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#1 Matias Mesa

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 10:08 AM

After three years of non stop use, my AB Proformers need replacement. I use a jerry hill bottom assy with a propac 14 and the Proformer as a second battery. I´m looking into the Hytron 50 or the Dionic 90, My main use is 435 or other 24V cameras, average weather (not extreme cold so far). Any suggestions regarding this matter?.

Fly safe

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#2 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 05:18 PM

Matias,

Ive said it before and ill say it again: For my money the Pag Lithium Ion L-75's are great. They run a 435 at high speed in the cold no problem, and the cool remaining time/Percentage battery readouts help too. Im sure you could adapt them for your Jerry-Rig.

Cheers,

Stephen Murphy,
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#3 Michael Stumpf

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 06:31 PM

Hytron 50's and the Arri 435 don't mix well.
50 percent of the people who use them say they can't run a 435 to speed, the other 50 percent say they've never had a problem.
That's why I had GPI modify the PRO 2 to fit Proformers, and from my sled on they are now made that way. I call it the PRO 2.5 :)

Haven't tried the other Lithium's, but hear mixed reviews too (mostly glowing positives however.)

I'd stick to the Proformers. A LOT less expensive and unlike the Hytron's AB warranties them for 3 years instead of just 1 year. That alone should tell you something about the Hytrons.

The Lithiums are probably great, but at $500+ each, you can get nearly 4 Proformers for that.

Good luck.
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#4 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 09:34 PM

I'd stick to the Proformers. A LOT less expensive and unlike the Hytron's AB warranties them for 3 years instead of just 1 year. That alone should tell you something about the Hytrons.

Last year I had an Anton Bauer salesman tell me that using the Performers for film work voids the warranty! Also true for the Hytron 50s. Clearly they don't think they are up for the task.

I use a Jerry battery base as well and I'm currently using the Propac 14/Trimpac combo. With the Trimpacs having a ton of milage on them, I will soon replace them. I am fairly certain I will get the Performers though as at $150 each, they are almost disposable in terms of Steadicam gear and they do seem to last three years or so from what others tell me.

Has anyone used the new Hytron 120s? Anton Bauer claims that the Hytron 100/120 will do anything a Propac will do amperage wise. Two guys here in NYC are currently using the Hytron 100/Performer combination (one with a Jerry Rig, the other with a Pro Light). They say it has worked well in all weather situations so I'm giving serious thought to this approach.
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#5 Michael Stumpf

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 03:32 PM

That's strange about the warranty Alec, since the video cameras use a lot more juice than most film cameras.

About the Hytron 120's:
I don't remember who told me, but someone said that you can't travel (airlines)with batteries over 100 watt hours. Don't know if this is true, but it might be something to verify before buying high watt hour batteries.

The only negative about the Proformers is the fact they don't have a battery gauge on them.
But, I've found with the vast majority of cameras these days having Volt meters built in, it's easy enough to monitor the batteries power through the camera.
With older cameras that don't have power gauges, a volt meter will do the trick, or simply change the batteries out every couple of mags to be safe. No biggie.

Like you said at $150 each for 2-3 years of use, you can't go wrong with the Proformers!
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#6 Matias Mesa

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 07:38 PM

I do have two Battery meters on my rig so I don´t need the battery meter, I use the Pro Pac 14 on the front and the proformer on the back mount of the rig. They have no problem with the 435 but now I have to change them very often and they drop suddenly so I hate when I start a shot with 14v on the battery and in the middle I´m on 12v and droping. I know they are cheap and thats great but they are 30WH only. And using two Propac adds too much weight to the bottom. Aren´t the Trimpacs too wide for the rig?


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#7 Matias Mesa

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 10:31 PM

The Pag L75 are $638?Is this possible?

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#8 Mitch Gross

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 11:28 PM

That's strange about the warranty Alec, since the video cameras use a lot more juice than most film cameras.

Video cameras may use more power (sometimes), but they draw at a fairly steady rate. Film cameras draw at extremely unstead rates, with a fairly deep troll spike when first turning over. That's what can kill a battery.
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#9 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 05:32 AM

Aren´t the Trimpacs too wide for the rig?

Matias,

Yes, the Trimpacs are too wide - in the back position, but not the front. Right now I only use them in the front (away from the knees) as a jumper battery for 24 Volts. This is why I may switch to Performers in case I want them in the back too. I've noticed you are using the smaller battery in the back. Is your rig wired backwards? On most Jerry Rigs, the back battery takes the bulk of the load (in 24V) and the front one is just to boost to 24V. This si why I'd love a heavy duty battery like a Hytron 120 in back.

Best.
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#10 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 11:11 AM

Folks--

I have been using a Hytron 100 and Compac Magnum (NiCd 36Whrs) as my battery combination for the past 5 years!

This combination runs EVERYTHING!

Hot, cold, and just this week I spent 6 straight hours at from 0* to 6*F without a problem.

If you want the straight talk from AB, just call Paul Dudeck at 800-422-3473. He has backed me and many of you folks for many years without fail.

Anyone have an answer from FAA, Homeland Security, etc about battery restrictions?

Best,

Brant "Still freezing in NH" Fagan
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#11 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 06:07 PM

I too have a Jerry Rig and I have used the AB Digital 14.4 Propacks with the Proformers combination for the past 3 years........ My Proformers are holding up very nicely, whereas the Propacks are dropping like flies. I had one replaced under warranty, and two are on their way to the exchange program shortly because they just don't hold a charge any longer and are out of warranty. I have used them on all types of cameras, the most demanding overall being the Sony Cine Alta 900 with a hungry downconverter and a couple of other power sucking devices to boot.
In the field, I have found that the film cameras used were never a problem (with the execption of the 435 in sub zero temps at high speeds, which just required constant battery changes). Video cameras, specifically HD cameras with downconverters attached, because they are generally on all the time tend to suck more in less time
Now that I am on the road to new batts, I am thinking that I will go with the HYTRON 120's. I have used them on the rig with The Sony 900's and they work like Channuka batteries. For you non-Jewish readers, that means that they virtually last for 8 days on one charge!!!!!!!!!! And the cost difference with the trade in of my old PROPACKS is only $50.00 more per battery over the cost of new PRO PACKS. Twice the Amp hours at only $50.00 extra. I like that cost to amp hour ratio!
If any of you have any thoughts as to why I shouldn't buy the 120's please speak now or forever hold your peace. Is it true that you cannot transport 100's or 120's via an airplane??????? That would certainly change my thoughts.
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#12 Erwin Landau

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 06:53 PM

Is it true that you cannot transport 100's or 120's via an airplane??????? That would certainly change my thoughts.


Hi Jamie,

Its interesting that the Batteries that are about to be discontinued always get such bad reps... The ProPac's I mean. A/B is moving away from NiCad's and people are starting to complain. Could that be that they stop to support the older batteries or that just the hip made by the Dealers helps to get rid of the old and roll in the new... bye,bye NiCad... hello Hytron's???

Just wondering...

About Airplanes:
I believe that a missunderstanding/mix up, is the reason for that rumor. A/B makes batteries for Broadcast, these people are constantly flying somewhere. So they are safe and okay to take along. It's the Lithium Ion's that have restrictions because of the not so stable lithium in this batteries that could explode.

I think it's limited to 6(?) per person... You can take along more but they have to be in special containers and you need a special permit... Most of the time a hassle for the passenger...

One reason they came out with the Dionic 90 and bearied the Dionic 160.

Check again with A/B, it's the Lithium's not the NiMeH Batteries...

Good Flying...

Erwin Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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#13 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 11:47 AM

Erwin;
I think that there are several reasons for the switch to Hytron from NiCad. First and most crucial is the fact that NiCads are very very very very toxic and polluting, and I would imagine that there is pressure being placed to stop producing them. Secondly, the 120 carries a tremendous amount more "umph" per pound than the PRO Pack 14.4. Only 1/2 lb heavier and twice the power. Finally they might be cheaper to make in the long run, but that is only speculation on my part. I hate the idea of buying new batteries, but its a choice I don't really have. Ultimatly, I am going to go with the little bit of extra weight, and twice the power. It doesn't hurt that I am hurting the environment a little less also.
Jamie.
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#14 Rich Steel

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 12:05 PM

PAG Lith's are great but I wouldn't recommend them for long term film camera (big 435's etc) use. Your investment may well last only a couple of months if your mostly film based. I'm no advocate for sony products but I'm Lith based and they are fantastic for video or smaller film camera's especially the BPL-90's unfortunately they stopped manufacturing the 90's. I have used the sony 'V' lock nick's and again they seem to be great with larger currents.
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#15 Erwin Landau

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 11:36 PM

I think that there are several reasons for the switch to Hytron from NiCad. First and most crucial is the fact that NiCads are very very very very toxic and polluting, and I would imagine that there is pressure being placed to stop producing them.... Ultimatly, I am going to go with the little bit of extra weight, and twice the power. It doesn't hurt that I am hurting the environment a little less also.


Hey I'm all for environmentally safe...

I looked into the Hytrogen Cells... I looked into Solar (BTW: there is a Solar "Backpack" that put out either 120 Volt or 12 Volt so you can charge your batteries in 4 hours...)

The newest system I have seen is based on compressed Air. So far I have seen it only in the "AirCar" it's good for 100 miles and is "recharged" in 4 1/2 Minutes...

Doesn't work for use though...

I think that the Hytrons have come quite far since the initial introduction... Still haven't found a size that works for me... yet and run a 435 at the same time...


Erwin"Give me something that works and I will say bye,bye to the NiCad's"Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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