own, or combined with one or two of the batteries. If you could do this, would your supplied charger once again only charge your battery to 80% of its capacity? You'd need perhaps to undercut Ex-Pro on price as many buyers won't realise your battery is superior, IF that is proven to be the case.
Many thanks in anticipation of your answers to these questions.
Regards,
David

:rolleyes:

DJMC
28th November 2012, 03:28 PM
Answer from Powerplanet:

Thank you for your enquiry.

There is no difference between the batteries offered on the two product listings; one gives specific reference to the camera models in addition to the battery reference whereas the other simply identifies the battery reference.

Unfortunately (as much as we'd like to) we don't have one of every camera/camcorder etc we offer accessories for and we don't have an E-M5 to test the batteries ourselves. We imagine this is the same is true of Ex-Pro and Amazon themselves. As such we are reliant on the factories testing and compatibility information and they have always proven to be very reliable; we've dealt with them for years because of that even though we do get product offered at cheaper rates sometimes. These are a realtively very, very new product line for us and so we've only sold a small number so far but we've not had any issues reported of any kind; we believe the batteries to be as described.

The difference of 0.2v does not affect performance or compatibilty; it's actually quite common for a difference of 0.2v to occur in batteries from different manufacturers and there's even a couple of batteries where the difference is 0.4v. It's not a significant enough difference to have any impact.

We do sell a charger for the batteries we offer on the two ASIN mentioned above and it will also charge the original Olympus BLN-1 batteries:

PowerPlanet Fast 1-2hr Camera Battery Travel (UK, Europe, USA Mains/Car) BCN-1 Charger for Olympus BLN-1 Batteries - INCLUDES UK DELIVERY
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008NA14HM
ASIN: B008NA14HM

If the link does not work from your email program then please just type the unique Amazon ASIN reference into the Amazon search bar.

We don't have the Ex-Pro battery and so we cannot comment on the performance of that product or give any specific comparison to it.

We advise that the typical delivery time for orders is 5 to 7 working days after despatch though it is not a time guaranteed delivery service. All orders are shipped from our European warehouse and delivered by Royal Mail using an untracked priority post service. We're sorry but we do not currently offer an express or time guaranteed delivery service.

We hope this answers your query satisfactorily but should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to email us again.

Regards

Stuart
Customer Services
PowerPlanet

My further questions...

Hi Stuart,

Thanks for the info. Could you just answer the questions below:

5/ Does your battery charge to full capacity in the OLYMPUS charger, or only to 80% or so?

6/ Would your supplied charger, to which you refer, charge your battery to full capacity, or only to 80% or so?

7/ Would your supplied charger charge an ORIGINAL OLYMPUS BATTERY to full capacity, or only to 80% or so?

Many thanks.

Powerplanet's reply:

Thank you for your further email.

With respect we have already answered your questions as far as we can in the product listing information and in our earlier reply; if the batteries only charge to 80% then they would not be operating "in exactly the same way as the manufacturer original battery" as the product listing advises.

The chargers we offer also are not designed with only partially working in mind. The chargers have actually been on sale since July (significantly longer than the batteries) and no-one has contacted us with any issue at all. We're certain that if the chargers only charged batteries to 80% then we would have heard about that before now.

Without having the camera (and therefore an original Olympus battery and Olympus charger) to test the batteries and charger that we offer we are, as previously stated, reliant on the factory producing those items to provide the compatibility and performance information which, again as was stated, they are very good and reliable about.

We don't believe that any retailer in this market obtains one of every model of camera, every model of camcorder and one of every other device that they offer accessories for to test accessories as for most retailers it would make selling the accessories pointless and for small organisations it would bankrupt them. This would be prohibitively expensive even for Amazon themselves, the worlds largest online retailer by far.

Regards

Stuart
Customer Service Dept.
PowerPlanet

Comments anyone?

:confused:

ayewing
28th November 2012, 03:42 PM
David, thanks for going to all this trouble. It would appear that the retailer does not really know much about these batteries apart from what their manufacturer tells them.

Has anyone actually bought one of these batteries and charged it on the Olympus charger? It would be good to have an independent opinion on how compatible they really are.

barrytoogood
28th November 2012, 04:58 PM
Before placing my order via Amazon, I had the following assurance from another online retailer selling the Dot.Foto batteries:

Dear Sir

Thank you for your email.

We confirm the battery can be charged on the Olympus charger (unlike many 3rd party BLN-1 batteries) and does not require any additional charger. It is a fully decoded version of the Olympus BLN-1 - and as you can image they are fairly popular!!

Regards

Peter
digitalmediastore
WEB: http://www.digitalmediastore.co.uk

I subsequently ordered from the Amazon supplier above, as their price was significantly cheaper. the product/description are identical.

As I've already said, I'll put a note on here when i get them and see that they work on the Oly charger - be patient!

Zuiko
28th November 2012, 05:26 PM
Answer from Powerplanet:

Thank you for your enquiry.

There is no difference between the batteries offered on the two product listings; one gives specific reference to the camera models in addition to the battery reference whereas the other simply identifies the battery reference.

Unfortunately (as much as we'd like to) we don't have one of every camera/camcorder etc we offer accessories for and we don't have an E-M5 to test the batteries ourselves. We imagine this is the same is true of Ex-Pro and Amazon themselves. As such we are reliant on the factories testing and compatibility information and they have always proven to be very reliable; we've dealt with them for years because of that even though we do get product offered at cheaper rates sometimes. These are a realtively very, very new product line for us and so we've only sold a small number so far but we've not had any issues reported of any kind; we believe the batteries to be as described.

The difference of 0.2v does not affect performance or compatibilty; it's actually quite common for a difference of 0.2v to occur in batteries from different manufacturers and there's even a couple of batteries where the difference is 0.4v. It's not a significant enough difference to have any impact.

We do sell a charger for the batteries we offer on the two ASIN mentioned above and it will also charge the original Olympus BLN-1 batteries:

PowerPlanet Fast 1-2hr Camera Battery Travel (UK, Europe, USA Mains/Car) BCN-1 Charger for Olympus BLN-1 Batteries - INCLUDES UK DELIVERY
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008NA14HM
ASIN: B008NA14HM

If the link does not work from your email program then please just type the unique Amazon ASIN reference into the Amazon search bar.

We don't have the Ex-Pro battery and so we cannot comment on the performance of that product or give any specific comparison to it.

We advise that the typical delivery time for orders is 5 to 7 working days after despatch though it is not a time guaranteed delivery service. All orders are shipped from our European warehouse and delivered by Royal Mail using an untracked priority post service. We're sorry but we do not currently offer an express or time guaranteed delivery service.

We hope this answers your query satisfactorily but should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to email us again.

Regards

Stuart
Customer Services
PowerPlanet

My further questions...

Hi Stuart,

Thanks for the info. Could you just answer the questions below:

5/ Does your battery charge to full capacity in the OLYMPUS charger, or only to 80% or so?

6/ Would your supplied charger, to which you refer, charge your battery to full capacity, or only to 80% or so?

7/ Would your supplied charger charge an ORIGINAL OLYMPUS BATTERY to full capacity, or only to 80% or so?

Many thanks.

Powerplanet's reply:

Thank you for your further email.

With respect we have already answered your questions as far as we can in the product listing information and in our earlier reply; if the batteries only charge to 80% then they would not be operating "in exactly the same way as the manufacturer original battery" as the product listing advises.

The chargers we offer also are not designed with only partially working in mind. The chargers have actually been on sale since July (significantly longer than the batteries) and no-one has contacted us with any issue at all. We're certain that if the chargers only charged batteries to 80% then we would have heard about that before now.

Without having the camera (and therefore an original Olympus battery and Olympus charger) to test the batteries and charger that we offer we are, as previously stated, reliant on the factory producing those items to provide the compatibility and performance information which, again as was stated, they are very good and reliable about.

We don't believe that any retailer in this market obtains one of every model of camera, every model of camcorder and one of every other device that they offer accessories for to test accessories as for most retailers it would make selling the accessories pointless and for small organisations it would bankrupt them. This would be prohibitively expensive even for Amazon themselves, the worlds largest online retailer by far.

Regards

Stuart
Customer Service Dept.
PowerPlanet

Comments anyone?

:confused:

At least they seem upfront, honest and customer-focused. I think I will wait until Barry has received his order and reported back to us.

DJMC
28th November 2012, 05:29 PM
:)

Yep, me too.

Barry, are you up to speed with battery testing? I wouldn't have a clue.

*chr

Zuiko
28th November 2012, 05:43 PM
:)

Yep, me too.

Barry, are you up to speed with battery testing? I wouldn't have a clue.

*chr

The main thing I would like confirmed is that the replacement batteries definitely charge in the Olympus charger. Testing capacity is a little more difficult; I suspect that the only practical way is to log how many shots per charge you get from each type of battery in similar shooting conditions over a period of time. However, if the batteries are cheap enough having the same capacity as an original won't be a big deal for me.

mike_j
28th November 2012, 06:56 PM
Mine are on the way. I'll test the end of charge voltages and do a standardised usage test against the original just for the fun of it. I'll report back but it must be in a week or so because I should cycle the new batteries a couple of times before testing.

Zuiko
28th November 2012, 07:11 PM
Mine are on the way. I'll test the end of charge voltages and do a standardised usage test against the original just for the fun of it. I'll report back but it must be in a week or so because I should cycle the new batteries a couple of times before testing.

Good point. :)

barrytoogood
5th December 2012, 08:33 AM
Just an update.

My batteries still haven't arrived - it seems they may actually be despatched from a warehouse outside the UK, although I'm assured they are on the way and I did get the price discounted down to c. 25 for two as promised.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, there is also a thread elsewhere on the forum about a new compatible from Hahnel which looks to be fully compatible with the Oly charger and is rated at the same 7.6v as the original BLN-1. The downside is that the cheapest price so far is nearly 27 delivered, but I guess it may be a better quality than the Dot.Foto.

Zuiko
5th December 2012, 08:44 AM
Just an update.

My batteries still haven't arrived - it seems they may actually be despatched from a warehouse outside the UK, although I'm assured they are on the way and I did get the price discounted down to c. 25 for two as promised.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, there is also a thread elsewhere on the forum about a new compatible from Hahnel which looks to be fully compatible with the Oly charger and is rated at the same 7.6v as the original BLN-1. The downside is that the cheapest price so far is nearly 27 delivered, but I guess it may be a better quality than the Dot.Foto.

Thanks for the update, Barry, I might try the Hahnel version. :)

Bikie John
5th December 2012, 09:26 AM
Thread about the hahnel battery here:

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=24444

Hope it's useful ... John

Melaka
8th December 2012, 03:32 PM
Nobody seems to admit to having either battery in stock at the moment.

pault
8th December 2012, 04:09 PM
Hi, just received "dot.foto" batteries. They do charge using the BLN-1 olympus charger.
Just for info.
Pault

mike_j
8th December 2012, 06:16 PM
Mine came today as well - from Belgium

I have charged one. I'm not sure what the contacts are but numbering left to right top view top, contacts facing away.

1 -2 -8V
1-3 -8V
1-4 -0.01V
1-5 -7.5V


I assume the 7.5v is the working voltage for the camera
The battery fits correctly and gives a full charge indication.
I'll use it for a few days and see how it goes.

Edit: I have just noticed that the original battery terminals are marked
1 + Positive
2 T Thermistor
3 - Negative
4 S
5 l

So I should measure from 3 to the others

3-1 7.9V
3-2 0V
3-4 7.9V
3-5 3.3V

So I don't know what terminal 4 (S) and 5 (l) are, they may even be a digital signal. It does look as though the camera is getting 7.9V. This is the same as the original battery on near full charge is giving.

barrytoogood
9th December 2012, 08:30 AM
Well, I started this thread off, so this is my last word on the matter for the time being.

The Dot.Foto batteries arrived from PowerPlanet (via Amazon) yesterday, about 12 days after I ordered them. They were shipped from Belgium, which appears to be where PP have their European warehouse.

They do charge in the Oly charger (as a prior poster has already noted). They are clearly rated at 7.4v rather than 7.6v, although the sticker claims they provide 1220 mAh like the genuine BLN-1. They are - predictably - "Made in China".

I'm not a pixel-peeper or fine-detail-tester, so I won't be counting the exact life comparisons. However, I'm sure the essential battery gubbins are the same as earlier non-charger-compatible BLN-1 clones, so I shall be expecting slightly lower performance than the genuine article - people who have tested earlier clones reckoned they fell short of the BLN-1 by around 15%. Being able to take only one charger on trips is a big bonus, and I'll hope it will squeeze a bit more charge into the batteries as Oly claims.

Anyone who is sufficiently concerned about getting the last bit of performance out of a clone would probably do better to buy the Hahnel; personally I think 25 for two beats 27 for one and I'm happy to get a few shots fewer per charge....

'nuff said!*chr*chr

jima
9th December 2012, 10:53 AM
I wouldn't worry about the difference between 7.4 and 7.6 volts - it's just a different take on measuring - the BLM-1's would peak up to nearly 8 volts and if you measured them straight after charge that is what you would see. IIRC Li-Ion cells have a native voltage point of 3.7v so x2 gives you 7.4 volts. It will be further regulated down inside the camera anyway so provided the voltage produced during the 'flat-line' part of the discharge curve is sufficient to drive the regulators in the camera there will be no difference.

Individual peoples differences of 15% can be due simply to the way the initial conditioning takes place. These cells do need 4-6 cycles of full charge to full discharge to bring them to full rated capacity. It is the same with cellphone batteries.

Global lower capacities than the maker's own are always due to cell quality and/or overstating the capacity for sales purposes. These cell are made in the tens of thousands, then graded. The top quality ones are sold at premium prices to the brand names, the runts go to the 'cheapo' end of the market. In the middle are a band which can provide almost full (or in some cases more) capacity but perhaps with other minor flaws (e.g. higher self-discharge characteristics) but which can still be very good value for money.

Then there are the over-stated ones - the 2200mAh packs with 1500mAh cells, the 1500mAh packs with 1300mAh cells (I have an example of the latter). Caveat emptor!

Simply put - you pays your money and takes your choice (and the risk).