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P-tap battery voltage checker


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#1 Dan Coplan

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 12:23 AM

Was visiting a set the other day and saw the AC check the voltage of a battery by plugging a cable attached to an LED readout into the P-tap of an Anton Bauer plate.

Was stupid enough not to ask him where he got it.

Anybody know where I can find one and what I should expect to pay?

Thanks.

Dan
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#2 Simon Jayes

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 10:15 AM

Dear Dan,

Lentequip Inc. makes a very smart battery meter, I see no reason why it could not have a p-tap plug or adapter. It not yet on their website, but you can contact Emery Soos at esoos@lentequip.com for info and pricing.

Good Luck!
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#3 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 02:09 PM

I don't know of one that does exactly what you describe, Dan, (if you find out the exact model, let me know, I want one!)

But there are another couple of alternatives that I discovered previously through this forum;
Wolf Seeberg Battery Watcher - www.wolfvid.com

The one that I have hardwired into my rig, as I remember, is the Astro Flight Meter, available from the US online store Tower Hobbies. Gives you a V, A, W, Ah readout, it goes into your circuit between the battery plate and the main power cable going into the base of your rig, so it measures what the current voltage is, and how much is being drawn by the rig and the accessories that it's powering at the time, so you know ahead of time when your battery is on its way out... very useful, I couldn't do without it now.
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#4 WillArnot

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 12:27 AM

Jim Bartell who makes the Bartech focus Unit also makes a very nice battery meter display.
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#5 Sven Joukes

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 07:57 AM

Jim's websitehttp://www.bartechengineering.com](click here)[/url] says the battery meter (ICBM) is no longer in production...

Sven
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#6 Jon Myers

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 11:52 AM

Can't you just use a volt meter????

Jon Myers
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#7 Dan Coplan

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 01:24 AM

Can't you just use a volt meter????

Jon Myers


Maybe so. It's just new to me. I saw the AC plug the gizmo into the P-tap to get a voltage reading and I thought, "Cool! I need one of those! Where do I get one?"

Apparently Radio Shack sells volt meters and I've got a P-tap connector so I should be able to put something together. Will post the results and details if positive.

Dan
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#8 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 09:43 AM

The majority of voltage readout things need to be in-line with the power supply (battery) & the load (Camera, remote focus etc) so that it can accurately measure voltage and power being consumed etc. A PowerTap styled connector attached to a voltmeter would be a useful addition to the kit bag purely to do a quick check of voltage for non-digital display batteries, and would be extremely useful.

The Wolf Seeburg, Astro Meter and the meter that Filmtools sells in the 'AC' section of its website are all one and the same unit. The meter is in the middle with XLR-4pin connectors on a short cable either side.
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#9 MarkKaravite

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 11:05 PM

I too tried to find Jim Bartell's ICBM, but unless you can find someone selling a used one, they are no more. I have Wolf's Battery Watcher in line for my Proformers, which don't have a gas guage. I never get caught without enough juice to do a take since. I think it's around $100, and you can easily wire it into your battery mount. It's light enough to mount to the side of my battery base. As a bonus, it sits opposite my electronic level, so in theory helps center the weight for the search for perfect dynamic balance.

Mark Karavite
A Camera / Steadicam Operator
mkaravite@comcast.net
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