BLN-1 battery replacement

PhotoCal

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There's a lot of talk about the reliability of non-OEM batteries. That's a fair question, especially since we all want to save weight.

One of my concerns is a battery running my camera.
If I put in a Duracell battery, that company would likely say it was a problem with the charger or camera.

If the battery, charger and camera all say Olympus then it's pretty hard for it to point the finger.

I also like to use as few batteries as possible. As an ethical landscape and wildlife photographer I want to protect the environment.
Battery manufacturing and disposal is harmful for the planet.
I also avoid upgrading gear when batteries are not backwards compatible.
 

Michael Meissner

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I haven't read all of the replies, but I have to imagine that since no current camera uses the BLN-1 battery, that Olympus may have shutdown the production line. I don't know for certain, but a similar thing happened several years after the E-5 was announced where the official BLM-1 and BLM-5 batteries became hard to find.

I've gone through several cell phones where each phone had a unique battery, and when the manufacturer moves on to newer models, you generally have to switch phones to something more modern. However, now many cell phones don't have a user replaceable battery, so it isn't an issue about finding replacement batteries because there aren't any. But of course every 2-3 years, you now likely have to upgrade your phone.

I have read that in general for lithium-ion batteries, you want to consider retiring them after 4-5 years after being made, as they start losing capacity. Note, it doesn't matter whether you use the batteries or not, the battery starts to degrade once the battery is made. Of course if the manufacturer no longer makes the battery you use, then you have look at 3rd party battery suppliers.

I've used Watson batteries (sold mostly at B&H photo) for some time now. Since I have accumulated several different cameras over the years, I like that I can just use a different Watson charging plate to charge different batteries. I used Watson because of some posts on dpreview by somebody named airmel that tore down various BLN-1 clones, and the Watson batteries were better made than most of the other BLN-1 clones (2016 DPreview post on BLN-1 batteries).

One thing to know is that Olympus BLN-1 batteries use a slightly different chemistry from the standard lithium-ion cells used elsewhere. This means it has a higher voltage when the battery is freshly charged. I imagine that the camera will signal batteries with standard li-on cells as being empty quicker than the official Olympus BLN-1 battery.

In the case of BLN-1, you should use a charger that is designed for the battery. Ii.e. for the official Olympus BLN-1, I use the BCN-1 charger and I use the Watson charger for my Watson batteries.

I recently had to retire two of my Watson BLN-1 batteries because they started swelling. I think I got them after I read airmel's post, so figure they were about 5 years ago. Before switching to Watson, I had used Wasabi batteries, and they didn't last a year. Some other people posted about Wasabi batteries starting to swell up. Perhaps Wasabi had a bad batch of BLN-1 clones, or perhaps mixing the Olympus charger with the Watson BLN-1 clone caused i to swell.

Though since the E-m5 mark III is now my main camera, I need to get a few more BLS-50 batteries or clones. But I will need to get at least 1 BLN-1 battery or clone to replace the two that I retired.

When I retire the batteries, I take them to the town transfer station, and they have a shed to hold lithium-ion batteries, florescent lights, etc. Do not throw litium-ions into the normal trash.
 
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Keeth101

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I bought two of these four years ago Brian and they are still going strong. I have always charged them in the Olympus charger and never had a problem with them.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00QLGO...jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

That is surprising, Phil. It states that they cannot be charged in the original charger and yet both yourself and someone answering a question says they can be charged in the original Oly charger.

The DSTE batteries I have for my EM1ii have also been fine but they cannot be charged in the original Oly charger (I've tried).
 

BDR-529

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That is surprising, Phil. It states that they cannot be charged in the original charger and yet both yourself and someone answering a question says they can be charged in the original Oly charger.

The DTSE batteries I have for my EM1ii have also been fine but they cannot be charged in the original Oly charger (I've tried).

I assume that this disclaimer is just protecting the seller in case there indeed is a charger that refuses to charge them

What this statement really means is that battery pack does not have built-in gas gauge chip that keeps track of how much current goes in and out (i.e. how much charge should be left), how many charge cycles this cell has gone through and how old it is.

All this data is necessary for calculating how much capacity there should be left at any given moment but Li-ion/li-pol battery charging requires a dedicated chip anyway and it can detect the charge cut-off point just by analyzing V-I-curve without any intelligence from the cell itself.

It's very easy to build a native charger which simply refuses to start charging cycle if the cell does not have a built-in chip which can communicate using proprietary protocoll and the camera body could also be programmed to claim that battery is unusable.

There is no technical reason behind this. It's just the good old inkjet cardridge business logic again. Unless our $0,01 chip and 10 000% profit margin is present, we claim that there's no ink left.
 
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Phil.H

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That is surprising, Phil. It states that they cannot be charged in the original charger and yet both yourself and someone answering a question says they can be charged in the original Oly charger.

The DSTE batteries I have for my EM1ii have also been fine but they cannot be charged in the original Oly charger (I've tried).
I wasn't aware that they were incompatible with the Oly chargers. Both of mine work just like my original Oly batteries, the light comes on when I'm charging then goes off when charged. Very odd!
 

Michael Meissner

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For what it's worth, the local Best Buy stores have bins for recycling Li-ion batteries (among other things).
Yep, and I think Staples also. But I rarely go to Best Buy these days (even before the pandemic), so I forgot they had bins for recycling batteries.
 

Panolyman

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Thanks once again for your replies.

When searching the reputable UK camera dealers for a genuine Olympus replacement, all but one stated they were out of stock.
The other one (can't remember which now :frown: ) stated they were expecting delivery in June; which suggests OEM may become available.

I'd not heard of the ones @Phil.H linked to, but several dealers had good stocks of Ansmann batteries, which appear to have good reviews.
 

Keeth101

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Thanks once again for your replies.

When searching the reputable UK camera dealers for a genuine Olympus replacement, all but one stated they were out of stock.
The other one (can't remember which now :frown: ) stated they were expecting delivery in June; which suggests OEM may become available.

I'd not heard of the ones @Phil.H linked to, but several dealers had good stocks of Ansmann batteries, which appear to have good reviews.
The ones Phil linked to are the ones I mentioned in my reply on pg1. They are the DSTE batteries which the BLN-1 will charge in the original Oly charger but the BLH-1 for the EM1ii will not.
Hope that helps
 

PakkyT

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I have read that in general for lithium-ion batteries, you want to consider retiring them after 4-5 years after being made, as they start losing capacity.

Or you can just wait until you actually notice that they are losing capacity. Losing capacity is not something you need to be "pro-active" about retiring batteries before it happens.
 

Generationfourth

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I bought two OEM BLH-1 batteries from MPB for $25 each. Saved me a fortune- one was labeled 2019, the other 2017. Both work great. I have two original OEM batteries for my GF1 that are 10+ years old and both work surprisingly like the day I bought them (500+ shots a charge, after sitting idle for 5+ years).

And I've had about 6-8 third party batteries over the years and they all swelled after a few years after use. Never again.
 

ac12

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Genuine Olympus or 3rd party, watch your battery.
Label them, and track the run time, so you can ID any batteries that is going bad.
If #3 is consistently giving short run time, it may be due to be pulled.​
Use and charge them in order, so the batteries are evenly used.
Watch them as you insert/remove the batteries, to see if they are swelling. A swollen battery can get STUCK in the camera.
 

PakkyT

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Watch them as you insert/remove the batteries, to see if they are swelling. A swollen battery can get STUCK in the camera.

Just thought of a good 3-D printing project. Print a rectangular sleeve (open both ends) with a tight tolerance to the opening of the camera battery compartment. Keep the sleeve near your charger. After each charge (or anytime you want to check), slide the battery through the sleeve. It is slides through easily, you are good to go. If it has a lot of friction or even gets stuck, time to recycle it.
 

retiredfromlife

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I use the Jupio replacements in my EP5 since I first purchased it, and they have held up for a few years now.

Due to low sales in Australia some stores are selling the BLH-1 for the EM1.3 that are nearly four years old now. I complained to Olympus Australia and they said they would sell them at three years old when I purchased my second battery. The three year old one arrived dead flat and has never held a charge as good as the one year old one that came with the camera.

Since you cant chech the date on the box I will no longer be buying the Olympus OEM batteries
 

John King

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I use the Jupio replacements in my EP5 since I first purchased it, and they have held up for a few years now.

Due to low sales in Australia some stores are selling the BLH-1 for the EM1.3 that are nearly four years old now. I complained to Olympus Australia and they said they would sell them at three years old when I purchased my second battery. The three year old one arrived dead flat and has never held a charge as good as the one year old one that came with the camera.

Since you cant chech the date on the box I will no longer be buying the Olympus OEM batteries
I use BetterBatts for after-market stuff. The owner really knows his stuff, and I have never had a dud.

I recently bought an after-market BLH-1 and car charger from them. Charges fine in the OEM charger, and shows percentage in the camera. My genuine BLH-1 x2 also charge fine in the dual car charger/240V unit I bought from them.
 

retiredfromlife

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I use BetterBatts for after-market stuff. The owner really knows his stuff, and I have never had a dud.

I recently bought an after-market BLH-1 and car charger from them. Charges fine in the OEM charger, and shows percentage in the camera. My genuine BLH-1 x2 also charge fine in the dual car charger/240V unit I bought from them.
If that is the Queensland supplier i recently purchased a TG-5 battery from them.
From memory their EM1.3 batteries were well priced and quoted as working in the oly charger
I probably will get two spares from them
Edit
Pretty sure we are talking about the same place. I will get that car charger as well
 

John King

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If that is the Queensland supplier i recently purchased a TG-5 battery from them.
From memory their EM1.3 batteries were well priced and quoted as working in the oly charger
I probably will get two spares from them
Edit
Pretty sure we are talking about the same place. I will get that car charger as well
Contacts are:

Betterbatt.com.au
03 9024 6914
Sales@betterbatt.com.au

I've dealt with them for over 10 years, on and off.
 

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