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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 18 Mar 2012 (Sunday) 11:58
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generator power

 
feetdown
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Mar 18, 2012 11:58 |  #1

Since i cant afford a VML right now, i thought i would check to see if its safe to run Abees off of a generator?

Please let me know ....
Thanks


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Griz
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Mar 18, 2012 12:14 |  #2

I'm an electrician by trade and can only speak from that perspective with respect to sensitive electronic equipment and generators. I would recommend running the output power of a generator through a double conversion UPS unit as that would guarantee a source of clean power with a steady voltage output. Generators tend to vary in voltage depending on load and rpms of the motor itself which expensive electronic gear just doesn't play well with.

A double conversion UPS unit converts the incoming AC power to DC then back to AC. This effectively removes any harmonics, hi/low voltage and cleans up the sine wave. The UPS part of the unit supplements any voltage sags.

Of course, this method probably costs more than the original option of a VML.

Try it... worst to happen is you'll let the smoke out. :)


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Phototeacher
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Mar 18, 2012 13:14 |  #3

Most generators create a modified sine wave output which some more sensitive electronics won't like. Since the Alien Bees do not have the sophisticated electronics of the Einstein, the generator might be OK. The VML creates a pure sine wave output, which is why it is safer.
I take it you already have a generator, since purchasing one would certainly cost more than a VML. Also, the amount of noise your generator makes when operating can determine where it will be located so as not to interfere with your shoot. (Long extension cords!)




  
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cbsvball
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Mar 18, 2012 13:18 as a reply to  @ Phototeacher's post |  #4

I can't see this being a very portable system since you'll be lugging lights/strands/modifie​rs + a generator? Sell the generator and buy a few mini vegabonds + spare batteries.


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jemanner
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Mar 18, 2012 13:21 |  #5

Most generators will vary the voltage and frequency in direct prportion to the engine speed. Inverter generators do not, and are safe for electronic equipment, but are quite pricy.


Jim

  
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Windsun33
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Mar 18, 2012 13:23 |  #6

Griz wrote in post #14107445 (external link)
A double conversion UPS unit converts the incoming AC power to DC then back to AC. This effectively removes any harmonics, hi/low voltage and cleans up the sine wave. The UPS part of the unit supplements any voltage sags.

It may not actually do that. 95% of the UPS systems use a modified sine wave inverter, which is as full of harmonics and distortion as the generator output might be, since they are essentially a stepped square wave. True sine wave inverters are available, but you can figure on a price difference - depending on wattage - of about 4-5x as much.


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jemanner
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Mar 18, 2012 13:38 |  #7

Griz wrote in post #14107445 (external link)
Try it... worst to happen is you'll let the smoke out. :)

This brought a smile and memories. When troubleshooting circuits we used to say, referring to a component, "it worked great until the smoke escaped."


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EmaginePixel
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Mar 18, 2012 13:42 |  #8

The newer generators utilize Inverter technology. They're pure sine wave and much quieter and efficient. I've been using it with Calumet's Travelite 750s without issues.

However, as mentioned by others, I'd not run it off typical generator.


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feetdown
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Mar 18, 2012 15:58 |  #9

ok guys...thanks for all the info...looks like ill be saving for a Vagabond II or a VML


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Wilt
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Mar 18, 2012 16:31 |  #10

There are pure sine wave generators for reasonable amounts of money...spend $300-500 for 2KWatt


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Phototeacher
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Mar 18, 2012 16:44 |  #11

I would love to find a pure sine wave gasoline powered generator for $300! The industry standard is the Honda EU2000i, a 2KW model which is much closer to $1000.!

Wilt wrote in post #14108497 (external link)
There are pure sine wave generators for reasonable amounts of money...spend $300-500 for 2KWatt




  
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tim
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Mar 18, 2012 16:48 |  #12

A VML is dead cheap for what it is. I paid about US$550 for mine, from the Australian store, with courier shipping as it was the only option, it was worth it for the options it gives me on wedding days.


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jemanner
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Mar 18, 2012 16:54 |  #13

A VML is lightweight and very convenient, but really only a single purpose appliance. Conversely, a good 2000 watt inverter generator has many other uses, especially if one does any camping or using power tools in ther field. Hmmm...


Jim

  
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Wilt
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Mar 18, 2012 16:59 |  #14

Phototeacher wrote in post #14108563 (external link)
I would love to find a pure sine wave gasoline powered generator for $300! The industry standard is the Honda EU2000i, a 2KW model which is much closer to $1000.!

http://www.alibaba.com …ter_Generator_2​_2kw_.html (external link)

...claims to be pure sine wave, costs $300

http://www.alibaba.com …00W_digital_por​table.html (external link)

...claims to be pure sine wave 2000W, $500

The Honeywell 2000i watt generator is $560, the Hyundai 2200 watt is $599, both on Amazon.


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jemanner
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Mar 18, 2012 17:07 |  #15

Wilt wrote in post #14108662 (external link)
http://www.alibaba.com …ter_Generator_2​_2kw_.html (external link)

...claims to be pure sine wave, costs $300

http://www.alibaba.com …00W_digital_por​table.html (external link)

...claims to be pure sine wave 2000W, $500

Chinese knock-off's. They may be good machines, but what about the noise factor? I have a EU3000is for camping, and it is amazingly quiet. However, too heavy for me to lift single-handedly. An EU2000 at less than 50 lbs would be just the ticket.


Jim

  
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