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GeorgeH

Ikelite DS161 NiMH battery life?

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I have a pair of Ikelite DS161’s that are around 8 years old and have been in storage for 4 years due to some medical issues that have been resolved. I think I charged them a few times but it has been well over the recommended 6 months since I have. 

They seem to be taking a charge OK. What should I expect for battery life and how much may I have degraded battery health and how long they will hold a charge? I will get now batteries if needed but hoping they can still get me through a 2-dive day.

My full left hip replacement is fully healed and I am planning on getting back in the water, get some dives in, probably some refresher training, and then get the camera and strobes back in action.

Thanks
 

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I'd give them a try and see how it goes.  You can test by leaving the spotting light on and see how long they last.  I'd expect them to last quite a while, perhaps 3-4 hours or more if the batteries are in decent shape.

If the batteries are worn out you can rebuild the battery packs.  There are some old posts here that go into detail if you want to DIY.  I also had luck getting the Batteries+Bulbs store to rebuild a few of these packs for a very low cost, perhaps $30.

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1 hour ago, davehicks said:

I'd give them a try and see how it goes.  You can test by leaving the spotting light on and see how long they last.  I'd expect them to last quite a while, perhaps 3-4 hours or more if the batteries are in decent shape.

If the batteries are worn out you can rebuild the battery packs.  There are some old posts here that go into detail if you want to DIY.  I also had luck getting the Batteries+Bulbs store to rebuild a few of these packs for a very low cost, perhaps $30.

Thanks Dave, hopefully they will work OK, I am DIY on a number of things but would have someone do it for me of just buy some backups. Have the same issue with my focus light, can light, computer, housing sensor, etc.

I see you are in Seattle and shoot Nikon as well.

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I would agree, give them a go NiMH cells can be surprisingly forgiving and also sometimes they just die for no reason, if they come back holding a decent charge they are likely to continue to do so. 

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Seems the batteries in both DS161's are fine. I'll still need to test how long the charge will last but I don't anticipate an issue. Thanks.

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I used the 161's for several years and would routinely get 300+ flashes on a single charge.  Mostly at 1/2 to 1/4 power.  I don't think I ever exhausted the batteries even once.  There is a battery gauge with the led's on the side if you put it in Test mode.  Maybe not super accurate but a good hint.  

Edited by davehicks

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I've got four Ikelite NiMH battery packs that are dated 2016. Two of these were purchased used and I have no idea what kind of maintenance the previous owner did. All four packs hold a good charge. I originally purchased the lithium version of Ikelite's battery pack before 2016, but took advantage of Ikelite's exchange program when they stopped making the lithium packs.

I do a monthly maintenance routine on mine. This looks like exercising the strobe capacitors by powering them up, firing and cycling them multiple times. The monthly routine includes discharging the battery packs by immersing the assembled strobes in a bucket of cold water with the video lights on and leaving the video lights on until the lights noticeably dim. This battery discharge typically takes about eight hours.

The monthly capacitor exercise routine is done with all of my strobes (Ikelite, Nikonos and Sea & Sea) and Nikon speedlights. Everything still works.

On a plus note, Ikelite's service department is excellent. If you encounter issues with your battery packs, it might be worth contacting them to inquire about the possibility of having your battery packs rebuilt.

-Tinman

 

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