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Powering GH2
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  • Glad you bought it @thepalalias. I think everybody should just buy that ATC power bank and end the discussion of what external battery to buy until some company makes another power bank for less than $50 that lasts 15 hours. I haven't seen any battery that comes close to the value of this thing.

    Also, I edited my original post regarding what end of the DC-out cable to connect: Both ends of the cable will fit into the "D" tip connector that connects to the coupler, but as @thepalalias pointed out, ONLY ONE end of the cable will fit snugly into the power bank's DC-out port. No need to worry about connecting the wrong end.

    I mount it to the back of my rig's 15mm rods using gaffer tape strapped around the center of the power bank a couple times. It's very secure and is a good counter weight.

  • Earlier this week I got the ATC 15000 maH Power Bank that @Dishe @TGDude suggested. I have only had the chance to do one full-drain test so far, so I will be adding more comments later.

    But here is how the first test went. I kept it turned on in 9v mode for about 13-14 hours continuously either recording or playing back before the GH2 turned off.

    The battery has an indicator LCD (4 bars), a power button and a voltage selector button. It has two output ports (for powering other devices, one for USB and the other meant for use with all the adaptors it comes with) and one input port (for charging).

    The LCD is blue while powering and the battery has to be turned on to provide power. The cables and plugs all have good connectors and I did not run into any issues with them falling out while moving around or bumping. I even dropped the battery from a distance of about 1 foot onto a floor while it continued to power the GH2 without interruption.

    @Roy_Batty I had read your comment before purchase, so I was anxious about the adapters. The connector design is pretty much foolproof in the sense that they can only be connected one way. There is no ambiguity, other than in the minute or so it takes to find the plug that fits properly into the Panasonic adapter. Once you find the right one, it fits perfectly and securely. As mentioned earlier, in the current packaging it is the 4th one from one of the sides.

    I have not figured out the best way to mount it yet. I am thinking about strapping a velcro patch to it and a tripod. Other experiences and suggestions?

  • Warning ! The 5/9/12V does not load.mine actually seemed to load but it is dead.keep away from those ebay batts.

  • my second battery did the same thing and would not charge. I was wondering why so switched the two batteries to the on position when charging and Vola! It's charging now. i'll report back tomorrow after fully charged the batteries and running them through another 5 hours continuous recording session.

  • I would not expect any battery protection circuit in this package. Its simply lipo's with some cheap power converters attached. As you said, once you completly empty the battery its broken...

  • @bangkng Thanks man. I haven't had the opportunity to recharge it yet and I'm a little worried about it. I even doubt about there being a recharge control circuit. When I opened the case (because the 9v outlet wasn't working out of the box!) I noticed they had done a very shoddy work.

  • @Mike_C I bought the same one a month ago. Never used it until two days ago. Did a test of 5 hours continuous (stopped camera twice to change sdxc card) shoot before the camera gives error message "cannot use this battery." I then recharged it overnight but the camera still displays the same error message. I thought maybe it didn't recharge correctly or long enough so i recharged it for another 12 hours. I still get the same error message. Then i tested the usb out port to my tablet. it was working fine for 10mins then the red light turned off. i am pretty sure this battery is dead as it can't be recharged. I am testing a second battery right now. Testing to see how long it will record. after that i will recharge and start over. hopefully it won't fail.

  • This is the cheapest deal I've seen for an official battery so far. Heads up for all those who want a bargain.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-DMW-BLC12E-Battery-Lumix-GH2/dp/B0046Y0VY6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346932598&sr=8-1

  • @JohnTollwannabe, I used it on a 3-4 hour shoot recently (at least 2 hours of being turned on) for the first time since my initial tests. The battery meter still said it was almost full or full, I can't remember. It's great so far. One annoying thing is that the DC-out cable that connects to the "D" is not snug, so it can slip out a easier than you would expect. It happened once while shooting. You can just put tape over it to secure it tighter though.

  • @TGDude,

    So, did that battery meet your GH2 power needs? Still going strong, or have you encountered any problems?

  • @Alfaerik Could you please elaborate more about it? How did it die?

  • @Mike_C I bought that one early this summer. I functioned well one time, after that it died.

  • So I bought this power bank: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Black-5V-9V-12V-3-in-1-DC-Rechargeable-Li-ion-Battery-For-CCTV-CAM-Camera-ep-/380435831423?pt=UK_ConsumerElectronics_Batteries_SM&hash=item5893be1a7f that finally got in today. The 9v outlet actually outputs 9.39 v. Is this voltage too high for the GH2 or is it ok? Anybody?

  • @TGDude,

    Thanks for your quick reply.

  • @Roy_Batty, http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41T9vviFe3L.SS350.jpg <== enter that whole URL, actual link might not be hyperlinked correctly... That's everything that comes with the power bank. The cable I'm referring to does not have prongs. It just has the single cylindrical shaped tip on both ends. It's the one wrapped up on the far left, 2nd from the top (below the very top wrapped up cable), directly left of the various "tip connectors" that are laying just below the actual power bank.

  • @TGDude,

    Thanks for the fast reply. Like you, I don't know much about wiring. I would imagine that if there were any markings, they would be on the adapter tip itself. Is it the kind of tip that has two prongs on the end that connects to the cable leading back to the battery?

  • @Roy_Batty, I don't see any polarity markings on the DC-out cable connecting the power bank to the "D" tip connector (which then connects to the DC coupler).

    ** Edit: Both ends of the cable will fit the "D" tip, but ONLY one end will fit into the DC-out port of the power bank, so there is no need to worry about connecting the wrong end. **

    The battery doesn't seem cumbersome because it sits on the back of my rig. It's acting as another counter-weight.

  • @TGDude,

    Are the adapter plugs for the ATC 15000 mAh battery marked in any way to ensure that they have the right polarity for the coupler?

    Also, the ATC battery seems kind of big -- does it feel cumbersome in any way?

    Can you power anything else with it at the same time as you power the GH2? (Like a monitor maybe? Scratch that - I just looked at the pictures of the battery on Amazon -- looks like the only other socket is for USB).

  • I ended up getting the ATC 15000mAh Power Bank from Amazon. It's awesome so far. I tested it out last night, very unscientifically, so take it with a grain of salt.

    After charging the battery for the first time and hooking it up to the GH2, the power bank powered the GH2 for about 15 hours. This included about 10 hours of actual recording time (the camera stopped recording a few times when the sd card was full, and when I noticed it stopped, I wiped the card and continued recording).

    I simply hooked up the ATC Power Bank to the Panasonic DCC8 Coupler using tip "D" (the power bank comes with lots of tips to choose from) to connect the two. I don't know wtf you guys were talking about when you said you were snipping and soldering parts to test the polarity, but I didn't have to do any of that. I used gaffer tape to tape the power bank to the back of my shoulder rig, so it acts as an additional counter-weight.

    Overall, I'm extremely happy. $53 for a battery that lasts all day. I had been using the stock Panasonic battery along with four 3rd party batteries by Opteka. I'll probably never use those batteries again unless I'm just taking photos without using my rig.

    Thanks to @dishe for recommending this!

  • @dishe, how's that ATC 15000mAh Power Bank holding up? You still getting long recording times? I'm thinking about getting it. I need a power supply to put on the back of my rig that will last 5+ hours of recording time.

    If I purchase that ATC power bank and the panasonic dc coupler: http://www.amazon.com/15000mAh-External-Motorola-Portable-eletronics/dp/B0067XMPNY/ http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMW-DCC8-Coupler-DMC-GH2-GF2/dp/B004OZQIGW/ is there anything else I will need or will I be all set? I don't want to hassle with snipping wires, soldering etc.

    Thanks

  • @jakef,

    Just to clarify: you used this cable (plug tip adapter) - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190671675522?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

    to connect the cable from the Chinese battery to the dc coupler in the gh2?

    Did you have to modify the above cable to get it to work?

    I'm a bit confused because it doesn't seem to be the right size for the coupler.

  • @Alex87 me too, yeah!

  • @ghil , thanks for the recommend! their power kit looks exactly what i needed: http://www.cinegearpro.com/cgpro-external-power-kit-for-panasonic-lumix-dmc-gh2.html

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  • Pity, but thanks for the quick reply! I'll do some researching into LiPo batteries - IIRC, there are some for RC models that are regulated. Quite disappointed that the price for official batteries has remained so high.

  • @Ciclismo , i bought ready made modules, have no schematics for any of them ...