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I have a GoPro Hero 3 Silver edition. Was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to take a continuous timelapse for extended period of time (more than 4 hours) since the battery seems to deplete itself in less than two hours.

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The two hours are with the additional battery pack? –  Bart Arondson Aug 13 '13 at 22:38

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'd suggest either plugging it into the wall, a USB port or an external USB based battery. Any of these should be able to provide more power for longer runtime.

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Though you can't plug in a USB cable if using the standard waterproof housing. You can get a "skeleton housing" which has holes for plugging in cables, but it isn't waterproof. –  vclaw Aug 14 '13 at 20:03
    
Cam-do has a tiny custom USB cable that will fit into the water-proof housing, and you can let a thin cable out through the back door, making it mostly water-proof (if that is mandatory). Otherwise, shoot without the ext housing. the current 12Ah USB battery packs will give you 20-24h power for a single gopro camera, otherwise, a wall charger will give you infinite power. –  Joergen Geerds Aug 22 '13 at 23:25

There is a GoPro timelapse contoller available from Cam-Do.

This switches the camera off between each shot, which can give much longer battery life. So it can take hundreds of photos, spread over days or weeks.

This controller is compatible with the HD Hero, Hero 2, and Hero 3 White and Hero 3 Black, but it is not compatible with the Hero 3 Silver.

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Obviously using a power point is not what you want. What I have discovered is that there are a host of portable external power packs available on Ebay which could extend battery life.

Now here's the switch - beware the claimed power capacities of these things. I recently bought an unbranded unit for a paltry $25 claiming 30,000 m/a hours. That also means 30 A/h. It is about 6 inches long by 4inches wide by 3/4 inch deep. It does a good job of charging devices but for time lapse it is a fizzer, the reason being that once you plug it into the GoPro through the side entry of the skeleton case, it begins to charge the internal battery. When the internals are fully charged however it switches off. So if you have left your camera recording a scene you will come back and find it switched off. However, in defence if the unit it still had plenty if power left in it.

What you need is a portable power supply that does not switch off. I have ordered two Panasonic 6V sealed lead acid batteries (one as a spare). The battery comes with a carry bag and a cigarette lighter connector. Just stick your cigarette lighter to USB cable into it then plug into your GoPro and it should piggyback the internal battery and stay alive for some considerable time. I cannot say whether this will damage the GoPro batteries, but if like me you are frustrated at not being able to film a timelapse to completion it might be worth a try. The two batteries, carry bag, charger and freight stet me back $127 Australian.

I will never find this post agin so f you want to know whether it worked email Cliff at cliffo@iinet.net.au.

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The best option would be to plug in to a power source, such as a wall or external battery, if you also have enough memory. This would make for a completely continuous shot. However, since the timescale is more than 4 hours, if you are quick enough, you could replace the battery or memory if you have a spare. If sped up enough, the missing frames shouldn't be noticable. Just make sure, if you choose this route, to have the camera secured, so as to start recording again with the same shot.

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