Powering GoPros with Anker Products - A Helpful Guide

We are a Production Company named Dorsey Pictures. We do various Reality Television such as Tiny House, Big Living and The Treehouse Guys for HGTV and DIY (among other shows). For our latest Production we are tasked with a bit of a challenge for a Network called the Outdoor Channel. Without getting too involved with the Narrative for the show we are doing a major Production mostly based in Small Helicopters that will already be housing Pilots, Veterinarians, And a Mugger. What this means for the Production is we will need to rely heavily on GoPros for the in Chopper Footage.

Our Problem:
GoPro Batteries are notoriously small (1160 mAh) and cannot hold a charge for more than an 1.5 hours under normal conditions. We could always add the GoPro BacPac which will add an additional 1100 mAh, which roughly equates to possibly 1 hour and 15 mins (these are all estimates as GoPro will not release power consumption data which I will discuss later). Since we will be in Production in the winter and in fast moving choppers, we will assume that we are not under normal conditions/temperatures. It will be cold and therefore the batteries will not last to the equations above. Also, We will need to have a charge on these GoPros for potentially the whole day. We will only have time to rig these Choppers with GoPros in the morning and when they land we will have minimal time to replace the 64Gb cards. Adding a battery change to the process will not work for our situation. So we needed to find alternate power sources.

GoPro Power Consumption:
To do this we needed to attempt to crack the code of GoPro’s allusive power consumption. We found out quickly that (In my humble opinion) GoPro Support either did not know what I was asking for and when I did get someone who could answer the question, they were advised not to give out that information to their customers. But the information we did receive was that the internal battery was 1160 mAh and it would last for approximately 1.5 hours. I’m no mathematician, electrical engineer, or generally a sciencey type of guy. But I did have a problem on my hands with a ticking clock that was getting closer and closer to our production. My approximation was to divide the milliamperes by three, in which third would roughly equate to 30 mins.

What we came up with was:
1160 mAh = 1.5 hours
1160 mAh / 3 = 386 mAh

Approximately the GoPro consumes 772 mAh per hour (or 386 per .5 hour)

*We understand that this isn’t generally how Battery Consumption works, but again, its a starting place.

so our 1160 mAh internal battery in normal conditions will last 1.5 hours. But we will be in a cold unstable conditions, so we will need to round down considerably to be safe, as the last thing we want is to have our GoPros run out of batteries and stop filming. We decided to cut their time in half.

45 mins for the Internal Battery
Maybe 30 mins for the BacPac
*Did I mention I’m not a mathematician?

Regardless, Now we have something to go off of!

Battery Testing:
So GoPro’s Batteries will not work for us as a standalone solution. We knew that if we attached the Bacpac on to the GoPro with their “Skeleton Casing” it left an opening for the usb port on the side of the battery. We had a few external chargers laying around the equipment room for some cheap time lapse cameras that were around 12,000 mAh.

Based on our tests it would keep the GoPro Internal Battery Charged all day as expected.
The one problem we had at this point, was the Charger that we used had “Power” button that unless it was checked multiple times, in some cases the battery would intermittently turn off, which was a no go for us for obvious reasons.

I’m a fan of Anker Products (Full Disclosure) and had a PowerCore 20100 that I keep for emergencies or when I travel abroad. It turned out to be a good solution power-wise, as it gave us a multiple day charge and was easy to outfit in the chopper, gaff taped to the floor and connected to the GoPro’s with a ten foot usb cable.

The only issue with that model was that the charging time is 12 hours. We have long days and early mornings before we need to be back out there where there is zero power supply. We decided to go with the PowerCore 26800, as it cut the charging time in half and gets us back out in to the field.

Current Status
We’ve gone through all the controlled environment testing and mounting and all seems to work great. We head out to the field in a few weeks and will update our results, but if there’s anything you all can think of or where I’ve made a mistake or where we could improve our workflow (This is the internet after all, the best place in the world for critiques), please let us know.

Thank you!


Great info! I’d love to hear how things are working out for you!

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how’s the thermal situation with GoPros when they’re running for long periods? Do different modes offer different longevity? (ie timelapse, fullHD recording, overall standby)

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I agree with you about the battery life on the GoPros. Please keep us posted. Maybe Anker can come up with the perfect solution for us GoPro users. Currently, I carry around 3 GoPro Hero 4 batteries with me when I’m out and about. And of course, my trusty Anker 20100 with Quick Charge Battery Bank for long trips.


Just a quick update that things have been going great utilizing the Anker PowerCore 26800 with our GoPros. We added another variable element to the mix. Since GoPros’ Timecode is just zeroed out and we had multiple set up in the Helicopters, we decided to also try out Timecode Systems’ “Syncbac Pro” as well, which not only gives us Time Of Day Timecode, it also syncs the Timecode for all of our GoPros. The Hardware looks like the GoPros BacPac (Battery Extender) and had an port to plug in the PowerCore 26800 to the back of the box. Since the PowerCore 26800 was already an massive amount of power, we were able to keep everything charged no problem for the full shoot without a recharge. I’d say that it was a complete success and the first set of footage was beautiful and amazing!


We get some intermittent heating issues, but the helicopters are so cool/cold in the air that it really is act like a natural coolant system. As far as various consumption rates, Standby will give you the longest battery life, then Timelapse, and the calculations above are for the Full HD Recording. Since we are a production house and had a limited amount of time to build these metrics and get them in the field, we didn’t calculate for anything other than shooting to the specs above. for long timelapses, I would still attach an external battery or power source to get the most bang for your buck. It depends on the size of the card you’re using, but the PowerCore 26800 outlasts any card that the GoPro can handle at this point.

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Things are going great so far and I just posted a quick update below. Let me know if you have any specific questions and I’d be happy to help!


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excellent, good news. I don’t have a GoPro but I have two action cameras and this is what I wanted to know so I could power them while videoing all night timelapse. Did you have to take out the internal battery from your GoPro?

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Great to see how you’re using the product!

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We left the internal battery inside and the Anker would act as an continuous recharging station.


Hi, I’m new to all this, could you please confirm if I could charge my GoPro with an Anker 20100 Power Bank ? Thanks a ton!

I apologize in advance for the rather simple question. Is it possible to charge a GoPro Session and GoPro5 with the Anker 20100 Power Bank ? Thank you

@Joey_Cray Hi. I don’t see why not. As long as you have the USB C cable that came with your GoPros, you could just plug it into the Anker power bank. Any of the power banks made by Anker will do the job… only thing is making sure you have enough “juice” in the power bank to charge your GoPros. :slight_smile: I like to carry the PowerCore 10000 while I’m out and about with my GoPros for short trips… it’s a happy medium, meaning, it’s lightweight and packs a lot of power. But when I want to go super light, I go with the 5000 Slim. Hope this helps.

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Did you use 3 GoPros in the PowerCore26800? If so, how many hours did the GoPros last? Thanks. - Tim

@tim29 Not sure if this will answer your question but I used a 20000 mAh pack to power up my action camera, Gopro copy, I filled up a 32 gb card over two days (approx 48 hours)using .5 sec time lapse and I was only down 25 % on the pack. My second camera was powered by a 10000 mAh pack and after 32 GB of standard recording without time lapse and 1080P 30 frames recording it was down approx 25 %. I didn’t keep track of the time on the second camera as I was occupied by Camping activities. As you probably know there are a lot of variables to what you will get for time, eg, frame rate,resolution, temperature, etc.

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Apologies for the late reply, as I wasn’t being notified when these questions came up! Yes Absolutely! We used the extended battery and skeleton casing for the GoPros and plugged the Powercore directly in to the battery which would give it hours more battery life than GoPro could ever offer. That being said, we were constantly changing out the cards still, but the Battery life was solid. I hope this helps!

Hi Tim,
We used 3’s and 4’s and we had multiple GoPros rigged in a Helicopter with Timecode Generators to help sync in Post Production. They lasted the hours of flight time we needed. The GoPros power outlasted the cards. For the specifics of the power consumption, you will need to look at my chart in these blogs and do a little math to calculate the rest.

The Show is completed and has aired on the Outdoor Channel. To see a little sample of our GoPros in use with the Anker Products, here is a little snippet for the Premiere of the series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQLmrt4K5V8

We’re really proud that we could get a wildlife conservation show on a tight budget to look so pretty while catching some great actions of these talented people. We couldn’t have done it without such a solid product like Anker (They’re not paying us to say that, it’s just the truth)!

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