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My new Olympus compact uses their LI-90B type battery, and didn't include a charger. I have a number of LI-50B batteries from previous cameras, as well as a couple of chargers for them. Aside from a slightly higher capacity (1270 vs. 925mAh), the new battery type also gives its voltage as 3.6v, as opposed to 3.7v.

The charger I have (LI-50C) gives its output as 4.2v 700mA, and accepts the slightly thicker batteries after breaking off a plastic lip over the contacts that the thinner ones slid beneath.

I did one experimental charge this way, and found that the in-camera charger wanted to charge the battery for another ten minutes or so.

My question, then, to someone with insight into the subtle aspects of lithium packs and their chargers, is whether there could be any long-term deleterious effects to the batteries from doing this?

Could the charger be switching from CC to CV at the wrong point in the charge, for instance, given the numbers above? I have only a crude understanding of the process. Given the inflated price of OEM chargers, I'd be happy if I could continue to get some use out of the ones I have.

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    I don't have any sources, so I don't want to submit this as an answer, but you should be careful. Improperly charging batteries can lead to fire or explosion in some cases. I don't know if this is that extreme, but I wouldn't do it. – Evan Pak Feb 17 '15 at 3:12
  • @EvanPak - The question was worst that could happen after all :) – dpollitt Feb 17 '15 at 3:19
  • @EvanPak - I appreciate the concern, but I'm familiar enough with the basic nature of lithium cells to avoid that extreme... I hope. ;) I closely observed my one experimental charge for any heat, and would have probably stopped things after an hour in any case to check status, but as it happened it stopped just short of full charge anyway. Had the capacities been offset in the opposite direction, I might be more nervous. – junkyardsparkle Feb 17 '15 at 4:11
  • Also interesting, the docs for the UC-90 charger (the "correct" charger) imply that it can be used with other batteries via size adapters, although I suppose it may be "smarter" than my older chargers in that regard? – junkyardsparkle Feb 17 '15 at 4:24
  • @dpollitt - Good point, question title revised. – junkyardsparkle Feb 17 '15 at 5:24
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Here is a nice article

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_lithium_ion_batteries

In this case, it looks fine.

The difference of 0.1v will not cause significant difference in the 'full charge' detection, so it will work. The mAh won't affect the full charge detection for li-ion.

  • I did read through most of the batteryuniversity.com stuff at some point in the past, which is why I assumed this is an ok thing to do, but I wondered if there were specific subtle details related to the current crop of real-world chargers. Seems like not, so I'll accept this answer. – junkyardsparkle Feb 21 '15 at 0:01

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