Application Note 6 - X80 Camera Power Consumption And Battery Life

Posted by Nigel Kimball 28/10/2020 0 Comment(s) Buckeye Cam Application Notes,

A question that often gets asked is "how much power does the X80 camera consume"?  This is not a straight forward question to answer because the camera operates in several different modes, each of which consumes a different amount of power.  Power consumption for the camera depends on several factors:

  • how often the camera takes a picture;

  • amount of time it takes to transmit a picture;

  • how often the camera has to use flash;

  • base type; and

  • signal strength.

These factors affect how often the camera has to wake up and how long the camera stays awake while transmitting.  To minimise power consumption, the camera goes to sleep after some idle time when it is not actively transmitting data or taking a picture.  The table below gives approximate current draw in different states from a standard 12V SLA battery:

 

State

Description

Current

Sleep

Minimum power consumption state.

2-3 mA

Idle

Camera remains in this state for about 20 seconds before transitioning from Transmit to Sleep state.

40 mA

Transmit

Camera is this state when it is transmitting data

60 mA

IR Flash on

Flash comes on for about 0.2-0.4 seconds.

2 A

 

At one extreme, consider a camera that takes only 1 or 2 pictures per week.  In this case, the camera would be in the lowest power sleep state all the time, and would consume about 2-3 mA continuously.  In this example, the expected battery life would be 2300 hours or 3 months.  Each picture taken by the camera will reduce the battery life by “taking a bite” out of the 3-month battery run time.

 

Now consider an example at the other extreme, where a camera is taking a high-resolution image every minute.  In this case the camera would be transmitting almost continuously and would consume an average of about 60mA.  In this example, the expected battery life would be somewhere around 5 days and in 24 hours it would consume the same amount of power as it would sleeping for 20 days.

 

Obviously, most users will not be operating a camera at these extremes, but will be somewhere in between.  As a rule of thumb, let's consider a couple of examples.

 

 

Example A: 640×480 resolution with PCBase

A camera is set to take low resolution (640×480) pictures transmitting to the computer via a PCBase, and the approximate download time is 10 seconds.  The table below gives an approximate battery life for a 7Ahr battery based on the number of pictures taken:

 

Number of pictures per day Approx. life for 12V 7Ahr SLA battery1
50 75 days
100 62 days
200 46 days
300 36 days
500 25 days

 

 

Example B: 1 Megapixel resolution with PCBase

A camera is set to take 1Meg picture transmitting to the computer via a CellBase with approximate download time of 40 seconds.  The table below gives an approximate battery life for a 12V 7Ahr SLA battery based on the number of pictures taken:

 

Number of pictures per day Approx. life for 12V 7Ahr SLA battery1
50 69 days
100 54 days
200 37 days
300 28 days
500 19 days

 

 

Example C: 1 Megapixel resolution with CellBase

A camera is set to take 1Meg picture transmitting to the computer via a CellBase with approximate download time of 40 seconds.  The table below gives an approximate battery life for a 12V 7Ahr SLA battery based on the number of pictures taken.:

 

Number of pictures per day Approx. life for 12V 7Ahr SLA battery1
50 59 days
100 42 days
200 27 days
300 20 days
500 13 days

 

1 = For high activity cameras an optional solar panel can be used to increase the battery life indefinitely.

 

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