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Old Jan 12, 2011, 02:00 PM
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United States, MA, Walpole
Joined Dec 2003
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Updated information as of 03/03/2011 in red below:

Originally Posted by Tom Frank View Post
SOme of the cameras come with an accessory package that includes an external "emergency battery charger" for just $2-$3 more. You probably have questions, because the ad doesn't tell anything about what it does!

1. Will it allow the camera to take power from it AND the camera internal battery in parallel and take video at the same time?

Yes, the external charger will do this, just like the car charger, but it will not add any significant recording time. It's power output cannot sustain the camera's power demand on it's own, so it is mainly useful only for recharging the internal battery. The short adaptor cable connector (mini-USB plug to small mono plug) could be used, though, to power the camera from some other more capable +5V power source, such as a 4 cell battery pack or an ESC/BEC or UBEC.

2. What is the capacity of the emergency charger battery (mAh?).

The charger takes an AA size hard cell, which does not come with the charger. You supply the external battery.

3. How much recording time will the camera have with both itís internal battery and the external one connected?

The extended recording time is very minimal, maybe 15 minutes or so, even when a 2200 mAh AA cell.

4. What kind of battery in the emergency charger?

Any hard cell AA NiMH, NiCad, or alkaline battery will work. The voltage of the single cell is quardupled by the charger, reducing it's current capacity by over a factor of 4 with efficiency losses.

5. How much does the emergency charger weigh?

The charger case and cable without battery weighs 29 gms. A 2000 mAh AA NiMH (Eneloop cell) weighs 25 gms, so total weight is about 54 gms (1.9 oz.).

6. Is the emergency charger being sold by itself?

No.. it is now supposed to be part of the accessory package that comes with the camera.

It has been discovered that the camera CAN be powered AND shoot video with any +5V external source (other than a PC port) with a generic USB plug configuration (i.e. +5V on pin #1), BUT you need to start a recording with the camera's internal battery first while disconnected from the USB plug, and THEN plug into the USB source. A caveat is that the stop/save/continue recording function will NOT resume and continue using this power supply. You will only get one 20 min. video. The special car charger plug with non-standard USB plug configuration (i.e. +5V on pin #4) is needed for that. BUT, if you flash in the continuous recording firmware, this method will allow recording to continue until the flash card is filled.

This link also summarizes +5V (USB) power/cable/plug topics.
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Last edited by Tom Frank; Mar 03, 2011 at 12:32 PM. Reason: added info on charge/play with standard USB power