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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old March 19th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #1
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Power handling on PD150, PD170, PDX10 and other cameras

These days I have been shooting a documentary with a PD150, that really saved my job because my PDX10 didn't still make it here (Brazil).

But this specific camera had just two batteries available, one of them refusing to take charging anymore.

So this got me thinking again on alternative ways to power these cameras ad infinitum, without relying on AC or a lot of expensive batteries.

Maybe this is not a matter that might sound interesting to those who can order such stuff easily from B&H. But there's a practical angle to what I am going to propose for them too.

Power matters do not seem to have changed to much since I bought my Sony Hi8 years ago. Batteries are still 7.2v, still Li-Ion and only vary in current capacity. The latter is obvious when you consider the demands of LCD screens, particularly if they are large.

On my Hi8 camera, the cable going from the AC supply to the camera was detachable, and you could get gel batteries that used that same two-pin connector to plug that same cable. Voilá: external supply!

Greedy Sony could not allow that anymore, so now that cable is not detachable.

They also invented a system to prevent us from using third-party batteries: if your battery is not Info-Lithium ready, your camera may refuse to work.

But DC power is DC power, and you can go around that. The cable carrying the DC from the supply is a single supply type: just 8.4v goes through it. It's more than what the camera needs, but it also provides charging power.

DV cameras need much less than 8.4v or 7.2v to work fine. My Hi8 did fine with just 6v, as the internal regulators probably need just 5v to power its DC-DC circuits that feed the camera.

Guess what? DV cameras only need that too. And that goes for ALL prosumer DV cameras, whatever the brand. You just need to cut that DC cable and put some good connector in between. My preference goes for the XLR-4 types, so I won't plug a mic cable on it when I am in a non-thinking rush.

Then you can plug any 6v gel battery on the other side, as long as you provide the right XLR-4 connector. Even more: you can plug any NiMH battery, already coming in 7.2V versions for car-racing.

You can also provide external batteries which you can assemble yourself using six-1.2V cells in-series. Just pick say a D-type that has a 11 Amp capacity, and you will be able to use it for a whole day shooting! Less than $100 for the batteries!

What I am suggesting is certainly not new and probably others already are using such arrangements. In fact I would like to have some feedback from those that do and know of other battery options they found.


Carlos
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Old March 20th, 2005, 01:57 PM   #2
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VX runs out of power

Sony officially discontinued products NP-F960 make sure you stock up 'coz they are now history - affects PD170 too

I am not sure the NP-F970 are too big for the VX/PD





http://www.ecat.sony.co.jp/tourist/videocamera/bak.cfm?B2=85&LG=1&PG=2
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Old March 20th, 2005, 03:28 PM   #3
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Re: VX runs out of power

<<<-- Originally posted by John Jay : Sony officially discontinued products NP-F960 make sure you stock up 'coz they are now history - affects PD170 too

-->>>


What I am proposing eliminates any innovations Sony might do, as you go in with DC through the power supply input.

It's valid for any DV camera, BTW.


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Old March 20th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #4
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you're gonna need it :)
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Old March 20th, 2005, 03:53 PM   #5
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Carlos: these threads might be of interest...

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=24628
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=26832
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=30154
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Old March 20th, 2005, 07:03 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by John Jay : you're gonna need it :) -->>>

What is it I am gonna need?


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Old March 20th, 2005, 07:58 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : these threads might be of interest...

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=24628
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=26832
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=30154 -->>>


Thanks for the thread suggestions, Boyd.

The battery I will be using right away is a Bescor gel type, which I am still trying to find out what its specs are so I can design a better charger.

12v heavy batteries are not the way to go, as you very well pointed on one of those threads.

What I am thinking of is going really light, and what I was wondering was if someone had already gone through that path and found out different options.

For that you have to find out what is better:

1) Nicads are definitely out, as they develop charge memory and become useless very quickly. They are also very polluting and should be avoided.

2) NiMHs are the best way to go and became widely available both in voltages and in current capacity. It's the best way to go if you are ready for some discomforts. Higher capacity types come in "C" and "D" types, but you can setup packages of up to 12 Amperes capacity, 7.2v batteries. That should take you non-stop for more than 12 hours of continuous shooting, even on a PDX10.

Problem to solve: you will need a six-battery holder.

These might be the batteries:

http://www.thomas-distributing.com/cta-d-rechargeable-batteries.php

This might be the charger for the package:

http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1215&HS=1

3) Gel batteries. Are the most cheaper. They do not seem to be as popular now, after the widespread use of NiMHs and Li-Ions.

4) Li-Ion batterries. The lightest option. You just have to be careful with the chargers. Or get something like this:

http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1306

Capacity is not the highest, though.



Carlos
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