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Battery Level Meter


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#1 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 05:44 PM

Hi all,

I have a Master Series rig, with built-in frameline generator but no battery level indicator. It's something I could do with - I always plan battery changes on a shoot, but it would be good to have more of a clue as to how the batteries are doing in situations where I'm powering everything from the battery on the sled. (camera, transmitter, the lot)

I've been looking into cost effective / cheaper ways to get some sort of readout / display somewhere on the rig, for example a numeric LED readout, of which I've found several on the internet from various electronics and motorcycle places. I could happily put something together myself, but at the risk of frying something, including possibly my brain, I thought I'd ask around first.

Has anyone done anything similar / recommend any suitable options? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!
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#2 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 07:37 PM

Jim Bartell makes, or made, a battery meter called ICBM. I've got one on my Master and it's great. It tells you voltage and how many amps you are pulling. I'm not sure how much he charges, but I think it's quite reasonable. Maybe Jim will chime in and give you some more info.
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#3 Matias Mesa

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 11:06 PM

The ICBM is no longer made, but Wolf Seeberg has a great and cheaper alternative. Give it a try.

Best
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#4 RobVanGelder

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 11:44 PM

I think I explained this onces in another year, 2002/3? look for it.

Anyway, if you can find them, look in those automotive shops, where they sell those extra voltage meters to put in your car/dashboard. they have the right electronics, because they have to measure from the same source as they are fed, and not every meter can do that. Most of the meters available need another battery to work.

or you could look at Farnell-in one, a big distributor for electronics. they have tiny voltmeters up to 40 volts.
and more of course!
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#5 mattmarek

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 02:34 AM

a friend of mine who is quite electronicaly savy, got a small led stip. 6 or 7 leds today, 5 green, 1 orange, 1 red. something like that. anyways. we took a battery at full, and he got the led's to register all 5 green, then we did a low charged battery, and he assigned that the orange led. somehow it reads my np1's like a champ and cost me a pint. took about 30 minutes. i know this isnt much help, but maybe an idea that you could source out with a techy friend?
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#6 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 03:02 AM

Hi guys, thanks very much for all your responses & input so far, much appreciated.

I'd already searched for / investigated the ICBM, and discovered it was no longer made (sorry Jim :( ) But the Wolf Seeburg battery watcher thing looks the business Battery Watcher. Tells you all you need to know with one glance, V, A, Ah, W . Just the thing for our use I'd say.

Rob, the things you described in the 2002 archive (thanks) are like the displays like I've found already, and also look like they are quite useful (and cheap!) Plus there's backlit options too for dark places...useful. By the way, it's here for anyone interested.

I'm also interested in coloured LED arrangement, like Matt has described - I'll see if I can get something like this on the go to give me a quicker visual reference when I'm involved in shooting.

Keep it coming guys, any more help / ideas greatly appreciated :)

Thanks
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#7 Chip Monk

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 07:07 AM

Hi guys, thanks very much for all your responses & input so far, much appreciated.

I'd already searched for / investigated the ICBM, and discovered it was no longer made (sorry Jim :( ) But the Wolf Seeburg battery watcher thing looks the business Battery Watcher. Tells you all you need to know with one glance, V, A, Ah, W . Just the thing for our use I'd say.

Rob, the things you described in the 2002 archive (thanks) are like the displays like I've found already, and also look like they are quite useful (and cheap!) Plus there's backlit options too for dark places...useful. By the way, it's here for anyone interested.

I'm also interested in coloured LED arrangement, like Matt has described - I'll see if I can get something like this on the go to give me a quicker visual reference when I'm involved in shooting.

Keep it coming guys, any more help / ideas greatly appreciated :)

Thanks



Try towerhobbies.com

Look for the astro super watt meter.

http://www2.towerhob...?&I=LX3605&P=ML

they also make a micro version now.

Chip
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#8 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 10:24 AM

Cheers Chip,

It looks to have the same display as the Wolf Seeberg unit, and looks to be powered from the source it measures too which is excellent. Useful also as I can make it a permenant fixture and not worry about ripping XLRs off - just bin those small connectors and wire it straight up into the cables coming from the battery mount, which means it will always be reading the battery, whether I'm powering a full camera/accessory setup or just the basics.

Still into the colour LED idea too, will look into that some more...

[P.S. Chip - will let you know when the monitor hood gets here, thanks again for that]
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