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02-04-2015, 06:48 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by itsahabit Quote
I am currenly on my second FLU Card. The first one appeared to have been used previously as it had a few pictures on it obviously taken in someone's house to try it!
It worked for about five uses only before failing to connect to anything. It would beep away and turn grey but there was no WiFi signal, nothing could see it. After a very long wasted lunch hour in my local Pentax dealer's shop they agreed it didn't seem to work and replaced it. I left them attempting to restore the pictures to it as the were very interested in seeing who was playing with it before me!
While the new card worked i was still flaky and unreliable. It would drop the signal on a regular basis and often refuse to connect at all. I gave in using it until I saw the first firmware update. After installing the first update the card functioned much better than it ever had before.I did find that sometimes I would have to take it out and put it in once or twice before it would work but once it did it would be flawless for ages... unless I removed it for any reason, then I'd have to sometimes format it in slot one before it would work again but it always did work eventually.
Then I made a huge mistake. I updated the firmware to the current version. Since then it has become totally unstable. It will beep and flash the symbol. You can find the FLU Card SSID but then the issues start, sometimes it won't connect: as soon as I select the SSID the Flu Card appeaars to reset the connection and starts the initiation cycle again. Every now and then it will connect but as soon as you try to open Chrome it resets again. I've tried lots ofdifferent devices, cleared caches and reformated in slot 1 and on my PC all to no avail. I've redownloaded the firmware and reinstalled using different machines to eliminate an issue with the file/PC but no joy.
I'm trying now with the tool above. If that doesn't fix it I'm going to need to wipe the flash and install the last version, anyone experienced that or even have the original firmware?
I'm only glad I didn't pay for the FLU card as it was free with the camera. I'd be really disappointed if this pain had cost me money!
I am sorry to see you've got (as most of us) plenty of problems with the flu-card.

So far, the common knowledge about the flu-cards is that is very unstable. Neither Pentax, Ricoh or Trek have addressed the issues with real interest neither have acknowledged the problems. Besides issuing some firmware updates, the cards seems to be stable for a while until you do something (like removing the card from camera) and everything goes bad again.

But, even if the flu-card performed flawlessly, there are certain limitations that makes it "unusable" for some of us. Wireless range is limited to a few feet, meaning this would only work in studios or enclosed places. It will be pointless using it outdoors. Besides, power consumption of the flu-card will drain your batteries after less than 100 pictures. Again, useless outdoors.

And most importantly: IT IS NOT RELIABLE! I wouldn't use it even if received free. I will not risk my pictures to any device that is so unstable. PERIOD.

I honestly think Ricoh/Pentax should pull out this flu-cards from the stores. They could easily ruin the brand's reputation in a split second.

Just yesterday, I got a promotional e-mail from Ricoh, promoting the K-S1 "sweets collection" for Valentine's Day, including the flu-card with the promise of WIFI connection from camera to your social networks.... Big mistake here! I wonder how many of those cameras will be returned for problems caused by just the flu-card and not delivering the WIFI promise as advertised...


02-04-2015, 06:55 AM   #17
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My thanks go out to K-3-lover! My new hero :-)
I just did a full format with write using the format tool above.
Once completed I inserted my FLU Card into slot 2 and turned on the camera to see what happened. No format on the camera in either slot or reinstall of firmware, just fired up and to my surprise, heard the beeps start up right away. That hasn't happened in ages. If I got a beep sequence at all it was a long time starting and rarely completed correctly.
I went to the wireless settings on my Surface Pro and there was my FLU SSID... I didn't get excited, I've been here before! I hit connect expecting the same as before but what do I know, straight in. I still was aware that it had got this far previously only to play up when Chrome tried to connect. This time Chrome went right in looking OK!
I've tried to destruct test this, connecting and disconnecting from several devices, turning off Live View and making changes to menu settings (ALWAYS killed it in the past) but still worked perfectly as soon as I hit Live View again! I#ve deleted images and changed my storage format on the fly... still working. I've turned the camera on and off several times, still came right back up without a problem.
The SD Card Association Format Tool appears to wave a magic wand over the FLU Card.It now seems tobe working better than it ever has previously. I still expect the flakiness to appear again at some point, but when it does, its straight back in my Surface for a a full format with this tool.

Thanks again to K-3-lover for posting it.

---------- Post added 02-04-15 at 02:27 PM ----------

I understand where you are coming from rburgoss.

The FLU Card does not give a simple and reliable connection. It is difficult for anyone who isn't happy around technology to use it when there is a good chance it will need an intervention or two every now and then. I would love to see the issues resolved and improved support made available.

That said, I actually love it when it works!

I do some astrophotography and it is a great help for that. I can operate my camera with ease and can review the results immediately, all of which is difficult otherwise.I often demonstrate astronomy and astrophotography and that is so much simpler when you can show the images on a larger screen right there during the session. It would be so much better if there was further functionality to use it in interval and composite modes.
I have also found the range quite impressive for the size of the device. I can actually sit indoors while my camera is outside in the cold.
The FLU Card doesn't appear to impact upon the battery noticeably unless its actually connected and then it doesn't appear much different to using Live View on the camera, I've certainly not noticed anything major yet.
There are many things I do not like about its reliability but it is actually not bad when it comes to control. A bit of time and effort from Ricoh and the developer would not go amiss here but the basic premise is good. I'm not bothered about sending pics to social networks but would love to be able to trigger interval/composite modes over WiFi.
My friend with a Nikon was stunned by what it can do. He has built in WiFi but it offers no control at all, its just for transferring images. There's potential here for a really good brand benefit.

Come on Ricoh, put some work into FLU, it could be really good.
02-04-2015, 06:41 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by itsahabit Quote
My thanks go out to K-3-lover! My new hero :-)
You are welcome! I still do not know why the formatter has resolved your issue. There are several issues which prevent you fully formatting Flucard:

1) Flucard does not work with many PC (card slots) and USB card readers (a cause of the issue may be that Flucard requires more electric power than the card readers can supply)
2) Many camera vendors do not recommend to use Windows formatter (It is not fully compliant with the standards that SD Association defines)
3) K-3 does not have an option for the full format but the quick format only (Canon SLR has the full format option, low level format)
02-04-2015, 08:38 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-3-lover Quote
You are welcome! I still do not know why the formatter has resolved your issue. There are several issues which prevent you fully formatting Flucard:

1) Flucard does not work with many PC (card slots) and USB card readers (a cause of the issue may be that Flucard requires more electric power than the card readers can supply)
2) Many camera vendors do not recommend to use Windows formatter (It is not fully compliant with the standards that SD Association defines)
3) K-3 does not have an option for the full format but the quick format only (Canon SLR has the full format option, low level format)
Accidental or circumstantial, some people have found a procedure and combination of "manouvers" to bring back the flucard from its sudden and many times, unpredictable state of coma.

Even so, your comment may be right, but somehow, makes the problem bigger and not easier to solve. Based on your comments, the flucard should not be used under windows, but the K3(camera for which was designed for), cannot format it properly. Then, a Canon camera for which the card has not been designed for, can affectively format it.

In shorter words: something is really wrong with this picture. Most of us at least have some experience with memory cards and digital cameras, but newcomers (smartphone shooters) lured into the K-S1 with flucard ( bundle), sounds like a terrible first time customer experience, which is something Pentax does not need: a bad reputation from first hand users.

02-05-2015, 01:20 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote
Accidental or circumstantial, some people have found a procedure and combination of "manouvers" to bring back the flucard from its sudden and many times, unpredictable state of coma.

Even so, your comment may be right, but somehow, makes the problem bigger and not easier to solve. Based on your comments, the flucard should not be used under windows, but the K3(camera for which was designed for), cannot format it properly. Then, a Canon camera for which the card has not been designed for, can affectively format it.

In shorter words: something is really wrong with this picture. Most of us at least have some experience with memory cards and digital cameras, but newcomers (smartphone shooters) lured into the K-S1 with flucard ( bundle), sounds like a terrible first time customer experience, which is something Pentax does not need: a bad reputation from first hand users.
I absolutely agree. Pentax needs to provide a lot more support and information for the FLU card and should not be bundling it to first time users. There seems to be a very fundamental and likely simple problem causing many of the issues with the card. It could be at least repairable by adding a low level format to the K3 menu. The only advice from Pentax it's to format in slot one, an obvious admission of the problems but not a solution. It had worked for me previously but not after the last firmware update.
I do also agree that using it in a pc card slot is a probable issue. I think it has caused me problems in the past and possibly this time with the firmware update.

The most annoying thing is that Pentax could tell us about the formatting tool, it would at least stop us having to search for it.

I think a lot of issues result from putting the card into an external reader to download photographs. I think you need to ensure it has run through it's series of beeps before opening it and also before removing it. I've noticed my K3 does not switch of until the beeps complete if the FLU card is installed. I don't think that was always the case.

I do not understand why formatting helps wireless performance. It doesn't effect the firmware directly. Anyone understand why it does have this impact?
02-05-2015, 02:16 AM   #21
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FluCard 16GB - piece of junk?

How about your photos stored on this 16GB card then? To the trash? It looks you are describing piece of junk.

-----
QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote
If a "Memory Card Error" shows upon turning on camera, remove flucard and perform a low level format in a computer capable of doing so. Low level format is not possible in camera. After doing a low level format, then perform a logical format in camera using Slot 1 (K3) then return flucard to slot 2. This should fix the problem.
02-05-2015, 04:24 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Prakticant Quote
How about your photos stored on this 16GB card then? To the trash? It looks you are describing piece of junk.

-----
Exactly!

Just to understand within context:

Would you trust a FLU to shoot your client's wedding?
Would you shoot your once in a lifetime trip to the Himalayas.... with a FLU in your camera?
02-05-2015, 01:46 PM   #23
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Flaky FLU Card- An update

After yesterday's success I set out today to break it again... and succeeded.

DO NOT FORMAT THE FLU CARD IN THE CAMERA!
I managed to break it again by doing that. After reformating on the PC with the SD Format tool its all good again.
If you want to get rid of your photos from the card delete them (there is an option to delete all in the camera menu), don't format as I've always done.

As for trusting the FLU card to take pictures at a wedding, I have no problem. It has never lost photos or become inaccessible. Its flakiness relates only to WiFi performance.
As it is only a measly 16GB and I shoot RAW I don't tend to use it except for when I'm shooting with WiFi,then I set to RAW+ and use it for JPG so i can view them on my laptop and make adjustments as needed.
Its never lost a photo even when its gone flaky on WiFi.

02-05-2015, 02:56 PM   #24
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You've been lucky. That means you've never got the "memory card error", just WIFI problems; because if the error shows, then the low level format is the only way to bring the card from the dead.... of course, with everything in it gone forever.
02-05-2015, 03:07 PM   #25
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My name was card, flu card [']

Pls also do NOT format HDD in the computer Nor sweet the coffee in a cup Cheers

-----
QuoteOriginally posted by itsahabit Quote
DO NOT FORMAT THE FLU CARD IN THE CAMERA!
02-05-2015, 04:40 PM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote
Would you trust a FLU to shoot your client's wedding?
Would you shoot your once in a lifetime trip to the Himalayas.... with a FLU in your camera?
I think that K-3 idea to put a fast and reliable card in Slot-1 and Flucard in Slot-2 is good one. I do not store a full resolution photo to Flucard, because it is too slow to transfer to a device. A low resolution photo stored in Flucard is for preview by a tablet. I will keep the wedding photo stored in the card at slot-1 and throw away the low resolution photo in Flucard.
02-06-2015, 05:25 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-3-lover Quote
I think that K-3 idea to put a fast and reliable card in Slot-1 and Flucard in Slot-2 is good one. I do not store a full resolution photo to Flucard, because it is too slow to transfer to a device. A low resolution photo stored in Flucard is for preview by a tablet. I will keep the wedding photo stored in the card at slot-1 and throw away the low resolution photo in Flucard.
It's an excellent idea, very useful to be able to quickly review photos on a big screen. While the FLU card does seem to have issues I will still use it for some situations.I would never use it as my main card though, the RAW files are always going to slot one.
I do think Pentax should be putting a lot more effort in to these issues. They should also be working with the manufacturer to add more functionality. I would love to see the composite and interval shooting enabled.
The other thing I would remark upon is how little you can find with a search of the net. I imagine there are a lot of FLU cards out in the wild as they were given away free for some time. There is very little out there, much less than I would anticipate if they were as bad as my experience. Maybe there's a problem with a few K3's causing the card issue or maybe there's just a few dodgy cards. I can't believe the rest of them are sat in a drawer somewhere never being used. Maybe that's why Pentax aren't recognising an issue, there's just too few returns?
02-10-2015, 12:05 PM   #28
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I ran into the same problem with a flu-card I bought months ago. I tried to follow the steps given by rburgoss above but I'm a Mac user. My first attempts to simply erase the card using Disk Utility failed to work. I'd get Memory Card Error on the K-3 and the Mac couldn't recognize the volume on the card, declaring it to be unrecognized.

So, there being no "Low-level Format" option available in Disk Utility, I tried activating the Security Options on the Erase panel and I used the three- times erase setting (which took about 45 minutes) and that has done the job.

I loaded the card into the SD1 slot and formatted it again with the camera (previously, this had resulted in the Memory Card Error message) and then I moved it to the SD2 slot and the wifi is being generated.

Phew, and thanks to rburgoss for the detailed instructions above.

Dave
02-10-2015, 01:16 PM   #29
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Thanks to you Dave;

Your story, no matter how similar or different resulted from my own findings, only confirms my conclusions about the flu-card:

1: It is not reliable! Best case scenario: Forget about tethering and file transfer for the rest of the day. Worst scenario: loose a series very valuable shots for which you've been paid for.

2: It takes at least some advanced knowledge in computer / digital photography / memory card use experience to get the flucard up and running again; but without any guarantees about when or under which conditions the card will fail again.

3: Given the prior two situations, bundling the flucard targeted at newcomers in real digital photography (K-S1 kit "sweetes collecton" as Valentines Day gift), the only thing for sure here, is a lot of very bad first hand customer experiences.


This year 2015 could be the time Pentax shines again as a major player in quality, reliable, durable and dependable photo gear; but it just takes one "bad apple inside the basket" to ruin the whole batch. All the good vibrations produced today by recent announcements (FF body, K-S2, pro level ff zooms, new small flash, new kit zoom, new gear like the Theta or WG-M1) can be erased buy just one bad product not even developed or produced by Ricoh-Pentax.

Ricoh-Pentax: I know you read this and other forums. I know you care about what is said here. (It would be foolish not to). Do yourselves and us, hundreds of loyal and unconditional customers, a favor: Pull out the flu-card from the stores (and bundles). Awknowledge the problem and fix it for good for all the flucards actually in customer's hands. Return to the WIFI (card) market with a reliable, proven and guaranteed product.

We have received enough bashing from canikonians and from media "gurus". We (neither you) need or want more bashing coming from newbies that jumped from a 12 mpix smartphone who fell for the K-S1 Valentines Gift bundle.
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