A GoPro battery resting on a Japanese newspaper (TV listing page). The battery is seen edge-on. The edge is blue. The black case of the battery is swollen, noticeably tenting in the middle.

That’s just swell

Following the Edogawa Century, I charged up all my GoPro batteries in the dual-battery charger. Then in the process of swapping one into the camera, I dropped it on the floor — just a simple drop of less than 60cm. But then when I picked it up, it wouldn’t fit in the camera. I had a look and noticed it had deformed, and was too fat in the middle to fit. Gee, lesson learned. I disposed of the battery responsibly and put a different battery in the camera.

And then today, while packing for tomorrow’s flight, I noticed that another battery was swollen. I am certain I have not dropped this battery.

Batteries do swell up as they reach the end of their usable life. The trackpad on my previous laptop had nearly burst out of the case as a result of the battery swelling. But for two (out of a total of three) to suddenly pop out is a bit suspicious. People have been raising the issue on GoPro’s community forum, where a GoPro apologist hastens to inform them that they’re doing it wrong …

(I got the camera in December 2000, and I bought two additional batteries in June 2021. I have no idea if the surviving battery is the one that came with the camera or one that I subsequently bought. In any case, they’ve been through a few dozen charging cycles at most.)

So anyway, I’ll have one battery on the upcoming trip, instead of the expected three. That will limit me to about two hours of recording per day. On the plus side, I can charge that in the camera, so I don’t need to bring along the external charger.

The last time I traveled overseas with my bicycle, I bought a large duffel bag to carry the two pannier bags on the airplane. I spent more than an hour this morning looking for the duffel bag before giving up and nicking one of Nana’s suitcases. As I was packing I realized I’m only going to need one pannier at most — we’ll have sag support for most if not all of the ride.

Meanwhile, I’ve gathered up nearly every conceivable USB cable to bring along. I’ve got at least two of each type I’ll need, and I’ll happily provide a spare to anyone who needs one.

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