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09-01-2014, 02:08 PM   #1
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Pentax FluCard Bug(s)?

Today, as I was commuting to work, I happened to notice on my smartphone that 'something' was broadcasting the Flucard_for_Pentax SSID. I checked my K-3 (still on firmware 1.10) and surely, I had forgotten to turn it off. However, the FluCard was NOT turned on. As I came home I made a more thorough research, and indeed:
  • Camera on and FluCard off: I receive a Flucard_for-Pentax SSID broadcast
  • Camera off: No SSID broadcast received
Now, to make matters worse, I realized that this was NOT my SSID name, which is Flucard_for_(my initials)'sPentax and that SSID was not broadcasted any more with the FluCard activated in my camera. It was impossible to establish communication between phone and camera/card. Further checks revealed that even with the FluCard activated, all fields in both 'Communication Info' and 'Firmware Info/Options' were completely blank.

The card has been working flawlessly last time I used it - a couple of weeks or so ago - so, what to do? My common sense told me that I should try 'Reset Transfer Settings' (perhaps after an update of the camera firmware?), but my instinct told me that I should try a simple in-camera format of the FluCard first, even though I had formatted after the last time I used it. And lo and behold: Now communication with the card works as before.

But how on Earth can a simple formatting, which supposedly should only erase pictures (of which there were none on the card) have that effect? Have anybody experienced something similar?

And it turns out that the card still broadcast the old 'Flucard_for_Pentax' SSID whenever the camera is on and the Flucard is deactivated. This may not be a major issue - still, when the card broadcasts, it surely uses some precious battery power for that and for no good reasons at all. Again, have anybody experienced something similar?

09-06-2014, 06:09 AM   #2
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Doesn't the flucard just check for the presence of a file to determine whether or not it will communicate wirelessly? I think that's why the format fixed it.
09-06-2014, 07:14 AM   #3
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If I understand correctly, there was no file on the card before the format
no file ; no custom SSID
format
no file ; now custom SSID

Both before and after the format, the standard SSID was broadcast
If the card looks for files on-board itself to then determine if it should broadcast, seems it would broadcast neither before or after the format.

I agree and would prefer it to not broadcast as well. I suspect many people would not have found this behavior. I think I would have found it only if I was connecting to Wi-Fi in a hotel or something and happened to have the camera on.. Even then, I may have thought there was only another Pentax nearby; it didn't show my custom SSD, after all. At home or where most people connect to known hotspots... not likely to be checking lists of broadcast SSID.

Reminds me of some phones that always broadcast when people may not want them to and stores try to use this to track movement through stores and time standing next to displays or etc. Maybe Pentax uses a satellite to track the cameras anonymously... 'we got a K5ii heading southbound in the northbound lane at 95 miles an hour'. public service stuff.
09-06-2014, 08:32 AM   #4
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How'd I become logged out ?
Is there a time out period ?

09-06-2014, 09:15 AM   #5
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If you turn FLU from ON to OFF at K-3 menu, K-3 turns off Wi-Fi of Flucard. However, your phone may keep showing SSID of Flucard until the phone re-scans SSIDs of the environment. When you power on K-3 next time, K-3 powers on Flucard, but it does not turn on Wi-Fi of Flucard. Your phone may not show SSID of Flucard anymore, because the phone may have already re-scanned the latest SSIDs of the environment.
09-06-2014, 09:49 AM   #6
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I hadn't ever thought about how often the phone refreshes its list
I don't use wireless stuff much...
Sounds like a good suggestion and easy enough to check.
09-06-2014, 11:51 AM   #7
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In regards to forgetting to turn your camera off, you might consider going to the Set Up Menu / Screen 3, titled Auto Power Off, and select an amount of time appropriate for you, for your camera to power itself off. I find that feature very useful myself.
09-07-2014, 11:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-3-lover Quote
If you turn FLU from ON to OFF at K-3 menu, K-3 turns off Wi-Fi of Flucard. However, your phone may keep showing SSID of Flucard until the phone re-scans SSIDs of the environment. When you power on K-3 next time, K-3 powers on Flucard, but it does not turn on Wi-Fi of Flucard. Your phone may not show SSID of Flucard anymore, because the phone may have already re-scanned the latest SSIDs of the environment.
QuoteOriginally posted by Tan68 Quote
If I understand correctly, there was no file on the card before the format no file ; no custom SSID format no file ; now custom SSID Both before and after the format, the standard SSID was broadcast If the card looks for files on-board itself to then determine if it should broadcast, seems it would broadcast neither before or after the format. I agree and would prefer it to not broadcast as well.

Well, all that I can say is that I turned the FluCard on and off in the K-3 menu several times and I also turned the camera on and off in-between. Further, I removed and reinserted the FluCard in the camera several times. Each time I did a refreshed manual connection on the phone. And the behaviour was consitently as I have described; After I had formatted the FluCard in the camera it worked normally as before when the FluCard was set to on, but when I turned it off in the K-3 menu, it began "by itself" to broadcast the standard SSID.

Had the card been doing that earlier, I would have noticed, because my Phone is set up to automatically connect to my wireless home network when available, so connection between phone and camera is always done manually, (and thus, I see the list of all networks avilable), when I use the card at home.

By, as things have turned out, my story doesn't end here:

The odd behaviour I described continued for the next 24 hours or so after i wrote my initial post above. Now, the "self-broadcast" of the standard SSID has suddenly stopped again as mysterioulsly and as abruptly as it first time appeared.

I have been thinking and thinking. The only plausible(?????) explanation I can come up with is that I had left my K-3 in a semi-open window the night before and there was some thunder rumbling aound during that night. So, perhaps-maybe, static electricity could be the culprit?

---------- Post added 09-07-2014 at 08:03 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by chuck_c Quote
In regards to forgetting to turn your camera off, you might consider going to the Set Up Menu / Screen 3, titled Auto Power Off, and select an amount of time appropriate for you, for your camera to power itself off. I find that feature very useful myself.
That's correct chuck_c, and I usually have the Autopower Off set to 3 minutes - but not when I use the FluCard, because then I tend to loose the connection to often.

09-07-2014, 12:42 PM   #9
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I updated mine yesterday and I don't see the same issue you described. However, since there were a couple reports of the card having issues after update from a couple people and my general paranoia I decided to reset the card to normal state before performing the update. Whether that made a difference or not I don't know but I certainly don't feel this device is that robust....
09-07-2014, 06:41 PM   #10
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I wonder if your Flucard automatically started Wi-Fi as if it was inserted to non O-FC1 compatible camera. It does not broadcasts SSID, "FLUCARD_for_PENTAX" but "Pentax_FluCard_WiFi" as a default in this case. You could change the SSID by using the browser in this case as well. Are you sure if you saw "FLUCARD_for_PENTAX" instead of "Pentax_FluCard_WiFi", when it had the odd behavior?

Flucard generates a continuous beep sound (around 12 beeps), when it starts Wi-Fi. Did you hear this sound, when it had the odd behavior? An expected behavior is to generate a single beep only, if K3 has FLU OFF state.
09-08-2014, 03:28 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-3-lover Quote
I wonder if your Flucard automatically started Wi-Fi as if it was inserted to non O-FC1 compatible camera. It does not broadcasts SSID, "FLUCARD_for_PENTAX" but "Pentax_FluCard_WiFi" as a default in this case. You could change the SSID by using the browser in this case as well. Are you sure if you saw "FLUCARD_for_PENTAX" instead of "Pentax_FluCard_WiFi", when it had the odd behavior?
I have only had the FluCard inserted in my K-3, slot 2 - save for the card reader in my laptop. And it did brodcast "FLUCARD_for_PENTAX".

QuoteOriginally posted by K-3-lover Quote
Flucard generates a continuous beep sound (around 12 beeps), when it starts Wi-Fi. Did you hear this sound, when it had the odd behavior? An expected behavior is to generate a single beep only, if K3 has FLU OFF state.
Ah, here's another peculiarity with my card (which I bought brand new from a respected Pentax dealer - srs Microsystems, UK): I configured it slavishly according to the manual, and it worked exactly as described in the manual - EXCEPT FOR those nasty beeps. They have never been there, neither before, nor during, nor after the odd behaviour described in this thread. I only have the blinking message "Data being processed", and I am VERY happy to be without those beeps. For that very same reason I am somewhat reluctant to update my card's firmware. (I somehow overlooked the first update and I am still on firmware and contents versions 00.01.00.00).

It could of course be a hardware failure that I don't get any beeps, but that's certainly a 'failure' that I can - and want - to live with!
09-08-2014, 07:28 AM   #12
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I didn't know it beeped
Was surprised to hear it does
A bit saddened to hear it is 'always on' unless.. something happens
I don't like beeps
09-08-2014, 07:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tan68 Quote
A bit saddened to hear it is 'always on' unless.. something happens
Don't be sad about this. It normally isn't and it shouldn't be!

I believe the unusual intermittent) behaviour of my card will remain a bit of a "mystery" unless......something happenes again.
09-08-2014, 08:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
They have never been there, neither before, nor during, nor after the odd behavior described in this thread.
It should be a defective buzzer hardware of your Flucard. You cannot disable the buzzer sound of O-FC1, while you can for Trek standard Flucard. An issue of the defect is that you may not know without the buzzer sound that the firmware upgrade process is completed. I would suggest you to replace your defective card with a new one and put wish list for Pentax the function to disable the buzzer sound.
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