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Powering a camcorder w/ motorcycle battery problem
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Powering a camcorder w/ motorcycle battery problem - February 26, 2008, 10:46 AM

I've been trying to find a way to get my camcorder to run off my bikes battery but I've hit a snag and was hoping someone w/ more electrical prowess than myself might be able to help steer me in the right direction.

The camcorder comes w/ a AC to DC wall charger that converts the 100-240V at .2A input to 5V ~1.0A to run the camera. When the camera is plugged into the wall charger, not running off the battery, it will operate normally (i can videotape or take pictures, whatever). When I plug the camera into the motorcycle battery (via a cigarette lighter adapter) and the car charger plug that came with the camera specifically (12V DC input to 5V ~1.0A output), the camera will not run. If the camera is on at the time that I plug it it to the moto battery, it will shut off. In addition it makes an unnerving ticking or buzzing sound...leading me to believe its obviously not healthy for the camera. The car charger has an LED in it. When it is plugged into the bike battery w/o the camcorder attached it glows green. When I plug the camcorder in, it turns to red, and the camcorder shuts off.

Also plugged into the bike battery is a bullet cam that operates fine w/ the bike turned on and the camera running off its own battery. I do not know how much current the bullet cam draws off the top of my head. I am pretty sure the camera doesn't work regardless of whether or not the bullet cam is operating off the bike battery when I try to plug the camcorder into the bike battery.

I was thinking maybe its a current issue? Could it have something to do w/ the fuse in the hot line in the cigarette lighter adapter (female part) to the battery that the camcorder adapter plugs goes into? Any suggestions?
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February 26, 2008, 10:47 AM

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February 26, 2008, 11:07 AM

First, try running the camera on the car charger in your car. I'd imagine it pulls more than an amp during operation. If it doesn't work there, then you need a different solution anyway.

If it's only dying when the bike is running (you didn't say whether the bike was running when you did this or not), it's more than likely a voltage quality problem. Bike alternators produce a shitty excuse for a DC output, so you have all sorts of ripple on the line. It's entirely possible that the camera is shutting itself down to protect itself from the ripple (the little chips inside need fairly well regulated voltage, and the regulator in the camera is limited in its ability to deal with crap on the supply line).


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February 26, 2008, 12:34 PM

+10000000000000000000 on what G-Dogg said..........Magic-Rat is the guru of cameras and camcorders. Hell is bike is tricked out!!!


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February 26, 2008, 01:08 PM

The polarity is backwards.


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February 26, 2008, 01:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangle
First, try running the camera on the car charger in your car. I'd imagine it pulls more than an amp during operation. If it doesn't work there, then you need a different solution anyway.

If it's only dying when the bike is running (you didn't say whether the bike was running when you did this or not), it's more than likely a voltage quality problem. Bike alternators produce a shitty excuse for a DC output, so you have all sorts of ripple on the line. It's entirely possible that the camera is shutting itself down to protect itself from the ripple (the little chips inside need fairly well regulated voltage, and the regulator in the camera is limited in its ability to deal with crap on the supply line).
I tried it w/ the bike both running and w/ the bike "on" but not running. It doesn't work in either setting. I'll try it in my car and see how that goes.
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February 26, 2008, 01:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVbadguy
The polarity is backwards.
I am 98% sure that I hooked up the positive to positive and negative to negative from the battery to the cigarette lighter adapter. I'm not standing over the bike at this moment, but I'm pretty sure thats not the issue.
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February 26, 2008, 02:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macon663
I am 98% sure that I hooked up the positive to positive and negative to negative from the battery to the cigarette lighter adapter. I'm not standing over the bike at this moment, but I'm pretty sure thats not the issue.
You don't get it do you? That part is irrelevant if the camera is requiring center-positive power and the adapter is providing center-negative power (or vice-versa) when connected positive to positive with the battery.


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February 26, 2008, 03:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVbadguy
You don't get it do you? That part is irrelevant if the camera is requiring center-positive power and the adapter is providing center-negative power (or vice-versa) when connected positive to positive with the battery.
You're right...I have no idea what your talking about. Can you explain a bit more?
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February 26, 2008, 03:40 PM

Standard AC adapter connectors have two methods of passing power. The connector that is used has a little prong surrounded by a circle. Each of these is a contact point. In some applications, the center is positive, in some the center is negative. You can see which way it is by looking at the sticker on the adapter itself which has a little diagram that tells you if it is center-positive or center-negative and what the voltages and amps are that it requires. If there is any mismatch you will have issues.


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February 26, 2008, 04:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macon663
You're right...I have no idea what your talking about. Can you explain a bit more?

It's simple. Switch the connections at the battery and see if it works.


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February 26, 2008, 09:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemsonJeeper
Standard AC adapter connectors have two methods of passing power. The connector that is used has a little prong surrounded by a circle. Each of these is a contact point. In some applications, the center is positive, in some the center is negative. You can see which way it is by looking at the sticker on the adapter itself which has a little diagram that tells you if it is center-positive or center-negative and what the voltages and amps are that it requires. If there is any mismatch you will have issues.
Its not that kind of plug.

The car charger plug is similar to that of a motorola razr or blackberry. Its a micro USB plug. There is no circle w/ prong, etc.
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February 26, 2008, 09:49 PM

I tried a couple different things tonight, all with no success (but perhaps a glimmer of hope). First, I tried using the car charger for the camcorder in the car. It does the same thing as the motorcycle. It'll charge the battery, but it wont allow the camcorder to run. I tried it w/ the battery in the camcorder and w/o the battery in the camcorder...same result. However, i did find that if I plugged the camcorder into the car charger...then turned the camcorder on, it would boot up and the screen would come on for a split second...and then the screen would go black and then turn off.

I also tried a couple things w/ the motorcycle. I tried hooking the camera up w/ the bike "on" and "running." same results either way. I also tried the same things as I did w/ the car. W/ the battery in, w/o the battery in. All the same result. Same glimmer of hope though. When I plug the camcorder into the car charger attached to the moto battery (either w/ the bullet cam on or off, it didn't matter), the camera would boot up for a split second, screen came on and then it would turn off. If I tried to plug the camcorder in to the car charger attached to the battery after the camcorder was already booted up and running, it would shut off immediately.

The bullet cam is hardwired directly to the bike through a fuse in the main fuse box. The bullet cam powers on when the bike is on and turns off when the bike is off.

Also, the fuse in the cigarette adapter hooked up to the battery is a 10A, 250V fuse. Perhaps it needs to be like a 20 or 30A fuse?

Also the camcorder battery itself is a 3.7V 1000mah battery.

Any other other ideas?
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February 26, 2008, 10:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVbadguy
The polarity is backwards.
Yup. I think you are right.

Just undo the connection you made to the battery (positive and negative) ... and switch the wires. I'm pretty sure you got 'em backwards.


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Last edited by Magic-Rat; February 26, 2008 at 10:06 PM..
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February 27, 2008, 08:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macon663
I tried a couple different things tonight, all with no success (but perhaps a glimmer of hope). First, I tried using the car charger for the camcorder in the car. It does the same thing as the motorcycle. It'll charge the battery, but it wont allow the camcorder to run. I tried it w/ the battery in the camcorder and w/o the battery in the camcorder...same result. However, i did find that if I plugged the camcorder into the car charger...then turned the camcorder on, it would boot up and the screen would come on for a split second...and then the screen would go black and then turn off.

I also tried a couple things w/ the motorcycle. I tried hooking the camera up w/ the bike "on" and "running." same results either way. I also tried the same things as I did w/ the car. W/ the battery in, w/o the battery in. All the same result. Same glimmer of hope though. When I plug the camcorder into the car charger attached to the moto battery (either w/ the bullet cam on or off, it didn't matter), the camera would boot up for a split second, screen came on and then it would turn off. If I tried to plug the camcorder in to the car charger attached to the battery after the camcorder was already booted up and running, it would shut off immediately.

The bullet cam is hardwired directly to the bike through a fuse in the main fuse box. The bullet cam powers on when the bike is on and turns off when the bike is off.

Also, the fuse in the cigarette adapter hooked up to the battery is a 10A, 250V fuse. Perhaps it needs to be like a 20 or 30A fuse?

Also the camcorder battery itself is a 3.7V 1000mah battery.

Any other other ideas?
Read the instructions, I have seen a few devices that will not actually function while on certain types of chargers they will only charge. The 12v just doesn't have enough power to allow both. You would need some type of converter that would act like 110v and then run the other charger hooked to it since it seems to work on the house adapter.
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