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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 08 Jan 2010 (Friday) 00:56
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Pixel Flash Battery Pack TD-381 - Notes

 
CliveyBoy
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Jan 08, 2010 00:56 |  #1

Pixel Enterprise Limited, Hong Kong, has released a new battery pack for Canon Speedlites - model TD-381.

Disclaimer: I have no connection with Pixel, other than as a customer. These are the people who have released a beta of their TR-332 TTL Flash Trigger for Canon. The commercial version of the TR-322 is due for release around 14 February at a price nearer the Nikon version. (EBay user name pixelhk; web www.pixelhk.com (external link).)

Purchase: I bought a Pixel Power Pack through eBay at US$56.80, shipping free, on 20 December. The item was received in New Zealand on 5 January, good for Christmas, New Year and four national holidays in that period. Packaging was adequate.

Contents: Pixel TD-381 Flashgun Power Pack with attached cord, fabric slip pouch, 1/4x20 attachment screw. No straps, warranty or instructions. Edit: Instructions should have been included, and Pixel sent one to me.

Connects to: Canon Speedlites 580EXII, 580EX, 550EX, MR-14EX, MT-24EX.

Batteries: A set of 4 or 8 Alkaline, NiMG or Lithium AA batteries can be used. 8 batteries will recharge the flash faster.

Charging System: A new type of dual circuit charging system, charging the flash capacitor faster than other battery packs. Due to Canon's control system, there is a small standby drain when attached to a flash which is switched on. The LEDs are bright when charging, twinkle rapidly on standby or slowly when battery is low. A graph on their website indicates 1.24 seconds recharge with 8 freshly-charged NiMH AAs, extending to about 5 seconds after 500 1/1-power flashes, then a rapid fall-off.

Physical: Similar to the Canon and other battery packs. Cable to flash: 60cm; 140cm stretched. Weight: 168gm; with 8 AA batteries: 450gm. Length: 170mm. Width: 72mm. Height: 25mm.

Likes: Great price. Smart appearance. Fast recharging of flash. Versatile battery configurations. Dual charge circuits provide backup if one circuit or battery fails. Dual thermal protection of charging circuits. Rubber waterproofing sock on plug. Multiple strap mountings on slip case and battery case.

Concerns: The batteries are inserted into a tray which is clipped into the bottom of the pack, and I am uneasy about the strength of the latch. The battery tray can be inserted two ways, but only one can be latched. It could be a fiddle to change on location and in low light, but at about 500 full-power shots, it would be a long session that would require a change. The slip pouch has a velcro'd opening at the top, and a domed flap at the bottom. The dome is poor and likely to part and let the battery pack drop out! Some soldering is poor, and as a result a small number of units can be expected to fail sooner or later.

Performance: My rough timings with 8 batteries and a 580EXII indicate that 1.2 seconds at 1/1 power is about right. At 1/4 power, the Ready light is on continuously. There is no perceptible delay on power-on or wake-up. Experience will tell...

Because some posts have dismissed power packs as expensive battery cases, I have included photos of both sides of the dual voltage-trippler/control board. There's a lot of design and manufacturing in that, and it is the heart of a flash battery pack.


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Clive, and Great G/D Abbie
50D; 580EXII, 430EXII, 550EX, YN685EX; YN-622C II, YN622C-TX and YN560-TX controllers TOYUG II v5.10 YN622 System Guide (external link)
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CliveyBoy
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Jan 08, 2010 00:57 |  #2

The circuit board...


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Clive, and Great G/D Abbie
50D; 580EXII, 430EXII, 550EX, YN685EX; YN-622C II, YN622C-TX and YN560-TX controllers TOYUG II v5.10 YN622 System Guide (external link)
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AcquaPhoto
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Jan 21, 2010 17:00 as a reply to  @ CliveyBoy's post |  #3

Thanks for the excellent review!!! This battery pack looks like a great alternative to the CP-E4.

So is this TD-381 potentially a better design than the CP-E4 and the Yongnuo SF-18 due to the fact that it has the dual circuit charging design? Or does the CP-E4 do this as well?

Either way, it looks like this is a pretty well made unit (thanks for the images btw) and well worth the dough. Can't wait to get a few.


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CliveyBoy
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Jan 29, 2010 19:19 |  #4

The dual circuit increases performance, and enhances reliability over Canon's CP-E4.

My unit has now been used for a wedding, without faltering. When i recharges the 8 NiMH batteries, I found an interesting situation. One set of four had most of their original charge used. The other set showed that one battery had failed, and the other three had had little drain. Clearly we had run through the wedding on only 4 battery pack batteries and had not noticed. A CP-E4 would have died totally.


Clive, and Great G/D Abbie
50D; 580EXII, 430EXII, 550EX, YN685EX; YN-622C II, YN622C-TX and YN560-TX controllers TOYUG II v5.10 YN622 System Guide (external link)
I tried retiring, but gave it up - it's a dead end

  
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kay188
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Jan 31, 2010 21:00 |  #5

I WANT PL0X.

Thanks for the review. If it weren't for you, I'd still be looking at where to get the Yongnuo SF-18 for cheaper.

This pack looks like twice the pack that the Canon CP-E4, and the Yongnuo SF-18 is, as well as all the other chinese knockoffs.
One which I just spent $45 for, used.


Ricoh GRD4 | Canon 1Ds, 1D, 1D2, 1D2n| Canon XTi | Tokina 11-16 F/2.8 | Canon 16-35L I | Canon 24 F/2.8 | Canon 35 F/2 | Canon 50 F/1.8 I | Canon 135L | Sigma 24-70 EX DG Macro | Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 APO EX DG | Sigma 30 F/1.4 |Sigma 50 F/1.4 |Sigma & Kenko 1.4x TC| Canon 580EX II | Sigma EF-500 Super | 2x Vivitar 285HV | RF-602 Triggers |

  
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mufutau55
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Jan 31, 2010 22:28 |  #6

From which ebay seller did you purchase this? A link will be appreciated. Thanks.

Mufutau

CliveyBoy wrote in post #9500688 (external link)
The dual circuit increases performance, and enhances reliability over Canon's CP-E4.

My unit has now been used for a wedding, without faltering. When i recharges the 8 NiMH batteries, I found an interesting situation. One set of four had most of their original charge used. The other set showed that one battery had failed, and the other three had had little drain. Clearly we had run through the wedding on only 4 battery pack batteries and had not noticed. A CP-E4 would have died totally.




  
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CliveyBoy
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Jan 31, 2010 23:06 |  #7

PixelHK is the eBay seller.

http://shop.ebay.com …=&_armrs=1&_fro​m=&_ipg=25 (external link)


Clive, and Great G/D Abbie
50D; 580EXII, 430EXII, 550EX, YN685EX; YN-622C II, YN622C-TX and YN560-TX controllers TOYUG II v5.10 YN622 System Guide (external link)
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mufutau55
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Feb 01, 2010 09:00 |  #8

Thank you. Will look at this at home this evening.. no ebay access on the job.

Mufutau

CliveyBoy wrote in post #9515019 (external link)
PixelHK is the eBay seller.
http://shop.ebay.com …=&_armrs=1&_fro​m=&_ipg=25 (external link)




  
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kay188
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Feb 01, 2010 13:06 as a reply to  @ mufutau55's post |  #9

^ If you look around, there are other sellers selling the same Pixel TD-381 for $3 cheaper.

Hey, if you're a broke human being like myself, with photography as a hobby and interest, you'll always try to find the cheaper prices.
Now I gotta find a friend with paypal funds to help me out... :D

Too bad DealExtreme, Focalprice, or other alternatives doesn't sell this. :(


Ricoh GRD4 | Canon 1Ds, 1D, 1D2, 1D2n| Canon XTi | Tokina 11-16 F/2.8 | Canon 16-35L I | Canon 24 F/2.8 | Canon 35 F/2 | Canon 50 F/1.8 I | Canon 135L | Sigma 24-70 EX DG Macro | Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 APO EX DG | Sigma 30 F/1.4 |Sigma 50 F/1.4 |Sigma & Kenko 1.4x TC| Canon 580EX II | Sigma EF-500 Super | 2x Vivitar 285HV | RF-602 Triggers |

  
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joosay
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Feb 05, 2010 08:00 |  #10

Thanks for the review. Now I am seriously considering this over the Yongnuo SF-18's...hrmmm.

At the time of this writing, the Bing Cashback for ebay is 10% so you'd save about $5.xx if you buy from PixelHK or 10% off anything on ebay (buy it now, paypal)


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bobbyz
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Feb 05, 2010 08:25 |  #11

Thanks for the review.


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crazyfoo88
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Feb 06, 2010 20:19 |  #12

Is there much difference between this and the flashzebra one?


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kay188
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Feb 06, 2010 22:13 |  #13

crazyfoo88 wrote in post #9556769 (external link)
Is there much difference between this and the flashzebra one?

Yes. The flash zebra version is like the canon version, and other chinese knockoffs.

They are packs that have 8 batteries in serial giving a total of 12 volts.

The pixel one here has a new design to run on 4 or 8 batteries.

The design is supposedly to give way better performance than the regular canon CP-E3 design.
Better performance as in faster recycle time due to the new dual circuit design.


Ricoh GRD4 | Canon 1Ds, 1D, 1D2, 1D2n| Canon XTi | Tokina 11-16 F/2.8 | Canon 16-35L I | Canon 24 F/2.8 | Canon 35 F/2 | Canon 50 F/1.8 I | Canon 135L | Sigma 24-70 EX DG Macro | Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 APO EX DG | Sigma 30 F/1.4 |Sigma 50 F/1.4 |Sigma & Kenko 1.4x TC| Canon 580EX II | Sigma EF-500 Super | 2x Vivitar 285HV | RF-602 Triggers |

  
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joosay
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Feb 17, 2010 07:57 |  #14

I just ordered these. Surprised he hasn't sold too much from what I see on eBay.


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kay188
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Feb 17, 2010 09:46 |  #15

joosay wrote in post #9626147 (external link)
I just ordered these. Surprised he hasn't sold too much from what I see on eBay.

I noticed that too, but it's probably because a lot of people don't know about them, and these battery packs.


Ricoh GRD4 | Canon 1Ds, 1D, 1D2, 1D2n| Canon XTi | Tokina 11-16 F/2.8 | Canon 16-35L I | Canon 24 F/2.8 | Canon 35 F/2 | Canon 50 F/1.8 I | Canon 135L | Sigma 24-70 EX DG Macro | Sigma 70-200 F/2.8 APO EX DG | Sigma 30 F/1.4 |Sigma 50 F/1.4 |Sigma & Kenko 1.4x TC| Canon 580EX II | Sigma EF-500 Super | 2x Vivitar 285HV | RF-602 Triggers |

  
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Pixel Flash Battery Pack TD-381 - Notes
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