• Enclosure redesigns

    lion mclionhead03/31/2024 at 01:53 0 comments

    While the battery door is not removable according to the internet.

    It can be removed by cutting off a small bit of plastic.

    It's a very complicated mechanism if it wasn't designed in China.  Suspect it was designed in China.

    The door can be reinserted as a gap filler, if the camera is stored in an enclosure.  It still won't shut down properly.

    The easiest wire routing for the enclosures ended up being a notch.  The trick is keeping the buck converter always powered in order to retain the system clock.

    All new tripod mount with cooling fan.

    It took 3 tries to get the battery flush with .32 layers.

  • Shutdown failures begin

    lion mclionhead03/30/2024 at 01:40 0 comments

    After 5 years of flawless shutdowns, the gopro 7 finally started losing data when the battery died.  It either uses coulomb counting to time the shutdown & the coulomb counter slowly drifted over the years or a power management chip died.  It would no longer shut down properly or beep when the battery died.  Thus, a dummy battery was finally needed to have any hope of using the camera.

    Right away, the battery board was DRMed against taking any power from the bench.  The power had to be directly soldered to the contacts.

    PLA & scotch got it to connect to the camera.

    Then, the camera obviously read a fuel gauge in the battery, since it always said 27% on the 1st boot.  That must have been the last charge state of the sacrificed battery.  After making a recording, it always said 100%, probably because the DRM had to be bypassed. 

    The buck converter has to be within 20" for the voltage drop to be low enough to record 4k 30fps.  That drops .3V over a 22 gauge wire.  It seems to need 4.1V to record & handle up to 4.5V with no load.  4k 30fps seems to be the highest power user.  It seemed to burn 1.2A at 4.2V.

    The next step is getting rid of the battery door & making new enclosures to keep the dummy battery in.

      Careful handling & swapping of batteries could probably get it to keep the current time.  It would be a pain to always transport with a novel enclosure to keep the battery in.  The gphoto.wrapper program could set the dates if they're invalid.

  • Battery teardown

    lion mclionhead04/21/2023 at 22:53 0 comments

    The 'pro's original battery puffed after its firmware crashed & left it powered on overnight.  The 'pro 7 can't run on USB power like the 4 did so there's been a need for a dummy battery. 

    The journey begins by tearing off the label, reveling a metal skin.

    Under the metal skin, we have B for battery in a lot of potting compound.

    The potting compound breaks off, liberating the bottom.

    The top hinges open, revealing the tabs.

    The tabs can be knifed off, liberating the brain board.

    The brain board has the contacts.  The mane problem is creating a new enclosure.

    All lion cameras sit inside another enclosure so the battery door could be removed.  The door isn't removable like on a DSLR.  The most long lived solution is to leave the door open & build the enclosure around it.

    Maybe there's a space to grind away part of the door to poke cables through, but it's too destructive for now.

    A small hole in the enclosure worked.

    The problem is keeping the dummy battery inserted when using the user interface. The screen can't be accessed with camera locked in because there's a cooling fan.

    There's no plan to use a pole with a dummy battery & cables running down the pole.  It would only use a dummy battery on a tripod.