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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 31 Mar 2009 (Tuesday) 15:21
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Studio Lights on the Street

 
marivil
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Mar 31, 2009 15:21 |  #1

This may be an uneducated question but can studio lights be ran off a power converter in a vehicle? It seems like it would be a cheap solution for my needs as I don't need a portable battery supply too often. I am assuming I would not want to use too long of power cords.
If it can work what type of inverter and how many lights could I run? For the convenience I wouldn't be concerned about recycle time.
Thanks for any replies,
Gene


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picturecrazy
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Mar 31, 2009 15:32 |  #2

You need a pure sine wave inverter. And it sucks a lot of power so you'll need to connect it direct to your car's battery.

The number of lights it can run and the overall recycle time depends on many things including the inverter wattage rating, the power of your lights, the overall load resistance of the circuit, yadda yadda. It's not just a 'plug in and go' operation. The responsibility is all on YOU to have all your ducks in a row for it to work properly.

there are many threads here on DIY portable power, which is similar to what you want to do. Do a search for "pure sine" or something like that.


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marivil
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Mar 31, 2009 16:03 |  #3

Thanks ... I used to be an electrician and thought there had to be a way. But never worked with this problem.


-Gene-
Always looking forward to my next shoot.
Gear- Canon Bodies- 5D Mark II , 50D both gripped -- Lens - 300L F.28 IS, 70-200L F2.8 IS II, 24-105L IS and a 35L F1.4. , WHAT'S NEXT
?
2x & 1.4 Extender - 580 EX II

  
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sfaust
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Mar 31, 2009 21:14 |  #4

I use a 600W pure sine wave inverter connected directly to my car battery, or a separate 26ah gel cell. I can run two 800ws strobes off it quite easily, and have run two 1600ws strobes without any issues. I also use a Honda 2000EUi generator (about 18amps) that has a pure sine waver inverter internally, for when I want to run 4 lights. Basically, the generator gives me a single 20amp household circuit which I can easily run 4-6 heads without any issues. I've only tested the generator w/ three 800ws and one 1600ws so far and it worked perfectly.

When using a single 1600ws or two 800ws heads on inverter and battery setup, I've usually gotten about 400 or so flashes from the battery. I have a second battery that I can swap out if I exceed the 400 flashes. If I run at reduced power levels, I can get far more flashes per charge on the batteries, but haven't tested the number of flashes per charge.

I use the same inverter as the Alien Bee Vagabond setup, but use a larger battery. You can use the table on their site to get an idea of the number of flashes based on the power settings, and then recalculate that to include the extra power of the 26ah battery over the one they use (15ah, 20ah, or ??).

So yea, in short, no problem. Just make sure to use a pure sine wave inverter, and I would recommend 300w capacity per head you plan to use on a regular basis. Ie, 2 heads, 600ws, 4 heads, 1000w or 1200w intverter, etc). It will reduce the load on the inverter and provide faster recycling time.

Keep the car running if hitting the strobes hard with multiple heads, or if only using one or two heads, start up the car every so often to keep the battery from over discharging. You can calculate the drain based on the number of flashes, and get a pretty good idea how often you might need to start the car and let it charge based on the discharge current used.


Stephen
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Studio Lights on the Street
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
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