Theta X in livestream mode does not charge

connected to a compute unit, I find that device does not charge reliably if capture mode was switched to livestream(without actually streaming). On connection, the icon of the top right shows a charging battery for a few seconds, then switches back to a non-charging battery icon after a few seconds.

I have verified that in this setting the battery does drain and it’s not a UI quirk.

This only happens on livestream mode, tested on latest 1.40 firmware. This makes me wonder if the device draws any charge at all while live streaming. I would expect it to.

I have attached a video where this happens.

I checked the video you attached and I can see the power level was 79% when video started and at 0:40 it popped up to 80% charge level… I noticed that it stopped charging right after.

Did you connect it to a 3.0 (or greater) USB port on a PC? Did you use an appropriate 3.0 (or above) USB cable?

I’m not sure about Theta X, but as it’s android based, there may be a setting to switch on or off “optimize for battery health”, which usually stops charging devices at 80%… not sure if this is set by default, or in theory it could stop charging also if it’s too hot. Try with another cable and port please.


hello, yes, a usb 3.0 cable is used. the same physical set up has been used to charge the device to 100% in still image capture modes and video modes. so I don’t see why livestream mode should be an exception

live stream mode requires more power than still image and may require more power than video mode. If you attach an in-line current meter to the camera during charging, you can measure the current during the various modes.

In video mode, you’re not running the video 24/7. You’re likely turning it on and off, allowing the camera some time to charge before video shoots. In live streaming, I awa a constant draw of around .6 to 0.9 amps in my tests.

In this thread, I saw voltage of 9V going into the camera.

The USB 3.0 ports on the Jetson Nano and Raspberry Pi did not supply enough electrical current in my tests.

hi craig, we measured the current draw while switching between modes. note that we did not actually start the live stream in these tests. when we switch to livestream, the device draws some current, then drops to nothing after a few seconds. do we have a faulty device on our hands?

With firmware 1.40 on THETA X. In live streaming mode, the electrical lightning bolt is shown on the battery indicator.

THETA X with firmware 1.40 (craig) with Windows 11

It will stay like this indefinitely with Windows 11

camera from zhen_ling_tsai

next steps

Does the problem exist if you plug the THETA X into a Mac/Windows computer and not the Linux compute unit?

Are you using a Jetson?

hi craig, thanks for running the tests.

I’m using a upboard specifically in that video, and I’ve replicated the issue on various PCs and laptops with ubuntu running(I’ll update once I get my hands on an xavier). it does not seem to be in issue with a windows laptop I tried, I don’t have easy access to a Mac right now. switching away from ubuntu is not an option for us.

I’ve found that the lack of gvfs processes seem to be related to it. Please see this video: , where I kill the gvfs processes, and you can see the device stop charging after. it only is an issue in livestream mode.

so the gvfs processes are usually killed to prevent issues described here Could not claim the USB device · Issue #181 · gphoto/gphoto2 · GitHub, and it seems to be causing charging issues for the theta X in livestream mode. Does it also cause the same issue in the Z1?

For the Jetson, I had to disable automount to use the USB API. I have not tested this with live streaming recently. I am using Jetpack 4.6, based on Ubuntu 18.04. I’ll try and do more tests with live streaming.

hi, I wanted to update that I couldn’t replicate this issue on Mac.

This is a video of my test on an xavier development kit (sorry, it’s shaky) it seems that if the device is not mounted, it will not continue charging while on livestream mode. I observe the same issue on a jetson nano as well

Do you need gvfs for you application?

You may be able to remove gvfs-gphoto2-volume-monitor with sudo apt remove gvfs-backends

Alternately, you may be able to prevent /usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd from running in the init files.

yes I disable them by default on machines I work on often. I also disable automount. the issue i’m raising is that without either of:

  1. the device mounted
  2. gvfs for gphoto2 running

the device does not charge while in livestream mode. and this only happens on linux machines

Hi craig, wondering if you managed to replicate the lack of charging issue without mounting/gvfs on linux machines. I speculate it’s a firmware issue on the theta X and I wanted to know if it’s an issue on the Z1 as well

test with Z1

likely insufficient current.

Z1 shows charging, but is slowly draining. I did not test with a powered hub today.

test with X

It looks like the X is not getting enough current from the Jetson Nano.

test with different current meter plugged directly into THETA X.

I’m going to try and bring a powered hub into the office.

Is it possible to try a THETA Z1 with a powered hub in your office? Maybe buy one with a return policy and see if the behavior is different?

Z1 Tests with Powered Hub

BC 1.2 (Battery Charge 1.2) compliant hub.

current into camera is 0.8Amp, which what I expect.

X test #1 with powered hub

X test #2 with powered hub

using different current meter plugged directly into camera

Electrical current charge is not what I would expect.

Is there a way for you to test a Z1 with your project?

Tests are the same with firmware 1.41, getting 0.29 amps in, which is likely low. In subsequent tests, I saw 0.1A input and now seeing 0.44A input.

works on windows with USB-C to USB-C with input of 0.8A

What I suspect is that the RICOH THETA X has a higher power requirement for live streaming than the RICOH THETA V and Z1.

Looking at the article below, it seems like battery charging (BC) 1.2 is 1.5A, 5V 7.5 W

It’s possible that the THETA X requires Power Delivery, which is 5A, 20V, 100W

thanks @craig for your tests, looks like we get abit more current in fw1.41 from your tests.
we’re working on getting an order placed for a Z1, but since the local supplier doesn’t have ready stock, it might be a while before we get our hands on one :frowning:

You may be able to continue your research and development with a Linux computer that has a USB-C port on it. The key specification may be “Power Delivery”. I’m not sure how to tell if a USB-C port has Power Delivery (PD) or not.

For the V and Z1, “Battery Charging” (BC) 1.2 was sufficient.

The power specifications of BC 1.2 (and thus most USB 3.0 type A ports) is much lower than the Power Delivery specifications.

In my tests, the input voltage going into the THETA X is above 5V. It goes up to 9V.

Based on informal discussions with people that have knowledge of the THETA X, the input power requirement seems to be 18W.