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Author Topic: is there a way to test dvd batteries?  (Read 5014 times)

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Offline justink

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is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« on: January 02, 2012, 06:23:13 PM »
i have four dvd batteries.  i typically carry two to each show (one for the V3 and one for the R-44).

i think i've noticed one or two of them to start to fade.  is there a cheap way to test them to see which of the four are the strongest?

i do have hot swap power cables, i might just have to start running/carrying all four at once.
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Offline illconditioned

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 06:27:48 PM »
Simplest way is to fully charge each one, and run it down with your rig.   See how much time you get.

Note also that sometimes a battery will quit if you draw too much current (or short it).  Then you have to unplug-plug the outtput connector to "reset" it.

If you can get two reliable ones, just bring them both to your show.  You've got a backup in case one quits.

 Richard
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Offline justink

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 07:34:22 PM »
Simplest way is to fully charge each one, and run it down with your rig.   See how much time you get.

Note also that sometimes a battery will quit if you draw too much current (or short it).  Then you have to unplug-plug the outtput connector to "reset" it.

If you can get two reliable ones, just bring them both to your show.  You've got a backup in case one quits.

 Richard

That's what i was planning on doing (testing with the rig), but thought there might be a less time consuming way (some sort of voltage meter i could get at ratshack or something).
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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 09:59:23 AM »
Most of those batteries have built-in voltage regulators.  The voltage stays fairly constant as the battery discharges.  So you can't use it to test the battery.

Your best test might be a constant load and observing the number of LEDs that light when you press the test button at specific intervals - every fifteen minutes, etc.

I see two symptoms of impending failure with those batteries.  The main one is increased self discharge.  After you charge the battery, it discharges on its own.  So after a couple days, or a week, it will be down an LED.  Or even dead.  That is a symptom that your battery is on it's way out and you may not want to trust it.  Still, I've seen those batteries magically stop doing that.  So it doesn't necessarily mean it's done.  The second is shorter run times.

All lithium batteries should be handled gently and never dropped.  That's for safety and also longevity.  Storing them in a cool place, even a fridge, will extend their life.  Lithium batteries wear out even if you don't use them.  Ideally, store them at less than a full charge.  60 or 80%.  Storing them at a full charge shortens their life a bit.  When using them, keep them cool - keep them away from gear that generates heat.  Heat shortens their life.

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kirk97132

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2012, 11:44:27 AM »
I have a stack of DVD batteries and number them so that if I notice something I can keep an eye on the suspect battery.  It has allowed me to pull out a battery that keeps being problematic.  The only other thing that I've done is to actually pry open the case on a brand new battery I recently purchased.  Fresh out of the plastic sales case it charged but had zero voltage, once I opened it it was readily apparent the batteries were bad.  You could see the leaking and discolored batteries.  You can purchase the replacements but I have not done that yet.

Offline justink

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2012, 12:23:36 PM »
Most of those batteries have built-in voltage regulators.  The voltage stays fairly constant as the battery discharges.  So you can't use it to test the battery.

Your best test might be a constant load and observing the number of LEDs that light when you press the test button at specific intervals - every fifteen minutes, etc.

I see two symptoms of impending failure with those batteries.  The main one is increased self discharge.  After you charge the battery, it discharges on its own.  So after a couple days, or a week, it will be down an LED.  Or even dead.  That is a symptom that your battery is on it's way out and you may not want to trust it.  Still, I've seen those batteries magically stop doing that.  So it doesn't necessarily mean it's done.  The second is shorter run times.

All lithium batteries should be handled gently and never dropped.  That's for safety and also longevity.  Storing them in a cool place, even a fridge, will extend their life.  Lithium batteries wear out even if you don't use them.  Ideally, store them at less than a full charge.  60 or 80%.  Storing them at a full charge shortens their life a bit.  When using them, keep them cool - keep them away from gear that generates heat.  Heat shortens their life.

good advice here.
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Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2012, 07:16:13 PM »
You can purchase the replacements but I have not done that yet.

Are you talking about the individual batteries inside the DVD battery housing?

Offline justink

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 07:21:40 PM »
You can purchase the replacements but I have not done that yet.

Are you talking about the individual batteries inside the DVD battery housing?

no, that would be way too much work i figure.

i already have hot swap cables.  i think i'm just going to run two batteries at a time to each unit (four total).  it all seems to fit in my bag okay, so why not?  should ease my mind a bit that way.
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Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2012, 07:40:39 PM »
^^ I hear you, Justink.  But with the price of new DVD batteries upwards of $50-$60 (jeez, I remember when they were $10!) it could be a worthwhile endeavor to replace the "guts" if they are available and reasonably priced.  Definitely something I'd like to know more about.

Offline illconditioned

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2012, 08:15:30 PM »
^^ Don't mess with Lithium cells.  They are a fire/explosion hazard if shorted (or damaged).

  Richard
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Offline justink

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2012, 02:05:38 PM »
^^ Don't mess with Lithium cells.  They are a fire/explosion hazard if shorted (or damaged).

  Richard

yeah, last thing i need is my entire bag going up in smoke at a show and evacuating the venue.  :lol
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Offline phanophish

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2012, 09:01:50 PM »
I pulled one apart a while back.  It was, shall we say, a challenge.  The adhesive reminds me of silicone caulk and is very strong.

Pretty simple.  6 18650 LiIon cells, connected in series to the voltage regulator.  My experience has been that the regulator dies or no longer properly charges the cells.  Not sure if it is from sitting an extend time and running the cells too low or an actual electronic failure in the regulator/charge board.  The replacement cells can be found in the $3-7each range. 






Personally I'm looking at some of the LiPo batteries designed for RC car use.  The plus is they are failry affordable in high capacitys, are very small and lightweight.  The drawback is they are even more volatile than LiIon batts, are more sensitive to over charging/over discharge, drain while in storage, and require a more advanced charger.  You also must have a device that has some flexibility on input voltages as each cell produces 3.7 volts and you don't have a voltage regulator in between to even things out.   I've got some electronics on the way to build a pack that will give me voltage and current draw hopefully.  I'll share on TS if I'm happy with the results.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 09:06:05 PM by phanophish »
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Offline illconditioned

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2012, 09:54:30 PM »
Thanks for the photos.  It is amazing all the electronics in there.

  Richard
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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2012, 10:13:06 PM »
Thanks for the photos.  I've been saying for years that the power that comes out of those regulated batteries isn't necessarily clean, and it can interfere with quiet recordings.  You have to be careful about cable routing, etc.

In contrast, non-regulated batteries don't have that particular issue.

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stevetoney

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2012, 04:10:20 PM »

yeah, last thing i need is my entire bag going up in smoke at a show and evacuating the venue.  :lol

Oh, it wasn't such a big deal when it happened to me last year...TWICE.  ;) 

Queue up a response from Bean right about now.

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2012, 07:05:30 PM »
I'm curious how did you catch your bag on fire??


yeah, last thing i need is my entire bag going up in smoke at a show and evacuating the venue.  :lol

Oh, it wasn't such a big deal when it happened to me last year...TWICE.  ;) 

Queue up a response from Bean right about now.
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stevetoney

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2012, 07:42:04 PM »
I'm curious how did you catch your bag on fire??


yeah, last thing i need is my entire bag going up in smoke at a show and evacuating the venue.  :lol

Oh, it wasn't such a big deal when it happened to me last year...TWICE.  ;) 

Queue up a response from Bean right about now.

Actually, I only caught my bag on fire once...I caught my tent on fire the other time.  LOL. 

OK, first experience was that I'd rigged up a battery cable in support of summercamp this past May.  It was the 3rd or 4th set of the first day that the fire happened.  I think my problem was that I'd used some old black electrical tape to isolate a pigtail and since the tape was old, it didn't hold like it should have.  Honestly, don't know if that was the issue or not but I've had some issues with a roll of tape since, so I think that was it.  OK, so it was kinda strange because the cable was supplying power just fine and it was the middle of a Cornmeal set.  I can't remember why, but I reached into my bag and was trying to reposition something (maybe trying to untangle some wires) when all of the sudden FLAMES are shooting up from my friggin' gear bag.  Obviously the battery cable had shorted.  I yell something incoherent that probably sounded something like MOTHAFUCK and all I hear is Bean next to me saying over and over again...holy shit holy shit HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT but not doing a goddam thing.   ;D ;D  I'm unplugging shit at the speed of light as fast as I possibly can pulling it out of my bag without any regard to the flames...after all IT'S MY FRIGGIN GEAR!!!  To hell with human body parts!

So, after the smoke cleared (literally) and I had developed a small audience, I determined that the only damage was to the top edge of my gear bag.  The flames were just the melting techflex, cable insulation, and the edge of my gear bag.  Fortunately, no actual gear was damaged.  I got burned from yanking the cables out, but luckily the hot cable immediately cauterized the burn and honestly it didn't hurt much at all during weekend even though it looked a little nasty.  LUCKY!!!!

Then, later this summer, I had an encore fire fighting experience at moedown.  So, I like to bring a 12V marine battery to festivals with me for various camp electrical needs.  I hook up an inverter and it's handy for various needs, like a small fan and whatnot.  This year Bean and I got our camp set up, all the tents up and whatnot.  After initial setup, chilled out with a couple of beers/pops and now it's time to start setting up the tent and bed.  So I grabbed that battery, the inverter, and a little electric blower that I use to blow up my air mattress.  I plugged the male member of the inverter into the female socket (kinda like a cigarette lighter socket in your car) of the battery terminal connectors and nothing happens.  Hmmm...what's going on?  Of course, since I'd already set my gear bag on fire earlier this summer, I figured I was an expert at diagnosing this type of thing by now.  That's when I noticed that the male part of the inverter was missing the center pole.  DAMMIT, without that center pole, I'm not gonna have any electricity for the weekend.  That's completely unacceptable, so I set about finding a solution.  AHA...it turns out that the hole in which that center pole formerly existed is exactly the same size as a penny!!!  (Can you see where this is going?)  So I ask Bean if he has a penny and he hands me a penny.  So I put that copper penny , which is a GREAT electricity conductor into that hole and...POOF!  Within a nano-second that cable and the interter and everything in between goes up in smoke and I have a SECOND fire on my hands.  Fortunately this time I had everything in hand so it only took a micro-second to disconnect and there were no actual flames and I didn't get burned, but OMG the smoke was THICK!

I offered to make Bean a cable recently and he didn't respond to my offer...I'm not really sure why.   ;D ;D  I'm thinking of starting a TV show...it will be a sequel to Tool Time Tim!

So that's the story.  Bean can attest.

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« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 07:52:33 PM by tonedeaf »

Offline jbell

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2012, 08:05:14 PM »
Steve you might need to start bringing a kitchen fire extinguisher in the gear bag!!   ;D  Glad your gear survived and you only destroyed a cable. 
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Offline fleish

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2012, 08:07:14 PM »
Of course, since I'd already set my gear bag on fire earlier this summer, I figured I was an expert at diagnosing this type of thing by now.



I feel lucky to have taped next to you twice and escaped unscathed :P
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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2012, 08:09:23 PM »
I think my problem was that I'd used some old black electrical tape to isolate a pigtail and since the tape was old, it didn't hold like it should have.
...
I'm not sure why, but I offered to make Bean a cable recently and he didn't respond to my offer.  LOL.  I'm thinking of starting a TV show...sequel to Tool Time Tim!


Wait a minute, don't you work at a nuke plant? ;)

I hope that wasn't the same tape they use to hold "the plant" together :P

It's good that neither of those incidents involved lithium battery fires, etc.  I've had a couple of cases where I smelled burning electronics at a gig and frantically checked my gear... Fortunately it was just a stage monitor blowing.

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stevetoney

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2012, 10:15:16 PM »
LOL.  Yeah, the last I worked at a plant was in 1988, but even back then we used shrink wrap and weren't allowed to use electrical tape, so breath easy although I do recall that duct tape was probably used alot more than it should have been back then.  ;)

I normally use shrink wrap on my cables, but I ran out for awhile earlier this year, which explains the old electrical tape. 

Fliesh...thanks for the confidence boost, bro!   

JBell, I don't need no freakin' fire extinguisher because now I know that I've got reflexes like a cat and since I usually tape with Bean, I also have a fire alarm that sounds like this...holy shit-- holy shit-- holy shit!

Offline ero3030

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2012, 07:58:40 AM »
^^^^^ or just use bean to put the fire out! lol    sorry bean! :P
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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2012, 08:06:33 AM »
. . . I've got reflexes like a cat  . . .
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Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2012, 10:10:46 AM »
LOL.  Yeah, the last I worked at a plant was in 1988, but even back then we used shrink wrap and weren't allowed to use electrical tape, so breath easy although I do recall that duct tape was probably used alot more than it should have been back then.  ;)

Back when that magical place known and Boeing Surplus was still in business (moment of silence, please), I bought several rolls of cerified aircraft grade electrcal tape.  It's neat stuff - epoxy, very strong, and very light weight.  It is very heat resistant compared to vinyl tape.  I assume the adhesive has better longevity.  It doesn't stretch like vinyl tape, and you can't stretch-break it, so it isn't convenient to use.  And, of course, huge meter long bundles of heatshrink and teflon sleeve.

I did get a roll of woven fireproof sleeve, for a few bucks.  The kind of stuff that sells for many dollars a foot in consumer grade (but aircraft grade, who knows). That's what you need ;) 

I can remember one Christmas when aluminum was on sale for half off - I think  .25 or .40/lbs - whether big blocks of various alloys (6061, 2024, 7075), or full 4x8' sheets.... Sigh.

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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: is there a way to test dvd batteries?
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2012, 09:32:02 PM »
I'm curious how did you catch your bag on fire??


yeah, last thing i need is my entire bag going up in smoke at a show and evacuating the venue.  :lol

Oh, it wasn't such a big deal when it happened to me last year...TWICE.  ;) 

Queue up a response from Bean right about now.

Actually, I only caught my bag on fire once...I caught my tent on fire the other time.  LOL. 

OK, first experience was that I'd rigged up a battery cable in support of summercamp this past May.  It was the 3rd or 4th set of the first day that the fire happened.  I think my problem was that I'd used some old black electrical tape to isolate a pigtail and since the tape was old, it didn't hold like it should have.  Honestly, don't know if that was the issue or not but I've had some issues with a roll of tape since, so I think that was it.  OK, so it was kinda strange because the cable was supplying power just fine and it was the middle of a Cornmeal set.  I can't remember why, but I reached into my bag and was trying to reposition something (maybe trying to untangle some wires) when all of the sudden FLAMES are shooting up from my friggin' gear bag.  Obviously the battery cable had shorted.  I yell something incoherent that probably sounded something like MOTHAFUCK and all I hear is Bean next to me saying over and over again...holy shit holy shit HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT but not doing a goddam thing.   ;D ;D  I'm unplugging shit at the speed of light as fast as I possibly can pulling it out of my bag without any regard to the flames...after all IT'S MY FRIGGIN GEAR!!!  To hell with human body parts!

So, after the smoke cleared (literally) and I had developed a small audience, I determined that the only damage was to the top edge of my gear bag.  The flames were just the melting techflex, cable insulation, and the edge of my gear bag.  Fortunately, no actual gear was damaged.  I got burned from yanking the cables out, but luckily the hot cable immediately cauterized the burn and honestly it didn't hurt much at all during weekend even though it looked a little nasty.  LUCKY!!!!

Then, later this summer, I had an encore fire fighting experience at moedown.  So, I like to bring a 12V marine battery to festivals with me for various camp electrical needs.  I hook up an inverter and it's handy for various needs, like a small fan and whatnot.  This year Bean and I got our camp set up, all the tents up and whatnot.  After initial setup, chilled out with a couple of beers/pops and now it's time to start setting up the tent and bed.  So I grabbed that battery, the inverter, and a little electric blower that I use to blow up my air mattress.  I plugged the male member of the inverter into the female socket (kinda like a cigarette lighter socket in your car) of the battery terminal connectors and nothing happens.  Hmmm...what's going on?  Of course, since I'd already set my gear bag on fire earlier this summer, I figured I was an expert at diagnosing this type of thing by now.  That's when I noticed that the male part of the inverter was missing the center pole.  DAMMIT, without that center pole, I'm not gonna have any electricity for the weekend.  That's completely unacceptable, so I set about finding a solution.  AHA...it turns out that the hole in which that center pole formerly existed is exactly the same size as a penny!!!  (Can you see where this is going?)  So I ask Bean if he has a penny and he hands me a penny.  So I put that copper penny , which is a GREAT electricity conductor into that hole and...POOF!  Within a nano-second that cable and the interter and everything in between goes up in smoke and I have a SECOND fire on my hands.  Fortunately this time I had everything in hand so it only took a micro-second to disconnect and there were no actual flames and I didn't get burned, but OMG the smoke was THICK!

I offered to make Bean a cable recently and he didn't respond to my offer...I'm not really sure why.   ;D ;D  I'm thinking of starting a TV show...it will be a sequel to Tool Time Tim!

So that's the story.  Bean can attest.

 :nightfevah:

Yes, I can attest, ALL of that is true. Except FIRE #2 happened at All Good, not MoeDown ;) I can still picture both incidents in my head like they happened yesterday :) ;D 8)
Recording Gear:
Schoeps MK 4 (MP) & MK 41V (MP) Capsules ->
Schoeps 250/0 KCY's X2 ->
Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's x2 ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby XLR's x2 ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 & MixPre-3 ->
SanDisk 128gb Extreme Pro & 64gb Ultra Plus

Portable Playback Gear:
Campfire Audio Andromeda & Dorado IEM's ->
Linum G2 SuperBax & Bax 3.5mm | FiiO LC 2.5c 2.5mm ->
Shanling Audio M5s | Sony NW-A35 DAP's

DAW:
Dell Inspiron 5570-5521 SLV Laptop
(Pentium i5/8gb RAM/256gb SSD)

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/diskobean | http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/Bean420 | http://bt.etree.org/mytorrents.php

 

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