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A form of cheap insurance against swollen (third party or not) batteries

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Reflector, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 31, 2013
    Worried about a third party battery swelling up and getting stuck in your camera and needing some drastic means to remove it? Want a way to prevent that for less than a cent?

    In the E-M1II I noticed there's some side to side play with most of the aftermarket BLN-1 types, some of the ones I have are a little tighter than others (and need the battery pointing down, rather than sideways out of the grip) to extract. It was more of an annoyance issue since I cycle most of my packs through the grip (and leave the OEM one in the body at 50% charge to prolong the life of it since it only gets discharged when I'm changing out batteries)

    What's the solution? A piece of tape. Just get a long enough piece, tape it onto the corner and itself to make a little pull tab. The tab collapses flat inside the battery compartment. Play around with your batteries and figure out what part of the compartment the battery can wiggle in and put tape on that side of the battery. Short of some serious catastrophic swelling where it deforms the battery compartment they can generally be extracted (and disposed of properly) afterwards if swelling ever happens. If you never deep discharge the batteries (and charge them back up afterwards) then they'll probably have a very long life short of some defects in the cells.

    Battery tab.jpg
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    Inside compartment.jpg
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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
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  2. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    I would make that tape go all the way down the length of the battery.
    That gives it MORE sticking power on the battery.​
    Use a REALLY STICKY tape. Some tapes don't stick well enough, and pull off.
    And clean the battery before you put on the tape. Finger oils prevent the tape from sticking well.​
    Use a decently strong tape that won't tear, like packing tape. Some tapes will tear easily.

    And do it BEFORE it gets stuck.
    I had to do this at school, when a student put the wrong battery in the camera, and it got STUCK.
    Now that I think about it, I think I will put tabs on all the batteries, just in case. Thanks for the reminder.​
     
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  3. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 31, 2013
    You can do it in any way you want but I believe the piece that goes over the extraction axis of the battery of it is strength limited by the tape itself from being pulled. It probably will tear before the adhesive goes. If you pull it inwards then it most likely won't give up the adhesive but good tape is a good idea. I just used some clear scotch tape for mine personally which is sufficiently strong (won't rip) and the adhesive is sticky enough.

    In my application I primarily use it to help assist some of my tighter batteries but I did it as a form of insurance. It was fast and didn't take more than a few seconds to do per pack. No need to specially order tape. Some of those heavy (thick film) packing tapes are pretty good as long as you can get the pack back into the compartment from the added thickness.
     
  4. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    When I had to get the battery out of the Canon, the first 2 tapes, did not stick well enough and pulled off. But I was also limited in how far I could wiggle the tape in, between the battery and the side of the compartment.
    Some masking tape is STICKY, but masking tape tears easily.
    Duct tape is too thick.
    I think the cellophane "scotch tape" is stronger than the invisible tape.
    As you said, film packing tape is probably the best choice.
     
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  5. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    As ac12 said, I would extend that tape as far down the side of the battery as possible (if possible, wrap it underneath the bottom side). As it is shown, you're relying solely on the shear strength of the tape's adhesive. Assuming you're attempting to remove the battery immediately after use (you likely were shooting with it, battery went dead and needs swapped out), the adhesive is likely warm, further reducing its shear strength.

    The more contact area, the better. Although FWIW, I've never had an official Olympus battery swell on me.
     
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  6. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 31, 2013
    The tape mostly pulls from the length side end rather than relying on the pull off strength of the adhesive, the piece that sticks over the end of the battery is just from the fold over while the axis aligned end more or less bears most of the load. I can yank at my tape right now while holding the battery with my other hand and I can watch the tape stretch by a millimeter before the adhesive even shows signs of giving up on the long end.

    As said before: Whatever works. I didn't particularly measure any length, I just wanted something that acts as a pull tab if and if the battery "sticks" a bit in the compartment from being a little overdimensioned.

    I suspect that on the Olympus packs the voltage cutoff is set high enough to prevent the cells from being deep discharged if it isn't immediately charged afterwards and the Olympus charger just rejects the pack if the voltage is a bit low. Too bad they won't sell those BLH-1s for $25-30, I would have bought 3 more at those prices. Oh well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  7. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    Get it from HK or China, I did. Much more affordable.
    I made sure it was an Olympus branded battery, not a "for Olympus" battery.
    On my vacation, the batteries lasted the same duration as my Olympus battery, so I figure it was legit. It probably came out the side door of the factory that makes the Olympus batteries.

    I have 4 batteries for my EM1 and 3 for my EM10.
     
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    My GoPro battery has this built in. Just a little piece of fabric glued to one side.

    Good idea, thanks for sharing!
     
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  9. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 31, 2013
    Does it actually display the percentage indicator?
     
  10. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    I see the battery indicator on the top left corner, just like the Olympus battery.
    But importantly, the run time seems to be similar, so similar battery capacity. I think this is where some 3rd party batteries fail, the battery does not have the same capacity as the OEM battery.
    BTW, I number my batteries, so I know what is OEM and what I bought from China.
     
  11. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 31, 2013
    The BLH-1 clones don't give me a percentage indicator on my E-M1II, unless it is an OEM BLH-1 then it isn't decoded to support that functionality where the E-M1II can tell you the percentage of the battery by a single percentage point rather than the 4 step indicator which is the fallback mode for the clones.

    000084759.jpg
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  12. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    I wish.
    My EM1-mk1 does not have the detailed battery status display, only the icon with the coarse steps.
     
  13. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 31, 2013
    Then the batteries from China or Hong Kong won't do that kind of a display like previously mentioned...
     
  14. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    I think only the EM1-mk2 has that battery status display.
    Neither the EM1-mk1 and EM10-mk2 has that display with Olympus batteries, or I can't find it.
    How do you bring up the battery status screen?
     
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