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New remedy for old issue?

Posted 02/08/2020 - 23:47 Link
I have owned a Pentax Kx for many years but has been largely unused for the last 6 years due to battery or software issues. I joined a debate some years ago about a possible remedy but then, no-one seemed to have found a universal solution. The problem is one of AA batteries used in The Kx and prior to that my older K100D Super. Both cameras had the same issue. When new, both cameras worked with reputable brand batteries such as Duracell etc. After a year or so that stopped. The Battery Depleted sign came on when new batteries were inserted, even when they tested on a voltmeter. They were always over 1.6v each and some measured 1.74 volts (not under load). The usual things were suggested, Cleaning of contacts, Ensure good contact of all batteries. Then the suggestions migrated to different battery chemistry and I should try the Energizer Ultimate Lithiums. I did that. That worked for a while, then they stopped. Someone said there was a known issue that Pentax refused to acknowledge, but then the latest firmware had a partial remedy that addressed the poor power supply and that the problem should be fixed for some cameras. Not for mine I had the latest firmware. Then someone said Eneloops worked better than any other, even though they were 1.25v volts each and the camera requires about 6v. Eneloops do work, but even to this day a freshly charged set of them will give me approx one hour of use, say, thirty or fourty shots, before the battery sign looks halfway to empty. Another ten minutes and the camera shows the Battery Depleted sign before shutting down. When I test the Eneloops on a voltmeter they show them still to be full. This is an old issue and an extremely annoying one that Pentax refused to acknowledge (at the time). Is there a remedy now? Has anyone tinkered about with home-made power supplies like inserting two 3v batteries? The camera, when operating works well, its just that it can't read the power level in the batteries, or the software has a communication glitch somewhere.
Anyone have any modern remedies?

P.S. This topic was mentioned by me in the body of a seperate thread but someone suggested I may want to start a new thread for this. So I have.
Posted 03/08/2020 - 07:11 Link
The Kx was my first DSLR, I owned it for about a day, founded exactly this problem with rechargeable AA batteries. I took it back to the shop and got my money back, a very disappointed chap. I believe non rechargeable AA batteries work better but a bad mistake to make by Pentax in a camera that only takes AA batteries.
I can offer only sympathy.
Posted 03/08/2020 - 11:40 Link
Hmmmm, I too had a Kx for 2 or 3 years but I never had a battery problem.
I mostly used Eneloops but occasionally had to resort to whatever I could get in the way of AAs - usually because of poor management on my part not a failure.
At the time I was happy to have a camera based on AAs which were available pretty well anywhere in the world. In an emergency you could usually find them somewhere, petrol station, convenience store even a cafe once.
Posted 03/08/2020 - 11:52 Link
Hmm, I have a second hand kx which I updated the software version immediately and use Eneloop batteries. I can't say I've noticed a problem as for one I don't shoot more than 30 shots over a typical weekend, and two I'm new to the digital slr.
I'm fairly positive it would do at least 60 shots , certainly not noticed rapid drop in the LCD battery display. I shall have to get using more and test it out. Maybe the older lens soak up more power?
One caveat is I use old smc m lenses often on the kx, so no sdm or power hungry ones.
Pleased with it's performance and quite like the fact it takes AA batteries, always thought this point was one of the reasons why I purchased it.
Posted 03/08/2020 - 16:04 Link
FWIW, this isn't specifically a Pentax, or even a DSLR, issue .

I've got a camera trap, does daylight and IR stills and videos, bought from a specialist supplier that uses them for their own wildlife surveys. They strongly recommend Energizer lithiums, strongly advise against Duracell and cheaper brands and most rechargeables. And from experience, they're right. But even using Energizers, IR video starts playing up when there's still plenty of charge left. Rather than throw the partly discharged batteries away, they are then used in other things that aren't so fussy. It seems to be something to do with how the voltage drops when current is drawn and as the battery ages.

It doesn't answer your problem, but at least you now know that it isn't something that just affects Pentax.

Posted 04/08/2020 - 01:04 Link
I can only speak about the *istDS which does the same thing. The terminals on the inside of the battery door get compressed every time you close it. They lie nearer and nearer to the door over time and need to be physically pulled out again to make a decent contact. At the same time, a thin and invisible layer of insulating gunk accumulates on their surfaces. Give them a good hard clean with a lens cloth. It drove me crazy and I spent pounds on various batteries. It played up with a set of Eneloops last time I took it out. Cleaning the terminals fixed it at once.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd
Posted 20/10/2020 - 18:11 Link
I have a similar issue with my iSt DL2. When I first bought the camera, I could get several hundred shots from a single charge. Then suddenly, it went down to about 10 shots and shortly after, it went to nothing at all. No matter what batteries I put in, I just get the battery depleted symbol immediately.

I took it to a local shop recently, and they examined it and told me they could find no reason why it should be draining batteries. I told them (as I told them when I dropped it off) that it isn't draining the batteries - the batteries are fine - it's just the camera thinks they're flat. They just shrugged and weren't interested, so I walked away.

I've tried cleaning the contacts, pulling out the contacts, cleaning them with alcohol and rubbing them with a graphite pencil, none of which worked.

If anyone does know a remedy, I'd be very interested to read it, please.

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