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Olympus E-3 E-3 specific discussion.

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Old 2nd June 2009
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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HLD-4 and AA Cells.

I tried out my HLD-4 grip on my E3, with a set of AA Panasonic 'Digital Xtreme Power' cells. They lasted about a dozen shots before the shutter 'locked' (the lens still focussed, though). I've got firmware 1.4 on the camera.

This is a pretty poor performance, and as these cells are about the highest specification AAs available, is this as good as we can expect?

Has _anyone_ had a useful performance with AAs in the HLD-4?

Jim
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  #2  
Old 2nd June 2009
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Wink Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

Jim, from my experience AA batteries DO NOT work in the HLD-4!(causes the problem you are describing) It will only work succesfully with the BLM-1 batteries in it!
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Old 2nd June 2009
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Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

When I first heard about this issue, I thought it might just be a voltage problem as some new technology AAs have high capacity but a lower voltage than the old tech AAs. So I started doing measurements.

The BLM1s say they are 7.2V but measure a no load voltage of a fraction over 8V. Old AAs consistently put out 1.5V and new Ni-Mh 1.33V (no load)

So it can't be voltage levels that is the problem

The old Alkaline AAs will push out up to 8A, with new Ni-Mh 2700 up to 12.5A (Short Circuit) However you can't measure the full potential output of a BLM1 because: a. It has short circuit protection inside the pack & b. It will damamage the pack if you short it out with a meter.

But I simply could not let that stop me, so I took an old BLM-1 apart in the name of "research"
(I'd love a replacement as a reward for this )

There are two 3.7V "cells" inside (measured at 3.9V) but the interesting part is that each is capable of pumping out over 20 Amps (my meter tops out at 20A)

So draw your own conclusions as to why AAs simply won't do the job.

Just for the sake of it I tried a few types of AAs and they all showed RED Low power straight away and some wouldn't even activate the shutter...

What would be really nice is for Olympus to get one of their techs to present the full facts of this issue and perhaps even recommend a battery that can do the job.

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Old 2nd June 2009
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Talking Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
When I first heard about this issue, I thought it might just be a voltage problem as some new technology AAs have high capacity but a lower voltage than the old tech AAs. So I started doing measurements.

The BLM1s say they are 7.2V but measure a no load voltage of a fraction over 8V. Old AAs consistently put out 1.5V and new Ni-Mh 1.33V (no load)

So it can't be voltage levels that is the problem

The old Alkaline AAs will push out up to 8A, with new Ni-Mh 2700 up to 12.5A (Short Circuit) However you can't measure the full potential output of a BLM1 because: a. It has short circuit protection inside the pack & b. It will damamage the pack if you short it out with a meter.

But I simply could not let that stop me, so I took an old BLM-1 apart in the name of "research"
(I'd love a replacement as a reward for this )

There are two 3.7V "cells" inside (measured at 3.9V) but the interesting part is that each is capable of pumping out over 20 Amps (my meter tops out at 20A)

So draw your own conclusions as to why AAs simply won't do the job.

Just for the sake of it I tried a few types of AAs and they all showed RED Low power straight away and some wouldn't even activate the shutter...

What would be really nice is for Olympus to get one of their techs to present the full facts of this issue and perhaps even recommend a battery that can do the job.

You have far too much time on your hands!
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Old 2nd June 2009
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Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
When I first heard about this issue, I thought it might just be a voltage problem as some new technology AAs have high capacity but a lower voltage than the old tech AAs. So I started doing measurements.

The BLM1s say they are 7.2V but measure a no load voltage of a fraction over 8V. Old AAs consistently put out 1.5V and new Ni-Mh 1.33V (no load)

So it can't be voltage levels that is the problem

The old Alkaline AAs will push out up to 8A, with new Ni-Mh 2700 up to 12.5A (Short Circuit) However you can't measure the full potential output of a BLM1 because: a. It has short circuit protection inside the pack & b. It will damamage the pack if you short it out with a meter.

But I simply could not let that stop me, so I took an old BLM-1 apart in the name of "research"
(I'd love a replacement as a reward for this )

There are two 3.7V "cells" inside (measured at 3.9V) but the interesting part is that each is capable of pumping out over 20 Amps (my meter tops out at 20A)

So draw your own conclusions as to why AAs simply won't do the job.

Just for the sake of it I tried a few types of AAs and they all showed RED Low power straight away and some wouldn't even activate the shutter...

What would be really nice is for Olympus to get one of their techs to present the full facts of this issue and perhaps even recommend a battery that can do the job.

What would be worth doing is soldering two fine wires onto both a BLM-1 and the power pins on the HLD-4 and comparing the on-load voltages. As your tests show, the internal resistance of the cells is very low anyway but it would be interesting to measure what the current limit is on a BLM-1 (I'll give that a try later tonight on a variable load). Also, powering the camera from a variable bench PSU and monitoring the on-load voltage and current would be informative.

I would try it myself but I don't fancy butchering my pristine HLD-4, E-3 or BLM-1s. Otherwise it wouldn't take more than an hour on the bench to come up with some meaningful results. Now if Oly had some old kit that I could play with........

Steve
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Old 2nd June 2009
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Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

From memory I think there was a previous thread on this where Ian (with the Olympus techies) recommeded a particular make/model of battery that should work. Not that I ever tried it.
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Old 2nd June 2009
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Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulpp View Post
From memory I think there was a previous thread on this where Ian (with the Olympus techies) recommeded a particular make/model of battery that should work. Not that I ever tried it.
Yes, and this topic has been the subject of great debate on this forum.

Steve
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Old 2nd June 2009
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Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulpp View Post
From memory I think there was a previous thread on this where Ian (with the Olympus techies) recommeded a particular make/model of battery that should work.
IIRC they recommended the oxyride 'Panasonic Digital Xtreme Power' that I used (that's why I chose them)!

Jim
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Old 3rd June 2009
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Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

A year or more ago I spent a lot of time trying to get the HLD to work with AAs. This included numerous conversations with Oly and also both a new camera and a new grip. Eventually Oly were able to demonstrate the HLD working with Duracell Ultra. The details are all in the old thread. I came to the conclusion that using AAs is for the most part a waste of effort.
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Old 3rd June 2009
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Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EH1 View Post
You have far too much time on your hands!
Yes! It's called early retirement. I've never been so busy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wreckdiver View Post
What would be worth doing is soldering two fine wires onto both a BLM-1 and the power pins on the HLD-4 and comparing the on-load voltages. As your tests show, the internal resistance of the cells is very low anyway but it would be interesting to measure what the current limit is on a BLM-1 (I'll give that a try later tonight on a variable load). Also, powering the camera from a variable bench PSU and monitoring the on-load voltage and current would be informative.

I would try it myself but I don't fancy butchering my pristine HLD-4, E-3 or BLM-1s. Otherwise it wouldn't take more than an hour on the bench to come up with some meaningful results. Now if Oly had some old kit that I could play with........

Steve
When I opened up the old BLM-1 and took the cells out, I threw the outside case and the circuit away. Had I kept it I could have easily wired it up to a Bench PSU and measured all the Voltages and Currents.

If anyone has an old one that no longer works and wants to send it to me (or Steve ?) we can play some more and get the answer

I may even wire up the AA holder to a PSU and do the same thing.

Bottom line is that the majority of AAs don't work, so I'm not going to bother lugging them about, I simply have 2 spare BLM-1s

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Old 3rd June 2009
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Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
I may even wire up the AA holder to a PSU and do the same thing.

Bottom line is that the majority of AAs don't work, so I'm not going to bother lugging them about, I simply have 2 spare BLM-1s


That is no bad thing when you consider the AC-1 PSU is just a 9V switch-mode power supply with a funny plug that Oly have the cheek to sell for over 100. I got hold of one second-hand on this forum for about 20.

Andy
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  #12  
Old 4th June 2009
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Question Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

While we are on the subject of the dreaded HLD-4`s, does anyone know if it matters if you put 2 different blm-1`s in the battery grip at the same time? as I have never dared tryedie. Can I put an original 1500amh battery in with an third party 2000amh batteryI am sure the answer is obvious to those very technically minded on here, but electronic`s are a complete mystry to me!
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Old 4th June 2009
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Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EH1 View Post
While we are on the subject of the dreaded HLD-4`s, does anyone know if it matters if you put 2 different blm-1`s in the battery grip at the same time? as I have never dared tryedie. Can I put an original 1500amh battery in with an third party 2000amh batteryI am sure the answer is obvious to those very technically minded on here, but electronic`s are a complete mystry to me!
The age old adage "If in doubt..." serves you well, as it is always best to aire on the side of caution, when many hundreds of the hard earned is at stake.

With batteries Voltage differences is more important than capacity difference. It's similar to you putting a flat battery in with a fully charged one.

Several people keep their battries in sets (I've even seen them colour coded with dots) I mix my ones up all the time and to date it's never been a problem.

I dare say one of the battery experts will have something to say, and I too will be taking note of "Best Practice"

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Old 4th June 2009
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Re: HLD-4 and AA Cells.

I have mixed capacity batteries in the grip with no obvious problems to report.

Andy
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