New DSLR Camera / Car Auxiliary Power Switcher Update

Posted by under Electronics, Photography, on 12 January 2016 @ 9:33pm.

After having my Nikon D3100 for a couple of years now and getting plenty of use out of it, I thought it was time to update to a newer camera. I mainly wanted one which would do better in low light conditions and had a higher resolution sensor. Other features would be a bonus. In the end I settled with the Nikon D5300. It looks pretty much the same as the D3100 but with a few additional features…

– 24MP sensor vs 14MP on the D3100
– Higher ISO settings available
– 1080p 60fps video capability
– Stereo sound recording
– A pop-out screen which can rotate 360° on one axis
– GPS location and Wifi (for a smartphone app)

It is also compatible with my existing accessories such as batteries and lenses which is great, as it means I don’t have to find replacements for those too which could have got very expensive. That means my existing 55-300mm lense works on it too.

I haven’t had time to do a lot of testing with it but that will come on my next trip to a race track no doubt! Watch this space…


In other news, my Car Auxiliary Power Switcher has been working flawlessly since I rewrote the software on it. It’s been running continuously (bar the few times the power cable got knocked) without crashing, and without false positive turning on and off of the output. Perfect!

I do notice every day when I get in the car though that the LED is flashing red which means that my battery voltage is under 12.4v. The battery isn’t old and isn’t neglected so I wonder if modern cars have a somewhat higher parasitic draw than older cars or systems stay active longer when the engine is turned off. My old car certainly never had it drop below 12.6v (usually stayed higher). I did double check the drain on the power switcher and it was 2mA, not enough to draw it down overnight (or in a week even). No bulbs have been left on either. Oh well, the engine starts just fine every day so I’m not too worried about it.

Next project is another solar charge controller I think, with an upgraded rating and possibly input and output current monitoring. Again, watch this space!