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Thread: D200 powering off intermittently/unexpectedly

  1. #1
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    D200 powering off intermittently/unexpectedly

    For a while I've been having a problem with my D200. I've lived with it until now but it's getting so annoying and frequent now, so I'm searching for an answer.

    While using the camera it will just turn itself off - or rather, more accurately the flat battery icon will flash in the top screen. This happens with any of my 4 batteries, genuine and aftermarket, and also when using the genuine battery grip. I've read of possible battery voltage problems but I don't think it could be that with every battery showing the same symptom.

    Earlier in the year when I had the camera serviced by Nikon's Queensland agent they couldn't find any issues. They did a firmware update and cleaned contacts but the problem remains. It does this with either of my lenses fitted.

    I've also read that it could be a battery contact problem where the door doesn't push the battery up high enough to keep good contact. The same problem occurs though with the battery grip screwed in no matter how tightly too. It has been suggested to make a thin shim to glue inside the battery door to push the battery slightly higher and give a better contact, which sounds feasible but what would you do to increase the contact when the grip is being used as I can't shim it or screw it in tighter?

    Has anyone else experienced this with their D200 or any other Nikon? If so what did you do to fix it?
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    Member DJT's Avatar
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    I had the same problem a few weeks back (it has only happenned once) & did a quick search on it the other day but didn't find any conclusive answers. So I'll keep an eye on this post.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    This sounds remarkably familiar!

    check what firmware they uploaded.

    See HERE for what the last firmware update was supposed to sort out!

    if they uploaded firmware v2.01 to your D200, then (technically speaking) this battery problem should have been 'fixed'.

    if the firmware version is v2.01, you could try to re-update it, and see if it helps?

    You can't hurt it, and from memory, if it doesn't work you'll get a message saying that the latest firmware is already installed or something to that effect.

    if you can get at least 5mins of 100% guaranteed camera operation(without it shutting itself down) then I'd be inclined to re update the firmware.
    If you can't be sure that the camera will not shut down in the time it takes to update the firmware then DON'T do it. Last thing you want is the camera to shut down while the firmware is not fully loaded.
    Each firmware(there are two) should only take about 2 mins to transfer.

    ps. how old are the batteries? Old batteries can be an issue I guess?
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    Administrator (Site Owner) ricktas's Avatar
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    My MB-200 battery battery grip would cause this to happen if the 'wheel' wasnt wound on really tight. All I would have to do is bump the camera or hold the grip a particular way and the camera would turn itself off. Tightening the 'wheel' resolved it, but the wheel would soon work itself loose again.
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    Member DJT's Avatar
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    In this particular instance Rick, the camera actually gives a low battery warning & then shuts down.

    I should do a firmware update by the looks of things

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    I had this issue with my old D200... it came down to the fact that in the grip, it'd die if the two batteries in it were not fully charged, even charged "beyond" the light on the charging dock. from memory, i kept my batteries on charge when not in use, and this seemed to rectify most of my issues
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    Good to hear some feedback.

    Arthur the firmware reads A 2.01 & B 2.01 so it appears current. Can I try re-downloading this from home or would it need to go back to Andersons (Qld Nikon Agent)? My batteries range from the genuine original that would have come with the camera (though I've only owned it a bit over two years) and the remaining three batteries have been bought in that time.

    Rick, your situation with the battery grip sounds identical to mine. Are you persisting with it or just not using the D200 much these days?

    Mel my batteries will do it straight off the charger, either used in the grip or singly without the grip.

    When I called Andersons back they said bring it back in but that means a full day out with travel from here (and it wouldn't be a free service from them either despite paying quite a few dollars to have this fixed in the first instance.) The only other thing they thought it might be was the internal contacts (do they mean lens related or under the on/off switch I wonder?)

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    Administrator (Site Owner) ricktas's Avatar
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    I just persist with mine and find I tend to just randomly give the tightening wheel a good twist several times an hour whilst using it. I don't use the D200 as much these days, with the D3 being my primary camera, but sometimes the D200 is my preference due to weight, it is much easier to lug around.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodallphotography View Post
    ..... The only other thing they thought it might be was the internal contacts (do they mean lens related or under the on/off switch I wonder?)
    Probably the internal contacts inside the battery compartment.
    If there's a slightly loose connection within the camera itself, it may be a huge task to do it for yourself unless you're confident of doing handy stuff.
    If the loose connection is only between the contacts and the battery or battery grip, then it may be an easy fix.
    The way in which the battery contacts9in the camera) physically work is that they're spring loaded, so when the battery is loaded, it pushed the contacts up and into the camera. Looking at the contact marks on the battery will confirm how each of the three contacts actually makes contact with the battery's terminals.
    The EN-EL-3e has three terminals which are marked (-), (s) and (+) and they have a surface contact material at 90 on two sides of the battery.
    On my D300, the (+) and (-) terminals on the battery have marks on both faces, indicating that the camera's internal contacts make contact on both faces of those two battery terminals. But the (s) terminal has markings only on the top face of the material showing that it needs to have a very good vertical pressure on it from the battery.
    (I'm 99.9% sure) The (s) terminal on the battery sends battery health info to the camera and if the contact between it and the camera respective terminal is not secure it can lead to false readings.
    First thing to check out: how loose is the battery in the compartment? Lid open, battery sitting in the compartment, and you;re pressing the battery into the camera body and the tension in the camera's terminals is pushing it back out. Is there about 5mm of inward outward spring tension? Or is the battery's springy load on the battery very flat. Remember closing the battery door holds the battery hard up against the internal contacts.
    As you push against the spring load onto the battery you should see the camera 'power up'.. possibly with the card's write confirm light indicating that the battery is properly seated.
    Thing I'd also check is that central (s) terminal in the camera. Even on the D300 it looks kinda weak compared to the (+) and (-) contacts, and if it's not secure then it could lead to false info to the camera.. telling the camera that the battery is dead and hence to shut down. You could try to pull it back into line with a pair of long nose pliers, but my feeling is that it's more likely a solder joint problem way deep inside the battery housing.. ie. looks to be impossible to fix easily without pulling the camera to tiny bits.
    You could try a very short spray of electrical spray(WD-40 will do), but the stuff stinks, and will dribble back down and out of the camera and onto your hands and into your socks and everywhere else. short sharp burst with the straw, and then clean up any excess.

    Last thing I'd try is to fold a small sheet of paper 4 or so times and wedge it between the battery and the battery door. This will push the battery slightly more firmly into the battery compartment and hopefully more pressure on those internal contacts.

    Also to note:
    Nikon did do a recall on very early batches of the EN-EL3e battery and it's almost certain not to be an issue for you as well but just-in-case!!...

    EN-EL-3e recall numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Last thing I'd try is to fold a small sheet of paper 4 or so times and wedge it between the battery and the battery door. This will push the battery slightly more firmly into the battery compartment and hopefully more pressure on those internal contacts.
    That's definitely worth a shot Paul. I'd try it without your grip first and foremost, just to see if you can get the camera to operate more reliably on its own and then check out the grip afterwards. I had to use a piece of paper to retain the memory card in the d50 as the clip was broken.

    I'd also make sure the contacts are clean on the batteries - if they're filthy (particularly the middle contact as Arthur suggests) they may not transmit very well. A bit of metho on a cotton ball or an eraser should do the job here.

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