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powering 36 DSLR cameras from a single powersupply

Discussion in 'Power Electronics' started by Adrian S, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Adrian S

    Adrian S

    6
    0
    Jan 4, 2019
    Hi there.

    I am a total novice when it comes to understanding power supplies and the like. Last year I built myself a multi-camera rig in order to produce realistic human 3D models for animation. I am looking this year to improve on my build. One such area for improvement would be its power supply. Currently each camera has a dummy battery connected to a mains transformer ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/PremiumDigital-Canon-Replacement-Power-Adapter/dp/B00841UIOU )... very messy cables and lots of multi plugs. I would like to remove all the individual power supplies and replace them with a single transformer or even a couple to service all the cameras. At the moment the rig uses 18 canon eos 400d cameras but I plan to double this number so wish to accommodate scalability. Any formulas on how to calculate what I would need a transformer to deliver or any help/guidance would be much appreciated (I do dislike having to cable tie transformers together to try to make them tidy)
     
  2. BobK

    BobK

    7,504
    1,598
    Jan 5, 2010
    Easy. Multiply what one camera needs by 36. The current that is, the voltage stays the same.

    Bob
     
  3. Adrian S

    Adrian S

    6
    0
    Jan 4, 2019
    Thankyou Bob that does make it sound easy :) So.... how would i work out what each camera needs..... the only figures I can see are DC 8.1v on camera body, 7.4v 720mah on batteries and output 7.4v 2A on the power adapters. Is there a way I can test the current draw of the camera or should i use the batteries 720mAh (7.4v 26A) or the power supplies 2A (7.4v 72A) as a guideline ?
     
  4. BobK

    BobK

    7,504
    1,598
    Jan 5, 2010
    Do you have a multimeter?

    It does not use 2A or the battery would last about 20 minutes at most.

    Bob
     
  5. Adrian S

    Adrian S

    6
    0
    Jan 4, 2019
    Yes I do have a multi meter (only used it to check for continuity). but have literally just finished watching a vid on testing current.. something for me to do over the weekend. Thankyou for your help , I am definitely moving in the right direction now. The only thing that Is confusing me now is the voltage side of things.. I can find lots of 12v supplies that offer varying amounts of wattage. For example I already use one of these https://www.wholesaleledlights.co.uk/led-strip-lights/led-power-supplies/150w-led-driver.html to power 7m of led strip lights.. are these the types of units I should be considering https://www.tme.eu/gb/details/hrp-300-7.5/built-in-power-supplies/mean-well/ (once i've worked out the draw).
     
  6. BobK

    BobK

    7,504
    1,598
    Jan 5, 2010
    Measuring the current might be tricky. The camera likely draws a burst of current when you take a shot. If all 36 are triggered at the same time, you have to allow for that max current. You might not be able to read it with the multimeter. A storage scope would be better, but I doubt you have one of those.

    Bob
     
  7. Adrian S

    Adrian S

    6
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    Jan 4, 2019
    you're absolutely right.. I don't have a storage scope.
     
  8. Alexey-Budka

    Alexey-Budka

    1
    0
    Monday
    We were dealing with a similar issue. Our project also involved finding a better way of powering our 12 cameras array ('bullet time' booth) for upcoming events. The task was also to replace the pile of spaghetti cables with something reliable and simpler, that will not take too much space in the array. Cable management was also important as the set up had to be quick and this was the biggest time suck.

    We looked into building our own (ultimate) power supply that would accommodate all of the cameras, but realized that it would require more time than anticipated as the reliability was a concern, so we just gave up. Then we found esper powerbox https://www.esperhq.com/product/multi-camera-power-supply-powerbox/ supplys power to 6 cameras per box from a single wall outlet. It works with cameras that operate from 7.4v (I think up to 9v) by connecting them to the box via dc couplers. It is also great for troubleshooting.

    Alexey
     
  9. Adrian S

    Adrian S

    6
    0
    Jan 4, 2019
    wow £400 for 1 box. That's a lot. In the end after testing the amount of power required for each camera I have gone with a
    meanwell RSP-320-7.5 300W 7.5V 40A https://www.powersuppliesonline.co.uk/rsp-320-7-5-300w-7-5-40a-enclosed-power-supply.html which is doing the job admirably, it doesn't look so pretty I must admit, but I am considering buying a 3D printer to make my own electronics enclosures.
     
  10. dave9

    dave9

    608
    127
    Mar 5, 2017
    ^ Putting that in an enclosure will tend to cause it to recirculate the heated exhaust air, so it runs hotter and then should be derated for lower max output, unless your enclosure has a fan added too and/or is partitioned to isolate intake from exhaust. Your PSU is roughly the ideal voltage at 7.5V, to run a 12VDC, brushless ~ 1200RPM fan nearly inaudibly, just about any 12V fan will run (at lower than the ~1200RPM spec) at 7.5V.


    You might be as well off just painting it if you want color and putting a cap on the end where the wire terminals are exposed, and if anyone else has access to it, a Warning High Voltage label on the cap, and/or securely screwed down if warranted.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019 at 8:36 PM
  11. Adrian S

    Adrian S

    6
    0
    Jan 4, 2019
    Good plan....A lick of paint sounds the cheapest option and a cover for the terminals... 3D printers is a future project.
     
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