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Archive 2009 · Pelican battery pack
  
 
bacilonur
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Pelican battery pack


(UPDATE AS OF JUNE, 2010: Aims has updated their 180W inverter to achieve UL certification. Not only is the new model too long for the Pelican 1050, but some of the internals have changed and it can no longer provide power to any flashes that I have tested it with. I may or may not find a suitable alternative. Until then, don't sell your Pelican pack! )

So, I almost pulled the trigger on a Quadra kit twice last week, but I just couldn't do it. Sure, it's light and recycles reasonably quick, but I just don't see $1.5k of value in that set. Plus I'd need at least 2 packs and 2 heads to be able to pick up and do anything with it, plus another $500 for spare batteries to go from 100 to 200 pops.

Instead I'm gonna be putting together my own dream battery pack: Light, tough, good looking, as simple (once it's done) as the Vagabond 2 (but better looking), and cheap.

Here's what I've got so far:

Housing: (Pelican 1050)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images345x345/257879.jpg

Inverter: (Aims 180)

http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=207660580=21791575

Battery:

http://cheapbatterypacks.com/?menu=660F3530DE
(10 cells/12V, Double-Flat, 5aH Sub-c cells, 16awg, female Deans connector, with copper bar upgrade)

Charger:

http://www.batteryjunction.com/ch-un180.html

Things you'll need: Spare male/female Deans connectors, soldering iron, shrink wrap, heat gun or lighter, dremel, multimeter, maybe a glue gun, and a couple hours.

Since space is at a premium, I'll be cutting a slot into the side for the inverter's AC and power switch to fit into.

The battery will be mounted to the lid using two long strips of velcro, I suggest you get a big 15-25ft roll of velcro. The inverter will be mounted with velcro on the side to save on horizontal space.

Read the following pages to see how it went.

Edited on Jun 11, 2010 at 05:36 PM · View previous versions



Oct 12, 2009 at 07:25 PM
PeterBerressem
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Pelican battery pack


What do you want to power? 180W continuous / 360W peak power isn't that much...
(no, I don't mention the 4.5 Ahrs)



Oct 12, 2009 at 10:26 PM
bacilonur
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Pelican battery pack


Well, I'd intended it to be a poor man's/Florida-proof Quadra, and I think it's ideal for something like a 300RX or AB800. It should get about 200 full power pops out of a 300ws strobe, which is perfect for me because I'm making 3 of them and they'll all come to just 12 or 13lbs, so unless you're popping all 3 packs at the same time at full power, you're guaranteed a backup in case one goes flat.

I've got some other specs that I may turn into this guy's big brother, using two of these 4.5aH batteries and an Aims 300W inside a Pelican 1120.



Oct 13, 2009 at 12:01 AM
eSchwab
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Pelican battery pack


Teh 300RX won't work on it. The 300S will though.


Oct 13, 2009 at 12:19 AM
tedwca
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Pelican battery pack


Bah, quit being a cheapskate and do it right.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-10043-10273





Oct 13, 2009 at 01:41 AM
bacilonur
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Pelican battery pack


tedwca wrote:
Bah, quit being a cheapskate and do it right.

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-10043-10273


I know, that's actually what inspired me to do it in a Pelican instead of a soft case. It's gonna be lighter, smaller, and way more durable than a soft case.

Hey Eric, why won't the 300RX work? The 600RX works on the Vagabond.



Oct 13, 2009 at 01:57 AM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Pelican battery pack


The RX should work but the BX or multi-voltage units probably wouldn't.


Oct 13, 2009 at 02:35 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Pelican battery pack


Take a hint and try out your setup before mounting it to make sure everything works. Theory almost always works on paper but in the real world often falls short unless proven. I would add in at least a 20% fudge factor in all my values. i.e. The light says it needs 300ws of power use 300+20% so use 360 as you power rating and if the inverter says it will give you 360watts figure you will get 300 watts from it continually. That way you are not fully taxing the units. and use the full time rating and not the max rating since the max rating is only foor surges not constant use. I would buy the inverter the batteries and work from there as you may need dual batteries to maintain enough voltage to power the inverter. Also if you normally shoot x amount of pops on an assignment test it to triple the number of pops once you got the battery and inverter solved then figure out how much airflow will be needed to keep everything cool then build a wooden box the same size of the pelican case you plan on using and work it out from there.


Oct 13, 2009 at 02:37 AM
pcunite
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Pelican battery pack


bacilonur wrote:
I know, that's actually what inspired me to do it in a Pelican instead of a soft case. It's gonna be lighter, smaller, and way more durable than a soft case.



Actually they are using a StormCase which are very nice and durable with better latches than Pelican personally.



Oct 13, 2009 at 04:09 AM
cwebster
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Pelican battery pack


Check out this thread about the real power draw of your strobes.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/823548

<Chas>



Oct 13, 2009 at 08:52 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



bacilonur
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Pelican battery pack


Alright, here's a little update: The batteries I settled on were on back-order and B&H still doesn't have the black 1050's in stock, but I got one battery pack to start doing some testing and it arrived today. Just finished putting it together and they work great.

http://i38./2j35wlz.jpg

http://i35./oiaamc.jpg

http://i33./25rjprr.jpg

I got bored of firing it but I triggered the AB800 at least 100 times at full power and it was still chugging along perfectly. The battery wasn't even warm, but the inverter's fan kicked in after around 30-40 pops. Recycle is about 2.3-2.4 seconds for the AB800 on full power. Half power was exactly half that time. I did a lot of research before deciding on this battery pack, and I got the copper bar upgrade (which allegedly gives me 75+ amps of draw), so it's definitely the inverter that's causing the bottleneck. Still, this thing is tiny and only 1lb, so it's not bad. I may get a voltage display so I can see the power drop in real time for each pack.

I'll set up an intervalometer this weekend to get an exact number of pops at 5-10s intervals.



Nov 06, 2009 at 06:40 AM
kylegehmlich
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Pelican battery pack


That's pretty sweet man, thanks for the update. Just the other day I was wondering if you'd gone ahead with it.


Nov 06, 2009 at 02:15 PM
mdelrossi
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Pelican battery pack


Where did you get the battery?



Nov 06, 2009 at 02:34 PM
400d
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Pelican battery pack


It says cheapbatterypacks.com on the pack...


Nov 06, 2009 at 02:42 PM
cathpah
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Pelican battery pack


WOW. If you're getting a unit of that size/cost to give you 100+ pops at full power, that's downright impressive.

I'll be interested to see where this goes!



Nov 06, 2009 at 03:33 PM
bacilonur
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Pelican battery pack


Yeah, it's from Cheapbatterypacks.com, it's made for RC applications that are actually much more tasking than what I'm doing with it.

Jeff, by my calculations I should get at least 220 full power pops at 320ws. Once I add a fuse I'll plug in a 500 and 1000ws Dynalite pack just for kicks ;-)



Nov 06, 2009 at 03:41 PM
kylegehmlich
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Pelican battery pack


bacilonur wrote:
Once I add a fuse I'll plug in a 500 and 1000ws Dynalite pack just for kicks ;-)


I'll be very interested to know how the 1000Ws Dynalite does.



Nov 06, 2009 at 05:53 PM
77civic1200
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Pelican battery pack


Do you know the appox. cost of all the parts together?


Nov 06, 2009 at 08:30 PM
bacilonur
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Pelican battery pack


$100 for each Aims 180, $70-ish for the battery, $35-$100 for the charger (depending on features), $15 for the Pelican 1050, and $20 for cables, connectors, fuses, shrink wrap, etc.


Nov 06, 2009 at 08:44 PM
cathpah
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Pelican battery pack


bacilonur wrote:
$100 for each Aims 180, $70-ish for the battery, $35-$100 for the charger (depending on features), $15 for the Pelican 1050, and $20 for cables, connectors, fuses, shrink wrap, etc.


Creating a battery small enough that it can fit INSIDE your lightbag?

Priceless.



Nov 08, 2009 at 01:24 AM
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