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My Custom $20 4-Battery Charger for Nikon batteries.


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#1 480sparky

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 08:45 PM

During my recent 3-week vacation, I had one minor problem at the end of each day when I checked into the motel.  And that was half the time, I didn't have the ability to charge up the 6 batteries I had been using (3 gripped bodies).  The problem wasn't enough chargers.... the problem was usually lack of electrical outlets.  Today, most lodging facilities are woefully inadequate in terms of spare outlets, most being taken up by the TV & cable box, a fridge, micro, clock, etc.

Another problem was, even if I did have enough outlets, some were so old they wouldn't support the weight of the charger and battery.  Yea, I know... I can plug them in with the supplied cord, but even then, sometimes it was only one battery at a time as I only had one outlet available.

So I started scheming on a solution.  Of course, my first thought was to see if there were any commercially-available multiple-battery chargers made.  Yep... ebay and Amazon both have 'em.  But they would only charge a paltry two batteries............ for a hundred bucks!  Nope, not an option for me.

I engineered several different designs in my head using the 4 chargers I do have, with the goal of being able to use all 4 at once, utilizing only a single power outlet, and still be small and lightweight.  At first, I thought about bolting or epoxying 4 chargers together with internal wiring run between them.  But in the end, the answer was a result of Nikon's 'Soviet-style' charger design.  You know, the one where you can either plug the charger directly in, or swap the adapter for a cord.  I felt my solution was easy, simple and elegant.  Not to mention......... cheap.

Now, I know some of you are going to say, "Gee, you dolt... just buy one of those 6-outlet strips that are sold at Best Buy, K-Mart, Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, and even the freakin' gas station!".  Well, I said I wanted it small and light.  And those clunkers any anything but.  Remember.... this is for travelling!  Small and light rules.

What I did was go to the local camera store in search of 4 additional power cords.  Thinking they'd stock just the Nikon OEM cords for $40 per, I didn't hold my breath.  Surprisingly, they stocked a ProMaster version, and they were a whopping $3.99 (plus the gubbamint's cut) out the door.  NOW we're talking!

Being an electrician by trade, this was a stupendously easy project.  Just cut the cords to length, strip the ends, slide on some heat-shrink tubing, and splice them together.  Slide up the heat shrink into place(two layers.... two smaller pieces to cover and insulate the two wires and a larger one to wrap up the whole mess).


The end result:  I call it my Medusa Cord.

MedusaCord.jpg


Total cost: $17.02 for the cords, and $3 would be a stretch for the cost of the heat-shrink.  50¢ would probably be much closer.



I can now plug in all four of my chargers into one solitary outlet..... Leaving other outlets available for my laptop, cell phone & Phantom chargers, etc.  And not have to get up 4 times during the night to change batteries in a charger.  So when I check out the next morning, I have six fully charged, rarin'-to-go batteries!


Don't mind me..... I'm just out roaming around between Zone II and Zone IX.
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#2 james23p

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 08:55 PM

Very cool Sparky, well done! I just bring a power strip usually if I am going to be charging several at one time.

 

Jim


God bless all those in harms way and Go Navy!



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#3 Dennis

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 09:17 PM

Yeah, I just bring a power strip and unplug the clock, since I don't need it, if I need to. But, hey, that cool.


Thanks, Dennis.

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#4 Wheatsack

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 09:50 PM

Very ingenious Sparky.... I, like Jim and Dennis, just carry a multi-box (power strip) 6way...I even have a 'modified' multi-box fitted with a european plug for travelling overseas (lots of countries use the european plug) :) ...I usually only travel with one camera (overseas anyway) but cell phones ,wifes camera,tablets you name it  :rolleyes:  all need power outlets and there is never enough.... didn't need to charge the old F3... :huh:

 

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#5 james23p

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    Right Jazz! :D

Posted 29 September 2014 - 09:56 PM

Sparky I did read light and small but I just wedge my strip in my suitcase.

 

Still a very cool idea.

 

Jim


God bless all those in harms way and Go Navy!



Nikon P900 Nikon P330

F100 w MB-15, N80, FM3a, FE2(Black and Silver) and EM.

Nikkor 24-85G ED AF-S VR, 70-300G ED AF-S VR, 28-105 3.5-4.5 AF-D, 50 1.8 AF-D

Nikon Series E lens, 28mm, 100mm, 135mm, 75-150mm, 70-210 f4.

MF Nikkor's 50 f2 Ai, 500 f4 ED Ai-P.

 

MF Rokinon 14mm f2.8 ED AE UMC(Ai-P)

MF Rokinon 85mm f1.4 ASP AE UMC(Ai-P)

 



Pro Manfrotto 055XV with Markins M10 ,Sirui P-326 6-Section Carbon Fiber Monopod with Markins Q3 Emille, Manfrotto Compact MKC3-H01M with Combo Head, 3Pod PTT1H Table Top Tripod with Giottos MH1304 Ballhead.


#6 480sparky

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 10:10 PM

I don't travel with luggage.


Don't mind me..... I'm just out roaming around between Zone II and Zone IX.
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#7 james23p

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    Right Jazz! :D

Posted 29 September 2014 - 11:17 PM

I do I use a medium back pack, I get most of my stuff in and my strip fits righ in. I always need clean cloths! :D

 

Jim


God bless all those in harms way and Go Navy!



Nikon P900 Nikon P330

F100 w MB-15, N80, FM3a, FE2(Black and Silver) and EM.

Nikkor 24-85G ED AF-S VR, 70-300G ED AF-S VR, 28-105 3.5-4.5 AF-D, 50 1.8 AF-D

Nikon Series E lens, 28mm, 100mm, 135mm, 75-150mm, 70-210 f4.

MF Nikkor's 50 f2 Ai, 500 f4 ED Ai-P.

 

MF Rokinon 14mm f2.8 ED AE UMC(Ai-P)

MF Rokinon 85mm f1.4 ASP AE UMC(Ai-P)

 



Pro Manfrotto 055XV with Markins M10 ,Sirui P-326 6-Section Carbon Fiber Monopod with Markins Q3 Emille, Manfrotto Compact MKC3-H01M with Combo Head, 3Pod PTT1H Table Top Tripod with Giottos MH1304 Ballhead.


#8 Gary Worrall

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 08:34 AM

Your Avatar says it all!  :lol:

I'll leave that stuff to you guys


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#9 Jes

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 05:57 PM

I thought I saw the lights dim a bit the other night  ;)


Jes

 

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