Batteries

Discussion in 'Photography' started by IrasciBill, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. IrasciBill

    IrasciBill Funster

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    Hi All,
    In recent years I have experienced several instances where my camera batteries (AA size NiMH) seem to have been discharged to almost flat when passed through an "airport style" security scanner. Seems to also happen with ordinary alkaline cells. Realise that this isn't likely when travelling abroad with MH because luggage not scanned, but has anyone experienced a similar problem? :Angry:
     
  2. Rapiscan

    Rapiscan Read Only Funster

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    airport "scanners" discharging batteries myth.

    Hi,as a recently ex, aviation security officer i can inform you that airport security scanners you refer to which are used for scanning luggage and other objects intended to be carried onto aircraft operate with extremely low dosage xray and are tested weekly to ensure levels dont exceed health n safety parameters,the xrays machines used for hold luggage ie: your suitcases etc do use more power to enable penetration,these can occasionally fog photography film left in a suitcase..Both types routinly have all sorts of everyday and sensitive electrical equipment scanned through them without any adverse effects,otherwise the airports would be inundated with damage claims and soon bankrupted.There are a ton of urban myths surrounding airport xray machines.Security officers definatly dont glow in the dark, to dispell just one...lolNeither types in my experience are capable of instantly discharging batteries,Neither is the person body scanner(metal detector arch) which the carriage of batteries through anyway would be prohibited.I have noticed with aged rechargeable batteries that they dont tail off slowly losing power but give up the ghost all at once anyway,as for alkaline ones admitadly i cant offer any explanation.Hope you do find an answer.:thumb:
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Almost impossible.

    Unless you have an odd camera that got turned on by the scanner and that discharged them.

    Otherwise impossible.
     
  4. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Have you ever been turned on by a Scanner Brian:Wink:
     
  5. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Nice one Geo, wonder what Brians answer will be!

    Peter
     
  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Hmmmmmm. I'm trying, I'm trying.

    You don't expect much do you !

    1. Device for scanning.
    2. Person looking for something.

    How the hell can I make a joke out of that ?
     
  7. 6pm Cowboy

    6pm Cowboy Read Only Funster

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    Give it time old boy. You will think of something.
     
  8. imprint

    imprint Read Only Funster

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    " I'm trying, I'm trying."

    No you're not, Brian, please don't worry, I don't find you at all trying.

    Taxing, yes.

    Now I don't know much about de vice, except it cramps my style, but may I suggest that a person looking for something might be a little fellow feeling?
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Unlike Ni-Cads, which drain over time, NiMH batteries will hold an almost flat discharge rate then discharge suddenly and fully in a few 'use' minutes.

    a digi camera, on start-up will be enough to discharge them if the cycle time is close and they may have been in need of a recharge very soon anyway.

    .

    NiMH

    [​IMG]

    NiCads

    [​IMG]
     
  10. IrasciBill

    IrasciBill Funster

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    And Finally?

    Hi Guys,
    Many thanks for your input. I can see that some of you will jump at any chance to "extract the wee" from poor Brian but I'm sure he's more than capable of dealing with that.

    Back to the question however. I accept & agree with the comments made by Rapiscan, they are in accordance with the "official line" on the subject. However, a couple of things are important.
    • The Health & Safety checks on the equipment are to confirm that the screening system is functioning adequately for the safety of the operatives and public nearby, the environment inside the scanner is something else.
    • Baggage scanners now use more than x-ray technology and, because they are essentially looking for electronic or chemical devices, some of the processes used can affect such equipment.
    • It’s not just “aged” rechargeable batteries which die suddenly. This is a characteristic of all NiMH cells and some other rechargeables (see pappajohn’s post). However freshly charged batteries shouldn’t fail suddenly unless faulty and, since they’re still working perfectly well 3 years later, we can assume that they were not faulty. (They will hold the charge for several months.)
    As for Brian’s response, the cameras were not turned on by the scanner (just like you) and whilst, at first it seemed unlikely that batteries could be discharged in such a way, the engineer part of me says “never say impossible”. Lots of things once deemed to be impossible are now unremarkable everyday events. I have now experienced this battery failure on 3 occasions, not all at airports. A couple of people I know have also personally experienced similar failures. There are many cases on the web of people asking about such battery failures. A occasional incident could be put down to coincidence but these can’t all be coincidence. I suspect that many people have actually had similar battery failure but just recharged the battery and didn’t think any more about it. However, as a sometime professional photographer, I take great care of my batteries because I need to be able to rely on them and therefore notice when something unusual or unexplained happens.
    I’m not trying to apportion blame or seek compensation from anyone, I’m only trying to understand the problem and take whatever precautions are possible to avoid recurrence.
    I’m just surprised that, on a forum with so many avid travellers, no one else has experienced this difficulty. May be, as I said, because MH luggage isn’t normally scanned! But it may also be that Lithium batteries which are becoming increasingly common in cameras and phones are not affected. My phone and watch weren’t affected!
     

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