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Arri or Power Gems 1000Hz Ballast?


Mark Kenfield
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  • Sustaining Member

Hi Guys,

 

I'm looking at picking up an M18 at the moment, and tossing up between grabbing it with either the Arri 1000Hz ballast, or the Power Gems 1000Hz ballast.

 

Being in Australia (well, technically I'm over in Bollywood at the moment, but I'll be home in a month), I haven't encountered the Power Gems gear before, so I'm a little wary of buying sight unseen. But it appears the Power Gems draws a little less amperage than the Arri, and it's also physically a bit smaller which could certainly help out for transport.

 

So I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how the two compare? With the quotes I have at the moment, there's a $500 premium for the Arri ballast. But I'm also conscious, that having everything Arri, might help with resale if things change and I need to sell the light down the line (though I honestly suspect you'd have to pry the M18 from my cold, dead hands because it's such a useful light, so maybe that's not a huge consideration, but an emergency one).

 

I'd certainly appreciate anyone's thoughts.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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  • Sustaining Member

Power Gems are based in the UK and are entirely reputable.

 

My concern would be the roundtrip time on repairs, but they may have a local service centre (do Arri?)

 

P

 

I'm pretty sure we have local techs back in Oz who could handle it, but I do need to call around and confirm that. Good point Phil.

 

Are you paying extra for a feature (high frequency) that will only be called into play occasionally?

 

I am, it's not often I'm going much above 2x slowmotion (50fps) for the work I do. But, when you need 1000Hz for high framerate work, you need it. And I'd rather have the flexibility.

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Yep. Definitely local techs in Australia that can handle repairs and maintenance on both brands. PM me if you need details. I think I remember reading somewhere Barbizon having a 5 year warranty on ARRI gear.

 

Both brands are reputable. Have used both with M18s personally I prefer the ergonomics of the ARRI. Ultimately they do the same job.

 

It's worth mentioning however that in my recent experiences the lamp hour meter only works when using ARRI ballasts.

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Hi Mark as well as those who contributed to this forum.

 

I love the topic. First and foremost, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have in regards to the Power Gems product.

Email: daniel.basso@powergems.com

 

Mark, I respect whatever choice you decide to make.

 

Of the many reasons our customers choose us over our competitors; versatility and price.

Versatility; the ballast you are referring to, the EB180P. This unit offers the ability to operate 4 different lamp powers (1800/1200/800/575) and included, high speed functionality at 300Hz and 1000Hz as well as silent and 100Hz f/f mode. You can choose up to 2 connector types, depending on your fixture manufacturer. These are all standard features along with DMX control and power factor correction.

Price; we are very competitively priced.

 

Choose wisely.

 

Best, Dan

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Really appreciate the advice everyone, I've decided to go with the Power Gems in order to have a smaller footprint for transporting.

Pretty excited to finally be adding the M18 to my little lighting package (god knows I've rented the damned things often enough!), it's just such a useful light to have.

 

Cheers,

Mark

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Mark,

 

Here in the USA, the M18 is a wee bit too much power draw for household/location receptacles BUT you can turn the ballast to 50% and it will work.

 

Granted , you only get 1/2 power but it may be enough.

 

 

Client called me Saturday early am for a light for a quick interview he had to do on a Hotel balcony. Only thing I had in the shop were my M18s.

 

Worked out just fine for him at 50% and never had a problem with tripping the circuit breaker.

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Here in the USA, the M18 is a wee bit too much power draw for household/location receptacles BUT you can turn the ballast to 50% and it will work.

 

Granted , you only get 1/2 power but it may be enough.

 

 

We run M18s off house power all the time without problems. The only issues are if the wiring is particularly old in the location, or if Wardrobe and Makeup decide to switch on hairdryers, curling irons and steamers all at the same time.

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Well, I've had the light and ballast for a month now, and I've managed to put them both through the wringer - constant rain, mud, leeches and other rainforesty joys, and they've just powered through the each and every ordeal without batting an eyelid.

I've been very impressed and can confidently recommend the Power Gems now. The compactness of the ballast really helps out too (particularly in being able to tuck it away inside a small pelican case to protect it from the elements.

 

Here's the sort of conditions we've been dealing with:

 

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And here are the sorts of results we've been able to grab with just this 1800w delight of a light:

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