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04-17-2011, 06:53 PM   #1
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"Battery Depleted" message when using Rechargeable AA NiMH

I purchased a AA-battery adapter from eBay

I tried it and was disappointed to get the message"Battery Depleted" when I tried to turn the camera on. I have a multi-meter I tested the open-circuit voltage across the terminals of the battery adapter with the batteries (NiMH) inside and got 5.18V.
Considering that the batteries are nominally rated at 1.2V, this works out to 1.295V average per battery. I then put a 12 Ohm load across the terminals and measured it and it was 4.95V. I also measured the Li-ion battery the camera came with and it came to 8.22V open-circuit and 7.99V witha 12 Ohm load (across the top and third contact). The difference in voltage between the Li-ion and NiMH is very big (about 3V)

I then swapped one of the NiMH batteries for another of a different brand and the open-circuit voltage was now 5.12V and with 12 Ohm load was 4.94V. This time the camera switched on without the message and was fully useable.

The only issue was that the battery level indicated on the display was half full in an orange colour and then a short time later to just the outline of the battery in red. I tried to set the "AA Battery type" to NiMH instead of "auto" but it made no difference. The camera appears to work OK but I haven't tried taking many shots. LiveView works fine and I know this is very demanding on the batteries.

I have just moved up from a Canon compact and I had a similar issue. This compact took just 2x AA batteries and was always giving me warning messages of low battery yet would last for the normal complement of shots (200-300+).

What are the experiences of other people using the battery adapter with AA rechargeable NiMH??
Does the battery level indicator work properly or is it always appearing to be at the very end of its charge level?
Or are there particular brands of batteries that work better with cameras?
I used "DLG" batteries which are rated at 2300mAh and then swapped to "Titanium" brand which are rated at 2400mAh

I upgraded the camera firmware to the 1.01 version before trying the battery adapter.

04-17-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
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I have a k-x not the k-r so things may be different, however in general Eneloop rechargeables seem to work better than other models. They are usually recommended in the numerous threads about AA batteries here.

There is even a sticky all about it if you want to look.
04-17-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
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A bit more testing

When I have one of the DLG's and 3 Titanium the camera worked but with low battery level. I then swapped the DLG with a Sony (low self discharge type - 2200mAh), and this time the battery indicator is showing "full green".

I measured the open-circuit voltage at 5.14V (across terminals of AA battery adapter with 3 Titaniums and 1 Sony) and 4.84 with a 12 Ohm Load.

So this is much better, but makes no sense insofar as measured voltages both open-circuit and with a 12 Ohm load with the different combinations of batteries
04-17-2011, 07:17 PM   #4
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From what i know of batteries that the camera is not getting enough voltage from them. try cleaning the contacts on both the battery and camera if you can.

Also from memory I think fully charged batteries with a 1.2V rating generally have an output voltage significantly higher, decreasing as it discharges. This is going back a few years to some high school physics experiments so i could be wrong

04-17-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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I'm using Eneloops on a chinese adapter and have zero problems. Battery level stays green much longer than with li-ion and after going orange it still lasts pretty long.
10-23-2011, 05:23 AM   #6
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Same issue here using Lloytron NiMH rechargeables. They worked well on a Canon compact (I moved the same way as gipps_amat) but with the same symptoms indicating low battery for the whole complement of shots.
My Chinese ebay adapter has two terminals unlike the battery delivered with the camera which has three. I presume the third terminal is a voltage sensing terminal to determine battery condition.
But it seems that ovim has used Eneloops batteries on Chinese adapters without issues. I'm not familiar with this brand. Is this easily available? Did anyone use other brands of batteries with Chinese adapters?
10-23-2011, 01:15 PM   #7
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I have had small problem. I got the chinese charger too are not they all made in china. So got rayovac platinum and had to give them a charge after first putting them in.

If you want the enloops just go to the sanyo site and get them. You can order them from sanyo. No store by me had them and it seems they came out with a new verison.

I will use the rayos until they die or unhappy with them.
10-30-2011, 08:36 AM   #8
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Costco often has enloops if I remember about $25 for 8 AA batteries, 4AAA, and a charger


10-30-2011, 11:35 AM   #9
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Do a search; there has been a thread about batteries for the K-x. Should equally apply to the K-r. Ah, here you go:

I have happily used GP 2500's in an Olympus SP500UZ. Tried to use them in a K100D and they don't last (but at least the camera switched on and was usable for about 100 shots or so). So that batteries work in one camera does not mean anything.
10-30-2011, 11:39 PM   #10
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Going for Eneloops

Thanks for your feedback.
I'm going for eneloops and am expecting them to arrive soon. It seems that Pentax have stretched their imagination when they decided to provide AA battery compatibility. Using standard (non-rechargeable) batteries, 4 x 1.5V gives 6V which is already low compared to the nameplate voltage. With rechargeables, voltage is even lower and probably unless your charger drives the batteries to their absolute max and unless your batteries can retain that voltage for most of their useable charge, then one is to expect the "Battery Depleted" message after a few tens of shots.
I'll let you know how the eneloops perform. Anyway, the AA battery possibility does provide a way out using standard batteries if you happen to run out of charge.
10-31-2011, 02:15 AM   #11
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Just want to make sure you're aware of the menu setting for selecting your rechargeable battery type? I'm thinking this setting exists because of the different voltages and capacities of the different types of battery used.

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