nikon d40 camera external power supply hack

d40powercord crop

I have been looking for a way to add external power to my camera for a while. I have had some good ideas and even hacked together a workable prototype a while back. The problem was it wasn’t very ‘tight’ and I was always afraid I was going to reverse polarity, or short it out, and it took a lot of time to set it up every time I wanted to use it.

I used the same wall-wart from before. It is a Nokia phone charger rated at 6.2V 720mA. I soldered on a female plug and electrical taped it into a nice little wire. On the camera side I opened up my battery/intervalometer grip and soldered in a female plug to the + and – battery terminals. It took more time than I have expected it to, but in the end it came out reasonably clean.
AC adapter for nikon d40

Now all I need to do to in order to get on wall power (or big old external battery power) is to plug a wire into the grip! Nothing groundbreaking here, but it will help me out a lot doing long timelapses.

overview shot of d40 external power plug

While I am thinking of it, I also found out about this free timelapse app called sofortbild for mac that seems to have almost identical functionality to nikon camera control! I have used it for a brief period of time, and I’m looking forward to testing it out more. Give it a shot!

6 Responses to nikon d40 camera external power supply hack

  1. Hello!
    You have nice tips you on your blog, thanks for sharing! I have a D80 and I recently decided to do some time lapse videos and suddenly I realized that my battery is just not enough! Do you think it is safe for the camera doing hacks like these… I can do it, I am just a bit afraid that the camera might be a bit sensitive. In D80 there is also an ac plug on the side. Any idea how I can connect it to power from there? (It’s the second one from the top http://localhostr.com/files/af78f4/D80_connections2.jpg)
    Also thanks for sofobild! I was using sofobild. It is good for animations but sofobild is free and dedicated to cameras. Better quality as well I would guess… I’ll give it a try.
    One more question, I have never tried the original Nikon program that came with my camera. Could it be doing similar things and is it good to use?

    Thanks!

  2. Hi Weremoose!

    While I won’t say there is no chance of damaging your camera, I am reasonably confident my camera will not have any trouble with it. The important thing is to make sure that the charger is delivering roughly the same voltage as the batteries. Ideally the mA would be higher than the batteries as well.

    I tried to find a plug for your d80 on amazon, but it seems the only option is the same really expensive one (around $150) I found earlier. If you haven’t seen it, here is a link.
    Nikon EH-5A AC Adapter for Nikon D40, D40x, D60, D80, D700 & D300 Digital SLR Cameras

    You do have other options though. You could buy a battery grip that will allow you to put in multiple batteries. If that still isn’t enough, then you could hack that grip just like I did. I think that’s your only three options though.

    As for the software that came with the camera; that app is different (i believe) My d40 only came with an app that helps you deal with raw files. If your d80 came with nikon camera control, then it is a nice piece of software and I do like using it more than sofortbild. Otherwise I wouldn’t suggest buying it unless you were very flush with cash…

  3. I have a D40 Nikon Camera I want to know what input voltage does this camera work.

  4. Hi, nice job and nice blog! Just a couple of questions about the Nikon D40 hack:

    1 – Why did you use 3 wires? Didn’t you just connect the + and the – ?
    2 – Somebody told me that chargers have a pulsating current instead of a steady one.. is the Nikon still working? Should i go forward with it?

    Thanks

    Hugo