Portable Battery for Alienbees ringflash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by shortpballer, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    I just recently purchased an Alien Bees Ringflash. Is there a certain brand that is recommended for portable power? I know there is the one on the alienbees website. Is there one cheaper than this? better than this? etc. Please let me know, I have a photoshoot coming soon and need to a battery.

    Eric
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The Tronix Explorer XT, or the slightly less-powerful Tronix Explorer 1200 are both very good portable, 100 pure sine wave inverter battery systems. The big advantage they have over the Paul C. Buff units is two outlets, instead of one outlet. Similar in price to the Buff stuff, but the carry bags are not bright orange, they are black.

    You can order them from the web site. World-wide delivery is about three days. Innovatronix is the company that makes these units,and they have a pretty good reputation.
     
  3. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    Thank you derrel!! great information as always. I will look into them.
     
  4. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    derrel- I took a look at the website, and I am very lost. I have no idea which one to get. They have different voltages, etc. Which one would best suite me? I would most likely only be powering the ringflash.

    Eric
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Explorer XT 115 volt AC/60Hz model with bag, for $389, can handle up to 2400 watt-second power supplies. Has TWO, 12-volt, 12-ampere-hour sealed batteries, gives 1,000 full-power flashes with a 300-watt second monolight.
    Download the manual here http://www.innovatronix.com/tronixmanuals/Product Manual_Explorer XT.pdf

    You can buy it without the carrying bag for $349.

    The other option is on page 4 of their on-line catalog. The "Tronix Exlporer", also known as the Tronix Explorer 1200 model. This unit is only $319 solo, or add another $40 for the carrying bag. This currently has a $20 shipping discount, and free shipping on the bag. The normal shipping cost is $45. It has ONE 12 volt, 12 ampere-hour battery and will also do around 1,000 full-power flashes with a 300 watt-second monolight, but will not power 2,400 watt-second power supplies, and the recycle times are slightly slower on more-powerful flash units. For normal-powered flash units like a 400-wat-second power pack, the Explorer 1200 model I own is pretty close to 110 volt household AC recycle times. The 1200 model will handle a single ring light flash with no problems,especially if your shoots are under 600 flashes,and you do not need the faster recycling of a dual-battery system.

    You want the 115 volt AC/60 Hz models for use in the USA. Read about the ORIGINAL model, the 1200, here Rob Galbraith DPI: Tronix Explorer 1200 delivers on its promise of bargain performance

    The manual for the Tronix Explorer 1200 states that, "with the battery fully charged most flash units will have recycling times 50% faster than what is stated in this guide", and then goes on to provide what I would call worst-case scenario specifications, which are as follows: At 150 w-s 2,000 flashes at approximately 1-2 sec recycle time. For 300 w-s flash,performance is 1,000 flashes at apprx. 3-6 sec. recyle. With 600 w-s flash, it's 500 flashes with apprx. 8-15 second recycle time--and those recycle times are "worst case scenario"....I have a 300 w/s monolight that takes 4.2 second to recycle to full power, not 8 to 15 seconds. But if the battery were almost dead, it would take longer than 4.2 seconds to recycle.
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Tronix cost more.

    The Vagabond can power multiple flashes. PCB even says that all you have to do is put something like a surge protector on there and you can fire multiple flashes. Plus I forget how many shots is expectfrom a VII. I think it's 1200 full power shots from a B800.

    You could even build your own. All you need is a pure sine wive convertor and a battery.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I made my own. SEE HERE.
    Although, I still think something like the Vagabond or an explorer are very good options.
    The only advantage that mine has, is that it's half the weight of a Vagabond, which makes it a lot easier to attach to a light stand (or carry on your person, if using a ring flash).
    I used it yesterday for a family portrait shoot out on a golf course.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    No doubt, the Tronix products cost more than the Vagabond battery. But the Tronix models give you TWO 115 volt power outlets, built in. For another $20, you never have to carry around a power strip to plug in a second device.
    A power strip? C'mon, who wants to carry a power strip just to be able to plug in a second light? What was Paul C. Buff thinking? (absolute minimum manufacturing cost/profit maximization perhaps?)

    The Tronix Explorer XT allows the user to simply plug in a second battery, piggy-back style, if the two, 12 volt batteries the main box contains are not sufficient for a mega-shoot. Compared with the cost of Speedotron's portable battery system, both the Vagabond II and the two models in the Tronix Explorer line offer a LOT of value for around $300-$349. Both companies' products have the look of factory-made solutions.
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    He was thinking that it was cheaper to produce a batter with one plug than with 4. You can run more than 2 lights off of a VII. And if you want to run more than two with a tronix, you'd have to come up with a similar solution.
     
  10. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the help guys. I had to order the ringlite bag and another speedring from alienbees. So I just went ahead with the vagabond. The man on the phone said it would last 1200 shots at full power. Thats more than enough for me. And alienbees has amazing customer service so I just went with theirs.

    Eric
     

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