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Old Mar 13, 2005, 7:01 AM   #1
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I hope that this is not off-topic - it relates to the power input spec for the A200.

I want to construct an external power supply, to work from a standard battery, to cover periods away from a mains electric supply.

Presumably an alkaline 12v battery connected to the A200 via a standard car adaptor (for EN-EL1 or similar) should work. Do I need a Zena or other current stabilizer or any other safeguards?

Alternatively, or additionally, will the A1/A2 battery grip fit? I would expect not since it is not included in the list of Minolta high-priced accessories on their web site.

Maurice
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 12:44 PM   #2
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I haven't yet done this yetand for that reason I didn't respond earlier. When I get round to it I will do as I did for my Nikon 995 using AA cells and an AA multi-cell holder. Simply pop 5 AA cells (approx6.0v volts)in the battery holder and connect these to the camera power input.It's always worthwhile popping a fuse of some sort in the connecting cable (I'm not sure what the rating should be because I haven't checked). AA NiMH way outperform any Li-ion cell, I think the currentcrop (no intended pun) are rated at around 2500maH, they're cheap andeasy to charge. I can't see any point in using a 12volt source unless you have special circumstances that demands this.



Best wishes

Frank
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 3:24 PM   #3
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Please describe the extent of your success and problems with the Nikon 995 external alkaline battery supply.

What spec do I need for the fuse? Would this be in Amps? So what is the max amperage?

Do I need to stabilize the voltage in order to avoid damaging the valuable camera?

Regards,

Maurice
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 1:56 AM   #4
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Hi bacs,

I had no problems at all using externalNiMH as described. OK - it's not either as convenient or as pretty as having the power supply in the camera itself but withNiMH being so cheap and powerful compared to Li-ion cells it made sense to me. Perhaps just keep the main Li-ion battery for normal use and have a pack ofNiMH as described for times when the Li-ion fails. Just remember to recharge theNiMH periodically, even though they don't exhibit a memory effect they do self-discharge over a period ( I can't remember what period but its weeks rather than days!!!)

The fuse isn't essential - I never used one, but someone may just screw up the connection toa camera - it should be POSITIVE connection to the centre pin - some cameras may object to a reversed connection and draw heavy current, so if in doubt pop a fuse in. The rating? Again I have no idea - I haven't measured the current taken by either a 995 or A200 but about 15% above this value should be OK for a fuse. I may try to check the current later on (after breakfast!).

I can see no reason to use any form of voltage stabilisation with this arrangement though purists may argue that the terminal voltage of the NiMH is marginally higher when just taken off charge and put into service.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 4:03 AM   #5
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Thank you again Phranque for your helpful reply.

I intend to use4 of 1.5v AA alkaline batteries. Do you think that there would be any particular problem with this? I believe that the alkalines are usually more stable for a longer period thanNiMH's before 'sudden death'.

Bon apetite.

Maurice
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 4:24 AM   #6
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Certainly the alkalines hold their terminal voltage well, I can't recall any curves for the NiMH cells but I think they are OK in this respect. The alkalines won't last all that long but they will certainly be a sure-fire backup when all else fails and you can always carry a few spare without it breaking the bank. I use the GP range - gold color.

I've just spent an hour looking for the necessary lead, connector and battery holder - I'm just so disorganised sometimes! Anyway I've found them and will do the NiMH check anyway just for interest - when I have a set of newly charged NiMH, that is - they're on now. I'll put the result on here. If you don't hear from me you'll know I've set my camera on fire or something.

Bye for now, bacs.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 6:13 AM   #7
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TerryThomas should be joining us on here, bacs - he's done the job already for his A2 which I imagine has a 6volt requirement like the A200.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 8:51 AM   #8
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Well, I can't help you any further at the moment. I cannot get a plug to fit into the A200 properly - and I've got quite a few of them. On the plug which I have which is the right diameter the centre connection is much too far back to make contact - weird. You're probably better going with the alkalines unless Terry can come up with anything. maybe I'll find a plug in the mean time. Sorry I can't help further right now.

Frank
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Old Mar 17, 2005, 6:59 PM   #9
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Hi all,



I'm as well interested in this topic so I think it may be good to mention what I have by now:



- the AC adapter says Output: 6V 2A … I guess as long as you top 2A with whatever ‘power source' improvisation, it should be OK

- I'm now preparing to try a Universal NiMH Power Pack (20$ CDN from RadioShack) which has a variable 3V to 9V output, unfortunately only 1500 mA @ 6V … anyway, based on Imaging Resource's power test, I should be OK with that …

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/KMA200/A2A12.HTM


- right now is charging, so I'll be back with results





hope this helps
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Old Mar 17, 2005, 7:03 PM   #10
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Hi all,

Sorry for the previous post … in edit mode it was ok

I'm as well interested in this topic so I think it may be good to mention what I have by now:

-the AC adapter says Output: 6V 2A … I guess as long as you top 2A with whatever ‘power source' improvisation, it should be OK
-I'm now preparing to try a Universal NiMH Power Pack (20$ CDN from RadioShack) which has a variable 3V to 9V output, unfortunately only 1500 mA @ 6V … anyway, based on Imaging Resource's power test, I should be OK with that …


Operating Mode Power (@6 volts on the external power terminal) Est. Minutes (800 mAh cell)
Capture Mode, w/LCD411 mA 144
Capture Mode, no LCD380 mA 156
Capture Mode, w/AntiShake427 mA139
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD458 mA 129
Half-pressed w/o LCD417 mA 142
Memory Write (transient)260 mA n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)917 mA n/a
Image Playback177 mA 334


-right now is charging, so I'll be back with results


hope this helps

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