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Preston battery recell


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#1 Charles Papert

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 12:28 PM

Has anyone had the Microwave unit batteries successfully recelled in LA by anyone other than Preston--they are out of their cell packs at the moment and I need to get mine recelled immediately (like today!) Because of my time restraints, I'm not really interested in companies that do great work with whatever battery but haven't tackled these. Thanks!
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#2 Ramon Engle

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 01:13 PM

Has anyone had the Microwave unit batteries successfully recelled in LA by anyone other than Preston--they are out of their cell packs at the moment and I need to get mine recelled immediately (like today!) Because of my time restraints, I'm not really interested in companies that do great work with whatever battery but haven't tackled these. Thanks!

Hi Charles. I've had Batteries Plus recell mine here in Atlanta for around $25. I dissected the shrink wrapped batteries, careful not to damage the Thermistor.
They recelled the pack, soldered the thermistor and all was good. The only issue I've had was getting the Delrin housing back together. You have to use a type of RTV silicon to glue the housing together.

Good luck

Ramon
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#3 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 04:59 PM

Gents--

I just converted my third [now dead] PCS battery to an adapter for the Cramped Attic Technologies' Sony InfoLithium holder. David Hable sold me a sexy, nicely machined Delrin holder, with voltage stepup electronics built in, which I then mounted to the cut-down remains of the PCS battery case.

Check the photo below for some idea of how slick this turned out! I just used it on a shoot with Aerosmith at the Mohegan Sun Arena and it was terrific!

For those who might be curious, I was there to shoot some shots of Steven and the band for a new ESPN/NASCAR campaign for their racing season coverage which breaks next season for 40 weeks. After nailing those elements, Steven asked me to stay and shoot the show, on stage no less! Killer show and lots of fun!!

Back to the battery story. Nice being able to check the Sony battery's led power meter during the show to prevent surprises. Steven and the guys provide enough!

I chose the Sony M-Series batteries which I found at B&H here in NY for US$70 each. Plenty of juice and an affordable alternative to OEM batteries.

I recommend this mod for every Preston FI+Z owner and even for other FF systems.

[attachment=1282:attachment] [attachment=1283:attachment] [attachment=1284:attachment]

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Steadicam/Camera Operator
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 08:49 PM

Brant, do you have a sense of the run time on these batteries for a FIZ versus the stock Preston batteries? Sort of hard to measure. Just wondering if the voltage stepup and the smaller cells result in shorter life per cycle. Although it's not much of a dealbreaker considering how many hours (days? weeks?) a Preston battery tends to run when in good shape.
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 09:22 PM

Charles,

Both the single channel hand unit and the new HU3 use the M-Series batteries. While obviously, they were designed from the ground up to use these batteries, I can't imagine the HU3, LCD and all, will use much less power.
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#6 Erwin Landau

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 05:10 PM

I talked to Howard about using Camcorder batteries a couple of years ago and the mod to my hand unit as I didn't wanted to buy to many of the $350.- a piece Preston batt's. As usual he was very perceptive to my input and as he had just started to use one on the up coming F/X unit he had quite a bit to say about this batteries.

You saw that he has changed the model for all the new units to the Sony style M battery (from the F series ??? I believe).Anyhow he talked me out of that mod based on all the technical specs of the then current hand unit, being a 12 volt only circuit with a 5 volt step down for the camera trigger, etc...
(He may have changed the power requirements for the HU2 over the years...)

I ended up buying 2 batteries (production paid for a 3rd after one got mangled on set) which usually last me a normal steadicam heavy 5 day week.

Also as you can see with the HU3 being the last piece of Preston hardware to join the all camcorder powered line up, the factory specs state a 6 hours life span per charge...

I already own four M series batteries with my other Preston units which will rise to 6 once I receive my HU3... we will see how many batts we will be using then...

(FYI: My Focus/Iris unit lasts about 2 days with a fresh M-series.)

Stay powered,

Erwin
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#7 Charles Papert

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 09:35 PM

This may be wacky, but if the voltage conversion is an issue, what about 2 smaller M batteries (a la the camcorder battery kits for the Litepanels)?
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