Remote Power Source for GL-2 at DVinfo.net

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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old October 23rd, 2006, 11:10 AM   #1
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Remote Power Source for GL-2

Folks,

For using a GL-2 for taping in wilderness areas (meaning away from any electricity for recharging for at least a week at a time), is there a way to solar charge or, better yet, find an adapter for a 12-V car battery that might provide power for 15-30 minutes/day? Is the answer a simple Radio Shack adapter purchase? I've seen other Canon cameras used in the wilderness powered off 12-V, but I noticed their voltages requirements differ from the GL-2.
Rob
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 12:05 PM   #2
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Yes, there is a simple Radio Shack solution called an inverter. They cost about $30-40 and will convert 12V DC battery power to to an AC plug capable of supplying in the range of 100-150 watts of power--ample for the GL2 AC adapter. They are usually outfitted with a cigarette lighter plug, but if that doesn't work for you you can cut it off and put alligator clips on the leads.

There may be a 12V adapter available from Canon, but I think that the inverter is a better deal. You can watch TV while you're waiting for your next shot sequence 8>]
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 12:14 PM   #3
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Rob Anderson

Fred,

Thanks. It's interesting that I called Canon tech support for help with this and they referred me to dvinfo for answers.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 01:11 PM   #4
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We make 12V to 7.2V converters for this. It is a simpler and more efficient solution than generating 120V AC.
HTH
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 04:01 PM   #5
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Hi Rob,

Might I suggest the SIMA SUP-2 Universal Power Adapter, sold at Best Buy, Circuit City, Mico Center and likely other such places too. It has a number of different connectors and Voltage out puts.

It is very small and both AC and DC ready - you can use it in the wall or in the car. I'm running 4 of them due to their small size and AC-DC for my 4 Cams. They have worked great. I keep two of them attached to two of my TriPods as part of my PreWired systems. Cost is 30 to 40 bucks depending on if you find a sale.

Harold
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 07:22 PM   #6
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Alex beat me to suggesting you check out his converter. (In fareness, I suspect there are other brands on the market as well.)

Forget using an inverter to convert 12 VDC to 120 VAC to power the A/C adapter - it wastes battery power, and can be a source of electronic noise as well.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 09:20 PM   #7
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Hey Don, how are you? Remember how your wrote a hands on review of the converter for the Watchdog? It feels like ages ago, the first XL1 was the king then :-)
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Old October 24th, 2006, 05:07 AM   #8
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It has been a few years. Or as the frog said "Time's fun when you are having flies." Alex, I trust you are doing well.

FOr others, the link to the review is:
http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article25.php
The product in this review had a form factor for the XL1 and Panasonic 12-vilt camcorder batteries, but a stand-alone version of the same voltage converter was available as well.

Don
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Old October 24th, 2006, 06:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki
It has been a few years. Or as the frog said "Time's fun when you are having flies." Alex, I trust you are doing well.

FOr others, the link to the review is:
http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article25.php
The product in this review had a form factor for the XL1 and Panasonic 12-vilt camcorder batteries, but a stand-alone version of the same voltage converter was available as well.

Don
:-) Yes, and trying to catch as many as we can, not like the "Slowsky turtles" in the Comcast commercial. Have a new 20W (!) version of the converter for the HD crowd, HD cameras are very power hungry. And the new battery chargers are going all over the world, where I never travel. Filming expedition to Mt. Everest, Australia, New Zealand...B&H and a few others carry them as standard stock items:-).
Stay in touch!
Alex
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Old October 26th, 2006, 04:43 PM   #10
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Alex,

I've been considering options for powering my XL1s off a battery belt and your converters are perfect. I use 4 945 batteries right now and that's fine for a day, but I've been looking into more efficient ways of powering the camera. I've bookmarked your site.

Ben
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Old October 26th, 2006, 06:17 PM   #11
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Thank you Ben! Bookmarking our site is the first step in the right direction :-)
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Old October 26th, 2006, 07:48 PM   #12
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Canon used to sell a 12 to 24 volt battery charger for the BP945 type batteries. This looked just like the standard battery charger that came with the camera, except that it had a cigarette adapter plug.

This unit could be used to charge your batteries, or directly power your camera. If you use a large car battery, you could power your camera for weeks (I assume).

But, the real beauty is that you can charge your batteries whenever you have car battery power, or you can power your camera.

Other low cost battery chargers exist for the Canon batteries, many come with a cigarette adapter plug.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 09:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki
...Forget using an inverter to convert 12 VDC to 120 VAC to power the A/C adapter - it wastes battery power, and can be a source of electronic noise as well.
I would say don't rule out the inverter on the basis of these fears. The "waste" is absolutely insignificant compared to the energy stored in a car battery, and the potential for AC noise is no greater then when you use the AC adapter elsewhere. The DC to DC converter solution is more elegant, but you can't run your electric toothbrush with it. The inverter is more versatile.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 05:30 AM   #14
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The noise is a result of the DC-to-AC conversion and the quality (or lack there of) filtering, and with some economical inverters there is a very significant spatter that can creap into audio systems, especially when mic-level signals are involved. I have encountered this trying to use DC-AC inverters to power recorders. Obviously there are differences in quality (and price) among inverters. Perhaps the Radio Shack model is a good one.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #15
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Most low cost inverters, those costing less than several hundreds of dollars, output a "Modified Square Wave". An ideal inverter outputs a "Sine Wave", identical to normal AC power.

Many inverter's instruction manuals warn against using these to power some battery chargers.

If it works for you, great, but I would not recommend it since there are other very low cost options available.

The following charger cost $2.01 plus $7.51 shipping, and charges from AC or 12 to 24 volt supply:

http://www.power101.com/item.htm?id=60109
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