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My DIY BDS


Allen Rowand
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I decided it was time to improve my power distribution; I've been running multiple power supplies for my F8n and 302 and want to simplify things. I also want to be prepared for more bag work down the road. I'm trying to save money for mic upgrades, so I figured this would be a good place to go DIY.

 

To give credit where it's due, I got the idea for the BDS here:

https://henrirapp.com/diy-hirose-battery-distribution/

 

And grabbed the power meter circuit from here:

https://learn.adafruit.com/pro-trinket-power-meter/overview?embeds=allow

 

The hardest part of all this was getting the dimensions on the 3d printed remote housing correct, but when all was said and done it came together pretty well-

IMG_20190527_085048.jpg

 

And here's the system in use. For most jobs I'm stationary, so I picked up a 12v PSU to run the system as it's configured in the video. For mobile use I can switch over to a battery and enjoy less power draw since I won't have the FRC and 302 running. All in all I'm pretty pleased- it took about $150 dollars in parts, and gave me several hours of fun building it!

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jacob Gustavsson said:

Looks great! What batteries would you connect?

I've thought about making an adapter for Ikea's bluetooth speaker battery (Eneby), since it's quite a powerful pack for $20. It's rated at 14.4 v, 37 Wh. Making a cup for them would be an interesting project!

That is a very good value battery. And a nice shape. Are you going to charge them in the radio? Perhaps its possible to cannibalise the radio to make a shoe/charger.

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5 hours ago, Jacob Gustavsson said:

Looks great! What batteries would you connect?

 

I'm using a Talentcell 6000 mAh 12v pack with a built in USB port: https://amzn.to/2EDi5ip

 

$30 US. When I upgrade my radios I'll probably step up to an Inspired Energy battery rig, but for now this has worked with no issues

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7 hours ago, daniel said:

That is a very good value battery. And a nice shape. Are you going to charge them in the radio? Perhaps its possible to cannibalise the radio to make a shoe/charger.

Using the speaker to charge it seems like a good start, but then it would be fun to try and create a separate charger, maybe even a dual bank charger. 

2 hours ago, Allen Rowand said:

 

I'm using a Talentcell 6000 mAh 12v pack with a built in USB port: https://amzn.to/2EDi5ip

 

$30 US. When I upgrade my radios I'll probably step up to an Inspired Energy battery rig, but for now this has worked with no issues

Nice, also very good value for the Talentcell. Inspired Energy is pretty neat with monitoring battery usage and approximate remaining time, it's a good upgrade but costs a bit more of course.

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I think this is really cool that your making your own gear, I have been eyeing a BDS system for ahwile.

 

I have a few suggestions, positive reinforcement. 

 

You have to get the form factor down. It's gotta be nano sized. ( Try telephone wire for connectivity, or ethernet) RJ35 or whatever can take an underestimated amount of power. 

 

The toggle on/off is to tall. Should be recessed slide switch with indent, ( hard to turn off) and low profile. 

 

Again, this idea is really cool and gets my brain thinking. 

 

Cheers, 

 

D

 

 

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Thanks @Dalton Patterson and @Mirror!

 

Dalton, I agree that it could be made a bit smaller. I could print an enclosure for the distribution end that would only be as big as necessary. I don't know about the wiring; it's only 18 gauge now. Downsizing the remote would take some work, though. It's not much bigger than the internal components, but I might be able to thin it if I shave connectors down.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, that didn't take long- v2 is built! The remote is mostly the same, just as small as I can make it:

IMG_20190612_145531.jpg

 

I shaved a couple mm off the thickness as well. Depending on how I mount it I might be able to not use the cover screws:

IMG_20190612_145639.jpg

 

The main distro is much smaller, thickness is roughly the same. I printed a cap to cover the unused output:

IMG_20190612_145711.jpg

 

There's a mode switch to set whether I'm running from a battery or mains:

IMG_20190612_145729.jpg

 

When in battery mode the power meter estimates the percentage of charge remaining. This assumes I'm using my 6000mAh pack and it's starting from a full charge:

IMG_20190612_145801.jpg

 

I've also programmed a low voltage warning:IMG_20190612_145844.jpg

In this photo I've hooked up a 9v battery to simulate low voltage; in real use it obviously wouldn't report 99% left. The battery mAh rating and low voltage warning level can be changed if/when I upgrade my battery. Looking forward to testing next week!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 6 months later...

Back with v3! I decided to go for a one piece design for simplicity and to free up space in my bag. Circuit design changes are:

- Individual self-resetting polyfuses per output instead of a single master fuse

- Switchable outputs so I can kill power to devices that automatically power on and eliminate vampire drain

- One always on output for my recorder

 

IMG_20200218_131558.jpg

 

IMG_20200218_125851.jpg

 

IMG_20200218_125859.jpg

 

I could have made it a bit smaller, but I don't want it to be in "ship in a bottle" territory if I need to make changes. Thanks again to @henrirapp for the original inspiration!

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  • 1 year later...

I know this is a fairly old post, but I was wondering how you got on with this distro?

 

I'm currently prototyping a similar one using an Arduino Pro Micro and an INA226 Current/Power Monitor to keep track of my batteries.

I'm using NP-F970's in my bag, which are a bit bulkier than I like, but I have a bunch of them,  so ditching them for something else just isn't a priority right now. This means I'm using step up buck converters to get the 7.4v to 12v to power my F8n.

 

I'm currently using a cheap battery / volt meter in a DIY enclosure to keep an eye on the battery now, but it's bulky. I figure I can squeeze the electronics in a much smaller enclosure, and maybe get it in somewhere a bit better than where it is currently.

 

Also, a question on the polyfuses - what is the rating of the ones you are using? I think they come in 16v and 32v, and whatever amperage suits. I want to add some protection, as currently I'm relying on the protection built into the battery to save things should there be a short.

 

Thanks for the inspiration and ideas. Cheers.

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Thanks for the interest! The distro is still going strong, I haven't changed the design since my last post. I did build a new battery harness so that I can have two Talentcell batteries in parallel- the batteries have power switches, so if one gets low I can turn the other on and switch with no interruption.

 

I used 16v 2A polyfuses.

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Polyfuse ratings could be a whole discussion all on it’s own.
 

If you read the spec sheet they have a lot of grey area in regard to when they’re actually going to “trip”. For example you might choose one with a 12 amp rating and assume it’s going to trip right at 12 amps but they’re thermal devices so if the box you put it in generates heat then you need to look at the derating curve and see how that effects the current hold and trip specs.

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I wish that I had a 3d printer! I could use a small version of this! I also utilize a modified Talentcell battery pack in my current system. (I added an un-switched locking 2.1mm 12V DC connector) So a BDS somewhat like this would be fantastic!

Talentcell Battery Pack.jpg

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20 hours ago, Allen Rowand said:

Thanks for the interest! The distro is still going strong, I haven't changed the design since my last post. I did build a new battery harness so that I can have two Talentcell batteries in parallel- the batteries have power switches, so if one gets low I can turn the other on and switch with no interruption.

 

I used 16v 2A polyfuses.

 

Awesome, that's good to hear, and thanks for the info on the polyfuses.

That sounds pretty handy with the parallel batteries. Being able to hotswap them could be very useful in certain situations.

 

Currently I've got a working prototype on a breadboard. I'm hoping I can print out a case I've designed next week, and start assembling it into a bag ready kit.

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