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I built this adapter in order to add larger battery capacity for prolonged time lapse shooting, it will work for adding battery hours to your camera or anything at a fraction of the price of commercial options. 

Be aware that messing around with electricity can be dangerous to you and your equipment, if you are not comfortable with this, do not do this.

 
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Step 1: What you need

Picture of What you need
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You will need just a few things to build this device.

- 1 battery for your camera.  search on ebay or amazon and buy the cheapest one you can find, it doesn't have to work well it just needs to fit in your camera.

-2 DC to DC step down. Ebay again, just a few dollars. I used this one. http://www.ebay.com/itm/250954119681?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

-3 Small enclosure for the step down.

-4 One DC power jack

-5 One DC barrel plug

-6 12" of 1 pair wire or a couple strands of hook up wire.

-7 Shrink tube

-8 Glue

Tools,

Screwdriver

Soldering iron

Multimeter <------ THIS IS A MUST!

Step 2: Build it

The first thing you should do is find which contacts you will need to use on the battery. Use your multimeter to to find the positive and the negative, mark them. Now  crack the battery open; this could be tricky, but mine opened very easily. I was using a razor to cut around the seam on the side of the battery but I discovered that if I just push, the battery would come apart.

Inside the battery case you will find a circuit board attached to the battery. You need to disconnect this; carefully cut the leads connecting them.

Now you need to solder the wire that will connect the DC to DC step down to the circuit board. On the backside of the board in the battery I used, there were solder pads for the battery contacts, identify the correct pads and solder the wires.

You will need to notch the battery case slightly where the wire will exit. Double check on your camera where the little flap of rubber is for the wire to go out so the battery door can still close. Tie a knot in the cable or glue it to the inside if the battery case so that you don't accidentally pull the wires off of the circuit board. Now glue the battery case back together.

Now, drill a hole in the enclosure for the step down. Solder a few wires to the 'in' pads of the step down, connect them to the appropriate connectors on the DC jack. 

Plug the 12v or 18v  (or whatever battery that you plan to use) into the dc jack, connect your multimeter to the 'out' pads on the step down and turn the adjustment screw on the step down until you see the voltage you want. Use the voltage from a fully charged camera battery as your guide. It may be a good idea to cover the adjustment screw with some hot glue so that it can not be moved accidentally.  BE SURE YOUR OUTPUT VOLTAGE MATCHES THE VOLTAGE OF THE CAMERA BATTERY. 

Solder the wire from the camera battery to the 'out' pads on the step down. Make sure you have the correct polarity. Notch out a hole for where the wire will leave the enclosure and close it up.

Now test it out with your multimeter, and test it again! Be sure you have the correct voltage and correct polarity BEFORE you put this in your camera.

OK, that's it! You can now power your camera with much larger batteries for long days of shooting, time lapses, or heavy video use.
dwosullivan3 years ago
Well Done!
as an aside how good are those 12v lithium batteries hey! for the $20 ish you pay for them there are super powerful. I have used them for everything form arduino projects, killer bike lights, super high capacity usb chargers etc etc.
DerekMellott (author)  dwosullivan3 years ago
They are awesome! I have several of them.
motleypixel3 years ago
Oh man...I would be very nervous about doing this. I have a firm understanding of basic electronics/electrical and this is a great way to save money and really prolong your shooting. I think for the 5DMK2 the LPE6 packs are 1800mah and at about $60 each now and with a battery grip (after-market at about $40 or OEM at $130) you are talking some serious dough to get 3600mah of juice.

So for me, I have to use my after-market grip and two LPE6 batteries and I've yet to run out of juice for any single time-lapse capture. It's when the next day comes around and I want to shoot more that kills me. I often do night time-lapse in a remote location so by the next day my batteries are drained.

I'm confused on your build, why the drill battery and a 12VDC battery pack?

I think you could go with two 2S 7.4VDC 1800mAh wired in parallel to achieve 3600mah of juice w/o the need of the DC-DC step-down (which is the single area I would be most concerned about). I would hate for a component of the step-down to go south, aka die, and then cause irreversible damage to the camera.
DerekMellott (author)  motleypixel3 years ago
The drill battery is just showing another thing you can use to power the camera.

I do not recommend anyone do this if they are uncomfortable with it.
hanlin_y3 years ago
That's a nice idea. You should hot glue the potentiometer so it isn't easy to mess around with it.
DerekMellott (author)  hanlin_y3 years ago
That's a good idea, I've added it.
Thank you.
astroboy9073 years ago
great idea!!! I was thinking of selling my extra battery but now I might not.. Offers a simple explanation and a great result- Jut might want to go into more detail about the step down for novices
DerekMellott (author)  astroboy9073 years ago
Thank you!

Do you mean more detail on how it works, how to use it, how to connect it, or all of the above?
just more detail on making sure to match the batteries voltage (or maybe a bit lower), just as a reminder so people don't make the mistake of plugging it into the camera without dialing it down first ;)
DerekMellott (author)  astroboy9073 years ago
Done.