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09-13-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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Battery drain on PC connection

I just discovered something to beware of.
I left the K20D connected, totally by accident, to the PC after downloading some pics two days ago.
This morning, I discovered the batteries were totally drained, both the body and grip battery.
Utterly flat - both had 0.04V in them. Thinking they were probably knackered by this treatment, I stuck them on
charge, and was surprised to see them both come up to snuff and, so far, hold their charge. I'll see how they fare
over the next days and weeks. Both are original Pentax batteries, one being nearly 7 years old, the other
came with the K20D and is a bit younger of course.
I thought there might have been a time-out, but I suppose it wouldn't make sense for a time-out while connected and downloading, in case of data
loss and/or corruption, so it just depends on not forgetting it's connected.
Well, I won't make that mistake again.

09-13-2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Farside Quote
I just discovered something to beware of.
I left the K20D connected, totally by accident, to the PC after downloading some pics two days ago.
This morning, I discovered the batteries were totally drained, both the body and grip battery.
Utterly flat - both had 0.04V in them. Thinking they were probably knackered by this treatment, I stuck them on
charge, and was surprised to see them both come up to snuff and, so far, hold their charge. I'll see how they fare
over the next days and weeks. Both are original Pentax batteries, one being nearly 7 years old, the other
came with the K20D and is a bit younger of course.
I thought there might have been a time-out, but I suppose it wouldn't make sense for a time-out while connected and downloading, in case of data
loss and/or corruption, so it just depends on not forgetting it's connected.
Well, I won't make that mistake again.
I had a camera connected via USB the other day and the power also got drained like crazy, even when nothing was being transferred. After half an hour, the camera went from basically full to one bar. IDK why the power consumption is that high...

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09-13-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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I have same experience with ist ds and K-01, and I think I failed a memory card on the k-01 by trying a download when the battery was almost discharged.
09-13-2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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I bought both cameras used and never got an external power supply with either - does anyone use the 8.3V power supply when PC connected?
Is it even supplied with the camera when new?
I ask because I have an old Fuji bridge cam which came with an external PSU for this kind of use and also for powering it when using an external monitor
when boring the pants off neighbours with the modern version of a slide show

09-13-2013, 11:59 AM   #5
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Just get a card reader instead, there is really no advantage to uploading them from the camera.
09-13-2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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Ditto what eillot said. I too use a card reader basically because plugging the camera/s into a USB port on the computer drains the batteries.
09-13-2013, 12:23 PM   #7
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I think I'll go back to using the card reader anyway, because one thing happened earlier that gave me pause for thought - the camera slipped off the table and I caught it in time. If it had pulled the USB cable or landed on it, it might have done some damage. Pain in the donkey though card swapping is, it's less liable to cause much physical damage.
09-13-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Farside Quote
because one thing happened earlier that gave me pause for thought - the camera slipped off the table and I caught it in time
Glad you have good reflexes. I don't know what type computer you have but I bought a card reader that fits into a slot where the dvd/cd drives go. I have an extra slot, then you plug the unit into a USB port connection on your motherboard. Most motherboards have more than two USB connections on them.

09-13-2013, 12:48 PM   #9
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I think using the USB cable is better, but it depends how often you are uploading files to the PC. If you are uploading 10 times a day on average, like me, for an indoor macro setup and when you are removing the SD card for that, its contacts are quickly worn out and you can dispose your camera.

I have made a semi permanent USB connection with an extra USB cable between the (Pentax) cable that is connected to the camera and the PC. The camera is connected and disconnected in the middle between the two cables, which also saves the USB connectors on the camera and on the PC. So, my take is that the USB option is usually better because you are running less risk loosing the camera because of worn out connectors.

Wikipedia says that the lifetime of a USB connector is approximately 1,500 connect/disconnect cycles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_connection

Last edited by Kobayashi.K; 09-13-2013 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Link Wikipedia added.
09-14-2013, 10:17 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kobayashi.K Quote
I think using the USB cable is better, but it depends how often you are uploading files to the PC. If you are uploading 10 times a day on average, like me, for an indoor macro setup and when you are removing the SD card for that, its contacts are quickly worn out and you can dispose your camera.

I have made a semi permanent USB connection with an extra USB cable between the (Pentax) cable that is connected to the camera and the PC. The camera is connected and disconnected in the middle between the two cables, which also saves the USB connectors on the camera and on the PC. So, my take is that the USB option is usually better because you are running less risk loosing the camera because of worn out connectors.

Wikipedia says that the lifetime of a USB connector is approximately 1,500 connect/disconnect cycles.
USB - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
And that's why I stopped using the card-swap method - both for convenience and to avoid wearing out the camera-side SD contacts. The USB life isn't great either, so I might do what you suggest and put a permanent short USB fly-lead in place. This is one connection that should have been duplicated on the battery grip.
09-15-2013, 06:44 AM   #11
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I also did a search to find out about the lifetime of SD card connectors. The rare data I found says 10,000 cycles. If you remove the card 3 times a day, for 300 days a year (which is quite much), the connector has a lifetime of about 10,000/(3x300)=11 year, which seems long enough.
However, the connector in the camera has also a spring-mechanism to eject the card, with its own lifetime. That will probably shorten it a bit, but with these numbers it seems less worse than I first thought.
09-15-2013, 05:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kobayashi.K Quote
I also did a search to find out about the lifetime of SD card connectors. The rare data I found says 10,000 cycles. If you remove the card 3 times a day, for 300 days a year (which is quite much), the connector has a lifetime of about 10,000/(3x300)=11 year, which seems long enough.
However, the connector in the camera has also a spring-mechanism to eject the card, with its own lifetime. That will probably shorten it a bit, but with these numbers it seems less worse than I first thought.
Ah well; that's not so bad, then. By that time (allowing for it not failing tomorrow and that MTBF figures have any real meaning outside of actuaries/marketeers offices), the camera will be electronic dusty junk and not used or recycled anyway.
09-15-2013, 05:48 PM   #13
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I guess if you were really worried something like the EyeFi would be a good solution, no wear on any connections that way.
09-16-2013, 03:06 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kobayashi.K Quote
Wikipedia says that the lifetime of a USB connector is approximately 1,500 connect/disconnect cycles.
That would be pretty nasty cheap USB socket. Most sockets are rated at 10,000 cycles (it is essentially down to the thickness and quality of the contact plating), as are the SD card connectors. Failure is usually classed as the point when the contact resistance increases by say 50% over the initial value - the connector will probably be OK for data well beyond that. Also, the testing is done at a high cycle rate of something like 600 connects/disconnects per hour, which is a quite harsh test. In real life, your USB cable will probably die before the socket does.
09-16-2013, 07:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
I guess if you were really worried something like the EyeFi would be a good solution, no wear on any connections that way.
Yes I looked at that. The revieuws are mixed but it is generally considered too slow for RAW+ max quality JPEG and some say it drains the battery.
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