Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Keeping Juice to the Camera

In a previous post, I outlined just why I wanted a camera that sucks down battery power like a thru-hiker does milkshakes. Ok, that isn't a feature so much as an issue. I did get a spare battery, and that might just be sufficient, but if I'm inspired to shoot, I can go thru a battery in a day or so ... Two batteries might just not get me thru five days between town visits, adding more batteries is adding more weight, and I might have another option.

I have that New Trent ACD66 I got to keep my Droid powered up between town visits. It's a 7000mAh battery pack, with USB outputs that should store more than I need for the Droid. I started looking for a way to recharge the X100's batteries with the ACD66. A search of chargers for the X100's battery uncovered the PowerGen Rapid Smart Charger. It sports a USB port, which can either be an output to charge a device, or an input to power the charger from a USB source. It comes with a cigarette lighter/USB adapter.

Now, the charger's USB input specs are 5-6V and 100-800mA, while the ACD66 output is 5V, 1A.  I'm not smart enough to know if the ACD66 will be pushing 200 additional mA, or if it will only push what's demanded of it. I think it's the latter, but if I'm wrong, I don't know how that additional amperage might affect either the camera battery, or the ACD66. If nothing else, time will tell.

So, I lined up the pins with my camera battery, plugged the ACD66 into the charger, and the indicator light lit up blue as it should.  I placed the battery in the charger, and the indicator went to red indicating it was charging.  The next morning, all indicators were off, the battery was charged, and there was no smoking hole in the table.  All good signs.

To appease my inner gram weenie, I put it on the scale and it weighs 2.25 ozs. That's 1.25 less than the charger I was carrying, with the added functionality of being able to recharge a camera battery from multiple sources, and to recharge a cell phone too.  Allows me to claim the ACD66 as multi-use, which is an important rationalization for us gram weenies.

The list of batteries the PowerGen will charge is as long as my arm. The Amazon page lists them all.  See those sliders above the battery? Those adjust the distance of the pins to correspond with the battery's contacts. So, this scheme ought to work for any number of cameras.