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 Question about lead acid batteries?? 
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Post Question about lead acid batteries??
So I have read pretty much all the info here about portable power and after thinking a while and getting realistic about my budget I have decided to go with this option.

this to connect from battery to camera
http://www.cercisastro.com/DC%20Adapter.html

this for a battery
http://vancouverbattery.com/product_inf ... ucts_id=32

now my question is

to connect the battery to the ceris unit do I just need to purchase something like
http://www.batteryspace.com/connectorad ... ector.aspx
and will I also need to add fuses or any other things to prevent any damage to my camera (canon 40d)?

What would be the best charger for a sla battery? (trickle charger)

last but not least is there a cheaper option than the cercis adapter that would be reliable?

forgive me if I am asking funny questions as I am a complete beginner when it comes to this sort of electronics. I think I would be fine soldering and stuff as long as I had a drawing to show me what to connect to where :) hahah

Thanks in advance to any help.

Tui


Tue Apr 13, 2010 4:56 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
There are various inexpensive options.

Adapted (old) BP-511 battery. I just removed the guts and soldered a couple of wires into it.
Image

This is the typical way I would power the camera. I imagine most people do the same or similar. Once you've got a dummy battery and a socket on it then you can really play with various sources of power. I must admit I'm not a fan of lugging around a large battery but some times it's the only way.
Image

Image

I tried a set of NiMH batts (6 of them to make about 7.2 volts) and it worked fine on a 20D and 40D but showed low voltage on the 40D. This is a really cheap option, everyone has rechargeable batteries. I haven't really tested to see how long it lasts but it seems to last longer than the standard BP5-11 so it seems like a workable option. You could use C or D cells for more power.
Image

By the way, has anyone noticed that the bottom of the 20 and 40D (probably the rest of the Canons that use the same batt too) specify 8.1 Volts DC, not 7.2 or 7.4 as specified on the BP-511's?
Image

JJ

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Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:07 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
The fake battery can be purchased directly if you don't want to try cutting one up...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... upler.html

I use one of these, but just replaced the connector with a standard 2.5mm DC socket so it will fit almost any off the shelf power supply.
DC-DC converters are pretty cheap. Get one rated at about 1.5amps and you should be OK.
The lead-acid battery is a good cheap reliable way to go, if heavier than other options.
For that particular type you can get very cheap chargers.

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Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:16 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
Nice mod JJ!

Has anyone ever thought of, or tried one of these? http://www.hypershop.com/HyperMac-Exter ... r-s/91.htm

It's designed for a Mac laptop but I'm sure it can power other devices also.

They look very transportable, and range from 60-watt-hours to 220-watt-hours, and start at just 0.8 lb. They also have nano and mini ones also.

The biggest one can power a Macbook pro for 33.8 hrs, so that should be a veryy long time on a DSLR.


Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:56 am
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
@ 2lapse: The items you've linked to should do the job (though, I can't tell what connectors are needed for the SLA battery). Even though I don't see it mentioned, I assume the Cercis adapter must have a suitable fuse in it, possibly sitting in the plug.

As for other options, the HyperMacs sure look nice - if money is no object. ;-) If you'd like the portability of a Li-Ion battery but somewhat cheaper I think you'll get the best bang for the buck with one of these options:

http://www.amazon.com/Power2000-Lithium ... 062&sr=8-4
http://cgi.ebay.com/Li-Ion-18650-7-4V-8 ... 5ad060c4c9

The BP-970G equivalent (first link) can be hooked up via e.g. a Lenmar adapter plate on the battery end. Either battery can be wired directly to the coupler in the camera (battery is correct voltage and no fuse needed since the PCB in the battery does the job) which you can then use to charge the battery - except if your battery charger is only compatible with original batteries in which case you'll need to get a generic charger.

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Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:49 am
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
Or for the bottom dollar/top performance solution... :lol: you can go with a simple 2lb 12v 5ah SLA build your own DC-DC based on shutterdrone's schematic

or alternate for the circus ($140) : bottom of the page dc adaptors


Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:45 am
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
milapse wrote:
Or for the bottom dollar/top performance solution... :lol: you can go with a simple 2lb 12v 5ah SLA build your own DC-DC based on shutterdrone's schematic

or alternate for the circus ($140) : bottom of the page dc adaptors


I actually think it's cheaper to buy a DC-DC adapter rather than build one, just because the DC-DC adapters are so readilly available and cheap. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of building my own when I can, and a voltage regulator is a 'piece of piss' to build, but I'm not sure it's even worth it.

The pic below shows a cheap DC-DC regulator plugged into a home made battery adapter. I think this is the cheapest, most flexible (connect any size batt, big or small) and reliable, long term option.

Image

JJ

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Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:20 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
Yep, my set-up is pretty much identical to JJ, except I used the fake battery from Canon rather than cutting one up myself.
At the time there were no cheap batteries available, so it was cheaper to buy the Canon adapter.

Very reliable, simple, and cheap. And works at -50C too.

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Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:15 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
you guys just run it 7.5v and call it a day eh. True it's a very direct route to the finish line!


Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:52 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
Such a wealth of knowledge.

John - thanks for the great pics. makes it easy to make my own. (coming from NZ I miss dick smith electronics, cant seen to find anything similar here in Vancouver)

flyvholm - with this battery http://cgi.ebay.com/Li-Ion-18650-7-4V-8 ... 5ad060c4c9 When you say wired to the coupler? is that an extra thing I need to buy or is that something in the camera? also could you use the standard canon charger to recharge this battery?

Ants - So would this fake battery http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... upler.html
work with my canon 40d? I thought this one was for a canon 5d?

Thanks to everyone for all your input.

Tui


Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:57 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
You need the DC-Coupler DR-400 for Canon 40D as it is compatible with the EOS D30, D60, 5D, 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D & EOS Digital Rebel Cameras. See http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/st ... _177420_-1

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Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:54 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
2lapse wrote:
flyvholm - with this battery http://cgi.ebay.com/Li-Ion-18650-7-4V-8 ... 5ad060c4c9 When you say wired to the coupler? is that an extra thing I need to buy or is that something in the camera? also could you use the standard canon charger to recharge this battery?

By "coupler" I mean the wired up empty battery shell (whether you buy it or cut up a cheap replacement battery and make it yourself) that goes in the camera. Using that you may be able to charge the battery with your Canon charger, but come to think of it there could be a catch. These batteries arrive with almost zero voltage and need to be 'woken up' by the charger the first time they are connected. I don't know if the Canon charger will do that or just refuse to charge the battery because it starts out with such low voltage. I happen to have the charger that is recommended for the battery pack:
http://www.all-battery.com/universalsma ... cells.aspx
Also, should you go this route be careful not to accidentally short circuit the wires when doing the soldering. I guess that goes without saying, but what will happen is that it will kill the PCB in the battery pack and you'd have to replace that to be able to use the battery pack again. Even a very short-lived short circuit will do that, I know... :oops:

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Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:54 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
OK

So I bought a setup just like Johns, I was checking volts with a multimeter as I was building to make sure I got the polarity right. It was all going good until I connected the canon DR-400 to the circuit. When I connect pos to pos and neg to neg, the dc-dc regulator that limits it to 7.5 V cuts out and when I have the multimeter on the fake battery the voltage slowly goes down to zero. My only guess is in the line to the DR-400 there is what seems to be a fuse or something (see pic). now I'm guessing this is causing the problem. I thought I should ask before I cut it off and still have the same problem but now just have a much shorter chord on it.

If someone could confirm that this is my problem I would feel much better about cutting it up.

Thanks

Tui


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Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:07 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
I think you are talking about the ferrite core (the metal thing in the middle of the cable)?
That will make no difference to your power supply, it is just there to help filter out noise / power fluctuations.

Check the output of you power supply without the battery adapter connected to see if it still does the same thing first.

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Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:10 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "Check the output of you power supply without the battery adapter connected to see if it still does the same thing first."

I have checked the battery by it self and that is 12V with meter. when I connect adapter to reduce to 7.5V it works just fine but when I connect fake battery to adapter the adapter keeps cutting out like its short circuiting or something. When I connect the fake battery with the wires the other way around it reads -7.5V so I assume that means its connected the wrong way around?


Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:44 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
OK

I give up.... I think I've now fried the fake battery (a puff of smoke came out of it and now it smells like electrical burn) I guess I should stick to what I know.

I think I'll just buy the Cercis so that someone else can do the hard work for me.

Thanks for all your help everyone.


Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:56 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
The fake battery will still work with the power connections wired directly to the terminals, no electronics involved, so it is worth pulling it apart if you want to give it a go.
It does sound like you probably had a problem with the fake battery, but of course now you most certainly do.

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Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:17 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
:oops: :oops: hahha yea I guess you live and learn. I thought about taking the fake battery apart but to me it seems like it's all one piece of molded plastic (no join or screws to take apart). Is there a proper way of separating it?


Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:21 am
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
One more question. The fake battery is now leaking some kind of fluid? not too much about a 1/4 tea spoon. would this liquid be toxic? If so not really too keen to try and cut it open. It's got kind of a dark yellow tinge to the liquid.

Thanks


Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:36 am
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
Your guess is as good as mine for pulling it apart. It is probably glued and sealed pretty well.
One of the extra fake batteries I had for a 350D / XT, I just cut a hole in the back of it with a dremel cutter to access the wiring then filled it up with silicone sealant when I was done.
The liquid that leaked is probably an insulating wax or equivalent type compound that has melted. Certainly wouldn't want to ingest it, but it shouldn't be toxic these days (in theory).

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Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:41 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
Great info everyone! I am trying to figure out my next step from just using a car jump starter for over night and day long shoots, to multiple day shoots...

Are you guys using the DC to DC instead of a DC to AC inverter to save battery life?

How long would that 12v 7amp SLA battery last if you are shooting with a 20D at one picture a minute?

Thanks.


Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:42 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
You should be able to get 24 hours out of it based on what I have done in the past with DC-DC conversion.

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Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:57 am
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
So after blowing a few things up and learning the hard way (incorrect polarity) I have finally finished my set up.

Basically the same as John Jovic's,

I also filled the fake battery with 100% silicone as it done two things, 1 - holds the case of the fake battery together that I brutally disassembled. 2 - holds the contacts in place as they seemed to want to move around in the fake battery when I just had it taped together from the outside.

Many thanks to all here for their patience and help with this, Especially John Jovic for his detailed description and pics (such a big help for a novice like me)

Tui

P.S sorry about the terrible pic but that's all my iphone is capable of.


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Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:15 am
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
2lapse, those DC couplers have capacitors inside them. The fluid is probably the liquefied dielectric.

Also, All the solutions I see here, well atleats the LM338 design is super inefficient ~60%. You are losing 40% of your power as heat. Possibly the same with that car dc to dc adaptor. Your batteries will last longer if you use a high efficiency dc to dc switching regulator. TI makes some great drop in modules that are cheap, and easily made into an inline camera supply. http://focus.ti.com/general/docs/lit/ge ... leType=pdf

The schematic is right in the pdf. You will get about 95% efficiency with these supplies, and more importantly longer lasting batteries.

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Mon May 03, 2010 6:24 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
That's valuable input; thank you Nick. Incidentally I did come across a solution using this type of converter (slightly older version it appears) and even got the voltage regulator as a free sample from TI in order to build it:

http://home.arcor.de/panacocha/astro/in ... power.html

Then I ended up using 7.4V battery packs instead and forgot about it...

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Fri May 07, 2010 6:51 pm
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Post Re: Question about lead acid batteries??
FYI, if you have a relatively older camera you can get the battery coupler on ebay for way cheaper than the $40 it will cost you at somewhere like adorama:
(e.g. http://www.google.com/products?hl=&q=eb ... CCUQrQQwAA)

If you are making the connecting wire yourself, Radioshack sells power tips that fit in the canon battery couplers. I believe it is the size "A", For newer canons like the t1i andt2i that require a right-angle power-tip to fit the battery, you have to cut about 1mm off the tip of the powertip or it is too long to fit in the battery bay, this is easy to do with a hacksaw (put the tip in a vice before cutting it to save your fingers) but it does remove the plastic part of the powertip that separates the +/- so be careful not to short circuit things when you are testing for polarity, etc.

Also, if you are using a powershot type camera or any camera with one of the older batteries that doesn't have the tiny leads the newer dslr batteries have you can just build a fake battery coupler out of wood or plexiglass... looks terrible but it works and it doesn't cost anything:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/timescienc ... 581979614/

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Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:27 am
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