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Thread: Hero 3 Black Power Draw?

  1. #1
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    Hero 3 Black Power Draw?

    I want to power my Hero 3 Black with an external power source. It's being carried on a quadcopter and I'd like to power it off of the onboard 5200mah 3s lipo battery. I've typically used a Polulu 5v/600ma step-down regulator to power the GoPro and that has worked fine all the way up to my GoPro Hero 3 White. To be clear, I do not mean trickle charging but actually powering the camera during recording with no battery inside. It does not work with the Hero 3 Black. I can't even turn the camera on like this much less record.

    So I'm wondering what the amp draw is for the Hero 3 Black while it is recording at the highest settings? And can it powered through its USB port? I tend to think yes to that second question.

    I've searched quite a bit for the power draw of the Hero 3 Black and the best info I could find was this power chart suggesting 2.6 watts for the H3B when recording. If so, at 5v, that would imply something like 0.52A or 520ma. Does this sound right?

    What I'm thinking of trying is using a 5v/1A polulu stepdown and seeing if that works. I knew the H3B was a power hog before I bought it but I can't imagine it would draw more than 1A, right??

    Thank you for any feedback.

  2. #2
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    Be forewarned your asking for trouble trying to power a GP3 externally in that type of environment, the GP3 wants pristine power and the slightest glitch will hose it up.


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    Why don't you use a Mobius Camera instead? It supports direct charging from an USB cable. It would be a lot simpler and less problematic.....
    But if you still want to use the GP3, check out this link http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1977034
    You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. - Albert Einstein

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    Thanks guys. What is it with the GP3B? I power my Mobius and GP3White entirely (i.e., no battery inside them) off of filtered, stepped down 5v from the lipo. Does the GP3B require even "cleaner" 5v or something?

    I did run a test flight just now with the GP3B powered by its own battery. I did not feel any noticeable shift in weight to the nose so if this idea proves more risky than it's worth, I may just stick to this.

  5. #5
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    I never had luck with charging the GP3 battery while recording. The Mobius doesn't have the same performance as the GP3, but its certainly possible to charge its battery while its in recording mode.
    Furthermore, the Mobius camera is a lot lighter than the GP3..... Which can help you save some weight, if that's critical for your plane.
    You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. - Albert Einstein

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infiltrator View Post
    I never had luck with charging the GP3 battery while recording. The Mobius doesn't have the same performance as the GP3, but its certainly possible to charge its battery while its in recording mode.
    Furthermore, the Mobius camera is a lot lighter than the GP3..... Which can help you save some weight, if that's critical for your plane.
    Works great with my 3+. I have a hundred flights or more with it and it hasn't been on a charger in months. No glitches, either. Maybe the 3+ improved something.
    [SIZE=2]Freefly ALTA #1 with MōVI M5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevemaller View Post
    Maybe the 3+ improved something.
    That's my sense from the reports I've come across. All anecdotal though and no power indications to speak of.

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    A good amount of overhead is the way to go. Minimum of 3S obviously and I'd say at least 2A. The GP3B maxes at about 700mA. The new IRC Vortex sounds line it will be able to power a GP. Should be possible. You could also use a largeish cap inline like a car audio cap to reduce fluctuations. I don't mean an actual car cap. Just an example.

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    Thank you Exidous! 700ma - that was the figure I was looking for. 2A sounds good. I'm gonna try to fly it for a while with the battery in it and see if it's not too bad. But I'm going to keep exploring options to power from the lipo. Thanks again this was very helpful.

    And this makes sense why it didn't work on my setup since the 5v stepdown I'm using tops out at 600ma. I've got a 2A comin in the mail already. I'm a little worried about the 4.7v "max" I'm reading about though hoping the extra 0.3 isn't a big deal.

  10. #10
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    Any luck on the GP3B?
    I am trying to power with 3A but only running 2s. Same thing though just won't even turn on without the battery onboard.
    What are the three pins on the battery? Can we short them or make an adapter to trick it into thinking there is a battery or is it simply just the power draw is too high?

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