View Full Version : Vagabond Alternative
5th of April 2010 (Mon), 07:55
I am in need of portable power for 2 B800s for a shoot this Wednesday. I ordered a Vagabond, but it will not come in time. Would it be possible to use a regular inverter connected to vehicle power? Is a pure sine wave inverter necessary? Would this be able to power 2 B800s? http://www.amazon.com/Duracell-DPP-600HD-Powerpack-Starter-Emergency/dp/B000TKHMWK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1270470665&sr=8-3
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
5th of April 2010 (Mon), 12:43
I don't remember where but I specifically read somewhere that a pure sine wave inverter is indeed necessary for Alien Bees lights (most likely all others as well) and that a regular inverter won't cut it. You might still find that it works, but if you need your B800's for a shoot, now's not the time to test it.
If you're already looking at Amazon, why not look at the pure sine wave inverters there? The Vagabond specs (http://www.alienbees.com/VIIspecs.html) imply that you could get away with as little as a 150W inverter, though recycle times will be pretty slow. I don't see too many with good reviews, though, which may be a problem.
5th of April 2010 (Mon), 13:07
This is correct - the plugs on this battery use a modified sine-wave inverter, which might power your strobes for a couple of shots, but will likely end up damaging them.
There's a reason that the Vagabond and it's equivalents are ~$400, and that's because they use a nice pure-sine wave inverter, not a modified one.
Pure sine inverters start at about $100 for a weak one (Enough for a low-power single strobe), and the one in the Vagabond is worth around $200 alone. It can power several strobes (Depending on the type)
Nothing below that will have a pure-sine inverter.
5th of April 2010 (Mon), 13:11
I was just chatting with a friend about that linked Duracell power box.
From what I've read, you can buy a sine wave inverter for about $100, then a sealed battery for about $50~75, then a dc charger for another $50. When you add it all up it might be a bit cheaper than the Vagabond but the problem is it's not as complete or clean like the full package deal. I like the plug in and go of the Vagabond.
I really would like to have the portable with the Vagabond but due to my budget may buy a sine wave inverter and run it directly from my car instead. Figure most of the time if I'm not near the house I'll be near the car, and either way, if I had to be away from the car, I'm not lugging the lights around (battery strobes for that).
5th of April 2010 (Mon), 13:14
Might want to check out this site for pure sine wave inverters too... though I'm not sure if you'd be able to get something from there by Wednesday.
FWIW, I read somewhere that the Vagabond is only a 300W inverter, but that it may be designed slightly different than other inverters to allow the voltage to drop some in the interest of supplying sufficient current. Given that the AlienBees lights are able to withstand a pretty significant voltage drop while typical 120V electronics and appliances aren't, you may not find that same feature in a standard pure sine wave inverter.
5th of April 2010 (Mon), 14:35
Credit to Jacob the Photographer.
5th of April 2010 (Mon), 14:59
Credit to Jacob the Photographer.
Nice! I have been looking at that inverter for some time now. Now I can have a secondary battery pack for cheap. This is an excellent video!
5th of April 2010 (Mon), 16:04
Here's about all the technical info you might want on how the Vagabond works:
I'm not sure if that was the post I was thinking of or not but either way it's definitely relevant.
5th of April 2010 (Mon), 19:12
Thanks for the direction. I had the same question. http://www.quincyforum.com/uploads/images/33.gif
5th of April 2010 (Mon), 23:29
Thanks for the help everyone, I actually got lucky and the Vagabond is coming on Wednesday as per the tracking number I just received from Paul Buff. Thanks for the updated JTP DIY video. I remember his first one a while back, and I didn't realize he had an updated video.
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