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08-11-2016, 08:41 PM   #1
Zafar Iqbal's Avatar

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Battery issue?

I have 2 OEM batteries and chargers - just been charging them and because I have a subzero-level trust in batteries and chargers, I swap the batteries in the chargers, to see if a battery
on a different charger also reports it being fully charged.

Ordinarily, adding a fully charged battery to a charger results in the light being on for few seconds and then it turns off.

But now, the light is on for 15-20 minutes between each swap.

I added them again after I started this thread, and now the light went off after only few minutes.

Both batteries and chargers are a year old and I've been using them a lot. Is this in an indication of anything? I don't keep exact track of how many shots I usually get, but I'm willing to bet, that the last time I used these batteries, I got somewhere between 500-600 shots, which is normal.

08-11-2016, 09:00 PM   #2
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I'd expect it to just be because the batteries have been used a lot.

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08-11-2016, 09:38 PM   #3
Zafar Iqbal's Avatar

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I'm surprised I haven't noticed a gradual change though.
08-11-2016, 09:59 PM   #4
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I use number of batteries/charges from Better Batt (located in Australia).
They all go strong, even years old K10D can still take hundreds of photos on one charge.

08-11-2016, 11:14 PM   #5
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I have a couple of older third party batteries (before I started buying the better third party brands) that do exactly what you describe...
08-12-2016, 12:44 AM   #6
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I've had good luck with Wasabi batteries and chargers in both my K 10 and K 5. Of course, YMMV.
08-12-2016, 02:14 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zafar Iqbal Quote
Ordinarily, adding a fully charged battery to a charger results in the light being on for few seconds and then it turns off.

But now, the light is on for 15-20 minutes between each swap.

I added them again after I started this thread, and now the light went off after only few minutes.

Actually, this behaviour corresponds very well with my observations. I have a two original Pentax chargers and one third party charger, a couple of original D-LI90s and a number of third party replacement D-LI90s. Whatever combinations I use, including same battery in same charger, this is my experiece:

- First the battery will be fully charged (in a couple of hours) as indicated by the charging lamp turning off.
- After battery has thus been 'fully charged', I take it out for a few secords and then re-insert. Charging lamp lights up again for several (10-20) minutes.
- I then take out the battery once again for a few seconds and re-insert. Charging lamp lights up again for some seconds to about 1 minute.

Don't ask me. how I ever came to this charging routine, because I cannot remember, (I may just have been curious to see what happened). Anyway I observe the above even with new batteries, and I wouldn't take it as an indication of faults in neither charger nor battery.
08-12-2016, 01:38 PM   #8
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Electrical charge in batteries takes a little time to equalize, so right after it finishes charging the light may only stay on a moment when you reinsert it, but after it sits 'fully charged' for a while the light might stay on a little longer when reinserted. Most chargers only charge to a set voltage, so once the battery builds up enough charge to detect the 'full' voltage at the contacts it will stop charging. After the battery cell has had time to equalize, the voltage at the contacts may drop enough to allow further charging.

Try this for an analogy. Think of a parking lot full of people ready to rush into a movie theater when the doors open, but the ushers are instructed to shut the doors when the hallways hit a certain capacity. (For safety reasons, of course.) Once the hallways by the entrance begin to fill up, the doors shut just like when your charger detects a 'full' voltage and stops charging. Over time, people will make their way into their seats and the hallway will start to clear. If the ushers open the doors once more the hallway will fill up again (like re-inserting the batteries into the charger to restart the charge cycle). Eventually after a few cycles, the theater will be full and can't accept any more crowds, though a few individuals may sneak in or out (like how a completely charged battery will still show a short blip when you reinsert it).

Over time, the cells in batteries can degrade, and some degrade faster than others. This can affect how quickly the battery equalizes (think partially blocked hallways) and the total storage capacity (think broken seats). Original Pentax batteries are arguably the best, with quality generics like DST / Wasabi close behind, and then cheaper generics which degrade much quicker.

How you charge batteries can also affect their longevity. My original Pentax K-3 charger puts out 7.6V, while my generic puts out 8.4V, which charges the battery faster. Fast charging builds up more heat inside the battery as it charges and contributes to aging. Slow charging is best and will charge the battery more fully. Using 8.4V charges the battery faster so it would detect 'full' voltage earlier and shut off a little sooner, ending up a little less full than with the Pentax charger. (Like having more doors into the theater which fills up the hallway faster.) You could reinsert it multiple times to charge it more and the 8.4V charger might add just a little more total charge, but probably at the expense of battery life.

08-12-2016, 05:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for the inputs, though I'm not sure what to make of them.

I developed the habit of swapping chargers shortly after I got them, and in all that time, the light always turn off after just few seconds, so to me, this behavior where it takes longer isn't normal. I'm not referring to checking batteries after they have been resting somewhere else for any amount of time - I swap right away, but not necessarily from the moment the light goes off but rather, from the moment I take a battery out of one charger.

I developed the habit of swapping thanks to my Hähnel chargers. I'm overall pleased with them but noticed from the very beginning, that they don't have a tight fit - it's in fact very lose and has caused few minor complications, not great enough that I'm annoyed, but severe enough that the habit developed - so I swap to make sure batteries are fully charged. The habit has simply expanded to include the original ones as well even though I've never had similar issues with these.

Regarding the fine analogy - I do not know for a fact if the chargers do this, but have been expecting, that the tickle charge or whatever it's called - to fill up that last bit of capacity. I usually wait 30-60 minutes before swapping/using the batteries.

I'll be out shooting the entire day tomorrow and will, If I remember it, try and keep a track of battery performance.

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