Lens Diaries Go Now
Glamour, Beauty, Nude, Models, Photographers

*    |  Register  


 
Go Back   Garage Glamour™ > Garage Glamour™ Main Forums > Tech Talk Forum
 

Tech Talk Forum Photography & Technical Related Only!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
portable power
Old 11-22-2005, 11:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Member GG#: 46893
Posts: 43
Comments: 0

PaulPardue is offline IP: 24.10.103.184
 
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

Hello everyone... Since I know this place is full of people who love to mod things, here is what i am looking at doing.

I have two 300w/s strobes that I want to make portable. The packs are on the head (though I doubt that matters). I don't really want to purchase a generator right now, so what I was thinking was one of those little power inverters. Now, generally, those plug into a cigarette lighter or something similar, so I was wondering what the possibility with just hooking it up to some kind of car battery and putting it on something with a handle or something like that.

Anyways, aside from the construction and hook-up aspects, I know that the strobes are not 300 watts each, so I know that I don't need to get like a 600 watt inverter, but what would be something good to use? How much power really do I need in both the battery and the inverter, how much life could I expect between charges (I assume that I will simply also get one of those battery chargers for at home in between shoots).

Does anyone here have any experience with this, or am I just better off shelling out for a mini generator, and at that, what is a good cheap one to get? I am on a real limited budget, so any home built stuff that can save me money would be great.

Thanks to all.
  View Public Profile Send a private message to PaulPardue Visit PaulPardue's homepage! Find More Posts by PaulPardue
 
Re: portable power
Old 11-23-2005, 12:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
Free Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Member GG#: 40892
Location: Simpsonville
Posts: 263
Comments: 0

smOKe013 is offline IP: 65.190.142.128
 
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

Try contacting Sojournr.
  View Public Profile Send a private message to smOKe013 Visit smOKe013's homepage! Find More Posts by smOKe013
 
Re: portable power
Old 11-23-2005, 12:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
Bawdy Little Monkey

 
SamBeasley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Member GG#: 41173
Location: Miami Beach
Posts: 1,387
Comments: 1
Send a message via AIM to SamBeasley Send a message via Yahoo to SamBeasley

SamBeasley is offline IP: 208.63.179.150
 
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

I asked a question related to yours a while back, and some of the replies I got might be helpful to you.

Sam
  View Public Profile Send a private message to SamBeasley Visit SamBeasley's homepage! Find More Posts by SamBeasley
 
It\'s been a while. . .
Old 11-23-2005, 01:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
Free Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Member GG#: 35436
Location: Sunset
Posts: 500
Comments: 0

cclesue is offline IP: 67.177.23.11
 
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

but if I remember correctly you would need to have a schematic of your Strobe units to see if there is a current limiting resistor that will limit the draw to a level that meets the inverter capability. the 300w/s rating has little to do with the charging of the capacitors which initially draw huge amounts of current. Thirty years ago the big studio power packs used simple voltage triplers to boost the charging voltage to 450 volts to a pair of capacitor banks. these pbanks were hooked up in paralle at the disgarge end giving a 900 volt burst through the strobe. This made for a very robust and easy to work with unit. Modern strobe units do things differently especially in the mono heads. Unless you are at ease with schematics and understand electronics I suspect you would be ahead paying the big bucks and get and couple of dedicated traveling units and get on with the shooting.
  View Public Profile Send a private message to cclesue Visit cclesue's homepage! Find More Posts by cclesue
 
Re: portable power
Old 11-23-2005, 12:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
Lifetime Photographer

 
wgiles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Member GG#: 35459
Location: Girard
Posts: 129
Comments: 0

wgiles is offline IP: 209.16.210.105
 
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

As Carlos said, it's not always that simple. There are two problems to be worked out. The first is power. Strobes don't use much power until they recharge. When they start to recharge, they can pull very high currents. Most household power is protected by circuit breakers, which can tolerate a high current for a short time. Some inverters have overcurrent protection, which means that they will reach a certain current and then hold that current until the load decreases. Others just blow fuses. Some of the strobe power packs have fast and slow recharge switches. This was so that they could be used in places with old wiring and fast fuses. The second issue is waveform. Most common inverters use a modified sine wave which has a lower peak voltage than a true sine wave. Some strobes depend on peak voltage to reach full power, some don't. The ones with voltage doublers and triplers do.

I have three inverters that I have used with strobes. One is a 300 watt true sine inverter that I have used with a Norlite 400 ws monolite. It works, but groans when I use the strobe at full power. I also have a 1000 watt and a 1500 watt modified sine wave inverter. I have a Norman 600 watt second monolite that will not work on the 300 or 100 watt inverters, but will on the 1500 watt inverter. The only problem is that the 1500 watt inverter is 24 volt and uses two huge trolling motor batteries.

There is no guarantee that any given strobe will work with any given inverter. If you have the resources, you have to be willing to experiment. I would suggest using cheap strobes.

Bill
  View Public Profile Send a private message to wgiles Visit wgiles's homepage! Find More Posts by wgiles
 
Some cautions...
Old 11-23-2005, 09:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
____________
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Member GG#: 35406
Location: Bogus
Posts: 949
Comments: 0

Al_Nowak is offline IP: 69.210.30.179
 
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

First of all realize that those cheapy inverters usually don't put out sine wave power. It may be a stair-stepped waveform, or just square waves in some really cheap units. Depending on the design of your strobe power supply, a stair-step or squarewave could cause problems, and not work properly.

Square waves may make shaver motors and heaters run okay, but can cause problems with transformer powered equipment.

Secondly, power is power. If you want to use high power (say 600 ws) much, be prepared to carry some big HEAVY batteries.

When a stobe goes off, it dumps the electric charge stored on a big capacitor through the strobe tube. When the strobe starts to recycle, that capacitor looks like a near short circuit to the power source for a few milliseconds and causes a big current surge. That surge can actually stall some cheapy inverters with little overcurrent protection. Not a good thing...

As far as power ratings, don't play too close to the edge. If you plan on using the full 600 ws, figure on a 1000 watt inverter to be on the safe side. Yes, it will be mostly wasted, but you will need the surge capability.





  View Public Profile Send a private message to Al_Nowak Find More Posts by Al_Nowak
 
Re: portable power
Old 11-24-2005, 05:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
Free Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Member GG#: 44962
Location: Obninsk
Posts: 14
Comments: 0
Send a message via ICQ to Arseni Send a message via AIM to Arseni Send a message via Yahoo to Arseni Send a message via Skype™ to Arseni

Arseni is offline IP: 82.211.137.8
 
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

Consider APC computer power packs! IMHO: Very good way to power strobes.
If you're not going to use much pilot light, the cheapest ones will fit your strobes. I recommend 500VA-1500VA models for 300WS-1000WS strobes.

I'm poor student, and I power my 250WS toys with the old 350VA APC (which is very lightweight)

Cons: Takes whole night for recharge (But it's hard to discharge them w.o. turning pilot light on)

Hope this helps.
  View Public Profile Send a private message to Arseni Visit Arseni's homepage! Find More Posts by Arseni
 
Re: portable power
Old 11-24-2005, 09:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Member GG#: 46893
Posts: 43
Comments: 0

PaulPardue is offline IP: 24.10.13.64
 
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

Thanks, that was actually an idea of mine... i do have ups hooked up to my computer (and if I ever got around to it), I was going to try and see if that would work,,,

May look into it.
  View Public Profile Send a private message to PaulPardue Visit PaulPardue's homepage! Find More Posts by PaulPardue
 
Re: portable power
Old 11-25-2005, 07:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
LivingINDaytona

 
JaysonFromMaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Member GG#: 35280
Location: Daytona Beach. Fl.
Posts: 744
Comments: 0
Send a message via AIM to JaysonFromMaine Send a message via Yahoo to JaysonFromMaine

JaysonFromMaine is offline IP: 65.1.0.112
 
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

WHat ever inverter/battery system you use Make sure you use a PURE SINE WAVE inverter

http://www.invertersrus.com/puresinewaveinverters.html
  View Public Profile Send a private message to JaysonFromMaine Visit JaysonFromMaine's homepage! Find More Posts by JaysonFromMaine
 
Re: portable power
Old 11-26-2005, 03:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
Free Member

 
JonScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Member GG#: 37850
Location: Portland | Dallas
Posts: 835
Comments: 1
My Mood:
Send a message via MSN to JonScott Send a message via Yahoo to JonScott

JonScott is offline IP: 206.212.226.175
 
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

Paul, I didn't read all of the other responses, but what I'd strongly suggest is that you contact the tech department of the manufacturer of your lights, and ask what they recommend in terms of current/voltaqe/waveform requirements. I can tell you what Alien Bees require with detail, if it's applicable.

Good luck!
  View Public Profile Send a private message to JonScott Visit JonScott's homepage! Find More Posts by JonScott
 
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
portable power David_L_Brown Tech Talk Forum 6 09-19-2007 08:11 PM
is it possible? markomiscevic Tech Talk Forum 14 06-08-2005 09:02 PM
Portable Power for ANY Monolight! JohnPaul Tech Talk Forum 3 05-16-2005 09:18 PM
Homebuilt portable AC power supply ToeJam Tech Talk Forum 6 05-14-2005 10:26 AM
White Lightning "Vagabond" power system problem followup... :) JohnPaul Tech Talk Forum 12 10-08-2004 09:06 PM

Sponsors


New To Site? Need Help? Photographer & Model Links
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:05 PM.

© 1999-2017 Garage Glamour™




Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94