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Author Topic: Tascam DR100mkii Review  (Read 100945 times)

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runonce

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #120 on: December 31, 2011, 07:48:19 AM »
I just ran down another pair of NiMHs. The unit got warm, but not really to a point that I would call it hot. But what's more interesting: I measured the voltage on the NiMHs afterwards and they had 1.274 V and 1.278 V. In my experience, empty batteries should have a lower voltage. I also inserted them into my DR-2d and this unit shows all three bars on the battery indicator. WTF?

Oh, and I did another test with the same Eneloop NiMHs I used yesterday and that got me 10 minutes with P48 on. This time, I recorded from the internal omnis and got 229 minutes just on the AAs.

This AA  battery issue sure sounds like a firmware bug...?

Offline it-goes-to-eleven

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #121 on: December 31, 2011, 08:37:31 AM »
I just ran down another pair of NiMHs. The unit got warm, but not really to a point that I would call it hot. But what's more interesting: I measured the voltage on the NiMHs afterwards and they had 1.274 V and 1.278 V. In my experience, empty batteries should have a lower voltage. I also inserted them into my DR-2d and this unit shows all three bars on the battery indicator. WTF?

Oh, and I did another test with the same Eneloop NiMHs I used yesterday and that got me 10 minutes with P48 on. This time, I recorded from the internal omnis and got 229 minutes just on the AAs.

This AA  battery issue sure sounds like a firmware bug...?

It does, and that's good news.

Hopefully Tascam will do some testing of Lithium AA's and NiMH AA's and sort it out with a new firmware release.

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stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #122 on: December 31, 2011, 10:34:38 AM »
Looks like maybe we're getting somewhere! 

Sebastian, it seems like your results prove that the unit it cutting out prematurely when on AAs and that the issue isn't how much power is being consumed by the unit when using AAs only.  If you take your results along with the information in the prior message from Kleiner, perhaps the issue is simply internal resistance or draw down on the voltage of the AAs while the unit is on p48 is causing the unit to cut out on low voltage.

I received a message back from my latest Tascam email saying that they'll get back to me on the next weekday, so seems as if today is a holiday.  I suggest at this point that we let Tascam take a look at this thread and see what they say.


Offline dogmusic

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #123 on: December 31, 2011, 10:54:49 AM »
As I reported in my previous posts in this thread, I got very different battery run-times with phantom power on.

From Dec. 24:

"Over the last two days, I had run the DR100mkii with a bunch of different rechargeables. The best I got with one pair was 52 minutes.

Then I tried a stereo mic with less of a current draw then the first mic: 4.5 mA total vs. 6.4 mA total.

No big surprise: the batteries lasted longer. I got 1 hr 55 min. using the same Eneloops as my first test where they had lasted only 40 minutes."


From Dec. 27:

"I ran my Beyerdynamic 930's into the XLR of the DR100mkii, using rechargeable Eneloop AA's, with phantom power on, 24/96, and got just under 1 hr 40 min recording time. "


So the mic current draw affects the battery life, and perhaps also how strictly the mic requires a full 48V.

All the batteries had juice left in them after the DR100mkii would not work with phantom on. Sometimes when I switched the phantom off, an extra bar would appear in the display. (And sometimes a bar would disappear as soon as I had switched on the phantom.)

Yes, the AA batteries got quite warm, sometimes fairly hot.

The other variable is how good are the rechargeables, and which ones does the DR100mkii like. The same eneloops which only got me 52 min on a stereo mic, then got me 1 hr 40 min with the Beyers.

But before I ran the second test, I had drained those eneloops down to zero and did an all-night recharge.
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Offline Sebastian

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #124 on: December 31, 2011, 11:52:38 AM »
I'm currently running a test using a pair of Nickel-zinc rechargeable AAs that I borrowed. They are rated at 1.6 V / 1500 mAh and so far I'm getting all three bars on the battery indicator (see the blurry picture I've attached). I'm currently 11 minutes into the test and things still look good. I'll keep you guys posted once this test is finishes.

Edit: On a side note, am I the only one who always mistakes the headphone icon in the lower right of the display for a circled "arrow up"?  :-[
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 11:57:46 AM by Sebastian »
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Offline dogmusic

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #125 on: December 31, 2011, 12:17:56 PM »

Edit: On a side note, am I the only one who always mistakes the headphone icon in the lower right of the display for a circled "arrow up"?  :-[

No.    ;D

And on another side note regarding the display, Tascam really needs to add an icon in the display that signifies "Phantom On".
"The ear is much more than a mere appendage on the side of the head." - Catherine Parker Anthony, Structure and Function of the Human Body (1972)

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Offline flintstone

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #126 on: December 31, 2011, 12:18:08 PM »
The short run time on AA alkaline cells matches my experience with the original DR-100.  I got only 15 minutes record time with phantom power on and a pair of Sennheiser ME mics connected.  When the recorder shut down, the AAs were too hot to touch.  Sad to hear that this issue continues with the new mkII model.

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #127 on: December 31, 2011, 02:31:59 PM »
Wow, I'm now totally astonished. I just got 2 hrs 9 mins from the two NiZn 1.6 V / 1500 mAh rechargeables that I borrowed. And this time, the batteries are really empty (even the DR-2d won't accept them anymore). The unit did not even get hot (just slightly warm).
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #128 on: December 31, 2011, 04:16:25 PM »
This AA  battery issue sure sounds like a firmware bug...?
It does, and that's good news.

Hopefully Tascam will do some testing of Lithium AA's and NiMH AA's and sort it out with a new firmware release.
I'm currently running a test using a pair of Nickel-zinc rechargeable AAs that I borrowed.

This is all very similar to DR2d until the 1.03 firmware update.  Short runtimes, picky about aged NiMH, trying higher current Nickel-Zink cells, etc..  I ended up always using an external battery until it was fixed by a firmware update, and haven't since.
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stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #129 on: December 31, 2011, 08:09:07 PM »
Wow, I'm now totally astonished. I just got 2 hrs 9 mins from the two NiZn 1.6 V / 1500 mAh rechargeables that I borrowed. And this time, the batteries are really empty (even the DR-2d won't accept them anymore). The unit did not even get hot (just slightly warm).

In addition to the recent posts within the last page or so where people have posted about similar experiences on other units and how firmware resulted in a fix, this result you had Sebastian seems consistent with the information Kleiner posted one page back where he discusses the concept of internal resistance on rechargeables being lower than on AAs. 

stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #130 on: December 31, 2011, 09:03:36 PM »
However, one point I would correct:  Li-ions do not have a progressive discharge curve; they have a quick drop from 4.2V, then a very flat discharge curve before rapid death.  This requires a precision voltage reference to trigger an accurate low battery warning:



This curve explains my typical experience with the battery meters on recorders where I typically use Ni-Mh's, where all the bars are on for awhile when batteries are freshly charged, then maybe a bar goes out and you'll see all the bars on for a long time except one, but then in the last 10 minutes before batteries go dead you quickly lose all the bars. 

(Actually, I already knew this, but I wanted to reinforce this point.)

Offline kleiner Rainer

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #131 on: January 01, 2012, 06:44:29 AM »


However, one point I would correct:  Li-ions do not have a progressive discharge curve; they have a quick drop from 4.2V, then a very flat discharge curve before rapid death.  This requires a precision voltage reference to trigger an accurate low battery warning:



Hi mshilarious,

could you point me to the source of the discharge diagram you posted? I ask because I have seen many datasheet for LiIon and LiPoly cells, but none of them showed such a discharge curve.

Here is an example for a typical LiPoly cell:

http://www.ibt-power.com/Battery_packs/Li_Polymer/Lithium_polymer_tech.html

Greetings, and happy new year to all,

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stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #132 on: January 01, 2012, 08:33:29 AM »
Rainer, I don't interpret the discharge curve in the site you link to as being very different at all from the curve that mshilarious posted.  The key take away from both of these curves is that there's a long stretch in the middle where the battery discharges slowly but then falls off rapidly as the battery approaches depletion.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 08:36:27 AM by tonedeaf »

Offline kleiner Rainer

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Battery discharge - was Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #133 on: January 01, 2012, 12:08:54 PM »
Tonedeaf, mshilarious,

sorry, but I disagree. In this case, I trust a company that designs fuel gauges for battery operated devices. I suspect they know what they are talking about: http://pdfserv.maxim-ic.com/en/an/AN121.pdf

Table 3 is the point we are talking about. As specified, this is for constant current discharge.
In this table, a voltage of 3.7V means about 45% of capacity left at 20 degrees Celsius. The diagram mshilarious posted shows about 95% capacity left at 3.7V. Something is very wrong here. Either we talk about different battery types or the measurement conditions are totally different.

The cells I tested with my charger/discharger/conditioner showed similar results to the Maxim application note. When using a 3-cell LiPoly battery in a portable transceiver (constant current drain in receive) I could guesstimate the recharge capacity needed based on the cell voltage with rather good accuracy.

mshilarious, I followed the link, but I only found the picture we already know. What type of Li battery is this? Manufacturer? Order code? Datasheet?

Greetings,

Rainer
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stevetoney

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Re: Tascam DR100mkii Review
« Reply #134 on: January 02, 2012, 09:28:37 AM »
Dear Jon and Rainer:

How does the issue you're debating help with the diagnosis of the early cut-out problem with the Tascam?  If it doesn't help and your discussion about flat vs. sloping discharge curve is tangential to diagnosing the root cause of the Tascam problem, could I request you please start a new thread? 

It seems to me the concept of internal battery resistance under heavy load (perhaps on old rechargeables and certain types of alkalines) and its effect on output voltage was the key concept that needed to be flushed out.

Thanks



« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 09:31:59 AM by tonedeaf »

 

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