A GoPro is a perfect choice for action cameras, but not all of us can afford that gadget. Despite the fact there's a large variety of GoPro based cameras or small action cameras (i have an Innovv C2 for my airsoft games), not all of us can afford the cost to get one.
As an experienced airsofter, gadget fan and "McGyver" fan problem solver, i decided to recycle an old digital camera, powered by a cellphone battery, the way we can solve some problem in a better way to make this thing works properly.
So we can get a cheaper, low resolution, but reliable GoPro based camera.
Step 1: Step 1: Setting Your Materials
For this project we need:
- and old digital camera
- Servo Extension J Futaba connector wires (used in RC models)
- An old cellphone battery (a Nokia BL-5C works)
- Welding iron and soldering (welding) electric gun or pen
- 3M Command velcro stripes for attach the battery
- and a lot of patience and precision.
Step 2: Step 2: Wiring
First of all, keep your workspace clean and ur tools accesible and ordered. The soldering gun and electronic welding iron keep it properly away from childrens, to avoid accident's risk.
We have the servos wires used in RC controllers, and those wires could be made of 2 or 3 wires. in this case, this servo had 3 wires (yellow, red, black), but we need 2 for weld it into positive and negative terminals of the digital camera and battery. we can remove the yellow wire from it and leave the red wire for positive terminal, and black wire for negative terminal. One of these cables will go to the camera and in this case, it will be the female connector.
Afterwards, we will strip the cable about 5 mm and we will electronic welding it to weld it to the positive and negative terminals of the camera, on an easy wayt Remember, red is for positive, black for negative. keep the same wiring when we weld the battery terminals.
Warning: weld one cable at the time carefully.
And voilá! we welded the connector into the camera's electric terminals.
Step 3: Step 3: Setting the Battery
Now, we have to weld the male connector's wires into the battery. In this case, the battery used is a Nokia's 2600 cellphone (a 3.7v Nokia BL-5C LiOn battery). I choose this kind of battery because is small, more stable, powerful and lasting than regular or rechargeable AAA batteries, and more easy to recharge, adapting a wall cellphone charger.
Also we did before with the wiring the cable into camera, we have to cut more cable for battery, and peel 5mm in their terminals, and put a little amount of electronic welding at the peeled edges.
Warning: Weld the terminals respecting the colors disposed on the camera: Red is for +, black for - . Do it one at the time, avoiding the contact between terminals. do it carefully because LiOn batteries are too powerful and cause a huge spark. the risk of causing fires is elevated. Do it carefully.
Step 4: Step 4: Testing
The moment of truth... connect the battery to the camera and see if it works. In the picture, the battery have enough power to turn it on.
Step 5: Step 5: Attach the Battery and Housing the Wires
Well, we made the difficult part, but now we have to attach the battery. for this we just can use a 3M command velcro stripes. is more effective and easy to attach and detach.
To house the wiring and connectors to avoid involuntary cuts, we can use the AAA battery housing to hide the wires and connections and use the camera again.
The camera is powered by a 2 1.5V AAA batteries, and the power source is a Nokia 3.7V LiOn battery, so we're providing 0.7V more, but it's ok and safe, because those devices have some tolerance to overload.