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Old Feb 14, 2004, 3:05 PM   #1
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Default HP 635 battery life problems

Since I bought a HP 635 digital camera (three days ago), I have a major problem with battery life, which is too short and unacceptable from end-user point of view.
The camera can take around 20-30 pictures with LCD viewer turnded on and around 40 with LCD viewer off (thirty percent of them with flash on)
I've been trying many sorts of NiMH rechargeable batteries (2200 and 2300 mAh - Camelion/GP/Sanyo) but the problem still exists.
Although the HP 635 digital camera is a very basic camera - just for beginners, extremely short battery life makes the camera useless...
So I shall appreciate your answer to my questions:
how to make the camera not drain batteries so quickly?
Change the firmware? Use external (power savings) SD/MMC card? Does the additional memory card (I'm thinking of SD Kingston 128/256 MB card) help saving the battery power or will it be even worse?
Many thanks for your answer and help in advance.
The firmware of the camera:
Firmware: 1.57.38 1.21
Service ID 13001
SR 0

I asked HP customer care the same questions.
I recieved the response in one hour. The guy adviced me not to use the LCD screen and to have many sets of rechargeable batteries ready to go... ;-(((
Hope your answer and advice will be different ;-)
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Old Oct 3, 2004, 2:31 AM   #2
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I have the same battery life problem with HP 635 Digital Camera

According to the HP support I spoke to, it is a known fault with the camera. There is a 'Golden Cap' capacitor that gets charged by the main batteries in order to keep the date/ time while camera is off or you are changing batteries/ memcard. If this is faulty then they never charge and hence drains batteries constantly. I have been sent my 3rd 635 Camera and it was fine for a bit, then the fault happend again.

A simple test from HP:

1 Put new batteries in camera and turn on
2 Set date and time (not important what time etc.)
3 Turn off Camera and leave off for at least 3 Minutes
4 Open Battery cover for at least 8-10 seconds or so
5 Close cover and turn on Camera

If you need to set the time/date again, then the Gold cap is faulty - Contact HP
Hope this helps -
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Old Feb 22, 2005, 5:56 AM   #3
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My advice regarding the HP 635 is to return for a refund ASAP. If you cannot return it get a heavy object and bring it down hard on it and smash it to pieces although it will be useless now not much has changed.

I had the misfortune to buy the HP 635 here in Australia and it used batteries faster and faster until it would not start up at all. I just got a replacement today and it won't start up! I did get it to start but it shut down after 5 secs. I tried the reset button located under the battery flap but no help.

My opinion of Hewlett Packard is very poor. They sell cameras they know to be useless, which is basically stealing consumer's money.

Tell everyone you know that Hewlett Packard make crappy cameras. Hopefully they will retire from a market they know nothing about.

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Old Feb 22, 2005, 6:03 AM   #4
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thanks for the info re: Golden Cap capicitor

Its nice to know why its acrap camera.

I'm not sure exactly how this faulty capicitor problem works:

it doesn't charge when faulty but how does this flatten the batteries? You think this would just result in the date/time having to set each time the camera is turned on...which probably is happening to some people's cameras too.

Maybe when it is faultythe capicitoractually tries charging constantly which drains the batteries.

I'm am not knowledgable on electronic circuitry...

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Old Oct 24, 2005, 2:42 PM   #5
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can u tel me the location from the goldcap on the fotosmart 635

greetings Jos

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Old Dec 13, 2005, 7:53 AM   #6
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Yeah, does anybody know how to locate this faulty c(r)apacitor?

And it would be great to know how to fix it! Hope somebody here could help me!

Cheers !

I have looked inside my camera now and found the backup capacitor.
The camera has 2 PCB's, one big one smaller. The big one is the that has the LCD-TFT-screen attached to it.
On the back of the big PCB, near the USB and DC-input, you can see something that looks like a small clock-battery. That's the capacitor.

I also found a german website with a guy who got the same problem with short battery-time, but in his Palm m100 instead. He fixed it with a bigger and better capacitor.
Here is the link:
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Old Jan 29, 2006, 5:37 AM   #7
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When the camera is new there is noproblems . After a short while it starts consumingpower when it is in off position. A new camera consumes <10uA. When HP changed my first camerathe off current had increaset to about 2000uA.

After 3/4 ofa year the new camera consumed 20000uA . The batteries are empty in a weekeven though the camera is in off position.

HP tried to deny there is a design fault on the cameraand tried to hidebehind warrantytime gone out.

After showing HP other 635 owners problemsfrom this forum, HP changed the second camera.

The new onehad no capacitor leakage from the beginning. (<10uA) Now after 3 monththe leakage has started and is200uA . This will continue up until the camera is useless.

Why does not HP fix the problem instead of waiting for the warranty to go out?

It is obvious that it is a design fault on the camera.

No more HP cameras for me!!!!

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