Use this forum to discuss modifications to cameras for retrofitting external batteries, solar panels, and case mods not related to camera security.
By Vogt_51
#97822
I was wondering if their was any safe and economical way to reduce a 12 volt external battery to 6 volts. Reason being, I have an abundance of 12 volt batteries, they are rather cheap, and all my chargers are for 12 volts.

So, can anyone think of anything that fits the bill?
By Vogt_51
#97840
Thanks for the reply Anthony.

I had trouble finding anything worthwhile.

However, I had this idea. While it will not really solve the problem of me having too many 12 volts around. I just bought four 6v 12ah SLAs. I only have to use those on 2 cameras. Hauling the batteries here and there is no problem and I have no problem leaving the camera dead for a few days. I plan on wiring the 4 batteries in 2 pairs. Each pair in parallel to increase the amount of time they can stay in the woods. Then, when one a pair of batteries finally dies, I should be able to take the pair back and wire the two in series and charge with a 12v charger.

Is this type of thinking correct? Any downside?
By trapper
#97854
Thanks for the reply Anthony.

I had trouble finding anything worthwhile.

However, I had this idea. While it will not really solve the problem of me having too many 12 volts around. I just bought four 6v 12ah SLAs. I only have to use those on 2 cameras. Hauling the batteries here and there is no problem and I have no problem leaving the camera dead for a few days. I plan on wiring the 4 batteries in 2 pairs. Each pair in parallel to increase the amount of time they can stay in the woods. Then, when one a pair of batteries finally dies, I should be able to take the pair back and wire the two in series and charge with a 12v charger.

Is this type of thinking correct? Any downside?

I THINK what you are describing will work but if it were me I would just break down and buy a charger. You can get a 6v or 6v/12v float charger pretty reasonable. I got one here: http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=940 but you may find something better if you look around.
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By Jiggy
#97987
12v to 6v Adjustable Voltage Regulator.
http://www.powerstream.com/dc6.htm

It comes at a cost: 10 to 30 mA is drawn from the battery when no load is connected
By Vogt_51
#98067
Thanks for the advice guys....

As for the voltage reducer, I do think I saw that. However, it has the lighter plug in. Basically, I would have to chop the end and re-wire it, correct? And at $20, I don't know. Doesn't matter too much now. I am going to look into a 6 volt charger perhaps.
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By Engineer
#105043
I was going to suggest the LM7806 like CharlesL suggests. It can handle 1amp of current draw continuous and over 1.5amps for short bursts. They do draw a few milliwatts continuously but that's not much for an external battery. You could add a 470uf capacitor on the 6V side to give you a short burst of higher current for a flash or something. If you need more power than the LM7806 can deliver, there is 317 that deliver more power but involves more circuitry.
By walexa07
#105140
I used one of these a couple years ago on a moultrie gamespy because it would EAT 6v lantern batteries. A good 12v battery lasted easily over a month without charging.

The step-down voltage unit was from radio shack, and was cigarette outlet style. I cut and added wires with alligator clips for the 12v battery and connected the other end with the alligator clips in the camera.

Good luck.

Waylan
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By johnnydeerhunter
#105143
I'm not sure using a voltage regulator with a12 volt battery will make things last longer. I think the extra voltage is given off as heat. The more important thing is the mah of the battery. I know with a device that requires 5 volts, with a built in regulator, that 4 aa's wired in series giving you a total of 6 volts (4 X 1.5) will last longer than a 9 volt battery. Reason being that the 9 volt is around 500 mah where the aa's are around 2000 mah.

this one is 698 to 2700

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