SQ11 - Massive battery upgrade

A very basic "action camera" gets a more capable battery

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The SQ11 is a spiritual rip-off from the Polaroid Cube, in that it's worse in every way but price : it can be purchased in the usual back alleys of the internet for 8$.
One of the many downsides of the Chinese design (apart from the non-standard USB socket GRRRR) is a tiny battery, allegedly 200mAh, which results to a record time of 1 to 2 hours according to the manufacturer (in a space-time defying Hawkins wildest theories, in our reality, it's 20 minutes).
I decided to replace it with a salvaged 18650, supported by an added protection PCB and housed in a 3D printed case.
Now I have it recording for up to 17 hours.

The SQ11 can be disassembled by taking off the multicolour strip, then removing the tiny Philips screw.

I de-soldered the Li-po battery, soldered positive and negative leads to a (totally overkill) 18650 protection circuit.

I then verified that this quick hack still recorded video and charged the battery (very slowly, as the SQ11 motherboard is tailored for the 200mAh battery). As the 18650 is fully removable, I can fast-charge it in another contraption if I want.

Finally I got through 15 iterations for the 3D printed case, discovering the hull command in OpenSCAD and taking full advantage of it.

Unfortunately I discovered that there are multiple version of the SQ11 with different camera mount and heat spreader, so if you buy one, I can't guarantee that my case will fit unmodified.

Some detailed photos of the soldering : B+ and B - go to the LiPo cell, P+ and P- go to + and - BAT connection on the SQ11 board

x-zip-compressed - 871.84 kB - 05/05/2019 at 18:44




Standard Tesselated Geometry - 816.50 kB - 04/14/2018 at 12:11




Standard Tesselated Geometry - 688.27 kB - 04/14/2018 at 12:11



OpenSCAD project (15th iteration)

scad - 6.88 kB - 04/14/2018 at 12:11


  • New autonomy tested

    pixelk04/26/2018 at 10:02 0 comments

    I finally measured the resulting autonomy :

    The camera recorded for 17 hours in one go with a charged 18650 battery.

    The limiting factor is now the µSD capacity, and the fact that the camera only supports SD and SDHC, thus limiting the capacity to 32GB. 32GB is enough to record 10 hours of 720p footage.

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Enjoy this project?



cagiva4ever wrote 01/17/2024 at 17:57 point

Hi !

Did anyone else here buy SQ11 (fake..Version unknown..) that was supplyed with USB-cable which DO NOT HAVE the AV-plug in it ? the Yellow (rca) video plug to be connected into TV/tft etc.

If someone knows the PinOut how to DIY-make the cable, please let me know. i have spare cables from other "digital photo cameras" which could be matched together if only i knew the Pinout.

i have gathered RCA and USB pinout info from web, etc, but i wonder if SQ11 uses Standard figuration for PinOut's...

Done diy cables in past etc Devices, not a total nooby.

i bought my SQ11 from Aliexprs during Xmas 2023 , when it was on sale for like 3euro's.

cagiva4ever( )yah00 dot c0 m

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acaonweb wrote 11/13/2023 at 15:34 point

Probably the project is dead, but i'd like to understand/know why is necessary a protection board, thanks for your help

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david wrote 12/05/2019 at 18:07 point

I have a SQ11 camera that I wish to hack but having removed the multi-coloured strip I cannot find the screw mentioned. Can anyone suggest how to breach the case without damaging the internals, please?

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Phil Karza wrote 08/30/2019 at 02:11 point

One more comment- do you need the18650 protection circuit??

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pundittech wrote 04/13/2019 at 20:49 point


I am new to this hardware world, wondering if you could please put a link or instructions to how to solder in a protection circuit?


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Phil Karza wrote 01/11/2019 at 03:33 point

Could this be modded for the other version of sq11??

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pixelk wrote 04/26/2018 at 08:17 point

Just "retested" a long recording : As already stated, the limit is now the µSD not the battery. On the maximum µSD size (32GB) supported (SDXC are not supported) you can record aproximately 10 hours of footage in 720p. This will vary slightly depending on the compressibility of the scenes you shoot. The camera recorded for 17 hours before the battery went too low and it decided to stop.

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pixelk wrote 04/25/2018 at 09:13 point

0) I must be honest, I got bored after letting it run more than 8 hours straight :) I'll do another test with the biggest MicroSD I have around (the microSD gets full before the battery is empty).

1) I'm pretty sure i's doable, but you will have to redo the case, and that took me way more time than main brain-dead simple electronic (which is just replacing the existing battery by a protection circuit + a cell).

2) Again I see no reason why it wouldn't be possible. But finding a solar panel + charging circuit that is good enough to keep the camera rolling is another task entirely.

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Dillon Nichols wrote 04/19/2018 at 14:03 point

Very cool. How long is the battery life now?

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miguipda wrote 04/19/2018 at 10:15 point

Could it be possible to :

1) do the same with the SQ12 (I presume so)

2) be able to get an autonomous solar charging adapted on this 18650 box to get the camera always working (hidden in a birdhouse) ? I means be able to connect an external solar power bank which will keep this internal 18650 also in charge ?

Sincerely thanks.

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