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Thursday, February 07, 2008

A day of technical woes

Well, Wednesday dawned all nice and sunny. So I got all my out-and-about bits together (money, bank card, phone, MP3 player, camera, spare batteries, lip balm, etc) and set off on a pleasant little jaunt. I had planned to head out to my favourite bay, Rhossili, but I forgot to take my travel sickness pills two hours before heading out. There's no way I would have lasted on a bus for an hour, without my Stugeron. So I had to head for somewhere nearer to home.

The first trip I took was only three miles or so. I stopped off at my favorite take-away to buy some lunch. Then, I hopped on another bus for a second short trip of 2-3 miles, to Langland Bay. I decided to follow the road that leads past this old building. It's now an apartment block called Langland Bay Manor. Prior to that, it was a hotel, but it started off life as a grand residence called Llan y Llan. It was built in the late 1800s, and was home to some of the famous - some would say infamous ironmasters, the Crawshay family, who were very powerful industrialists.

As I walked along the lane outside the manor, I spotted the perfect shot, a side-on view, from the opposite direction to which the above shot was taken, with some of its lovely, ornate old architecture perfectly framed by overhanging trees. Out came the camera, I popped some batteries in and switched it on. It came on for all of 5 seconds, flashed a low battery warning, and promptly died. I put a second lot of batteries in. Same thing again. I was pretty p*ssed off, as I'd charged both sets of batteries the night before. I tried various permutations of all four batteries, but no joy.

I became concerned that maybe it was the camera, not the batteries. This is not the first time I've been let down by supposedly fully charged batteries dying immediately. The batteries are only a few months old, and haven't had much use. Then a thought occurred to me. My charger is about six years old. There is no way it could have charged four 2500 mAh batteries in 3-4 hours, which is how long it took the 'full charge' green lights to come on. So, I reasoned that my charger is either faulty, or incapable of charging up high capacity batteries.

After a short two mile trip further around the bay, where I sat on the steps leading down to a little cove called Limeslade, I got the bus back into town. That journey took about half an hour, and I was starting to feel a bit icky by the time the bus reached its destination. But by this time, I didn't care. I was a woman on a mission. I popped into a store and bought a new battery charger, complete with four free 1300 mAh rechargeable batteries. When I got home, before opening the charger's packaging, I stuck my batteries into my old digital camera, just to make sure my current camera wasn't at fault, rather than the batteries. They were definitely dead.

I've now got my 2500 mAh batteries on charge overnight. They should take about 19-20 hours to charge, according to the leaflet that came with the charger. They've been on for about 8 hours now, with no sign of them being fully charged. So I'm pretty certain my old charger is either faulty, or too feeble to charge high power batteries.

Anyway, what was the point to this ramble? Oh yes. Weather and batteries permitting, I hope to get back out with my camera this week, to take some new pics. I'll tell you about my other technical horror story in my next post.


Anonymous said...

Probably as well you saved Rhosili for another day and the walk to Limeslade made the trip out worth whileA.

LadyBanana said...

I've almost given up on re-chargeables, I've been let down by them so many times, and neither my batteries or charger is old..

I now keep an emergency set of Duracells in my bag, just in case..

Laura said...

What a great place to have seen. We don't have much like that here in Canada. I had an English friend who laughed at me when I pointed to an old building here. By UK standards a 300 year old place is not that old. :)

Laura said...

My new camera has a different kind of battery. No matter how long it sits untouched in my purse it always has power. It's great. I had rechargeables with the old camera and they were ok. This is really nice though, I hardly even need to think about them. It's a Panasonic DMC Lumix.