Never under-estimate the will power of a penny-pinching tight bastard, I’m nearly a week in to this camera project. I could go out and buy a proper video camera tomorrow, but no, I’m still trying to convert my ordinary still camera’s in to DVD quality video camera’s for use on the bike lol.

This is progress so far, I made up some cardboard battery shapes, with metal screws at the tip and wire running along them out of the camera. These take the place of real batteries inside the camera, but make contact inside the camera in the usual way, so I have not had to bugger about and damage the inside of the camera.

So, phase one went well, (Only took me 3 days to think of  making dummy batteries) but phase two, connect up fatter longer lasting batteries has not gone well, in fact, it’s weird, very weird indeed!!

All 3 of my camera’s are the same, they take two 1.5v AA batteries, connected in Series making 3v in total. So, on the end of the lead running out of the camera I connect two 1.5v AA batteries in Series making 3v and……Nothing!!

All 3 cameras were the same, 3v no longer fires them up, how strange, but there is yet stranger to come…….It took four 1.5v AA batteries connected in series making 6v, parallel did nothing either, to fire any of the camera’s up.

IT WORKS!!!……made over 2 hours of video last night, way past the 4 minutes the batteries normally last. I modified the long battery weapon in to a smaller, more manageable configuration using wires.

Soooo……This morning, flush with success and considering myself a NASA scientist at the very least, I went out and bought the fat batteries while I waited for the phone call to join the Space programme.

Yeah…Fat batteries, I should be able to video all day now………NOTHING!!!

Connecting the 4 fat batteries in the same way as the small AA batteries produced nothing on any camera, but 3 fat batteries made the camera try, there must be some weird kind of Amp or Watty thing going on here.

Now the very, very strange part, 3 fat batteries plus one dead small AA battery had the camera up and videoing straight away, but the juice did not last as long as the 4 small AA batteries…….ıt’s just bizzare!!

The quest for longer videoing time continues……..


~ by travelswithmymotorbike on November 23, 2009.

10 Responses to “VOLTS, AMPS, AND WHO KNOWS WATT !!”

  1. Dave:

    Whenever you put a dead battery in series with other 100% charged batteries, the “good” ones will try to “charge up” the dead one absorbing all the precious power. That’s why when you put in a “set” they should be all at the same voltage level, in other words, equilized.

    Do you have a VOM ? (Volt Ohm Meter). They you could measure the resistance of your dummy batter to the supply leads. Theoretically, they should be Zero, ie: no resistance. If there is a lot, then I would suspect those brass screws which are often nickel plated, or the washers which are galvanize coated. Do what I do when I make temp battery contacts. I take the “ends” fom tin cans and cut strips to suit, then solder them to the wires and glue them to the ends of your dummy battery. I think the screws are robbing you of power.
    Ride your bike over and we will get you fixed up. I’m a hobbyist and improvise a lot

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

    • Hi Bob,

      It’s weird….but if the dead battery is not in the circuit it does not work, I know it makes no sense at all, but that is the only way it works!!

      Volt meters etc…I live in Turkey Bob, I have sticky tape, rubber bands and bugger all else lol

      I think your right Bob, there is resistance in the circuit, 4 feet of wire, plus I could only find ordinary metal screws…tomorrow I will cut the wire down to 2 feet and see if I can find some brass screws somewhere, I like your idea about using strips cut from tin cans. I shall see if I can find a man with a VOM tomorrow as well as a tin of beans.



  2. Dave:

    OH, one other thing. I notice your Fat “D” size batteries are NOT alkaline, only heavy duty. These batteries don’t have much more power than good “AA”‘s. Normal AA Alkaline batteries are around 600-650 MA, Nickel metal hydride are now over 2,200. me so are nearly 4x more capacity . The “D” cells are only around 1,000. ma, so while “D” size looks bigger, they will only last about half the time of a good “AA”
    Any more questions ?

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

    • …How do you know so much????……..Right, so its new fat batteries tomorrow as well, Duracel?????

  3. Dave:

    I’m a hobbyist. I used to have remote controlled cars, a plane (which crashed too many times), and a RC Helicopter, all of these are battery powered.

    Don’t go for the “D” cell sized (big) batteries, NiMH batteries at 2200 ma are the same if not more capacity. These are also rechargeable. If necessary to increase capacity, then buy a pack of 4 batteries and put 2xAA in parallel to double amperage.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

    • …Me too Bob, well used to be years ago, RC boats, both kit and scratch built….We mostly used security alarm batteries or sometimes motorbike batteries, weight was not an issue on four to five foot boats lol, guess on the planes and helicopters it must have been.

      I will take your advice on board (Pun) and see if those NiMH batteries are available here, just looked around the house and found two AA 2100ma re-chargeables, if I can find two more in town tomorrow that should help the cause.

      Thanks for your advice Bob,



  4. Hello,
    Why don’t you use your motorcycle battery. If 12 v is to much you cann use a voltage stabilizer to bring the voltage down to one you use.
    Voltage stabiler units are cheap to get in the EU and can be mailordered.
    Or is there another problem I don’t know ..

    • Hi Rene,

      I live in Turkey at the moment, there is not too much choice of anything here lol….I tried to buy a voltage regulator to work from the bike battery but could not find one anywhere, easy in the UK to find, but not here lol….Also the Post Office is not too honest here, the chance of a parcel reaching me from anywhere in the World is not good, this is why we all ”Make stuff” here lol..



  5. Dave,
    Next year I will be back in may(were did I hear that before ?)in Dalyan and I will try to find a solution.
    What voltage do you need for the camera and what current. The last one you may guess. You can always mail me on my own email-address.
    By the way: Did you see some URAL’s over there, for instance in Ortaga ?


    • Hi Rene,

      The voltage for the camera is 3v, but Amps, not a clue !! My super nuclear battery pack works fine though, my homemade video camera and nuclear battery pack are just temporary, I have seen a proper 720p TV quality helmet cam on a UK website…it’s a little expensive at the moment, but I am sure that next year, or the year after the price will come down lol.

      No, have not seen any URAL’S about, here or Ortaga…I would like too though, I always fancied a URAL with a side car, the 2 wheel drive ones are supposed to be very good off-road and great fun.



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