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Ultra sled package battery system


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#1 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 02:17 PM

Hi,

The Ultra sled is often listed complete with a battery system. One I've worked with recently includes four batteries and a charger, which would be fine - except that the charger could only handle one battery at once. This had me gnawing fingernails slightly, and all we were using was a 790 with some extra addon bits and pieces.

Is it normal for the Ultra sled to supplied with a charger that can only charge one pack at once, or is this something that's been bought from a third party? If the former, this would worry me - I can't see it being adequate for a busy 35mm shoot.

Phil
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#2 David Allen Grove

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 02:04 PM

I bought my master film system new and it came with a charger that can only charge one battery at a time.

The only time I was ever really worried was a few months ago when I had to use a convertor for 24 volts and 4 out of my 5 batteries were almost dead (as in, needed to be recelled in a bad way.)

Since my batteries have been recelled, I don't worry about it at all.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 07:49 PM

Hi,

Hmm, thanks, you're the second person to posit that the batteries might have been knackered. I'll investigate this further.


Phil
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#4 Erwin Landau

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 03:09 PM

Phil,

That is the old school style set up:
"One Battery system" with about 4 to 6 batteries and one (quick) charger. On a feature were the pace is quite moderate, that is more then enough. In the beginning when there were only the older style cells available and used, it would help to have a second one for cold days... to make sure not to run out.

Later with the introduction of the "3 Battery System" it became standard to own at least 2 chargers to maintain enough charged batteries over the lenghts of the day.

It's only lately where there are multiple simultanious chargers available.

I used a single battery system in the past and actually never run out of batteries as long as they had one on charge... The only time I get worried is on quick pace, multiple, no rehearsal, highspeed takes... with the 435... where it get's sometimes tight.

With my current 2 battery system, I own 2 A/B quad chargers (one being a simultaniuos) and 10 A/B Batteries (actually nice, I can charge almost all of my batteries over night at the same time). The Simultanious quad is always plugged in on set and usually I leave the set with only 2 uncharged Batteries (usually the ones off the sled).

So one charger is usually enough, 2 is better for your personal sanity and peace of mind.

Just my 2 cents,

Erwin"Missing the Point?" landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 04:23 AM

Hi,

> So one charger is usually enough, 2 is better for your personal sanity and peace
> of mind.

My thoughts exactly, it was just... Ultra sled, thirty grand, one charger? Eesh.

Phil
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#6 Jerry Holway

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 01:44 PM

Phil et al-

The "complete package" for the MS or Ultra does pretty well with the four batteries and a one bank charger, but in a heavy film situation things can get tricky, and what if a charger or a battery quits?

I have two "quad" PAG chargers (which charge only one battery at a time, but instantly start fastcharging the next battery, giving some help to the burdened and or distracted assistants).

With this charging system and only four batteries, I recently shot 9,600 ft with my Ultra, 84." LCD monitor, a Moviecam Compact, transmitting video, recording for myself, etc., in under three hours.

No problem with the batteries, but I did have to keep an eye on the assistants to be sure the dead batteries were getting back to the charger, or I would have been in trouble.

Mike O'Shea, who works on Third Watch, feels more comfortable with two chargers and five or six batteries. It's his comfort level.

Jerry
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#7 Larry McConkey

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 08:45 AM

I just sent another PAG to Ste-MAN, Inc. for repair. The nervous part for me is that there is nothing you can do without batteries, unless you have a long enough extension cable (flexible as well) to reach an assistant next to you carrying a battery. I now have three chargers and 6 Ultra batteries. I am comfortable even when one charger is out for repair. The 6 batteries were a recent bump up from 4 (which had always been sufficient but felt like too few on my way to shoot Kill Bill in China) and some of the batteries did not seem to be lasting very long.

I also recently bought a very inexpensive charger/discharger from AstroFlight (Radio Controlled Electric Airplanes) which allowed me to get individual AH ratings for each battery. Some of them were only half of new batteries so I had them immediately recelled. It will serves as a very inexpensive backup charger, although a little more involved than the PAG to setup. One of the problems I have had with the 28.8v Ultra batteries is that until now I could find no other suitable alternatives to the PAG, which is quite expensive.

Here's a link to the AstroFlight website page for the charger: http://www.astroflig...products:af-112

You can navigate there from the homepage: www. astroflight.com You are looking for the Astro Model 112Deluxe Digital Peak Charger/ Discharger. It is designed to work from a car battery, so you will also need a power supply to work from AC. They offer that as well. The unit will handle all the batteries you are likely to work with.
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#8 Emery Soos

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 05:46 PM

Hi Phil;

At Lentequip.com we modify the Ultra batteries to 25.2V 3Ah! This is a significant improvement over the original configuration. We have modified a number of Ultra batteries and there is no problem running a 435 with our modified system.

regards,

Emery
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#9 Larry McConkey

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 10:23 PM

I would not want to drop the voltage down from 28.8 volts for one reason only: I have been shooting with IMAX cameras which are designed for 36 volt batteries with the Ultra. The stock Ultra batteries start at 30v + when fresh off the charger, and drop slowly down to about 27v before starting a faster slide down to 24v which is as low as you should use Nicads = 1 v per cell. This is probably the only current camera that needs this much voltage, but at least I am assured that I always have 24 v or better no matter what.

Extra AH's are always great to have, but I have not been in a situation where I needed more. I AM looking forward to the possiblity of Lithium Ion chemistry (such as the new Anton Bauers) for the Ultra. They might provide more AH at much lighter weight, but at much greater cost as well... My brother recently upgraded his PRO rig with these and absolutely loves them.

Larry
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#10 Mitch Gross

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 12:51 AM

I AM looking forward to the possiblity of Lithium Ion chemistry (such as the new Anton Bauers) for the Ultra. They might provide more AH at much lighter weight, but at much greater cost as well... My brother recently upgraded his PRO rig with these and absolutely loves them.

I doubt anyone here is interested in switching their sleds over to NP-1 type batteries, but if you're interested in low-cost Lithium-Ion batteries and chargers check out Switronics.com. 60amp 14.4v batts for only $182 eacha nd they even have 2-pin PowerTaps built in. 4-slot SIMULTANEOUS charger (recharges bricks in about 100 minutes) for only $620. Just insanely cheap compared to anyone else.
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#11 Erwin Landau

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Posted 21 January 2004 - 05:17 AM

I worked this week on a HD Feature using the Sony F900. To safe my own batteries I used the productions Hytron 120. They had 4 and only one charger. I used the Hytrons on my Ultimate sled to power everything exempt for the AJA HD Downconverter which I had to power of of one of my ProFormers on the camera.
As it was cold (Night shoot, Brant, I was freezing my but off and it was just 48 degrees...) so we had to power the camera all the time... we never ran out of power with one battery always under load on the rig and one always on the charger... so it worked with 4 batteries and one charger for a 12 hour day...

The AJA is sofar my least favored Converter, huge delay and used 2 ProFprmers just to power the unit over the entire day... (So I guess i needed 6 batteries...)

The beauty of the Anton Bauer Battery System...
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#12 joe mcnally

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 06:12 AM

Is it possible to use 12volt batteries with the Ultra rig if you were just using a 12 volt camera and 12 volt monitor ?
Joe mcNally
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#13 joe mcnally

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 06:16 AM

Is it possible to use 12 volt batteries with the Ultra rig if you were just using a 12 volt camera and 12 volt monitor ?
Joe McNally
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#14 PaulEdwards

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 03:31 PM

I also recently bought a very inexpensive charger/discharger from AstroFlight (Radio Controlled Electric Airplanes) which allowed me to get individual AH ratings for each battery.  Some of them were only half of new batteries so I had them immediately recelled.

Larry,

I've just looked at the AstroFlight site and it looks interesting. I did notice though that the AstroFlight unit only discharges at a maximum rate of 1.25 Amps which might be giving you an optimistic capacity rating.

A more accurate rating would be given by discharging at 1xC rate ie. 2.4 Amps. For example all Anton Bauer batteries are rated using the 1xC rate to avoid the inflated ratings produced by low discharged rates.

Paul Edwards
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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 January 2004 - 04:17 PM

Hi,

Depends what kind of work you're doing. If you're only running a camera (without recorder) with an LCD monitor, a couple of amps might be realistic. Not for much though...

Phil
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