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MUST READ for D380 USERS!!!!!!!!!&


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I am not sure if this will apply to all the D380/D370 cameras but I had two that were really hard on batteries for some reason and was looking at doing the on/off mode from Otto to try and help my battery drain.

 

I recently put a brand new battery in a camera with a new D380 and the battery only last a few hours. I took this camera up and put a new battery on it and turn it off and left it all night and the next morning the battery was low.

 

OK so I started digging. I checked the current draw of the camera after it settled on power up.

It was a whapping 5.55mA idle before sleep. Funny thing was it would not go to sleep. I am using the external power port like we found out would work a year or more ago. I never checked this before so this kind of shocked me. Even funny it would never go to low power mode. It would try and then go right back to 5.55mA. I turned the camera off and it when to 3.3mA all the time even with the shutter door closed. I was about to fall out of my chair at this point.

 

I was guessing that it had something to do with the external power port drawing current and keeping the camera awake. The power source that goes into this port is DC but when the camera senses the use of the port it will not go to sleep and that technology is keeping the camera from going to sleep. I am not sure if it is in all cameras but this is a relatively new one and I have a couple more that have acted the same but I have blamed it on week batteries over the last couple years of using them. I noticed all last year that some were worse than others and did not seem to last long.

 

OK with all that said this is what I found out after making some changes. I found where the battery terminals are located for the four AA batteries. This is in Otto's picture right next to where the on off control is located and they are covered with some yellow material kind of like RTV. I soldered my external battery connections to these locations and guess what. The idle current after the camera settles is 2.3mA and after 3 minutes of no use it will drop to 80uA and when it is off it drops to 30uA which I assume is used to maintain the clock. The battery now will last probably weeks and still run the camera versus a day before.

 

The point is if you wire your power source to this location you don't have to sacrifice the slower on/off mods to get the power savings. You would only be sacrificing the difference in the 80uA and 30uA from sleep to off and of course the 3 minute of 2.3mA which not that significant to get the faster shutter.

 

I am guessing that not all the cameras have this feature where it will not turn off or the volage level at the port has to be so high for this technology to keep the camera from turning off. Either way it is a waste of power to not use the battery terminals inside the camera because the working current is lower either way. I plan on taking all my cams up and making these mods.

 

I know there are several people out there that have this same problem and this is the fix. :59::D:cheers: :hags:

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Great find Brian! Can you explain in more detail how you went about checking out the camera so others (including me :D ) can do the same?

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Super! I don't think I have this issue as my two 380s will last weeks on four Ds. But the check would be to put the ampmeter in-line with the external power supply and measure mA with camera open and shut? You had 3.3mA when shut? I assume it should be ZERO?

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Great Job Brian!! Can you get a picture of the solder points?

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Great Find Brian!

 

I wonder if that external power port has a charging circuit to keep the internal batteries charged up and that is what draws the power? I've always wondered why there was an external jack to begin with......

 

Tinhorn

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The 380's are the only ones i have noticed doing this that is why i have never used but 2 380's and 1 of these doesn't do this it is and older one that is wired like the 370's. I can get about 4 weeks on my 370's and the 1 380, but the other or newer 380 will only last 10 days. Glad you finally figured out what was causing this Brian AS ALWAYS GREAT JOB BIG GUY.

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I have noticed that not all cameras have this but some of mine do. It seems to depend on the revision like you guys say. We have noticed the same problem with the X20 on revisions not power drain. They have changed them and the code has had to change too. To check it use the current meter like Matt says.

 

May not be for charging the internal batts because they would have to assume you were using rechargeables. Must be some new sensing circuit or something. It is a power hog what ever it is for sure.

 

I modified Otto's picture to show you guys where the battery terminals are on the D380 and D370. You can remove the yellow RTV stuff and solder your battery wires at this location and solve the problem.

 

I plan on doing all mine this way whethere they need it or not since that port has to draw more current even if it lets the camera go to sleep. I have several other cameras in the woods including the D370's and I will check and modify all of them and let you guys know the outcome.

post-4-1092411910_thumb.jpg

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Brian,

 

Just a curiousity question. Were you checking the current with both internal batteries and external hooked up at same time? Just curious if it measures the same current with an external source and internals as it does with external source and no internals.

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Holy Crap....

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I checked it with external only at the plug and then changed the wiring to internal and checked it so both checks were separately done.

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Thanks Brian your the Man!! Gotta check mine also

The idle current after the camera settles is 2.3mA and after 3 minutes of no use it will drop to 80uA
So if we use the fast refresh we will be holding the cam current at 2.3ma continuois?? as compared to 2.5hrs at 80uA??

Again nice find

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I tried the external power for a while using 4 - c batteries and never liked them. I use the fast refresh with just internal bats. and get several weeks out of them.

 

Great job Brian, will send you 45 cameras to rewire. :D

 

cliff

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This is a definite newbie question. :huh: I have a multimeter that I use to check continuity and voltages, but I don't have a clue how to check for amperage draw. Is it a separate tool that is needed to check for amperage? If so, could you point a fella in the right direction? Thanks.

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Brian in short are you telling us if we want to add an external power source wire directly to the wires on the inside of the cam as shown in the pics? I hope cause all that other stuff you said didn't make a dang bit of sense especially since I haven't screwed with my d-380 much

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Super job Brian, I was just about to check this out for myself. I just finished 2 more D380's and noticed the battery drain on one of them was awwwwfuuuul. Thanks for the great research and info. :cool: :cheers:

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