Convert Your DSLR Battery Into a Power Supply Unit That Plugs Into Outlets


When Milan-based engineer and photographer Andrea Biffi needed a constant source of power for his Canon 40D in order to shoot time-lapse photos over many hours, he decided to save some money by going the DIY route. Biffi turned a defunct lithium DSLR battery into a power supply unit that can be used with everything from a wall outlet to a car battery.

You can do the same thing at home, but you’ll need a bit of engineering know-how to accomplish the hack.


The main thing you’ll need (besides some tools) is a step-down adjustable power supply module that you’ll use to replace the guts of your battery. You can find them for a few bucks over on eBay.

Once you have the appropriate module, you’ll need to crack open your battery like a nut and remove the two lithium-ion batteries inside.


Then, drill a hole into the case for the new wires to pass through, and then solder the wires into the input and output terminals of the module.


After some adjustments and fine tuning — you’ll want to take steps to ensure that it works just right, lest you fry your camera — simply seal everything up, find a female plug, do some final tests, and you’re good to go!


That’s an extremely dumbed down explanation of what Biffi’s battery hack involves. If you’re serious about doing it yourself (and are sure you won’t kill either yourself or your camera), you can find a much more detailed step-by-step tutorial over on Instructables.

Cheap and Easy PSU for Canon EOS [Instructables]

  • Nathan Blaney

    I think I’d stick with the quick and easy solution that wouldn’t potentially fry your camera… I know some people love to mess around with this sort of thing but the effort invested hardly seems worth it considering not very much money is saved.

  • TimBell

    The stepdown is about 3bucks off ebay, that one for $20 is for 10

  • Michael Zhang

    Thanks Tim. Changed “less than $20″ to “a few bucks” in the post :)

  • Rob Fish

    Personally, I’d mount the PSU outside of the battery case – and the camera – in order to disipate heat.

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    “Not very much money” is a pretty relative term. To me saving 70-80% is pretty substantial.

  • Nathan Blaney

    Possibly, but I don’t consider 80 dollars or whatever to be very much. Also the time and effort invested. And considering the amount compared to the cost of bodies and lenses… its a pittance – You’ll spend 1-8 thousand bucks on a body but can’t scrape together a hundred dollars for an adaptor?

  • Denny Mack

    Yeah. Why risk it?

  • PolarBear

    I have gone to my local Best Buy and asked for their display plugs a few times. If the camera is older and you are nice enough they dont mind giving them to you. If you buy a few filters while you are they they dont mind at all

  • agour

    Remember it’s chinese new year, so if you buy one of those adapters there will be a delay in getting it

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  • Chris Popely

    Ha, I’m laughing at how you couldn’t resist changing the white balance of the pictures before uploading them here, good work. ;-)

  • Nomi

    Should you really be encouraging people to disassemble a power source that specifically states on the case not to?

  • Mansgame

    Photography is expensive. When a 70-200 lens costs $2400, $118 is a small price to pay.

  • lolovroom

    Funny to see that now while Canon was providing this accessory with their camera back in 2000.

  • Andrea Biffi

    strange, I liked so much my white balance… it makes my picture be special, don’t it? ;-)

  • habebekebab

    on my onw part,
    much better to mount the circuitry outside my camera body to avoid some trouble in case of overheating…
    thanks for the information…