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Old 02-13-2014, 03:44 PM   #1
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GoPro Constant Power

Hey guys,

As some of you know, a few friends and I have built a rig that raced in the King of the Hammers Everyman Challenge recently. We had 3 GoPros running during the race. However, since the race is allotted 10 hours (some racers taking longer), that is a long time of filming. What we ran into is, either batteries dying, or memory cards filling up before we got to some of the more exciting sections of the race.

Memory cards is not the big deal here...we have multiple pits that we can use to swap in new memory cards. However, having 10(ish) back up batteries is kind of obnoxious and time consuming.

My question to hopefully some more of you techy guys (or girls) is this...how can I wire in a constant power source for my gopros in the vehicle? I have found multiple links for a cigarette adapter that will work...but being that this is a racecar...we have no cigarette lighters. Is there a way I can wire directly into the battery? Or maybe from the battery, to a switched source, to the Gopro (this way I have the ability to kill power if a Gopro is not present.)

Let me know if you guys have any ideas or have stumbled across something similar.

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Old 02-14-2014, 09:29 AM   #2
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:38 AM   #3
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What's funny here is you can build a vehicle to run KOH but wiring a camera is where you need help... It's always the simply things on life that get us. Like what do women really want? Lmao Hope you find the answer!
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:13 PM   #4
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What's funny here is you can build a vehicle to run KOH but wiring a camera is where you need help... It's always the simply things on life that get us. Like what do women really want? Lmao Hope you find the answer!


My biggest reason for asking is cuz ive read different things about it needing to be 5v and blah blah blah...so I wanted to see if others have done this.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:15 PM   #5
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Thats essentially what I need...but im looking for a DIY cuz I dont really wanna spend 100-150 (3 cameras) on wiring that im sure can be done much cheaper.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:19 PM   #6
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Do you use the waterproof case? If so I suppose you could drill into it to allow it to be plugged in. It wouldn't be waterproof anymore obviously but would still allow pretty good protection and not have to worry about changing batteries.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:45 PM   #7
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You could either wire in your own cigarette lighter(s) to either, the battery and use a switch to turn it off, or to a switched source. Directly to the battery might be best, since you have so many GoPro's. Just make sure you turn off the switch after you are finished, and I would wire in a fuse too, just in case of a short. Then you could put a multiple auxillary extension on each cigarette lighter. You could run two cigarette lighters to the battery and have them both on the same switch. Then, put a multiple outlet on each one. This could give you two outlets per cigarette lighter or four outlets total.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:48 PM   #8
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Do you use the waterproof case? If so I suppose you could drill into it to allow it to be plugged in. It wouldn't be waterproof anymore obviously but would still allow pretty good protection and not have to worry about changing batteries.
If you drill into the case...couldn't you silicone around the wires?
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:03 PM   #9
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If you drill into the case...couldn't you silicone around the wires?
The only issue with that would be that in order to remove the camera from the case you'd need to unplug the cable. I'm sure something could be rigged up though. Like a plug the same size as the hole you drill and the cable ran through that plug. It would need to be pretty snug though.
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:55 PM   #10
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I fully intended on drilling the cases, but was not sure how I wanted to go about power. I rarely need the camera to be fully waterproof...if that ever arises, I will just get another case
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:47 PM   #11
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If you want to diy you would want some 5v voltage regulators. Look up how to diy a USB to 12v that is what you want to do. Then just buy some cheap cords that plug in and hook to the output of the vreg
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:59 PM   #12
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If you want to diy you would want some 5v voltage regulators. Look up how to diy a USB to 12v that is what you want to do. Then just buy some cheap cords that plug in and hook to the output of the vreg
Atta boy! Ill look into this...thanks!
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:35 AM   #13
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Atta boy! Ill look into this...thanks!
What I was thinking is that you could just add 12 volt cigarette lighter outputs and use something like this, that will automatically change the output to 5 volts for your GoPro. They are simple and only 8 dollars.

For GoPro HD HERO3 USB Car Charger w Cable | eBay

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Old 02-15-2014, 02:27 AM   #14
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What I was thinking is that you could just add 12 volt cigarette lighter outputs and use something like this, that will automatically change the output to 5 volts for your GoPro. They are simple and only 8 dollars.

For GoPro HD HERO3 USB Car Charger w Cable | eBay


Good find, the guts could be pulled to make a small hardwired setup. I can't imagine a cigarette plug staying in place through a KOH race.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:49 AM   #15
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I can't imagine a cigarette plug staying in place through a KOH race.
This. The less chance of rattling loose the better. Thats why I want to try a hardwire/switch setup.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:19 PM   #16
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It's only like three of them you or your co-driver would have to keep plugging back in. It's not like your busy doing anything anyway!! LOL
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:34 PM   #17
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Thats essentially what I need...but im looking for a DIY cuz I dont really wanna spend 100-150 (3 cameras) on wiring that im sure can be done much cheaper.
I agree that the hardwire setup would be best. BUt, you said that you didn't want to spend that much money. So, I presented another option. Regardless which option, you will still have to plug into the GoPro, and the chance of the wire falling out during a race will always be present. Another solution might be to use electrical tape at the cigarette lighter connection, and maybe zip ties. You could also try silicone at the GoPro and once it sets, you shouldn't lose the connection. Silicone doesn't harden like cement glue, and it can be pulled out if you grab the plug and not the wire, and you can rub off the left over silicone.

There are many triple cigarette lighter sockets, ranging from $1.00 to $5.00 on ebay.


Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter | eBay

Three USB connectors for the GoPro, using the link I provided earlier would cost $25. Not sure about the closeness of the adjacent USB and if they would all fit. But, there are easy ways to resolve that if it is an issue.

Then, you just add the Cigarette Lighter outlet such as this one, which you can extend with your own wire, and new clips or butt connectors.

Car Cigarette Lighter Outlet | eBay

12V 24V 120W Motorcycle motorbike Car Cigarette Lighter Power Socket Plug Outlet | eBay





I actually did this for my cell phone. I wired in a separate cigarette lighter behind my dash tapping into my original cigarette wires. Then, I added a USB plug into it and wired it behind my dash and through my cell phone mount. I created this mod myself because the cell phone mounts into my factory lighter were destroying it. You could easily but a switch into the one above, for a few dollars, and wire it directly to the battery. Or, you could find a switched source.

3-GoPro USB=$25
Cigarette Lighter Outlet=$5.00
Triple Extension=$5.00
Switch and extra wiring, connectors=$15.00 max.

Total cost= 25+5+5+15= $50.00

Below is another option, and they are color coded. You could just use three individual lighters and plug them into the USB connectors. You could extend them anywhere, they come with a fuse. Wrap the connectors with electrical tape and they won't fall out. They are cheap and only $3.99 each.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-24V-120W...-/350944903819

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Old 02-16-2014, 10:51 AM   #18
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There is already plenty of options for you mentioned. Definitely believe the part of it has to be 5V. My dad ignored this and burned up his GoPro.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:53 PM   #19
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There is already plenty of options for you mentioned. Definitely believe the part of it has to be 5V. My dad ignored this and burned up his GoPro.
Thanks for the input! Good to know that the voltage truly matters in this case
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:54 PM   #20
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I have not looked at my case. But if you could shave down a right angle usb, take the wires through the back cover, and epoxy pot you voltage converter to the back cover. Then this would let you open the case to insert/remove camera, run your 12v wires into your epoxy potting, and just swap out the cover when not running in direct 12v mode. Not sure if this makes sense, but looks like it could work in my head. Let me know what you come up with, interested myself.

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