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  #1  
Old August 16th, 2006, 11:25 AM
James W Hill James W Hill is offline
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Default Power Adaptors

Anyone out there have an eloquent solution to the problem of power adaptors? By 'problem' I mean the sheer number and variety needed to power various devices on the road.
I've looked at the iGo. And like the idea of one unit with interchangeable tips. But none of the tips are listed as compatible with some of my gear (Epson P-4000 and D2X) - although I'm sure they are: but how to find out? iGo are unwilling to commit to an answer. I've asked.
I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had any success in consolidating their adaptors. Or am I fated to walk the world with Medusa's head in my bag?
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  #2  
Old August 16th, 2006, 01:36 PM
Colin Jago Colin Jago is offline
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You can run some gear off a USB port on a laptop - so, for example, I'm recharging my phone and headset without needing their bricks. I don't think camera batteries can be done this way though.

Uniross sell a charging unit that will take all sorts of batteries from different camera makers. You just carry a lightweight plastic adapter for each battery type. It fits between the charger and the battery to create the connections. That can get rid of a few more bricks.

It is a pain, isn't it.

Colin
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  #3  
Old August 16th, 2006, 02:56 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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The easy way is to make sure you only buy stuff that takes, say AA, batteries. The canond20d grip, and the hyperdrive uses them. What else do you need??
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  #4  
Old August 17th, 2006, 04:47 AM
Sid Jervis Sid Jervis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James W Hill
Anyone out there have an eloquent solution to the problem of power adaptors? By 'problem' I mean the sheer number and variety needed to power various devices on the road.
I've looked at the iGo. And like the idea of one unit with interchangeable tips. But none of the tips are listed as compatible with some of my gear (Epson P-4000 and D2X) - although I'm sure they are: but how to find out? iGo are unwilling to commit to an answer. I've asked.
I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had any success in consolidating their adaptors. Or am I fated to walk the world with Medusa's head in my bag?
I use the iGo system, you are obviously aware that there are a wide range of tips available. Some of the items I use were not listed. The thing that I have found is on the packaging for each tip it details the voltage and current capabilities when using the specific tip. I buy my tips from radio shack, if I need to match a non listed item.
What do I do, check my adaptors current and voltage, and matched the physical size of the connector.
I don't own the P-4000 or a DX2, so I can't help on those items.
But reducing the debris of all the power supplies is possible.
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  #5  
Old August 17th, 2006, 04:50 AM
Andreas Kanon Andreas Kanon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray West
The easy way is to make sure you only buy stuff that takes, say AA, batteries. The canond20d grip, and the hyperdrive uses them. What else do you need??
That only works if the camera allows AA with a converter system, not sure the D2X does that.
Also AA batteries have much lower milliampere hours compared to the one designed for the camera so be ready to stock up on a massive pile of batteries.
Rechargeable AA batteries are even worse then those who can't be recharged.
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  #6  
Old August 17th, 2006, 07:15 AM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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The AA NmH rechargeables I use, state they are 2700mAH. The bp511a (canon) is 1390mAH. the 20d battery grip use two bp511a's, so total AH will be very similar. I have not tested to see what the end point voltage for the camera is, I'd guess at about 5.5V. A couple of fast rechargers (from 7dayshop.com) will recharge 8 AA's in under an hour. It is dubious if any charger, other than a canon charger, will recharge canon 511's to their full capacity.

What I am saying, is that if flexibility of power rsupply requirements is important to you, then you need to factor that in when you make your purchases. Personally, I am a bit fed up with the situation, as mentioned by the op, but commercial/marketing requirements ensure that manufacturer's will continue to introduce odd shaped batteries, to prevent the use of cheaper/better alternatives.

It is the same with remote controls, etc. The 350d uses a wired remote on a standard 2.5mm jack plug. A very crude mechanical switch device - retail about £25.00, easy to make an alternative using standard parts from radioshack/wherever. The 20D, etc. use a proprietory 3 pin canon connector, and the same mechanical switch, but costs about £40.00. no alternative connector being easily available. Is that good business practice? or sharp business practice. In two or three years/maybe less, it will be another 'design'.

Luckily, we have visitors, so I'll leave my mini rant, for now ;-)

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #7  
Old August 18th, 2006, 09:43 AM
James W Hill James W Hill is offline
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Thanks for your comments.
Weight is an issue for me. I take the point about factoring in power requirements when purchasing equipment but I shoot a lot. And I mean a lot. In some out of the way places. So I'm wondering about the relative weight of a sack full of batteries next to a snake nest-full of adaptors. Six of one, and half a dozen of another?
I'll take your advice and try and find some tips for the iGo. Either that or I'll ditch the lot, buy a brick of 35mm Tri-X, an M6 and climb back into my loin cloth!! Simplicity has never been so complicated.
Regards to all.
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  #8  
Old August 19th, 2006, 06:30 AM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi James,

Generally speaking, if you use 12v type (car adapter) chargers, then usually, in ootw places, there's something with a car battery in it. Also solar panels, can sometimes save the day. The big advantage of AA cells, is that there is probably a higher chance of buying them in out of the way places, compared to say a canon/nikon whatever.

I have designed/supplied video folk with power systems, but often they have assistants (normally 'the sound man' - sound of limb and body) to help carry it. Kilimanjaro and lead acid gel batteries is not a lot of fun, so I've been told.

afaik, the usa army are/will be using small, belt mounted diesel generators, probably because they can. I suspect much of what you think you need to take, you can leave at a base camp/wherever.

wrt wondering about the relative weight, you stop wondering, and start calculating. Its similar to working out how many pairs of socks you take.... If you want a hand in doing that, then I will need a load more info., and bear in mind that any advice is worth what you pay for it.

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #9  
Old August 22nd, 2006, 05:06 AM
James W Hill James W Hill is offline
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Thanks for your reply, Ray.
I'll be working in central Asia for a few months, mainly in rural areas - so not that remote in terms of geography but I am expecting periods of unreliable local power. A solar panel is a bit OTT for my requirements but I like the idea of using 12V batteries...
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  #10  
Old September 5th, 2006, 08:21 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray West
Hi James,

Generally speaking, if you use 12v type (car adapter) chargers, then usually, in ootw places, there's something with a car battery in it. Also solar panels, can sometimes save the day. The big advantage of AA cells, is that there is probably a higher chance of buying them in out of the way places, compared to say a canon/nikon whatever.
.........Best wishes,

Ray
Ray, what is the weight factor of a solar array capable of recharging your batteries. Say a laptop and a 5D? How does this compare to just carrying a sealed lead acid battery?

Asher
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  #11  
Old September 6th, 2006, 05:01 AM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Asher,

Its not that simple - whatever is? For the Kilimanjaro expedition, the solar panel used was basically a trickle charger, used to keep a spare set of batteries fully charged. If weight was a problem, they hired another porter. The equipment needs to be tailored to the requirements, and it is all a trade off, weight/cost/reliability/legality, etc.

You can start by calculating the energy requirements of your equipment, both overall, and peak, then allow a factor of safety. Then calculate the cost/weight of supplying that energy. Work out the implications of having back ups, and so on. Operating temperature, legal requirements in some countries, may restrict the choice of power source available. In many cases, an extra handful of aa alkaline cells will save the day.

The other obvious point, is that batteries will eventually become useless without a charging system of some sort, thus a couple of batteries and a charger can supply energy for much longer than is possible with, say, a couple of dozen batteries, but no charger.

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #12  
Old September 22nd, 2006, 10:23 AM
Charles Stirling Charles Stirling is offline
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Hi,
The D2x you need both the charger and a mains power supply (for holding the mirror up to clean the sensor, essential on a long trip). AAs are great for where they can be standardized on but thats limited, one of my chargers for those has an electronic “transformer” so weighs much less than the conventional transformers. Wish more of those would be provided.
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