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Best high draw gold mount batteries

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#1 Tom Wilkinson

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 12:09 PM

Ok, so what are the best high draw gold mount batteries out there??

 

 

I know Optical Support here in London do a 130 Wh high draw batt.  But what about other companies like Beillen, who do a 160 Wh.  SWIT who do a 190Wh.   Or Const, who also do a 190 Wh....

 

Anyone had any experience with any of these other companies??  I'm aware they might be too bulky for steadicam use????    While the Optical Support ones are designed specifically, size and weight wise, for steadicam...

 

can any one help??

 

 

tom


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#2 James Davis

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 03:25 PM

I own a set of the 130wh optical support ones, I know at least 2 other ops that do as well, they are great, they fit on the rig perfectly, last for ages, I can't complain :)


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#3 Tom Wilkinson

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 10:29 PM

thanks James, hope you are well.

 

What cameras are you powering day to day?


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#4 James Davis

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 02:54 AM

Alexa Plus or XT 90% of the time, on rare occasions I might power an Epic if it's really loaded up with a heavy anamorphic and lots of accessories.
I powered an F55 once (usually I always run it from an onboard as it is so light) and from memory we only had to change the batteries on the rig once that day haha.
Thursday was Alexa on Steadicam all day, running off three batteries, two battery swaps all day.
I hope that gives you an idea, I nearly always fly with 3 batteries down below.
Also, whenever I power an Alexa it is always with the rig in 24v mode.
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#5 Tom Wilkinson

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 03:27 PM

Thanks James.  A lot of help.

 

you have a Tiffen rig right?

 

How does the battery system differ to a PRO (where the back two batts power the camera in series )?

 

tom


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#6 James Davis

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 07:34 AM

Tiffen rig? No....Pro Cinelive with the Gen 4 base.


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#7 GregBubb

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 08:40 PM

    With today’s Lithium batteries you have you two basic cell types, Polymer and Ion. Both deliver the high current you need for the HD and film cameras we run. They both have similar performance and temperature curves. I have owned, tested and used Lithium packs for over 12 years and both cell types have just kept improving and work well.  Extreme hot and cold you should be a bit more cautious.

 

   Engineers may say by the numbers that Ion cells can deliver a higher current at startup due to lower internal cell impendence, but with the current capability of both types of cells I find it’s indistinguishable between battery packs with the wattage we run and the amount of current batteries can provide. 90, 120, 160, 190, 235 watt hr battery pack being the most common standard sizes.

 

   Using a larger watt hr pack will extend the life of that battery pack under similar current loads since they deplete at the same rate. So if you are buying a 90 watt battery pack  Vs. a 150 watt pack and putting an 8 amp constant load on it for example, the 90 watt pack will of course reach the end of its useful battery life sooner over the life of the battery Vs.  150 watt hr pack that may cost $40. more and weight additionally 4 ounces more but may give you 6 months longer run time over its battery life in addition to its  initial longer run times.

I have gone from three 90’s watt packs 10+ years ago, to two- 160’s 5 years ago, and to two 235watt packs today. Buy the way two 235 watt packs weight 1-2 ounces less than three A/B 90 watt hr packs with a total increase in capacity of about 74%.

 

 Additionally you will notice that some resellers are selling 14.4 Vs. 14.8 nominal voltage packs that allows them to give you a 10-15 watt higher output rating which is negligible (a numbers game) to steadicam, ONLY if you equipment can handle the higher voltage output of these packs. It only gives you an appearance of higher capacity which operators may think they are getting a longer run times, they are not.  Because the camera will run below the batteries low voltage rating.

 

Listed are some well known performance factors by battery manufactures but I feel sometimes misunderstood by the end user.

 

1)      First both types of Lithium cells and will deplete at a very similar rate when used similarly.  

 

2)      Both cell types will lose performance and deplete over time whether or not they are used.

 

3)      Both cell types will typically lose 20-30% of the current load capacity after 18-20 months or 100 cycles when high current loading a battery pack, slightly more cycles when not. High current loads are considered power draws that are greater than 60% of the battery wattage rating. Or just about every battery we use on a sled under 150 watts if you run two batteries and power the camera.

 

4)      Different battery wattages have different thermal fuse ratings. Typically between 10.25- 15 amps. This is important as you draw down the battery voltage when using it and your battery ages. The lower the voltage output of the battery the high the current (Amp) draw it has on your battery pack. So as your battery ages it pulls more current (amperage) at lower voltages to run that camera, you will reach that thermal fuse limit sooner.

 

5)      That most all reputable battery suppliers in our market are using reputable cell manufacturers of equal quality. So that name brand pack when opened up might have that same Samsung, Sanyo, Saft cell and you can expect similar performance. These companies are all completing for the same market. 2/3 of the packs I take apart from different resellers are using the exact same cell. And the price varies from each company. I have tested a few off brands and find they perform as well or better then the two major brands on the market.

 

6)      We all have different tolerance to battery packs at the end of their useful life. I can only speak for myself here. When my batteries are only lasting 20 minutes before I have to change them it’s time for new batteries. Others may change sooner, some may allow even shorter runtimes. So battery end of life is very subjective.

 

What is missing out of this equation of battery runtimes and performance (ability to deliver power) on a sled is the most important, least talked about and least understood subject. Power delivery though the sled. This is where two identical battery packs under the same current load using the same camera can have two different run times, power outputs and cycle life. This comes down to three things. Proper power wire gauging through your sled including power cables to camera. Connector sizes in your sled, and is there an active battery management system, or is it just you managing/monitoring the packs yourself.

 

Wire :

The length of the power wire run through the sled system is or should be an important consideration for all. Most who know me understand I could go into great detail on these points but ones needs only to visit a web page with a DC voltage loss calculator and input the few basic parameters to get the big picture on power loss over a give wire length. It will ask a few basics you, fill in the blanks.

A)     AC or DC current

B)       Nominal voltage- input the lowest voltage you run your batteries down to. 12.5, 13.0, 13.5

C)      Wire length. Remember this is a loop. Voltage travels from battery to camera, back to battery. A standard XCS/Pro sled wire run would be around 10 feet           for a god estimate of length. 3 and 4 stage posts add the additional length of the post stages, times 2

D)     Wire type copper or tinned copper I would guess most are using with standard strand count.

E)      Wire gauge most makers are using 22 Awg wire and one or two in a multi conductor scenario running parallel.  Using two 22 Awg wire doesn’t equal 19 Awg. In a perfect world in the lab with no current draw or minimal, not true in operation. One only needs to Ohm out each conductor to see that difference.

 

These on line calculators will tell you the voltage loss in your system due to the wire gauge/length you have. I would say that on average you will see a 1.5 volt loss from top to bottom on many systems, but not all. So that may be 20% of your battery life gone due to poor wiring/connector standards when your sled is under load.

 

Lastly battery management. This as well is critical to battery performance and cycle life.

In all current sled designs except for one manufacturer, they combine two or three battery packs in parallel or series and sometimes both with no monitoring of the individual capability of each battery pack. I am not talking about reading battery voltages, rather an active battery capacity monitoring system. When battery packs are linked together in 12 or 24 Vdc mode they are only as good as the weakest battery pack or cell in any single pack or a wire that has a higher resistance, it all comes into play.  

There is far more intelligent full proof method. Using this old hard wired method which is still a standard way to handle batteries is why one should not run old and new battery packs together at the same time. You’re depleting the performance of the overall battery system and runtimes. Not even considering the increased resistance in the sled wiring due to heat buildup due to a weaker battery pack.

If you what the best performance out of your packs and don’t have proper battery management electronics use packs of the same cycles or age, don’t mix one old with one new.

I am not advocating any specific battery supplier just keep an open mind on what is available.  

 

Sorry for the long post. Heavily edited to keep it this short.

GregWith today’s Lithium batteries you have you two basic cell types, Polymer and Ion. Both deliver the high current you need for the HD and film cameras we run. They both have similar performance and temperature curves. I have owned, tested and used Lithium packs for over 12 years and both cell types have just kept improving and work well.  Extreme hot and cold you should be a bit more cautious.

Engineers may say by the numbers that Ion cells can deliver a higher current at startup due to lower internal cell impendence, but with the current capability of both types of cells I find it’s indistinguishable between battery packs with the wattage we run and the amount of current batteries can provide. 90, 120, 160, 190, 235 watt hr battery pack being the most common standard sizes.

Using a larger watt hr pack will extend the life of that battery pack under similar current loads since they deplete at the same rate. So if you are buying a 90 watt battery pack  Vs. a 150 watt pack and putting an 8 amp constant load on it for example, the 90 watt pack will of course reach the end of its useful battery life sooner over the life of the battery Vs.  150 watt hr pack that may cost $40. more and weight additionally 4 ounces more but may give you 6 months longer run time over its battery life in addition to its  initial longer run times.

I have gone from three 90’s watt packs 10+ years ago, to two- 160’s 5 years ago, and to two 235watt packs today. Buy the way two 235 watt packs weight 1-2 ounces less than three A/B 90 watt hr packs with a total increase in capacity of about 74%

Additionally you will notice that some resellers are selling 14.4 Vs. 14.8 nominal voltage packs that allows them to give you a 10-15 watt higher output rating which is negligible (a numbers game) to steadicam, ONLY if you equipment can handle the higher voltage output of these packs. It only gives you an appearance of higher capacity which operators may think they are getting a longer run times, they are not.  Because the camera will run below the batteries low voltage rating.

Listed are some well known performance factors by battery manufactures but I feel sometimes misunderstood by the end user.

1)      First both types of Lithium cells and will deplete at a very similar rate when used similarly.  

2)      Both cell types will lose performance and deplete over time whether or not they are used.

3)      Both cell types will typically lose 20-30% of the current load capacity after 18-20 months or 100 cycles when high current loading a battery pack, slightly more cycles when not. High current loads are considered power draws that are greater than 60% of the battery wattage rating. Or just about every battery we use on a sled under 150 watts if you run two batteries and power the camera.

4)      Different battery wattages have different thermal fuse ratings. Typically between 10.25- 15 amps. This is important as you draw down the battery voltage when using it and your battery ages. The lower the voltage output of the battery the high the current (Amp) draw it has on your battery pack. So as your battery ages it pulls more current (amperage) at lower voltages to run that camera, you will reach that thermal fuse limit sooner.

5)      That most all reputable battery suppliers in our market are using reputable cell manufacturers of equal quality. So that name brand pack when opened up might have that same Samsung, Sanyo, Saft cell and you can expect similar performance. These companies are all completing for the same market. 2/3 of the packs I take apart from different resellers are using the exact same cell. And the price varies from each company. I have tested a few off brands and find they perform as well or better then the two major brands on the market.

6)      We all have different tolerance to battery packs at the end of their useful life. I can only speak for myself here. When my batteries are only lasting 20 minutes before I have to change them it’s time for new batteries. Others may change sooner, some may allow even shorter runtimes. So battery end of life is very subjective.

 

What is missing out of this equation of battery runtimes and performance (ability to deliver power) on a sled is the most important, least talked about and least understood subject. Power delivery though the sled. This is where two identical battery packs under the same current load using the same camera can have two different run times, power outputs and cycle life. This comes down to three things. Proper power wire gauging through your sled including power cables to camera. Connector sizes in your sled, and is there an active battery management system, or is it just you managing/monitoring the packs yourself.

 

Wire :

The length of the power wire run through the sled system is or should be an important consideration for all. Most who know me understand I could go into great detail on these points but ones needs only to visit a web page with a DC voltage loss calculator and input the few basic parameters to get the big picture on power loss over a give wire length. It will ask a few basics you fill in the blanks.

A)     AC or DC current

B)       Nominal voltage- input the lowest voltage you run your batteries down to. 12.5, 13.0, 13.5

C)      Wire length. Remember this is a loop. Voltage travels from battery to camera, back to battery. A standard XCS/Pro sled wire run would be around 10 feet for a god estimate of length. 3 and 4 stage posts add the additional length of the post stages, times 2

D)     Wire type copper or tinned copper I would guess most are using with standard strand count.

E)      Wire gauge most makers are using 22 Awg wire and one or two in a multi conductor scenario running parallel.  Using two 22 Awg wire doesn’t equal 19 Awg. In a perfect world in the lab with no current draw or minimal, not true in operation. One only needs to Ohm out each conductor to see that difference.

 

These on line calculators will tell you the voltage loss in your system due to the wire gauge/length you have. I would say that on average you will see a 1.5 volt loss from top to bottom on many systems, but not all. So that may be 20% of your battery life gone due to poor wiring/connector standards when your sled is under load.

 

Lastly battery management. This as well is critical to battery performance and cycle life.

In all current sled designs except for one manufacturer, they combine two or three battery packs in parallel or series and sometimes both with no monitoring of the individual capability of each battery pack. I am not talking about reading battery voltages, rather an active battery capacity monitoring system. When battery packs are linked together in 12 or 24 Vdc mode they are only as good as the weakest battery pack or cell in any single pack or a wire that has a higher resistance, it all comes into play.  

There is far more intelligent full proof method. Using this old hard wired method which is still a standard way to handle batteries is why one should not run old and new battery packs together at the same time. You’re depleting the performance of the overall battery system and runtimes. Not even considering the increased resistance in the sled wiring due to heat buildup due to a weaker battery pack.

If you what the best performance out of your packs and don’t have proper battery management electronics use packs of the same cycles or age, don’t mix one old with one new.

I am not advocating any specific battery supplier just keep an open mind on what is available.  

 

Sorry for the long post. Heavily edited to keep it this short.

Greg


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#8 GregBubb

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 08:40 PM

1


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#9 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 10:14 PM

Greg, this is officially the looooongest post, ever. :-)

As always appreciated.
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#10 William Demeritt

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 10:29 PM

    Sorry for the long post. Heavily edited to keep it this short.

 

... HOW LONG WAS THE FIRST DRAFT??? 

 

:wacko:  :blink:  :wacko:  :blink:

 

I'll be reading this on an airplane Sunday.


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#11 brooksrobinson

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Posted 12 June 2015 - 11:23 PM

Thanks for the great information Greg. Always appreciated.

Brooks
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#12 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 09:20 PM

Greg, welcome back to the Forum and thank you very much for posting this.  Don't let anyone get on you about the length - that is what this Forum is supposed to be.  Professional, in-depth posts by professional operators who know what they are talking about.

 

Please keep up the good work.


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#13 Charles Cowper

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 07:29 AM

This was illuminating thank you.


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#14 pauldudeck

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 09:49 AM

Hi All,

 

Just for reference, all Anton/Bauer batteries are able to handle 10amps of current being pulled from them. With the new CINE 90 and CINE 150, they are actually able to handle 12amps on constant draw, with peaks up to 18amps (for about 200mS).

 

Paul


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#15 Christopher Kechichian

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Posted 27 September 2015 - 02:42 AM

Thank you very much Greg for this informative post, much appreciated.


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