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 External power options for Meade Autostar tripod + Canon 
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:34 am
Posts: 2
Post External power options for Meade Autostar tripod + Canon
I have a Canon camera that uses a 7.4V battery and a modified Meade Autostar tripod that I am using to create panning time-lapses. So far I've just either taken pictures until my camera battery died, or used an AC power adapter for the camera when I am shooting in my back yard.

The tripod has been running an AMAZINGLY long time on the 8 AA batteries that were in the tripod when I bought it from a fellow who said it had been in his closet for 3 years! It's still running off those same batteries, and I have dozens of hours of run time on it, strange but I'm not complaining :)

What I would like to do now is a time-lapse from the top of a nearby "mountain" (I live in Phoenix, Arizona, and the mountains here are not that substantial, some are just "buttes").

From past experience I am certain that the tripod can easily run for as long as I need via the internal battery pack (I might have to actually replace them soon), but the camera I can only get about 4-5 hours from the wimpy 4.7v internal battery.

Soooo...I'm thinking I would like to construct an external battery to power the camera, and while I am at it, I might as well have the ability to power the tripod from it too.

The tripod needs 12v so a 12v battery is the obvious choice, and I will need a DC-DC converter to step down the voltage for the camera to ~7.5v. I have read through various posts of home-made converters, adapters, wiring solutions. But I havn't seen any that indicate what sort of run-time they are getting.

I could go the easy route and get a big portable battery+inverter and just use AC-DC adapters, but that is not something that I want to hike up the mountain with. I'm not in the best of shape and it is going to be a challenge to just get the bulky tripod up there! :oops:

So I'm thinking a smaller 12v battery, something like this would fit the bill? http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-18000mAh-Su ... 415d6800a7 Do you think this would be able to run both the camera (assuming using DC step down converter) and the tripod (assuming 12v direct to the tripod) for around 12 hours?

Thanks for reading my rambling. In exchange I offer the test video I made in my back yard a few days ago (it is just a test video, so please forgive the roughness, especially the ending which I purposefully did not edit out, just for fun :) ):


Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:18 am
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:29 am
Posts: 587
Location: La Crescenta, Ca
Post Re: External power options for Meade Autostar tripod + Canon
I use this setup:

Camera to 12v

http://www.astronomiser.co.uk/canonpowerpro.htm

12v Batteries:

Portable in a pack:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/280697567616?ss ... 1439.l2649

Portable via car:
http://www.amazon.com/Duracell-DPP-600H ... B000TKHMWK

Hope it helps.

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Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:38 am
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:34 am
Posts: 2
Post Re: External power options for Meade Autostar tripod + Canon
Thanks for replying. I like the small pack option for my need of having something small enough to hike up the mountain with. My camera takes the NB-7L battery so any adapter I use would have to be compatible with that. I'm thinking I can just cut the cord of the cheap AC adapter I have and splice it into step-down DC-DC converter connected to a 12V power source. The same 12V power source can also go directly to the meade tripod.

I may also buy one of the larger ones like your first link, as I also would like to be able to power my 12V CPAP machine (breathing apparatus that I need to get decent sleep) on camping trips and that I could also use close to home to power camera+tripod in the field.

Whatever solution I come up with, I will test and document it and post the results here.


Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:27 am
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:36 pm
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Location: Antarctica/California/New Zealand
Post Re: External power options for Meade Autostar tripod + Canon
With that battery you link to (the 18000mAH) plus using a dc-dc converter for the camera you should be able to easily get over 24 hours non-stop shooting out of it based off what I have been getting.
I ran a head plus 5D1 on a 9800mAH battery doing a photo once a minute recently and it lasted about 22 hours.

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Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:28 pm
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