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10-01-2020, 09:11 AM   #1
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Is there an onboard battery - and is mine running out?

I am since 2017 the happy owner of a K-1 and after it was upgraded in 2018 to a K-1 II. It has been subject to repair twice after my harsh treatment of it. After the last repair in april 2020 I need to dial in the date every time I leave the camera without the battery in it (during charging for example). Not sure exactly how long the date setting survive without the main battery, but it counts in minutes rather than hours. I beleive when the camera was new I could leave the camera without the battery while charging and the date would still be valid. So my question: Is there an onboard battery that keeps the date (I assume yes) and how long should it keep the date in memory? Also: When I loose total power (Main battery AND onboard battery) Will I loose other settings too? I guess that the onboard battery should recharge from the main battery and if so is mine running out?
//Martin

10-01-2020, 09:20 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Simple answer is yes and it should last some time, hours at least, days in my experience. I think it is actually a capacitor rather than battery but I am not 100% on that. If this coincides with return from your last repair I wonder if the shop did not correctly attach something? Or damaged the capacitor?


I don't think it is just running out, the one in my K-3 still works just fine and it is from 2014.
10-01-2020, 09:53 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The one in my K-3 only worked for a few months. Once in a while I don't have to set the date when changing the battery, but that's very rare.
10-01-2020, 10:04 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I would contact Kameraservice and ask about it. Yes there is some kind of battery that charges from the large battery.

10-01-2020, 12:04 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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Personally I'd insert a spare battery while the other is charging. I've too many User defined settings to lose to risk an internal power source. A spare battery gives me a backup too, which is handy.
10-01-2020, 04:54 PM - 1 Like   #6
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You should be able to change a battery with no problem. I've taken up to 3 minutes or so to swap out a discharged battery and internal memory is retained so there is some kind of power retention system in the K-1. When your camera can't retain its memory for even short periods, then something in the memory retention has failed. Many electronic devices use what are called "super caps" for this purpose which are actually very large value capacitors (though they are not that physically large in size), but these are made a different way from regular capacitors and I've seen numerous instances of these failing with time so that might be a suspect if your retention time is short or non-existent. Camera repair is the only solution if that's the case.
Most settings in the K-1 are retained in flash memory and it doesn't need external power, so those setting are safe even if a battery is removed for a long period, but the time keeping function actually has a running clock which requires a very small amount of power and that results in volatile data which is lost when any backup power runs out.

Last edited by Bob 256; 10-01-2020 at 05:00 PM.
10-01-2020, 11:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
You should be able to change a battery with no problem. I've taken up to 3 minutes or so to swap out a discharged battery and internal memory is retained so there is some kind of power retention system in the K-1. When your camera can't retain its memory for even short periods, then something in the memory retention has failed. Many electronic devices use what are called "super caps" for this purpose which are actually very large value capacitors (though they are not that physically large in size), but these are made a different way from regular capacitors and I've seen numerous instances of these failing with time so that might be a suspect if your retention time is short or non-existent. Camera repair is the only solution if that's the case.
Most settings in the K-1 are retained in flash memory and it doesn't need external power, so those setting are safe even if a battery is removed for a long period, but the time keeping function actually has a running clock which requires a very small amount of power and that results in volatile data which is lost when any backup power runs out.
Thanks, good to know that most settings are stored in flash, that makes sense. Also I guess I just have to change my habit and always replace batteries when charging.
//M
10-02-2020, 12:08 AM - 1 Like   #8
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The majority of the Pentax DSLRs use a Seiko Instruments rechargeable lithium battery such as this:
MS414GE | Seiko Instruments Inc. Micro Energy Division

Note the cycle life ratings. The take-away from this is not to deplete the backup battery as much as possible. The old Hoya era FAQ used to list the amount of time it took to depend and recharge the battery. I no longer remember and it takes too much time trying to find the relevant pages in archive.org. Something on the order of 12-72 hours.

These batteries are soldered onto the PCB and from photos that have been posted are not conveniently located for easy replacement.

10-02-2020, 12:20 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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The K-1 gives you the option of setting the time via its onboard GPS engine. An option if you keep losing time.
10-02-2020, 06:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
The K-1 gives you the option of setting the time via its onboard GPS engine. An option if you keep losing time.
Ah that is good to know thanks.
//M

---------- Post added 10-02-20 at 03:48 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
The majority of the Pentax DSLRs use a Seiko Instruments rechargeable lithium battery such as this:
MS414GE | Seiko Instruments Inc. Micro Energy Division

Note the cycle life ratings. The take-away from this is not to deplete the backup battery as much as possible. The old Hoya era FAQ used to list the amount of time it took to depend and recharge the battery. I no longer remember and it takes too much time trying to find the relevant pages in archive.org. Something on the order of 12-72 hours.

These batteries are soldered onto the PCB and from photos that have been posted are not conveniently located for easy replacement.
OK thanks, so I guess that should change forever my routine to charge the camera battery over night without inserting the spare battery.
//M
10-03-2020, 03:13 PM - 1 Like   #11
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There is further interesting information on the Seiko web page linked to above.

"Cycle Life (Time)100% D.O.D(Depth of Discharge) 50
Cycle Life (Time)20% D.O.D(Depth of Discharge) 500 "

I interpret this as meaning that the expected end of life for the battery occurs after it is fully discharged 50 times; but, it may be discharged 500 times if the discharge is only 20% of capacity. So, battery life is prolonged by avoiding deep discharge cycles.

Since the D-Li90 battery also uses Lithium technology its life cycle might be similarly influenced by depth of discharge.
10-09-2020, 12:26 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I have a K-30 and a Q10 with that problem, but they're about 8 years old. My K-3 (age 7) is still OK until now. My K1-ii is just months old so no problem there for sure.

Since quite a few years ago I stopped leaving the camera without a battery precisely to avoid this problem, in other words whenever I remove a battery to recharge I immediately replace it with another one to avoid discharging the clock battery. It may be why the K-3 internal battery still works long after the K-30' battery gave up.

It is quite a problem if you're going to leave the camera unused for a period of months as it is usually advisable to remove the battery from equipment that is not being used for along time but doing that will probably ruin the internal battery rather quickly.

I'm also wondering if by not replacing the faulty internal battery it might end up leaking acid and ruining the internals of the camera, as often happens with desktop PCs that are left unused for a period of time.
10-11-2020, 10:23 PM   #13
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Thanks all for input on this issue. My conclusion is that, in order not to deplete the onboard battery over time, it is advisable to load the camera with a replacement battery while charging. This should be stated in the camera manual.
//M
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