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PICList Thread
'[EE]: Building connectors for digital camera batte'
2009\04\20@133820 by Philip Pemberton

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Hi guys,
  I'm currently thinking about building up a couple of portable (think pocket
sized) test instruments, powered by Li-ion digital camera batteries. At the
very least I'll probably be building a capacitance and ESR meter, and possibly
a power meter (three wires, measuring voltage, current and power -- for
power-consumption measurement). All of these are going to be based on a
standard platform -- one PCB with the PIC, power management and communications
(RS232 or USB) on it, and another with the "device specific" hardware (the
ESR, current, etc. measurement gear). Pretty simple, and it means I can steal
parts from one unit to fix the other, if that becomes necessary.

  I've got a pretty good idea how the power system is going to be structured.
I'll be using a standard charge controller (Microchip MCP73812 or Maxim
MAX1811, preference to the Microchip part due to cost, but I've got a ton of
MAX1811s in my junk box) and a switch-mode controller to boost the 4.2V from
the battery to around 5V and a voltage reference to provide an accurate
reference standard.

  The catch is, I need to build some form of connector for the batteries
("major high-street store" copies of the Canon NB-5L). Admittedly I could
solder directly to the contacts, but that opens a big can of worms -- the
battery casing is plastic, and even if the battery pack has a protection
circuit built in (which it should), I'd still rather not solder directly to
the pack.

  The standard battery clip for these is a set of three springs, inside a
moulding that's part of the plastic body of the camera. So even if I could get
my hands on a broken Canon camera (and it'd have to be a fairly recent one --
Ixus series, 950IS, 82IS or something like that) I'd have to do a lot of
hacking to make it fit my pocket case. On top of that, a casing for one of
these cameras costs rather a lot of money... Canon UK won't sell them, and the
only local repair place I could find wanted about £35 for the whole casing,
and wasn't willing to split it ("what would we do with half a casing?").

  The only other thing I can think of would be to cut down some plastic sheet
(or FR4), and use crimp pins for (say) a Molex KK connector, suitably
modified. The problem with this is that plastic welds (e.g. those made with
Pro-Weld) on polystyrene (it's all the local hobby shop stocks) don't tend to
hold particularly well -- usually the clip works fine until the plastic splits.

  Does anyone have any ideas how I could build up a clip for one of these
batteries?

  For reference, we're basically talking about a 32x45x8mm plastic box, with
three contacts, each 2x4mm, positioned on one of the 32mm sides, about 3.5mm
from the right side, 2.75mm from the top side, about 1mm from the bottom, and
spaced about 1.2mm from each other. The contact pads are recessed about 1mm
into the casing.

  Finally, there are two polarisation cutouts on the contact side, one on the
bottom left, and one on the bottom right. They are both 5.5mm from the top of
the 8mm-high side, the left one is 2.5x3.5x43mm in size, and the right one
2.5x1.5x43mm in size. Both are positioned on the corners of the casing, so the
bottom-left or bottom-right corner of the cutout is on an edge. I'm not
worried about these, because of their small size, and because the contact pads
are on one side -- even if the battery was inserted the wrong way, the
spring-pins will only be making contact with plastic.

Thanks,
--
Phil.
spam_OUTpiclistTakeThisOuTspamphilpem.me.uk
http://www.philpem.me.uk/

2009\04\20@142251 by Marcel Duchamp

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Philip Pemberton wrote:
>    The catch is, I need to build some form of connector for the batteries
> ("major high-street store" copies of the Canon NB-5L).  
>
>    Does anyone have any ideas how I could build up a clip for one of these
> batteries?
>

Pogo pins should work.

2009\04\20@144112 by peter green

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>    Does anyone have any ideas how I could build up a clip for one of these
> batteries?
>  
how about two peices off FR4 (one with the contacts the other blank) at
each end of the battery pack and then joined using threaded rod and nuts?

2009\04\20@170431 by Philip Pemberton

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Marcel Duchamp wrote:
> Pogo pins should work.

Except they probably won't handle the current requirements of charging (~500mA
to 1A DC). The only ones I've got are rated to about 250mA, were quite
expensive, and the length of the pins plus that of the holder would probably
be greater than the size of the longest side of the case... :(

Good idea though...

Thanks,
--
Phil.
.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@philpem.me.uk
http://www.philpem.me.uk/

2009\04\20@183626 by Robin D. Bussell

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Hi Phil,
        You can get the contacts from farnell in their extended  
range, I have a few at work which I don't need anymore, what's the  
spacing of the contacts on your packs?

Cheers,
         Robin.




On 20 Apr 2009, at 22:10, "Philip Pemberton" <piclistspamKILLspamphilpem.me.uk>  
wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2009\04\22@022851 by Clint Sharp

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In message <EraseME49ECB305.7000000spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTphilpem.me.uk>, Philip Pemberton
<piclistspamspam_OUTphilpem.me.uk> writes
>Hi guys,
>   I'm currently thinking about building up a couple of portable (think pocket
>sized) test instruments, powered by Li-ion digital camera batteries.
Might it be an idea to buy cheap Li-Ion camcorder batteries instead? You
may stand a chance of getting the connector as a spare part from the
manufacturer for a reasonable price. You can also buy 'universal'
chargers for not much money.
--
Clint Sharp

2009\04\23@012550 by M. Adam Davis

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The connector is only $6 when ripped off a cheap plug in charger.  Far
less than the time and effort to make your own, I'd think.  You might
want to beef it up with a velcro strap, cover, or some other mechanism
to hold it in place beyond the connector's friction.

http://www.shopacc.com/details.php?pID=canon-nb-5l-sd850-sd870-sd950-battery-charger

$6 including shipping from various stores on amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000LCD9P0/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

The chargers are junk, but you're not buying it for the internals,
just the fixture and springs which should work well.

-Adam

On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 1:38 PM, Philip Pemberton <@spam@piclistKILLspamspamphilpem.me.uk> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

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