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Are Trimpacs a good choice for running 35mm and HD cameras?


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#1 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 04:48 AM

I currently have 2 Trimpacs which leaves me with no spares when running 24volt or heavier cameras. I am thinking of buying two more Trimpacs but is that going to cut it? In the near future I may be flying a Panavision lightweight, an F900 and a 235. Will 4 Trimpacs be enough power to get me by or should I be looking for higher capacity batteries? What about when flying a 435?

~Jess
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#2 Richard W. Davis

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 08:51 AM

I currently have 2 Trimpacs which leaves me with no spares when running 24volt or heavier cameras. I am thinking of buying two more Trimpacs but is that going to cut it? In the near future I may be flying a Panavision lightweight, an F900 and a 235. Will 4 Trimpacs be enough power to get me by or should I be looking for higher capacity batteries? What about when flying a 435?

~Jess



You are setting yourself up for a bad day running any of those cameras without sufficient backup batteries. At minimum you need three sets of batteries to show up to a professional job with any of these cameras. 4 or 5 would be better. Obviously your sled and its needs etc need to be taken into account as well. You never know when you will end up shooting all day long with a power hungry camera and your charger(s) can't keep up or a battery craps out.

My two cents. Good luck!

Richard Davis
LA
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#3 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 11:10 AM

For reference, I have two dual chargers, 9 hytron 50's and 2 hytron 140's.........
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#4 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 11:39 AM

I currently have 2 Trimpacs which leaves me with no spares when running 24volt or heavier cameras. I am thinking of buying two more Trimpacs but is that going to cut it? In the near future I may be flying a Panavision lightweight, an F900 and a 235. Will 4 Trimpacs be enough power to get me by or should I be looking for higher capacity batteries? What about when flying a 435?


WOW, you are defiantly don't have enough batteries. I carry 8 Dionic 90's and 6 Trimpacs. When I'm doing a HD Show I make sure that production gets 6 Hytron 140's. I have 3 Anton Bauer 2722 Chargers normally (6 batteries charged simultaneously) and have production add another 2722 when doing HD.

To figure out the minimum batteries needed in you kit you need to take the amp draw of the most power hungry camera you fly, I'll use a Sony 900 as an example which draws an average of 10ah, Plus 5 amps for the rig/follow focus/transmitter/recorder. so that's a 15ah load, the Hytron 140 can support that for 1 hour when new but with a few cycles on the battery you're lucky to get 40 mins out of one.

Now to figure out the number of batteries required you need to look at charge time of the charger vs capacity of the battery. Using a 2722 charger and charging a Hytron 140 in 2.75 hours means that I need 4 batteries in back up for every battery on the charger (4x40mins run time)

Trimpac's won't even fire up a F900 in-fact you might just burst those batteries in flames since your trying to pull 7.5C from that battery
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#5 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 01:59 PM

Don't really know why I included the F900 since I plan on using rental batts for that one. My question wasn't so much about the number of batteries as it was about the type. At the moment I am not shooting all day long with these cameras. Dropping 10 grand on batteries just aint going to happen at the moment. I will get additional batteries when necessary, but am currently trying to decide which direction to go as I buy additional batteries.

Right now I am either going to get two(or maybe 4)trimpacs or spend a little bit more money and get 4 knock off lithium ion batteries. The Trimpacs will live a lot longer and be more reliable than the lithium ion so if they will have enough juice for some very basic 35mm stuff I was thinking of going that direciton and then buying some dionics in the next few months when I have a little more cash flow going.

So what about trimpacs? Nicad is old tech but it does seem to outlast just about everything and lets you draw a lot of amps. I am mainly wondering how long they will last when running cameras such as a LW or 235. Anyone want to answer that question?

Edited by Jess Haas, 05 May 2008 - 02:00 PM.

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#6 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:16 PM

Jess--

You really need to speak with Paul Dudeck at Anton/Bauer and get the low down on what will work with your gear and the expected cameras you plan to encounter. Try him at 800-422-3473. He is also a Member of this Forum as well.

Explain to him your gear and what you will need to be able to power in the near future.

Paul will take good care of you and give you nothing but facts and a great deal on gear.

Good Luck.

Best,

Brant
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#7 Charles Papert

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 07:04 PM

I've been running Dionic 90's for something like 2.5 years now and have nothing but good results with them. I couldn't tell you how many cycles are on them, one of these days I'll have to check them out on the charger but they last forever on the rig and they have never balked at powering up whatever I have thrown at them, including a 435 at up to 96 fps (I have 4 Proformers for the possible 150 fps job that hasn't materialized) and the Genesis etc.

While the Dionics are perhaps twice the price of the Trimpacs, they also have twice the capacity so it is a pretty even deal, not to mention that they are actually considerably lighter.
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#8 Gus Trivino

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 08:20 PM

During 4 years we worked with 6 trimpacs & 2 hytron 120, and flew all kind of cameras (SR, BL, 235, 435, Arricam, HD, Silicon 2K etc)
If the camera is heavy, we use 2 trimpac and a Hytrion 120.
We never had a problem.
The only thing is: trimpacs are widht than a Hytron or dionics, and you can touch the Trimpac with your leg when you are operating.
Anyway, you can touch the batteries untill the director and DoP say to you for 2nd time:
-What happens? Once again the same thing? ;)
and you will learn to work with the sled a little bit far from your leg...
Best to all,

Gus

Edited by Gus TriviƱo, 05 May 2008 - 08:22 PM.

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#9 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 01:58 AM

I think I have decided to get 4 of Rathbone's 95wh lithium ion batteries for now. If they work out I will probably get 4 more in the near future. I mainly do 16mm and HD gigs and the 35 gigs I am looking at are looking to only be a few shots here and there. If they turn into more and I get into trouble I can borrow some batteries or worst case scenario throw on a battery belt.

~Jess
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#10 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 09:29 PM

I think I have decided to get 4 of Rathbone's 95wh lithium ion batteries for now. If they work out I will probably get 4 more in the near future. I mainly do 16mm and HD gigs and the 35 gigs I am looking at are looking to only be a few shots here and there. If they turn into more and I get into trouble I can borrow some batteries or worst case scenario throw on a battery belt.

~Jess



Might want to see what's been said about Rathbone in the last few weeks. Bottom line don't expect that batteries in the next few months..
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#11 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 10:43 PM

Well I already changed my mind and I think I am going to get some more Trimpacs and then down the road add some Hytron or Dionics.

~Jess
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#12 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 04:23 PM

Well I already changed my mind and I think I am going to get some more Trimpacs and then down the road add some Hytron or Dionics.

~Jess


You think or you are? Showing up without enough batteries or cables is a bad idea. You ask for advice here but seem to ignore it. My battery advice: based on my experience, stay away from Rathbone.
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#13 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:52 AM

Don't worry, I am not ignoring your advice. I am about to order a few more trimpacs. I have access to more batteries when I need them so having 4-6 trimpacs of my own should get me by until I can afford more of my own batteries. When I do 16mm jobs I usually run with an onboard battery, and use rentals or onboard with HD, so really the only thing I need more batteries for is 35. I am starting to get some 35 jobs lined up but so far they shouldn't be requiring much in the way of power because they are so far only a few shots and I will have access to other batteries. Once I get a few paychecks from those jobs I will hopefully be able to afford to buy even more batteries.

Can't afford much more in batteries until then since I just ordered a BFD. Should be shipping tomorrow. It will be much nicer than the wired unit I have been using most of the time, and definitely cheaper than the Preston that the show I am currently on has.

~Jess
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