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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 11 Oct 2007 (Thursday) 22:42
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My DIY Portable Alienbees Power Pack

 
Inspired ­ Photography
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Oct 11, 2007 22:42 |  #1

Hi All,

I am sure many of you have seen JacobThePhotographer's (bocaj) home made power pack to run his AB800 on location.

I have done the same thing. It might look a little crude, but I have just finished testing the unit, and I was able to get 625 Full Power Flashes from my AB1600 in 90 minutes before the low power alarm started beeping on the inverter. Once i let the unit settle for a few minutes, the alarm stopped and i could keep going, but figured that is really the "end point". I don't want to kill the battery.

I couldn't find a case to mount everything in, so have basically encapsulated it in Gaffa. It even has a carry handle :D

More Gaffa Tape than a rock concert...

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The power connections, and mains point. Oh, and more Gaffa.
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Just thought i would share.

Rob

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Mr. ­ Clean
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Oct 11, 2007 22:44 |  #2

Q1 - Does your photographer have liability insurance?
I sure as hell hope so


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Inspired ­ Photography
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Oct 11, 2007 22:47 |  #3

What for? In case someone thinks it's a bomb and jumps off a cliff?
:D

Rob


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Inspired ­ Photography
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Oct 11, 2007 22:49 |  #4

I should add...

The inverter itself has overload, short circuit, reverse polarity, low voltage, and thermal overload protection.

The battery is wired via a 60A resettable circuit breaker in case of anything going bad too.

Thanks,

Rob


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FlashZebra
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Oct 11, 2007 23:40 |  #5

I suspect all that gafters tape and crunching things together will really challenge air flow to those cooling fin extrusions on the power inverter.

I really like your quote "Just because you are online, doesn't mean you don't have to form a full sentence."

A technical forum is not a chat opportunity (as you note).

Enjoy! Lon


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Aaagogo
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Oct 11, 2007 23:47 |  #6

mind sharing what are the parts u used?

in case someone else wants to build 1 too


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::John::
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Oct 11, 2007 23:54 |  #7

Hmmm

625 Full Power Flashes

What is the battery rating?

I have 2 12v inverters here and have one wired into the truck but that means I am only as remote as the length of my longest extension cord.

I do have a 'spare' 12v heavy duty truck battery here and I suppose I could mount that and the inverter on a luggage trolley.

625 Full Power Flashes

Man, you are making me think about this...




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cskn0125
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Oct 12, 2007 00:51 |  #8

OMG...that's a lot of tape!

Good job. I think..haha.


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Inspired ­ Photography
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Oct 12, 2007 01:45 |  #9

FlashZebra wrote in post #4109451external link
I suspect all that gafters tape and crunching things together will really challenge air flow to those cooling fin extrusions on the power inverter.

I really like your quote "Just because you are online, doesn't mean you don't have to form a full sentence."

A technical forum is not a chat opportunity (as you note).

Enjoy! Lon

I have used as little as possible around the cooling fins, i think it should be ok. Also, because the inverter really only runs just after recycle for a second or two, rather than all the time (like running a TV or something) so i don't think cooling will be much of an issue.

And yeah, i hate when people don't talk properly, mainly when asking advice or trying to give it. SMS or something from a phone may be the only exceptioni because of the limited keypad.

Thanks,

Rob


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Inspired ­ Photography
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Oct 12, 2007 01:48 |  #10

Aaagogo wrote in post #4109470external link
mind sharing what are the parts u used?

in case someone else wants to build 1 too

I have used the following:
300W Pure Sine Wave Inverter.
26Ah 12V Sealed Lead Acid Battery (non spillable).
8 gauge connecting cables
60 Amp Circuit Breaker

I also have a mains powered 12Amp (fast) / 6Amp (slow) charger that i use to recharge it. Using a smaller charger would take too long on this size battery.

Rob


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Inspired ­ Photography
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Oct 12, 2007 01:54 |  #11

::John:: wrote in post #4109490external link
Hmmm

What is the battery rating?

I have 2 12v inverters here and have one wired into the truck but that means I am only as remote as the length of my longest extension cord.

I do have a 'spare' 12v heavy duty truck battery here and I suppose I could mount that and the inverter on a luggage trolley.

Man, you are making me think about this...

John,

The only thing to be careful of is that most truck batteries are wet cell, not sealed like the battery i have used. I can tip mine upside down without a problem.

For those in Aus/NZ, I bought most of my parts from Jaycar Electronics (some i already had). Full retail cost of the parts should not exceed AUD$350 i don't think. The battery was $100, the inverter $200, and a few bits and pieces.

i was impressed at just how many flashes i did get from it, as i was expecting around half. Considering that is full power, i would expect it to run my ABR800 Ring Flash for upwards of 1000 flashes, or my AB1600 at half power for the same.

Hope that helps.

Rob


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::John::
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Oct 12, 2007 02:01 |  #12

Thanks Rob

My larger inverter is a 500W pure sine-wave jobby - and it cost nearly $300 here

You are right about it being a wetcell battery, too. It will do for now as a test - I have just been out and got a charger for it and we will see how it goes with a couple of 600Ws strobes on it.




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Inspired ­ Photography
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Oct 12, 2007 02:07 |  #13

Awesome John, and yeah, will absolutely work for a test!

What sort of strobes are you using?
The AB1600 is 620Ws i think.

I bought the alienbees as my Elinchrom's couldn't handle the dip in power during recycle, and shut themselves down (too smart for their own good, digitally controlled and stuff).

Rob


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Lotto
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Oct 12, 2007 02:51 |  #14

Hey, I don't care how it looks, as long as it works :)

One question: does it need ground strap?


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Inspired ­ Photography
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Oct 12, 2007 03:49 |  #15

Lotto wrote in post #4110029external link
Hey, I don't care how it looks, as long as it works :)

One question: does it need ground strap?

That's what i figure :D

I don't know about the ground strap, i am trying to find out if the actual Alienbees portable system has one.

Rob


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My DIY Portable Alienbees Power Pack
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