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Any good reason not to use V-Lock batteries


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#1 Joe Broderick

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:03 AM

I am going to have to buy batteries and was wondering if anyone had an opinion on why not to go with V-Lock. I just finished a show out of Claremont and we used the V-Locks and didn't have any problems. I still have my old PRO1 battery cage which I moded to accept the V-Lock batteries (the stacking feature of the IDX batts was very helpful).

I could mount the A/B style batteries instead and it would be nice if the batteries I buy now would work on a future rig.

Is one mount more common than the other in the field in the event that one could use production's batteries instead?

Any insight appreciated.

Thanks

Joe Broderick
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#2 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 03:37 AM

Its really a matter of preference. Most rigs are available with either mount.

Personally I don't like the fact that with v-mount if you are in low mode or the batteries are inverted hitting a button can cause them to fall off. Of course the particular battery plate in use has a big effect on the likelihood of this happening.

If you are looking at high amperage draw batteries with v-mount you have the steadicam power cubes(or the idx equivilent) or with anton bauer there are 3 different sizes to chose from.(90, 120 and 160watt hours)

I personally like Anton Bauer's fuel gauge a lot better than the idx style where you have to push a button.

AB batteries seem to be more common in the broadcast world and are also rather common in the film world. Thanks to RED adopting v-mount they seem to have become a lot more common in the motion picture world.

I personally prefer AB but I keep an adapter handy so I can throw productions v-mount batteries on my rig if necessary.

~Jess
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#3 RonBaldwin

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:53 AM

I was considering going with the v-locks but thank god I worked a few months on a show that used them on the camera (varicam). They popped off during handheld several times and usually needed a few slams to get them to seat correctly. I'd hate to crash a drive or cause some other problem because of my battery mount.

I'm sure there is some sort of adjustment to help with this and maybe you can stay on top of it, but it became a real problem and I steered away from them based on watching them hit the floor a few times a week for several months.
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#4 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 10:37 AM

Must be too much Lisigav Ron! Mine have stayed put on my sled, jibs and cameras even on vehicle mounts.

I bought V-mount because that is what I had on my camera packages and also that is what most of my local friends have, thus we can always borrow batteries and chargers. My new XCS Ultimate 1 is being built with V-locks.

Robert
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#5 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 11:12 AM

I was considering going with the v-locks but thank god I worked a few months on a show that used them on the camera (varicam). They popped off during handheld several times and usually needed a few slams to get them to seat correctly. I'd hate to crash a drive or cause some other problem because of my battery mount.

I'm sure there is some sort of adjustment to help with this and maybe you can stay on top of it, but it became a real problem and I steered away from them based on watching them hit the floor a few times a week for several months.


How can that be???? This is a first time I hear this story!! Been using V-lock for quite a long time (20years +), dropped once, but from my hand not the mount.

The use of battery mount depends a lot from the type of rig and production you are most working in.
V-lock is good for lighter rig or light weight set up rig, and most video cameras.
AB is best for film camera, HD camera, and RED dues to its higher amperage & heavier in weight.

My solution:
I use AB mount on my sled and AB to V-lock adapter.
I have only V-lock batteries (cheap and light weight).
99% of time, I use production's batteries. Most of the time, those batteries are AB.
Cheers,
Ken Nguyen.
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#6 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 11:59 AM

It seems that not all v-mount plates are created equal. The RED ones in particular suck. I have been on many shows where the battery gets bumped and the camera shuts down when on the RED plate but when on my idx adapter it gets bumped a lot more and there is no problem. I would expect a sony camera to have a quality plate but I wonder if maybe the batteries and the plate had some tolerance issues causing it to be a loose fit.

Lots of people make v-mount batteries and plates. In some ways this is a good thing but it does lead to some such issues. I don't think I have ever seen a non AB AB plate or battery.

~Jess
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#7 RonBaldwin

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 02:42 PM

The cameras we used were the varicam wih the v-locks on the back. Maybe it was the camwave...sometimes we used those btw the camera and battery. I'm sure not all plates are created equal and maybe we had a few bad ones, but it was a mostly handheld show and numerous times the batts would bounce off and hit the ground. I like the batts and chargers though, just had a rough few months with 2 brand new varicams, 2 new camwaves, and 2 dozen brand new bouncing power cubes. I'll ask the 2nd if they ever figured it out.
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#8 Ants Martin Vahur

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 03:22 AM

I like the V-lock because it's a bit easier/faster to take off. And simpler to take off and mount with one hand when it's necessary.
But of course AB feels much more rigid and secure.

The V-lock problem is very big with RED cameras. You always need to secure it with an extra strap for handheld or even for steadicam which loses the whole point of it being easier to mount/dismount.

I also haven't noticed that problem with Sony cameras. Maybe a few times in many years when I have seriously bumped into low ceiling or wall at a certain angle.

But put my vote on AB for now :)
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#9 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 10:42 AM

I chose V-Lock because 2 PowerCubes have MORE milliamp hours than 1 Hytron 140 and weigh less, and since nobody would ever fly with Hytron 140's on their rig, that says a lot to me about IDX!

To be exact:
PowerCube - 6805mAh @ 14.4v, 1.75lbs
Hytron 140 - 9722mAh @ 14.4v, 5.5lbs

Edited by Mike Germond, 24 May 2010 - 10:50 AM.

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#10 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 11:55 AM

I chose V-Lock because 2 PowerCubes have MORE milliamp hours than 1 Hytron 140 and weigh less, and since nobody would ever fly with Hytron 140's on their rig, that says a lot to me about IDX!

To be exact:
PowerCube - 6805mAh @ 14.4v, 1.75lbs
Hytron 140 - 9722mAh @ 14.4v, 5.5lbs


Easy on the assumptions mike, lots of us use the Hutton 140's on our rigs. It's the battery I use on "Dexter"
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#11 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 12:38 PM

I suppose so. I flew one on the back of a VisLink RF system, and that's the last time I'll do that. Of course there's something to be said about having those 5.5lbs above the gimbal. The sad part is that I drained 4 140's that day, and it was only powering the RF.
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#12 RonBaldwin

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 12:56 PM

aren't the hc-90's the same weight and power as the power cubes? As far as flying a hytron 140, yes, it's a hog of a battery but it does have good power and with heavy cameras one needs more ballast any how
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#13 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 01:32 PM

I suppose so. I flew one on the back of a VisLink RF system, and that's the last time I'll do that. Of course there's something to be said about having those 5.5lbs above the gimbal. The sad part is that I drained 4 140's that day, and it was only powering the RF.



Huh? First off why would you fly it on the camera? I use ONE on the base of the sled and I get over an hour out of it.
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#14 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 01:34 PM

aren't the hc-90's the same weight and power as the power cubes? As far as flying a hytron 140, yes, it's a hog of a battery but it does have good power and with heavy cameras one needs more ballast any how



Yes

Yes

And I agree. Don't forget that the HCx will have ~11amps and weigh 2lbs, which looks like a better choice than the IDX battery
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#15 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 04:26 PM

I suppose so. I flew one on the back of a VisLink RF system, and that's the last time I'll do that. Of course there's something to be said about having those 5.5lbs above the gimbal. The sad part is that I drained 4 140's that day, and it was only powering the RF.



Huh? First off why would you fly it on the camera? I use ONE on the base of the sled and I get over an hour out of it.


It was a last minute production choice and there was no time to have a power cable made for the sled.

For less weight, you could get longer life out of your setup with the PowerCubes. But I understand that operators commit to one or the other when you buy the sled, and Ron makes a good point about ballast.
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