Off-brand battery chargers for the LI90: any problems?

Started May 20, 2013 | Discussions
clear glass
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Off-brand battery chargers for the LI90: any problems?
May 20, 2013

B&H sells a Pearstone charger for the LI50 battery (used in the XZ1) which plugs into the wall and works fine.

For a while their website said a Pearstone charger for the LI90 (used in the XZ2) that plugs into the wall was coming; then that vanished.

I've seen the Pearstone LI90 charger for sale on the web but wonder if B&H doesn't carry it because it has problems.

Anyone tried it, or had experience with any other wall-plug charger for the LI90?

Olympus XZ-1
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Clancyboy
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Re: Off-brand battery chargers for the LI90: any problems?
In reply to clear glass, May 21, 2013

Hello clear glass - I have been using the wall charger that I bought for my XZ-1. Here is the link to Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0062F3EZU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The battery for my XZ-2 fits and seems to take a full charge. I just bought a set of third party batteries and everything is working fine. I hope this helps.

clancyboy

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clear glass
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Thank you. Imortant but:
In reply to Clancyboy, May 21, 2013

Outwardly the LI50 and LI90 batteries look alike.

In fact, when I first got my XZ2, I assumed they were identical and tried an LI50 in it.

It worked.

But when I realized a different battery was specified in the manual, I called Olympus who told me the batteries did indeed have different specs.

Now here's something that might justify you using the LI50 charger: The in-camera battery charger that comes with the XZ2 and the XZ1 are identical!

But: could there be circuitry in the XZ2 that adapts the LI90 to the same charger as the LI50?

I couldn't talk to anyone at Olympus who seemed to really know anything besides the battery specs, but someone must have a definitive answer.

I just waited six weeks to get my XZ2 repaired by Olympus (nothing to do with the battery) so I am inclined to be cautious. If the same in-wall charger did both batteries, wouldn't B&H just change the battery's description? Or if they want to sell you a second charger, where the hell is it? Why is it on the web but not in the store?

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Ken Gosden
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Re: Thank you. Imortant but:
In reply to clear glass, May 22, 2013

Realistically I believe that the only difference, apart from thickness, is in the mAh capacity of the two batteries.  As long as the external contacts are in the same locations for +/-, etc., then there should be no issue charging them on the same charger.  LiIon chemistry is the same regardless and the only difference might be that the larger capacity battery will charge slightly slower on a LI50B charger.  But that assumes that the current provided by the chargers varies which I doubt it would.  Think of these as comparable to a regular and extended battery for your cell phone, different mAh capacities, but same phone and same charger.

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Henry Falkner
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Off-Brand Charging my Li-50Bs
In reply to clear glass, May 22, 2013

I bought a mains plug-pack with two USB sockets, and began charging my SZ-30MR as well as my Li-50c (external battery holder permitting charging) from that. I also charged from a USB hub rated at 4 Amp.

With the batteries charged with both the devices above, sometimes the camera would not turn on. Occasionally the camera screen displayed a message saying the camera had overheated and was cooling down.

On the Open Forum I was told that Li-ions have an internal cut-out that operates when overcharging takes place.

It appears that with normal charging, the camera (or the Li-50c) tells the black thingy that plugs into the mains to switch off when the light goes off. With off-brand charging (ie my USB hub and the 2-port plug pack) nothing gets turned off, so over-charging takes place until the battery cuts out to prevent overheating.

Since the Li-90 is basically a higher-rated Li-50, the same may apply.

The work-around is - when the camera light goes out disconnect the off-brand charger. This does add the inconvenience that the charging must be supervised.

I have gone back to using the square black thingies supplied with the cameras as well as the Li-50c, since I do not usually supervise the charging. I no longer experience that the camera will not turn on with a newly charged battery.

Henry

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OpticsEngineer
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Re: Off-Brand Charging my Li-50Bs
In reply to Henry Falkner, May 24, 2013

Thanks for that very helpful information.  I think I encountered the same situation with a Sony camera when the camera would not turn on with a fully charged Sony battery but charged by a third party charger.    After a month or so, I tried the battery again and the camera turned on with it and has been fine since.  (but possibly the battery longevity has been decreased by the overcharging episode.)

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clear glass
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Problem solved, maybe.
In reply to clear glass, May 25, 2013

b&H now carries a plug-in charger for the LI90 B, around $20.

Bought one but haven't tried it yet.

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RaymondR
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Re: Off-brand battery chargers for the LI90: any problems?
In reply to clear glass, May 26, 2013

I bought the TechFuel charger for my LI90 from Amazon and have used it to charge both the battery that came with my XZ-2 and the Oly brand spare I bought.  It didnt take any longer than it took to charge using the in battery adapter that came with the camera and both batteries I havent seen any difference in the number of shots of battery life either.

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