battery and mount for Magiqcam II at DVinfo.net

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Old October 18th, 2004, 11:48 PM   #1
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battery and mount for Magiqcam II

I've got a cheap LCD monitor from B&H that has a 12V DC input. I'd like to get a battery to mount on the sled to power the monitor and add balance to the sled. I find the huge selection of batteries and mounts confusing. Can someone recommend a good battery for a Magiqcam sled and I'm also confused about how you plug something in to the battery. Like I said, the monitor has a normal 12V DC input, so how do you connect that to an Anton Bauer battery for example?
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Old October 20th, 2004, 04:55 AM   #2
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hi tony,
you are selling off your rig so soon. your rig, it comes with the new gimbal or the older version?

ed
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Old October 21st, 2004, 08:55 AM   #3
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Tony, this may or may not be of any help, but I've recently acquired a inexpensive LCD myself (new from EBay). It's the kind made to mount in a car, so 12 volts is the rule. The battery that I'm currently (no pun intended) testing is a 12 volt alarm battery. The one I'm using is rated at 2.3 AH.

At this moment I have it hooked up and running--works fine, I'm just seeing how long it'll go for. Should be plenty for my work (the LCD is for a remote monitor attached to my homebuilt jib).

Alarm/UPS batteries come in a great variety of sizes, weights, and amp hour ratings; are sealed so that you can use them in any postion, and are rechargeable. They are also cheap. I picked up mine yesterday here in my town for about 15 USD. They are essentially very small automobile batteries. The one I have is about 7 inches long by 1.5 wide, 2.5 high. Easy to find a place to stow it--I think I'll be strapping it to a tripod leg. It would be easy to attach it to a belt, as well.

Hope some of that helps!

Chris
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Old October 21st, 2004, 11:53 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Long :
At this moment I have it hooked up and running--works fine, I'm just seeing how long it'll go for. -->>>

FYI The battery powered my LCD (5.6") for about 2 1/2 hours.

Chris
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 03:37 AM   #5
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Crap, I didn't realize that there were replies to my topic. I checked the "notify" box and I didn't get any mail for some reason.

First to answer Ed's question: I don't really care if I sell it or not. I've had it for a couple weeks and I don't have any time to practice with it and I wonder if maybe I'd just be better off hiring a steadicam operator when I go to shoot my movie... plus, there's other things I'd like to buy. The first day it came I spent an hour or two walking around with it and it's awesome. Since I haven't had any offers, I'll probably try to start practicing with it soon and see if anyone contacts me. I've got the old gimbal... the new gimbal isn't the reason for the higher price btw, because the series I magicam has the same sled as the series II and it's price didn't go up.

Chris, I have no idea what you're talking about but I really want to! Is it a car alarm battery? That sounds perfect. What store did you buy that battery at and what kind of adapter did you use to plug it into the DC input on your monitor? I'm sure you've seen a Magiqcam so maybe you can visualize what I need this battery to do. I'm going to velcro my lcd monitor to the monitor plate at the bottom of the sled and I need a battery to put on the battery plate on the other side of the sled and I need to connect the monitor to the battery with some kind of power cable. Can you tell me how to go about it?
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 09:14 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tony Hall : Chris, I have no idea what you're talking about but I really want to! -->>>

This line cracks me up! I love it.

This type of battery is used as back-up power in those security light/alarm system boxes you can see on walls of buildings everywhere. They are emergency backup power for the guts of the alarm...they're also used in computer UPS units to keep a computer powered up after a power failure (at least long enough to shut it down without losing any data). I bought mine at a local Battery Warehouse place, most medium-sized cities have such places.

Here's a link to what they look like.
www.powerqualityinc.com/alarmbattery.htm
The one I bought is identical to the "12V2AH" pictured--same dimensions and weight.

I have seen the Magiqcam, though I'm perfectly ignorant about it, so I'm not sure how much help I can be past a certain point. I hooked my battery to my LCD using a power plug that came with the LCD--the LCD has a power jack on the side. It came with a plug like this http://www.rpelectronics.com/Default...Div_31_050.asp
It's not exactly like these--mine is a right-angle plug, but you get the idea. So what you can do is dictated by what your LCD has as far as power jacks. If it just has wires coming out of it, and no power jack, then life is pretty good. You'll just need to connect the 2 wires to the 2 battery terminals, positive to positive, negative to negative, and it'll work fine.

For mine, I took the power plug, cut it off the wiring harness that came with the LCD, made sure I had the polarity correct, then wired it to the battery terminals. Just 2 wires, postive and negative. Very easy. I haven't settled on a final wiring design yet--but the battery has little metal tabs for terminals, and they are designed for those little insulated crimp-on connectors, so I'll use them for neatness' sake. These things: http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=64%2D3039

I can explain more if needed--ask away!

If you try one of these batteries, I'd advise buying it locally, and they'll test it at the store before you walk away with it. You can get them cheaper on the web, but you won't be certain of how "fresh" they are.

Chris

BTW I recharged my battery yesterday by using a wall transformer that I had lying around. It was an old "wall wart" that I didn't use anymore (they sold them at the battery store for $15, but I passed on it knowing I could make one at home for free) The output is 12 Volts DC, 500ma. Other sizes (750, 850, 1000ma) will do. I just cut off the connector that it came with and attached some alligator clips. Charged it up in under 2 hours. The transformer looks just like this: www.spytown.com//provps6vdcch.html
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 09:24 AM   #7
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You could also make up a battery pack for your belt, if the weight becomes a problem on the Magiqcam. Then you'd just need a lead that goes from the LCD to your belt, and the weight would be off the apparatus. I know some of the Bauers are belt packs.

Just a thought.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 01:07 PM   #8
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I don't think the weight will be a problem since the camera is front-heavy and the monitor (which is also on the front) is 1LB. So, a couple pounds won't hurt anything. There's a battery at radioshack that looks pretty similar:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...Fid=960%2D0454

So, did you pretty much take the ac-dc adapter and cut off the part that plugs into the wall? How did you know which was positive and negative? Maybe I'll just take my monitor down to Radioshack today and see what they say about it.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 02:03 PM   #9
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Yup, that's basically the same battery.

You can usually tell the polarity (that is, which is postive and which is negative) by a little diagram that is next to the jack, or on the label of the adapter. It's a little diagram of the connector, showing which is the positve or the negative. Take a look and see if it's on there. There was one on my LCD (next to the power connector jack) and there is one on nearly every wall transformer.

Then, knowing which part of a connector is which polarity, you can use an electronic multimeter (everyone should have one of these) to test continuity (see which part connects to which wire end). You can use the Ohms setting to measure resitance--the wire that connects through to a certain part of the connector will have no resistance, and the other is, well, the other.

Also, wires that have stripes or other markings tend to be the positive ones. Not completely foolproof, but fairly consistant. Ask at Radio Shack--and when you're there, I hope you get the "good" guy. There's usually only one, in my experience. ;^)

But they should know this stuff. Good luck--some of this is easier to show than to explain in writing, unfortunately. All of it is very simple, really--even if I make it sound complicated.

Chris
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 02:39 PM   #10
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Actually, look at what I just ordered at B&H: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=202691&is=REG Do you think this will do the job? It's made for Delvcam monitors which I think is similar to the one I have.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 03:19 PM   #11
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Looks like it should do the trick--if it's 12 volt, which we have to assume it is. Funny it doesn't have more info about it--I hate that. And hopefully that plug they show will fit your monitor. There's a good chance it will.

-->>>I just checked Delvcam's LCDs that B and H has. They are 12 volt, so that's cool; the polarity and size of the plug are the only other questions. I'm betting they will work fine, they seem to be fairly universal.

Nice that it comes with the belt and everything--looks like you have more options as to how to mount it now.

Good luck!

Chris
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 05:32 PM   #12
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Thanks man, you set me on the track to find that thing... cross your fingers :)
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 08:58 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Long : You could also make up a battery pack for your belt, if the weight becomes a problem on the Magiqcam. Then you'd just need a lead that goes from the LCD to your belt, and the weight would be off the apparatus. I know some of the Bauers are belt packs.

Just a thought. -->>>

I really wouldn't recommend that sort of thing with a stabilizer Chris...any kind of cable that comes off the rig is something to avoid if at all possible, it makes getting in and out of the rig cumbersome and it always affects the operating. Plus, power cables are generally not the most "relaxed" of cables (I have BNC runs that are virtually as thin as dental floss to minimize intrustiveness, something not possible with power cables).

Batteries belong on the rig, acting as counterweight for the camera.

Another inexpensive alternative is a power drill type battery. The batteries and quick chargers are inexpensive, easy to find and there are flashlight units that you can cannabilize to use as battery housings to mount on the rig. Dewalt and Makita both have options available for this sort of thing.
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Old October 23rd, 2004, 09:40 AM   #14
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Tony--glad to be of some help. Hope it all works out for you!

Charles--thanks for that comment. Obviously I don't have any practical experience with one of these rigs--just thinking off the top of my head (from the safety of my home). These alarm batteries come in such incremental sizes and weights, it might be easy to get just the right size when balancing a rig.

The "stiffness" of power cables is an issue, I'm sure. You might be interested in this, though (if not for this application than for some other project down the road): I recently was browsing around in a hobby shop that does a lively business in radio controlled vehicles of various kinds. They were selling a wire by the foot, intended for power cabling from from battery to motor, etc, that was absolutely limp. It draped, as a matter of fact. It was called "Deans Wet Noodle wire". I was impressed by the feel of it in my hand, very strange when your brain is expecting the usual stiff stuff.

I made a mental note of it. I'll use it when I come across a problem that requires its properties. It wasn't cheap, but it would be nice to use for the right application. I believe it was a silicone jacketed cable; it had some incredibly high strand count. Over 1500 if I remember correctly.

Chris

PS I looked at power tool batteries, too, but found for my job here they were all too oddly shaped to easily deal with, and fastening connectors to them seemed a little more trouble than I wanted to go through.
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Old October 23rd, 2004, 02:12 PM   #15
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Chris:

Thanks for the info about the Wet Noodle wire, very cool.
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