It takes more than a camera to take pictures and video.  It takes media to store and batteries for power.  For most people this is not a big consideration.  But I have multiple GoPro cameras each taking hours of HD video.  This requires a lot of SD Cards and a lot of batteries.  Plus, I have many other handheld video cameras, still cameras.  It takes a systematic process to be sure the all cameras are ready before we head out, and properly processed when we return.

The cameras can use up a lot of batteries on an outing, especially the GoPros.  Each battery of a GoPro lasts about an hour.  One can extend this time by another hour with the use of a battery backpack.  For a 4 hour run, this still is not enough.  So we carry with us a complete replacement set of batteries, both internal and backpack, for each camera.  Even then, on longer runs, this isn’t enough.  Before we head out we need to make sure as much as 24 batteries are charged and ready to go.

SAMSUNG CSCThe first charging station is pictured to the left.  It is a high-end, high current usb hub.  It has three sections of 4amp each of power to the USB ports.  This was an economical way of drawing a lot of USB power on multiple cables at once.  I placed it under my work station and have drawers under it for my cameras that require proprietary charges.  Inside the drawers are baskets for “Needs charged” and “already charged” to help keep the charge-flow organized.

Media and BatteriesThe above system worked well until my needs grew.  I needed more space for things like IR camera mount IR emitters, and larger cameras that charged the batteries  on-board.  Plus, I found that even charging 8 or more GoPros at a time ment more than one charge cycle.  So I created another charging station based on a couple of power strips and then just a high current USB charger for over-flow of USB devices.

Media1Media became difficult to manage too.  I have a lot of SD cards!  I purchased some high-speed readers to capture them into my MacPro faster, but ran into difficulties trying to get USB3 PCIe cards that work in a Mac.  In the end I use a second mac to read cards into server storage and then access the library from my main workstation.  I have placed small bins under one of my monitors to help keep track of my cards.  As I copy them off, check to be sure everything off and then clear them for next use, I move them from bin to bin.  This system has been invaluable in keeping me from accidentally deleted footage before downloaded it, and running out with a card that is already full in a camera.


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