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XCS sled batteries


brooksrobinson
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Thanks to everyone who chimed in with advice. I plan to get dionics and trimpacs for now, but I'm wondering what people do about cases for batteries and chargers. Is there someone who makes great cases for this? How are you transporting your batteries to set/location? Thank you for your help.

 

Brooks Robinson

bandmj@pacbell.net

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Brooks,

 

I use a PortaBrace bag for my batteries with a hard case (A&J) kept in reserve for shipping. I used to use Pelicans, but I was sick and tired of assistants discarding the case immediately upon arrival and throwing all my batteries into some random bag they had sitting around. I asked myself why I was dragging these absurdly heavy cases in and out of the house to have them chucked once on set. The PortaBrace is a bag of my choosing that won't break with a 35 to 40 pound load (yep, lots of batts and chargers) and sits nicely on the top shelf of my magliner with easy access. Now, if only I could remember the model number..... They have a huge selection though and I fly a collection of Hytron 140s (big bricks) with Proformers to boost me to 24V so you may want a different model.

 

Cheers,

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I use three means of managing my swelling amount of AB batteries (28)...

 

I have the day player case which is a Pelican 1600 with padded divider set which holds 20 batteries and two 4 position Anton Bauer chargers. That's how I bring my batteries home for charging if they don't live on the camera truck or if I have to deal with questionable over night power issues on set.

 

On set/camera truck the batts are living in a drawer on my cart (Cases made by Innerspace cases). If I have to, I can fit 30 batteries and three 4 position chargers into my cart. (I'll post pictures).

 

And I got a couple of boxes made for my on set set-up. They are wood, covered with carpet, the picture shows the prototype that I made. The picture shows the stand set-up, I have another one for on the cart purpose.

This one I use for both as when we go to places where my cart does not fit, the AC can just grab the stand and the box, as the Preston and a back up set of batteries are already there, and off we go...

 

Something similar is now available from Backstage Studio Equipment in North Hollywood.

 

You never need all of your batteries close... most of them are anyways on the charger or on the way from or to the charger anyways...

 

Works for me, not necessarily for everybody...

 

 

Hope that didn't confuse more then it actually helped,

 

Erwin

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I am going to be buying Greg Bubb's XCS Ultimate sled. I have been using a Pro 1 the past 10 years and am only familiar with the Nicad batteries used for that. I don't have much experience with Anton Bauer batteries (which are what the XCS sled use). I'm wondering what people who are flying the XCS are using to power their rig and various cameras. I mostly use Panavision XL's and the newer Arri's (Arricam and 435's), but with the impending reality of HD, I need to be prepared for that as well.

 

I would like to keep this new system as simple and uncomplicated as possible. Is there any combination that will work with everything in your experience? What do you suggest? Thank you for your time.

 

Brooks Robinson

 

:) Hello Brooks,

 

We have used trimpac cases that we have bought from people getting out of the business for whatever reason. 45WH sinered positive electrode true rapid charge 45WH. Please see this recell link. The information is the same. Year end is slower so it is a good time for quicker building of the new packs.

 

Trimpac recell and preowned unit link:

 

http://www.rathboneenergy.com/batteries/br...mpacdigital.htm

 

Recell of your proformer:

http://www.rathboneenergy.com/batteries/br...r/proformer.htm

 

The Negatives of Lithium Ion

http://www.rathboneenergy.com/batteries/li...ion/lithium.htm

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Ron L. Rathbone

 

Sales

 

Rathbone Energy, Inc.

2595 E. Hwy 25/70

Building # 2

Dandridge, TN 37725

 

There's a better way - rathboneenergy.com - when cell quality is paramount.

 

www.rathboneenergy.com

sales@rathboneenergy.com

800-223-1775 Sales

865-484-1783 Office & Sales

865-484-1785 FAX

 

Dead Anton Bauer Battery Recell Service

Battery Cells ? Battery Assembly ?

Batteries ? Battery Recelling - Any Industry

Cadex and PAG Battery Analyzer Chargers

Battery Belts - Film Packs and Recelling ? PAG Batteries

PAG (Cool to touch) HMI Lightning ? Dollies & Cranes

Battery cell distributor, battery pack assembly, and final assembly: SAFT ? Panasonic ? Sanyo ? Enersys Hawker Cyclone ? Duracell ? Fuel Cell Research

 

 

Repair Services for:

Anton Bauer Battery Chargers ? PAG Analyzer Service Center ? Media Pack Servicing ? Media Storage Devices (NAS for Video and Sound Storage) ? Firestore FS3 Focus Enhancements ? Media Asset Management ? Remote IO Controller Repair ? Digital Analog IO Controller Repair

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FYI: Brooks and all other Ultimate owners.

 

Greg Bubb and Simon Jayes came up with an idea to get more power up the center post to get the HD monsters like the Genocide and other high current Cameras going.

 

First Simon suggested to dedicate the almost never used top battery position to sole power an HD camera without going through the power supply and not sharing the current with any other then the Camera, and connect it to the auxiliary 12vdc only connector on the top stage.

 

Monitoring of the capacity of the battery could be done via the smart read out on the LEH (my idea). It displays the remaining capacity from interactive batteries in percent for each of the 3 batts on the rig.

 

Now Greg Bubb up-ted that by finding a way to combine all three battery plates... that should give you more then enough power for the Genesis... and still gives you regulated power to all other plugs...

 

Just in case you wanted to know...

 

 

Erwin

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Erwin,

 

Thanks for the update. It sounds like a promising solution to a daunting problem. Any XCS owners thinking of having this done to their Ultimate? Any other solutions out there? Thanks again Erwin for bringing this to everyone's attention.

 

Brooks Robinson

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Yep. I'm having this done this weekend for my upcoming Genesis movie that I start prepping next week. I ran into all kinds of static from Panavision regarding the Ultimate and the Genesis from Panavision engineers... and once again I find that Greg has a simple, effective answer... w/ the help of Simon and Erwin. What I love is that Greg is so calm, methodical, precise, and accurate with his knowledge, and explained how the static comes from just an utter lack of knowledge on the engineers part. No one else seems to be able to explain the math and the hardware needed the way Greg can.

 

I think they were just pissed when it was pointed out that they had created a monster in the Genesis. I mean come on guys. 15 amps? Are you nuts? Forget about Steadicam, you're just gonna be ripping through batteries and creating all kinds of costs for production and yourself as a rental house by now having to create dolly packs whereby one battery is made up of the equivalent of 4 Hytron 120's. And once those batts start to get more than 60 cycles on them, they get to be almost useless with the sort of current that the Genesis demands.

 

I for one am glad that my XCS sled has 2B sized connectors for camera power that are conservatively rated for 30 amps. And that the wiring in the sled is 16 guage... 6 ft of wire in the post (entire loop - positive through negative) ... you do the math on voltage drop with wiring smaller than 16 guage. How much wire is there in those 4 stage posts out there?? If the posts extend to say 5ft long that means over 10 ft of cable (positive back through the negative) whereby voltage drop will occur.

This is the kind of smart thinking that Greg has put into his product. The sled is like a Mack truck that can handle anything you throw at it. The fact that it will be modified so effectively and yet retain such elegant control such as monitoring the percentage of each battery and managing their discharge rate is awesome. The only limiting factor is just the battery itself. So we shall see what combo works best. I have Hytron 120's, Dionic 90's and Proformers.

 

I will let you all know how the prep and mods go.

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Ok, now stop that Will !!!

 

You really make me want to get myself an Ultimate ! and right now I can't afford it, you're mean !

 

(ok, that was a pun, maybe not funny, but now I told you it's sarcasm so you know it...)

 

 

Just wanted to thank you Will and also others like Jerry, Erwin, Peter and Charles for giving us food for thoughts, really thank you guys...

 

K.

 

 

PS : By the way Erwin, your Cart is just fantastic...

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I test flew an Ultimate for a few days this week on Jericho and it is a nice sled. Rock solid upper stage, very nice gimbal, lots of power. Not as heavy as I previously thought -- Erwin and I weighed it and it is about 2 lbs heavier than my Pro1 (I thought it was 3 to 4 lbs more). No doubt due to the electronics and in some part the beefier cables/connectors.

 

ron b

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FYI, all the Ultras, Clippers, and Vectors have always had 14 gauge wiring in the posts. (14 is bigger than 16, for those those on the other side of the ponds).

 

It was clearly a necessary part of making an expandable post system viable, exactly for the voltage drop reasons Will points out.

 

Garrett invented the lovely trick for getting a larger gauge wiring up the expandable posts - it's part of the Ultra patent - which made it possible, along with lots of (and various numbers of) coax cables, HDSDI w/out connectors, etc.

 

Jerry

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That is very encouraging to hear Jerry, thanks for passing that on. For all its weaknesses, the Master series did a very smart thing back in '95 when it went to 2B302 & 2B303 connectors for the camera power and 12v isolated. The 14 guage wire is also another reason why the Ultra is one of two sleds able to reliably power up the Genesis.

 

I really like this new Ultra 2 alot. Obviously voltage drop was an issue exasperated w/ trying to stick with a one battery system. Now that there are two power cubes, it has a formidable power source since the large guage wires and big connectors are already in place.

 

How long is the cable inside the 4 stage post? Max range on super post is 72 inches? That would make for a 12 foot loop for voltage to travel the length of the positive and negative runs, yes?

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How long is the cable inside the 4 stage post? Max range on super post is 72 inches? That would make for a 12 foot loop for voltage to travel the length of the positive and negative runs, yes?

 

Will -

I think it's a bit longer than that (84" or more??) to account for the spiral wind... In calculating your voltage drops (comparing long to short sleds), don't forget to add in the length of the power cables (18-24" x 2 typical) from the sled to the camera.

 

One other note: With the Lithium Ion's (any manufacturer's) the nominal voltage is 14.8 vs 14.4 for NiCads, so one has some additional voltage "headroom" plus all the lovely watt-hours. With all but the most power-hungry cameras, we can afford to waste some power (breathe a little easier).

 

Jerry

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Ahhhh. Jerry. Why waste it? Therein lies one of the genius designs of XCS in the regulated linear power distribution of the Ultimate sled. That 'wasted' power is turned into useable run time on the camera by not letting that 'excess wattage' dissipate as heat or high voltage to the camera and accessories. ie. if the modulus requires 12 volts it gets 12 volts, not 16 volts off a fresh battery diminishing to 12.5 volts as the battery runs down. 12 volts the entire time. As a result I get longer run times from each battery as well as the fact that each battery runs down at the exact same rate, adding to the overall conditioning of the battery. Not one battery getting hammered by the camera, and one battery having an easy time with just the Preston and the modulus. And the best thing? time to switch one, time to switch them all.

 

The power management on the sled also means that I can mix chemistries without any worry. So I love how I can use any combination of NiCad, Hytron, or LiIon in response to either voltage / amp requirements or weight and balance issues, and be able to place the selected battery on any of the 3 positions and not have it matter to the wiring of the sled.

 

Ok. Sorry to drone on. I don't mean to. I don't work for Greg. I just love my XCS product more every time I'm faced w/ challenges, which has been a long time since I've had any (touch wood). But now that the "Genocide" (Genesis) is in my life, I am having a very interesting time working with Greg on modifying the sled, and talking to Anto Bauer and the engineers at Panavision about how to tame the beast.

 

Sheer poetry really.

 

And thanks for the clarification on the coiled cable aspect, and the camera cables themselves. Yes that certainly will add further distance for those volts to run.

 

Will

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Ahhhh. Jerry. Why waste it? Therein lies one of the genius designs of XCS in the regulated linear power distribution of the Ultimate sled. That 'wasted' power is turned into useable run time on the camera by not letting that 'excess wattage' dissipate as heat or high voltage to the camera and accessories. ie. if the modulus requires 12 volts it gets 12 volts, not 16 volts off a fresh battery diminishing to 12.5 volts as the battery runs down. 12 volts the entire time.

 

Will, unless I'm crazy.... the Modulus (or camera or light) draws X watts of power regardless of voltage. At a higher voltage (within its limits of design) it draws slighlty fewer amps, and as the voltage drops, the amps go up slightly (until the voltage gets so low that it can't work). So most of the time it doesn't matter what voltage the device gets, it just draws watts and no power is lost.

 

Jerry

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Will, unless I'm crazy.... the Modulus (or camera or light) draws X watts of power regardless of voltage. At a higher voltage (within its limits of design) it draws slighlty fewer amps, and as the voltage drops, the amps go up slightly (until the voltage gets so low that it can't work). So most of the time it doesn't matter what voltage the device gets, it just draws watts and no power is lost.

 

Except that devices like the Modulus don't make efficient use of the higher voltage. They have crappy regulators that burn off the excess volts as heat, so there is not only no gain, but an actual loss as more voltage is supplied to a Modulus--the loss being usable amp hours from the batteries.

 

 

-Matt

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