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External AC power options for D800?

leonardevens

US
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leonardevens Gold Member Nikonian since 22nd May 2011
Sun 10-Mar-13 08:20 PM

I have an EH-5a AC power adapter for use with my Nikon D90.

I understand that there is no way to use it with my Nikon D800. Is that right?

It also seems that I would need the EH-5b for the D800, and in addition, I would need an EP-5B connector. If I understand the matter, one end of the EP-5B plugs into the EH-5b, and the other end goes into the battery compartment of the D800. Have I got that right?

I think there isn't much point for me to get those accessories for the D800, unless I expect to do very long sessions using external power. I can probably accomplish all I need to do using an extra battery.

Leonard Evens
Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University

K64drb

Blacksburg, US
324 posts

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#1. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Wed 13-Mar-13 02:04 AM | edited Wed 13-Mar-13 04:46 PM by K64drb

Hi Leonard,

I had read on another post that all EH-5 series will work with the EP-5B to power the D800. However, from Thom Hogan's D800 book, the output of the EH-5b is 7.4 volts at 5 amps. The output from earlier two EH-5 series is 9 volts at 4.5 amps. To be safe, go with the EH-5b.

Yes, you have it right on how the rest of it works.

Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

leonardevens

US
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#2. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 1

leonardevens Gold Member Nikonian since 22nd May 2011
Wed 13-Mar-13 04:35 AM | edited Wed 13-Mar-13 04:36 AM by leonardevens

I seem to be finding contradictory information. Nikonusa says both that the EH-5a will and won't work with the D800. I think, in any case, it would need the EP-5b.

I don't want to take a chance of messing up my D800, so I suppose I won't try the EH-5a with it. As I said above, I can just use an extra battery or two if need be.

Leonard Evens
Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University

K64drb

Blacksburg, US
324 posts

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#3. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 2

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Wed 13-Mar-13 04:14 PM

Leonard,
After looking into this a little more today, I just made a change to my first response to you and wanted to point that out. Sorry for adding to the confusion.

Dave

Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
835 posts

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#4. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Wed 13-Mar-13 11:33 PM

Hi Leonard,
I have used an EH-5a, with the EP-5B, for many long shooting sessions with my D800 and D800E. I've observed no problems whatsoever!

Pete

K64drb

Blacksburg, US
324 posts

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#5. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 0

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Thu 14-Mar-13 02:48 PM

Leonard,

I tracked down the other source of info. Straight from page 387 of the Nikon D800 Owner's Manual -

• Power Connector EP-5B, AC Adapter EH-5b: These accessories can
be used to power the camera for extended periods (EH-5a
and EH-5 AC adapters can also be used). A power
connector EP-5B is required to connect the camera to the
EH-5b, EH-5a, or EH-5; see page 391 for details.

I've used the EH-5 without any problems, like Pete has with the EH-5a. However, I can't explain why the electrical specs for the EH-5b are different from the other two. Voltage output from a battery is not constant and changes during the course of it's discharge - which the D800 handles with no problem. So perhaps the difference between 7.4 volts and 9 volts is not a significant issue if they are both within an acceptable range of input voltage for the D800. The difference in amperage between 4.5 and 5 amps probably is insignificant. But I am not an electrical guy, so that is just speculation on my part.

Anyone with some real electrical expertise care to weigh in on this and help clear up the confusion? It would be much appreciated.

Dave

Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
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#6. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 5

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Thu 14-Mar-13 03:13 PM

Conventional wisdom says the source should not exceed the recommended voltage by more than 5%, so if the D800 charger is rated at 7.4 volts, you should not use a charger that exceeds 7.77 volts. In most cases the device would draw too much amperage and potentially burn up, providing that the supplies amperage can keep up.

If the recharger's amp rating is lower than the device, the device safetly tries to draw more than the charger can put out and the charger can get ruined.

So a charger's voltage should be rated +/-5% of the devices rating and should put out , at a minimum, the amperage required by the device. A charger can be capable of puting out 1,000,000 amps and it won't hurt the device, if the device doesn't demand it. Ohm's law governs this.

The real question is why can the D800 handle a 9v source, as Pete says it can. I guess the specs on the D800 are conservative to protect Nikon?

Now let the EEs step in and correct me!

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

Nikonians Team Member

leonardevens

US
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#7. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 6

leonardevens Gold Member Nikonian since 22nd May 2011
Thu 14-Mar-13 03:45 PM

>Conventional wisdom says the source should not exceed the
>recommended voltage by more than 5%, so if the D800 charger is
>rated at 7.4 volts, you should not use a charger that exceeds
>7.77 volts. In most cases the device would draw too much
>amperage and potentially burn up, providing that the supplies
>amperage can keep up.
>
>If the recharger's amp rating is lower than the device, the
>device safetly tries to draw more than the charger can put out
>and the charger can get ruined.
>
>So a charger's voltage should be rated +/-5% of the devices
>rating and should put out , at a minimum, the amperage
>required by the device. A charger can be capable of puting out
>1,000,000 amps and it won't hurt the device, if the device
>doesn't demand it. Ohm's law governs this.
>
>The real question is why can the D800 handle a 9v source, as
>Pete says it can. I guess the specs on the D800 are
>conservative to protect Nikon?
>
>Now let the EEs step in and correct me!

I'm not sure I know much more about electricity than you do, but it seems to me that there is one more thing to consider. If I understand the matter, you have to plug the EH-5a into an EP-5b, just as you would an EH-5b. The other end of the EP-5b looks like a battery and goes into the battery compartment. So the question is what the electronics of the battery end of the EP-5b does and whether it can handle the input voltage provided by the EH-5a.

The EH-5a plugs directly into my Nikon D90, so, in that case, it would be whether the camera can deal with the input voltage or not.
But the EH-5a doesn't plug directly into the D800, and it seems plausible that the battery end of the EP-5b looks to the camera like a charged battery, and its output voltage may very well be regulated to be what the camera can accept. In that case it might be that using the EH-5a runs the risk of eventually damaging the EP-5b rather than providing any possibility of damaging the camera. On the other hand, if using the EP-5b with an EH-5a is equivalent to putting a battery with too high an output voltage in the camera, then that is not something I would be willing to try, even if it appears to work.

Does anyone know any details of how the EP-5b works?

Leonard Evens
Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University

ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
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#8. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 7

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Thu 14-Mar-13 07:44 PM

Ah. Do you have a volt meter to measure across the battery insert? I would trust Pete's experience.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

Nikonians Team Member

leonardevens

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#9. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 8

leonardevens Gold Member Nikonian since 22nd May 2011
Thu 14-Mar-13 09:03 PM

>Ah. Do you have a volt meter to measure across the battery
>insert? I would trust Pete's experience.

I have a voltmeter, but I don't have an EP-5b. Of course I have a couple of D800 batteries, but the contacts are well protected. I would have to get some fine wires to push in there to be able to use my voltmeter, and I am nervous about doing so because I could risk messing up the battery contacts in the process. Also, there are four contacts, not just two, so I am not sure how I would interpret the results of pairwise measurements.

If I were willing to put in that effort, it wouldn't do me any good unless I repeated it for the EP-5b when plugged into the EH-5a. But, the reason I started this thread was to help me decide whther or not to get an EP-5b.

I suspect the output of the EP-5b may be the same as that of a battery whether or not it is plugged into an EH-5a or an EH-5b, so the real question would be whether one risks messing up the EP-5b, over time, if one uses it with the EH-5a.

Finally, voltages can vary accoording to load, so measuring the voltages without the units in use may not tell us everything we need to know.

I think I will rely on what Nikon tells me. I just looked again at the response they sent me when I posted a question about the matter, and I realized it was ambiguous as to whther using an EP-5b with an EH-5a will work properly. So I asked for further information.




Leonard Evens
Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
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#10. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 8

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Fri 15-Mar-13 02:58 PM

Hi Scott, and others,
Sorry, I have been a bit busy for the past couple of days...

I think the definitive answer about which AC adapter may be used with the D800/E is on page 387 of the (English) user manual.

Quote:

• Power Connector EP-5B, AC Adapter EH-5b: These accessories can
be used to power the camera for extended periods (EH-5a
and EH-5 AC adapters can also be used). A power
connector EP-5B is required to connect the camera to the
EH-5b, EH-5a, or EH-5; see page 391 for details. Note that
when the camera is used with an MB-D12, the EP-5B must
be inserted into the MB-D12, not the camera. Do not
attempt to use the camera with power connectors
inserted into both the camera and MB-D12.

Unquote

External (to the camera) voltage measurements have very limited significance due to several factors that depend on the electrical design of the external "AC Adapter" and that of the power circuit design within the camera.

I would be happy to make measurements but could not place significance to them without design knowledge of the devices.

FWIW, although I have not broken mine apart, I believe the EP-5B to be a passive device with no active internal circuitry.

HTH

Pete

leonardevens

US
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#11. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 10

leonardevens Gold Member Nikonian since 22nd May 2011
Fri 15-Mar-13 07:20 PM

>Hi Scott, and others,
>Sorry, I have been a bit busy for the past couple of days...
>
>I think the definitive answer about which AC adapter may be
>used with the D800/E is on page 387 of the (English) user
>manual.
>
>Quote:
>
>• Power Connector EP-5B, AC Adapter EH-5b: These accessories
>can
>be used to power the camera for extended periods (EH-5a
>and EH-5 AC adapters can also be used). A power
>connector EP-5B is required to connect the camera to the
>EH-5b, EH-5a, or EH-5; see page 391 for details. Note that
>when the camera is used with an MB-D12, the EP-5B must
>be inserted into the MB-D12, not the camera. Do not
>attempt to use the camera with power connectors
>inserted into both the camera and MB-D12.
>
>Unquote
>
>External (to the camera) voltage measurements have very
>limited significance due to several factors that depend on the
>electrical design of the external "AC Adapter" and
>that of the power circuit design within the camera.
>
>I would be happy to make measurements but could not place
>significance to them without design knowledge of the devices.
>
>FWIW, although I have not broken mine apart, I believe the
>EP-5B to be a passive device with no active internal
>circuitry.
>
>HTH
>
>Pete

That seems to settle the matter. I guess I will get an EP-5b. I hope that if it ruins my camera, I can get a free repair in that I just followed the instructions in the manual.

Leonard Evens
Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
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#12. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 6

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Sun 17-Mar-13 05:36 AM

Pete is an EE. So am I but i have not dealt with any of these power sources. The old rules of thumbs fell by the wayside with the introduction of switch mode buck/boost regulators that handle a wide input range with a constant power dissipation. So the higher voltage output of the "a" version will actually result in less current demand than if a lower voltage is supplied which is directly opposed to the traditional Ohm's law voltage, current and load relationships. The camera side internal regulator will actually run cooler pull less current with the higher input voltage. I would take Peter's word on this, he knows what is talking about. I also know personally that his D800, D4 and V1 all still work since I have used them at his home in California. Besides being an expert in microelectronic and photography but a great cook also:-)
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
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#13. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 12

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Sun 17-Mar-13 08:08 AM

Thanks for weighing in Stan! I need to study up on buck/boost regulators. I felt if Pete said his worked flawlessly, then it was indeed safe. With the test equipment he has, I figured he too was in the know. He ran some tests on the microphone input for me to see what a line level signal would do.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

Nikonians Team Member

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
835 posts

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#14. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 13

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Sun 17-Mar-13 12:08 PM

Hi Stan, Scott,
LOL (honestly)!

Stan: Thanks for the comments - but why did I immediately think if the old adage "You can fool some of the people some of the time..."? I'm just an old fart who learned to design electronic "stuff" waaaaaay before transistors came onto the market - when power rails were usually around 300V. Ahhh! Memories!

Don't forget that our guest room is always ready for your next visit.

Pete

InsaneO

Encino, US
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#15. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 1

InsaneO Registered since 09th May 2012
Wed 20-Mar-13 12:19 AM

>Hi Leonard,
>
>I had read on another post that all EH-5 series will work with
>the EP-5B to power the D800. However, from Thom Hogan's D800
>book, the output of the EH-5b is 7.4 volts at 5 amps. The
>output from earlier two EH-5 series is 9 volts at 4.5 amps.
>To be safe, go with the EH-5b.
>

If you use a grip with 8 AA batteries how many volts is that?
8x1.5v=12v and camera works just fine. That is because camera has voltage regulator.

InsaneO

Encino, US
395 posts

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#16. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 9

InsaneO Registered since 09th May 2012
Wed 20-Mar-13 12:30 AM

>>Ah. Do you have a volt meter to measure across the
>battery
>>insert? I would trust Pete's experience.
>
>I have a voltmeter, but I don't have an EP-5b. Of course I
>have a couple of D800 batteries, but the contacts are well
>protected. I would have to get some fine wires to push in
>there to be able to use my voltmeter, and I am nervous about
>doing so because I could risk messing up the battery contacts
>in the process. Also, there are four contacts, not just two,
>so I am not sure how I would interpret the results of pairwise
>measurements.
>
If you look at the battery with contacts facing you there are 5 contacts but the outer contacts are clearly marked + and -.
The freshly charge battery should around 8.4volts but it will drop to about 8 volts once under resistance.

InsaneO

Encino, US
395 posts

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#17. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 10

InsaneO Registered since 09th May 2012
Wed 20-Mar-13 12:42 AM



>
>FWIW, although I have not broken mine apart, I believe the
>EP-5B to be a passive device with no active internal
>circuitry.
>
>HTH
>
>Pete

I have not broken my EP-5B but I did break Canon's DR-E6 version to replace wires with a thicker ones and there is a circuitry inside. I am sure Nikon version has the same circuit so it is not a passive device. I also broke Chinese version and it had circuit on inside too.
BTW, I use EP-5B and Canon DR-E6 with my home made Lithium-Polymer batteries for as long as cameras were switched to 7.4 volts without any problems. Even the battery grip is not a passive device either, it has circuit inside.

leonardevens

US
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#18. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 16

leonardevens Gold Member Nikonian since 22nd May 2011
Wed 20-Mar-13 04:44 PM

>>>Ah. Do you have a volt meter to measure across the
>>battery
>>>insert? I would trust Pete's experience.
>>
>>I have a voltmeter, but I don't have an EP-5b. Of course
>I
>>have a couple of D800 batteries, but the contacts are
>well
>>protected. I would have to get some fine wires to push
>in
>>there to be able to use my voltmeter, and I am nervous
>about
>>doing so because I could risk messing up the battery
>contacts
>>in the process. Also, there are four contacts, not just
>two,
>>so I am not sure how I would interpret the results of
>pairwise
>>measurements.
>>
>If you look at the battery with contacts facing you there are
>5 contacts but the outer contacts are clearly marked + and -.
>The freshly charge battery should around 8.4volts but it will
>drop to about 8 volts once under resistance.

I've ordered an Ep-5b, on the basis of what the User manual says. So, I can measure the output voltage on it when attached to the EH-5a. If it measures close to 8.4 V, then that would confirm that what the User Manual says is correct, and the combination EH-5a->EP-5b is safe to use.

Leonard Evens
Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
835 posts

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#19. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 18

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Wed 20-Mar-13 05:15 PM

Leonard,
As part of a different "project", I measured those already. Take a look at my most recent post in the following thread:

https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=190&topic_id=87491&mesg_id=87491&page=

Pete

leonardevens

US
182 posts

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#20. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 19

leonardevens Gold Member Nikonian since 22nd May 2011
Wed 20-Mar-13 06:59 PM

>Leonard,
>As part of a different "project", I measured those
>already. Take a look at my most recent post in the following
>thread:
>
>https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=190&topic_id=87491&mesg_id=87491&page=
>
>Pete

I looked at your link, and it seems that the EP-5b just passed the EH-5a voltage (about 9.4 V) unchanged. So if what Nikon says in the D800 user manual is correct, the camera must be able to handle it. (They say the EP-5b can be used with the EH-5a.)

I am still somewhat nervous about using that combination despite what Nikon says and despite the fact that people have used it without damage to their cameras. Nikon can get things wrong, and long term damage might not show up immediately.

On the other hand, your measurements of the unloaded battery show a Voltage (about 8.4 V) which is 1 volt higher than the EH-5b's 7.4 V.

So I am probably just making too much of this.

(I purchased an all risks insurance policy for the camera, so I'm probably safe in any case.)

Leonard Evens
Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
835 posts

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#21. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 20

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Wed 20-Mar-13 07:10 PM | edited Wed 20-Mar-13 07:12 PM by PeterBeckett

Hi "Prof",
I sincerely believe that you are being overly cautious - due to the fact that Nikon clearly says the combination is approved for the D800/E.

I'm not even crossing my fingers for you as I am completely confident that everything will be within specifications AND the fact that I have used the identical setup for several days of shooting with a D800.

Have fun,

Pete

K64drb

Blacksburg, US
324 posts

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#22. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 21

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Thu 21-Mar-13 12:32 PM

Pete,
I appreciate your input on this. I have an older EH-5 that I've used on a couple of occasions with no problem with my D800, so it's good to put any lingering questions to rest once and for all.

But, seeing that the camera can handle a range of inputs, I would interested in your opinion on after-market AC adapters. Since the original question was motivated as a cost savings issue, had a new adapter been needed, a lot of money could be saved by going with something other than a Nikon manufactured product. What are you thoughts on after-market adapters?

Thanks for you help on all of this.

Dave

Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

PeterBeckett

Lincoln, US
835 posts

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#23. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 22

PeterBeckett Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010
Thu 21-Mar-13 12:49 PM

Hi Dave,
Great question!

I have one of THESE arriving on Monday. I actually bought it for "cannibalisation" (as it's cheaper than my Nikon units). I will comment on it next week:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/927352-REG/Power2000_AC_EL15_AC_Adapter_and.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

Pete

K64drb

Blacksburg, US
324 posts

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#24. "RE: External AC power options for D800?" | In response to Reply # 23

K64drb Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Feb 2012
Thu 21-Mar-13 12:59 PM | edited Thu 21-Mar-13 06:46 PM by K64drb

Outstanding Pete! Excellent timing. I look forward to your review comments, as I'm sure many others will too.

Dave

Dave Badger
Blacksburg, VA
My Nikonians gallery, or visit www.AlternateViewsPhotography.com .

"You don't quit playing because you grow old; you grow old because you quit playing."

G