Archive for September 8th, 2011

Canon NB-5L Battery Dimensions

Having acquired a bunch of cheap batteries from the usual eBay suppliers for my new Canon SX230HS pocket camera, it’d be nice to measure their actual (and undoubtedly pathetic) capacity, which implies the need for a holder to make firm contact with the terminals. Sounds like a 3D printer might come in handy for that, doesn’t it?

The first step: measure the dimensions of actual batteries:

NB-5L Battery Dimensions

NB-5L Battery Dimensions

The terminals lie on what looks to be hard 1/8 inch centers, which must be pure coincidence. They’re recessed anywhere from 0.75 mm to 1.0 mm, depending on who made the thing, into the battery’s endplate.

The Canon charger has three spring-loaded bent-wire contacts, arranged so the (-) terminal touches first as the battery slides into the holder, then (+), and finally the thermistor (T), with about 0.5 mm between each pair. That spring loading provides enough force to hold the battery in the charger.

FWIW, the thermistor is 7.5 kΩ w.r.t. (-) at room temperature.

The plan so far: use three big old gold-plated terminal pins as contacts, with flexible wires to a PowerPole connector that matches the battery tester. Cross-drill the pins to fit music wire lever springs, because the contact spacing is smaller than the smallest coil springs in the Big Box o’ Little Springs. I only need two terminals, so maybe I can force-fit a pair of small coil springs in there, which would be nice.

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