Use this forum to discuss modifications to cameras for retrofitting external batteries, solar panels, and case mods not related to camera security.
By Saskboy
So I taken my first crack at a solar set up, it's only partially finished though. Ebay is taking it's time with the rest of my components. Anyhow I ended up using the old battery out of my skidoo, it's an 18 amp hour AGM battery. I've ran it for a month solid on my cellular camera and it pulled the voltage down to about 11.8 volts. I didnt want to end up ruining my "old" battery so I fabbed up a quick batt box with a panel. I bought a cheap $15 10 amp charge controller, a $5 plastic 30 cal ammo box, and a few things laying around I already had. The solar controller float charges at 13.8v, controller disconnects power to the camera at 11.8v and cuts back in at 12.6v, all with the intention of getting some extra life out of the battery. I have a 12 foot camera power cable wired in and can be pulled back into the case through the grommet to the appropriate length needed in each case. Also wired between the battery and controller is a 2 amp fuse incase of shorts/ maybe some fire prevention in some cases. Solar panel is a 20w panel from a local store for about $30, and is currently ran into the box through a grommet with a 12 gauge speaker wire. When finished it will have a 2 wire SAE weather proof socket to allow the solar panel to be an option ($3 and waiting on ebay). Just have to fab up a panel mounting bracket yet, but I'm excited to finially have an endless 12v supply. I included a few pictures so you get the general idea of what it looks like size wise, it ain't fancy but will work just fine. Future plans include making another one for second camera using a steel ammo box for added fire protection, and possibly a smaller/cheaper battery to keep the costs down.... unless my quad needs a new battery lol.
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By Saskboy
My mount is still very crude. I'm going to make an adjustable one that ratchet straps to a tree and cradles the battery box. Also going to make a plain Jane ground one that's non adjustable. What kinds of mounts have you been finding work the best?
By speed2spare
I love to see more people playing with solar. Did you put a Schotky diode inline to prevent the battery from feeding the the solar panel at night? I would suggest changing out the speaker wire to lamp wire. I had horrible luck with speaker wire in about every aspect of home brewing I tried it with. The tiny strands seem to corrode and break extremely easy.
By Saskboy
The controller has built in protection to prevent discharge to the panel already (at least it claims it does lol). Speaker wire is definately not permanent either, I have an sae socket coming in the mail still for the box, then making a jumper harness between the panel and the box. Making a few jumpers of various lengths incase I dont want the panel right near camera.

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