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AB/C type battery option on a commercial stabilizer rig

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#1 Charles King

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 04:40 AM

I'm curious to know what the high profile operators suggestion on using these types of battery configurations. What is the ideal option? AB type configuration only or AB/C type option?
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#2 Charles Papert

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 03:03 PM

Hi CK.

The three battery system came about because of the noise crossover between film camera motors into the video signal back in the day. The PRO solved this by isolating the video signal from camera through the wiring harness and down to a dedicated battery, so you would power the tap, monitor, transmitter and onboard recorder off one battery while the other two fed 12 or 24v as required to the camera.

Nowadays, modern film cameras have solved the noise issue and nearly all taps are powered internally from the camera body so this reasoning is less relevant. However in the HD world, large sensor cameras are pulling loads that we rarely saw with film cameras (high speed or wide-gauge systems being the exception), so now it's all about amperage. Powercubes and Dionic HC's are working well to combat the power draw issue, but you still need two of them to make 24v (except on the Ultimate 1), and the green screens have a decent draw themselves. Most HD cameras are 12v however, so there is an argument to be made about replacing the two smaller celled batteries with one larger one, for similar weight and possibly increased run time. But then it does come down to how many different battery types one is willing to own and keep alive, as we know that Li-on batteries are not as durable as previous chemistries.

For me the ultimate solution has been and will continue to be a rig that is flexible enough to be equally useable with two or three batteries as required for a given camera and situation (in theory, even one battery should be possible for a lightweight 12v configuration). Some rigs make it difficult to remove a battery and still achieve proper dynamic balance without compromise.
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#3 Charles King

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 05:24 PM

Thank you CP for educating me. It makes sense and I agree that it is better to have a rig that is optionally prepared for whatever circumstances that arises.
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