This was a pretty revelatory disclosure from a device I was trying to charge.
It had a certain Rube Goldberg-esque-ness about it too.
The camera's manual told me it wouldn't charge below 5 degrees C. It was warmer than that, but I tried warming the battery in my hands and tried again - no luck.
I tried with the SD card in, out, back in again. No luck.
This seems to be a problem common to Li-ion batteries, namely, difficulty charging when a bit flat. The battery was an EN-EL19 3.7V 700mAh 2.6Wh battery.
I tried voltages ranging between 4.2V and 5.5V on the USB cable, but there was no change to the rapidly flashing light on the camera indicating inability to charge.
Some googling found the Nikon help page, which suggested a firmware upgrade to fix the charging problem that occurs with fairly flat batteries for multiple models, but the S3600 was not among the models with a firmware update available.
Furthermore, for the models listed, the instructions, for either OSX or Windows, both required me to turn on the camera and use the menu system to undertake the firmware upgrade... and also use the camera to format an SD card to deliver the new firmware.... Attentive readers will have noticed that the camera battery was flat.... or rather... "Battery exhausted"...
Further reading of the manual told me that the camera can charge slowly while attached to a computer. After plugging the camera into the linux netbook, however, it dutifully mounted, and the slow flash of the light on the camera told me it was now charging.
Well, this got around the unwillingness to charge problem.
I emailed Nikon about the problem. They got back to me within 24 hours and suggested I take it to an authorised repair centre.
"Kindly be advise that currently no known issue about the charging of the battery for the S3600. Kindly you may take the camera to the nearest Nikon service centre for further inspection. Details of the service centre are as per below:"This seemed odd, because I found at least one reference to the same problem by another S3600 owner, a Mr S. McKay, on the web, and he'd been charged about the price of the camera in repairs not covered by warranty for what seemed like the same issue:
With a workaround now for the charging problem, I couldn't see the point of taking it anywhere. I will have to wait and see if they release a firmware update.
I was curious though about how I would be able to do an update using GNU/Linux. Having a look at some of the available firmware, I found it was available as either a self executing .exe archive, for example F-S6300-V11W.exe, or an OSX hfsplus compressed filesystem ".dmg" file, for example F-S6300-V11M.dmg, in the case of the S6300 model anyway.
... good to know that Nikon cater to both types of operating system...
So, for a worked exercise, and as a bit of a how to for others using GNU/Linux, I thought I'd extract firmware using ubuntu flavoured GNU/Linux for the S6300... that way, when an S3600 update is eventually released, I won't need to reinvent the wheel, and others might find it useful.
Nikon firmware update linux howto:
This guide uses the Nikon S6300 as an example.
Other Nikon camera firmware files may differ.
Firmware upgrade instructions for other cameras may also differ.
Be warned, using this guide with the wrong firmware could brick your camera, so use at your own risk.
Carefully compare these instructions with those provided by Nikon on their support website, to ensure you do not inadvertently brick your camera.
Repeat, use at your own risk!!!
First, download the OSX file F-S6300-V11M.dmg from the Nikon website into a local working directory, i.e.
~/Coolpix/Then, you need to download the latest sourcecode for the dmg2img utility from
tar xvf dmg2img-1.6.5.tar
if you get "error: bzlib.h: No such file or directory"
sudo apt-get install libbz2-dev
if you get "error: openssl/sha.h: No such file or directory"
then try to run make againsudo apt-get install libssl-dev
you can then run dmg2img from this directory to uncompress F-S6300-V11M.dmg
./dmg2img -i ../F-S6300-V11M.dmg -o ../F-S6300-V11M.img
You should see something like:
dmg2img v1.6.5 (c) vu1tur
../F-S6300-V11M.dmg --> ../F-S6300-V11M.img
opening partition 0 ... 100.00% ok
opening partition 1 ... 100.00% ok
opening partition 2 ... 100.00% ok
opening partition 3 ... 100.00% ok
Archive successfully decompressed as ../F-S6300-V11M.img
you now have an uncompressed hfsplus filsystem image called F-S6300-V11M.img in your working directory. Go back to your working directory.
cd ..I'll assume you don't have hfsplus filesystem support installed. You need to install ... you guessed it... hfsplus
sudo apt-get install hfsplusNow, you should be able to mount the image as a virtual device on a suitable mount point, in this case, I have chosen /mnt as a suiatble spot to mount it
sudo modprobe hfsplus
sudo mount -o loop -t hfsplus ./F-S6300-V11M.img /mnt/Then, if it has worked, you can
cd /mntAnd you should be greeted with:
total 8204You can then
drwxr-xr-x 1 root root 8 Apr 3 2013 .
drwxr-xr-x 23 root root 4096 May 31 00:26 ..
---------- 1 root root 8388608 Apr 3 2013 .journal
---------- 1 root root 4096 Apr 3 2013 .journal_info_block
drwxr-xr-x 1 501 501 3 Apr 3 2013 S6300Update
-rw-rw-rw- 1 root 501 3784 Apr 3 2013 .SymAVQSFile
d-wx-wx-wt 1 501 501 2 Apr 3 2013 .Trashes
cd S6300Update/and you will find
total 21636it is the "firmware" folder containing the "firmware.bin" file that needs to be copied onto the root directory of an SD card that has been freshly formatted in the camera.
drwxr-xr-x 1 501 501 3 Apr 3 2013 .
drwxr-xr-x 1 501 501 3 Apr 3 2013 ..
-rwxr--r-- 1 501 501 22151360 Mar 25 2013 firmware.bin
I chose to copy the firmware folder to my working directory called "Coolpix" at this point
cd ..I then unmounted the virtual filesystem
cp -R firmware ~/Coolpix
sudo umount /mntSo, you now have a local copy of the firmware.
your Camera should be charged by now. Press the menu button, go into the tools "Wrench/spanner" icon, and scroll down to Firmware. It should say "Version 1.0" if you have the battery charging issue.
Now, insert a spare SD card and format it in the camera. Having done this, turn the camera off.
Insert the SD card in the linux machine which should automount it
dfshould show something like (for my spare 512MB SD card it shows this):
/dev/sdb1 495232 64 495168 1% /media/NO_NAMEnow, copy the firmware file over to the card
cp -R firmware/ /media/NO_NAME/Then check if it is there
ls /media/NO_NAME/which should show:
DCIM firmware MISC NIKON001.DSCthen look in the firmware folder:
ls /media/NO_NAME/firmware/which should show something like:
-rw-r--r-- 22151360 Jun 25 00:09 firmware.binthen unmount the card:
sudo umount /media/NO_NAME/then put the card into the camera. Turn the camera on, press the menu button, go into the tools "Wrench/spanner" icon, and scroll down to Firmware. It should allow you to upgrade if you have the right firmware.