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12-13-2011, 01:51 PM   #1
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K-x battery problems

I have a Pentax K-x. It is in its second year, I've got to grips with most of its abilities but keep the
handbook pretty close as I refer to it quite regularily! However, a problem has arisen which is not covered
by the instruction manual and I'd like to throw it to the forum to see if anyone has the answer.
I run the camera on 4 energiser 2450mAh rechargeable batteries and have a spare charged set in the
camera case. A few months ago I got a great photo opportunity of some giant stingrays and I switched
into movie mode. After about 30 seconds the camera switched off and 'battery depleted' sign came up. I
quickly switched to spares but got nothing. I cursed myself thinking that I had forgotten to charge them
and lost out on the opportunity.
However, on returning home and recharging everything I found that I have an inconsistent problem. The
'depleted' sign comes up sometimes when the batteries should be OK. Changing the position of the
batteries in the camera sometimes gets the green battery full sign and allows me to continue snapping.
Sometimes it doesn't. I looked closely to see if I had perhaps one faulty battery but even with my pretty
sensetive voltmeter nothing showed up.
I bought brand new (not energiser) rechargeables and charged them up, today I tried them and nothing
happened, the camera would not even switch on. Reverted to old batteries and camera shows all OK.
The only thing left is to consider whether the charger is working properly. Anybody got any alternative
ideas?

12-13-2011, 02:25 PM   #2
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Check out the AA battery sticky, might give some ideas.
www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-field-accessories/92821-battery-k-x-other-cameras-take-aas.html
12-13-2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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Had the same problem with my camera. Found that using varta batteries were the best, the camera did not like eveready batteries. Check to see if there has been a firmware update
12-13-2011, 02:28 PM   #4
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Have you updated Firmware
QuoteQuote:
Changes to V1.01

  • Added three kinds of particular effect shooting function (Pre-set 1,2 and 3) on [Cross Processing].
  • Added assignment of Cross Processing function to the green button.
  • Improved accuracy of Battery Level Indicator under specific conditions and improved stability for general performance.
Latest K-x Firmware Update : Software Downloads : PENTAX

12-13-2011, 02:55 PM   #5
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The 2500/2450 mAh Energizers are notorious for developing various faults over time. You've had them a while, so good chance there are issues. Specifically, rapid discharge syndrome (where the battery goes flat in a few days, even though you haven't used it) and high internal resistance (where the battery can't maintain high voltage under load) are common problems.

You have to measure voltage under heavy load. Under no load, even very, very depleted NiMH will read high voltages. Put a 1.5 ohm 5 watt resistor in parallel with each battery to read the voltage.

You could also get a charger like the Maha C-9000 that lets you discharge the battery and measure the amount of charge left. It's excellent for taking the guess work out of resolving battery problems. Without it, it's hard to tell if it's the camera, the batteries, or the charger that's at fault.

There could be many reasons why you're having issues with the new cells. Perhaps try a few charge / discharge cycles in another device to get them broken in. Also give the terminals a good polish (lots of elbow grease on a rough cloth like denim) in case there's some oxide buildup.

I assume you're not using version 1.0 firmware.

What kind of charger are you using?

Overall, genuine eneloops will be the best battery for long term reliability.
12-13-2011, 07:40 PM   #6
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OutOfFocus hit all the points I had to learn about 12 months ago or so. He might even have been the one that wrote a very helpful reply to my inquiry. The other thing to check are the contacts in the camera itself. They can get corroded or accumulate stray bits of gunk that can impact performance in my experience too.

I'd recommend:
Update firmware to latest version
Buy genuine Eneloops
Check contacts in camera

Just be careful about the Eneloops as counterfeits are now on the market. Make sure you buy from a reputable seller because sometimes saving a $ ends up costing you a lot more in the long run.
http://www.amazon.com/forum/rechargeable%20batteries/Tx9RMJQ5B93U1L?_encodin...FxGZ2UN380QSO0
Good luck.
12-13-2011, 08:14 PM   #7
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Upgrade K-x firmware to 1.01, then buy Eneloops....... no more battery problems
12-13-2011, 09:19 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by OutOfFocus Quote
You have to measure voltage under heavy load. Under no load, even very, very depleted NiMH will read high voltages. Put a 1.5 ohm 5 watt resistor in parallel with each battery to read the voltage.
I thought couple of images to illustrate this couldn't hurt. I rummaged around and found an ancient Energizer 1850 mAh battery that has somehow managed to escape being recycled. This was a decent enough battery in its time, but that was long ago. Now it exhibits high internal resistance.

The first photo shows the open circuit (unloaded) voltage: 1.271 volts.


The second photo shows the voltage a few moments later, very soon after I connected a 1.0 ohm resistor in parallel to the battery. It now reads 42.3 millivolts, or 0.042 volts. Ouch.


After the load was removed, the battery quickly recovered to a high open circuit voltage.

This is a very high load, probably somewhat higher than what the K-x actually draws, but you get the idea.

An eneloop (not shown) maintained a voltage slightly over 1 volt.

12-14-2011, 11:55 AM   #9
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Thanks for reply, batteries are suspect at the moment. I get different readings on the battery condition meter in the camera after playing musical chairs with the batteries got three different readings! However, this does not explain brand new Powercel rechargeables failing to even light up the on/off switch.
Have purchased new Eneloop batteries (reputed to be the world's best) and a new charger and will try the results later today.
12-14-2011, 11:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Upgrade K-x firmware to 1.01, then buy Eneloops....... no more battery problems
OK now you have got me! No idea on how to make firmware upgrade. Didn't even know it existed. Where can I find information on how to do it?
12-14-2011, 02:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deigh Quote
Where can I find information on how to do it?
Get the v1.02 firmware here:

Latest K-x Firmware Update : Software Downloads : PENTAX

Instructions are on that page too, and full instructions are in the README.TXT file in the download, but basically:

- format in the camera a blank SD card;
- put into your camera brand new GOOD batteries (eg NEW Energizer Ultimate Lithiums);
- download the firmware onto your PC;
- run the downloaded EXE on your PC;
- copy the extracted Fwdc206b.bin file from your PC to the root of the SD card (using your card reader and PC);
- put the SD card into your camera;
- Turn the camera power on while pressing the MENU button.

The firmware update will start and in a few minutes your camera will be updated.

- When the camera says the firmware update is done, restart the camera.
12-14-2011, 02:13 PM   #12
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firmware

Extraordinary!! Just had a read through instruction book and there is no mention of it there...Thanks for info will have a look at it today.

Just put new Eneloop batteries in, even bought a new charger just to make sure. Instant success, all readings good. Will purchase another set of Eneloops and write off two year old Energisers.

Thanks again
12-14-2011, 05:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deigh Quote
Just put new Eneloop batteries in, even bought a new charger just to make sure. Instant success
Good move. Eneloops are great batteries. I have lots They also perform really well in flashes too.
12-15-2011, 02:22 PM   #14
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Four days since I found the Pentaxforums site and I'm eternally grateful, Living in the Wop Wops of New Zealand makes it very difficult to get technical assistance when trouble strikes. Since finding the forum I've bought and installed new batteries with a new charger, found out about upgrades, downloaded them into my computer and this morning into the camera. Not sure what effect it will have but camera switches on and works and that is a milestone. Thanks to all who offered help and advice.

Since this problem is going to effect a lot of Pentax owners can I ask if someone will put all the conclusions and tests together in one single article so that answer seekers will not have to search their way through all the correspondence to get the correct result?

I shall be organising a donation to the forum shortly.

Thanks again and a merry Xmas to all.
12-15-2011, 04:01 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deigh Quote
Four days since I found the Pentaxforums site and I'm eternally grateful, Living in the Wop Wops of New Zealand makes it very difficult to get technical assistance when trouble strikes. Since finding the forum I've bought and installed new batteries with a new charger, found out about upgrades, downloaded them into my computer and this morning into the camera. Not sure what effect it will have but camera switches on and works and that is a milestone. Thanks to all who offered help and advice.

Since this problem is going to effect a lot of Pentax owners can I ask if someone will put all the conclusions and tests together in one single article so that answer seekers will not have to search their way through all the correspondence to get the correct result?

I shall be organising a donation to the forum shortly.

Thanks again and a merry Xmas to all.
Glad to hear it worked out for you You'll find this place is the place for all things Pentax... questions, problems, suggestions, information, whatever.

There use to be a "sticky thread" at the top of the forum about AA battery problems, but I guess that was removed as the K-x is now over 2 years old.
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