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Old 11-30-2013, 06:04 AM   #1
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Combining wall warts to a common positive

I am in the process of installing some cameras. I have 4 wireless IP cameras that will be positioned to give a stern view and engine room monitoring, feeding to their own network router that is connected to a small TV. I can view one or all 4 cameras at once, rotate through each camera with pre-defined time intervals and also set them to record to an SD card if motion is detected. It all works well.

But I do need to power each camera and the router with 5 VDC, and at present have 5 wall warts - one for each component. Each wart can take 90-250 VAC, 50-60 Hz power input and produce 5 VDC up to 1 amp. I am thinking of putting several of these warts in parallel, and then run just one 5 VDC, 14 gauge wire towards the stern to power the cameras. The plan is to run each wart into a bus via 1 amp fuses. I need to check camera power consumption to know how many I would need. I am assuming that this parallel combination will mean that none of the warts gets overloaded. And also that I wont get significant voltage drop by using 14 ga. wire.

Will this work? Are there any issues with doing this?
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:29 AM   #2
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That's kind of Rube Goldberg dont'cha think?

I would either go POE or buy one of these things for each camera and install it in a little J-box at the camera mount.

2 Pcs DC Buck Step Down 7 24 VDC to USB 5 VDC 3 Amps KIS3R33S Module | eBay
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RickB View Post
That's kind of Rube Goldberg dont'cha think?

I would either go POE or buy one of these things for each camera and install it in a little J-box at the camera mount.

2 Pcs DC Buck Step Down 7 24 VDC to USB 5 VDC 3 Amps KIS3R33S Module | eBay
LOL. Had to Google Goldgerg. Or it could be "Heath Robinson", more familiar in our lexicon here although dated as well.

I was just trying to use what I already had, including the 14 ga spare wire run...... Better to think a bit, thanks for setting me straight. It shows the benefit of the forum.

POE wont work for wireless/WiFi cameras.

But you are right - one transformer with sufficient output near the four cameras, and one of the existing warts for the router in the pilothouse is the sensible solution. I have yet to try sourcing here in Oz for such a unit as you highlight, but hopefully it wont be too hard. The warts have thin wire (20 ga?) and about 5ft lengths. I can probably locate a common transformer within 10ft of all of the cameras, so voltage drop should be manageable.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #4
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What about one of these? It has 3 amp max that should be enough to power all you cameras.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by RickB View Post
That's kind of Rube Goldberg dont'cha think? I would either go POE or buy one of these things for each camera and install it in a little J-box at the camera mount. 2 Pcs DC Buck Step Down 7 24 VDC to USB 5 VDC 3 Amps KIS3R33S Module | eBay
You would have to get splitters like these http://www.harneyhardware.com/hardwa...FU5o7AodcWkAzQ
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:44 PM   #6
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You would have to get splitters like these Retractable Clothesline - Polished Stainless - Harney Hardware

I think he wants to power them, not hang them out to dry

No need for splitters anyway, just unsolder the USB connector and solder the power lead to the 5V pads. Use one unit per camera, powered off the lighting circuit or some other handy source of 12V.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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I think he wants to power them, not hang them out to dry No need for splitters anyway, just unsolder the USB connector and solder the power lead to the 5V pads. Use one unit per camera, powered off the lighting circuit or some other handy source of 12V.
Oh my bad, sorry! I thought I copy and pasted another link but I guess it didn't work. I don't see why a close line won't work thought
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:45 PM   #8
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It sounds like you need a power supply with 5v DC and 9A capacity. Probably 10A to account for what should be minimal line loss, but as long as you put 5V on the line and there is SUFFICIENT amperage available, you should be fine; so if you found say, a 12A/5V power supply, that would work.

I guess what sticks in my mind is; would the cure be worse than the disease?

Honestly, this is a PERFECT situation for a PoE (Power over Ethernet) router that can monitor your boat and when in port can even provide security and internet connectivity.


Beyond that, are you SURE that you wouldn't be better off just running a Zip-Cord Bus?

Or even, assuming a fairly common location for at least some of the items, an outlet multiplier?

I ask because I am trying to visualize your placement of all the cameras and the Router; as well as the presence or lack of power outlets in each existing location.


I suppose if I were trying to say something helpful and had a chance to ask you a question it would be; "What are you trying to AVOID?"

Knowing that answer would narrow down the possible solutions.
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Old 11-30-2013, 10:54 PM   #9
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It sounds like you need a power supply with 5v DC and 9A capacity. Probably 10A to account for what should be minimal line loss, but as long as you put 5V on the line and there is SUFFICIENT amperage available, you should be fine; so if you found say, a 12A/5V power supply, that would work.

I guess what sticks in my mind is; would the cure be worse than the disease?

Honestly, this is a PERFECT situation for a PoE (Power over Ethernet) router that can monitor your boat and when in port can even provide security and internet connectivity.


Beyond that, are you SURE that you wouldn't be better off just running a Zip-Cord Bus?

Or even, assuming a fairly common location for at least some of the items, an outlet multiplier?

I ask because I am trying to visualize your placement of all the cameras and the Router; as well as the presence or lack of power outlets in each existing location.


I suppose if I were trying to say something helpful and had a chance to ask you a question it would be; "What are you trying to AVOID?"

Knowing that answer would narrow down the possible solutions.

I am trying to avoid having 2 AC outlets in the engine room and 2 AC outlets in the cockpit with wall warts in them all. And then having to turn the camera's on or off at all of these outlets.

The camera's are wireless, so I cant use POE. In hindsight perhaps wired camera's and POE would have been a better alternative, although running 4 ethernet cables would have been a pain as well.

The wall warts can output up to 1A, but what each camera consumes could be a lot less.

I have just bought a 12 V to 5 V transformer that delivers 5A, so I'll use the spare 14ga wire pair to run 5V aft, with an on/off switch in the pilothouse. If I do get voltage drop then I can relocate the transformer to near the cameras and use a relay to activate it.
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