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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old February 8th, 2009, 10:16 PM   #16
Convergent Design
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 869
Monitoring Battery Voltage

Hi Everyone-
We could add a battery voltage monitor to the XDR, but be aware that Li-Ion and Li-Poly batteries have a very flat discharge curve. The output voltage, usually 7.4V (dual cell) or 14.4V (quad cell) is very flat for 80-90% of the battery life. It will drop off rapidly when you only have about 5-10% of the capacity left. So, it's difficult to quantify the amount of capacity left by simply measuring the cell voltage.

However, on Nickle Metal Hydride batteries, you can make a good estimate of the remaining capacity as these batteries have a fairly linear voltage dropoff with diminishing capacity.

I promise to continue studying the options.

Mike Schell
Convergent Design
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Old February 9th, 2009, 12:03 AM   #17
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Eugene Oregon
Posts: 56
Yes I know about the Lithium batteries. When I see the gauge start to drop, I change the battery ASAP. And, that's just the issue with the XDR. We need to see the needle drop.

I'm using the IDX NP-L7S to run the XDR with the 3 point indicator. I just don't have time to pull the battery up and check it. I need to be able to glance the XDR and see a level.

I don't know if having a larger battery to run the camera and the XDR would solve the problem or create another one. At least I would see the gauge in the viewfinder when shooting and in the info window on the side of the camera.

A larger battery would also add more weight. My camera with wireless units, camera light, XDR, etc. is +/- 30 pounds now and you can add carrying extra tapes, batteries and more. A full day of handheld work is brutal.

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Old February 10th, 2009, 07:53 AM   #18
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Incline Village, Nevada
Posts: 604
You could use a belt-pack type battery setup and that would put the weight on your hips and off your shoulder. Depending on the type of battery and number of batteries in the pack, you could run the XDR all day. Several manufacturers make them like NRG, PAG, Bescor, etc.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 08:50 AM   #19
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Eugene Oregon
Posts: 56
Thanks John for the suggestion. I am already wearing a battery belt to run the camera light, plus the 2 NP Lithiums to run the camera, XDR and wireless.

The problem with a battery belt is the cable. It gets in the way and ties you to the camera.

I was checking out brick batteries yesterday. The issue there is the 5+ pounds of weight on the back of the camera, plus the price. It will cost me from $1500 to $2500 to change over to another battery system. I have used them before; back in the days of the 400A.

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