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This project is a self-contained discharger for BP-511 Canon batteries. It is using an Arduino Mini Pro at its heart. It sends data over USB for analysis.


  • First, plug the USB cable to computer. This powers the arduino.
  • Start a serial terminal, or simply cat data from serial to a file for later analysis ( date > file.csv; cat /dev/TTYUSBx >> file.csv ). You may have to set the tty settings first ( stty -F /dev/ttyUSBx speed 9600 raw )
  • Now, the discharger's LED should flash briefly once a second.
  • If you need, you can set the operation Mode. By default, the discharger operates on a 10 second cycle, discharge half the time. If you want to speed up the process, simply send a 2 over the serial port ( echo 2 > /dev/TTYUSBx ). The discharger will reply with "Using Mode 2". At the end of the current discharge, the discharger will revert to using Mode 1 ( 50% duty cycle). Make sure you're using active cooling when in Mode 2, as the resistors will dissipate a lot of energy.
  • Insert a fully charged battery. There should be data over the serial port and the LED will show when it is actually discharging the battery (50% or 100%, depending of the mode choosed.)
  • The discharger will stop as soon as the battery reaches 6V. The LED will flash twice quickly each second. A summary of the discharge will be printed over the serial interface.
  • Remove the battery, stop (CTRL-C) the logging.
  • If you want, you can discharge an other battery. Simply start logging again to a new file and insert the new battery.