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Let's take Kodak Playfull HD camera, inside it has such battery with 3 wires: video Fully charged it works for about 2 hours, and I need more, so I want to add external source. I think I can connect batteries in parallel, it means just connecting to these wires (2 of them, and third works for charging probably). Is it right?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Does the camera have a battery charger input? If so, use a larger external battery pack to supply the same power the charger would. Or, bring extra batteries and swap as necessary. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 2, 2013 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ yeah, of course it have, and I had such idea too, but I want to know will it work like I described, for me it's easier to make.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alej
    Mar 2, 2013 at 17:31

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Probably not without risk.

It MAY just work well enough, but more likely it wont.

More information needed, but, the battery is probably a LiIon (Lithium Ion) and the 3 wires are probably either
+ve, -ve, temperature sensor OR
+ve, -ve, dark and nasty special circuit.

If the 3rd wires is a temperature sensor it will usually be s NTC thermistor. Placing two in parallel makes it appear that the battery is too hot.
Disconnecting the feed from one leaves it unprotected.

If the 3rd wire is connected to a special circuit, connecting two in parallel may make nothing happen or just about anything happen. Not usually recommended.

In either case, parallel connecting two LiIon batteries can cause, in some cases, enough flame and smoke inside your camera to make it look like a small firework device. This is usually not what you want to happen. .

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for answer! I should think more now, so maybe would be better to do some sourse for charger. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alej
    Mar 2, 2013 at 21:35
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Do not attempt to parallel multiple native battery packs. This is an unsatisfactory solution for may reasons including those listed in another answer here. In general, even if the extra connections to "smart" battery packs are not an issue, it is not recommended to parallel battery cells.

To evaluate whether a charger input booster will work to extend the operational span of the camera in any particular session you will have to determine if the camera will still run with charger attached while depleting the battery at a much slower rate.

There is a possibility that the camera's charger input is dedicated to the job of charging the battery and that the normal operational functions are unavailable while the charge input is active. This should be easy test by running down the battery and then connect the charger and check if the camera can be used in all its normal functional modes.

There is also the possibility that the camera depends upon the very low output impedance of the battery pack to supply surge currents needed to drive the focus mechanism, the lens zoom motor and the flash device. If the battery is depleted by a significant amount the charger input may not allow for the camera to receive enough current to operate the current surge loads in a reliable mode - if at all. This can be checked in the same manner as described above.

Many cameras do not have a charger input and instead have a removable battery pack that is charged in a separate charger unit. It may be possible to replace the battery pack with a dummy unit made out of wood or plastic that has contacts that match the standard battery pack and then a wiring harness that routes over to a replacement higher capacity battery pack or power source away from the camera. I have done this in the past with some success. One does have to use care in the design of such device because there are several things to consider. Many modern battery packs have more than just the standard + and - connections. The extra connections permit monitoring things like the pack temperature and remaining charge capacity level. In some cases where an external power source is just attached to the + and - contacts the internal smarts of the camera may act out in a tantrum when it fails to find connections to these extra pins that fail to respond in an expected manner.

Another thing that comes into play if trying to use an external power source in place of the battery pack is that it can be easy to cause the camera to malfunction if the external source plus attachment wiring causes an increase in the dynamic source impedance seen by the camera. As said before, the battery pack will have very low output impedance that can easily supply the current surges that can occur when the camera is use. Add on some long flexible wires off to an external source and the surge needs of the camera may not be met without sags and under voltage spikes due to wiring resistance and inductance. I had this very problem with an early high end Minolta digital camera and ended up having to put a significant amount of capacitance in the dummy battery pack to work around the problem.

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