02-10-2016 06:51 PM
I've got a few questions regarding my new Silver. The camera has a problem draining the battery when the camera is turned off. I can full charge the battery and use it as designed. It will work in 1080-60 video mode for a little over an hour. however, if you fully charge the battery and turn the camera off, the battery will be dead in about 6 hours. The WiFi is turned off, and if you remove the battery from the camera it doesn't drain. It stays charged for days unless it is installed in the camera, then it discharges. So I'm convinced that the camera is draining the battery. Is this common? Is there a field fix for this or does it have to go in for repair?
Also, when using the camera in 1080-60 Superview, the camera will only run for about 2 hours with a fully charged battery and a USB charger plugged into it. When it dies, it shuts off because the voltage is low, and the battery is dead. I've tried a few different USB chargers, including a 5A model. If I want the camera to run continuously I have to slow down the frame rate. Is it normal that power consumption will outrun the charger at 1080-60? I find that hard to believe. Maybe the internal drain makes it outrun the charging capacity of the camera. WiFi is also off while the camera is being used. If I leave it on, the camera dies sooner than 2 hours.
Lastly, what is your luck with getting email support? I typed a detailed description of my problem, got a generic reply regarding a charging issue(obviously never read the email), I replied with a detailed answer, again, and then never heard back. Should I just call the support number?
Any help appreciated.
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02-12-2016 01:42 PM
Thanks for being so thorough in your testing! That's definitely not normal, and I think we can even pass over the batter as the culprit in this case. I'll follow up with you in our email correspondence and then we can post back with how we will move forward.
02-11-2016 09:12 AM
Thanks for posting to the Support Hub! I'm sorry to hear that's happening with your camera as it shouldn't be the case. The battery will discharge slightly more quickly when inserted into the camera as opposed to sitting outside of it, but definitely not in 6 hours.
As for the external charger, did you mean a 5V charger? 5A will be way too much juice for the camera, so I wouldn't recommend using that. That being said, 1080-60 isn't such a powerful setting that the camera should outpace the charger.
One quick fix you could try is running an update to the firmware to the camera. This can sometimes correct issues with the camera's functions and you can do it manually in the link HERE. The other option to try would be using a different battery.
And finally, I'm very sorry to hear about your experience with your email support case thus far. I'm going to take your case over to continue providing help there too.
Please let us know how that goes.
02-11-2016 01:05 PM
Thanks for the email, and the speedy reply here. I did get an email back this morning in regards to my original claim. I replied to their questions on Monday. I shouldn't have given up on them yet.
Thanks for the instructions on loading the original software again. That's kinda cool to be able to do that. I just got done loading the software and I'm charging the battery until the LED goes out. Then I'll leave the battery in it to see if it goes dead quickly again.
I'm reasonably sure the battery is OK. It runs the camera for the expected number of minutes when fully charged, and it doesn't go dead if I leave it out of the camera, but I've been wrong plenty of times before!
The charger I referred to is a regular USB charger with 2 ports. It is 5V, but capable of delivering 5A if needed (It is an iXCC 4.8A Dual USB Charger). I have only used it when I needed to run/charge both my GPS and phone at the same time.
I will be able to test the camera over the weekend and let you know the test results. I'm hoping the software reload fixed it!
02-12-2016 08:38 AM
That is a good point about the battery holding the charge while filming and when outside of the camera. It still seems conceivable to me, though, that the battery could be the aspect that isn't working properly when plugged into the camera.
Do you happen to know anybody else with a HERO4 whose battery you could test out?
We'll wait to see the results of the update too and then we can move forward from there.
02-12-2016 09:07 AM
With airport delays and cancelled flights, I spent the last 18 hours stuck in an airport. This was a good opportunity to play with the camera. I downloaded the new software and installed it. I waited for the camera and battery to cool off and reach ambient temp. I took the fully charged battery and installed it in the camera. Within an hour the temperature of the camera raised about 30F over ambient temp. (The 40F split you see in the image is the temp extremes, so don't take the hi/lo readings as gospel.)
This temp split remained steady for almost 7 hours, then tapered off. I did the measurements and pics with a thermal imaging camera (I use them for work sometimes).
I charged the battery and removed it from the camera. This morning, 10 hours after recharging the battery, the camera and battery temps are the same as ambient, and the battery is still charged.
All this proves is that the battery discharges rapidly when it is put in the camera. If I was a betting man, I'd say there was a current leak in the cam, or maybe the diode for the charging circuit is leaky, allowing the battery to power it up. A diode problem wouldn't explain why the power usage of the camera outrns the capacity of the charger, but a current leak in the camera would. as fast as it kills the battery when turned off it could increase the current consumption of the camera by around 16%.
I don't have a buddy with a Gopro, but if you send me a test battery I will gladly return it, or the bad one, after testing it. Those padded post office enveloped are only a couple of bucks to mail. :-)
Pic on the left: Camera and Batt at ambient temp. Pic on the right: Camera warming up after installing the battery.
Thanks for the help.
02-12-2016 09:21 AM
This is excellent. Thanks for posting those pictures. I just talked with one of our camera experts here in the office and he explained that what could also be happening is that the camera might be running a process in the background, most likely indexing the SD card and failing to do so properly.
Even with the camera turned off, when an SD card is inserted the camera will scan it. This should take only a brief moment and take up no considerable amount of power, but if the camera is getting stuck in this process it would explain why it's heating up and draining the battery when inside of the camera. For that reason, I think these would be our best chances of fixing the problem.
-Trying the update to the camera firmware as we talked about previously.
-Reformatting the SD card.
-Trying a different SD card if you've got one or if you can borrow one from somebody.
Those steps might resolve the problem. If they don't we'll have to look into the warranty of the camera, which we can do in your email case.
02-12-2016 09:37 AM
You're fast! Thanks for the speedy reply.
1) I updated the firmware before I tried these tests.
2) I formatted the card after I did the update in order to remove the files, so this test was done with a fresh format.
3) I have 3 cards that I use, and the drain does happen with all of them. I didn't check them all specifically, but i rotate them through and the drain doesn't disappear. I will try it now with no card at all in it and we'll see what happens.
02-12-2016 10:35 AM
It's not looking good. I removed the SD card and installed the battery. I didn't turn the camera on. Camera temp has risen from ambient to just under 100F in 55 minutes. I'll see if the battery is dead in 6 hours and post the final results.