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01-04-2011, 08:10 PM   #1
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rechargable batteries in the KX

My first post, so go easy on me

When using rechargable Ni-MH batteries, my camera says that the batteries are dead, even though they are fully charged, and work fine in other cameras.

I have manually tried all the different battery types settings on the camera, and done a factory reset to see if that would help.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

ETA, sorry, should have done a search first, seems this is a common problem


Last edited by Kacee; 01-04-2011 at 09:01 PM.
01-04-2011, 10:24 PM   #3
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First welcome to Pentax Forums.

It may seen logical if a set of rechargeable batteries work in some other device or even digital camera - they ought to work in the Pentax dSLR
- not so.

Pentax dSLRs that use AA's are notoriously battery fussy.
It is an unfortunate fact that is (quite) well known here -
there have been numerous threads about this,
including a sticky in the Pentax Camera and Field Accessories section that now runs to 14 pages

Sticky: Battery for K-x (and other cameras that take AA's) ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page)

K-x Battery Issue
kx battery meter...

So you are not alone.

Fortunately there is a very simple solution.

Short version:
use either -
(non-rechargeable) lithium AA's, like the ones that came with the camera.
or
for rechargeable - use eneloops (or confirmed re-badges) - these are LSD (low self-discharge) NiMH batteries and as the name suggests have slow self-discharge when compared to regular NiMH rechargeables. BUT the main advantage of eneloops is that they maintain higher operating voltage under load (not just voltage open-circuit/unloaded) - caveat: a good charger should be used from one of the best (read expensive) like the Maha C9000 (~$51 this is actually a very good/low price!) to a very modestly priced one like the Soshine SC-C3 (~$14 shipped from Hong Kong)

Longer Version:

Pentax dSLRs use voltage as their level indicator, as well as the threshold for shutdown - operating voltage under load is the critical bit.

Although this was for the K200D - I believe it is applicable for other Pentax dSLRs using AA's.

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

For rechargeable - 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.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 01-05-2011 at 12:24 AM.
01-05-2011, 03:04 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
... caveat: a good charger should be used ...
What if the charger came with the Eneloops? I just picked up a 12 battery kit at Costco that came with a 4 space charger. Is the charger any good?

01-05-2011, 03:20 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kacee Quote
My first post, so go easy on me

When using rechargable Ni-MH batteries, my camera says that the batteries are dead, even though they are fully charged, and work fine in other cameras.

I have manually tried all the different battery types settings on the camera, and done a factory reset to see if that would help.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

ETA, sorry, should have done a search first, seems this is a common problem
Kacee,
I have experienced the same problems with rechargables when I got a K100d a few years ago. My best day was when I bought non-rechargable Lithium Ion batteries and gave all my rechargables and chargers away.
I got about 1500 shots per set in the K100d and now have a K-x and get about the same.
No doubt the eneloops and a top of the line charger are great but I figure I'll get about 10,000shots on throw away batteries that I never have to worry about for the cost of eneloops and a great charger.
Not having to be concerned about if I have charged batteries available is more important to me than saving a few bucks over years of use. If I were shooting 10,000 shots a month my priorities would be different.
Just my opinion---Larry
01-05-2011, 06:17 AM   #6
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Make sure your camera has the newest firmware. (1.01) This update, which can be downloaded from the pentax website, included improved accuracy for the battery meter. To check the firmware on your camera, hold down the menu button and turn the power on.

When I first started using rechargeables with my K-X they would only last 30-50 shots, until I updated the firmware. Now a set of rechargeables will easily last a whole day of shooting.
01-05-2011, 09:34 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
What if the charger came with the Eneloops? I just picked up a 12 battery kit at Costco that came with a 4 space charger. Is the charger any good?
There are variations of the chargers that come with eneloops.

If you can give the model # of the one that came with the Costco pack I may be able to look up some comments on it.

Mostly they are cheap chargers that obviously will charge the batteries, but even though are sold with eneloops may not be the best to use with them.

Having said that CostCo Canada did have a very desirable eneloop charger with their pack - that wasn't commonly available.

The simple way of determining - is to look for a charger that charges AAs in about 2 hours, and has independent charging channels - ie: ability to charge 1,2,3 or 4 batteries at a time.
01-05-2011, 09:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
There are variations of the chargers that come with eneloops.

If you can give the model # of the one that came with the Costco pack I may be able to look up some comments on it.

Mostly they are cheap chargers that obviously will charge the batteries, but even though are sold with eneloops may not be the best to use with them.

Having said that CostCo Canada did have a very desirable eneloop charger with their pack - that wasn't commonly available.

The simple way of determining - is to look for a charger that charges AAs in about 2 hours, and has independent charging channels - ie: ability to charge 1,2,3 or 4 batteries at a time.
The charger is model # NC-MQN06U , although from your description, it is not very good.

01-05-2011, 02:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
The charger is model # NC-MQN06U , although from your description, it is not very good.
Take a look at this thread over at CPF
(started by SilverFox who is highly regarded when it comes to batteries and chargers):

An informal look at the Sanyo NC-MQN06U charging in pairs
01-05-2011, 03:10 PM   #10
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Another charger which loads the cells individually for best results and has plenty of other useful features would be the La Crosse BC-700 (currently this can be had for $29,95 from Amazon.com it seems).
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