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I'm setting up a portable scanning rig for 3D face capture using 36 Cannons 200D.

At the moment I'm facing a power management issue. I don't want to keep charging camera's batteries and using AC adaptors is not an option, as we want to keep the number of cables and plugs to minimum.

Does anyone uses any other solution?

  • No cables = batteries. Buy a tonne of batteries to quickly resupply the cameras with fresh juice? – timvrhn May 15 at 16:57
  • Are short cables okay? It'd be expensive as hell, but have a power pack sitting under every few cameras? – Hueco May 15 at 17:04
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Buying cheap AC adapters for parts and modifying them into a custom wire-harness that is run from a central power supply is my preferred solution for a problem like this.

The most graceful solution for a setup like this is design a cable harness that includes the wiring for the power to each camera, as well as the trigger sync, and have them branch out in an organized tree.

  • All power/trigger/data cables get bundled into shared sleeves that are sized to run from each camera back to one or more central points to minimize the total number of connections you need to make.
  • Just remember to keep different classes of connectors as clearly different from each other... Don't cheap out and use the same kind of connector for a sync cable as you do the power connectors... The camera's won't like that. I would also suggest going with a physically different positive and negative connector for your power lines to ensure those don't accidentally get flipped.

With custom length and grouped cables, you minimize excess wiring and maintain a professional clean look.

If possible, I would suggest a semi-modular approach to designing the harness. This will save time and effort if you expand or change your camera array.

  • Probably better to keep the AC adapters whole (apart from shortening DC cables) and just bury them all in a compact equipment case (mind cooling!!) with a compact power strip. DC busing of equipment can cause all kinds of unexpected trouble. Or a custom 110V/220V distribution system hard wired to the adapters - however, know what you are doing or don't do it. If you wouldn't know what the role of a ferrule in a screw terminal setup is, why PE leads are to be left an inch or so longer, or why double the current on a wire heats it 4 times as much ... you do not know what you are doing. – rackandboneman Aug 1 at 22:09
  • To elaborate on "DC busing of equipment can cause all kinds of unexpected trouble": 1) Things expecting to have an independent ground when interconnected suddenly won't. Tends to make such setups at the very least very non-foolproof. 2) One device causing interference (voltage dropouts by heavy dynamic loading, RF pollution fed back to the DC source...) can confuse other devices. 3) A complicated DC distribution network can pick up interference from other sources much more than a simple adapter. – rackandboneman Aug 1 at 22:14
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When it comes to multi-camera setups the quality of any cables and hardware used is essential as you want to make sure each camera gets enough power and signal when it is fired.

If you do not want to keep changing all of the batteries during scanning or create a DIY solution then the powerbox https://www.esperhq.com/product/multi-camera-power-supply-powerbox/ should solve your problem. 6 cameras are connected to the box via dc couplers (dummy batteries) which is plugged into wall socket providing stable power supply.

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