The PIXO charger has been discontinued. We now offer alternative ways to charge both AAs from USB and camera batteries from USB.

Ever wanted to charge a DSLR camera battery while off-grid but only had a USB power supply? Finally there’s a way to charge almost any camera battery with a USB cable! The PIXO Universal Battery Charger can charge a camera battery from any USB power source, so it is compatible with all of our Voltaic batteries.

Is the PIXO right for me?

The PIXO Universal Camera Charger is a great charging accessory for anyone using a small 3.7V camera battery who wants to travel light with a V15 or V39 battery. The USB input means you don’t have to carry around the V72 laptop battery for its 12V DC output (which is required for all other camera cradles on our website), so you can travel with much lighter gear and still occasionally charge your camera. However if you want to use a professional DSLR camera (12 Wh battery capacity or greater) or want to charge your camera at least once per day, check out this guide to charge a DSLR camera with solar power using a cradle specifically designed for the battery.

Update: The PIXO can also charge two AA or two AAA batteries.

pixocollage

 

How does it work?

The PIXO charger automatically supplies the correct voltage to the battery, allowing it to charge smaller 3.7-4.2V batteries for point-and-shoot cameras, or larger 6.8-8.4V batteries for DSLR cameras.

PIXO charger with many batteries

 

Watch this video to see how to connect each battery to the PIXO charger.

 

How to use the PIXO charger:

1. Determine which pins on your battery are positive and negative. The specific polarity of each pin doesn’t matter, since the charger will automatically determine their polarity and supply power accordingly.

2. Place the battery next to the charging pins to see where they need to be.

aligning a point-n-shoot battery on a PIXO charger

 

3. Use a pen or thin object to slide each charging pin to match the location of the battery’s polarity pins.

4. Push the battery onto the charging pins and plug it into a power source. As you can see, 7.4V DSLR batteries will slide in horizontally, while other small 3.7V camera batteries may go in vertically.

 

variety of batteries with the PIXO C-USB charger

 

Limitations:

Though the charger fits many different batteries, there are inevitably some that cannot fit. For example, the Canon LP-E6 7.4 V battery cannot fit, since the positive/negative leads of the battery are too close together. Before purchasing the PIXO charger, examine your battery to make sure the positive/negative charging pins are at least 5mm apart.

Batteries that do not fit (we have a battery-specific charger for these): Canon LP-E6, 6D, 7D, 60D, 70D, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III

USB Charging From Voltaic Batteries:

The PIXO charger has two charging options, depending on if you are using a USB 2.0 port (which can draw about 500 mA of current when charging) or a USB 3.0 port (for 900 mA of current, almost double the 2.0 option!). All of our Voltaic batteries can provide almost 1 Amp of current (and the V39 can supply up to 2 Amps), so make sure the switch on the PIXO is on the 3.0 side for faster charging.

Using this charging mode, we found the charge rate to be identical to a wall charger for small 3.7V batteries, but significantly slower than a wall charger for 7.4V DSLR batteries. If you want to charge a professional DSLR camera battery from solar power, we recommend using a camera cradle specifically designed for your battery.

Charge Time with USB battery (eg. V15, V39, V72)
Battery Voltage Power Capacity

Voltaic Camera Cradle

from Wall Outlet

PIXO with

Voltaic Battery

Olympus 40B/42B 3.7 V 4.44 Wh 1.3 hours 1.3 hours
Canon NB-5L 3.7 V 5.18 Wh 1.5 hours 1.5 hours
Canon LP-E8 7.4 V 13.3 Wh 2 hours 3.0 hours
Canon BP511 7.4 V 16.28 Wh 2.44 hours 3.7 hours

 

Charge Rate From Solar Panels:

After extensive testing, we determined that the PIXO does not charge well directly from solar panels. This is because our panels operate at 6V, while the PIXO wants to charge from 5V USB sources. In order to get the fastest charging time possible, we recommend using one of our USB batteries to mediate the power from the solar panel to the PIXO while charging from the sun. If a camera battery was completely drained, here are the approximate times required to fully charge the battery using only our Voltaic solar panels.

4 Watt Solar Panel (eg. Amp, 4W Fuse)
Battery Voltage Power Capacity Charging Time
Olympus 40B/42B 3.7 V 4.44 Wh  3.0 hours
Canon NB-5L 3.7 V 5.18 Wh  3.5 hours
Canon LP-E8 7.4 V 13.3 Wh  8.9 hours
Canon BP511 7.4 V 16.28 Wh  10.9 hours

 

6 Watt Solar Panel
Battery Voltage Power Capacity Charging Time
Olympus 40B/42B 3.7 V 4.44 Wh  1.6 hours
Canon NB-5L 3.7 V 5.18 Wh  1.9 hours
Canon LP-E8 7.4 V 13.3 Wh  4.8 hours
Canon BP511 7.4 V 16.28 Wh  5.8 hours

As you can see, the charge times are much longer than charging with a battery. This is because the 6V panel does not like converting down to 5V for the miniUSB input of the PIXO charger, so the efficiency goes down. We recommend using the solar panels to charge our batteries (since they’re designed exactly for the panels), then using our batteries to power the PIXO charger.

 

About The Author

Testing / Product Development Engineer

Got an idea for a solar powered project? Let us know about it! Drop me a line and I'll see if I can help out

3 Responses

  1. Keefer

    Can this charger be powered by a 20,000 mAh battery? Does it come with a cord that has USB plug on one end and the appropriate power input plug on the other end?

    Thank you,
    Keefer

    Reply
    • Tony Kauffmann

      It does come with a USB cable that can work with a 20,000mAh battery, but unfortunately we don’t sell this charger anymore.

      Reply

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