Building an extended battery pack for Armasight Zeus.......

Discussion in 'Night Vision/Thermal' started by Bocephus, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Bocephus

    Bocephus LSB Member

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    Not sure if we have any tech guys on here that can help me, but I will give it a shot.

    I recently purchased an Armasight Zeus 336 thermal unit. Absolutely love the unit, and I also absolutely hate the battery life. IF I'm lucky in the winter I will get 30 minutes from a set of batteries. To minimize a little bit, I built a "coat" for the thermal to keep it warm along with the batteries and that helped. But even now with it being warmer, I want the batteries to last 600 times longer. I "want" this thing to be able to operate for 8 hours without having to change the batteries.

    My thought with this type of want, is to build something my self. I am by no means a tech / electrical guy, but I can follow instructions very well.

    Here's where my questions start. The unit came with an additional cable that says its meant for plugging in an additional power supply. The only details it gave me on that were 6VDC/600mA. My plan was to find a suitable power pack in the internet that has a charger, put the correct connector on that pack, and just plug it into that cable. Is that a feasible plan assuming I get the correct battery that meets the electrical needs? I would also like to extend this cord so that in the winter time, I can put my auxiliary battery pack in my pocket or coat to keep it warm.

    Here is a battery pack that I was looking at:

    Rechargeable Batteries & Battery Chargers - NiCd 6V 5000mAh Battery Pack for Emergence Light

    Would that do the trick? Assuming I put the correct connector on it? And how long do you think that pack would power up the thermal?

    Thanks in advance,
    Bryan
     
  2. TEXASLAWMAN

    TEXASLAWMAN Lone Star Boars Owner LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    First welcome, second the batter should last several hours 3-4, third ultimate night vision sells a external battery pack so you don't have to go experimenting with an expensive thermal devise!
     
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  3. Bocephus

    Bocephus LSB Member

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    Thanks for the welcome!

    Believe me, I write this with caution and hesitation when building something. The problem I have, is I know guys have done it, and can usually build something 10 times better then what is offered by Armasight or other companies at a fraction of a cost. And I do understand that whats another $150 or so on top of $3500. I just don't want to be disappointing with buying something that isn't what I want.

    My thought process was if I can learn safely from somebody who has done this, from there I can play around with the battery pack size to get the time out of the unit that I want.

    My unit will absolutely not last for 3-4 hours. My guess is that if I left it on continuously for scanning the fields, on a brand new fresh set of batteries, I "might" get an hour. If its cold out, I might get 20 minutes. I purchased a nice set of rechargeable's to go out to the field with, and I always keep a pack of non rechargeable's with me. I want to be done with monitoring battery life, and just focus on hunting.

    I do appreciate the call out though on that battery pack from ultimate night vision. Looks like a much better deal then the Armasight brand pack. Its an expensive hobby, but the Armasight extended battery pack being $280-320 depending where you buy it is just absolutely ridiculous to me. I just don't understand that. So, here I am trying to build something, haha.
     
  4. Lancer

    Lancer LSB Active Member LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Welcome, I agree with TLM , that's a heck of a gamble. I use the UNV battery pack from ******************* and I leave my scope on all night and never had it go dead. On my spotter I find that leaving it on makes the batteries last longer than frequent on\off cycles but YMMV.
     
  5. Bocephus

    Bocephus LSB Member

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    Good to hear Lancer. If I find I can't get any sound advice, or feel comfortable with building one, then I will more then likely go that route.
     
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  6. Cat Herdr

    Cat Herdr New Member

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    If all you need is 6 volts DC and 600mA, I would look into a battery pack made for a DSLR camera flash gun. I have 2 for my flash units, each one holds 8 AA batteries. I use NiCad rechargeable batteries rated at 2600mA. The battery packs are in the $35 to $50 range at Amazon. Use the knock-off brand, they are much cheaper than a Canon or Nikon brand and 6 volts is 6 volts. Rechargeable AA batteries are widely available - many of mine came from WalMart. Then you only need to adapt the output wires from the battery pack to the input plug for the Armasight.
     
  7. EGarza04

    EGarza04 El Sauz, TX SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    There is a guy on here (Hardware) that has built his own that uses dual 18650 batteries. I've seen it work on his armasight. There is another guy on here (DaveABQ) that builds his own cables.
     
  8. FrankT

    FrankT Destin FL LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    I love the name "cat herdr", just too funny and welcome!
     
  9. kryptekman

    kryptekman LSB Member

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    I have the armasight pack that uses 18650s and I get about 7 hours
     
  10. Cat Herdr

    Cat Herdr New Member

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    Rechargeable 18650's are real common batteries. I use them in my Nitecore P12 flashlight, They are more common than you might suppose as they are used in those 18 volt portable tool battery packs. I think even the Telsa electric car battery pack is 18650's wired together. They just aren't available locally around where I live.
     
  11. Hard_ware

    Hard_ware Here piggy piggy! Deep Deep S. TX.

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    Yes it would work fine, but why on earth would want a battery pack that weight 1.5 lbs?

    5 aa rechargeables in a 5 cell holder would work, about 4 hr runtime.
    2 18650 batts with a regulator set to 6v about 5-7 hrs runtime.
    1pc Plastic Battery Storage Case Box Holder for 2x18650 with 6" Wire Leads

    LM2596S DC Buck Step-Down Voltage Adjustable Converter Power Module Regulator

    5 Pair 12V 5.5x2.1mm Male Female DC Power Socket Jack Connector Cable Plug Wire

    add some 18650 batts and a charger and your set

    solder battery pack wires red & black to in + & - on regulator pc board
    solder male connector wires red + & black - to the pc board output + & -
    use volt meter to set output voltage adjustment (small screw) to 6.1v
    Remove batts when not in use since no power switch is installed.
    Batts will drain when installed in holder as the regulator circuit consumes power (although very little) it will drain batts over several days so best to remove them.
    silicone it to the back of battery pack or epoxy in place
    no need to adjust screw again, but you can leave screw exposed in case you ever need to adjust it.
    I will double check pin outs to make sure colors are correct with pinouts going to armasight connector. Wires from battery holder and pc board are correct.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  12. Bocephus

    Bocephus LSB Member

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    Thank you Hard_Ware. That's the exact type of info I was looking for.

    The reason I chose a heavy battery (or one that will end up weighing a lot) is because I'm looking for a longer run time then 4 hours. I want to have an 8-10 hour run time. Not that I ever have my scope on for 10 hours, but I just want ability to if I ever need to.

    Couple more questions for you. With that set up you have listed out above, can I use any DC battery pack with that step down voltage converter?

    Once I have "built" the unit above, do I need to worry about any other spec other than obtaining 6.1v? Do I need to focus on MAH, or any of those other details?

    My ideal setup would be like the old RC car batteries. As a kid I had ten of those things, and a quick charger. I would guess a battery pack like that would power this scope for quite some time.

    Thanks again,
    Bryan
     
  13. slim_shady

    slim_shady LSB Active Member LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    I also have the armasight pack with the same results.
     
  14. Ncorry

    Ncorry LSB Member SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    The bigger issue is getting maybe an hour out of one set of new, non-rechargeable batteries. I had a loaner 336 that ate batteries in about 30 minutes at 40 degrees without turning it on and off- with brand new energizer 123s verified with a battery tester, the green battery indicator would turn yellow in about 5 minutes, and red 15 or 20 after that. When the batteries finally stopped, they would be HOT to the touch. You could lay them in your palm, but couldn't hold them in a closed fist. Eventually, the scope died and wouldn't power on. I'm thinking that if you put a brand new set in at 80 degrees and leave it on and it shuts down in less than 90 minutes, something is up with the scope. Is your scope 30 or 60 Hz?
     
  15. Bocephus

    Bocephus LSB Member

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    That sounds like my scope - other than the batteries are not hot when I pull them out. Mine is the 60hz model.

    Most people are saying I should get 3-4 hours out of a set a batteries. There's not a snowballs chance in hell my batteries would last that long. Brand new, out of the package, or my nice rechargeable I bought. Either one won't last that long.
     
  16. FrankT

    FrankT Destin FL LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    60hz eats the batteries much faster, how about one of those portable battery pack sold everywhere for phones and such that are 10-20,000Mah then just convert the plug?
     
  17. Bocephus

    Bocephus LSB Member

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    Now that I have instructions from Hard_Ware on exactly what to do, I think I can pretty much use any power source as long as I can get my 6.1 volts out of it.
     
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  18. Fox53

    Fox53 New Member

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    what brand
     
  19. electech

    electech New Member

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    Can anybody that has the Armasight brand external battery pack please report what output voltage they get (connect voltmeter/multimeter to output plug) when the pack is fully charged. The predator scope says an external supply of 6V is required but it isn't clear if that is a nominal voltage or if the pack contains a voltage regulation circuit.
     
  20. OneK

    OneK LSB Active Member Staff Member LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Could you not just build Hard_ware's idea and just carry a couple of extra batteries? Their really not that heavy. That would possibly give you 10 to 14 hours.
     

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