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Nikon Coolpix L101 " warning battery exhausted"


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#1 CandyMan_ZA

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 12:20 PM

Hi, I have a Coolpix L101 that is giving me problems. I used to get more than a hundred photos from the two AA batteries now all of a sudden I barely get 3 or 4 and then the " warning battery exhausted" message. I have tried several freshly charged hahnel 2700 nikel metal hydride batteries, all with the same results. The battery type is set to Coolpix (NiMH). The firmware version is 1.3, the latest that I am able to find. I have cleaned the battery contacts. I would like to try and reload the firmware but it seems the camera does not recognise the firmware on the SD card if its the same as the current running version. I have looked for an older version as well without any success. I even thought of editing the version number in the firmware.bin file and change the 1.3 to 1.4 :unsure: but am a little afraid to try this? :blink: Please advise. Any suggestions? thank you Kevin

#2 CandyMan_ZA

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 06:25 AM

bump

#3 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 10:24 AM

The old NiCad batteries used to have a memory if you did not discharge them fully and constantly just topped them up. If you only regularly used say 5% of the charge before topping up they "remembered" this and would only put out 5% even if fully charged before showing empty. You then had to discharge them fully if I remember correctly to eliminate the memory. I did not think that applied to Nickle Metal Hydride ones.

"Memory and lazy battery effects

Main article: Memory effect
NiCd batteries suffer from a "memory effect" if they are discharged and recharged to the same state of charge hundreds of times. The apparent symptom is that the battery "remembers" the point in its charge cycle where recharging began and during subsequent use suffers a sudden drop in voltage at that point, as if the battery had been discharged. The capacity of the battery is not actually reduced substantially. Some electronics designed to be powered by NiCds are able to withstand this reduced voltage long enough for the voltage to return to normal. However, if the device is unable to operate through this period of decreased voltage, the device will be unable to get as much energy out of the battery, and for all practical purposes, the battery has a reduced capacity.

There is controversy about whether the memory effect actually exists, or whether it is as serious a problem as is sometimes believed. Some critics claim it is used to promote competing NiMH batteries, which apparently do not suffer from it. Many NiCd battery manufacturers either deny the effect exists or are silent on the matter.

There is much evidence that the memory effect story originated from orbiting satellites, where they were typically charging for twelve hours out of twenty-four for several years. After this time, it was found that the capacities of the batteries had declined significantly, but were still perfectly fit for use. It is unlikely that this precise repetitive charging (e.g., 1000 charges / discharges with less than 2% variability) could ever be reproduced by consumers using electrical goods.

An effect with similar symptoms to the memory effect is the so-called voltage depression or lazy battery effect. (Some people use this term as a synonym for "memory effect".) This results from repeated overcharging; the symptom is that the battery appears to be fully charged but discharges quickly after only a brief period of operation. Larger cells may benefit from refilling with distilled water, or a complete electrolyte replacement. In rare cases, much of the lost capacity can be recovered by a few deep-discharge cycles, a function often provided by automatic NiCd battery chargers. However, this process may reduce the shelf life of the battery. If treated well, a NiCd battery can last for 1000 cycles or more before its capacity drops below half its original capacity."


Seems your not the only one to get similar problems see this Canon user here:-

http://www.dpchallen...HREAD_ID=418140

I have a vague idea I read somewhere that occasionally you should run some rechargeable batteries right down in the camera in order to reset the camera charge indicator, but I cannot find the original link now, but I found these links however:-

http://help.nikon.ca...etail/a_id/5759

I suppose the simple test to see if it is the camera or the batteries is if your camera takes normal non rechargeable AA batteries to get a couple of those and see if you get your hundred shots from them before the exhausted battery warning comes on. If that is OK then recondition your batteries as in the Nikon link. Even if it is the cameras battery indicator that needs resetting running the AA's to exhaustion should achieve that if that is what is required. If the warning still persists then no doubt it is a camera fault.

These are similar Web comments for Nickel Hydride batteries:

"Discharging

Under a light load (0.5 amp), the starting voltage of a freshly charged AA NiMH cell in good condition is about 1.4 volts; some measure almost 1.5 volts. Mid-discharge at a load of 1 amp, the output is about 1.2 volts; at 2 amps, about 1.15 volts; the total effective differential internal resistance is about 0.05 ohms.

Over-discharging

A complete discharge of a cell until it goes into polarity reversal can cause permanent damage to the cell. This situation can occur in the common arrangement of four AA cells in series in a digital camera, where one will be completely discharged before the others due to small differences in capacity among the cells. When this happens, the "good" cells will start to "drive" the discharged cell in reverse, which can cause permanent damage to that cell. Some cameras, GPS receivers and PDAs detect the safe end-of-discharge voltage of the series cells and auto-shutdown, but devices like flashlights and some toys do not. A single cell driving a load won't suffer from polarity reversal, because there are no other cells to reverse-charge it when it becomes discharged.

Irreversible damage from polarity reversal is a particular danger in systems, even when a low voltage threshold cutout is employed, where cells in the battery are of different temperatures. This is because the capacity of NiMH cells significantly declines as the cells are cooled. This results in a lower voltage under load of the colder cells.

Self-discharge

NiMH cells historically had a somewhat higher self-discharge rate (equivalent to internal leakage) than NiCd cells. The self-discharge is 5–10% on the first day and stabilizes around 0.5–1% per day at room temperature. This is not a problem in the short term but makes them unsuitable for many light-duty uses, such as clocks, remote controls, or safety devices, where the battery would normally be expected to last many months or years. The rate is strongly affected by the temperature at which the batteries are stored with cooler storage temperatures leading to slower discharge rate and longer battery life. The highest capacity cells on the market (>8000 mAh) are reported to have the highest self-discharge rates.

Low self-discharge cells

Main article: Low self-discharge NiMH battery
A new type of nickel-metal hydride cell was introduced in 2005 that reduces self-discharge and therefore lengthens shelf life. By using a new separator, manufacturers claim the cells retain 70–85% of their capacity after one year when stored at 20 degrees Celsius (68 F). These cells are marketed as "ready-to-use" or "pre-charged" rechargeables. Besides the longer shelf life, they are otherwise similar to normal NiMH batteries of equivalent capacity and can be charged in typical NiMH chargers.

Low self-discharge cells have lower capacity than standard NiMH cells. The highest capacity low-self-discharge cells have 2000-2450 mAh and 850 mAh capacities for AA and AAA cells, respectively, compared to 2800 mAh and 1000 mAh for standard AA and AAA cells. However, after only a few weeks of storage, the retained capacity of low-self-discharge batteries often exceeds that of traditional NiMH batteries of higher capacity.


Dave Whiteley
Nikon D200
AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70 mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED
60mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor
70mm-180mm AF ED f4.5-f5.6 D Micro-Nikkor
Tamron SP AF200-500MM F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)
Nikon PB6 belows, Nikon Tubes.
2X Nikon SB600 flash guns
Manfrotto dual flash bracket

#4 CandyMan_ZA

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 01:40 AM

Hi Dave, thank you for the detailed reply. I think I may have sorted the problem. Let me explain. I was absolutely convinced the problem was the camera and not the batteries or the charger, I was about to throw the camera away. I have 16 Hahnel Ni-MH rechargable batteries, I was getting the same results with all of them, they would charge fine overnight (tried two different chargers) but non would give me more than about 10 photos, hence I had to assume it was the camera. So I persued the firmware route, for months I tried in vain. Eventually I took all the batteries to a friend, who understands this stuff, he owns a fancy charger that plugs into a PC and records a graph of the charge and discharge rates of the batteries. Most of the batteries would not hold a charge or they would not charge fully. After a little research I discovered the sensitive nature of Ni-MH's and the no-no's of using them in torches, mp3 players and Wii remotes... :rolleyes: This I guess is where the problem started, these batteries should NOT be used in such devices, they drop below their safe voltage and you risk damaging them, or worse you can cause the polarity reversal of the other batteries damaging them as well, and possibly the device you have them in. So, we put the batteries through a lengthy discharge and charge cycle, in fact we did this 3 times. And now, hey presto, they hold their charge, and recharge in my charger just fine, I can take 200+ photos again. :D thank you Kevin

#5 Dave Whiteley

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 06:13 AM

Pleased your problem is solved Kevin. The makers keep putting out each new type of battery as problem free and better than the last type. The Ni-MH batteries were touted as better than NiCads since they did not have their memory problems, but obviously they have similar problems if misused.

Many of our cameras now have rechargeable Li-ion batteries that do not have a memory problem, but many users do not realise these have their disadvantages too:-

"Shelf life

A disadvantage of lithium-ion cells lies in their relatively poor cycle life: upon every (re)charge, deposits form inside the electrolyte that inhibit lithium ion transport, resulting in the capacity of the cell to diminish. The increase in internal resistance affects the cell's ability to deliver current, thus the problem is more pronounced in high-current than low-current applications. The increasing capacity hit means that a full charge in an older battery will not last as long as one in a new battery (although the charging time required obviously decreases proportionally, as well).

Also, high charge levels and elevated temperatures (whether resulting from charging or being ambient) hasten permanent capacity loss for lithium-ion batteries. The heat generated during a charge cycle is caused by the traditional carbon anode, which has been replaced with good results by lithium titanate. Lithium titanate has been experimentally shown to drastically reduce the degenerative effects associated with charging, including expansion and other factors. See "Improvements of lithium-ion technology" below.

At a 100% charge level, a typical Li-ion laptop battery that is full most of the time at 25 C or 77 F will irreversibly lose approximately 20% capacity per year. However, a battery in a poorly ventilated laptop may be subject to a prolonged exposure to much higher temperatures, which will significantly shorten its life. Different storage temperatures produce different loss results: 6% loss at 0 C (32 F), 20% at 25 C (77 F), and 35% at 40 C (104 F). When stored at 40%60% charge level, the capacity loss is reduced to 2%, 4%, 15% at 0, 25 and 40 degrees Celsius respectively"


The recommendation is to never buy spare Li-ion batteries unless you will be regularly using them and regularly flatten more than one battery in your photographic outings because they deteriorate from the day they were manufactured. Only buy those you need and don't buy cheap ones that may be old stock since they have a limited shelf life, even though rechargeable just like to old zink carbon batteries.

http://en.wikipedia....d_disadvantages

Dave Whiteley
Nikon D200
AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70 mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED
60mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor
70mm-180mm AF ED f4.5-f5.6 D Micro-Nikkor
Tamron SP AF200-500MM F/5-6.3 Di LD (IF)
Nikon PB6 belows, Nikon Tubes.
2X Nikon SB600 flash guns
Manfrotto dual flash bracket

#6 Nancy

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:00 PM

It's now May of 2011 and I have the same issue on a Coolpix L18. I've read on the internet plenty of mention of this sudden "battery exhausted" screen on cameras anywhere from 6 months old to 4 years old with no other issues, such as having gotten wet or dropped. Seems to be across plenty of different models. Has anyone gotten to the bottom of this? I had mine for 3 years just fine, used very rarely but stored carefully. All of a sudden, put in new (quality) batteries, according to the accepted list, alkaline AA LR6 Duracell and they only last a couple of months, maybe 6 pictures. Then the new batteries lasted about 4 days and then another set last 2 hours, maybe 50 pictures taken. And now the whole camera is kaput. Can't even get the "battery exhausted" screen. Just blank. Green light on but nothing working. Tested the batteries and it turned out they weren't drained after all. Just barely so it's not the batteries. The cameras just die suddenly. Many different models of the point and shoot type. After looking all over the Internet, I see plenty of postings but no real solutions. Is anyone out there responding to all these claims of sudden "battery exhausted" screens? Is there some pervasive issue?

#7 Art

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 07:28 PM

Nancy, I feel your pain. I am going to ask some obvious questions.... a ) do you have the correct type batteries in the camera? (I see you purchased from the accepted list) Are the batteries the PREFERRED battery of choice? b ) do you have them in correctly c ) did you trouble shoot the camera according to the manual d ) take it into a store and have them check it with Nikon batteries, just to confirm it isn't this simple a problem. If so, then you are in for some hard choices. a ) New, the L18 camera is worth $150? 2 Years old? No warranty? b ) to repair it will probably cost that and if it does, just buy a new camera. Why? Is it 8mp? Probably get more for the same money. c ) see if the customer service guy will give you a break on a trade in with Nikon directly. For a refurbished model from their service/parts department. I did this dance with a camera I paid 10x the money for and in the end, the best deal I got was from the nikon customer service guy for a trade in. It was a very fair deal, all things considered, but it didn't make me happy at the quality of the equipment I bought. How long ago did the warranty expire? If you are close to the expiry date, you might catch a break with Nikon. Worth a shot. Good luck.

Edited by Art, 03 May 2011 - 07:29 PM.

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#8 Nancy

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:18 AM

Hi Art,

Thanks for the feedback. You are right about going ahead and buying a new camera. I want to ask you some questions though. Where are these Nikon service people? I called on the phone and I find the system "scummy" at best. They ask a bunch of questions (yes, I am past warranty) and then start giving me directions on how to ship them the camera. On and on. I had to cut them off to ask - who pays for shipping and what's the charge to fix it before you waste time with all these shipping details and emailing me shipping instructions. So then I find out I pay for shipping and it will cost between $56 go $110 to fix a camera that is $100-ish new. So I found that poor cust relations. They were not upfront. I had to pull teeth to get that info. So what Nikon service people are you referring to when you say to "take it to them?" Where are they and how to do I find them? When I go to the Nikon site (http://www.nikonusa....nformation.page) and it says click here to get a list of authorized Nikon service reps it says the page cannot be displayed. More bad customer relationship management. Any advice greatly appreciated.


But let me ask you what you mean by trouble shoot according to the manual?
The only thing I found was "Problem=camera settings reset. Cause/Solution - Backup battery is exhausted;all settings were restored to their default values." So maybe the "backup battery" (whatever that is) is exhausted cause the ones I'm inserting are not.


It refers me to page 78 that says something about the clock battery that I can't understand. It says "The clock battery charges when the main batteries are installed or an AC adaptor is connected and can provide several days of backup power after about 10 hours of charging."

So maybe the "clock" battery is exhausted. Maybe the "clock" battery can't recharge itself.

Thing is, the thing won't turn on now.

Someone suggested I try lithium instead of alkaline, even though the alkaline are on the approved list.
Do YOU think that would make a difference?



Nancy, I feel your pain.

I am going to ask some obvious questions....

a ) do you have the correct type batteries in the camera? (I see you purchased from the accepted list) Are the batteries the PREFERRED battery of choice?
b ) do you have them in correctly
c ) did you trouble shoot the camera according to the manual
d ) take it into a store and have them check it with Nikon batteries, just to confirm it isn't this simple a problem.

If so, then you are in for some hard choices.

a ) New, the L18 camera is worth $150? 2 Years old? No warranty?
b ) to repair it will probably cost that and if it does, just buy a new camera. Why? Is it 8mp? Probably get more for the same money.
c ) see if the customer service guy will give you a break on a trade in with Nikon directly. For a refurbished model from their service/parts department.

I did this dance with a camera I paid 10x the money for and in the end, the best deal I got was from the nikon customer service guy for a trade in. It was a very fair deal, all things considered, but it didn't make me happy at the quality of the equipment I bought.

How long ago did the warranty expire? If you are close to the expiry date, you might catch a break with Nikon. Worth a shot.

Good luck.



#9 Nancy

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:08 PM

Hi Art,

Thanks for the feedback. You are right about going ahead and buying a new camera. I want to ask you some questions though. Where are these Nikon service people? I called on the phone and I find the system "scummy" at best. They ask a bunch of questions (yes, I am past warranty) and then start giving me directions on how to ship them the camera. On and on. I had to cut them off to ask - who pays for shipping and what's the charge to fix it before you waste time with all these shipping details and emailing me shipping instructions. So then I find out I pay for shipping and it will cost between $56 go $110 to fix a camera that is $100-ish new. So I found that poor cust relations. They were not upfront. I had to pull teeth to get that info. So what Nikon service people are you referring to when you say to "take it to them?" Where are they and how to do I find them? When I go to the Nikon site (http://www.nikonusa....nformation.page) and it says click here to get a list of authorized Nikon service reps it says the page cannot be displayed. More bad customer relationship management. Any advice greatly appreciated.


But let me ask you what you mean by trouble shoot according to the manual?
The only thing I found was "Problem=camera settings reset. Cause/Solution - Backup battery is exhausted;all settings were restored to their default values." So maybe the "backup battery" (whatever that is) is exhausted cause the ones I'm inserting are not.


It refers me to page 78 that says something about the clock battery that I can't understand. It says "The clock battery charges when the main batteries are installed or an AC adaptor is connected and can provide several days of backup power after about 10 hours of charging."

So maybe the "clock" battery is exhausted. Maybe the "clock" battery can't recharge itself.

Thing is, the thing won't turn on now.

Someone suggested I try lithium instead of alkaline, even though the alkaline are on the approved list.
Do YOU think that would make a difference?



#10 Nancy

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:17 PM

OMG!
My camera works.
On a Best Buy forum I finally found a solution.
It said to take out the batteries and let the camera sit for a couple of weeks and then put in new, fresh batteries.
Voila.

Nikon customer relationship management is horrific!
They wanted me to ship it in at my cost and then charge me between $56 and $110 to fix it. It would have cost me $56 and shipping charges for that little piece of advice cause by the time it got to Nikon service they would have said "Oh, nothing is wrong."

It had to "reset" itself. Not the most impressive thing for all these Coolpix models where I see tons of people online having this problem. But AT LEAST if Nikon would put in a trouble shooting note and merely suggest taking out the batteries and wait a week or two and try with new fresh batteries. But to put me through weeks of googling and calling their customer service.
They ought to know that I already went to BJ's, Best Buy and Staples to shop for a new camera and looked at anything BUT Nikon. So there's a little fluke going on in their cameras cause I've seen people online with all the models talking about this. The guy with the problem on the Best Buy forum had it happen to him after 7 days of ownership. Until him, I've seen people reporting this from 4 months to 4 years across all models.

Isn't it time for it to go public that their Coolpix cameras have a recurrent glitch?

The answer was proferred by someone who knew batteries.

I find their customer service unforgivable.
Especially since to add salt to the wound, their "click here" for a list of authorized service reps took me to a "page can not be displayed" web page. Not pretty Nikon, not pretty at all.

Hi Art,

Thanks for the feedback. You are right about going ahead and buying a new camera. I want to ask you some questions though. Where are these Nikon service people? I called on the phone and I find the system "scummy" at best. They ask a bunch of questions (yes, I am past warranty) and then start giving me directions on how to ship them the camera. On and on. I had to cut them off to ask - who pays for shipping and what's the charge to fix it before you waste time with all these shipping details and emailing me shipping instructions. So then I find out I pay for shipping and it will cost between $56 go $110 to fix a camera that is $100-ish new. So I found that poor cust relations. They were not upfront. I had to pull teeth to get that info. So what Nikon service people are you referring to when you say to "take it to them?" Where are they and how to do I find them? When I go to the Nikon site (http://www.nikonusa....nformation.page) and it says click here to get a list of authorized Nikon service reps it says the page cannot be displayed. More bad customer relationship management. Any advice greatly appreciated.


But let me ask you what you mean by trouble shoot according to the manual?
The only thing I found was "Problem=camera settings reset. Cause/Solution - Backup battery is exhausted;all settings were restored to their default values." So maybe the "backup battery" (whatever that is) is exhausted cause the ones I'm inserting are not.


It refers me to page 78 that says something about the clock battery that I can't understand. It says "The clock battery charges when the main batteries are installed or an AC adaptor is connected and can provide several days of backup power after about 10 hours of charging."

So maybe the "clock" battery is exhausted. Maybe the "clock" battery can't recharge itself.

Thing is, the thing won't turn on now.

Someone suggested I try lithium instead of alkaline, even though the alkaline are on the approved list.
Do YOU think that would make a difference?






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