Movi battery replacements

Discussion in 'Movi Technical' started by Rick Bronks, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Rick Bronks

    Rick Bronks Member

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    I see FF are now selling replacement batteries - but not yet available in the uk so I was looking on Amazon.

    I have found these two types - one pack comes with a charger too. Are they ok? They are higher capacity than the stock Movi ones but will this be bad for the unit? I would assume it just will give me more run time?

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/XHDATA-Bat...471267&sr=8-5&keywords=18650+battery+flat+top

    or

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Efest-1865...471267&sr=8-4&keywords=18650+battery+flat+top

    TIA
     
    Rorick Edge likes this.
  2. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    It would be nice to get a definitive answer to this question.

    Freefly gives the following specs for the batteries that it sells:

    • Battery type: 18650 (flat top)
    • Capacity (each): 2000 mAh
    • Nominal voltage (each): 3.6V
    In the FAQ, Freefly says:

    Movi uses two 18650 size 2000mAh Li-ion batteries.
    We recommend using cells rated for at least 5C discharge and 2C charge. They must have flat, non button type contacts.

    Personally, I don't know how to determine the C discharge and charge rate from the specs that retailers provide.

    It would be good to know how to determine whether an 18650 battery with a capacity other than 2000mAh is suitable.
     
    #2 Rorick Edge, Oct 2, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  3. Rick Bronks

    Rick Bronks Member

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    I guess we might have to wait a while for a reply!
     
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  4. Rick Bronks

    Rick Bronks Member

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    Seriously? FreeFly can you not help?
     
  5. Edrolfo Leones

    Edrolfo Leones New Member

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    I sent a similar question to Movi Cinema tech support a while back and exchanged a few emails trying to get a clear answer.... Here’s an excerpt of what they sent, which was more useful for me:

    NOTICE Approved Alternate Battery List

    Note: Freefly does not take responsibility for use of these alternate batteries, however, we have used them successfully. The following battery cells are approved by Freefly as alternates or replacements:

    • LG Chem 18650 MJ1
    • LG Chem 18650 HH1
    • LG Chem 18650 HG2
    • Samsung INR18650-25R5
    • Samsung INR18650-25R2

    With the above info, I was able to find an Amazon vendor that sold the Samsung batteries (beware of knockoffs, check their ratings, feedback, etc.) that matched the product numbers, however I got the higher 3200 mAh version, which has worked great so far. Samsung and LG tend to have the best quality batteries on the market, but they are more expensive and get counterfeited often.

    FYI, here are some general notes on these batteries for the Movi CR:

    — ONLY get the “flat top” version of any 18650 battery, not the one with a “nipple” bump on the anode (+) end. This will not fit into the Movi.

    — When you FIRST get any new 18650 Lithium ion rechargeable battery and BEFORE turning on the device, always place the new batteries into the device you use to recharge them (in this case, the Movi CR), plug the USB-C into a power outlet and charge them directly from there for a few seconds or longer. From what I understand, * this only needs to happen for a few seconds to activate the chip. In theory, you can unplug and then turn on the device using the battery charge (they don’t need to be fully charged).

    Not sure if you need to do this procedure if you take the batteries out and recharge externally with another charger, and then install them back into the device. Maybe someone else can weigh in, if needed.

    EL

    * Slight correction from my original post: This method has to do with activating the Battery Protection Circuit PCB inside a device (not inside the battery) and syncing with any newly installed batteries. It's a general recommendation I've read elsewhere and may or may not apply to the Movi CR's internal charging circuitry... So take it FWIW.
     
    #5 Edrolfo Leones, Oct 8, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018 at 10:37 AM
    Rorick Edge and Rick Bronks like this.
  6. Rick Bronks

    Rick Bronks Member

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    In the UK these seems to be a decent price for the LG ones listed above - higher capacity and come with a little plastic case.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MTPZK6U/ref=pe_3187911_185740111_TE_item
     
  7. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Here's the result of a B&H search for "18650 rechargeable batteries". B&H doesn't carry LG Chem or Samsung, but there seem to be a lot of other brands and various capacities. The only brand on the B&H list that I recognise is Nitecore. It makes a charger for Leica batteries that I use and has a decent reputation: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=18650 rechargeable batteries&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma&Top+Nav-Search=

    That said, I'll probably purchase one of the batteries on Freefly's list if I can identify a vendor on Amazon U.S. that I'm satisfied is legit.
     
    #7 Rorick Edge, Oct 8, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  8. Bryan Edmonds

    Bryan Edmonds Chief MōVI Whisperer

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    Rick, since you're new here you may not realize this is a community forum, not a place that Freefly staff regularly monitors or uses as a portal for support from our staff. While we do jump in and participate in conversations from time to time, if you have questions for Freefly, they need to be directed to us: https://freeflysystems.com/contact

    I don't see that either of you requested this information from us directly, but since I saw this when I was browsing:
    • Just because our batteries are not available on Amazon in the UK, doesn't mean they are not available to order from us or a local authorized Freefly dealer. I understand that shipping something as small as a pair of batteries from the US to the UK is not inexpensive, so if your local dealer doesn't have them on their site, let them know you want them.
    • While there may be a correlation between cell capacity and max discharge rate (my early research on this matter showed that higher capacity tends to mean lower max discharge), for operation of the Movi, the capacity of the battery does not matter. If it did, we would have included it in the recommended specs for aftermarket batteries (quoted above). If you can find a flat-top 3,000mAh battery with the recommended max discharge/charge rates, it fits our recommendations.
    • The discharge rate for a particular battery would be provided by the manufacturer of the battery. If they don't publish it, you may have to reach out to them and request the information. If they won't provide, it is probably best to avoid it.
      • The first battery you linked to does in fact have a C-rating published in the description (https://goo.gl/jNA9rU):
        • Max.Discharging Current:1C
        • Based on our published recommendations, this would not be a good choice for the Movi.
     
  9. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Bryan, nor is shipping within the U.S. inexpensive. If I order batteries from Freefly for delivery to NY, you want more for shipping ($15.30, up to $42 for overnight) than for the batteries ($12.95).

    And your NY dealer (B&H, which deals with thousands of people every day and is rather more likely to listen to you than to one of your customers) does not offer your batteries. If I go to B&H tomorrow, and ask for MCR batteries, they will refer me to the many brands that they do carry, none of which is on the list that Freefly gave Edrolfo. So, as a Movi user and one of your customers, I'd be purchasing pretty much in the dark.

    I don't know if you've ever been to B&H, but the idea that it is going to stock your batteries at my request is rather unreal. The closest it comes to selling Movi accessories is selling the Movi, a Hoodie, one of your T-shirts and a small bag by your commercial partner Peak Design, presumably a package that you had something to do with creating, for $429: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1431472-REG/freefly_movi_cinema_robot_kit.html. When it comes to what B&H and you have agreed B&H will sell, it's a pity that Freefly T-shirts are in and batteries required to make the Movi function don't make the cut.

    The message, intended or not, is that you aren't interested in selling batteries, and it's why people are asking, with respect quite reasonably, for information on alternatives.

    Edrolfo says that he raised this with Freefly support directly and "exchanged a few emails trying to get a clear answer". It seems obvious that more guidance on this issue, here and in the FAQ, would be quite useful to your customers.
     
    #9 Rorick Edge, Oct 8, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  10. Rick Bronks

    Rick Bronks Member

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    Sorry.. of course I know FF staff don't monitor the forums - I was also hoping (and it happened) that the community would help out.
    As it happens - someone did and the LG batteries that FF recommended are now on their way to me.




    Personally - I feel you're sending out mixed messages with these batteries- either we can get third party and you guys are ok with that OR you don't suggest we do and buy the FF ones via a dealer.

    in the UK it's not so easy to get the accessories. I was one of the first in the country to get the MCR, and then the Hoodie and counterweights. Looking at your suppliers in the UK (not amazon) there's always a delay before they get the stock in - if they can get it in.

    With the battery situation - I think FF need to clarify their stance on this - either it's ok to use third party ones - or not. If it's ok as has been suggested then it would really be helpful to have a list of recommended ones in a FAQ and then we can source them ourselves wherever we are.
     
  11. Bryan Edmonds

    Bryan Edmonds Chief MōVI Whisperer

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    I wrote up my response yesterday morning before Edrolfo responded and forgot to post it until later in the day, at which point I didn't refresh my browser and see that more comments had been made. So it may have seemed a little out of context.

    There are a lot of people the browse this forum for information, based on internet searches, that don't necessarily understand how this forum works. Calling out "Freefly" for not responding to a question, to the casual browser, makes it appear like we, Freefly, are neglecting you, not that you are calling on the forum for help.

    Allow me to clear up any confusion on this topic.
    • Shipping: We sell the same batteries that ship in the Movi and we ship them as cheap as we can, everywhere that FedEx will ship batteries. If we could ship or sell the batteries for cheaper and still keep the lights on here, we would.
      • With something as small as a pair of batteries, you are being charged the minimum cost to ship a package across the country in a truck, from Seattle to New York. That same minimum cost would cover something larger (something up to 5lbs I think), as well. It has nothing to do with the value of the shipment.
      • We utilize a dealer network to help people beyond or direct reach (either out of convenience, cost or other restrictions).
    • Dealers: What dealers choose to stock is up to them, based on what their customers want and need, as well as what is good for their business. Given the power, I'd require all of our dealers to carry our entire line of accessories so customer everywhere have easy access, but being Chief Movi Whisperer doesn't always carry much weight outside my own office.
      • B&H is a big company and I'm sure a lot goes into what they choose to stock, from every manufacturer.
      • We also have other, smaller dealers in New York (like AbelCine) that may be able to special order Freefly products they don't regularly stock.
    • Recommendations: As responsible users, we don't recommend batteries or other products if we haven't tested them here. We will always be transparent about what we have tested and know works.
      • If you choose to use non-Freefly batteries, you are taking responsibility to make sure they meet the recommended specs (which we also provide). We provided a short list of batteries that we tested to get you started. As Edrolfo mentioned, due diligence in choosing batteries online, reading reviews and watching out for fakes is always up to you.
      • The list of tested batteries that Edrolfo shared was added to our website months ago, after the early content in our Knowledge Base was published. As of this morning, the list has also been added to the Battery specs article, as an additional point of reference.

    TLDR: What kind of batteries does Movi use?
     
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  12. Rick Bronks

    Rick Bronks Member

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    Thank you - very helpful.. seems like from the tested batteries there's some availability on Amazon etc so at least people shall be covered if they can't source the MCR OEM ones.
     
  13. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi Bryan,

    None of your New York dealers with an online presence, which include two of the largest, if not the largest, specialised photographic retailers in the United States - B&H and Adorama - and an important professional house - Abel Cine - carry your batteries or any of the ones that Freefly says meet its criteria.

    Given how important B&H and Adorama are as retailers, and given that they sell pretty much the same brands of 18650 batteries, would it be possible for Freefly to test one or two of these and add one of them to the list?

    Alternatively, can you tell me which of your NY dealers, if any, carry your batteries in stock, or will in the near future?

    Thanks
     
    #13 Rorick Edge, Oct 9, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  14. Rick Bronks

    Rick Bronks Member

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    Well.. new batteries came today - the LG ones - I did as instructed above but as soon as I put them in the MCR powered on - automatically. I quickly shut it down and plugged it in to charge - so I hope the calibration thing isn't actually true!
     
  15. Bryan Edmonds

    Bryan Edmonds Chief MōVI Whisperer

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    We have sell replacement batteries direct, provide the power specs for sourcing alternate batteries and even list batteries that meet the specifications we have cited. This is the extent that we can support you on this topic.

    To reiterate, what and when dealers stock our products is not something that we control or track.

    When installing any batteries, to include the pair that shipped with the Movi, it will power on initially. This is not cause for alarm. Just power it down as you did, and plug it in to charge it.
     
  16. Rick Bronks

    Rick Bronks Member

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    Thanks Bryan - I did this. It was the information in the other post about 'calibrating' the batteries which confused me.
     
  17. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    I conclude from this discussion that you can't name a single Freefly New York dealer, including B&H, Adorama and Abel Cine, that carries, or has plans to carry, your batteries (we already know that they don't carry any of the other batteries on your list), and that Freefly is unwilling to test, or identify as meeting its criteria, any of the batteries that are commonly sold by two of the largest on-line photographic retailers in the world.

    It isn't a matter of whether you can do this, but rather your decision that you won't. That's fine. I was about to purchase two ARC200 motors and related parts for about US$650 (see my posts under Freefly Robotics), but won't be now. If you had taken a more customer-oriented approach to this issue, I would have ordered the batteries from you at the same time as the ARC motors, which would have made the shipping cost of the batteries insignificant, but I won't be ordering either now.

    In a recent post, I said this about Freefly: https://forum.freeflysystems.com/in...o-see-in-future-app-updates.12581/#post-86508

    As someone who has owned Sound Devices products for over ten years, I was inclined to see Freefly as similar to Sound Devices in its early days. That is a major compliment. However, Sound Devices would have answered these questions, especially given the uncertainties around 18650 batteries, on a dime.

    Indeed, if you are going to add to your FAQ on powering the MCR, maybe start with a look at Sound Devices's two detailed articles on powering its new MixPre recorders/mixers. Here is their general article on power: https://www.sounddevices.com/tech-notes/mixpre-3-mixpre-6-powering-options While the choices for rechargeable AA and NF-P batteries are well known, this additional article specifically recommends, for Lithium
    AA batteries, Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries, which are available from both of the major, worldwide, on-line retailers mentioned earlier: https://www.sounddevices.com/tech-notes/mixpre-3-mixpre-6-maxbatteryruntime

    If this thread is an indication of Freefly's attitude towards its customers, I'm afraid that I now think that Freefly has a ways to go before it and Sound Devices can be discussed in the same breath.
     
    #17 Rorick Edge, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  18. Edrolfo Leones

    Edrolfo Leones New Member

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    Slight correction from my original post #5 above: This method has to do with activating the Battery Protection Circuit PCB inside a device (not inside the battery) and syncing with any newly installed batteries. It's a general recommendation I've read elsewhere and may or may not apply to the Movi CR's internal charging circuitry... So take it FWIW.
     

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