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portble battery powered 24h footage camera

guus

n3wb
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Hello, I am hoping someone on here can help...

I work on a remote minesite in Australia.

We have several assets that are run remotely from our control centre 2000km away – large industrial machines like reclaimers, positioners for car dumpers, conveyors etc etc.


Everyday there is downtime associated with these:


– eg an alarm will be triggered indicating that there is product blockage in a conveyor transfer chute; this stops the belt and creates a downtime. The operator drives (sometimes several km’s) to investigate. Often there is no visible buildup, the plant is restarted. Apart from the basic instrumentation there is no real way of actually seeing what caused the alarm. I want to set a camera up and record for 12-24h then review the footage to understand the exact failure cause….


This is just one example – but basically I need a tough, fairly compact camera that is versatile enough to be sitting at a charging dock in my office one minute and strapped to a handrail pointing at a conveyor in the plant the next. We can build a case that is dustproof, water resistant etc – the major requirement is battery life and portability (and quality of the image). Note – the plant does not have easy access to wifi so footage will need to be saved to the camera itself via memory card, hard drive etc.

Kind of like a gopro but with capability to be left recording continuously for 24h...

any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
Guus
 

bp2008

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No consumer product I've heard of can record video for 24h on one charge. Is it completely unrealistic to run, say, long extension cords to a power source? Otherwise I'd say you are looking at packing around a car battery or something wired to a standard IP cam with SD card and continuous recording capability. Not the most compact and versatile option.
 

bp2008

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Most IP cameras can run on 12 volts DC power and consume roughly 3 watts with infrared illumination off. It can be 6+ watts with infrared on.

You need a 12 volt battery with 12 amp hours (AH) or larger capacity to handle 6 watts for 24 hours. It would be good to also wire in a low voltage disconnect module to protect both the camera (from too low of voltage) and the battery (from being drained completely).
 

guus

n3wb
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Thank you for your response. The car battery scenario is one I have considered however it is not something that would work - the plant I work on has numerous tall structures that can only be reached by stairs and the weather can be extreme heat to 48C....plus the whole portability and "grab and go" nature of the device is limited with something so cumbersome as a car battery....
 

bp2008

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You should be able to find a much smaller and lighter battery that meets the requirements. Just 12 amp hours at 12 volts should be plenty. A common car battery is about 4+ times that. You might even get away with as little as 6 amp hours if the camera's infrared can stay off.
 

Mr_D

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Would a portable device charger (typically used to charge phones/tablets on the go) work? Mine is 20,000 mah so 20 AH? Lots of dashcams are USB powered and have microSD card slots. You could even chain the chargers together if needed.
 

bp2008

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Those don't supply 12 volts. You'd need to convert it.
 

guus

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hahaha - yeah you may be right, does seem like a decent markup.
I'm clearly not a camera enthusiast at all - you guys have obviously seen your fair share of products - maybe you can suggest something specific (brand, model number, link) that would be directly comparable...?
 

CCTVCam

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If you running machinery then you must have power there. Surely it wouldn't be that hard to put in socket near to where the machinery you want to monitor is and then run the camera PSU from that. If the power is 3 phase, then again I'm sure you could put in a transformer to convert it to 240v 50hz single phase or whatever Aus uses as their standard supply. There are portable site transformers around, and although heavy, you'd only have to put it up there the once.
 

CCTVCam

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Would a portable device charger (typically used to charge phones/tablets on the go) work? Mine is 20,000 mah so 20 AH? Lots of dashcams are USB powered and have microSD card slots. You could even chain the chargers together if needed.
If you want to burn the mine down then yeah! They are lithium based and don't like heat being particularly prone to catch fire. 48 degree heat + 6W+ continuous draw with no cooling. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

 

guus

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CCTVCam thanks for the suggestion to run a power cord....as stated this is not a solution.

  1. portable
  2. cordless
  3. long battery life
 

awsum140

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Whatever you choose the killer is the amount of battery needed to run for 24 hours. A "3S" LiPO pack will put out about 12 volts, nominal 11.7 and over 12 with a full charge, but 12 amp hours, or more, becomes problematic. Wiring them in parallel would need additional protection circuitry to prevent disasters. Next up on my list would be a gel cell. Fairly compact and relatively light weight with enough amp hours, power density, to run a camera for a day. You'll never find anything that will do that and be totally cordless, you'll need some kind of wire, albeit rather small, to go from the power source to the camera. There just isn't a power source with that much capacity and still be able to fit into a camera.

In terms of a camera have a look at the Cliff Notes in the WiKi, WiKi is in the blue bar at the top of the page. Lots of good information regarding cameras, field of view and low light capabilities. I'd guess a bullet style would be most appropriate. You could also contact Andy, Empire Technology, directly, and get his advice.
 

CCTVCam

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CCTVCam thanks for the suggestion to run a power cord....as stated this is not a solution.

  1. portable
  2. cordless
  3. long battery life
As Awsum says, I don't think you solution exists - too much power required and too much heat. Also, even with a battery that maybe could run it safely, eg a 12 volt car battery (which you didn't want because of the weight), you're still going to need to run a power socket to enable you to recharge it, and batteries have power discharge limits to stay within long life eg most lead acid batteries don't like to be taken below 50% charge. So that increases the size and weight of battery required. The shear heat alone will reduce it's lifespan from 5 yrs to around 2yrs. You don't want to accelerate that with deeper discharge cycles.

Obviously, I don't know your mine situation, but surely the machinery has a power supply - generator or similar. Surely there's a power cable to the machine which I presume is either hard wired to a junction box or plugged in with an industrial plug into an industrial socket. So I'm struggling to see why you couldn't take a spur off either the junction box or socket to run another socket you can plug a camera PSU into, (or via a transformer / regulator), to the same. From the sound of it, you have electricians on the pay roll.

As I see it, 1. is achievable, 2 and 3 probably not. 2. is going to be an issue not only for power but recording feed - you're going to need either ethernet (more cabling) to take the camera feed back to a pc or DVR in the cabin (?) and over the internet via remote viewing, or, a portable DVR in a dust proof housing (then need a 2nd power socket and a DVR that can take the heat), or record to be totally self sufficient with in camera recording to SD. Recording to SD, you've then got issues with SD card size and dust, which probably means putting the camera in a dust proof housing to keep dust out of the reader slot, which then raises the temp as in camera SD recording tends to generate more heat from the chipset. Anyone with a camera they've custom firmware'd will tell you the higher the bit rate to the SD, the hotter the camera gets. So you have a hotter camera in a housing that traps heat with the internal SD solution.

The wire free option would be something like a GoPro, spare batteries and a man on site to exchange them every hour and maybe the SD card every 2 hrs, and even then, some action cameras have been known to fail in heat.
 

TheDank

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