InCinematographer - Issue 3 - 14
www.incinematographer.com | Issue 3
Battery Power Technology
Contributing Editor David Kirk notes that
electric cells are driving the world...
ower, whether from portable supplies, plug-in
mains, oil-powered generators or more exotic
sources, is something taken pretty much for granted
until it fails. One cheap and inexhaustible power
source tried several decades ago and since abandoned
was spring-driven clockwork, chosen by Stefan
Kudelski to drive his first prototype Nagra audio tape
recorder (Nagra I, 1951) and carried through to the
first production model (Nagra II, 1953-1955). He then
realized that, to quote an almost equally ancient
commercial, better things are electric.
Mobile power is today dominated largely by
electrical cells, usually but not always nested into
batteries. In the production industry, the need
for reasonably high storage capacity combined
with light weight has long kept lithium-ion as the
dominant technology. This article reviews some of
the latest commercially available battery products
for powering television cameras and lights.
times in the industry
(four 98 watthour packs
in less than 2.5 hours).
It includes V-Mount and
3-stud charging, with
two and four position options
for each. All Fleet Micro Chargers are
compatible with all Core SWX, Red and Anton/
Bauer battery packs. Every Fleet Micro Charger
incorporates a backlit LCD to display battery data.
The charger has many features including a test
mode function to check battery's health data, a
Safefly function to discharge the battery packs down
to 30% for air travel, and a 90w power supply. The
Fleet Micro Charger includes a mini-USB port for free
firmware upgrades and can transfer battery data to
Anton/Bauer's new LPD Discharger can discharge
up to four 90Wh batteries in three hours or less,
helping customers comply with the IATA regulations
that state that lithium-ion batteries transported
as cargo must be charged to no more than 30% of
their rated capacity. Weighing less than 1kg, the
discharger is fan-cooled and thermally protected.
It is available for either Gold Mount or V-Mount
Mini V-Lok battery
Blueshape's Granite Two battery, although more
compact than existing models, can deliver up to
9 amps continuously. It has a five-LED capacity
display gauge integrated with battery balancing and
monitoring and also provides digital communication
with compatible devices. Two additional power
outlets through D-Tap sockets are located on the
battery sides. These are independently protected
against shorts and overload and provide up to 5
amps. They can be used to power devices working
at 14.8 volts nominal or even USB powered gadgets
and chargers through the PT-USB adapter. IATA
restrictions allow two pieces per passenger to be
transported in hand luggage or as the checked-in
luggage if installed in the equipment.
Hawk-Woods 100 watt-hour Mini V-Lok battery
offers all the features of the company's standard
size V-Lok battery in what is to date the smallest
V-Lok case, fitting into the palm of the hand. When
used in conjunction with the VL-MCF1, the batteries
can be switched and rotated for continuous power,
while combining the wattage of two batteries.
The batteries will work on all existing fittings and
chargers. Within the 100Wh bracket, this battery
is flight safe for carry-on luggage. Volume limits
depend on the airline.
Core SWX's range of Fleet Micro Chargers is
claimed to offer the fastest
Granite Two battery
IDX's new DUO-C95 packs 93 watt-hour capacity
into a slim form factor weighing 600g. For those
longer run times, the DUO-C190 weighs just over
1kg, has a capacity of 185 watt-hours, and supports
a continuous load of 11A/120W. Two D-Tap and a
USB power output are included. The power cells
are sourced from Panasonic Sanyo. The batteries
conform to Japanese specifications (but likely to
be adopted worldwide) regulations which demand
that individual lithium-ion cells are isolated from
each other within the battery in a honeycomb like
PAG recently introduced an upgraded version of its
ultra-compact travel charger.
The new PAGlink V-Mount Micro Charger features a
tougher, injection-moulded housing and is designed
to accept 5-20V DC input as well as AC input via its
Power Supply Unit.
The principle of the new Micro Charger remains
the same as the original version: the charging unit
(73 x 62 x 31mm) clips onto the V-Mount contacts
of a single PAGlink battery which can be linked to
additional PAGlink batteries of any rated capacity,
in any state of charge. The Micro Charger is intended
for charging up to four linked batteries. The charging
unit is then connected to its power supply unit which
enables charging from AC supplies worldwide.
Interchangeable power plugs allow direct connection
to the AC supply without the need for adaptors. The
new charger can also be powered from five to 20
volt DC supplies. DC power cables are included that
allow charging from a 12V vehicle battery or a USB
charger (2 amps). Charging times will be similar
when powered from either an AC mains supply or a
12V vehicle battery. The Micro Charger will address
the most-discharged batteries first and then fullycharges them simultaneously, without intervention.
Three fully-discharged 96 watt-hour batteries will be
fully-charged in 12 hours.
SWIT's new Power Station Box can accommodate
four V-mount batteries and allows in-situ charging.
Power output is 12 or 24 volts via an XLR connector.
A LED panel indicates the available voltage and
provides a warning of low voltage.