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[Image: portable_camera.jpg]

This post is for Number 7 who's wanting some remote security ideas.

Per our PM's, this is a basic setup.

With just the camera (1) and the 5v USB powebank (2) I can leave this anywhere
in the yard and it will run for 8+ hours. (haven't tried it longer yet)

Powrbank is one of those cheap 12000 mHa jobs for about $20.

Phone (3) in the picture is a pretend portable wi-fi hotspot.

Most old apple and android phones can be used as portable wi-fi hotspots and usually charge off 5v.

With 1, 2 and 3, this camera can been viewed online from anywhere in the world.

Trouble is 2 and 3 eventually need charging  Sad5

A good car battery and at least a 20 watt 12v solar panel and cheap charge controller would keep
1, 2 and 3 going around the clock.

One of those cigarette 12v socket (4) things with inbuilt 5v USB outputs are only a few dollars on eBay.

In your case all you'd need is 1, 3, 4, a solar panel, controller and 12v battery.

Some cheap control charges have inbuilt 5v outlets as well.  Doctor
[Image: cooters_5v_solar_charger.jpg]

Confusedeven: Regarding the 5v solar panels you bought, you really need
more voltage - in the photo I joined two garden lights (1, 2) together
that combined in full light do 12v with fark all amps. (about 100ma)

That raw 12v goes into the cheap $1 voltage regulator (3) which brings 12v
the down to a safe 5v that then goes into the 5v battery bank (4)

Image (5) is what a voltage regulator looks like. They coast about $1.85 at Jaycar but are only
good for about 1amp

My camera will run on 5v 1 amp, but it's specs say it wants 5v 2amp

Your dongle wants another 2 amps at 5v

This is where a 12v solar panel and car battery with 5v converter gives plenty of amp head room.

I usually run my cameras off 240v, but have the battery pack in-line in case of blackout.

That 5v solar rig in the photo is usually in the cupboard as it's so slow charging at 100mHa,
which at that rate would take 12+ hours to charge that 12000 mHa battery bank.


Note: between my solar panel and the battery there should be a small 'diode'
(only lets electricity travel in one direction) as well to stop the battery from discharging
when the sun goes down. In the above example that power pack has one in it.

The 3 terminal voltage regulator you have pictured, which I gather is a typical LM7805, is only good for 1 amp with adequate heatsinking.

Best place to find cheap heatsink is out of an old TV you find on the side of the road.

You are better off using one of those little switching modules we got from China. (buck one for going DOWN in voltage).

Sorry don't have a picture. I think they were like less than $2 each with free postage.

They will supposedly handle more current, and will be far more efficient as well, and with solar you need efficiency.

Grandpa Wood_chop
I dont think I really need this camera to do night surveillance (i reckon the little brats are doing their dirty business in broad daylight) so I am hoping I can use straight up 5v solar panel to power it during the day and turn off at night. As long as the camera has auto power on function as the internet dongle does it should all turn itself back on again when the sun comes up.


The area is set for a new mobile phone tower - hopefully will supply 3G coverage so I can use the trail cam to send MMS to my phone when it sees movement

A full-time caretaker with a shotgun would be a better way to secure things...... Aus_flag Thumbsup
Yes I forgot to mention heat sink stuff  Thumbsup

LOL, my piss weak 100mHa garden solar cells never make anything hot.

Good idea on the adjustable step down converter  Wood_chop

Here's one of mine that will take up to 30v in, and has been adjusted down to 5v out.
[Image: votlatge_step_down.jpg]

The blue rectangle with the gold screw is the adjuster, Number 7.

Only cost about $2 each. I think they are good for 3 amps per unit.

My piss weak 12v 100mHa garden panels wont run them though,
thus why I opted for the weaker regulator.

I reckon Number 7 should man up, and bare minimum, car battery, 12v 20 watt panel
and two (one for the cam and one for the router) of the above voltage step down gadgets.

Yes the cameras auto power on.

Each trail cam need it's own SIM card? That would be a bugger. I'd nick ya SIMS and make free phone calls  Debilos-1

Ya got an eBay link to the 5v panels ya getting?


These are the panels I bought and have high hopes for

Yer each trail cam has its own sim and own number. I can control it by sending SMS to take a pic, turn on/off, and couple other things

If it is stolen the sim can be tracked for its location as I understand
So I bought 3 at 160mA each

If I connect them in parallel I should be able to achieve almost .5A

Camera needs at least 1 amp

Your hotspot needs over 1 amp (old phone hotspots draw less)

Yet you're going to run both direct from two $1 solar panels putting out less than 1/2 an amp in full sun light?

When you do the sums it looks like I might need to get some more solar panels


Lucky those nice Phillipinos sell em for $1            Sunny
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