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A530 external power

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Re: A530 external power
« Reply #10 on: 29 / December / 2012, 00:26:54 »
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I have also tested it with my wifes A1100IS, and it works great. I just ordered one of the PTN78060 package and plan to use that for when I get a 12v battery setup. For now, I have a 6v setup (its what I had around) and am going to need more amperage for some multi-day installations, and that power package with a 7-10amp 12v battery should hold it for a LONG time.

Re: A530 external power
« Reply #11 on: 29 / April / 2013, 14:04:02 »
The LM317 voltage regulator I had died on me, so I got out the PTN78060 regulator that I got from TI and put it all together. 3.6v works great and the camera doesn't have any issue with it. Took 1000 photos inside around 3 hours yesterday just as a test, and it worked fine. This all with a 12v 500mah supply. I am looking forward to giving it a try with a 12v battery and an interesting location :)

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Re: A530 external power
« Reply #12 on: 29 / April / 2013, 17:24:28 »
For what it is worth, you may get better battery life using a buck regulator, as they are more efficient, something like an LM2596, which you can get as a module...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-Buck-Step-Down-Voltage-Adjustable-Converter-Power-Module-Regulator-LM2596-New-/281100339930?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Test_Measurement_Equipment_ET&hash=item4172e2cada

You may need to add a heatsink though if the camera draws more than 2A continuous load, this particular board claims it can do up to 3A with a heatsink.

If you want a few "blinkenlights", you might like to experiment with something like..

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Brand-New-Digital-display-LM2596-Voltage-Regulator-DC-DC-Buck-Converter-Module-/281090520294?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Test_Measurement_Equipment_ET&hash=item41724cf4e6

« Last Edit: 29 / April / 2013, 17:30:20 by ahull »

Re: A530 external power
« Reply #13 on: 29 / April / 2013, 17:26:25 »
I took delivery today of another four 6V 12AH sealed lead-acid batteries, making eight in total !
Two cameras are in woodland clicking away (hopefully) for the next two weeks.
One photo every five minutes between 8am and 4pm.
60 mA current drain, 1.44 AH per day.

Hope I remembered to set the time !

Incidentally, I have arranged it so that the battery can be replaced with a recharged one without the camera powering-off.

EDIT

I am using a buck/boost regulator that I use for my various cameras.


Re: A530 external power
« Reply #14 on: 29 / April / 2013, 18:06:05 »
For what it is worth, you may get better battery life using a buck regulator, as they are more efficient, something like an LM2596, which you can get as a module...

Hi there, yes the voltage regulator is very inefficient. That's why I went to the http://www.ti.com/product/ptn78060w because it is a bucking/switching power regulator. From the site: High Efficiency (Up to 96%). The LM7303 I had was not efficient at all and in fact got very hot, but it worked. Once I get a 12v gel cell for this setup, I should be able to take photos for days on end :D

BTW that one with the blinkenlites is pretty cool! +1 for blinkenlites :D

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Offline ahull

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Re: A530 external power
« Reply #15 on: 03 / May / 2013, 14:32:01 »
For what it is worth, you may get better battery life using a buck regulator, as they are more efficient, something like an LM2596, which you can get as a module...

Hi there, yes the voltage regulator is very inefficient. That's why I went to the http://www.ti.com/product/ptn78060w because it is a bucking/switching power regulator. From the site: High Efficiency (Up to 96%). The LM7303 I had was not efficient at all and in fact got very hot, but it worked. Once I get a 12v gel cell for this setup, I should be able to take photos for days on end :D

BTW that one with the blinkenlites is pretty cool! +1 for blinkenlites :D

Just a few notes for anybody else following this topic.

Theory.

The "blinknlites" version uses the LM2596 which should according to the datasheet be able to push out 3A at 3.3V (you may need an additional heatsink to push it any harder than 2A according to some sources, but that would most probably only be true for higher output voltages), so it should be able to cope with any of the CHDK capable cameras.

When setting up, I would use a dummy load across the output to set the voltage.  Something  as simple as a 100 Ohm 1/2Watt resistor should do the trick (they only cost a few pennies).  ( I=V/R so that should draw I=3.3/100  or about 33mA which should be fine for adjusting the voltage on load).

The input voltage (for the versions of board I checked) should be a minimum of 2V more than the output voltage, and shouldn't exceed the maximum rating on the suppliers spec, or the maximum in the TI spec if the supplier doesn't make this clear (35V  DC seems to be safe maximum value for most designs with this regulator, so you should be able to power your camera from that old Dell laptop power supply that is gathering dust in the cupboard(19V DC at 4A), or hook it up to a car battery (around 13,2V and lots of amps) with little fear of damage, of you are careful when setting things up.

Some boards state the input voltage can be less than the output voltage, and while this is theoretically possible, I suspect that the board is not actually configured to allow this, your mileage may vary of course as there are several different designs out there.

Setting up.

Adjusting the voltage with the camera connected would be a bit risky.

If you opt for the non blinkenlites version, you will of course need a DC volt meter or multimeter to set things up. 

When using with an Ixus or Powershot A series and a dummy battery I would start with the voltage set for 3.3V, if this proves unreliable, maybe push it up to about 3.7v (or whatever figure is quoted on the Canon battery). 

For other cameras (those that use AA or AAA cells), Adjust the output to the voltage stated on the Canon accessory power supply for your particular model (assuming you are plugging in to the DC power socket on the camera, and not using a dummy battery). Google for that voltage, and go with the figures quoted on the Canon web site, as some of the cheap clone power supplies are a little on the unreliable side, both in terms of electrical safety, and written specifications an the supplier's web pages. If you are using some sort of dummy AA cell replacement, adjust for the voltage of the appropriate number of AA or AAA cells. Assume between 1.2V and 1.5V per cell, so for two AA cell, adjust to 2.4V and push up to no more than 3V if this is unreliable.

Safety

While the voltages we are dealing with here are relatively low and therefore fairly safe, the currents (and therefore the power output) can lead to some problems, insulate everything well and don't be tempted to try connecting this contraption up directly to your LiPo battery to charge it... It may kinda work, but it may also kinda blow up the battery spectacularly.

One more word of caution, once set up, if you don't have the LED voltmeter of the 'blinkenlights" version, and you have more than one camera,  label your creation with its output voltage, and the camera it should be used with so you don't accidentally connect it to the wrong camera.

If in doubt about what voltage to try,  start by adjusting to the voltage shown in the CHDK battery indicator when running on a fully charged battery, and only increase (in small increments) if this proves unreliably low.
 
In everyday use, I would recommend an in line quick blow 3A fuse on both the input and the output to protect both the camera and the regulator. The same precaution is justified for any of these buck regulator modules, as shorting out the input  battery pack without any protection can lead to thermal runaway and some very interesting smoke signals  :blink:

From memory the Ixus 60 has an internal 2A SMD fuse, so perhaps even a 1.8A external fuse on the regulator output would be wiser, fuses are much cheaper than zapped cameras and exploding batteries after all.

Now I just need to put my money where my mouth is and rig a couple of these up and post the results  ;)
« Last Edit: 04 / May / 2013, 07:54:49 by ahull »

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Offline ahull

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Re: A530 external power
« Reply #16 on: 07 / May / 2013, 12:06:21 »
I am happy to report that these modules work. For what it is worth, I went for a couple of the non "blinkenlights" version, as I assumed the LED display might consume power even when not running, and I intend to use this setup with batteries. Besides I have a couple of perfectly good multimeters, so I don't need them (I was tempted, blinky flashy lights are always a temptation  :D ).

Furthermore I am surprised to report that I am able to power my ancient Ixus 850 IS from the USB port on my laptop using this regulator, (and indeed from a USB wall wart ???).

Now it could be argued that for this particular feat, I might not even need the regulator (as there is every chance the Ixus would survive being fed 5V). I must admit I was tempted to try, but the thought of killing the camera stopped me.

What is remarkable is that I seem to be able to get the regulator to give me a solid output of anything between 3.3V and 4.3V despite the data sheet claiming that the input voltage should be at least 1.5V higher than the output. I have to admit that the Ixus and CHDK only thinks the battery is <10% charged, so connecting up the camera clearly does cause the voltage to drop somewhat under load (CHDK shows 3.659V, which interestingly enough is approx 1.5V less than the input, however I had adjusted the module for 4.3V before connecting the camera, so either my multimeter is out of whack (unlikely) or the module can't actually sustain 4.3V from a 5V source under load). What the heck, it actually works.

When I get a spare moment I will post some pictures of the build (including one of the voltage reading my multimeter, and another of the spaghetti attached to my laptop,  to show that I am not hallucinating  :blink:). 

It is not the tidiest thing I have ever made since it was constructed from the junk I had lying about, superglue a biro cap, some insulating tape, plastic from a shortbread packet and the cable from a dead Samsung phone charger). I might take a little more care with module number 2.

I didn't try it on an A530 though, simply 'cos I don't have one. It should work, but I suspect it wont work from an input as low as 5V. There is only one way to find out though.
« Last Edit: 07 / May / 2013, 15:24:59 by ahull »

Re: A530 external power
« Reply #17 on: 13 / November / 2013, 16:12:31 »
How did you get on with your version 2 of the buck regulator external power supply? I would be keen to make a similar external power supply for an Ixus camera. How do you adjust the buck regulator to give the 3.7volt output?
My idea is to make a battery pack say 10x AA batteries which will give about 12volts and then use the buck regulator to produce the 3.7 volts output for the camera, I don't know much about electronics so any advice you can give would be much appreciated.


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Offline ahull

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Re: A530 external power
« Reply #18 on: 13 / November / 2013, 18:51:40 »
There is a lot of information in this thread http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php?topic=10284.msg104041#msg104041 - not only about weatherproof boxes (as per the subject of the thread), but also about various options for powering various cameras. I included a few pictures of the buck regulator build, which may be useful to you. ( https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/111082960064282217370/albums/5911702276731304017 ) At the end you will see it connected to one of these cheap USB portable battery packs, but it could just as easily be connected to a car battery, a pile of AA cells, or some other suitable DC source.

The weatherproof box has been used a couple of times with the regulator and battery pack, and works well. The concept is still a bit of a work in progress, as I intend to develop it a bit further with a simple LCD alarm clock to switch the camera on at certain times. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to work on any of this recently.

To answer your question about adjusting the buck regulator, I connected up my multimeter and a 1K resistor as a load in place of the camera, the exact value is not that important, anything from about 5 ohms to about 10K ohms would probably do, since the regulator is good for any current from a few miliamps to over 2 amps. Furthermore you may well be able to adjust the output with no dummy load, I didn't try. I just happened to have a few resistors lying about, and that was the first value that came to hand.

Once the regulator output was in the right ballpark around 3.6V I attached the camera, paying close attention to the polarity. The Ixus's I tried all seemed to be pretty tolerant of variations in voltage between about 3.1V and 4.2V (and possibly higher, I didn't risk it, but some people have reported that their camera survives 5V without complaint, you do this at your own risk of course). Exactly 3.7V isn't absolutely critical so long as things are stable.

Feeding the buck regulator from 10 x AA batteries would be fine, these modules tend to be more efficient with a higher input voltage any way (within the specified limits of the module of course, check the spec sheet of the regulator chip for more details).
« Last Edit: 13 / November / 2013, 19:05:48 by ahull »

Re: A530 external power
« Reply #19 on: 15 / November / 2013, 18:22:20 »
Thank you for your prompt reply. It is very helpful and of course encouraging that 10x AA batteries should work as a power source. Your photos of the set up let me see how things can be wired. I have a few resistors lying around too so I will try using one as a load when setting up the regulator as you did.
I am interested in your idea of using the alarm clock as a timer. Presumably this could be used to turn on the camera at a set time eg dawn so it would be ready to take pictures of creatures like otters or other creatures that are wary of people? I found your post about the alarm clock and have ordered a couple of them but as I mentioned I am not very knowledgable about electronics yet so if you could give me a little more information about how the clock can be hacked/ utilised that would be very helpful. Thank you for your help so far.

 

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