Jump to content



Photo

PowerCubes on the PROII


  • Please log in to reply
52 replies to this topic

#1 Iain Baird

Iain Baird

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 269 posts
  • Toronto

Posted 16 March 2009 - 08:24 PM

I've recently modified my PROII sled to add the ability to fly IDX Batteries. With the help of Walter Klassen and his designer Tacu, in Toronto, I had some plates machined to match the PROII battery plates but sized with the mounting holes for IDX battery mounts. The front plate actually has both IDX and Anton Bauer holes so if need be I can quickly change it out without a complete rebuild. I rewired the entire battery system with 16AWG wire and installed model airplane quick connects at the first junction under the front battery mount (good for up to 15 amps each, as the serious model airplanes apparently draw lots of power) Although I don't anticipate having to change battery systems very often I figured one never knows. Anton Bauer's recent announcement of their HC batts has me wondering what batteries I'll be buying next time round. For the time being I'll be using 2 Powercubes in parallel to power the Camera and 1 E-10 (or 2 E-10s linked for extra weight and juice) to power the Monitor and Accessories (it's a Powercube in the photo because all the E-10's were packed away)

It hasn't been field tested yet so I can't update as to run times. Today in prep we had it set up on the F35 and it was having no problems powering the Camera and Tape Deck in one piece, showing 14.7 volts on the Camera.

There are a few things about the design that I wish I could change. One is that because of the need to slide on the battery and to maintain room for a CAMWAVE, the front mount is upside down. This means that the battery will fall if not secured properly or if the release button is accidently pressed without a hand on the Batt. I would also prefer that all of the battery meters were on the same side although the Powercubes only have three power indicator lights FULL-HALF-EMPTY anyways, seems a bit silly as the E-10's have a five stage meter in 20% increments. Another problem I have with the IDX mounts is that there is not a discernible CLICK to indicate that the battery is in it's seat, one has to pay attention to the release button to ensure that it pops back out after pushing the battery on. Even then I feel the need to give a tug just to make sure. I'll update more next week after having a few days to try it all out.

Attached File  PowercubePRO1.jpg   108.27KB   219 downloads
Attached File  IDXplate1.jpg   86.21KB   114 downloads
  • 0

#2 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 16 March 2009 - 10:45 PM

I've been flying Powercubes on the back two battery mounts for this show (Genesis with power-hungry Gecko Kisslite) as the Dionics weren't cutting it. I'm just using the AB to V-mount adaptors though for the time being. The announcement from AB was just in time for me to not have to go your route Iain--the additional cost of the IDX chargers plus redoing two cases was daunting.
  • 0

#3 Alec Jarnagin SOC

Alec Jarnagin SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1800 posts
  • New York City, USA

Posted 16 March 2009 - 10:55 PM

Charles,

Were the Dionics you tried the ones you've had for several years now? Sounds like the stars lined up for you to replace them with the new HC Dionics. My Dionic 90s are still holding strong, but I'm sure when their time comes, I will replace with the HC model.
  • 0

#4 Charles Papert

Charles Papert

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2224 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:02 PM

If by several you mean over 4 years, yes! (and they are all around 150 cycles)! By all accounts they should be toast, but actually they have been chugging along fine. It's only this 9 amps I'm having to drive through PRO wiring that has caused them to choke. But yeah, I'll be hitting the new Dionics once they come out.
  • 0

#5 Iain Baird

Iain Baird

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 269 posts
  • Toronto

Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:08 PM

I've been flying Powercubes on the back two battery mounts for this show (Genesis with power-hungry Gecko Kisslite) as the Dionics weren't cutting it. I'm just using the AB to V-mount adaptors though for the time being. The announcement from AB was just in time for me to not have to go your route Iain--the additional cost of the IDX chargers plus redoing two cases was daunting.



I looked at this option but wasn't thrilled with the added size in profile (it's pretty tight as is with the recorder mount) As well, the adaptor plates I tried out didn't sit as tight as I would have wanted - too much play.

I admit the cost hasn't been minimal - between machining the plates, the IDX mounts and New Batts, it has definitely added up. But I enjoy these sorts of projects so it was as much a labour of love as it was a needed upgrade (from hytron 50's). And as has been discussed at length recently we all tend to spend money on the gear that keeps up happy and comfortable in our jobs, perhaps too much for some but practical for others.

Now I figure let Anton Bauer and IDX battle it out for POWER supremacy and either way I'm ready.
  • 0

#6 Erwin Landau

Erwin Landau

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1699 posts
  • TBD

Posted 17 March 2009 - 03:03 AM

Interesting...

As of late several manufacturer have now or will have shortly a quick change option for different style camera plates, including PRO and XCS. Basically 4 screws and one connector per plate will do the trick with all attachment holes pre-drilled for the different plates... change over in Minutes.

Also Iain what year is your PRO? GPI did a slight redesign of the Battery cage to accommodate the Proformers... by changing the shape of the recorder Bracket and moving and placing the front facing plate lower. Might have done the trick for you...

I was looking into batteries that unfortunately do not meet our size or design requirement... but with close to 200 Watt Hours per battery and almost 400 Wh total... changing somehow becomes irrelevant and the battery becomes an integral part of the rig... but we'll see...
  • 0

#7 jorge agero

jorge agero

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 94 posts
  • madrid(SPAIN)

Posted 17 March 2009 - 04:12 AM

Hi Lain
Only big problem for the batteries IDX
The problem is "Moviecam"
the operating voltage of moviecam is minimum 23vol and maximum of 28vol to have the batteries are 14.8 and give a voltage of 30 to 32 but with an arri.moviecam get a error code on the magacine and stops operate the camera for excess voltage.

Jorge Agero
  • 0

#8 Iain Baird

Iain Baird

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 269 posts
  • Toronto

Posted 17 March 2009 - 06:37 AM

Hi Lain
Only big problem for the batteries IDX
The problem is "Moviecam"
the operating voltage of moviecam is minimum 23vol and maximum of 28vol to have the batteries are 14.8 and give a voltage of 30 to 32 but with an arri.moviecam get a error code on the magacine and stops operate the camera for excess voltage.

Jorge Agero


At full charge I seem to recall the same sort of voltage out of my Hytron 50's. I suppose if it is a problem inherent only with the IDX batts then I can switch back easily enough. I have to say this is the first I've heard of such an issue.
  • 0

#9 Iain Baird

Iain Baird

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 269 posts
  • Toronto

Posted 17 March 2009 - 07:13 AM

Also Iain what year is your PRO? GPI did a slight redesign of the Battery cage to accommodate the Proformers... by changing the shape of the recorder Bracket and moving and placing the front facing plate lower. Might have done the trick for you...


I got my PROII in 2005. I have a little L plate for my Marell level that attaches to the rig between the recorder mount and the battery mount (un-anodized because of a rush at the time) This plate raises the recorder mount by a few mm. I didn't have to modify anything in order for the IDX batts to fit properly but perhaps without the L plate the fit may have been much tighter or not possible without another modification. When I was measuring the rig for the plate design I did take into account how far back the Batts would need to sit in order not to hit the recorder mount and I knew there was enough clearance for any height issues.

I did think about making all three mounting points multi-compatible with both IDX and Anton Bauer battery mounts but decided that in all likely hood the only one I might want to individually change back would be the front mount point. There are times in the past that I've flown a 140 here for added weight and inertia. However a great feature of the E-10s (not E-10S) is that they are linkable. You can piggy back one onto another and get 186Wh as well as more weight ,about 1.6 Kg, the AB 140 is 2.5kg. Along with changing the front mount easily from AB to IDX, it can all be changed back over to the AB system in about ten minutes with no soldering involved. I don't anticipate the need to ever have to do this too quickly.
  • 0

#10 Jerry Holway

Jerry Holway

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 737 posts
  • Philadelphia

Posted 17 March 2009 - 02:05 PM

Hi Lain
Only big problem for the batteries IDX
The problem is "Moviecam"
the operating voltage of moviecam is minimum 23vol and maximum of 28vol to have the batteries are 14.8 and give a voltage of 30 to 32 but with an arri.moviecam get a error code on the magacine and stops operate the camera for excess voltage.

Jorge Agero


At full charge I seem to recall the same sort of voltage out of my Hytron 50's. I suppose if it is a problem inherent only with the IDX batts then I can switch back easily enough. I have to say this is the first I've heard of such an issue.


I think this is a problem only with some "old" Moviecams. All Lithium Ion batts (of any manufacture) are nominally 14.8 volts and 16 plus right off the charger. As this fact has been known for a long time, the "voltage headroom" on all "modern" cameras has been changed to deal with it.

I wouldn't worry, but it's always a good idea to test everything (and everything all at the same time for interference issues) at checkout.

Jerry
  • 0

#11 G. Grammatikos

G. Grammatikos

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 98 posts
  • Greece

Posted 17 March 2009 - 02:11 PM

what about 435 at 150 fps ?
  • 0

#12 Jerry Holway

Jerry Holway

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 737 posts
  • Philadelphia

Posted 17 March 2009 - 04:56 PM

what about 435 at 150 fps ?


The PowerCubes originally were designed to power the 435 at 150fps... then along came the Genesis and other power sucking video global warmers... err, so the answer is: No problem.

Jerry
  • 0

#13 Lawrence Karman

Lawrence Karman

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 897 posts

Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:02 AM

I think this is a problem only with some "old" Moviecams. All Lithium Ion batts (of any manufacture) are nominally 14.8 volts and 16 plus right off the charger. As this fact has been known for a long time, the "voltage headroom" on all "modern" cameras has been changed to deal with it.

I wouldn't worry, but it's always a good idea to test everything (and everything all at the same time for interference issues) at checkout.

Jerry


Aren't all Moviecams "old". Are they still making them or have they been replaced by Arri, the owner of the company? Otto Nemenz in LA provides an in-line voltage regulator with the SL's they rent for this exact reason.
  • 0

#14 Alec Jarnagin SOC

Alec Jarnagin SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1800 posts
  • New York City, USA

Posted 18 March 2009 - 12:38 PM

"Otto Nemenz in LA provides an in-line voltage regulator with the SL's they rent for this exact reason."

Haven't seen a Moviecam in years (CSC got rid of all theirs for Arricams - advantage of being an Arri owned company, I guess). A couple of the smaller houses still have them though. I had forgotten they don't like much voltage and have not flown one since switching to Dionic batteries. Could be a problem, I suppose. The in-line regulator sounds like a good idea. Does it have the same four pin XLR connectors on it so you just place it between the Sled & Body?

Anyone use a Compact or SL without one of these? In short, has anyone just used hot Dionics and had no issues?
  • 0

#15 Afton Grant

Afton Grant

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 908 posts
  • New York, Boston

Posted 18 March 2009 - 01:22 PM

Anyone use a Compact or SL without one of these? In short, has anyone just used hot Dionics and had no issues?


My rig will put out 32V at the top stage when it's in two-battery, "24V" mode. I ran a Compact MKII on a shoot last summer for a few days without problem. I don't recall where it was from - guess would be Hand Held Films in NYC. I should disclaim my sled's voltage reading was taken without anything else powered up, so perhaps the monitor, transmitter, focus, etc dropped that 32 down to within the range of the camera.
  • 0




Paralinx LLC

IDX

PLC - Bartech

SkyDreams

PLC Electronics Solutions

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Boland Communications

GPI Pro Systems

Wireless Video Systems

Teradek

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

BOXX

Varizoom Follow Focus

Engineered Cinema Solutions

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Omnishot Systems