External Battery Mod For Action Camera Does It Non-destructively

[Facelesstech] owns an SJCAM SJ4000 action camera, but the internal battery was no longer functional. Not wishing to buy a replacement and unwilling to hook up an ungainly USB cable to feed power, the solution was to design and 3D print an adapter to power the camera from a single rechargeable 14500 sized battery (which is the same size as an AA cell, and a good match for the width of the camera.)

The adapter works by mimicking the original battery, so the camera never knows the difference. A 3D-printed holder for the 14500 battery (which doubles as a GoPro compatible mount) has an extension the same size and shape of the camera’s original internal battery. The tricky part was interfacing to the power connectors buried inside the camera’s battery bay. For a solution, [Facelesstech] eventually settled on the small connectors harvested from inside a female header, using them to connect to the small blades inside the camera. We broke open a spare female 0.1″ header, shown here, to make it clear where these little pieces come from. The only other battery hardware needed are the contacts for an AA cell, but those are also easy to harvest and reuse.

The GitHub repository for the project includes STL files as well as the FreeCAD files for the parts. A video overview is embedded below.

It’s also possible to add an external microphone input to these cameras, but it’s considerably more involved than external power.

9 thoughts on “External Battery Mod For Action Camera Does It Non-destructively

  1. Shut up and take my money! Just a thought though, he should print a door to hold the battery in, depending on how hard he uses his camera it could pop out and he’d miss a shot. Now I have to print something so I can sue AAs in my phone.

  2. Nice build, and it’s a good way to add battery life to the camera… but the cameras are not that hard to open up.I have a similar camera and had it open partially to refocus the lens.

  3. “The tricky part was interfacing to the power connectors buried inside the camera’s battery bay.”

    But the trickiest part is finding a lithium ion cell that isn’t a garbage Chinese counterfeit which doesn’t even come close to meeting its specs (for those relatively few of us with the capability of measuring said specs).

  4. I’ve actually tried this with my own SJ4000. Problem was that just adding a + and – connection rendered the camera useless as it just kept shutting down due to some PTC that’s inside the original battery. Nice build though, happy that it works for him.

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