Faulty battery indicator?

edited October 2018 in RF60X Problems
Hello!

I bought a used RF60x in good condition, and I've found that the battery measurement is very inconsistent. Quite often, even with relatively full batteries after just ~50 flashes of average power, the flash stops working and has the Low battery warning blinking. Simply turning off and on the flash will solve the issue, letting me use the flash again for a very long time. This means that the battery measurement is wrong, since just restarting the flash obviously wouldn't solve the issue if the batteries were actually empty. Restarting the flash is just a temporary solution which might become annoying in the long run, and I wonder if anyone else has had this problem and managed to solve it? Using latest firmware, A.08.

The batteries are Eneloop Pro 2450mah in very good condition, and I know for sure that the batteries aren't the issue. When the RF60x shuts off entirely and shows the empty battery warning (when I can no longer just restart it), I can take out the batteries and insert them in my other flash, the Yongnuo 568EX which is similarly powerful, and use it for an extended time before those batteries actually run out. This leads me to believe that the battery sensor in the RF60x is somehow overly sensitive.

Is it possible that my RF60x is faulty and can be exchanged with warranty? Or could it be that the battery sensor has to re-calibrate since the previous owner used alkaline batteries?

Thanks, any help appreciated. :)

Comments

  • Hello.

    In general, the RF60X can give you more that 50 flashes with fully charged battery. That depends on the condition of the RF60X. It's really hard to tell whether it's hardware failure unless we check it in hand.

    Cactus RF60X comes with one year manufacturer warranty from the date of purchase when it's brand new. You can ship it back for service. In case it's out of warranty, service charge may apply.

    Another possible reason is firmware bug, that could affect the accuracy of battery indicator. I've told our engineering team for checking.

    All the best,
    Ray Chan

    Senior Product Specialist
     
    Cactus®
    Harvest One Limited
  • edited October 2018
    I believe it might be a firmware issue, I had a similar experience with a pack of eneloops (all should have a capacity of approximately 2500mAh according to my charger). Just after the firmware update, it ran out quickly, I want to try with another freshly loaded pack, but have not had the time yet. If I can(not) reproduce it, I will post it here.
  • raychan said:

    Hello.

    In general, the RF60X can give you more that 50 flashes with fully charged battery. That depends on the condition of the RF60X. It's really hard to tell whether it's hardware failure unless we check it in hand.

    Cactus RF60X comes with one year manufacturer warranty from the date of purchase when it's brand new. You can ship it back for service. In case it's out of warranty, service charge may apply.

    Another possible reason is firmware bug, that could affect the accuracy of battery indicator. I've told our engineering team for checking.

    All the best,

    Hello :) Thanks, I see. Sadly it's out of warranty. Either way I'll just continue to use it, the flash works perfectly other than this little issue.
    itsme said:

    I believe it might be a firmware issue, I had a similar experience with a pack of eneloops (all should have a capacity of approximately 2500mAh according to my charger). Just after the firmware update, it ran out quickly, I want to try with another freshly loaded pack, but have not had the time yet. If I can(not) reproduce it, I will post it here.

    Thanks, interesting. Do you mean that your batteries actually drain faster, or that the indicator is wrong? I updated my flash to the latest firmware as soon as I got it, so I never had time to try before & after.
  • From our conversation, it seems to be the indicator display issue. It has nothing to do with the battery drain.
    Ray Chan

    Senior Product Specialist
     
    Cactus®
    Harvest One Limited
  • I have as well a problem with the battery indicator, similar to what was mentioned here. My brand new RF60X on latest A08 firmware shows from time to time that the battery is empty (fully charged eneloop accus and with brand new batteries) sometimes directly after switching it on and sometimes after a few low volume flashes. When switching it off and on everything is OK. When I downgrade the FW the issue is gone. After upgrading to the latest one the issue is back again.
    Sounds like a FW issue, but I can send again my brand new flash back to you for replacement if you think it is a HW issue.
    Thx in advance
    Sascha
  • @derknipser Possibly there is a glitch during firmware update. Would you mind updating the RF60X to the latest A08 again. Hopefully, the problem will be gone.

    BTW, if the downgrade helps, it may be the firmware issue possibly.

    Best regards,
    Ray Chan

    Senior Product Specialist
     
    Cactus®
    Harvest One Limited
  • @raychan I can do it again, but as mentioned I did it already with the A08 FW two weeks ago. Last update according from release notes is 24th Sept. And I can replicate it, because I did the switch between the firmware versions a couple of times to analyze the failure. Can you please check with your developers if this could be a bug? does a video helps to troubleshoot?
    Thx
    Sascha
  • @raychan: attached the video that shows the problem with A08.


    Sascha
  • Well done with the video Sascha, that's the exact issue that I started this topic for.

    Since you have tested&confirmed that the issue is solved by downgrading to an older firmware, I think it's safe to say that the current firmware is faulty. Maybe the developers can find some difference in battery measuring codes between the different firmwares?
  • @derknipser @Nikoolix It seems to be a glitch during firmware update that caused the problem. Would you reload the RF60X again the latest firmware. That hopefully will fix the problem.

    All the best,
    Ray Chan

    Senior Product Specialist
     
    Cactus®
    Harvest One Limited
  • 'The hopefully will fix the problem' - come on. I already indicated this in a previous post (related to the GFX too) and Derknipser is correctly showing the problem as it happens all the time. I reloaded the RF60X-firmware on all of my devices, even a few times now and really didn't help, but playing with power switch helps (well,...?). All 4 of them have same problem, so it's not something 'occasional'. And I'm using (the very market standard) Panasonic Eneloops too, one of the best battery-systems in the market - though of different types (say the white and black ones). Please, Mr. Chan make this Cactus-system finally work as it should be working in a professional context. There is really a serious hurdle with this power read-out and flash-blocking sequence - it as already been disturbing several portrait shooting sessions on location - making you look too as an incompetent photographer that can't operate his flash system. It is also something that wasn't present in the former firmware versions. And to be honest to you, Cactus Image has likely invested a lot of energy and resources in the X-TTL-concept, but did you really perform a decent field testing with different brand? Also related to the HSS logic? All of this is in a Fujifilm-context working unreliable (I can't make a statement for other brands, but one Canon-colleague was als complaining a lot). I'm really not the only one who can't get a hold of it, the only thing I can definitely say this is working extremely quirky and unpredictable, not even coming close to anything I would set up manually. Is X-TTL even suitable to do something like this in a multi-flash set up? I see more and more colleagues around me that were initial enthousiasts of Cactus-system switching to Godox and other brands, even back considering Profoto since they can't afford this kind of clumsy workflow. Also the fact that the bare bulb project seems to be on hold or is even cancelled - a product in which many of us were interested for mobile applications - doesn't help your company. I also will be buying into something else if this is all what you can offer to us, that is really a pity because your system really looked very promising - say - only one year back.
  • I agree. I like the system and don't have any other issues with it. But since we have found out that this only happens with the latest firmware, the developers should be able to find something different in the way it measures battery level. We customers have done what we can to investigate it, now it's the developers' turn to take a look. :)

  • To resolve the RF60X firmware problem during firmware update, the original firmware file is needed to be deleted in the installation path of the PC. Usually, the firmware names CACtusRF60X.fir where it can be found under C:\Proram Files\Cactus Firmware Updater. Please select the file and open the firmware updater. The firmware file will be downloaded again from our server, then update the RF60X as usual.

    I hope it helps.
    Ray Chan

    Senior Product Specialist
     
    Cactus®
    Harvest One Limited
  • Dear Mr. Chan thank for the info, but I hope you understand that this messing into directories and files is really not up to a professional level - something we don't want to do as a standard process - we are photographers and no system analysts!

    I'm a Mac user and started looking where this file could be located but of course with no success, it's not on obvious directories - not even traceable in the plenitude of library-files.

    I still can't understand why an automated firmware update process would require this type of manual interaction unless it has a a serious flaw and requires an urgent update too.

    Despite the response that might help some of your Windows users but still leaves many questions - this all remains extremely disappointing for a professional system (let me keep it to that).
  • @ChatNoir Rest assumed. You can re-install the firmware updater on your Mac. It will download the RF60X firmware file again.

    Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
    Ray Chan

    Senior Product Specialist
     
    Cactus®
    Harvest One Limited
  • I want to be honest, I tried out your recommendation. Since I was sick I couldn't do a real world shooting yet making an extensive use of my RF60X's - so it was merely a test yesterday but your fix seems to work also for a Mac user. The power indicator is stable again and my impression was also that suddenly the TTL-behavior was acceptable in the limited set up I used (that could have been a coincidence). In other words,... is it an accurate statement that a wrong firmware-version was loaded on my flash devices? If so, I still think there's something more to do for Cactus than providing a fix in this community... lots of users must have suffered from the same issues!
  • I am killing my batteries for a month with that exact issue. Will try to clean up updater and reupgrade 3 flashes all 3 has battery indicator issue among 5 battery sets.
  • @skalinkin Thank. Let's give it a try.
    Ray Chan

    Senior Product Specialist
     
    Cactus®
    Harvest One Limited
  • @raychan
    After reinstalling the firmware my problem is fixed. It looks like there was a faulty firmware file on your server for some time. Have a shooting next weekend to verify if it works in the long run.

    Thx
    Sascha
  • Excellent!
    Ray Chan

    Senior Product Specialist
     
    Cactus®
    Harvest One Limited
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