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SB 800 Battery Question
Old 10-30-2006, 04:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello everyone!
I was using my SB 800 on some recent jobs with the 5 AA configuration for rapid recycling. Whenever I would replace the alkaline batteries I was using, they were very hot when I removed them. If I used a Quantum Turbo Battery in conjunction with them, again, they were very hot when I removed them. Is this a normal condition for the SB800? Would I be better off using NiMh batteries instead?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: SB 800 Battery Question
Old 10-30-2006, 10:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I use 5 AA batteries along with my Quantum Turbo X2 battery pack also. I believe that you cannot use the Quantum Turbo without the AA batteries (at least 4). Due to rapid firing and fast recycling, my AA batteries get extremely warm, but not very hot to the point of untouchable, I guess that's normal. But I never had any problems with the SB800, so I ignored it.
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Re: SB 800 Battery Question
Old 10-30-2006, 02:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey,

I just shot a wedding using the same set up on the SB 800 and yes, my batteries were warm to hot depending how I used them prior to taking them out to change over. I shot a whole lot and changed batteries five time during the course fo the wedding. I say, it is normal but, I could hold them in my hand when I took them out even at their warmist.

If you can not hold them, I say check into it.

Take care and be safe.
God be with you,
Tony
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Re: SB 800 Battery Question
Old 10-30-2006, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Flash use involves high drain on the batteries. High drain means the chemical reactions in the batteries are happening fast. That generates heat.

It's normal.
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Re: SB 800 Battery Question
Old 10-30-2006, 04:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have to agree with CatCynic and Paul54 about it being normal with rapid firing. You mention though that you were using the Quantum Turbo in conjunction with them. That is interesting. Don't you have to remove the AA's to use the Turbo? I have to remove my AA's to be able to insert the adapter into the battery compartment. I am using the Quantum Battery 1+ instead though, so perhaps they connect differently. I just assumed they both hooked into the flash the same way.

Jean
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Re: SB 800 Battery Question
Old 10-30-2006, 08:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I guess that I'm just repeating what everyone else has already said, but yes, if you are using your batteries heavily then they will get warm (or hot, depending on the load).

But the lower the internal impedance (resistance) the less hot they will get for the same amount of supplied power. NiMH have lower internal impedance than alkaline batteries and should cause less heat and faster recharging of the SB800.

Lithium Ion batteries have the greatest charge density (per volume and weight), but they also have higher internal impedances than NiMH or alkalines and, while they will last a long time, will not charge a flash as quickly as NiMH.
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Re: SB 800 Battery Question
Old 10-31-2006, 07:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks to everyone who replied. I appreciate your comments.

My Turbo battery is used with the 5 AA battery set up. It plugs directly into the SB800 Head via a port on the front of the unit. I had been told by a fellow photog that the heat generated during rapid usage could damage the internal circuitry of the SB800. I am very grateful to find that such heat is a normal function of these batteries.

I am going to get some NiMH batteries as I have found that alkaline AAs give me only around 80 flashes or so before the recycle times are much too long for wedding photography. When I reach about 3 seconds recycle time, events happen too fast to wait for the flash to power up.

I have been using a D-100 quite a bit. With a Wein Safe Sync on the hot shoe to reduce voltages, I can also use my Metz 60 CT4 on auto with it set at ASA 160, F8 and get decent results. The camera is set on Manual with a shutter speed of 1/60 and aperture around F11 or F16.

I also use some really old Honeywell Strobonars the same way. I use the old Guide Number system of 110 at ASA 100 for them. That allows me to shoot with the D-100 the way I used to shoot with my film Nikons: adjust the camera aperture to fit the subject distance with the flash firing on full power.

Once again, thanks to everyone who took the time to help me out!
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Re: SB 800 Battery Question
Old 10-31-2006, 09:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hello,
honestly I've only used NiMH batteries in my SB-800 and while they have gotten slightly warm, I've never had the warmth problem that you have. I haven't ever used an external battery pack with them, but when using all 5 batteries, I've never had this problme, hope this answers your question.

isaiah
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Re: SB 800 Battery Question
Old 11-07-2006, 09:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My understanding is that in that configuration (Quantum turbo plugged into the high voltage connector on the front of the SB800.), the AAs only power the "logic circuity", and the Quantum Turbo provides the power for the capacitors. (AAs are required, if they die it won't operate.) I was warned by my local camera shop that it was possible to fire it too fast and overheat it. Did you have the turbo switch to 'rapid'? Maybe open up to 5.6 so you're not using full power? I easily get a whole wedding with a fresh set of 4 AA alkaline (500+ shots).

Charles - not an expert, will be 'taking the temperature of my AAs" next wedding...
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Re: SB 800 Battery Question
Old 11-07-2006, 10:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I use the 800 with a Turbo 2x2 and have found the same. The batteries get quite warm, but have never been 'hot' to touch. Never has a problem with them.

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