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Tobin Strickland October 26th, 2017 01:24 PM

DC power charging batteries while traveling
 
I've decided that i"m going to get back into outdoor videography in remote locations.. the only power I will have for days may be my trucks 12v power source. No Alternating current at all... or at least not likely.

I'd love to find a DSLR with high quality video and big lense options.. but need a way to charge the batteries while i'm 'at camp' at night.. which will probably be truck or RV?

thoughts, experiences? I'm sure someone has conquered this realm.

Mark Watson October 26th, 2017 09:49 PM

Re: DC power charging batteries while traveling
 
For charging at your vehicle, you could get a power inverter. I have a 750 Watt inverter that I use for charging batteries and cell phones, etc. It is not enough to power my big laptop, but will charge the laptop's battery if the computer is off. A couple features this DieHard inverter has is two 115vac outlets, a couple of USB charging ports, ability to connect directly to the battery via some clamps or plug into the cigarette lighter and it has a LCD readout of incoming volts DC, out-going volts AC and power draw in Watts. Also has a reset button for when you overload it. If you want a more permanent installation, you can get one wired into your vehicle's 12v system with appropriate circuit breaker or fuse protection. The device might draw more than your cigarette lighter can handle and you'll blow a fuse.

For re-charging away from the vehicle, I sometimes pack along a battery pack that came with my Kessler Crane motorized slider. It's a Bescor 12v battery with a cigarette lighter for its output connection. I use one of the smaller inverters with this setup. This battery works great but is an added load to the pack.

For my timelapse shoots, I bring plenty of batteries for my dSLR so it can go all night. I often shoot with 3 Canon dSLRs and have found that the cold weather will cause them to deplete faster, and also off-brand batteries I bought in Korea did not have the stamina of the original Canon batts. My cell phone battery will die within 6 hours up in the cold. Probably a combination of the temperature and the longer distance to the cell tower, which makes the phone boost it's signal. Bescor tops it off as well.

Medium Capacity Inverter:
https://www.walmart.com/ip/DieHard-E...verter&veh=sem

Small Inverter:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...2855/KBID/3801

Battery Pack:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...2855/KBID/3801

Boyd Ostroff October 27th, 2017 07:27 AM

Re: DC power charging batteries while traveling
 
Goal Zero has some very nice portable power packs in all sizes, I have a Yeti 400. They can be recharged from a wall outlet, vehicle cigaratte lighter or a solar panel. Might be overkill though if a simple inverter meets your needs. Portable Power Packs - Extreme Portable Power Backup - Goal Zero

Donald McPherson October 27th, 2017 10:47 AM

Re: DC power charging batteries while traveling
 
If you can charge via USB I would prefer something like this.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/NOCO-GB70-U...2Bstarter&th=1

Alex Dolgin October 28th, 2017 09:00 PM

Re: DC power charging batteries while traveling
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tobin Strickland (Post 1937964)
I've decided that i"m going to get back into outdoor videography in remote locations.. the only power I will have for days may be my trucks 12v power source. No Alternating current at all... or at least not likely.

I'd love to find a DSLR with high quality video and big lense options.. but need a way to charge the batteries while i'm 'at camp' at night.. which will probably be truck or RV?

thoughts, experiences? I'm sure someone has conquered this realm.

All our (except 14.4V batteries) battery chargers can be connected directly to a 12V DC source.
HTH

Seth Bloombaum November 2nd, 2017 02:19 PM

Re: DC power charging batteries while traveling
 
Having dealt with several campers and battery issues, I highly recommend charging from 12v. This usually means buying a 3rd party charger.

It's all a bit easier for dSLR, as there are more charging products. Dolgin's are excellent, but, that excellence comes at a cost, too!

For example, for dSLR I'm shooting a Canon 70D, which uses the LP-E6 batteries. I stick with Canon for the batts after some poor experiences with knockoffs. Video does use these way faster than stills. I can run all day on one batt for stills, but, I carry 5 to get me through a day or more of video.

This is the charger I use. Plates for other batteries are also available for it. We use the same chargers at my college; they've done well! 12v or 120v source.

Why not use an inverter? Because the power in your source battery, the one in your car, truck or RV is limited, and an inverter is an inefficient device. Why take 12v DC up to 120v AC only to charge at 8.5v DC? Burning extra capacity at every step? A 12v DC to 8.5V DC conversion is much more efficient.

According to the oracle of the internet, power loss through an inverter is 5-10% for a very good one, or up to 25% for lower quality. This could be the difference between your car starting or not, or one last day of shooting... Why pay money for an inverter to do this simple task in a wasteful way? Well, if you have enough source battery power and a whole raft of 120v chargers you like an inverter might make sense. I guess I'm frugal.

Tobin Strickland November 6th, 2017 08:32 AM

Re: DC power charging batteries while traveling
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex Dolgin (Post 1938012)
All our (except 14.4V batteries) battery chargers can be connected directly to a 12V DC source.
HTH

Alex... please elaborate and if you have a link or 2 that would be helpful.

thank you for the replies from everyone

Alex Dolgin November 6th, 2017 08:49 AM

Re: DC power charging batteries while traveling
 
2 Attachment(s)
Tobin, our battery chargers come with a 2.1mm DC jack so when AC power is not available, you use a simple 2.1mm cable to plug in directly into a car power outlet or any other DC power source (12V-20V) range. This is the simplest and most efficient way to power instead of using inverters.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...2855/KBID/3801
HTH


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