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Powering GH2
  • 381 Replies sorted by
  • @feha this has been a great read, I eagerly await the instructional video. Please keep things simple for those of us who know nothing about power :)

  • @ChainsawFilms

    Here comes my tutorial about building your power system before connecting to any battery.

  • @feha thank you. I need to watch this a few times, electrics is a new concept for me. I hope you don't mind answering questions if needed :)

  • @feha Thanks so much for posting this very informative video.

    I may just have to give it a go.

    In your solution would you be able to power GH2,(8.6v) an LCD monitor (12v), and an LED light (12v) using the sony batteries, or would you need something bigger?

  • I use RC car batteries. 8.4V 4.200 mAh, attached to my tripod with Velcro Tape. On one fully charged battery I shot 150GB of 140mBit intra frame video before I received "the message". Remaining power in the battery is between 250 to 400 mAh and Voltage is around 8.3V. The SD card recorded when battery went down was not readable by FCPX. luckily http://www.nef.wh.uni-dortmund.de/~mt/remux/ did the trick of remuxing the MTS files, so even the last shot was on the SD, just some meta data missing which causes FCPX hickups. Over all it looks like the cheapest solution and from where I am standing (RC builder with proper charging gear). A very cheap and powerful solution. just wanted to share the experience. YMMV

  • @maxdvz You can power GH2 + LCD monitor (12v), but LED takes more current and power so the max in total is 2A (3A the step up/down converter can get hot.) So I suggest for LED to use own batteries, else you will need a step converter for each. Also LED light could be used but not in full intensity, Z-96 have a dimmer , but the converter can not cope with full intensity as LED might need more than 2A ...

    Formula:

    P = U x I

    I = P/U

    P = Power U = Voltage I = Current

  • Here's a warning for everyone: the polarity on the DCC8 appears to be reversed. In other words, if you connect a correctly wired male DC plug into the female plug of the DCC8, the polarity of the white-striped cable on the DCC8 will be opposite from the polarity of the white-striped cable on the DC cable you've connected. Fortunately I noticed this before connecting the battery setup, which I'll describe below.

    I have a big concert gig tonight, and I needed an external battery wired up ASAP. I ordered a 8.4v 5100mAH Tamiya-connector battery, a compatible charger, a DCC8 coupler, a Tamiya wiring kit, and a DC plug kit. I received everything other than the DC plug kit in time, and no local stores carried the correct diameter plugs, so I was forced to solder a male Tamiya cable directly on to the DCC8 by cutting off the female plug. If you do this, do NOT solder the red Tamiya cable to the white-striped DCC8 cable. In this case you want to connect the BLACK Tamiya cable to the white-striped DCC8 cable.

    This is the 5100mAH battery I am using: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004GCH8YE/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i00 This is the battery charger I chose: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AVUAVC/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00 This is the Tamiya wiring kit I chose: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HKEVH6/ref=oh_details_o00_s02_i00

    Everything is running beautifully. I haven't had a chance to time the battery life, but I expect 8-12 hours per charge.

  • @feha, thank you for the great tutorial.

    But my gut feeling is telling me that there is a real possibility that the camera can accept 12V without a damage, which would open up a simple solution for using one of the cheap, high capacity 12V batteries without a step-down converter.

    Here is way I think that it may be possible: the input contacts of the camera are seeing a voltage range of 7.2V (standard battery) to ~ 9V (for ext. battery solution as reported by some users). There must be a voltage regulator built onto the camera circuitry to handle this. Now, the question is, what is the max. acceptable input voltage?

    For example, the Lilliput 7" 5D-II is accepting 7.2V batteries (like Sony NP-F970) as well as 12V plug-in power. And it specifies the input voltage as "DC 6-24V." (http://www.zhangzhoulilliput.com/sdp/198976/4/pd-1016344/9895794-2402085/LILLIPUT_7_on_camera_HD_Field_Monitor_with_False_c.html).

    I understand that no one wants to torture their precious camera with 12V risking it dies in the process.

    But @vitaliy, you may still have one of the "dead" bodies you used to dump the firmware. Would you test it out please?

  • @DMZ you are wrong, you can damage your camera forever. Just don't try it, it may work for few seconds, as the voltage regulator inside GH2 can keep low current. The heat created inside GH2 can damage regulator it self than other components.

    "Now, the question is, what is the max. acceptable input voltage?"

    That can you read on DC coupler ...

  • @feha, it appears that you misunderstood my post. I am making a suggestion only, I am not saying that it does work. If I would be sure that it does, then I would just do it.

    As I stated, we know that 8.6-9V input does not damage the camera. But that says nothing about what the limit is. The Lilliput monitor takes a 7.2V batteries and 12V plug-in power. If the manufacturer would not disclose that it can take up to 24V most of us would deem it impossible.

    Well designed electronics is never built so that the operating parameters are at hard limits and that any deviation would destroy it. GH2 is capable of a recording bandwidth that is multiple times more than what is specified - so there is definitely more juice running through the circuits than Panasonic intended - and it does work! In this regard, it is a robust product. Does this robustness apply to the input voltage? Maybe. It would be useful to know. That is the subject of my suggestion.

    BTW: what makes you so sure that my idea is "wrong?" Do you know it for fact or are you just speculating as I am?

    I was hoping for a constructive discussion here. Do we have an electronics expert here? I'd like to get an "educated" feedback. But of course, all good ideas and opinions are welcome.

  • @DMZ this idea of yours has already been discussed by electronics experts. Just search the threads and look for comments by alexdolgin and others.

  • @maxdvz: Thanks for the hint. I read through the forum and did not see this specific topic discussed yet: using a 12V battery connected directly to the coupler without a DC-DC down-conversion device. I read only things like "... 9V works," or ".... I think 10V will be too high."

    If I have overlooked it, would you please give me a pointer (handle and date)? I read alexdolgin's comments and did not find anything that would clarify my specific point. The discussion was about using a step-down converter or the battery with 5V, 9V, and 12V outputs (this battery looks like a good option and I will give it a try if my idea goes nowhere).

    (... and when I say "my" idea, I am not taking any ownership of it - I use it for identification purposes only. I am sure I am not the first one who thought of it :) )

  • @DMZ, I think, I'm not sure and I suggest, just don't gamble :-) I do not intend to "prove how is right" :-) The monitors have more place to have inside step up-down converter etc ... I would not risk more than 10% , of the value stated in DC coupler. Testing limits it's OK but it does not guarantee long term usage :-)

  • I just finished soldering my adapter for my external cctv batteries (the cheap chinese ones with 5v/9v/12v) and it works. Haven't tested them out for length, but nothing seems to heat and no indications on the GH2. I will report as to battery life, as well as battery deterioration as soon as I have something to report.

  • There are good suggestions revolving around utilizing the UBEC voltage regulator for up-and-down DC conversion: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idproduct=18785.

    9V25AUBEC Specs:

    Input: 6V-23V

    Output: 9V/2.5A (Less than 50mV peak to peak voltage @ 2A)

    Dimension: 22.9mm x 20.3mm x 7.6mm (LxWxH)

    Weight: 5g (w/o wires) or 7.1g (wires included)

    Price: $5.40

    The UBEC is quite small and the output voltage is factory set - so nothing to tinker with. It is suitable for integration into a custom battery housing or even a grip. Or you can just put it together.

    9V25AUBEC.jpg
    565 x 414 - 83K
  • Has anyone tried using the Sanyo Pedal Juice to power the GH2? Any word on battery life? I could see it being used neatly as a low-profile solution with a cage.

  • An intriguing and elegant power solution would be to integrate the UBEC inside the DC-coupler and use it with a modified battery grip for Canon (http://www.amazon.com/Quality-Battery-Canon-1000D-Rebel/dp/B003XMROKG/ref=pd_sim_p_4). Judging from the pictures, it may fit reasonably well together. Someone mentioned it.

    The grip accepts two standard Canon LP-E5 Li-ion batteries, 7.4V, 2000mAh (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-LP-E5-Compatible-Li-Ion-Battery/dp/B001D0OVBK/ref=pd_cp_p_0), which could give the GH2 theoretically up to around 7h recording time (calculated based on specs; 90% UBEC efficiency assumed). Practically, I think it should last for at least 4h, which is all I need. And to swap the batteries for fresh ones is very quick and simple. Both batteries and grip got good reviews on Amazon.

    The grip mod will require some skills though. Did someone tried it?

  • @SightfulProd: could you post a link?

    Edit: I found it here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?sku=753636&Q=&O=productlist&is=REG&A=details.

    It looks like a fine battery with a three-stage power indicator. It should work well with GH2 provided you find, or make, a matching cable. It should last about as long as the two Canon batteries I mentioned in my previous post. It's a little pricey though.

  • @DMZ Link: http://www.ecoolgadgets.com/sanyo-eneloop-pedal-juice-black-namm-2011/

    It has two 9v outputs, will that need downcoverting to 8.4v or should be fine?

    Features:

    • Portable, rechargeable lithium-ion 9V power supply (max output 2,000mA, or 1,000mA per port when using both power ports)

    • Stable voltage provides consistent, long-lasting sound quality

    • Three-stage power indicator shows remaining battery level at a glance, even during use

    • Easily turns on or off with one button

    • Can be used outside even in wet weather. Water-Resistant to JIS IPX3 compliance level (no damage when sprayed with water in vertical position at angles of up to 60 degrees on both sides)

    • No noise interference from surrounding electric equipment as occurs with AC power

    • Approximately 3.5 hour charging time

    • Standard usage times include approximately 50 hours for analog effects units (~10mA), up to 27 hours for digital effects units (~50mA), about 17 hours for digital multi effects units (~100mA), 7 hours for multi-track recorder or synthesizer (~300mA), and 2 hours for electronic drums or percussion (~1,000mA)

    • Built-in 3.7V, 7.35Ah Lithium-ion battery

    • Colors: White or Black

  • @SightfulProd: The battery has an internal up-conversion from 3.7V to a stable 9V on the output. 9V is perfectly OK for the GH2. The Panasonic AC supply, connected with the DC coupler, is rated for 8.4V but it outputs around 8.6V. Some applied up to 10V without any observed issues. 9V is considered safe and a well tested option. But make sure you connect it with the correct polarity.

    The SANYO battery looks very sharp! May be worth the money just for the looks :). If you get the battery please let us know how it works for you.

  • tested the ownuser grip with one original and one fake battery. It turns out that the camera needs confirmation from the real battery for the first 2 seconds after switching it on. After that, one can take out the original battery and run on 7.4V external power.

    The power-indicator works without the real battery, so it is measuring the real current. Only thing is: it won't "go back". So if the battery passed the treshold for the low-battery warning (red battery icon), it will not go back to white if you put in a fully charged battery.

    So basically, if you have made yourself a DIY DCC8 all you have to do is add two more connectors and connect them to your genuine panasonic battery. Then you can power your camera with any 7.4V battery and use the camera's battery-status indicator and gentle shut-down.

  • @DirkVoorhoeve, that was great find, thank you.

  • I recently purchased the Lanparte Rig throught Vitaliy's special deals .. I have since bought the Lanparte Battery pinch and a v-mount battey.

    I used this http://www.altronics.com.au/index.asp?area=item&id=K3220 to convert one of the 12V outputs on the pinch to 9V.

    'A flexible circuit that provides preset voltage output of 3, 5, 6, 9 or 12V DC' .. it's a standard 3 pin regulator .. it gets warm .. but I can hold in my hand while camera recording for 15minutes .. it runs cooler than a hot cup of coffee

    The pinch has a labled 7.2V output that is 8.4 (no load) .. camera says won't work with this battery .. as I expected.

  • @DirkVoorhoeve: Thanks for debunking the myth that "the charge level of 3rd party batteries cannot be displayed because it cannot be measured because some sensor is missing in them".

    It was quite obvious to me already (even though there was no evidence), that the battery level is displayed based on a voltage measurement done by the camera itself. It would not make any sense to build the voltage measurement into a battery.

    So now its proven that it is just the lack of "dongle emulation" that keeps the GH2 from displaying the charge level.

    I hope this absolutely customer unfriendly behaviour can be removed by a firmware hack, one day.

  • I have two IDX 14.8v v-mount batteries that I don't currently use. Thinking of buying a simple v-mount plate and taking the 14.8 out and then putting 2 switching converters cables on it as described in many of these posts. (can buy cables but they are over $100 each). Question is can I take the positive line out and split in two and also the same with the negative out and then run a pair (1 neg and 1 pos) to a 9v switching regulator cable and the other neg/pos pair to a 12 volt switching regulator cable?

    Question is really, will both lines have 14.8v, which is assume they will.

    There are times when I'd just run the gh2 and others, the gh2 and a 12v monitor.