Safe to use cheap power bank to power dash cam?

Discussion in 'Batteries and Capacitors' started by Jroc, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Jroc

    Jroc New Member

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    Hello,

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/B00ME3ZH7C

    I bought this power bank recently and was wondering if it was safe to power a dash cam with. I could not find any information on the Amazon page regarding people using it for dash cams. Someone did ask if the output voltage was regulated, and the manufacturer responded no. So I was wondering if there is a chance that the power bank could output a high voltage to the dash cam? Especially if the battery becomes damaged due to heat. Is this a legitimate concern? And if so is there anything I can add in line to protect against it? Thanks.
     
  2. kamkar1

    kamkar1 Well-Known Member

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    A lot of guys in here use a USB power bank for parking mode, and while the lipo batteries in such a thing are volatile then its not a big concern in regular temperatures.

    Most power banks just output the usual 5 volts like you will find in any USB plug, but newer power banks can do quick charging where it output 9 - 12 volts to get the job done quick, and that's no good for a dashcam.
    But this are a additional feature, so far the ones i have seen they all do the default 5 volts and you have to do some key pressing to initiate quick charge.

    I have not heard of a USB power bank suddenly outputting more volts, i think if that happen a blown dashcam will be the least of your problems.

    It is not advised to charge and discharge at the same time on a USB power bank, their electronic are normally not geared to handle that kind of load.
     
  3. Dashmellow

    Dashmellow Well-Known Member

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    That power bank should be fine for operating a dash cam. If you use proper charging practices and avoid as much vibration, shock, extreme heat and freezing temperatures as possible it should last quite awhile, assuming it is built with decent quality li-ion cells.

    There is unlikely to be any issue with voltage regulation so it should be reasonably stable in its 5V output. Some cheap power banks do experience problems with ripple voltages however and this can sometimes manifest as a pulsating buzzing sound in the audio track in your dash cam videos. If that happens it would be best not to use it for your dash cam.

    Like, @kamakar1 mentioned, don't try to charge it when you are using it to power any devices. This is a practice known as "pass-through-charging" and this is best avoided. Bring the power bank inside at the end of the day, let it rest for a period of time and allow it to stabilize at room temperature. Then charge it using the supplied 1amp charger.
     
  4. Dashmellow

    Dashmellow Well-Known Member

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    This is your third post in the third different thread about your project since you joined the forum this evening, each time posting a link to your blog. It's just not cool to spam the forum with something like this.
     
  5. russ_

    russ_ New Member

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    gotcha, removed repeated replies (they were in different subforums tho! :)
     
  6. Dashmellow

    Dashmellow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I think it would have been ok to leave the existing posts but either way from my experience most forums frown in serial crossposting and multiposting so I thought I'd say something.
     
  7. Cessna CJ4

    Cessna CJ4 Member

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    It requires the user to manually switch the selector to "I" when charging. That's a non-starter for me. I would need a hands free camera system that worked without user intervention of any kind including its power source.
     
  8. Jroc

    Jroc New Member

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    Yeah and another problem is the ratio of charging to discharging time is high for this battery. For running parking mode for 9 hours, it will require 6 hours of charging. I've been charging it indoors every night and that's how long it takes. From what I read a cellink B can do 20 hours parking mode on 2 hours charging. But the Cellink is just too expensive for me to justify, when I can buy a deep cycle battery, all associated wiring, and battery isolator for cheaper.
     
  9. SawMaster

    SawMaster Well-Known Member

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    I feel the Cellink is overpriced, but it does the job well and it's user-friendly for the masses so it sells :whistle: Powerbanks do provide a budget-friendly alternative at the cost of convenience. As long as you don't physically abuse them and keep out of direct sun when parked, they are generally safe in your car and safe for your cam :) The vast majority of problems with Lithium batteries of any type occur during charging so I recommend that this not be done in your car ;)

    Any good DIY'er can build a better cam-powering system than can be bought, and you can make it do whatever you want in terms of automatic power-switching :cool: It's not a tough job but just far enough 'advanced' that most people won't want to put that much time and effort into it. I'll be taking that approach eventually when funds allow, but I've got a much bigger system in mind so that's going to be awhile yet.

    Phil
     
  10. EFTC

    EFTC Active Member

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    I have used power banks to run dash cam instead of using the 12V adapter for 3 - 6 months daily with a maximum on time of 3 - 5 hours. The only issue I have is that power banks can be "unpredictable" in terms of run time and they can shut off without warning. They are best for dashcam that uses USB or micro USB input.
     
  11. country_hick

    country_hick Well-Known Member

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