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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #1
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Anton to HVX200 voltage converter?

Does anyone have a source for a DC/DC converter that'll take the nominal 14 volts of a typical brick-type battery and step it down to regulated 7.5-7.9v?

Also, is anyone familiar with the acceptable operating voltage range of the 200? I'm a bit puzzled (and nervous) about the jump from the DVX's 7.2 to the HVX's 7.9 -- that kind of implies that it really ~needs~ that extra little bump in voltage, or they wouldn't have done it, especially since 7.9 is a downright ~unusual~ voltage.

I've considered cannibalizing a switchable cigarette lighter power supply for laptops, cel phones, etc., since 7.5v is standard on the units that offer a variety of switchable output voltages. I figured 7.5 is realistically safe, since Panasonic's own batteries undoubtedly drop that low as they start to discharge. However, the units are a bit bulky...

Anyone have any suggestions on any of this (ahem... Robert? Barry? Jan?)

I'd prefer to just get the dc/dc converter chip, since my plan is to mount it on the back face of an Anton GoldMount plate. (Heat sink is not a problem...the plate is mounted on a large block of aluminum... let's just say it's an anodized red aluminum object produced by a company that wants a VERY hefty fee just to make up a 14 to 7.9v cable. I'm a bit miffed, since same company's website clearly says the Red Anodized Object comes with a 7.9 volt tap on it, when in fact it doesn't unless you buy the V-mount version.) Anton also makes a GoldMount with a built-in Panasonic paddle that provides 7.2 volts for the DVX100 (at an even more astronomical fee, considering the chip probably costs about $20) I've tried all the usual places (Digi-Key, etc.) and all I'm finding in this voltage are pre-made, switchable car voltage converters. It'd be great to be able to just get the chip.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:15 PM   #2
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Franken-cam

Before you get all Frankenstein-like with your rig, take a look at the Zacuto mounting system. I just picked one up this week for my big project I'm starting this weekend.

It's an entire system that is rail-based, but one of the cool features is that they make a very large and powerful battery designed to mount to their rail system that will power the HVX, Marshall monitor, external drive (Firestore or Cineporter) all in one nice package.

Check it out: www.zacuto-rentals.com

Tell Steve that I sent you.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:18 PM   #3
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That would be the offending Red Anodized Object, Robert! :-)
His Anton version doesn't give you 7.9 out, despite the web advertising. I won't even say what he wanted for a cable...
And I really don't want to add yet another battery type into the mix.

That said, the RAO is nicely made.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:22 PM   #4
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Seeing Red

Ahh, I seemed to have missed that metal/color clue.

FWIW, I did not purchase the power system, just the rail mounting stuff. It gives me more options than just my CO/Vocas rail system did and a more logical method for putting the Marshall monitor near the rig without going to an external mount.

Yeah, the prices are a bit hefty, but it is what it is.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:32 PM   #5
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Red...preferred color of Bullfighters

Agreed, the CO rails are useful for...only the mattebox.

I've got a Redrock M2 on order, so I'm planning on using those rails (Steve seems suspicious of their plate, but hey, he's got a competing system...I'll post a user report when I get the CO, M2 and Zacuto Red Plate all on Redrock's rails.)

I got the impression from a phone call with Steve that his IDX/V plate has dual voltage taps, but I'm clarifying that before I decide what to do.

In the meantime, I'm still looking for a converter-regulator on a chip that gives me 12-15v input to 7.5 or 8v output at 2 amps or greater. It's a surprisingly obscure item.

====EDITED UPDATE====
Steve at the Red Object Company ;-) is sending me a prototype plate (no charge) that they haven't yet gotten to work reliably, in hopes we can tagteam troubleshoot this thing... for those of us who're not averse to using a rail system, being able to power one or more accessories (including the camera) off one standard battery would be a nice plus.
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Last edited by Scott Auerbach; May 26th, 2006 at 12:25 PM.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 07:39 PM   #6
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FWIW I spoke with the Anton-Bauer folks at NAB about power for the HVX200 and the Canon XL-2.

For the XL-2 he showed me the $600 batteries and the $1200 charger. When I told him we were also considering HD with the HVX200, he walked me over to the ELIPZ 10K. It's a litlte blue battery that mounts between the tripod head and the camera. The price is about $300 including charger and is spec'd to power the HVX200 for 5 hours.

If I take him at his word that's $600 for two batteries vs. $2,400 for two batteries and a charger. Granted, the big package would handle 16 hours vs 10, but I don't want to rely on a single battery in either case. The change'll buy me a couple of P2 cards...

Anyway, a $300 battery/charger may be the way to go, if you can't find the converter.

(prices may vary...)

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Old May 26th, 2006, 07:57 PM   #7
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power converter

This may be what you're looking for:
http://www.dolgin.net/DCConverterPan.htm
Regards,
Shane
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Old May 27th, 2006, 09:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Auerbach
Does anyone have a source for a DC/DC converter that'll take the nominal 14 volts of a typical brick-type battery and step it down to regulated 7.5-7.9v?
I do believe that you can purchase a cable from Anton that will give you the power supply clip to a gold mount with a cable in between.

And yes the HVX needs its power and yes Anton has worked with it.

Best,

Jan
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Old May 27th, 2006, 11:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Crittenden Livingston
I do believe that you can purchase a cable from Anton that will give you the power supply clip to a gold mount with a cable in between.

And yes the HVX needs its power and yes Anton has worked with it.

Best,

Jan
Thanks Jan!...
The specs on the Anton GoldMount-to-Panasonic paddle is that it provides 7.2v and is designed for the DVX100... Will that work on the HVX, or is there a newer model that isn't showing up yet in their catalog? I was a bit concerned about the published specs on the HVX being 7.9 instead of 7.2v.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 11:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane F. Kelly
This may be what you're looking for:
http://www.dolgin.net/DCConverterPan.htm
Regards,
Shane
Thanks...yeah, that does it... but Dolgin requires going GoldMount to 4-pin XLR, then their box, then the paddle. Most of the size of that box is to accomodate the battery output LEDS (with Hytrons, that's on the battery already, anyway) and the 4-pin XLR. Since I already have a rail-mounted Anton plate and an extra Panasonic power paddle, I'd much rather just get the $20 dc/dc chip and a female socket for the Panasonic cable, and make it myself... way cheaper and neater... less stuff banging around at the back of the camera.

But thanks for that link... I think that'll be a popular item with a lot of the forum users!
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Old May 27th, 2006, 11:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst
FWIW I spoke with the Anton-Bauer folks at NAB about power for the HVX200 and the Canon XL-2.

Anyway, a $300 battery/charger may be the way to go, if you can't find the converter.
Thanks, Jon.
The Elipz just isn't an option for me... I don't want more stuff stacked on the bottom of the camera. (though it's an interesting product..) And I already own a bunch of almost-new Hytrons and associated gear leftover from my Beta, so I'd rather work with them.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Auerbach
It'd be great to be able to just get the chip.
Just a word of caution Scott. The reason you can not find the elusive DC/DC chip is it does not exist for the power levels a camera and particularly 200 needs. The camera needs about 15W to operate. A good solid DC converter is about 85% efficient so about 2W is going to waste, which is the best current technology can offer. Using something not very efficient (home made), not only would call for a hefty heatsink, but also will contribute to global warming (at list in the immediate area of the camera). Not talking about the battery energy being wasted on heating instead of doing something usefull like powering a camera :-)
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Old May 29th, 2006, 12:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Dolgin
The reason you can not find the elusive DC/DC chip is it does not exist for the power levels a camera and particularly 200 needs. The camera needs about 15W to operate. A good solid DC converter is about 85% efficient so about 2W is going to waste, which is the best current technology can offer. Using something not very efficient (home made), not only would call for a hefty heatsink, but also will contribute to global warming (at list in the immediate area of the camera). Not talking about the battery energy being wasted on heating instead of doing something usefull like powering a camera :-)
<chuckle>
Early on in the thread, I discussed that my intended mounting plan included using a big aluminum piece of the rig as a natural heatsink...way more than the converter would need.

As for it not existing... mmmm c'mon... I've run across LOTS of regulated 20w converters small enough to tuck under the anton plate the way I'm intending (1"x2"x.4"), just not with 7.9v output yet.

Just one example of many:
http://www.wallindustries.com/produc...idCategory=126

Perhaps I should've been more exact when I referred to it as "a chip." I'm sure it's more than just a single IC, but it's a tiny, integrated package.

You've got what looks like a ~fine~ product; it just isn't appropriate for my specific rig design. But let's not go saying that what I'm trying to find doesn't exist, and will cause a worldwide die-off of whales! LOL

Marketing suggestion:
What WOULD be useful for me (and others) is a box like yours that, instead of a 4-pin XLR, had a short, integrated cable out to a male Anton Powertap plug (with strain relief, of course). I could then just Velcro it onto the back of the Anton. Sure, I could make up an XLR-to-Powertap cable, but that's one more little part to thrash around and/or lose...and the XLR connector is way clunky for this application. Plus, the LEDs are redundant with modern Anton or IDX batts with built-in readouts.

Waddayasay, Alex?
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Old May 29th, 2006, 08:11 AM   #14
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Scott, we make our converter for almost 10 years now (it was a part of another product first, reviewed here http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article24.php in 1998).
It was always intended to be a generic device, used with any 12-14v volts source, XLR connection addressing this. You are right that the overall size is established by the XLR connector. BTW, it also has a smaller 2.1 mm DC input jack right next to the XLR. As far as AB, they are a fine engineering company, they offer their plate with a 7.2V converter inside for a few years now. I do not follow their products closely, not sure if they allow to power your camera. Keep in mind that 15-20W required by the HD cameras call for higher power rating both from the converter and all the connections, plugs etc. Even a slight imperfection in the plug/jack would cause all kinds of troubles.
As far as your concern regarding 7.9V. It is all a matter of specmanship/semantics. I do not know why Panasonic started calling it 7.9V power. All 2 cell Li-Ion packs are 8.4V fully charged, about 6V discharged. They are at 7.2V most of their discharge time in the camera, that is where 7.2V originally came from. By calling them 7.9V one does not change that. So if you rig yourself a 7.2V converter, it will work as well as a 7.9V one, just the voltage meter in the viewfinder will be showing lesser run time left.
HTH
Alex Dolgin
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Old May 30th, 2006, 12:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Dolgin
As far as your concern regarding 7.9V. It is all a matter of specmanship/semantics. I do not know why Panasonic started calling it 7.9V power. All 2 cell Li-Ion packs are 8.4V fully charged, about 6V discharged. They are at 7.2V most of their discharge time in the camera...
Thanks... I suspected that was the case, but never got a clear response from Jan at Panasonic in her earlier reply to my question about 7.2 vs 7.9--
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