Anton Bauer has a new addition to their Dionic series of Lithium-Ion batteries. The new “Dionic HCX” battery is a 120WH battery that stays within the guidelines for lithium-ion transport aboard aircraft. You can carry 2 of these aboard and still be legal according to John Limauro of Anton Bauer.
The HCX battery also sports an updated LCD status display and has a ‘sleep mode’ which shuts the battery down and prevents prolonged discharge after 2 weeks of inactivity. Interestingly enough, the battery defines activity by using motion sensing technology. When you move the battery, it wakes itself up from hibernation and resets the sleep timer. A novel approach.
Also being shown is their new Battery Management System. The system is a basic gold mount plate with a USB interface cable for connecting to your PC. Unfortunately, the software is Windows only at this time. However, the included software provides many useful tidbits of information about the health of your Anton Bauer battery. One feature of the software that I think will be useful is a drop down selection list where you can select your camera model and then the software will tell you your approximate run-time for that particular battery, based on having a 25 watt on camera light attached. Another nice feature is the ability to configure the software so that it can email, yes email Anton Bauer when the battery’s charge capacity drops below 50%, alerting them that your battery may require servicing.
There is also the Tandem 150 Charger/AC camera power supply. Unlike the Titan 70, the meat of the charger has now been moved to an inline type power brick, making the mount that holds the battery and attaches to the camera much thinner and lighter. The mount now uses an input connector for use with multiple sources. Because the new Tandem Charger has more output, when plugged into AC, it can run your camera and charge the battery simultaneously. However, if your camera system’s power draw exceeds 75 watts, the system will dis-continue battery charging and go into power adapter only mode for powering the camera.
Remember what I said about multiple input sources? There is a cable with a cigarette lighter plug for mobile charging which is pretty self explanatory. However, if you are really out of touch with civilization, the Anton Bauer folding solar panel can attach to the Tandem 150 to charge a Dionic 90 in 3 hours with full sunlight. I also noticed that the cable that attaches to the solar panel was terminated in a female cigarette lighter plug. You then use the aforementioned cigarette lighter adapter to bridge the connection to the charger. That female plug could also allow you to power or charge other low power devices such as your mobile phone in the middle of nowhere. I asked John if the panels could be connected in parallel for higher output and the answer was no. However, in my opinion, anytime you can get multiple uses out of something, it becomes that much more cost effective.
It’s fairly common knowledge that the Anton Bauer name carries a price premium. But, they do try to take care of their customers and make it easy to send in their products for repair/evaluation using a downloadable service request form on their website. I’ve had personal experience with that process on a Dionic 90 that I sent in to be evaluated. It received a full checkout and was returned to me with a nice printout of the battery’s health and I wasn’t charged a single penny except for the price of shipping it to them. That’s the sort of peace of mind you get when you go with a major name company that takes its products seriously. And to me, Anton Bauer is one such company.