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Nauticam Battery Pack Problem - A6500

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Posted (edited)

I discovered today that they're getting quite difficult to find.  The one I got from Amazon this week, that I ran my tests on,  was apparently the last one in stock. I just happened to score the only two on eBay tonight for $9 & 17.  Like the iThin battery, they're most likely no longer being manufactured. Too bad for us Nauticam users.  

Walmart still lists them at $28:  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ultra-Slim-Ultra-Portable-Ultra-Safe-2500mAh-Wallet-Pocket-Power-Card-Bank-ONE-for-All-External-Mini-Battery-Most-Smart-Phone-Digital-Devices-White-L/217372674

Hope you can find one.

Good luck,

Marshall

 

Edited by Marsh

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It might be possible for someone with electronic skills to make one up using something like this:

https://core-electronics.com.au/polymer-lithium-ion-battery-2000mah-38459.html

You would need to add a DC-DC converter to get 5V and a USB socket.  This is probably what is inside those power banks.

Something like this might work: 

https://core-electronics.com.au/dc-dc-usb-0-9v-5v-to-5v-dc-boost-step-up-power-supply-module.html

you could probably mount battery and circuit onto a board and shrink wrap it.

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Posted (edited)

Making one from scratch might work, but it would  be rather difficult to get it down to size.  In regards to basic components and such,  I still think the Attom Tech model will work filed down if those two rubber bumpers pads were removed from the housing.  Or one can just file the Attom Tech down to 58mm and not worry about the casing holding together by shrink wrapping it as you suggested.  

I still have some manufacturers on Alibaba doing some hunting for me. The size factor of the Kolumb might still be available. It's just that Amazon makes things so convenient for most divers. If a Kolumb model shows up on ebay, grab it.  Be nice to know if the Walmart source still has a supply. 

Edited by Marsh

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10 hours ago, Marsh said:

Making one from scratch might work, but it would  be rather difficult to get it down to size.

I think the dimensions of the components I listed should work if placed on a flat plastic card, they have dimensions for both components on the website.  The battery is 56mm wide x long and the circuit board 34 x 16 mm the only dimension not listed is the height.

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I bit the bullet and purchased the $28 kolumb power pack listed on walmart. Lets see if thats what actually shows up or if the lister pulls a switcheroo.

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My Chinese sources got back to me today and said they could find nothing the size of the original Nauticam iThin battery.  Too bad, I was hoping for a alternate that wouldn't require any modifications at all.  

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Howdy!

So, I have an update for you all. I bought a bunch of batteries a while back and then said screw it. Well my original Nauticam battery is getting long in the tooth so I pulled them back out after reading this thread. 

I've found what I think is a working solution.  

Using this battery:

Attom Tech Ultra Thin 

https://www.amazon.com/Attom-Tech-Portable-External-Emergency/dp/B07JZCZSH9

 

and this cable:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5OOYE1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I was able to get the camera to charge and recognize the battery as power. The battery DID not turn off. Now after 24 hours the battery was drained so keep that in mind. 

 

Now to fit it in the A6400 housing I had to pop the cover off the battery. This exposes the insides but who cares,  It then fit with no issue into the housing, The door closes as normal it seems. 

 

Just thought I'd share. 

 

-Scott

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Great work Scott, a battery with a USB A output like the original Nauticam iThin battery!  If all one has to do is pop off the lid and the other measurements work, that's an easy alternative.  The Attom Tech I experimented with (and previously referred to)  was a bit larger and had a built in Micro USB male cable output, so apparently Attom Tech makes two models of Ultra slim batteries. The one you show appears to be their latest model and is actually considerable smaller than both the batteries I found, along with it's length and width shorter than the Nauticam iThin! Plus, it has more power at 3,000 Mah compared to 2,400.  Nice that we now have some alternatives to Nauticam's now discontinued iThin battery. I noticed it has both Micro and USB C inputs, so it'll probably be around for a while :-) 

Cheers for sharing this! 

Marshall

Edited by Marsh

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ScottAudette said:

Howdy!

So, I have an update for you all. I bought a bunch of batteries a while back and then said screw it. Well my original Nauticam battery is getting long in the tooth so I pulled them back out after reading this thread. 

I've found what I think is a working solution.  

Using this battery:

Attom Tech Ultra Thin 

https://www.amazon.com/Attom-Tech-Portable-External-Emergency/dp/B07JZCZSH9

 

and this cable:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5OOYE1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I was able to get the camera to charge and recognize the battery as power. The battery DID not turn off. Now after 24 hours the battery was drained so keep that in mind. 

 

Now to fit it in the A6400 housing I had to pop the cover off the battery. This exposes the insides but who cares,  It then fit with no issue into the housing, The door closes as normal it seems. 

 

Just thought I'd share. 

 

-Scott

 

 

 

 

 

Thats funny because I bought this battery a few months ago to try it in the a6400 housing and it didn't fit so I returned it.  Didn't even think about taking the cover off.  What is exposed when removing the cover?  

Edited by Wah

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9 hours ago, Wah said:

Thats funny because I bought this battery a few months ago to try it in the a6400 housing and it didn't fit so I returned it.  Didn't even think about taking the cover off.  What is exposed when removing the cover?  

The top of the battery is exposed and the board.  But neither should cause you any issues. 

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Scott,

How do you take the cover off? Is it glued on or does it have a snap on design that simply required one to use an X-Acto knife or some other sharp blade to wedge between the case and top cover?

Thanks,

Marshall

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Okay, I used a straight edge razor blade under one corner to get it started and then followed around with a spludger until it completely snaps off.  I put a piece of nylon electric tape over the circuit board exposed contacts and wires to finish the job. Looks like one has to get the cable you suggested as my Nauticam kit has the USB A contacts in the reverse side.  Hooked it up to my Sony a6500 and everything works fine.

Thanks again Scott for sharing. 

Marshall

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

UPDATE:  In doing some electrical testing,  the new smaller Attom Tech battery seems to be displaying some of the same characteristics as the original Gen. 1 iThin.  It deactivates and shuts down after a while. I haven't done extensive testing, but on the surface it looks like it does this when the camera battery is fully charged and/or after a certain length of time.  Not totally certain how this would affect real world use? The Kolumb battery supplies a constant charge when the battery is plugged into the camera and never deactivates until unplugged, same as the Nauticam Gen. 2 iThin.  Perhaps some divers who have used the Attom Tech can chime in on real world usage as a viable working replacement.

Thanks,

Marshall

UPDATE: Seeing that Scott didn't experience the battery shutting down, I ran a fully charged camera battery and Attom Tech, both starting at 100% with the camera "on" all the time. This time the battery did not shut down and kept the camera battery at 100% while it discharged itself first.  It's starting to look like a camera "on" position will keep the Attom Tech going. However,  should one turn the camera off the Attom Tech will deactivate at some point, either when the camera battery is fully charged or at some other timing point, of which I'm not sure of yet, but will inform after fully testing. One good thing to note, is the shut down wasn't immediate after I turned the camera off, so it might not shut down as long as the camera is periodically turned on/off during the dive, which is how I shoot (and likely many others) to conserve battery power.  It appears the only way to get the Attom Tech to reactivate is to unplug and replug the camera or push the Attom Tech battery check button, which means opening the housing :-( 

I'm going to run the same tests on the Kolumb power pack and see what the differences are between the two.  My initial test on the Kolumb showed it activated after the camera was attached but stayed active and charging whether the camera was on or off.  I'll try to verify all of this when I get some time.

Edited by Marsh
UPDATE

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Hi Marshall,

I dove this weekend and didn't see the battery pack turning off at all. Regardless of on/off switch position on camera. Maybe it's camera specific issue as I am using an A6400 with the battery? After reading this Friday night I put the battery pack on in the housing and the camera switched off to double check what I had seen previously. In the morning the lights on the battery pack were still lit, 12 hours roughly. 

The only issue is that the battery will drain regardless as there is load on it wether the camera is on or off it seems. That being said I did five dives this weekend (charged the battery over one night to be clear) and walked out of the water with a full camera battery! Something to be said for that! LOL

-Scott

 

On 8/1/2022 at 11:16 AM, Marsh said:

UPDATE: Seeing that Scott didn't experience the battery shutting down, I ran a fully charged camera battery and Attom Tech, both starting at 100% with the camera "on" all the time. This time the battery did not shut down and kept the camera battery at 100% while it discharged itself first.  It's starting to look like a camera "on" position will keep the Attom Tech going. However,  should one turn the camera off the Attom Tech will deactivate at some point, either when the camera battery is fully charged or at some other timing point, of which I'm not sure of yet, but will inform after fully testing. One good thing to note, is the shut down wasn't immediate after I turned the camera off, so it might not shut down as long as the camera is periodically turned on/off during the dive, which is how I shoot (and likely many others) to conserve battery power.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Scott,

That is really good news! As I mentioned,  it took quite a while (actually didn't time it, just left it overnight) for the battery to shut down with the camera off.  So turning the camera on/off may be keeping it active. My testing was on a a6500 so it's possible (as you mention) the cameras power systems are different, since you let it run 12 hours in off position and still had active Attom Tech indicator lights?  Moreover, I only tested it once, so maybe it was a fluke that it shut down?  I just haven't been able to give it the time for more testing, especially in a real world use like you.  Five dives and still a full battery is fantastic!

As to the battery(s) discharging even when the camera is off and not being used, I had read on a Sony forum (or the Sony official site tech site)  that the camera's WiFi mode searches for a signal even when the camera is off which acts as a battery drain. Unless you're using WiFi  you might try turning it off to see if the drain is still there. I've done this on my a6500 but haven't really taken the time to see if it works.  

Marshall

Edited by Marsh

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