Consumer 5 volt to power wireless video transmitter and receiver

Thread Starter

EvanBrenner

Joined Jun 24, 2018
17
Hi,
I just bought a wireless transmitter and receiver set - they work great when plugged into the wall outlet. However, I would like to use them in the field on a battery. They each take 12 volt on a 2.1mm plug. They are no-name Chinese, so there's not much in the way of documentation or support.
My question is - can I use a regular 12 volt consumer battery? For example, I have a battery to jump my car which claims to be 12 volt. Also, I have a few batteries that have 5 and 12 volt outputs. But these are not professional batteries. I imagine the wireless system that I have is quite complicated and I wonder if any voltage variation that comes with a consumer battery might mess up the electronics?
Anyone have any thoughts or guidance about this? Anything I should look in terms of purchasing a battery for this application?
Many thanks for any input.
Best,
Evan
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,275
Hi,
I just bought a wireless transmitter and receiver set - they work great when plugged into the wall outlet. However, I would like to use them in the field on a battery. They each take 12 volt on a 2.1mm plug. They are no-name Chinese, so there's not much in the way of documentation or support.
My question is - can I use a regular 12 volt consumer battery? For example, I have a battery to jump my car which claims to be 12 volt. Also, I have a few batteries that have 5 and 12 volt outputs. But these are not professional batteries. I imagine the wireless system that I have is quite complicated and I wonder if any voltage variation that comes with a consumer battery might mess up the electronics?
Anyone have any thoughts or guidance about this? Anything I should look in terms of purchasing a battery for this application?
Many thanks for any input.
Best,
Evan
Does the existing adapter have anything written on it? Post a picture if you’re not sure what to look for. One thing for certain is that you need to identify the polarity if the existing adapter is DC.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,275
Thanks so much for your reply. Here is a picture of the adaptor:
View attachment 155024
Ok that’s very clear - you need 5V DC. You might consider a DC-DC adapter such as you can buy very cheaply to provide USB charging in your car. Just get one rated to 2A or more. This is to ensure a safety margin and allow for some exaggeration of the specs. It shouldn’t limit your options much.

If your device is drawing a lot less than the 1.5A rating of that adapter, you could get away with a smaller battery, maybe a motorcycle battery for instance. You might also be able to use one of those charging packs people buy to extend their cellphone time. They output 5V by design (assuming a USB connection) and can carry quite a bit of juice.

Oh, and don’t forget the polarity. It looks like center pin is positive. You might be able to buy the exact adapter cable you need at Monoprice, for example.
 

Thread Starter

EvanBrenner

Joined Jun 24, 2018
17
Okay, excellent, thanks! One question - in your estimation, are those charging packs to extend cellphone time okay for this application? From what I understand there may be some variation in voltage depending on how full the battery is. Would a dip in voltage harm the video transmitter? (I assume not from your suggestion to use one, but I want to be sure).

I'd love to be able to use those consumer batteries for all kinds of similar 5 volt electronics (Distribution Amps, video conversion boxes, etc..) I run in the field, so would be great if you think they'll be okay.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,275
I don’t have personal experience with them. But I think your device is not likely to be more finicky than a smartphone. And I see little risk in trying. The worst that may happen is that it cuts out before the pack is discharged.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,275
One last thing- if you start using these packs for multiple devices, label your cables. Murphy’s law ensures you will eventually use a cable with reverse polarity, if it’s a possibility. Do all you can to make sure it’s not possible.
 
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