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Webcam Step2 02Brendan writes “I’m working on a little homegrown project centred around a creative use of a wireless webcam. Key to the project is the portability of the webcam. But there in lies the snag – power. I could go the iSight – laptop route which would work, and no need for power cables but ideally I’d love to have something that wasn’t as bulky. So anyway I was thinking would it be possible to wire up some hand crank power to a wireless webcam? Even if it only gave power for a half hour or so? Have you ever seen anything like this?” You could just wire up a 9v battery with a 5v voltage regulator (or whatever voltage the wireless web cam requires). Post your suggestions in the comments!

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. uberwald says:

    You could get one of those 7.2V RC car battery packs and wire a special connector (w/ the LM7805) to use. The packs are under $50 with a charger and great for all sorts of projects that need a small powerful battery. Some of them even charge in less than 1/2 an hour.

  2. SamHa1n says:

    I was wondering about doing this same thing. This is as far as i have gotten….thinking about it. My linksys wireless webcam needs 5vdc @ 2amp. The easiest way to do this imo would be to use a solar powered floodlamp as the power supply. Just keep the charging circuit as well as a regulator circuit from the battery to the cam. You would also want a limiting mech to protect the battery from overdischarge damage. To increase efficiency on the solor cells you could create a mount which is manuvered by a seperate phototropic BEAM circuit that would maintain the best alignment with the sun.

    This idea could also be used to power wifi bridges to extend your local (or your neighbors) WLAN.

    http://www.biosentral.info/drupal/powering_a_wifi_webcam

  3. reactive says:

    Lithium polymer battery packs are about half te size of NiCd or NiMh Rc packs and have the same (if not more) capacity. Using a switching regulator will cut down on alot of excess heat (especially compared to the 78xx regs). Look here for a quick intro.

    IIRC 10w solar panels would be quite bulky compared to the camera. If the camera drew less current when someone was not using it, it would be possible to build up a charge in the batteries and have the camera work for small durations.

  4. CharlesSalsman says:

    You should consider hijacking a battery from a newer cellphone. I used a battery from a Motorola v260 to power my GPS reciever while using it with my PSP.
    Its paper thin and lasts forever, and of course rechargeable. It also has built in circuit protection which is good when you’re ‘tinkerin’ :D

  5. Anonymous says:

    Nuts, i would use some nuts to power the webcam. they are very small and light weight so you can carry them with you. also they can be found at any grocery store. i use macodamian