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  1. #1
    Chriscc123's Avatar
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    DIY battery pack for monolights?

    as i have not the money for big lighting kits, is there a cheap way to give my lights "legs"?
    What is one to do as one watches humanity slowly destroy itself?

  2. #2
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    A deep discharge 12-volt marine battery coupled to a small inverter? Not lightweight or able to fit on your belt, but a reasonable amount of sorta-portable electrons.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

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    Are they newer Bowens lights?
    They have a Traveller Pack that you can attach their later lights to - could be an option.

  4. #4
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    It isn't 'big' lighting, but I run pack and head battery powered strobes with UPS style gell cells offboard to power them. I have a Metz 60CT1/2 and an old Braun Hobby 300. Both are powerful portable flash, that are usable outside though soft boxes and reflectors for head and shoulders portraiture main lights, or for fill lighting when ambient light is judiciously oriented as the main light. I also gel the fill to match the estimated colour temp of the ambient outside from time to time.

    It is heaps more portable than my speedo rig.

    As to deep cycle and invertor; most regular invertors shut down on excess load. The inrush of recharging a normal AC flash pack or monolight will almost certianly shut the invertor down. There are specifically designed portable lighting power packs, and this is why they exist.
    my real name, imagine that.

  5. #5

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    This may give you some ideas: http://www.alienbees.com/VIIsystem.html

    Mike, anything special you do to use the gell cells? Is matching voltage enough?
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  6. #6
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Wilde View Post
    As to deep cycle and invertor; most regular invertors shut down on excess load. The inrush of recharging a normal AC flash pack or monolight will almost certianly shut the invertor down. There are specifically designed portable lighting power packs, and this is why they exist.
    Well, the OP did specify "cheap" and "do-it-yourself."

    If the initial current drawdown is significant, then simply match the inverter's surge capacity to handle it. And if greater battery life is desired, just add another unit in parallel.

    Simple modified square wave inverters and marine batteries can be found these days pretty inexpensively. And if it turns out these really won't do, it was worth a try to save some money.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  7. #7

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    What kind of light is it? Hot light with halogen? incandescent?, florescent? Flash? What's the voltage and current requirement? What level of portability do you require? How long does it have to run? Budget in term of dollar amount? I can think of couple options but I got to know some requirements.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #8
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=tkamiya;1052798]What kind of light is it? /QUOTE]

    Good thoughts. I popped to flash too quickly. There is LED and photo temp flourecsent, as well as halogen that are within reach running off of an invertor.

    I regularly shoot 6x6 meduim format and 4x5, so most continous sources don't pack the wallop of light I am looking to use to get a bit of depth of field when used as main in dark situations, or the right light ratio if I am filling with natural light.
    my real name, imagine that.

  9. #9
    Chriscc123's Avatar
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    they are flash, no idea about any specs on them... there really cheap, some(3) promaster heads that i got to mess around with for about a 100 bucks, lets put it like this i am a high school student (theres budget for you) and i would like for them to last for maby a round of headshots before i need to recharge, i don't think promaster (i hate promaster) made many lights, as for watts... maby 500.... seems a long shot though... and they plug into the wall so 120 volts?
    What is one to do as one watches humanity slowly destroy itself?

  10. #10

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    OK, if it's flash, your power source requirement is fairly low. Flash charge up internal capacitor and actual "fire" is generated from it.

    Some of the less expensive flash uses "wall warts" for power. That's the cube looking thing that plugs into the wall. Is that the case? Or, does it plug directly into the outlet? If it's the wall wart type, look at it and see what it says....

    Be careful with inexpensive inverters.... Those does not necessary generate clean power, and it *can* put enough stress on cheaply designed flash to blow is circuit. They are often not built with enough margin for safety. (ie. protection towards not so clean power input)
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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