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M battery dead - possible fixes?

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After a serious hike up Volcan Madera in Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua, I am fairly certain my M battery has given up the ghost. It doesn't turn on the camera anymore and stays in 'low charge' mode on the charger forever, occasionally giving the green and orange LED 'blinking' error when trying to charge. 

 

Perhaps some water got into it, or it is simply its time to go. 

 

Sadly, I don't have any way to get a new Leica M battery easily in Central America. Does anyone know if there's a possible fix? I've kept it in a bag of rice just in case some of the more moist tropical air was the culprit, but that doesn't seem to have fixed it. Long shot, I know, but I'd love to continue shooting down here. 

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Why do you suspect water, was the camara drenched as well? I would have thought the battery would be the least likely component to suffer from water issues, given its location and orientation in the camera, unless submerged of course.

 

From the description, it does sound fatal for the battery - but there's an off chance it's the charger. Can you try another charger, eg from a fellow M240 user? 

 

At a last resort I'd leave it on charge for a prolonged period of time (24hrs) to see whether the battery can be coaxed into life.

 

I thought (perhaps incorrectly) that the camera would automatically switch off before the battery charge fell too low, thus protecting the battery. If it's allowed to discharge below a lower threshold it's commonly understood that it's curtains for the battery.

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It's not worth the grief. Trash it and get a nice new one. If it is in the warranty period Leica may replace it.

Edited by jdlaing

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It's not worth the grief. Trash it and get a nice new one. If it is in the warranty period Leica may replace it.

 

Sdw says he's in Central America, and it's not easy to get a replacement. Think he's looking for possible fix, other than a new battery.

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I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THIS

 

But in the early days of the M240 I was in Afghanistan and my one (no more available then) battery would not take a charge.  I broke open the case and wired (soldering iron) 6 AAA batteries in series to the output connectors in the battery case. Taped it up.

 

Worked fine for the remaining two days.  Then ditched it.

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I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THIS

 

But in the early days of the M240 I was in Afghanistan and my one (no more available then) battery would not take a charge.  I broke open the case and wired (soldering iron) 6 AAA batteries in series to the output connectors in the battery case. Taped it up.

 

Worked fine for the remaining two days.  Then ditched it.

 

It's the sort of thing that should come with a health warning, lithium is very reactive and should be hadled with extreme care. In its elemental form oxidation must be prevented. How it differs in a battery I have no idea, but warnings are issued about the dangers of opening li-ion battery case, as indeed any battery where such act could expose the internal chemicals without adequate protection.

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Sdw says he's in Central America, and it's not easy to get a replacement. Think he's looking for possible fix, other than a new battery.

UPS delivers worldwide AFAIK

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maybe the battery drained through normal use & it's the charger which is faulty? they also fail.

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UPS delivers worldwide AFAIK

 

 

Yep, sadly, being on a motorcycle trip from California to Argentina makes it hard to be in one spot for long enough... 

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Yep, sadly, being on a motorcycle trip from California to Argentina makes it hard to be in one spot for long enough... 

 

Lucky you. I'm a bit jealous ;-)

 

Maybe you can find a user on Leica Meet facebook group along your path where you can have a battery shipped. Or someone who will loan you their spare or something. Back a decade or so ago, I had a laptop shipped ASAP to an Amex office in Baja. Or book a room several days hence in a nicer hotel in a bigger city and have it shipped there.

 

How many twitter, instagram... followers do you have?  Put it out there. Maybe somebody knows somebody who has a cousin in the next big city on your route.

 

I'm sorry for your misfortune but for me a lesson learned. So far I haven't needed a second battery with the M and so I've resisted buying one. However, I now see the wisdom of making sure that I take one on any big trip and so I ordered a spare. 

Edited by bencoyote

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I had one more idea for you. In a few small town in Mexico where I've been, there has been a kid who has a shop that fixes electronic or electrical things. People take their blenders, their VCRs, their DVD players, their boom boxes... there. The problem with manufactured products in out of the way locations is they break and it is amazingly difficult to get new ones. So this guy fixes what we in the US would think of as unfixable. Similar to what fsprow suggested, see if that guy can rebuild the battery pack for you. I remember in one place the kid rebuilt battery packs for drill drivers too.

 

A 7.4v battery is not really that special. It is just 2 3.7v Lithium Ion cells in series with a thermal sensor wired into them. Frequently, they are pretty common cells, Maybe the guy could disassemble your non-functional battery pack and solder in a couple of new cells. There is a little trick to soldering or actually spot welding cells together but people can do it. The problem is you have to avoid heating up the cell because it is heat that damages them. If a person is able to rebuild a battery pack for a drill driver, they can probably make a working 7.4v Lithium Ion battery pack for you.

 

A couple of cell phone batteries connected to the right terminals on your old battery pack and you should be good.

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As this is emergency here is another idea.

 

Six AA or AAA batteries provide 9 volts (6 X 1.5 = 9V), providing camera is happy to take it (see post #5) other option is to strip original battery casing of its internals and use it as power connector into the camera, make external battery pack with readily available AA/AAA cells and feed two wires (+VE and -VE) into the camera, maybe need to drill a hole in base plate for this to work.  It is the stupid magnet in the bottom plate that potentially could make things more difficult than they should be.

 

Edit; you could use only 5 cells which connected in series provide 7.5V, almost the same as Li-On original voltage of 7.4V. 

Edited by mmradman

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