An easy MB-D10 fix for EL4 battery use
For those of you who refuse to pay $40 or more for the BL-3 (which allows use of the EN EL-4 battery to hit 8fps in 12 bit mode), which is not even available right now, you may have seen a post about 3 weeks ago regarding fabricating your own adapter. Another poster suggested cutting one of the two trays supplied (the EL-3 or the AA tray). However, if you do not want to destroy one of the trays that came with the MB-D10, but also cannot fabricate you own replacement, there is another easy option.
To do this you will need to deface the EN EL-4 clear plastic protector that you probably never use and, hopefully, did not toss. If you have one, here are the easy steps.
1. Remove the screws holding the locking cover to one of the original MB-D10 trays (either the EL-3 or the AA tray- whichever you prefer). The cover will slide right off. SAVE the screws and, if you use the EL-3 tray, the battery tension arm and spring, so you can reassemble the tray later if you buy a BL-3 or sell your grip.
2. Grind or file the outer surface of the clear plastic EL-4 battery end protector. You will need to thin down the sides enough so that it will flex and fit inside the MB-D10 grip. Also take off the ridge on the top, and cut a "V" in the top horizontal piece to allow the cover to compress easier when you insert it. You will need to use a trial and error approach to detrmine exactly how much material to remove. Basically, you will want he cover to flex from side to side as you fit it in the grip. It will need to be snug, but not so tight that it is a real challenge to insert it.
3. Remove all loose pieces of plastic still adhering in the cover from the top.
4. Insert your EN EL-4 battery and apply a bit of pressure on the end until it snaps into the connector on the inside wall of the grip.
4. Insert the modified plastic cover WITH THE SOLID SIDE FACING INWARD towards the EN-4 into the grip. You will need to flex it a bit for it to fit, but if you have removed enough plastic it should flex easily. Push the protector all the way in until it abuts the end of the EL-4 battery. The pressure from the flexed protector walls should hold the battery snugly in the grip. Try to shake the grip to see if you can disloge the battery. If you can, it is too loose and you will need to find another EL-4 protector to work on!
6. Take the battery cover you removed fromn the tray in step 1 and lock it on the grip.
That's all there is to it. Nothing sacrificed, no fabrication, and, if you ever want to, you can still use the now ugly protector on your EL-4 battery. To remove the EL-4 battery, simply open the cover, grab the edge of the clear protector with your fingers or a pair of needle nose pliers, and remove. Then remove the battery by grasping one of the two plastic tabs and gently pulling. It will come free of the battery connector and slide out.
Michael E. Clark
Good post, thanks !
cast your dancing spell my way,
I promise to go under it . . .
Pictures would help your description, if you have the time.
Thanks for the post !
Family,in/outdoor sports, landscape, wildlife
photo galleries at http://eteam.zenfolio.com
my relationship with my camera is strictly photonic
Even easier still, I just did steps 1 & 4 and then inserted a small block of high-density foam after the battery was inserted. When you put the battery cover back on, the foam presses the onto the battery firmly and keeps it from moving.
No grinding, no spare battery protectors, etc. Fully reversible.
Thanks very much for this amazingly simple fix until Nikon can produce some of the covers!
(interesting too when you think of the wasted space in the grip that is just filled by the plug... I like having universal batteries between cameras, but can't help but also wonder how much more power could be provided if the space were utilized for battery instead of plug.)
Since the change to the EN EL-4 would be only in length and so other dimension, someone (in theory) could create a newer, longer battery with a higher capacity that would still use the same MH-21 charger.
I'm also surprised that Nikon doesn't come out with a universal charger. This could be similar in concept to Apple's universal iPod dock. All you would need would be different sleeves for different battery types, but the rest of the charger would stay the same.
Yeah- I thought of doing that but I did not have any high-density foam around. Just the standard brittle stuff and I did not want to pick out all the little peices of foam.
Michael E. Clark
Suggestions for space-fillers that won't flake off bits into your grip:
water pipe insulating foam
closed cell foam pads for camping (between sleeping bag and ground)
stick-on rubber/foam feet for chair/table legs (to prevent floor scratching) (note: in the electronics biz we call these "rubber baby buggy bumpers")
One or more of these items are probably already in your home, or may be found in one or more of the stores listed in the subject line of this post.
Yeah- I thought of doing that but I did not have any high-density
foam around. Just the standard brittle stuff and I did not want to
pick out all the little peices of foam.
Michael E. Clark
I'm the original poster for the little Kydex plastic battery holder- there was never any cutting apart of anything involved- that was a misinterpretation by someone.. I simply removed the screws and separated door and battery tray an then screwed my replacement battery holder to the door; the whole thing is reversible at any time, if for some unknown reason, I decide that I want to use an ENEL3e in the grip instead of all my stock of ENEL4/4a from my D2Hs..
Anyways, I had considered chunks of foam, etc (all of which I also do have in the shop), but settled on the Kydex because in the final analysis, I determined that the battery door does not seal securely to the grip (and there is a foam gasket around the opening to seal to) unless the door is attached to something that can go inside the battery compartment and prevent the bottom of the door from lifting.. In fact, during testing with just the door and no insert, by lifting the bottom edge of the door sufficiently, I was able to pop the door off the camera, which was an unacceptable outcome.. I thought about a solid foam plug with a couple of holes in the end for the ENEL4 lugs, but in the end, I felt that a solid mechanical connection to the battery was best, and the simplest and fastest way to accomplish this was to just cut out the strip of plastic and screw it to the door..
A Nikon door that fairly easily falls off doesn't sound good, so I guess unless Nikon can produce some covers promptly, we'll have to put a little more effort into the spacer...
(not that your method sounds too difficult, but the foam would have been ultra-quick and easy.)