Given an old camcorder without charger, how do I charge?

Ok, so I was given an old Sharp Slimcam without a charger. Any ideas on how to charge it without finding an old one on ebay that may not work, for a somewhat crazy price? Would something like a 6V Battery Tender work?

petercd3 years ago

Is this a Sharp Slimcam full-size VHS camcorder ? might be 18v or some other non standard voltage. ( not either 12v or 6v which are more easily come by)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=145RkLKMhyk

There might be an dc external power input, or maybe pull the battery, most likely a nicad, and jury rig some charging cables, depending on its voltage requirements use either a 6v or 12v dc charger directly.

I think I would be tempted to crack open the case of this black, brick-like, battery, and discover what mysteries lie within.

Well, it's probably not going to be too mysterious. It is probably going to be some number old Ni-Cd cells strung together, and connected to the terminals on the outside of this plastic battery case.

This process of discovery has a purpose. The purpose is to discover what kind of power this battery was intended to produce. More specifically, I am interested to know the open-circuit voltage of this battery, approximately how much current (in amperes) it needed to supply, and also the polarity of its little metal tab terminals.

This process of discovery is aided by other sources of information too, including markings on the battery, or camera itself, and whatever you can learn by searching via the web for documentation on this camera.

Anyway, once I had a good idea of what kind of DC power this camera wanted, and also once I was very confident about the polarity of the little tabs on the battery case, then I would just solder some wires into the old battery case and try using these wires, plus my own power supply, to power up the camera.

I have a lab-bench style variable power supply, intended for stuff like this, but if I did not have that, I would just use a stack of alkaline batteries, like however many it would take to match the voltage of the old battery.

The goal of all this is simply to discover if the camera works. Then if it does, then you can maybe consider seeking out the factory-made battery, or charger, or you can try to figure out a way to run it from some other, easier to find, kind of battery, or whatever.

kelseymh3 years ago
The manual for the camera should tell you what the input to the camera must be. Use the name and model number to do a Google search. Sometimes that information is embossed on the camera body itself, near the model number information.

Once you know the specs -- the voltage needed from the charger and the minimum current -- you can get a replacement wall wart fairly cheaply either online or from Radio Shack, Fry's, etc. Bring the camcorder with you so you can match the plug.
You might be able to find the old power brick for it but you may need to find a new battery for it as well. Chances are the batteries are no good. Find the power specs for it and then find an adapter to match.