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12-17-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
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K-x Battery Issue

I purchased some Sony Cycle Energy NiMH batteries with charger and I already had some Duracell branded Enerloops.

Both sets of batteries charge up fine with the Sony Charger to 1.34 volts when measured with a multimeter. The Duracells work well and hold their charge well. The Sony's however register empty on the battery meter of the K-x. When I check them with the multimeter they still show 1.32 volts. I have never dared to use these batteries because of what they register on the K-x meter.

What could be causing the meter to register this way, or do you think the batteries are defective?

12-17-2010, 10:36 AM   #2
elg
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QuoteOriginally posted by gkamieneski Quote
What could be causing the meter to register this way, or do you think the batteries are defective?
From what I have read about the batteries - they must be not holding voltage under the load. When you measure them, they are not under load. In K-x - they are under load (display, SR, etc).

Cheers,
elg (Erika)
12-17-2010, 10:45 AM   #3
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Have you upgraded to the latest firmware? There was a release that was suppose to help with battery meter problems. I'm not familiar with the batteries you're using, but if you google around, enloop rechargeable batteries work very well with the K-x. That's what I use.
12-17-2010, 10:52 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by gkamieneski Quote
I purchased some Sony Cycle Energy NiMH batteries with charger and I already had some Duracell branded Enerloops.

Both sets of batteries charge up fine with the Sony Charger to 1.34 volts when measured with a multimeter. The Duracells work well and hold their charge well. The Sony's however register empty on the battery meter of the K-x. When I check them with the multimeter they still show 1.32 volts. I have never dared to use these batteries because of what they register on the K-x meter.

What could be causing the meter to register this way, or do you think the batteries are defective?
OK most NiMH including LSD type - like eneloop, Duracell Pre-Charged and Sony Cycle-Energy etc - come "hot off the charger", as if it were, at about 1.45-1.47V - after about a day or so they do settle to about 1.39V for LSDs
- in fact my eneloops which were charged 30 days ago still measure 1.39V open circuit (no load).

Mine is a mere cheapo digital MM which has been pretty accurate.
Of course your multi-meter may give different absolute readings.

But with both your readings and the K-x actions -
I would suspect the charging of the batteries could be a possible issue
or one or more of the new batteries is faulty.

Have you tried charging your new Sony Cycle-Energy in the charger you've used previously for the Duracell Pre-Charged?

Also are all 4 of the new Cycle-Energy in good condition?
as a single under-par cell can bring the whole set down.

Here's a crude elimination test -
use 3 of the good Duracell Pre-Charged -
try the new Cycle-Energy one at a time
and see if all 4 in turn manage to power the K-x -
if any show lower than normal levels then I would suspect those.

BTW - if the Sony Cycle-Energy have white top (surrounding the positive tip) and marked made in Japan on the batteries - then those also are confirmed re-badged eneloops.

12-17-2010, 11:46 AM   #5
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Original Poster
The charger I am using, successfully with the Duracell/Eneloops and unsuccessfully with the Sony Cycle Energy batteries is the Sony charger that came with the Sony batteries. The Duracells have the white top, are made in Japan and are definitely Eneloops while the Sony battery looks identical with the white top but are made in China so probably are not.

Mixing batteries; isn't that like removing a tag from a mattress? Won't I be arrested? Just kidding. Here's what I tried as you suggested VT. The one by one use of the Sonys did not indicate any better than another or more importantly that one was faulty on its own. So I proceeded to install more Sonys one-by-one. When I got up to 3 the K-x battery meter was still reading full, but when I replaced the last Duracell with a Sony it dropped to red, empty just as it does when I employ all 4 Sonys. Now I cannot conclude that the camera really is powered on empty. Everything seems to work, I just trust using it this way with the meter on empty.

Then I found a funny thing. The second clockwise battery position had to be a Duracell to have the meter full green. It didn't matter which 3 Sonys I had in the camera as long as none of them were in that second clockwise position. So...I still don't really know if I have a meter or a battery issue.
12-17-2010, 11:59 AM   #6
Ira
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I always use disposable lithiums (that's my style) and never a problem, because I buy the mega whatever you call it type.

So, I'm forced to shoot with regular alkalines Wesnesday, two packages, brand new, and I'm shooting with a manual lens-- no autofocus, so they're only being used for metering and tripping the shutter. But I'll admit I also used the pop-up flash from time to time.

Both sets of batteries read as dead after 20 shots, but I know they're NOT dead, and saved them for other uses.

Today, I put lithiums in, but not the mega type, and I'm getting the freaking orange battery icon after 20 shots. Power down and power up, and I'm okay with full bar green again.

Latest firmware.

The K-x has a real issue with this, and excuses won't wash this problem away.

It really sucks for this.
12-17-2010, 02:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gkamieneski Quote
The Duracells have the white top, are made in Japan and are definitely Eneloops while the Sony battery looks identical with the white top but are made in China so probably are not.
Mixing batteries; isn't that like removing a tag from a mattress? Won't I be arrested? Just kidding.
So...I still don't really know if I have a meter or a battery issue.
Have you really removed your mattress tag?

Here's an off chance - do the Cycle-Energy have those triangular vent holes at the base of the positive tip (check your Duracell Pre-Charged as comparison) - if they do then you might still have re-badged eneloops - but made in China (I think there have been instances of those with Uniross Hybrios)

QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Latest firmware.
The K-x has a real issue with this, and excuses won't wash this problem away.
It really sucks for this.
OK the K-x and other Pentax dSLRs that use AA - are all very battery fussy.

However lithium or good eneloop (or re-badges) seem to have resolved this issue for many here.

Pentax uses voltage threshold - and operating voltage under load is the critical bit.

eneloops are known to maintain their operating voltage under load better than any other LSD, please see Post #57 in eneloop vs. Kodak Pre-Charged Voltage Maintenance.

A simple way to test a battery under load (ie: operating voltage):
If you can get hold of a 1 ohm resistor rated at at least 2.5 watts
(Radio Shack sells this) - (gives approx 1.2-1.5Amp current draw/load)
set the meter on volts, clip to the ends of the resistor and put the resistor across the battery
- for a short duration only,
watch if any cell drops below 1.15V -
if it does, then that battery is sub-par,
or hopefully just under charged.

Ref: Post #23 in K200D Battery Meter Problem -
where dmessing measured actual voltage and current draw of his K200D in operation.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-18-2010 at 10:11 AM.
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