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My D700's Battery EN-EL3e Does Not Charge Fully

Michael Seika , Mar 23, 2009; 01:28 a.m.

Hi,
I have had the D700 for a few months now. I have probably re-charged the EN-EL3e 4-5 times so far. Last night I placed again the battery in the MH-18a charger and the orange light started blinking. However, after a while it stopped blinking and went off (instead of being lit continuously like it happened before). I put the battery in the camera and in showed only 3 bars of charge (41% full). I took a few pictures until the charge went down to two bars (30% full). Then, I put the battery in the charger, the orange light blinked for a while and then went off again. The camera showed, like before, three bars of charge or 41% full. What am I doing bad here? Or is it something wrong with the battery/charger/camera? What is your advice?
Thank you.

Responses

Hansen Tsang , Mar 23, 2009; 02:13 a.m.

The battery pack is made up of multiple cells. One of the cell in your pack is probably dead. The way to check is to put a volt meter on the positive and negative pole of the battery after you charge it fully. It will probably give you a voltage that is lower than what is stated at the back of the battery pack case. I forgot off hand what that voltage is but it is probably 7.2 volt. I think the battery pack is made up of 2 lithium cells at 3.6 volt each. So if one of your cell died you will only get something like 3.6 volt left after your battery is "fully" charged by the charger. The voltage may be a little higher when you first pull it off the charger. It will read something like 4.1 or 4.2 volts.
You only have one option and that is to buy a new battery pack.

Michael Seika , Mar 23, 2009; 06:57 a.m.

The strange thing is, when I charge the battery, at the end of the charge the light on the charger goes off instead of remaining on - is this an indcation of anything?
The volmeter indicates 7.9V, if I measure the battery.
How could I be certain it is the baterry and not the camera or charger? I only re-charged the battery 4 or 5 times. I bought the D700 last September, is the battery not covered by the Nikon Canada warranty? (I am in Canada.)

William Pahnelas , Mar 23, 2009; 11:48 a.m.

if you only have one battery, i think it's probably time to splurge and get another one. the original battery sounds like it's shot, but even if it weren't, it's always a good idea to keep a spare on hand.

Michael Chang , Mar 23, 2009; 12:02 p.m.

Michael, according to the MH-18a manual, an extinguished (non-blinking) LED, when the battery is inserted, indicates a faulty battery.

Hansen Tsang , Mar 23, 2009; 02:24 p.m.

<<How could I be certain it is the baterry and not the camera or charger?>>
A battery is less expensive to replace than your camera.;-)

>>The strange thing is, when I charge the battery, at the end of the charge the light on the charger goes off instead of remaining on - is this an indcation of anything?<<
Yes, a faulty battery. The charger for Lithium Ion battery has a protective circuit. It measures the "voltage" and "health" of your battery while charging. Once it detects a faulty battery it will shut off the charge circuit before over charging the battery.

Shun Cheung , Mar 23, 2009; 02:37 p.m.

If you don't already have a second EN-EL3e battery, I highly recommend getting one anyway so that you have a backup. With two batteries, it should be very easy to determine where the problem is.

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