Last time I checked there were no power outlets to be found on the ice. If something needs juice out there, you better have brought a power source with you. Fortunately, powering underwater cameras, fishfinders, and other devices isn’t that difficult.
Almost all of these are compatible with a simple 12v battery source. A little bit of creative rigging and a 12v battery is all it takes to get going. Powering a SondeCAM underwater camera for ice fishing is incredibly easy. Simply convert the connections to female blade connectors or small alligator clips and acquire a 12v battery. Most of us aren’t making a trip out to a permanent ice shack but are using the SondeCAM portably out there on the ice. Lugging around a large 12v deep-cycle battery just isn’t practical. A much smaller 12v sealed lead acid battery is what you need for powering the SondeCAM while on the ice. It weighs in at about 5 and a half pounds, doesn’t take up space, and will power a SondeCAM the entire fishing trip. Any of the batteries from 7ah to 9ah will work, but as always is the case with batteries the more powerful the better. However, if you want to drop the weight down and up the juice, Dakota Lithium Batteries is making a 12v 10ah battery that only weighs 2lbs 14 ounces.
I’ll secure the battery in my ice shanty with a Clam Outdoors battery bracket to keep it from rolling around while traveling on the ice. It also helps keep the battery off the ice and extends its life. You can take that a step further however and look into one of the many “battery boxes” out there or make your own. Besides powering a SondeCAM, many have USB ports so they are able to charge phones, speakers, and other devices.
Lastly, if I’m ice fishing with a machine (ATV, UTV or Snowmobile), I’m not leaving home without a jumper pack. Being stranded a couple miles out due to a battery that got zapped by the cold doesn’t sound safe or fun. In addition to the jumpstarting abilities they provide, they also have a USB charging port for slowly charging other devices.
These batteries are affordable, easy to find, and power a wide range of electronics. Wiring up a simple system and taking the power out there with you is incredibly easy.
Image: SondeCAM powered with a portable battery. (Credit: Jeff Elliot)