External Battery Mod For Action Camera Does It Non-destructively

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[Facelesstech] owns an SJCAM SJ4000 action camera, but the internal battery was no longer functional. Not wishing to buy a replacement and unwilling to hook up an ungainly USB cable to feed power, the solution was to design and 3D print an adapter to power the camera from a single rechargeable 14500 sized battery (which is the same size as an AA cell, and a good match for the width of the camera.)

Female header closeupThe adapter works by mimicking the original battery, so the camera never knows the difference. A 3D-printed holder for the 14500 battery (which doubles as a GoPro compatible mount) has an extension the same size and shape of the camera’s original internal battery. The tricky part was interfacing to the power connectors buried inside the camera’s battery bay. For a solution, [Facelesstech] eventually settled on the small connectors harvested from inside a female header, using them to connect to the small blades inside the camera. We broke open a spare female 0.1″ header, shown here, to make it clear where these little pieces come from. The only other battery hardware needed are the contacts for an AA cell, but those are also easy to harvest and reuse.

The GitHub repository for the project includes STL files as well as the FreeCAD files for the parts. A video overview is embedded below.

It’s also possible to add an external microphone input to these cameras, but it’s considerably more involved than external power.

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