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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Power adapter for digital cameras without an external jack - Hack a Day

Power adapter for digital cameras without an external jack

posted Feb 20th 2011 6:46am by Mike Szczys
filed under: digital cameras hacks

[Kusnick] is into using digital camera rigs for book scanning. The problem is that keeping the batteries charged is a pain, but there’s no external AC adapter jack which would allow him to use the mains. His solution was to build his own adapter to replace the batteries.

There are some fancy book scanning setups that allow you to just flip through the pages, but it’s much simpler to build a rig that uses two cameras. [Kusnick's] setup is the latter, which means he’s found two inexpensive cameras that don’t need to be mobile. The first attempt at making an adapter featured a block of acrylic with the positive and negative contacts connected to a shielded cord which he then hooked to an external supply. The camera would come on and then turn off citing that the cameras were “for use with compatible battery only”. Turns out there’s some type of verification circuit built into the proprietary batteries. But the solution to that came quite easily; remove the circuit board from the battery and insert it in the adapter to trick the camera.

[Thanks Daniel]

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External power supply using “fake batteries”

Postby kusnick » Yesterday, 12:41

Hello folks. One of the most challenging problems in using “cheap” cameras is the lack of some resources that could be useful for our bookscanner purposes. One of these features is the possibility to use an external power supply. This is particularly problematic when you need to be “ready to go” and just realize that your cameras must wait hours to be charged… or, what is not uncommon in our case, is to put the cameras through a heavy duty cycle. In this situation the batteries may discharge before work is done.

One might say that the solution is to have spare batteries. But practice has taught me that stopping the work to change one or both batteries is time consuming, due the necessity to remove the cameras from the rig and to set them up again.
Another thing to think about is the cost of spare batteries. In some cases a battery may cost almost the half price of the camera!
So I’m going to tell you about my experiences with two models of camera: the Olympus T100 and the Sony DSC-W320. I think that a similar trick is applicable to different cameras, what is important here is the principle involved, but each case must be carefully studied.

I started with two Sony DSC-W320 for bookscanning. After hundreds of pages I realized that I really need an external power supply… but without an external power connector, what to do? There wasn’t even a power supply available for this camera..
Well the obvious solution was to make one trying to match the cameras’ voltage and amperage needs. This is not a big deal to who is familiar with electronics (I’m just a weekend mad scientist). Anyway I’ll post the instructions to build a “stereo power supply” in a later post.

The real deal here is how to connect a cable inside the camera. The contacts are located deep inside; you can barely see them, much less connect the wires.
This is what a DSC-320 battery looks like.


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Great Post!:) I've been wanting to use my old Olympus Brio D-150 Camera as a Web Cam. It's only 1.3 Megapixel, but it has a nice Auto Focus and good Zoom features. It has an Analog Composite Video Out that works for sending the Video to my Video Input Card on my Computer. This could take care of keeping the Power Up at all times. Now all I need, is to figure out how to Keep the Camera from Auto Shutting off ever 20 Seconds or so...


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