quick question about alienbees...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by goodoneian, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    i just purchased an AB800, and it's on it's way to my house as we speak. i didn't purchase the vagabond II battery pack since it's a little pricey, but i was wondering if i would be able to run the flash off of one of those power strips that plugs into my car power adapter (sorry i don't know the actual terminology) if i wanted to use it on location. if anyone knows the answer i would greatly appreciate it
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I've heard of people running strobes off of their car batteries...so yes, it can be done.

    One concern would be the 'cleanliness' of the power. I've read that dirty power can seriously affect the life span of your strobes or at least the bulbs. This is why you don't want to use something like an old generator to run your strobes.

    The vagabond really isn't all that expensive for something that gives you the ability to power your lights on-location. If this is something that you plan to do often, it might be worth the investment.

    I've heard that the next line of lights from Paul C. Buff, the Einsteins, will be able to run on C sized batteries.
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The reason the Vagabond is so expensive is because of the pure sine wave convertor. The battery itself is about $70, iirc, which you can see if you look in the AB website. It shows the prices for the individual parts.

    It needs one of those, so in the long run, you're paying for that and not for the battery itself.

    Einstein C battery plan was scrapped. PCB said that there will be a 12v hook up on the back of the strobes and they'll be able to be powered by a generic SLA battery. About $20 for a battery and $30 for a charger.
     
  4. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    well it's not that it's too expensive really, just at the time of ordering i didn't have another 300 dollars to spend on it.

    but if using my car battery could effect the strobe in any way i guess i'll hold off on using it on location until i have the equipment to do it properly :wink:
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    That's one reason I go 'Strobist' when on location and only use my studio lights indoors.
     
  6. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Once. :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Like others have said, you need very clean and controlled electricity for delicate gear like a strobe.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Unless you have a $300 power inverter, I would definitely not do it. A small drop in current at the wrong time and you blow internal circuitry before you pop the safety fuse in the flash.

    The $300 Vagabond is a nice lower end battery unit (which, honestly is about all that the AB company has for me. I'd rather invest in some Elinchrom units, which are cheaper, better built units with no white balance issues at any power settings).
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Amen to that.
    Having choices or options is the best. What gets to be really fun is when you start mixing and matching technologies.

    Last Saturday I successfully tested out and practiced using iTTL strobes and monolight heads together and it was a very interesting and educational experience for me. Setting the power on a further away monolight to 1/4 power and bounced off the ceiling and 2 speedlights on full power using iTTL (I could tell by the length of the recharge times), just to get the effects that I wanted was a neat little reminder of how underpowered a SB-800 and SB-600 are compared to something like a single ProFoto 600 W/s head... lol
     
  9. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    i'll probably start mix and matching the technology pretty soon, since i'll be using my sb600's and sb80 as background/ hair lights once i get my alienbee
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    I have occasionally shot an event with an Alien bee and on-camera E-TTL. Works pretty well actually.
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ...or a drop cord.

    -Pete
     
  12. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    what do you mean by drop cord?
     

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