Quick Tip: Using Battery Upsizers For External Strobe Power

One of the ways to increase the time a strobe or a camera can run for a longer durations, is to use an external battery for power. Some cameras and strobes have a dedicated port for receiving external power, and some don’t. But even if they do, the device that provides power is usually a propitiatory one and only fits one specific device, so the cable to power an SB800 is different than the cable you’d use for, say, a Canon EX strobe (assuming you have both :)

There is a solution to get around this power problem. Use whatever external power you can source with the built in battery chamber, mimicking a battery set. The options we shared before involved crafting a wooden dowel to fit the exact size of a battery, or using uncommon electrical connectors for the same end.

Quick Tip: Clever Idea For Using External Power With Your Strobe

Reader Jake Carvey just shared a cool tip regarding this method with us. One that made me slam my head into the table. Jake suggested using battery upsizers for mimicking the internal batteries, eliminating the need of a wooden dowel.

Originally, battery upsizers are used for converting the form factor of AAA batteries to the bigger AA size. Or making an AA as fat as a D cell. The amount of juice in the battery stays the same, but it can be fitted in a bigger compartment.

The idea is simple; solder a connector to the inner part of an upsizer and you can connect it to whatever power source you wish. Of course any power you feed into a strobe or a camera has to be regulated, controlled and preferably fused (see the build links above). Once you decide on the power option, you can instantly fit it in any device that accepts AA batteries.

[Ziotek Upsizers tip by Jake Carvey]

  • G

    Can you please proofread this and repost? I can understand a mistake here and there, but trying to get around these errors is making me want to slam my head into the table.

  • jakecarvey

    Better link here: 8 AAA > AA Battery Upsizers

    http://amzn.to/12eNURl

  • jakecarvey

    and one more with Amazon Prime shipping:

    http://amzn.to/10yExPZ

  • Ikke

    I like it, but I don’t get it completely yet. Please help. :-P My flash eats 4 batterys, so I need four of them. The wooden dummy from the link is only wired on the top. I don’t know how that works, so I assume I wire both sites. Right? Than you have four double wires that need to get out. On the side or on the bottom of the upsizer? Would it also work with the flash-battery-door simply open in stead of getting it off? Sorry, I’m not very good with electricity.

    • http://www.diyphotography.net/ udi tirosh

      Hi Ikke,
      you would need to hook the top of the first out of 4 batteries and the bottom of the last battery, the two batteries in the middle are not needed with this method.

      • Ikke

        Thanks Udi,

        But how do I know which one is the thirst, If I ‘feed’ my flash, the battery’s are situated in a square. Or do I simply choose which one is the first and link the others on the inside? I have a canon speedlite 580ex II…

        Thanks!