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Erwin Landau

Battery Rumors

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I was told and got a confirmation that Anton Bauer will no longer produce the very popular, small and inexpensive ProFormer Batteries. It seams that Anton Bauer is starting to push there new Dionic Products harder. Lithium over NiCad I guess...

 

I also heard that there was once again a new Battery supposed to get introduced at this years NAB, will that be the replacement for the ProFormer??? Or another addition to the Dionic Familly...

 

Just wanted to give a heads up!

 

 

Erwin "Running to B&H to get some of the last ones..." Landau, SOC

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Will the new Dionics turn over a 435? And are the ProFormers re-cellable? I just got four more PFs, but maybe I should get another half-dozen ASAP! Max

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Again I am speaking for my brother Jim, but he bought a set of the Dionics several months ago in preparation for shooting "STAY" which required shooting mostly at high speed with an Arri 435 at night (cold conditions) and he was thrilled with the results. Very light weight with long running times and no problems with the high starting current requirements of a 435. Having said that, each 435 is unique and he may have been lucky, but AB claims high current rates are possible with the chemistry they are using... the real unknown is just how many cycles Jim will get on his batteries before a very expensive recelling. I would estimate that these batteries may end up costing 3-4 times as much as Nicads, but if weight and the number of batteries you must pack make a significant difference, this could well be worth the cost. Jim is on location in New Orleans, and I don't know if he took a computer, but next time I talk to him I will ask him to comment on the Forum about his experiences to date.

 

Larry

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I was told and got a confirmation that Anton Bauer will no longer produce the very popular, small and inexpensive ProFormer Batteries. It seams that Anton Bauer is starting to push there new Dionic Products harder. Lithium over NiCad I guess...

 

I also heard that there was once again a new Battery supposed to get introduced at this years NAB, will that be the replacement for the ProFormer??? Or another addition to the Dionic Familly...

 

Just wanted to give a heads up!

 

 

Erwin "Running to B&H to get some of the last ones..." Landau, SOC

Well if your doing HD you'll never make it through a rehearsal with a ProFormer...

 

Having said that, I just finished a HD pilot and I used the Dionic's for the camera, I'm impressed we got about 1 hour of run time out of the battery, considering that the almost 3x heavier Hytron 100 only got about 30 mins on the camera (If we were lucky)

 

I have only five concerns. Cycle life, Rebuild cost, transporting them, charge time (It's uber long) and believe it or not it's lack of weight, and that means with a HD camera a LONG post (Even with the near neutral balance that I've been operating with as of late)

 

I'm going to really put these through more testing on my next two pilots since I have the same 8 Dionics that I have had for the last two weeks. if the next four weeks goes well and they run a 435 I might make the switch.

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If they're too light ( something none of us would ever imagine claiming about a battery system........... ), then double up the mounts on your sled, take the nominally 24~30 volts, regulate it and call it a day. No ?

 

Peter Abraham, E.M.T.

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Hi Max,

 

I wanted to test the PAG L-75 at one point which are the same cells as the then Dionic 80 (now they are called L-95 and Dionic 90, still with the same cells just larger). The first thing that you see when you open the box is a warning label telling you that the battery is not designed for high current draw... So it would suggest that it would not turn over a 435 at 150 fps at a safe pace...

 

Howard Smith claims he works with the PAG's all the time...

 

Anton Bauer does not recell batteries, they do buy your old ones back and apply it to a new batch of Batteries when you purchase through them...

There are after market companies that will recell older A/B batteries, like the ProPac's and the Compac's etc.... never heard a ProFormer being recelled.

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Hi Eric,

 

I still work mostly with Film Cameras and the ProFormer are doing a very good job. Also at $150.- bucks not a bad deal. The Dionic 90 go for $430.- and the Dionic 160 are $995.-...

 

I use the Hytron 100/120 for HD or the ProPacs with Video... (on the sled and if they only come with the Dionic, I use them on the Camera) I would love to use only one style battery. I used to own 4 different style A/B batteries (Compac, TrimPac, ProPac and ProFormer), now I'm down to 2 (TrimPac, ProFormer), but the real world is not that great in providing that ideal.

 

Also I don't belive that they can recell the Dionic's, I encountered already trouble with NiCad's when recelled that you have to have a different charger then the A/B to be able to charge the batteries due to the chip set that is hard soldered to the cells... for the charger to identify the battery.

 

Larry,

 

I would love to hear Jim's take on the Dionic's, especially as many operators did complain that the PRO 2 with the Hytron's actually would be to light for the used Cameras... what will be now that the Dionic are even lighter.....?

 

 

It seams that A/B every time we get used to a certain battery they stop making them... The price of progress?

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Howard Smith claims he works with the PAG's all the time...

When i last spoke with Howard he was still using the same set of L-75's that he had used for all the high speed 435 work on the matrix sequels.

Ive done a small amount of high speed stuff on the 435 and havent had any problems with the L-75's.

Ive done intensive Steadicam days on an XL and used the same set of batteries all day. Not having to switch batteries every hour gets noticed.

Now ive only been using them since last summer but so far they've worked a charm. Lets see what their lifespan is like.

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I encountered already trouble with NiCad's when recelled that you have to have a different charger then the A/B to be able to charge the batteries due to the chip set that is hard soldered to the cells... for the charger to identify the battery.

Frezzi makes chargers that will handle A/B bricks and (they claim) pretty much anything out there no matter the manufacturer. Various chemistries as well.

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I just re-celled my Proformers for U$D 50 in Argentina, they are brand new right now after some 4 months. I´ll send 5 more on monday and let you guys know.

 

Matias Mesa

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I have found a fellow who can rebuild the Proforma battery quite reasonably.

He has also rebuilt my trimpacs with even a little more oomph. These are a nice combo for video and 24V situations.

 

I love my Proformas and will not give them up even for the opportunity to pay quite a bit more for batteries which will not last as many cycles. ie the wonderous Hytrons. or (nimh technology)

 

Love those new lithium technology batts, but it can explode (as in bomb) so we can look fwd to more restrictions on airplanes. Not to mention that after we pay for the Lithium batteries there is not much left for the ariplane ticket!.

 

If anyone wants to look at rebuilding their proformas or trimpacs send me an e mail offline and I'll tryto get you prices and get it hooked up for you.

 

TJ

tjsteadicam@qwest.net

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