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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old April 19th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #1
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Ever wondered what's inside...

... an XL2 battery? I had one of my after-market BP930-equivalent XL2 batteries finally quit taking a charge after about a years' use, so being the inquiring sort of fellow, I decided to open it up and do a post-mortem.

DISCLAIMER: before any of you have a apoplexy, understand that I do similar work in my paying job, and am used to dealing with small, complex structures that contain potentially dangerous electrical charges and hazardous materials. I don't recommend people cracking open their batteries if they don't know what they're doing.

There were no real surprises. I used diagonal cutters to clip through the corners of the thin plastic cover. Inside are four 3.7 volt, 2000 mAh lithium cells, wired together in a series/parallel configuration to provide 7.4 volts at a listed 3600 mAh (don't ask me where the extra 400 mAh went to). Photo 2 shows the end view, where a small surface-mount PC board has two integrated circuits, plus four chip capacitors and four resistors. Based on the connections to the board, I'd guess they are part of the charging and charge-monitoring circuit. The remaining photos show different angles, plus the circuit board and paper insulator removed and next to a dime for scale. The whole assembly was held together with double-sided tape, which is actually just fine, considering how snugly everything fit inside the plastic case with nearly zero clearance.

The last photo shows the real prize: the bottom plate with the mounting lugs and power contacts. This is what I really wanted, so I can build a regulated adapter to convert 12 volts down to 7.4 volts to run the XL2 off a belt of lead/acid gel cells. I already made one that uses the AC adapter plate plugged into an external box, but the intention is to build the entire regulator circuit on the salvaged plate and run the unregulated 12 volts to the new adapter.

As for the cause of death, I found a small piece of metallic trash wedged between two pins on one of the integrated circuits, obviously debris that got sealed inside the housing when the unit was assembled.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. BTW, the old cells are going off to a recycle center.

Regards;
Martin
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Ever wondered what's inside...-b3.jpg   Ever wondered what's inside...-b4.jpg  

Ever wondered what's inside...-b5.jpg  
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Old April 19th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #2
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Ha! One of the most interesting posts I've read for ages! No idea why, just a bit different I guess. Nice one Martin.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 02:42 PM   #3
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Martin that was really cool. Now, can you show us what's inside the XL2? :)
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Old April 19th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #4
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Don't think I haven't been tempted.

Martin
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Old April 19th, 2008, 03:56 PM   #5
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x rays maybe?



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Old April 19th, 2008, 06:47 PM   #6
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Nope. A set of watchmakers' screwdrivers, 4x loupe, and the hope I can get it back together in functioning order. I'd like to put in a hard-wired jack to run the push autofocus button on the lens (which has been done on the XL1, I see), the record stop/start button, and the upper fixed-rate zoom toggle. However, it's my only decent camcorder right now, so I only play around with the accessories.

Martin
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Old April 19th, 2008, 06:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Filip Kovcin View Post
x rays maybe?
No Filip, it's a small puff of white smoke that lives inside most modern electronic devices. It's what makes these amazing devices work. We know this to be true because every time that white puff of smoke gets out of the device, it ceases to function any more. (big grin)

-gb-
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Old April 20th, 2008, 07:08 AM   #8
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Hey Martin - Thanks for the change-up. I'm so glad to see that there are still some old school inquiring minds around.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 07:41 AM   #9
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Cool.

I always perform an autopsy on my "deceased" electronic items. You never know what sort of useful stuff you may find inside. One of these days, I will use all those parts to make FRANKEN-GADGET!!!
<cue evil laughter>
Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!
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Last edited by Ken Wozniak; April 20th, 2008 at 07:41 AM. Reason: I have fat fingers, and lost my typing wand.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #10
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I would really want to see an XL2 gutted. Any volunteers?
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Old April 25th, 2008, 10:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Nguyen View Post
I would really want to see an XL2 gutted. Any volunteers?
The thought has come across my mind very many times, but I just got my cam a few months ago, so I am not up for it just yet. Maybe when I get the XLh2
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Old April 25th, 2008, 10:29 AM   #12
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What an excellent thread. Makes me want to take stuff apart. Thanks for the 411.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 12:38 AM   #13
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I had no choice but to take apart one of my XL2. The firewirewire connector came loose. I have some photos of the "gutted" cam but I haven't figured out yet how to attach (or post) them in here.


http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/members/b...2-inside-2.jpg

Last edited by Björn Rehder; August 20th, 2008 at 01:10 AM. Reason: I think I figured it out!
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Old August 20th, 2008, 04:07 AM   #14
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Very good Martin,

Unfortunately, I dropped one of my batteries after filming a show which on the positive side allowed me to see what you've posted. I was expecting to see a lot more but in the meantime very please to see that it was that simple.

The electronic is not my strenght but I always been interested in knowing how things work. You've got a very good idea in using the bottom plate.

You got me very interested in knowing more, especially where you've said "This is what I really wanted, so I can build a regulated adapter to convert 12 volts down to 7.4 volts to run the XL2 off a belt of lead/acid gel cells."

Would it be possible to see the "belt of lead/acid gel cells" you've builted?



Very interesting Björn,

WOW, you do have a lot of guts to open your XL2. Going back to the reason you've done it, have you been able to fix firewire becoming loose problem and how?



Regards!
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Old August 20th, 2008, 10:42 PM   #15
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The firewire connector PC board is secured with 2 small screws. One screw was loose and the other was lying insinde the housing somewhere. Luckily the screw did not wedge itself between the other PC board and cause a short circuit.

Nowhere on the internet could I find instructions on how to disassemble and sending it across the border to the Canon agent was not an option.

To strip the cam you need:
1 x phillips screwdriver (small)
1 x Allenkey
1 x case beer (24x)
4 x back-up cameras (in case you have to throw it in the dustbin if the operation fails)

here's another photo: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/members/b...2-inside-1.jpg
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