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Old August 21st, 2005, 03:31 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Audio gear power

Ive been using a Beachtek DXA-8 on a GL2 to power a Audio technica 4073a. One thing that I have noticed is that this thing is either a battery monster or there is something wrong with my setup. Ill attribute some of the short battery life to some cheap batteries, but on the whole Im not getting more than 1 hour of usable recorded audio out of it before it starts peaking and progressivly getting worse. Something else ive noticed is that these batteries still seem to have a good amount of juice (tounge test), but are not able to provide enough power for decent audio.

So I guess my first question is, is this normal and should I expect to just be buying batteries in bulk?

I thought I read somewhere that using a attenuator or something may help, is there any truth to that or am I off base?

What are some good power solutions out there for audio gear?

And finally what kind of batter life can you expect out of a Sound Devices 442 mixer powering a AT 4073a, Schoeps cmc641 or simalar mic if I were to upgrade?
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Old August 21st, 2005, 10:17 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Hartford, CT
Posts: 1,227
Not normal if you're using alkaline batteries, and not accidently leaving phantom on in the other channel while it's connected to something like a sound board. I had exactly the same problem with mine and returned it for exhange. No problems since. Last week I taped a 2.5 hour show using a CVS store brand battery supplying phantom power to an AT3031 and taking a board feed into the other channel. Both limiters were running. The battery was still going strong at the end.

True, the 4073a is a much hotter mic than the 3031, but according to AT's web site they draw about the same amount of current (3 mA for the 3031, 3.2 for the 4073). That makes sense, because the power consumed depends upon the load (the cam). If you and I are recording at the same level then you've turned your mic down and I've cranked mine up and our cams are seeing the same amount of signal coming in.

I still haven't risked trying to do a second event with a used battery, having had the bad early experience. But maybe I could now. One of these days I'll bench test the battery life. In the meantime I'm satisfied to know that a fresh battery will easily get me through my typical event. I find uses for the used batteries.

Anyway, call or write Harry Kaufmann at BeachTek. It's a good company and he's a great guy. He'll take care of you.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence..." - Calvin Coolidge
"My brain is wired to want to know how other things are wired." - Me
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 11:33 PM   #3
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Hmmm, alright. I will try and contact Harry. Thanks for the advise.
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