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03-29-2014, 12:07 PM   #1
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Which battery?

I just got a K5 ii and plan on a lot of night photography. That means getting away from lights. Way away. Like, for days at a time. One of the places I like to go is about 20 miles from the nearest town. This town is so small that it likely doesn't have any place to buy AA batteries and it would be a twenty mile drive over mountainous dirt roads to get there. The nearest place that would definitely have AA's available is a 60 mile drive, mostly over dirt roads. Home, where I could recharge a D-LI90, is about 160 miles. I have an inverter for the charger but that means running the truck for hours while recharging a D-LI90. I have 5 sets of Eneloops and really like them for my K-r. My choices seem to be 1 or two extra LI90 batteries, a battery grip with Eneloops or a Wasabi power pack which would give me three usable batteries. I lean toward the Eneloop/grip combo because I like the ability and access of AA batteries. Thoughts? Recommendations?

03-29-2014, 12:31 PM   #2
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How about the Wasabi battery/charger set? Gives you two extra batteries along with a car charger that you wouldn't have to run your car with. I've heard all good things about these sets.

Amazon.com: Wasabi Power Battery (2-Pack) and Charger for Pentax D-LI90 and Pentax 645D, K-01, K-3, K-5, K-5 II, K-5 IIs, K-7: Camera & Photo
03-29-2014, 12:55 PM   #3
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03-29-2014, 01:25 PM   #4
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For AAs, I tried Energizer Ultimate Lithiums and they were great on my K-x. One set gave me 2800 shots in a ballet performance using every power saving trick I knew (display off, no preview, power indicator off etc).

Thanks,

03-29-2014, 02:08 PM   #5
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Energizer Ultimate Lithiums or Eneloops in a battery grip. You can save money on a replica battery grip here: Battery Grip For Pentax K7 K-7 DSRL D-BG4 - Newegg.com

Not as good as the original, but close enough (I have one of each). The replica is close enough that I can swap battery trays between them. Take the money you save on the BG to get 2 additional sets of batteries and/or D-LI90s, just to be sure.


In any case, you should always carry around 2 new sets of Ultimate Lithiums for emergency backup.
03-29-2014, 05:34 PM   #6
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For astrophotography, I have made up a power supply chain powered by a jumpstart battery you can get at most car parts stores. This gives me power all night. If I know I will be out for a long, long time, I just take a 2nd jumpstart battery. Here are some photos to illustrate.

1) Jumpstart battery attached to tripod with bungie cord. Bungie hooks into hole drilled horizontally through near bottom of aluminum center tripod section. Added weight of battery increases stability of setup.
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03-29-2014, 05:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
For astrophotography, I have made up a power supply chain powered by a jumpstart battery you can get at most car parts stores. This gives me power all night. If I know I will be out for a long, long time, I just take a 2nd jumpstart battery. Here are some photos to illustrate.
Wow, pretty elaborate looking arrangement, but actually a great solution!

Last edited by DSims; 03-29-2014 at 06:03 PM.
03-29-2014, 06:09 PM   #8
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OK, screwed that post up. See if I can do better with this one. Here is hopefully the rest of the reply:

2) Small Pelican case modded to encase switching regulator and cable connector. Hand warmer used for very cold winter weather sessions.

3) Closer view of switching regulator connected and disconnected (Dynamic Engineering 25W SWADJ3 regulator available at Digikey or at RobotShop in Canada) and Voltage Regulator Breakout Board (part no. RB-Dim-25 at Robotshop). Note voltage adjustment pot on top of regulator. The breakout board is the best thing since sliced bread.

4) External connectors. 12VDC input is a center hot cigarette lighter type from The Source at Circuit City that plugs into the jumpstart battery. I like this one because the fuse is external and it is easy to hook up the wires. The output that plugs into the camera is a HiRose 3-Pos Low Profile connector (Digikey part no. H10485-N). This is the toughest part of the whole setup to put together since it requires soldering onto very tiny connectors. Patience and good technique required. Excuse the ugly tape job but I ran out of the right size heat shrink.

The cable out from the regulator box is "Waterproof DC Power Cable Set 5.5/2.1mm (part no. RB-Ada-54 at RobotShop) and the extension cable I use for that is "DC Power Extension Cable 1.5m (part no. RB-Dh-181 at RobotShop).

Jack

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