Thread: Powering DSMC2 with 12v Cigarette Plug to D Tap

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  1. #1 Powering DSMC2 with 12v Cigarette Plug to D Tap 
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    Hey all,

    I do a lot of shooting on boats where we have to roll A LOT (waiting on fish to bite). Cards are of course an issue, but so are batteries, especially as we get into the summer and the fans are running overtime.

    Has anyone tried powering their camera via D-tap cable, with a D-tap adapter like this? https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...p.html/reviews

    It would be in addition to a battery, so I could jettison the hard wire and be free to move on a moment's notice.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Robert Hofmeyr's Avatar
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    I'm also curious about this. I shoot a lot from a vehicle and prefer to leave the camera running so I don't miss things while waiting for the camera to boot. Until now, I've been powering via the power adapter and a pure sine wave inverter, but it's a bit wasteful to go 12v > 220v > 12v. It would be much more efficient to just plug the camera into a 12v socket. My only concern is that the voltage might fluctuate a bit when starting the vehicle, but I think the voltage from a battery would do the same if you turn on an accessory powered via d-tap, or if you change from lemo power to battery power while the camera is running. I've asked this question a few times, but I have yet to get a definitive answer.

    Regarding the cards issue, are you using pre-record? It's a life-saver.
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  3. #3  
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    My thoughts exactly on the voltage regulation--seems like maybe we should have something between the plug and camera. I guess I can just toss a multimeter on there and see? After all, batteries work within a voltage range.

    You know, I don't use pre-record--it creates a file corruption issue every single time. I asked around about it shortly after this kept happening and was basically told, "well then don't shoot on a RED". Would love to hear how you have it set up where that doesn't create an issue!! Sounds like both of us are waiting for live animals to cooperate ;)
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    Senior Member Robert Hofmeyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Penick View Post
    My thoughts exactly on the voltage regulation--seems like maybe we should have something between the plug and camera. I guess I can just toss a multimeter on there and see? After all, batteries work within a voltage range.

    You know, I don't use pre-record--it creates a file corruption issue every single time. I asked around about it shortly after this kept happening and was basically told, "well then don't shoot on a RED". Would love to hear how you have it set up where that doesn't create an issue!! Sounds like both of us are waiting for live animals to cooperate ;)
    :) yeah. Animals can be very bad at taking direction.

    I've never had an issue with pre-record. Do you secure format your mags?
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Agree that going DC-AC-DC is less efficient - but, in most cases, it will keep your camera safer. Going direct from a vehicle cigarette lighter to camera is way more risk than I would take.

    For $20-50 you could get a DC-DC regulator often referred to as a "Buck/Boost" device. It's designed to output a steady 12v even if the source voltage varies. If it were me, I'd get a female cig lighter receptacle and wire it to the camera/output side, wire a male plug to the input side, seal it up good and call it cheap insurance. YMMV.

    Cheers - #19

    Note: While most cameras are nominally 12 volts, most bricks supply 14 volts or more when fully charged and start triggering low power warnings around 12.5 volts. Suggest you select a buck/boost regulator where you can dial in the output voltage - some are preset to exactly 12. You should also be aware that most vehicles with 12 volt systems actually have closer to 14 volts available unless the vehicle batteries are low and being recharged. Suggest you get a regulator that shows both input and output voltage, there are a couple on Amazon under $30 that have digital readouts.
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  6. #6  
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    Robert, I typically just do a normal format, I'll try secure format and start running tests!! I actually tried it on the Komodo the other day (versus the Helium) just to see what would happen and had similar issues.

    Blair, good insight there, and wouldn't be too difficult to add that in line. Thanks!
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Robert Hofmeyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blair S. Paulsen View Post
    Agree that going DC-AC-DC is less efficient - but, in most cases, it will keep your camera safer. Going direct from a vehicle cigarette lighter to camera is way more risk than I would take.

    For $20-50 you could get a DC-DC regulator often referred to as a "Buck/Boost" device. It's designed to output a steady 12v even if the source voltage varies. If it were me, I'd get a female cig lighter receptacle and wire it to the camera/output side, wire a male plug to the input side, seal it up good and call it cheap insurance. YMMV.

    Cheers - #19

    Note: While most cameras are nominally 12 volts, most bricks supply 14 volts or more when fully charged and start triggering low power warnings around 12.5 volts. Suggest you select a buck/boost regulator where you can dial in the output voltage - some are preset to exactly 12. You should also be aware that most vehicles with 12 volt systems actually have closer to 14 volts available unless the vehicle batteries are low and being recharged. Suggest you get a regulator that shows both input and output voltage, there are a couple on Amazon under $30 that have digital readouts.
    Thanks Blair.

    Edit: after a bit of searching I decided to go with a simple 12v regulator with no readout or adjustable output: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018WZK5XQ...ing=UTF8&psc=1

    I reckon I'll wire one before the cig socket in my car so everything I plug in is regulated.
    Last edited by Robert Hofmeyr; 04-16-2021 at 07:42 AM.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Robert Hofmeyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Penick View Post
    Robert, I typically just do a normal format, I'll try secure format and start running tests!! I actually tried it on the Komodo the other day (versus the Helium) just to see what would happen and had similar issues.
    You must get it working! It's the best feature. Strange you've had the same issue on two cameras. I've never had an issue and I use pre-record a lot. I do usually secure format, but I have occasionally done normal format with no problems.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Robert - looks like you were perusing the same candidates as I was. In addition to the output setting capability, I was also drawn to voltage readouts in case I needed to troubleshoot. Worth the extra $6 to me anyway. Happy shooting.

    Cheers - #19
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  10. #10  
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    My personal preference would be to suffer the cost and inconvenience of spare batteries and use your cigarette lighter socket and inverter to charge them. Otherwise I would also favour using the 12v-inverter-12v path to maintain some isolation between the camera and vehicle power. Quarantine your camera from a vehicle's power. Electrical power from a motor vehicle is grubby at best. I have never known a cigarette light socket/plug to be reliable, especially if someone has lit cigarettes from the lighter and ash has got into the socket with corrosion started. The things have resistance and intermittent connection already built-in before you even drive the vehicle and shake it. The lighter socket can be used and successfully for the most part but it is an invitation to disaster which eventually may be accepted. Murphy's Law AKA Sod's Law decrees that if things are going to lay down, they will do so at the worst possible time and place. Been there and done that with a SI2K and an old Bolex. The SI2K did not like it much.
    Last edited by Robert Hart; 04-17-2021 at 12:24 AM. Reason: error
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