Battery chargers

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b-doc1
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Battery chargers

Post by b-doc1 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:06 pm

Does anybody know if you can charge a Gopro HD by plugging it into the usb port on an iphone chargers 3 pin plug?

I ask because i'm off to Italy next weekend and i cant take a laptop to charge my only battery due to my 32kg weight restriction on the flight. Any help would be great before i break my camera trying it!

Many thanks

Brett

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Wildswimmer Pete
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Re: Battery chargers

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:26 pm

If in doubt you could buy one of the many mains USB chargers available for a few quid. USB is standardised at 5 volts so any USB charger will do. You can even buy solar USB chargers that would no doubt work better in Italy than grey Britain.

If you do buy a mains charger unless it has a universal plug adapter you'll also need a travel adapter.

I'm a bit wary with Apple chargers as the one for my 4G iPod delivers 12 volts, although it has a Firewire socket so would be more than a bit difficult to mistakenly bodge in a USB lead.

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Pyro
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Re: Battery chargers

Post by Pyro » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:40 pm

I've used one of the SolarMonkey solar chargers to sort my phone out in Spain and it was very good. You can also get a 'SolarNut' battery that you charge with the Monkey unit and then use independently. Worth a look, maybe.
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Jim
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Re: Battery chargers

Post by Jim » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:44 pm

It is probably worth reading the specifications of the chargers.
Some USB 2 devices draw more power than USB 1 devices (for example a hard disk or as I recall from a colleagues woes, an iphone), so if you connect to a USB 1 socket you actually need a lead that can draw additional power from a second USB 1 socket. However a standard USB 2 socket will not damage USB 1 equipment so it shouldn't be an issue, the only issue is if Apple have somehow customised their power system in a way that it could (i.e. it's not really USB standard but uses a USB plug). I assume the Y leads connect in parallel so you get the same voltage but more current, as I recall more current means the battery will charge faster (maybe get hotter) but I doubt any battery is going to be on a particularly fast charge by USB.

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Re: Battery chargers

Post by Wildswimmer Pete » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:55 pm

Jim wrote:It is probably worth reading the specifications of the chargers.
Some USB 2 devices draw more power than USB 1 devices (for example a hard disk or as I recall from a colleagues woes, an iphone), so if you connect to a USB 1 socket you actually need a lead that can draw additional power from a second USB 1 socket.
That's because each USB socket can only source 500mA. Items needing more than that (up to 1A) can be fed by two paralleled sockets although only one will be used for data.
Jim wrote: However a standard USB 2 socket will not damage USB 1 equipment so it shouldn't be an issue,
The only difference between the two is data rate, the supply voltage is the same. The data lines aren't connected when using a charger.
Jim wrote: the only issue is if Apple have somehow customised their power system in a way that it could (i.e. it's not really USB standard but uses a USB plug)
That's what worried me. My iPod charges quite happily from the 5v on its USB cable from my PC or USB charger, but it also charges from the 12v from the dedicated Apple charger.

As long as the camera is presented with 5v from a stable source its internal circuitry will charge the battery at the correct rate. Lithium batteries also have internal electronics that monitor voltage and temperature.

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