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Old May 21st, 2008, 01:37 AM   #1
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What's the best way to charge batteries when off the grid?

Hi Guys,

I'm about to go into one of the most remote areas of Australia to film, I'm using the HD251 and VMount batteris, has anyone used Generators or similar to recharge the batteries, and did you use some sort of power regulator?
Or a good solar battery charging system?

thanks

Adam
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Old May 21st, 2008, 08:18 AM   #2
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I use a simple 150W 12V cigarette lighter to AC inverter with my charger and it works fine. I also have a 400W inverter with a battery system that can be charged with a solar attachment. I generally use this for my laptop charger but it works with the Anton Bauer charger too.


Moved this to "Home, Away from Home" forum.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 11:21 AM   #3
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I also use a 12v DC inverter. I also have a set of battery clamps that connect to a cigarette lighter (female) jack so that I can tap into the actual car battery (while parked of course) if the car we've arranged either doesn't have a cigarette lighter (RIGHT!) or it just doesn't work. If I need to, I'll pop the hood, attach the battery leads and then plug in my inverter. Newer inverters sometimes come with battery clamps standard.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:08 PM   #4
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Dear Adam,

Depending on your camera, you may be able to purchase a DC operated battery charger for your batteries.

Canon makes a nice one for their BP-NNN batteries. This would be more efficient than using an inverter to power a 110 V powered battery charger.

Of course, efficiency is not a big concern in most cases. But, if you have a battery that is going to be on the charger for hours and you car will not be running, efficiency can be a concern.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 03:41 AM   #5
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Thanks guys

so do you use your standard battery charger and just plug it into a 12v cigarette lighter? I'm just concerned over the quality of power being supplied whether it could destroy the batteries or even the charger, which is a globalmediapro vmount charger as well, I'm not sure how robust its circuitry is.

Just don't want to destroy it and have no backup
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 04:37 AM   #6
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Dear Adam,

Most common inverters are "Modified Sine Wave". This type of power is ok for some items, but not for sensitive electronics.

The manual for most of these specifically recommend against powering sensitive electronics, specifically some types of electronic battery chargers.

The modern switching power supply used in good quality battery chargers, or even in the compact size battery chargers require normal sine-wave electricity and "Modified Sine Wave" power is not appropriate.

I realize that many use these common inverters without apparent damage to their chargers.

For some battery types, it is relatively easy to purchase a low cost, 12-volt dc battery charger. For the more expensive battery types, these are harder to find.

One alternative is to get a sine-wave inverter at substantially more cost.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 05:22 PM   #7
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Thanks for Dan

thats great, I'll see what I can find, thanks everyone, appreciate your feedback

regards

Adam
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 07:12 PM   #8
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Dear Adam,

You are most welcome.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 06:02 AM   #9
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I keep an inverter in the car just for charging up the camera and light batteries when working MON (Middle Of Nowhere) or on the return trip from a news shoot.

I also keep a 20 metre extension cord as well - and a 'surgebuster' to plug into whatever mains power source I use - inverter or main grid - as added insurance.

I would suggest avoiding a generator, unless its one of the reeeally expensive ones like Honda. I have seen an audio amp let all the smoke out, a power plug sparkle, and the extension cord go up in flames at a wedding in the bush. Nearly melted my shoes, stomping out the flames!

Ben
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