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Ikelite DS-125 battery pack

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Hi all,

 

I wonder anyone using the DS-125 has changed the battery. The battery pack is a NiCd one. Has anyone tried making a battery pack made of higher capacity NiMH?

 

Surely this would increase the number of charges. Wondering whether it would burn the flash tube?

 

Of course, the next question is whether the smart charger can charge the NiMH pack.

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No, no one has tried it and I believe the capacitors on the strobe are designed for the fast recycle of NiCad.

 

Cheers

James

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Re "Has anyone tried making a battery pack made of higher capacity NiMH? "

 

I can't imagine why one would want to do this as the current batteries work just fine. Specifically, the current batteries give 150 flashes per charge at full power, recycle in one second at full power, recharge in 1.5 hours and last for years.

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No, no one has tried it

 

What makes you so sure?

I have a DS-125 and I will exchange the NiCd with NiMH when they are exhausted. I can't see any problem with this, the battery pack can be opened easily, standard sized cells are used. You may need a different charger, that't right. I charge my DS-125 with my Hartenberger "Offshore II" anyway...

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Re "Has anyone tried making a battery pack made of higher capacity NiMH? "

 

I can't imagine why one would want to do this as the current batteries work just fine. Specifically, the current batteries give 150 flashes per charge at full power, recycle in one second at full power, recharge in 1.5 hours and last for years.

 

My rationale for doing that is that the original battery pack is quite expensive. For the same or less amount of money, I could probably get NiMH with higher capacity to replace it once it is exhausted.

 

In addition, when you compare 150 flashes to a possible 300-400 flashes of Inon strobes, it is really a lot of difference. Of course, the guide numbers for Inon are lower.

 

I usually do 4-5 dives a day. Thus I was thinking of changing and charging the battery in the night. This saves me the rush when I change battery pack. In addition, every time I open it, there is a possible chance of not doing it properly resulting in a flood. Of course, carrying less battery packs is good.

 

I would take it apart and replace it with a NiMH to try once the pack is dead

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No, no one has tried it

 

What makes you so sure?

I have a DS-125 and I will exchange the NiCd with NiMH when they are exhausted. I can't see any problem with this, the battery pack can be opened easily, standard sized cells are used. You may need a different charger, that't right. I charge my DS-125 with my Hartenberger "Offshore II" anyway...

 

Please keep me updated once you have done it.

 

Thanks

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To start with, it's 150 *full-power* flashes. I've done 4 dives in a day where I haven't had to recharge the strobe battery once...merely because I haven't shot much at absolutely full-power...

 

If you replace the NiCd cells with NiMH cells, the strobe will most definitely *not* recharge in 1second or less.

 

NiCD has extremely low internal resistivity, allowing for higher peak currents and discharges. NiMH has a higher internal resistivity, and while you can find cells with higher capacities, they are not as well designed for the current-loads inherent in strobe use. Not only will the strobe recharge slower, but if you are using the focusing light at the same time, you'll probably see a dip in output.

 

I merely don't understand why you want to mess with a proven thing...

 

BTW - I'm assuming that by opening the pack you've voided the warranty...unless Ike is just very willing to still work on anything you damage...

 

~Matt Segal

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I have the DS-125 as well and I've been thinking about what to do when that battery pack dies. One was to replace the batteries myself, niMH or even LiIon. With LiIon, we could cut the weight but performance of the "1 second" probally won't be there. How often do you fire off your strobes? I guess you could put your camera in burst mode and fire off a dozen shots but who does that? I did that once just to test the strobes out.

 

Curtis

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Re "I've been thinking about what to do when that battery pack dies."

 

Based on my experience with 2 DS 125s with almost 3 years and over 800 dives on them I think you have years to think about what to do when your battery pack dies.

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I'd say the battery packs on the DS-125 are one of its best features. I'd find other ways to trim the budget.

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No, no one has tried it

 

My name is: "No One" :D

 

I've done it, though not with the batterypack of the 125, but with the batterypack of my good old SS300, which was dead.

It works perfectly again with the modified batterypack.

 

Problems I encounterd:

The batterypack is made of HDPE, so no glue will hold on the material.

The material is soft, screws will not hold very well.

There is not a lot of room on the outside of the pack when placed in the strobe, so you can't use bolts.

 

I will post some pictures later on today.

 

Cheers,

 

Kees

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As promised:

 

_DSC0029.JPG

 

Topside:

The springs are connected by a copper strip (a flattend waterpipe-sadle) and hold together by a popnail (don't know the English term)

_DSC0026.jpg

 

Bottom:

_DSC0027.jpg

 

Detail off the spring and connection:

_DSC0028.JPG

 

Detail off the outside:

_DSC0030.JPG

 

The unit works great, it is only a bit hard to put the pack together with 6 batteries. I want to make some kind of sleeve, so the batteries stay in place when putting the unit together.

 

Greetings,

Kees.

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I have exchanged the standard set of DS-125 batteries by a new one [NiCad 2400]. I did it because one of my DS-125 battery packs was exhausted.

If you want to do it yourself [this is not something Ikelite recommends, quite the contrary!] you need to buy some Nicad batteries like Sanyo Nicad CP-2400SCR or Sanyo RC-2400 [assembled 12 cell pack for e.g., you can find these ones in any model control shop, these are fast charge, fast discharge batteries]. These batteries are SC size, i.e. diameter=23mm, height=43.5mm anything bigger than this will not fit [actually it is a very tight fit].

Be sure to take a good look at the thing when you take the screws of the top lid off [top lid is the one where the contacts for the strobe are!] To remove the all thing you also have to unscrew the small screw at the centre of the power switch button, pull it out [there is an o-ring inside and a small plastic tag [that gives the clicks when you turn], if you damage the power switch o-ring your battery pack is likely to flood and might damage the strobe due to the short circuit!

Don't forget to solder back the + and - of the finished battery back to the circuit board. Since it is a tight fit the power switch button might develop more resistance to turn but there is no harm in this [provided that is within limits]. Place the assembled battery pack, plus circuit board, plus cover lid the same way it came out.

I used Sanyo's RC-2400. The strobe performed flawlessly throughout my last trip.

Actually it sounds very complicated but it is quite simple.

Attached is a small word file.

Att:Use the solder tags that come and connect the batteries battery in the straight, in line, assembled pack to solder the reconfigured pack, do not use the battery terminals!

You can use the Ikelite supplied fast charger, the new pack will take a bit more time to fully charge compared with the standard one [same condition of use, etc]

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