"Check Battery Age" Warning

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 Post subject: "Check Battery Age" Warning
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:06 pm 
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Looking to see that I had enough battery charge for today, I got this "Check Battery Age" in red warning text. I don't know the exact age of the M 240 or its battery that I bought used about 6-7 weeks ago. The camera only had less than 3K actuations on it when I bought it so it can't have been used that heavily by the original owner. So is this warning a function of age (the camera knowing the day it was first set up), or turn on & off cycles, or something else entirely? Buying a spare battery is on my list, but not at the top as some other things are more important to me right now. BTW, on that subject, are there any good sources of Leica OEM batteries, or just buy from any dealer? Nuts, something else to deter me from using the camera!


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 Post subject: "Check Battery Age" Warning
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:28 pm 
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I guess your battery has passed its expiration date, most likely three years old. I have one battery that gives that message of five, in both my M240 & M246.

I guess Leica put this shelf life message in the camera because it was common to use batteries purchased for the M8 in the MM. They may have had service issues or perceived service issues.

However since I maintain my batteries well, I see no difference between a battery with the message or without in regards to its performance. It simply turns your camera in to the worlds most expensive annoyware.

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 Post subject: Re:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:19 pm 
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swamiji wrote:
However since I maintain my batteries well, I see no difference between a battery with the message or without in regards to its performance. It simply turns your camera in to the worlds most expensive annoyware.


Ha, Ha, I certainly have to agree with this assessment of this most pesky message. Like you, I properly charge & store my batteries, so I will just keep on using it until it appears to have reached the end of its' useful life. (I fly radio control airplanes which use high energy LiPo batteries, so I have experience with the lithium issues.) But now I will want to get a backup to avoid being left stranded at an inopportune time or place. Thanks for this assurance.


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 Post subject: Re: "Check Battery Age" Warning
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:04 am 
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Well the issue of users using their batteries until they show some obvious degradation or defect has been an issue that Leica would like to do away with. In fact there was a M9 firmware release just to kill off older and weak batteries. Luckily my old M8 batteries were still in good enough condition that they still worked.

Apparently they are not able to determine the number of cycles for a battery so they use the date of manufacture instead. Which means a battery in storage will give the same message at the same time as a heavily used battery. Which explains your issue, a camera with few actuations but the message appears.

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 Post subject: Re:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:16 pm 
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swamiji wrote:
Well the issue of users using their batteries until they show some obvious degradation or defect has been an issue that Leica would like to do away with. In fact there was a M9 firmware release just to kill off older and weak batteries. Luckily my old M8 batteries were still in good enough condition that they still worked.

Apparently they are not able to determine the number of cycles for a battery so they use the date of manufacture instead. Which means a battery in storage will give the same message at the same time as a heavily used battery. Which explains your issue, a camera with few actuations but the message appears.


I wasn't aware of this history with the M9 batteries, & of course our chargers aren't like my RC ones which also test & give you battery condition, cell by cell. Can you use a voltmeter on the copper strips to at least determine the battery voltage to know if it is taking a full charge, or any other ways of assessing battery condition? I would think the charger should be designed to at least flash some kind of warning if you attempt to charge a bad battery or refuse to charge it - but maybe not.


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 Post subject: "Check Battery Age" Warning
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:52 pm 
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Yes, the charger is designed not to charge a dead cell, but out of ten batteries that had only happened once for me.

The comparison you draw is dependent whether or not the cells are in parallel, series or a combination of the two. In this case I believe there are four cells, in series. So independent cell testing is not possible, either the battery is good or bad. Your RC batteries are configured quite differently. My dead battery on the M8/9 started to expand and made insertion impossible, but if it had expanded in camera, that would have been quite an issue. You can assess the charging capacity on the charger once you get a feel for how long it takes to charge a battery, i.e. Faster a charge for a depleted battery the less the charge the battery is accepting. But it's not accurate. So Leica is taking steps to reduce the risk of battery issues, by reading the chip in the battery and reporting the battery age. I'm certain it's not the best way, but "may" be the only way, on the M240/M246/M262.

P.S. This morning I discovered a second battery with the message. I expect over the next few months two more batteries will likewise have the message as each battery turns three... What a New Years present from Leica.

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 Post subject: Re: "Check Battery Age" Warning
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:49 am 
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"Happy New Year." - Leica Camera AG

I'm still using original batteries from an M8, M9 and MM - none have yet shown the message. Guess the M240 is a little pickier.

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 Post subject: Re: "Check Battery Age" Warning
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:26 pm 
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it's also kind of interesting that the warning is about the age of the battery & not the condition. Unless there were something in the manual that instructs owners that batteries beyond a certain age are likely to be unstable & should not be used, I'm not sure what you should do after you look at the age of the battery.


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 Post subject: Re: "Check Battery Age" Warning
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:55 am 
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Ah, the Manuals...

Page 225 of the M246 Instructions says:

Batteries have only a limited service life. we recommend replacing them after around four years.

Page 143 of the M240 Instructions says:

The battery should be replaced after the maximum of four years as its performance deteriorates and reliable operation can no longer be guaranteed, particularly in cold conditions.

No mention of this error message in either manual.

Why we are getting this message after three years is anybodies guess, but the batteries might be aged for a year before releasing in to the wild...

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 Post subject: Re: "Check Battery Age" Warning
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:00 am 
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Double Negative wrote:
"Happy New Year." - Leica Camera AG

I'm still using original batteries from an M8, M9 and MM - none have yet shown the message. Guess the M240 is a little pickier.



You may be the cause of this message. Your just not buying enough batteries...

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