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01-31-2010, 06:05 PM   #1
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Cold, cold batteries = headache (help?)

I just returned from a winter photo workshop, which was fun and informative.

The first morning, temps began at -20' F, then rose to about +15. These were the extremes for the whole weekend.

I have the K20, and had two rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries on hand. I alternated them, keeping the unused one in my shirt pocket, nice and warm.

Here's the problem: the batteries lasted only 2-3 minutes at a time, compared to the other shooters, some who switched much less often, while others had no battery problems whatsoever. They were all shooting either Canon or Nikon.

It was very frustrating to keep switching batteries, especially in the extreme cold.

Is this a Pentax problem? Could it be the battery type? I know cold and batteries don't mix well, but I am perplexed as to why I had such a problem while others did not.

Any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks.

01-31-2010, 09:55 PM   #2
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Pentax Batteries

Hi n,
I've expierenced pretty much the same thing you have, in a warmer enviroment
Its frustrating.I've posted questions in regards to maybe mode settings offer
different levels of effiency.No intelligent answers on that one. Have a 300mhz
dual trace scope that cost 6 K7's ,took a load resister and ran a couple of test.
Av is most efficent,if thats any help.Cant really quantify because varibles are
so dynamic.I'm at the point were I'm thinking of putting 2, 6 volt gel cells
in series,getting K20 power supply( another bleepin $100),the inverter I
carry in the jeep,throw it all in a back pack,and see how long that last.
Good luck
02-01-2010, 03:55 AM   #3
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A couple of hot pockets in a blimp might work.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Camera-cold-proof-rain-cover-for-Canon-7D-5D-40D-50D-UK_...item5ad67e10bd

Thank you
Russell

Last edited by Russell-Evans; 02-01-2010 at 04:07 AM.
02-01-2010, 04:34 AM   #4
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After a few unpleasant surprises re battery logevity in cold weather I decided to do a kind of unscientific test with different type of rechargeable batteryes. Bear in mind, that I use K100D, so the results might be different for K20 or even K10.
I found out that the best were Eneloops, that did not let me down at all. They lasted 3 hours of shooting in a very cold environment (ca. -8C), while with other type of battery (Ansmann and GP) I could get maximum 45minutes (Ansmann) and only 30 minutes (approx.) with GP...

I hope that this helps...

Best regards,
Bostjan

02-02-2010, 04:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
Hi n,
I've expierenced pretty much the same thing you have, in a warmer enviroment
Its frustrating.I've posted questions in regards to maybe mode settings offer
different levels of effiency.No intelligent answers on that one. Have a 300mhz
dual trace scope that cost 6 K7's ,took a load resister and ran a couple of test.
Av is most efficent,if thats any help.Cant really quantify because varibles are
so dynamic.I'm at the point were I'm thinking of putting 2, 6 volt gel cells
in series,getting K20 power supply( another bleepin $100),the inverter I
carry in the jeep,throw it all in a back pack,and see how long that last.
Good luck
Depending on Ah rating of the batteries, they could outlast you, that could prove to be a heavy pack.

Cheers, Mike.
02-02-2010, 04:42 PM   #6
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how about a battery grip that accepts AA batteries and a few packs of Energizer Ultimate's?

It sure sounds like your batteries are defective, or something else is wrong ... lithium ion batteries don't like it hot, but they shouldn't mind the cold (judging from everything I've read.

If you're interested in going the DIY route with an external battery setup, consider this little gizmo:

3A Adjustable step down switching voltage regulator

If you want help with a diy route, let me know ... electronics engineering is another hobby of mine.
02-06-2010, 10:54 AM   #7
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Batteries

Hope I'm not too late,out of breath from carryng all that stuff around(pant,pant,pant)
Is a grip available for K20D that accepts AA cells? What I was referring to, are
OEM Lithium-ion's(D-LI50) , pentax grip for K20 takes only that battery.
If there is something availible in aftermarket,that I might of missed?
Could someone point me in right direction? Very interested,would love to see it.
after I catch my breath

Had to add... took look at reg. like it! thanks just, got me thinkin

Last edited by BillM; 02-06-2010 at 11:02 AM.
02-06-2010, 12:58 PM   #8
D W
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Hook up an external battery with the right power adapter plug and proper output voltage to the DC in terminal and keep the pack next to your body where (hopefully) it is warmer.

02-06-2010, 01:19 PM   #9
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Batteries

Thanks DW, you folks know "warm" up there, a buddy just dropped off 2-6vdc gels
from emergency lights that were gutted in rehab he's on.
going to do exactly that.
02-06-2010, 03:49 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
Is a grip available for K20D that accepts AA cells?
The OwnUser FBH-P3 grip.

QuoteQuote:
It is important for the power of strobe or take photo for a long time,
DX-FBH possesses direct DC IN, OUTPUT : +9V 3A
That would make making an external power source easier that trying to find the connector for the body.


http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-OWNUSER-Battery-Grip-for-Pentax-K10D-D-BG2-DBG2_W0QQ...item3a57785db8



Thank you
Russell

Last edited by Russell-Evans; 02-06-2010 at 04:00 PM.
02-06-2010, 04:11 PM   #11
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You didn't mention if your batteries are genuine Pentax or cheap and dirty knock offs.
Where I live, -20F is almost shirtsleeve weather. I routinely take my cameras out for hours at a time when it's colder than that, with no battery problems.
But, I don't buy $10.00 batteries for my cameras either.
02-06-2010, 04:31 PM   #12
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Batteries

hi wheatfield, Mine are OEM by pentax, would imagine nnyorkies are also.
Thanks Russ, Batteries friend gave me, when in series, will source 12vdc@24AH
justDIY showed link to a great regulator, think I'm going to pop for the K20
power supply,already have a couple inverters that can source supply,that way
like you mentioned,there will be no connectivity issues. Whole thing will weigh
about 6lbs(3 kilos). If I can get a long enough cord, nnyorkie will be good to go too!
02-06-2010, 07:21 PM   #13
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Digi-Key - H10485-ND (Manufacturer - MQ172-3SA-CV(50))



Thank you
Russell
02-06-2010, 08:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
Whole thing will weigh
about 6lbs(3 kilos). If I can get a long enough cord, nnyorkie will be good to go too!
problem with 7.2-8.4 volts over a "long cord" is voltage drop. unless your cord is very sturdy, trying to draw several amps at such a low voltage is going to cause a big drop in voltage, possibly leading to malfunction.

my suggestion of the regulator is to run 12-18 volts over the cord, and then regulate it down to whatever the camera needs (my guess 8.4 volts?) right before connecting to the camera (or even put the regulator inside the grip.)
02-06-2010, 10:23 PM   #15
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I did a 4 hr hike today with my K10D along (same battery). It was a nice normal Adirondack day. The temperature range went from +15 F in the early afternoon down to +5 F by sundown. The last time I charged the battery was 3 weeks ago. I took around 70 shots today and the battery is still fine. It's the Pentax battery that came with my camera 2 1/2 years ago. If your batterys are only lasting a few minutes then something is wrong with the batterys.
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