Powering Gear

MOAR POWAR!

So how do you keep your camera powered on for weeks at a time?

if using a DSLR with a proper sleep mode, you may be able to simply add a battery grip and use a focus tap to kick the camera back on before you take an image. Personally, I would prefer to just built my own power supplies, it is super easy and only takes a couple hours.

The first thing you want to do is hop on Amazon or Ebay and pick up a few knockoff batteries (you dont want to gut the internals out of a $50 battery, knockoffs are fine all you need is the shell of the battery)

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First off, i am going to say do NOT do this. Don’t make your own battery adapter.  It can be dangerous, and you should enlist the effort of a professional. This is not something you should even attmempt, in fact, stop reading this tutorial, you are going to hurt yourself. This is dangerous, it is stupid to do, you could very likely damage your camera, and I refuse to be held responsible for any famage to your hands, tools, eyes, house, camera, dog, depreciated property values, male pattern baldness, curses by voodoo priestesses, or any other shit that may happen. Period. 

However, if you wish to see what I did, and how I did it, continue to read. But understand this is NOT an instructional video, this is for entertainment purposes, so i dont want to hear anyone complaining about destroying thier new Canon 5Dmk3 or D810 or Sony A7 or any other camera or gear you have trying to copy what i have done.

 

Step 1.

I used a multimeter, figure out which leads provide the positive and ground. measure the output voltage, it should be the same as written on the label on the battery, and it should match what your brand name batteries show. however, in this case fuji wants 7.4v and this one measured at 8.4 volts. This is why i do not like knockoff batteries.

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Step 2

open the cheap knockoff battery, i cannot tell you how your battery fits together, mine had a slight ridge around the end and I very carefully used a flat blade to slowly work the two halves apart.  I WAS EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHEN DOING THIS BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IF YOU STAB A LITHIUM ION BATTERY AND EXPOSE THE INSIDE OF IT TO AIR IT WILL BURST INFO FLAMES, NO SHIT, I AM NOT KIDDING, I SAW IT ON SURVIVORMAN WITH LES SHROUD.

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Step 3

I carefully removed the guts., ensuring I did not damage the circuit board at the top of the battery which provides the output contacts to the camera.

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Step 4

Next, I used a multimeter to find good places on the back of the top circuit board i could use to solder on the output leads of a small DC – DC stepdown voltage regulator.  You will need to find one that fits inside your battery. This is the smallest one i could find, and is smaller than the one in the images i used, and it fit perfectly inside the small fuji battery.

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STEP 5

Using a 12v lead acid battery I had laying around and some aligator clips I connected to the input power of the DC to DC voltage regulator, i used a small screwdriver and adjusted the potentiometer on the regulator until it shows the correct voltage.

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STEP 6

I cut a 2.1mm Barrel Jack connector cable (same used in most CCTV applications, which is the same on the eBay blue batteries, and is the same connector used by our rails, eMotimo, dynamic perception and all the other timelapse system builders.  I stripped the cable, and put the negative to the negative input, and positive to the positive input on the DC-DC Voltage Regulator, then i stuck it into the battery to test fitment.

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 Step 7

It is hard to see, but I drilled a small hole over the screw adjustment on the regulator, you can see the hole in the pic below on the “P” on the Wasabi Power next to  the little logo, this allows me to adjust the voltage output if needed.

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STEP 8

Using a wonderful life changing adhesive called GOOP, I filled the battery case and let it cure for 24 hours.

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STEP 9

Seen below, Ican now fit the hacked battery inside the camera.  Unfortunatly the regulator I used this time was a tad too long, and i was unable to close the battery door. I did find some shorter ones (linked earlier) that fit completely within the battery case.

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STEP 10

I then checked the voltage level one more time and it was spot on, so i connected this to a eBay chinese blue, and the camera powered right up.   Now i have the option of using a much much larger battery to power the camera, or i can use a 12V DC power supply to run the camera off of wall power.

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And thats it! All done. I have done this twice and i have not had any problems whatsoever. I can leave my cameras powered for days/weeks/months at a time.

 

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