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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 27 Nov 2013 (Wednesday) 00:24
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Elinchrom Ranger Lithium Battery

 
Sheldon ­ N
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Nov 27, 2013 00:24 |  #1

So I've found something very exciting that I wanted to share with other owners of the Elinchrom RX Speed and RX Speed AS 1100 w/s battery packs. People have long been wishing for a lighter version of the full size Ranger that had the advantages of lithium batteries, but Elinchrom has yet to release anything.

I recently learned that there is a company that is selling a retrofit lithium battery designed to replace the B.B Battery BP12-12 lead acid battery, which is the exact make/model that Elinchrom uses in the Ranger. It's the exact same size, outputs the same voltage and is a plug and play fit for the Ranger. I've corresponded with another user who has installed it successfully into their Ranger, and I also spent some time discussing the technical specifics with battery seller to make sure that everything would work. I've gotten one myself recently and have installed it in my Ranger and tested it, everything functions perfectly

To cut to the chase... it makes the Ranger pack 5lbs lighter, and despite the lighter weight it has roughly 150% of the total capacity on a single charge. All for only $139, and it installs in 5 minutes.

The company that sells them is Stark Power, part number SP-12V12-EP. It can be purchased here:

http://store.starkpowe​r.com …Storage-Battery_p_22.html (external link)

All the technical specs and details are on their web page, but here are some more specific details that you might want to know:

Weight: The lead battery weighs 8.9lb, the lithium weighs 3.9lbs, exactly 5lbs lighter. The entire Ranger pack with battery now weighs just 12.6lbs, a very noticeable difference.

Capacity: I've gotten 300 full power pops on a single charge. The other photographer I corresponded with has gotten 320 pops. This is in normal/fast charge mode. Elinchrom specs for the OEM lead battery indicate 195 pops at full power on normal mode and 250 pops in slow charge mode. I don't know if slow charge would give any additional capacity for the lithium battery, haven't tried it. Note that the battery charge remaining LED's on the Ranger pack work a little differently with the lithium batteries since the voltage doesn't drop off as they are used. The pack will show full charge right up until the last 25-50 shots.

Recycle Time: Recycle times are basically the same as with the lead batteries. However, one thing I did notice is that the recycle time doesn't slow as the battery wears down like the lead battery does. I was getting pretty much the same recycle times from the beginning through well beyond 250 pops.

Charging: Stark Power offers a lithium battery charger for a reasonable cost. However, in discussion with them they indicate that the standard Elinchrom charger is a very close match to their charger (14.6 vs 14.7 volts) and it has a similar 3 stage process where voltage is reduced when full charge is detected. They told me it would be fine to use the Elinchrom charger with their battery. Note that the Elinchrom charger doesn't fully turn off (it reduces to 13.8v), so you do want to unplug the battery once the charger light turns green since trickle charging is bad for Lithium batteries.


And for those of you curious to see it and how the installation goes, here are some pics...


Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS Battery drawer. 6 screws around the top edge perimeter need to be removed, then the top panel and internal battery slide out together.

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Internal battery plus lid/fuse assembly. The only points of connection to the battery are the two clips highlighted on the left.

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Empty battery drawer.

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Side by side comparison of the OEM Ranger battery (left) and the Stark Power lithium battery (right). Dimensions/fit are identical.

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New battery connected and ready to install back in the drawer. Note that the positive tab needs to be bent slightly to accommodate the blue wire underneath. (See prior photo on the old battery)

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Entire process only takes a few minutes to install. It really is plug and play. The weight difference is startling. 5 lbs is quite a noticeable amount and the extra battery capacity is a great thing to have.

Disclaimers: I've got no connection with Stark Power other than as a happy customer. Use at your own risk... I've installed mine and am happy with it, but can't guarantee that you won't blow up your Ranger or burn down your house. ;)

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djlb
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Nov 27, 2013 00:55 |  #2

part number?

same voltage?




  
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pwm2
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Nov 27, 2013 01:06 |  #3

Sheldon N wrote in post #16483038 (external link)
it makes the Ranger pack 5lbs lighter, and despite the lighter weight it has roughly 150% more total capacity on a single charge.

Capacity: I've gotten 300 full power pops on a single charge. The other photographer I corresponded with has gotten 320 pops.

Note that 300 instead of 200 pops is a 50% more total capacity, and not 150% more capacity. But still very nice from a much lighter offering.


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djlb
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Nov 27, 2013 01:08 |  #4

interesting.

looking at the website, there is a battery that should fit the quadra




  
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Nov 27, 2013 01:50 |  #5

sweet. im going to try it out


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PacAce
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Nov 27, 2013 07:12 |  #6

Thanks for the very informative thread, Sheldon. :)


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idamien
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Nov 27, 2013 07:59 |  #7

Hi everybody,
I just want to inform you that you need to be really carefull with this battery. The vendor indicate that the battery must not be used in high curant consumption. And it's how work the Ranger RX.


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symbolphoto
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Nov 27, 2013 08:01 |  #8

Ordered.




  
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Rider66
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Nov 27, 2013 08:34 as a reply to  @ symbolphoto's post |  #9

That's great news. I use my ranger all the time for weddings and it is soooo heavy. Didn't want to shell out for a quadra so will definately going to invest in a couple of these. Interestingly, cheaper than the Elinchrom lead-acid


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MDJAK
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Nov 27, 2013 08:57 |  #10

Excellent write up and review. An asset to this fine community.




  
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Sheldon ­ N
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Nov 27, 2013 09:38 as a reply to  @ MDJAK's post |  #11

Thanks guys!

djlb wrote in post #16483076 (external link)
part number?
same voltage?

Yes, same voltage. Part number is in the link, added it to the description as well.

pwm2 wrote in post #16483086 (external link)
Note that 300 instead of 200 pops is a 50% more total capacity, and not 150% more capacity.

:oops: Fixed that.

djlb wrote in post #16483091 (external link)
interesting.
looking at the website, there is a battery that should fit the quadra

That would be cool if you could get one to work. I didn't see one that was the right voltage/size. Let us know what you find.

idamien wrote in post #16483519 (external link)
Hi everybody,
I just want to inform you that you need to be really carefull with this battery. The vendor indicate that the battery must not be used in high curant consumption. And it's how work the Ranger RX.

I don't think there's any reason to worry. The max current draw on the battery is specified at 30A. The fuse on the Ranger battery is a 40A fuse, so the actual current draw is well below the fuse rating. I discussed the application and current draw with the battery distributor when I spoke to them on the phone and they felt it was an appropriate usage. In addition, the battery has a protection circuit built in to guard against overdraw.

When I was testing the pack at full power, running off consecutive pops again and again, the battery got slightly warm similar to how a laptop battery will get warm. Nothing that gave me cause for concern. In most real world settings you are running at less than full power and not shooting as fast as the pack can recycle until the battery is dead.


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abbadon31
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Nov 27, 2013 10:09 |  #12

Nice work Sheldon


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Nov 27, 2013 10:11 |  #13

Amazing to see the random batteries Elinchrom puts in. I have the standard Ranger RX. I have two battery packs and both are Panasonic Lead-Acid Batteries vs the BB pack you have in yours. One is completely dead. I was about to replace both for about 30 bucks each.
In my eyes, more pops and a lighter kit is definitely worth shelling out for the StarkPower.
I think its funny that Davidson, NC where the company is located is only a few hours drive from my house!
Thanks for the research!


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Sheldon ­ N
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Nov 27, 2013 10:25 |  #14

What model are the batteries in the standard Ranger RX? I thought they used a slightly smaller/lower capacity battery than the one in the RX Speed. Might want to double check the size/fit.

Edit: I was able to find it.... the smaller Ranger (both RX and non RX) use the LC-R127R2PG1 battery from Panasonic. It's a different size/capacity than the one I'm using above. Stark Power has two smaller batteries that are similar in size/voltage/capacity. However, they specify the max current draw as 15A instead of 30A, and I think the fuse on your battery pack is 30A.

You might want to call the distributor and see if those are suitable for this use.


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z-monster
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Nov 27, 2013 13:19 |  #15

Yep mine is exactly the LC-R127R2PG1 with a 30A fuse. I was already attempting to call StarkPower about my batteries to see what they have available. So far it looks like StarkPower has two replacement choices. The owner and I will be able to toss in some additional info on Monday for those of who still use the standard RX.


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Elinchrom Ranger Lithium Battery
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