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Dan Coplan

Alexa is eating my HC's like candy

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No wonder she weighs so damn much.

 

I'm day playing on a show and coming to set with 8 pretty fresh AB HC's (fully charged of course). Yesterday we did Steadi here and there, nothing crazy, but by the end of the day the cam kept shutting down because it wasn't getting enough juice. Even though the batts went on the chargers right after use and showed full, I suspect that the green light was maybe indicating "good enough to put to normal use but not stuffed full as required by the Princess"?

 

PRO sled, 2 batts on the rack (not including my monitor), running 24V.

 

Tips, tricks, prayers that might help?

 

Dan

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No wonder she weighs so damn much.

 

I'm day playing on a show and coming to set with 8 pretty fresh AB HC's (fully charged of course). Yesterday we did Steadi here and there, nothing crazy, but by the end of the day the cam kept shutting down because it wasn't getting enough juice. Even though the batts went on the chargers right after use and showed full, I suspect that the green light was maybe indicating "good enough to put to normal use but not stuffed full as required by the Princess"?

 

PRO sled, 2 batts on the rack (not including my monitor), running 24V.

 

Tips, tricks, prayers that might help?

 

Dan

 

I usually use 190wh or 230wh batts, the 90's don't have the endurance!

 

JA

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It's been a while I have sent my sled to CrampedAttic to have it wired so I can send 12V from a 160W Dionic in the middle position. And the best thing is I mostly use the production on board batteries from now on. Mine stay fresh in the case or just as dead weight on the sled.

I just need to go into the alexa menu and change the minimum voltage thru plug (I put it at 11V) and voila.

My two batteries at the back are dead weight in this picture and balance is very sweet in that configuration.

I had the same problem using 2 HC's in 24V. Not enough power .

Good luck.

 

F

post-101-0-82040900-1475284639_thumb.jpeg

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Three HCs on a PRO in 24V mode (so the back two are running the camera) should last plenty long. Check your dates and cycle numbers Dan, I bet yours are older than you think. They fall of a cliff at some point - for me it was last winter in the cold. Re-celled them and they are fine.

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i have two dual chargers and 8 HCs.

 

about 100 cycles on each so far

 

no issues. and yes Alexa do eat em like candy.

 

usually between setups (or longer wait between takes ) i let assistants put a battery on the camera then unplug the cable from sled and use the block battery to keep the camera on

 

this means my HC only drains when rolling.

 

so in general that shortens the time of consuming my HC A LOT.

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I switched out to a brand called Vect 6 years ago from my Anton Bauers and have enjoyed the benefits of big capacities for affordable money. Now I fly dual 240's on the sled for full size Alexa and don't worry about draw. Or if I run a battery on the back of the camera, then I only change batteries on the sled every week or two depending on use. I also carry the smaller 130w (similar weight/size to a dionic) as my lightweight battery and combine sizes depend on weight and balance needs. These batteries are identical to the Batteries 4 Broadcast brand but seem to be significantly cheaper as are the chargers. I just buy a few more of everything and have additional spares on and off set. The cost savings over AB or IDX or PAG is really significant. I won't claim that they or the chargers are built to (older) AB specs of overall quality, but in my experience it is 75% of Anton Bauer build, 200+% of AB runtimes, for 25% of the cost. And they've been working on my sled and various cameras for 6 years with no disappointments save for the occasional broken stud after a good assistant fumble onto concrete.

 

If you can use rentals constantly and not have to take the hit, groovetastic, but if you have to own a small fleet of batteries and chargers for different jobs, take a good look at these guys. My 2 cents is that they are a good sweet spot of price to performance. Not perfect, but better priced (and shaped) for the high-draw, constant turn over of certain segments of the operator market.

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I wasn't able to check every battery against the stated voltage on the camera and time how long they lasted but the last set I put on there read 30V on the camera and they got me through the scene we were shooting so hard to say what's going on. Alec, maybe you're right about the cell count. Every battery I have is under 100 cycles except for two of them with one reading 183 and one reading 392. And the day I was having the problems I was just running off the batts the whole time. Shawn's trick to run the camera off a block in between setups or long waits between takes is a good one.

 

Does the age matter or just the cycle count? Any idea how many cycles before I should get them recelled?

 

Are there any power management settings in the camera that might help get the most out of the batteries rather than cutting out early?

 

How much time should I reasonably expect to get out of the camera with Alexa + Cinetape + Preston + Transmitter (Teradek in this particular case)?

 

Brett, I'm checking out the Vect 6 batts...http://www.vectshop.com/free-shipping-etan130-anton-bauer-type-gold-mount-liion-battery-packwith-a-usb-output-5v-2a-p-2.html

 

130 Wh at 1/4 pound heavier for less than $200 sounds pretty good. Will these charge on an AB charger or you have to get their charger?

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I seem to have preternatural luck with the length of service on my AB batts...my original Dionic 90's lasted forever, and I still have 6 HC's that I can't put an exact date on but I'd guess from '09 at the latest. And I don't leave them on a charger, so they sit around sometimes discharging for months. Admittedly they haven't been drawn heavily for the past 5 years (no cameras, more like namby-pamby accessories like Decimators and Teradeks and onboard monitors etc) but it's still sort of astonishing.

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Dan, those batteries won't charge on an AB charger. You'll need to buy a VECT or similar generic gold-mount/3 stud charger. Again, they are cheap, so buy 2. And they are simultaneous, so no need to worry about lengthy sequential charge cycles. Talk to Peter An at Vect for best pricing. I just treat my chargers with some caution and make sure they are not working in excessive temperatures (sun, for example), and that they aren't, you know, on a pile of tissue paper and oily rags. Generally a good policy regardless of what charger you have.

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Hey Brett, funny I did the same thing just not with VECT but with BCB. Had an AB initially, but those things are just way too expensive. So after looking around for awhile I decided on BCB and been using them for almost 2 years by now. They have similar features to the VECT, D-tap and charge indicator. They look a bit pricier than the VECT but the customer service is amazing. Once I had an issue while shooting in Nevada (wee bit embarrassing, so not gonna get into details) and needed a new battery ASAP. Called them in the afternoon and by next morning I got the replacements and could continue shooting. They even sent batteries with some charge in it to make charging shorter. Got a follow up call to make sure I received them and an apologie that they couldn't send fully charged batteries due to some regulations... Gotta say, I was impressed.

Edited by Will Davis

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I just had my first 6 Dionic HC's recelled. The report came back that they had between 310 & 352 cycles on them. 2 had died, and the others weren't preforming as well as my newer ones. If you have a AB 2702 charger with the DDM, it can tell you how many cycles each battery has.

 

I recelled my batteries at Ritter Battery in Florida. Compared to $450 for a new Dionic HC (and they don't make them anymore, so I've only found them at Abel), it's $180 per battery to recall, and they are hotter than new ones. Great service and quick turnaround:

 

http://www.ritterbattery.com/services.html

 

My original Dionic HC's lasted a very long time for 2 reasons. 1, I always leave them on a Lifesaver Charger when not in use. According to Paul Dudeck at AB, this will greatly extend the life of the batteries. 2, since the onset of digital cameras, I have the policy to run the cameras off the rental houses batteries, and my gear off of my batteries. I always make sure there are at least 9 Dionic HC's on the order. That way, I can run an Alexa on Steadicam all day, and not run up the cycles on my batteries. If you're busy, and you always use your batteries for digital shows, you are using up thousands of dollars of batteries to run someone else's equipment. I just don't do it. For the rare case that the rental house is all V mount, I have them sub rent Dionic HC's, or re rent mine. That way, at least I'm being compensated for the usage on my batteries. Of course, I still use my batteries for film jobs, but those are becoming more and more rare.

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Ritter Batteries re celled all of my HC and HCX batts over 3 years ago, they are all performing as new. They are as honest as the summer days are long here in Florida.

 

I bought some white HCX batts on ebay a year ago and brought them the batts to have them recelled. Jennifer over there said she would check them out for a couple of days first. after a couple of days she called to say they were in amazing shape despite over 300 cycles each and they did not need to be recelled. Saved me over 800$. those white HCX units are still doing great!. Love those folks!!, Love them to pieces!

I don't work for them nor get compensated, but one happy customer!

 

 

Ozzie

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