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Old December 29th, 2009, 06:22 AM   #1
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Video light does not work on 'auto'

On the PDW-F350, an attached video light, powered from the camera's powertap contact, and with the 'light' switch set to 'auto', should light up automatically as soon as recording starts. This does not happen. When I measure the output power at the power tap contact, the multimeter indicates 12.03 Volts, so that's perfect. But when I plug in the videolight , nothing happens. Plugged straight into the battery, the light works fine... very puzzling.

I've searched in the manual again and again and I don't find any explanation other than how to connect the light. Is there perhaps some hidden menu where something has to be set that I don't know of? Or anything else that I've missed?
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Old December 29th, 2009, 06:34 AM   #2
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it works fine here with a connected anton bauer ultralight, I don't see anything related in the menu

does the light work with the auto switch in off position?
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Old December 29th, 2009, 06:38 AM   #3
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is the switch on the light itself set to on?

In the DSR series of cameras there is nothing in the menu to change, it's all in the switch.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 06:39 AM   #4
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Nope, the light only works when I plug it straight into the battery. It doesn't work from the camera's powertap outlet, no matter if the switch is on 'manual' or 'auto'. The strangest thing though is that I measure 12.03 volts there.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 06:55 AM   #5
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Two possibilities: is the camera actually providing power to the light? Is it the same connector that goes to cam and battery? Or is there an adapter that could be failing to pass power?

Is your light drawing more power than the cam can deliver? (Causing a circuit breaker to shut down.)
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Old December 29th, 2009, 07:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
is the switch on the light itself set to on?

In the DSR series of cameras there is nothing in the menu to change, it's all in the switch.
Yep, light switch is on and the light works fine when powered straight from the battery. The camera Powerplug outlet does deliver 12 volts, though.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 07:28 AM   #7
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I measure a very stable - so probably stabilised -12.03 Volts at the outlet plug of the powertap on the camera, so it's delivering the normal voltage. But when I plug the lamp in the same powertap-outlet, it doens't work. Nor in 'auto' or in 'manual'. But when I plug in the lamp straight into the powertap of the V-lock battery...it works fine.

So there are 2 possibilities: or the lamp needs more than 12 volts, which wuold surprise me, or the drawn current is too high and there's some protection circuit in the camera that limits the current.

Third possibily: I'm using a Bebop Light with a delay-cicuit in the plug. Could this circuitry be causing the trouble? I have no other light to do the comparison.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 10:18 AM   #8
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hmm, could be. I have only used Anton Bauer lights on my fullsized cams and when I plugged into the power tap on the cam and set the switch it always worked.

Is there a switch on the battery mounting plate? I had a switch on the AB plate but honestly I can't remember if I ever had to flip it on or off to make the powertap on the camera work.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #9
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You need to measure the current inline to the light, to see if it is accepting current. Also maybe try to use the meter to capture-and-hold the peak current in the event circuit breaker protection is at play. If it's neither of the above, it would sound like a possible open ground at the connector. A high impedance digital meter (which I assume) can accurately measure the voltage on the hot leg to a poor ground that can't deliver the current to sustain that voltage under an actual load. (You already knew all that.)
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Old December 29th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #10
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hmm, could be. I have only used Anton Bauer lights on my fullsized cams and when I plugged into the power tap on the cam and set the switch it always worked.

Is there a switch on the battery mounting plate? I had a switch on the AB plate but honestly I can't remember if I ever had to flip it on or off to make the powertap on the camera work.
No, no switch on the battery plate. Do the Anton Bauer lights have a delay-circuit that prevents a sudden current surge to the bulb? The Bebop lamp does have that, and I'm suspecting this circuitry to block the current, because the F350 is apparently already stabilising the current that comes out of the D-rap plug. Just a guess though.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 12:41 PM   #11
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Did you say what brand your light is?
Does it happen to be a Frezzi?
I have a Frezzi that won't light sometimes and I can only get it to kick on by repidly flipping the toggle switch on the light back and forth. After 4-5 kickstarts it will usually fire up.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 12:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
You need to measure the current inline to the light, to see if it is accepting current. Also maybe try to use the meter to capture-and-hold the peak current in the event circuit breaker protection is at play. If it's neither of the above, it would sound like a possible open ground at the connector. A high impedance digital meter (which I assume) can accurately measure the voltage on the hot leg to a poor ground that can't deliver the current to sustain that voltage under an actual load. (You already knew all that.)
No I certainly didn't know all that; I'm just a simple still photographer, not a qualified electrician :-)
I'll try to do some more measurements with my (very basic) Fluke and the aid of some mini crocodile clamps tomorrow. Thanks for the advice!
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Old December 29th, 2009, 12:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Did you say what brand your light is?
Does it happen to be a Frezzi?
I have a Frezzi that won't light sometimes and I can only get it to kick on by repidly flipping the toggle switch on the light back and forth. After 4-5 kickstarts it will usually fire up.
Hi Doug,
yeah, I mentioned it is a Bebop. Not the most expensive or sophisticated kind of lamp, but for my purposes and on the HVR-S270 it was sufficient and it worked flawlessly. I just gave it the kickstart treatment and that didn't help either.

I tried it again on the S270 and there it works perfectly, even if I measure only 11.7 Volts at the D-tap output there. The F250 delivers slightly more than 12 volts an nothing happens. But I'll try to carry out the measurements that Tom suggested and see what happens.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #14
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yeah, depending on the AB plate it might not have the switch so that's obviously not it.

It could very well be something in the camera maybe a menu setting, I don't really know but if it works on the 270 then I doubt it's the light and no, the AB doesn't have a delay circuit that I'm aware of.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 02:14 PM   #15
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Then I'm suspecting the delay-circuitry in the plug. I'll try to find another brand of lamp somewhere to test if that suspicion is correct.
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