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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:24 pm 
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Has anyone tried using a DC to DC power converter to run their cameras?
Running a heap of cams becomes very costly with batteries and there are plenty of converters that drop 12v to 3.3v.
I leave my cams out for about 3 months at a time so need plenty of backup power especially for my S600 builds.
Is anyone doing this? How well does it work? Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:59 pm 
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If you are using a large case like the Pelican 1060 you can fit 2 D cells and 2 C cells as backup power, and a camera shooting stills will run for 5 to 7 months, depending on the number of shots. That doesn't answer your question, but its an alternative to a 12 v battery and wasted power using with a stepdown device.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:45 pm 
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cameratrapcodger wrote:
If you are using a large case like the Pelican 1060 you can fit 2 D cells and 2 C cells as backup power, and a camera shooting stills will run for 5 to 7 months, depending on the number of shots. That doesn't answer your question, but its an alternative to a 12 v battery and wasted power using with a stepdown device.


I'm using 2 d cells now for back up. Even Duracell or energizer batteries don't always last, just thought the step down might be worth a try as the recycled 12v sla batteries are so cheap.
The little converters are only a couple of dollars so I'll get one and give it a test run.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:52 am 
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Better keep us posted on that. I try to use Eneloop rechargeable batteries where l can but as soon as they drop about .5v they no longer run the cam. I will be very interested to know as l have a supply of small 12v batteries that l could use.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:37 am 
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I know that Jeff is a big fan of this brand of step up/step down adjustable voltage regulators.............Pololu. Perhaps Jeff will see this post and jump in with some sound advice for you.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:09 pm 
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Yes, I go through quite a few step down regulators. A couple things I have learned.....Do not use linear regulators. Their efficiency is in the neighborhood of 50%. That efficiency goes down as the delta between input voltage and output voltage goes up. When you see these used they will probably have a heat sink fastened to them. A good portion of your precious battery power is being converted to heat. Part numbers for this type of regulator are LM78XX, LM340, etc.

Switching regulators can have efficiency rating in the 90% or greater range. Check the quiescent current draw. This is the current draw when there is no load. Many of the cheap switching regulators can have quiescent current draw of up to 1ma or more. This will drain your battery quickly. Find one with no load draw in the low micro amp range. Often times the vendor will list the chip used in the description. Search the internet to find the spec sheet for the chip.

I was so frustrated with finding one I liked that I started making my own using the Texas Instrument LMR23630AFQDDARQ1 Simple Switcher integrated circuit. http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/lmr23630-q1.pdf It will handle up to 36vdc in and provide up to 3 amps of current. Quiescent current is 15ua and efficiency is excellent. Plus, it takes a minimum of other components to make it work. For me, a big benefit is the EN pin on the chip. When the EN pin is pulled high it enables the regulator. When EN is low the regulator is disabled and draws no current. This works great for turning a camera or other circuitry on or off with the controller.

Here is the board I came up with. The size is 22mm x 18mm. The output voltage is set by the value of one resistor on the board.

Image

Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:02 pm 
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-jeff wrote:
Yes, I go through quite a few step down regulators. A couple things I have learned.....Do not use linear regulators. Their efficiency is in the neighborhood of 50%. That efficiency goes down as the delta between input voltage and output voltage goes up. When you see these used they will probably have a heat sink fastened to them. A good portion of your precious battery power is being converted to heat. Part numbers for this type of regulator are LM78XX, LM340, etc.

Switching regulators can have efficiency rating in the 90% or greater range. Check the quiescent current draw. This is the current draw when there is no load. Many of the cheap switching regulators can have quiescent current draw of up to 1ma or more. This will drain your battery quickly. Find one with no load draw in the low micro amp range. Often times the vendor will list the chip used in the description. Search the internet to find the spec sheet for the chip.

I was so frustrated with finding one I liked that I started making my own using the Texas Instrument LMR23630AFQDDARQ1 Simple Switcher integrated circuit. http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/lmr23630-q1.pdf It will handle up to 36vdc in and provide up to 3 amps of current. Quiescent current is 15ua and efficiency is excellent. Plus, it takes a minimum of other components to make it work. For me, a big benefit is the EN pin on the chip. When the EN pin is pulled high it enables the regulator. When EN is low the regulator is disabled and draws no current. This works great for turning a camera or other circuitry on or off with the controller.

Here is the board I came up with. The size is 22mm x 18mm. The output voltage is set by the value of one resistor on the board.

Image

Hope this helps.


That's great information, thank you. Not quite as simple as it looked but I'll see what I can come up with.


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