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Battery problem (again?) by Zbigniew

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About This Gigapan

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Taken by
Zbigniew Zbigniew
Explore score
104
Size
0.15 Gigapixels
Views
2273
Date added
Dec 28, 2009
Date taken
Dec 28, 2009
Gear

Canon SX 10 on Epic 100

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Description

Sorry for this partial gigapan. This is again the battery issue of the Epic 100 mount.

I was going to take a nice 324 shot pano of the mineral collection of the museum of Earth Sciences at University of Silesia (approx 1.5 Gpx). I charged 6 AA size rechargeables (Energizer 2600 mAh) and total voltage on the battery holder was 7.8V, but the "Battery status" of Gigapan shown 7.4V as GOOD.
I set 5 sec. time per picture in Gigapan (1 sec. shutter speed and 2. sec self-timer in the camera), so it was expected something like a half an hour of pano shooting time. I pressed OK button and left the camera. When I was back after 30 minutes I found that batteries lasted only for 40 pictures; 200 seconds; 1/8 of the gigapan. The air temperature in the museum was "room temperature".

This is pretty disapointing, but it is just one example of my many unsucessful attempts to take the gigapanorama. I had some luck to take panoramas as big as 400 shots on the other hand.

Perhaps, my robot is defective, I don't know. I try to contact the customer service but there is no answer yet.

What is your experience with the battery performance? How does Gigapan power system perform outdoor in low temperatures. I have seen many panos taken in wintertime, so I think some gigarobots operates fine even below freezing temperatures. How about heavy duty external power source suitable to work for an hour or so in low temperatures?


Gigapan Comments (8)

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  1. Peter Franken

    Peter Franken (March 06, 2011, 01:08PM )

    I've switched to using a Black and Decker car Jump starter battery BDV030 to power my Gigapan Epic 100 unit. Today I was able to create 16 pans of 150 pictures each. Only on the 17th it quit on me when I stepped outside. I guess the cold was getting to it. I had to return home twice during the shoot session to empty the memory card. 40GB does just not fit in one go. ;-) So I got about 2500 pictures in total from it. Not bad for 7 hours of work. Better then the AA's ... they don't get me a single full pan anymore. Even not when fully charged. Guess 1 year old means they're up for retirement. I think the trigger servo is the biggest powerdrain. Must look into replacing that by a simple direct circuit to trigger my DSLR. EDIT: 1 day later : I returned to school to shoot some more pictures at a higher f-stop. But bad luck this time.The 12v to 9v converter was no longer able to carry the load. I have two more at home, but the other two can't deal with the peak Amps. I've measured them .. horizontal 1.5A ... vertical 1.2 A ... shutter 0.5A ... but with higher peaks all. I'm now looking into building my own converter .. 5A rated chip found. All I need now is some luck. PS I tried a LAB power supply too. No luck. The peak Amps are just too high for it.

  2. Luke Bertoli

    Luke Bertoli (November 12, 2010, 02:10PM )

    I would suggest purchaasing an inexpensive 12v to 100VAC inverter commonly used for computers when mobile. You can also purchase a battery jumper/compressor combs's fairly cheap at the big box stores. Then, you are running the Gigapan battery charger from the inverter - and the portable battery chargers hold a good bit of amperage. I doubut you will run out of charge in a full days shooting. However, most of the compressor/jumber combo's can be recharged from either 12VDC or 110VAC.

  3. Tom Nelson

    Tom Nelson (January 31, 2010, 05:38AM )

    This is from Stoney Vintson of GigaPan, and refers to the Epic: "Never exceed 9.6 volts. You may damage your imager electronics if you exceed 9.6 volts to the linear voltage regulator"

  4. Mark Rosenstein

    Mark Rosenstein (January 31, 2010, 04:28AM )

    Jan. 31, 2010, Have the same problem with battery life. So I am going to make my own external power source, unless someone knows where to purchase one. Anyone know the maximum voltage for the Epic 100?

  5. Jim Oris

    Jim Oris (January 30, 2010, 07:43PM )

    On a fresh set of NiMH batteries at room temp, I got less than 30 pics (out of 200) that were supposed to take. In cold, I got a total of ZERO. I had my instrumentation lab check the robot and it was drawing up to 1.8amps to move the unit between shots. Battery life is definitely an issue. I am looking into an external power supply.

  6. Tom Nelson

    Tom Nelson (January 03, 2010, 07:44AM )

    Zbigniew, you should get something like 8.3v from a freshly-charged set of 2600 mAH NiMH batteries. The GigaPan lists 7.4v as "good" but it's really marginal. If you're going to shoot in the cold, check out nickel-zinc batteries. They have greater energy density than NiMH batteries and are (supposedly) good to -29C. You can only use 5 AA batteries to avoid over-voltage. See my latest panorama for an example of their use at -18C.

  7. Bruce Perry

    Bruce Perry (December 29, 2009, 07:16AM )

    When shooting in cold temperatures, you can get the most out of your batteries by keeping them inside your jacket until you are ready to shoot.

  8. Dave Belcher

    Dave Belcher (December 28, 2009, 08:36PM )

    I've used my Epic 100 in temps down to -20C but batteries can discharge quickly, allowing less than 100 shots per charge. I did a 350 shot pan of the mountains in Banff with no problems around the freezing point. It would be nice to have an external power supply, specially for extended shooting sessions. Longer exposure times also use more power in the system as well as in the camera.

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