Powering Strobes on Location

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by CanonSnob, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. CanonSnob

    CanonSnob TPF Noob!

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    I just bought a few strobes. Two photogenic 500 w/s and a 1k w/s. I like to shoot a lot out in the middle of places where you can't exactly come accross an outlet.

    I was thinking of getting a generator but dont know how much power I would need from it. Would it be a safe bet to say a 2k-3k watt generator would be enough to power the lights?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    They make remote power sources for strobes. There are many but the one that comes to mind is the Vagabond battery system that is found on the AlienBee web site.
     
  3. CanonSnob

    CanonSnob TPF Noob!

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    Yea but those are overpriced and really have only one use. You can pick up a cheap generator off of craigslist or backpage for less money, and able to use it for other applications whenever.

    Honda makes really good quite generators that's what I'll most likely get
     
  4. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yamaha has a line of small, lite and quite gens that rival Honda in quality but are a little less expensive. Look at the manual for your strobes and see what they draw max. I would multiply by 4 (you might want to add a forth strobe later) then add another 20% for reserve power. This would be the capacity generator I would look for.
     
  5. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    http://www.innovatronix.com/

    check if your strobes are able to be used by the Explorer range of power supplies. I had a look and some photogenic strobes are and others aren't!
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  7. Big Mike

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

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    I think the issue might be how 'clean' the power is coming from the generator. I've heard that strobes are pretty sensitive equipment and need very clean power. The portable battery systems aren't really that expensive but I've seen some 'do it yourself' type battery systems.
     
  8. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    How is that? They provide silent, pollution-free, sine-wave power for a long time. If you need more power, but more Vagabonds. Taking a gasoline generator that needs oil, tune ups and smells can't be a good solution unless you're using hotlights (i.e., video lights, 1000 watts each).
     
  9. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are we talking about the vagabonds that are $500 each?

    That 3 kw inverter I linked to is $360 and has 4 outlets. That plus a large deep cycle battery together should run you about the same as 1 vagabond and power 4 monolites. OK you still need extension cords but those won't cost the other $500. :)
     
  10. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    You asked, got an answer, disagreed, then answered yourself. What a waste of space.H
     
  11. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    AB/WL just introduced a new vagabond. It's much cheaper and more powerful than the old ones. Gets my vote.
     
  12. CanonSnob

    CanonSnob TPF Noob!

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    So like 9-10w generator?

    I looked into the Exploerer power supplies, but they only powered up to 300ws per unit which wouldnt even power one of my smaller strobes

    I havent heard of vagabonds, but if that is like the Photogenic Voltage Smart than yes, overpriced at $1000 a pop only putting out 800ws. I'de have to buy 2 or 3 to get what I need. Vs. just buying a generator for $1000 tops and getting everything on one unit.
    **EDIT** Found out what vagabond was, called Alien Bees and was told "There is no documentation of photogenic lights being tested with the vagabond system and can not guarentee they will work with them" But props on uber fast customer service on AB's part

    If there is a power unit out there that could power all three of my lights and do it for no more than $1000 I would go for it. I'm just saying that it appears that a generator, despite not being the most pretty or "perfect" guy for the job, is however at this point looking like the most practical and affordable route.
     

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