How to Mod a Mini USB Cable to Add External Power to an Enclosed GoPro Hero3 Camera
Since the emergence of GoPro, the company's cameras have been been on a steady incline for the past several years. Adventure enthusiasts had difficulty recording their extreme activities without a huge price tag before the GoPro came along in 2002.
Now, every surfer, skateboarder, paraglider, and base jumper has a GoPro strapped to their head, recording every crazy moment for the world to see.
However, one problem with the GoPro is the battery life. The GoPro Hero3, currently the most popular model, can record at 1080p over 30fps for a paltry 88 minutes.
While this may not be an issue for people recording a short adventure, it becomes a problem for those trying to record a timelapse.
GoPro has dealt with this problem by introducing the Frame, a small plastic mount that allows you to connect an external power source to shoot a video while recording. But, it's an unnecessary expenditure (costing $40+), since you already have all the pieces you need right in your GoPro Hero3 box.
By modding the Mini-B USB cable and using the skeleton backdoor that came with the GoPro Hero 3, Instructables user zplus was able to connect his own external power supply without spending $40+ for the Frame mount.
To start, you'll need a few tools:
- Mini-B USB cable
- Wire strippers/cutters
- Long nose pliers
- Small rotary cutting tool
First, zplus used a wire cutter to remove the plastic molding surrounding the end of the USB cable. He also took apart the metal casing.
He then bent the USB pins at a right angle and glued the metal casing back onto the end of the cable, using the rotary cutter to trim the side walls of the main connector body.
Sure, you can go buy a super cheap 90-degree Mini-B USB cable, but it still won't fit within the GoPro Hero 3's casing.
Finally, he plugged it in to make sure it worked well and then placed his skeleton backdoor on.
Want to make your own? Check out zplus's full tutorial for more details and photos.