Wireless USB tether battery grip

February 7, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve been using a usb cable to tether my Nikon D5000 to a laptop to use the onOne DSLR Remote software for some time now. The software runs on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and soon a dedicated iPad version will be released.

There are a few options out there that are very attractive but I wanted to go a different route.

One option that is especially not attractive is the Nikon badged accessory for connectivity the
WT-4A. This accessory retails for $1000.00 !!!

I decided to purchase an Ownuser battery grip for my Nikon D5000 that holds two EN-EL9a batteries and provides vertical shutter release capability. Some other features I liked about the grip was the weather resistant plug cover rather than a plain cable that left the rest of the ports open to the elements. Lastly, the appearance of the camera on the battery grip is more streamlined and integrated than some of the other third party grips.

So what I will show in pictures below is the grip has a small channel for me to insert some of the electronics needed to connect the camera to the computer.

First, I stripped the Cables Unlimited USB-WR2000 adapter to the PCB inside. Then I added a female USB socket and plugged in the USB-WR2000. From there I spliced and soldered the wires from the USB-WR2000 connected cable to a mini B 8-pin cable that inserts into the camera itself.

Second I tapped into the output power of the battery grip which is 7.2 Volts. I connected the tap to a switching voltage regulator that provides an output of 5 Volts 1 Amp, perfect power and required by the USB-WR2000.

The camera is then wirelessly tethered to the pc when the battery grip is powered and installed on the camera.

Check it out!

Here is a video walkthrough of connecting the battery grip to the camera and connecting to the PC. We will see the wireless USB connect and the onOne DSLR Remote Server software connect to the camera.

The USB-WR2000 and the female USB cable stuffed into the free space at the front of the grip. Also in this shot are the two areas where the batteries are inserted. Also the grip vertical shutter release is in view at the right.

Here is a pic of the switching voltage regulator. I placed the regulator here as there is vertical space and it fits perfectly in the battery bay of the camera. Heat buildup is not a factor as the voltage regulator is a switching type of regulator. The location helps keep the power contacts of the battery grip flush and tight against the camera power leads.

Here we see the three major pieces. The camera, the grip, and the PC host adapter. The block of rubber you see is a cover for the USB (gold plug) and the battery grip shutter release that plugs into the GPS receptacle (black plug).

Here I am going to insert the weather resistant plug cover that contains the camera USB cable and the battery grip shutter release.

Here the plug is installed. I consider this one of most attractive options for adding connectivity from the camera to the battery grip.

Inserted EN-EL9a into the left battery bay.

And another in the right battery bay.

After it is all assembled, the front view.

The rear view, did I mention the weather resistant plug?

And here is a view of the PC host adapter, the assembled camera unit and if you look at the LCD screen in the lower right you see the camera is in the PC connectivity mode.

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