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HeikkiPekka Vaara

Newbie: Battery for ACL II

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Maybe the easiest way is just to get or make a short cable with 4 pin XLR at one end and Lemo or whatever you choose at the other.

 

Best option, agreed.

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Maybe the easiest way is just to get or make a short cable with 4 pin XLR at one end and Lemo or whatever you choose at the other.

 

Yeah but I still have Jaeger on my body, so XLR does not really make sense...

 

C

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4 pin XLR is the usual power connection on 16mm film cameras. but there's no reason why you have to convert you camera if you don;t want to. It's pretty standard on batteries (unless you're going to use a video camera battery), so worth having one on your battery. Also worth having two power cables, since they can break at inconvenient times.

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Before the ACL II it was Jaeger on the camera and 4 pin XLR on the batteries, then with ACL II it was reversed with 4 pin XLR on the camera. So the same power cables work for both. I assumed that Carl had a standard ACL power cable with a 4 pin XLR on the batt end, but maybe he does not. Worth picking one up, will be cheap used. Maybe someone on the forum has a spare...There were long spiral cables in the earlier days, then short straight ones came for the onboard batteries.

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Before the ACL II it was Jaeger on the camera and 4 pin XLR on the batteries, then with ACL II it was reversed with 4 pin XLR on the camera. So the same power cables work for both. I assumed that Carl had a standard ACL power cable with a 4 pin XLR on the batt end, but maybe he does not. Worth picking one up, will be cheap used. Maybe someone on the forum has a spare...There were long spiral cables in the earlier days, then short straight ones came for the onboard batteries.

 

I actually have 2 cables with jaeger contacts. And Jaeger batteries. Not XLR.

 

But if any 12v will work, my cable guy can probably make a jaeger to D-tap cable.

C

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I thought I'd add to this discussion, I have got one of these batteries; It's 12 volts, it's small and light, I bought it off ebay, it works pretty well for my ACL II.

 

Pav

post-15128-0-05559000-1489996598_thumb.jpg

Edited by Pavan Deep

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My plan is to go from D-tap from V-mount to Cannon 4 pin. I'm either going to use the original camera mount that runs along side the mad or devise something else.

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The standard on board mount, IMO puts a lot of stress on screws for that little casting at the back of the camera, which may not matter, not sure, but I never liked the idea. If you can customise something, for example just lets you velcrose a light battery against the mag or mount the battery on the side of the rod base etc, I think it's a good idea....

 

EDIT: Shedding the onboard battery is a good idea, just having it on a belt or a sling over your shoulder. Makes the camera lighter. The ACL II is getting heavy, so it helps..

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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Anyone knows if technically you could run the ACL of a Anton Bauer VCLX battery?

I am thinking of making my Eclair a production camera for a short in the spring, and together with a video assist, that could be a killer idea. Only problem would be running a lot of it.

I am open to attaching a gold mount / V-mount as well to run it, but I am not sure it will work as good.

C

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Hi, 

I thought i'd add onto this, Just bought an Eclair ACL 1.5. 

it ran at first after charging the battery but now wont start. I'm hoping it's an issue with the original batteries? 

It's 4 pin jaeger on the cables, batteries and  camera body. 

Instead of getting it re-celled I was thinking of getting a 4 pin jaeger to D-tap cable and then a D-tap battery?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01KJL59KK/?coliid=I1QFCN8GYWPSXO&colid=1F7VYVTJIAKS9&psc=1

can the battery be a higher than 12v? or will this cause issues with the motor and I'm having a hard time finding a 12v d tap battery.

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Also, curious about this... can you run an ACL II off a standard (~15.2V) V-mount battery with just a p-tap to xlr adapter? Is there any risk if you power an ACL with more than 12 volts?

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I asked Bernie from Super16inc about this. His reply was to stick to 12V - there is a real risk of frying your camera with higher voltages.

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12 hours ago, Heikki Repo said:

I asked Bernie from Super16inc about this. His reply was to stick to 12V - there is a real risk of frying your camera with higher voltages.

Thanks for confirming that... that's what I figured. Too bad I can't put all my v-mounts from my digital kit to use. I'd bet there's some place that would make a p-tap to xlr 12v regulated cable (something like this but xlr).

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13 hours ago, Heikki Repo said:

I asked Bernie from Super16inc about this. His reply was to stick to 12V - there is a real risk of frying your camera with higher voltages.

Opinions about the max voltage may vary.  Andrew at AZSpectrum gave me a 15.6V maximum in advice about the ACL II with latest  motor.  Don't know if earlier versions are different in this respect. We need to be clear when talking to these guys whether they are referring to the nominal voltage or the actual measured voltage. A ten NiCad cell pack is nominally 12V but almost 14V  fully charged.

These issues have been covered before on the forum. Some useful info may be there. 

  • Upvote 1

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Jordan, 

You'd probably need a converter rated for a higher power draw... like this one, which is rated for 3A:  https://www.shapewlb.com/panasonic-au-eva1-sony-fs7-fs5-regulated-d-tap-power-cable  One could easily cut off the barrel plug and solder on an XLR connector - it's one of the easiest soldering jobs you could ask for, and a 4-pin Neutrik XLR is less than $10. 

Gregg posted some power draw figures in an old thread here:  https://cinematography.com/index.php?/topic/53313-acl-ii-at-75fps-power-requirement/&tab=comments#comment-358669

Based on that, a 3A converter should be able to handle 24 or 50 fps, but might be iffy at 75fps, especially if your camera hasn't been serviced recently. 

For sustained high-speed takes, you'd probably have to look at building a custom converter.  There are plenty of high-current DC-DC converters one can get off the shelf; it'd probably cost less than a new V-mount battery.  

 

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Thanks Gregg and Daniel!

This is super helpful info. Modifying a 3A adapter for XLR seems like decent option if I don't want to risk pumping 15 volts into a 40 year old camera, although that does sounds exciting. I don't foresee needing to dial up to 75fps so 3 amps should suffice.

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Re: 75 fps - Bernie also warned that using the highest speed may leave the camera in such gear mode that the noise level stays high even after using lower ones again unless it is serviced by a tech. Just a bit of knowledge one should be aware of as techs can be quite far away and camera becoming noisier during a production with location sound can be quite nasty surprise.

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The battery scenario is where I gave up on my ACL. Recharging the re-celled Eclair battery doesn't seem to be working anymore and I'm not one to measure, solder, create, etc. It would be awesome if we could figure out a battery that could be plugged in.

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The battery I nowadays use the most with my ACL is an AA battery holder for 10 rechargeable NIMH batteries (1.2V, Sony Eneloop) which is then soldered to 4-pin female XLR connector. The battery holder is inside a plastic box which hangs with loop tape on my mag (see my profile pic). This battery pack I recharge with Ansmann charger.

For higher amp output, should I need it for high speed, I have a 12V sealed lead battery and a very simple XLR-adapter for it.

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The battery issue. When we buy used cameras, the power can be not so standard in what the previous owner's approach was. Often needing replacement or modification or re-celling or whatever. There are those people with that sort of knowledge and experience to know what that stuff is and how it works (like Heikki), and those of us that want to buy a standard black box with a cord that plugs into the camera and make it go now. I'm in the latter category. They used to offer 16mm film classes here in Seattle (NWFF) which is one of reasons I bought it. Then they quit offering them.

 

 

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I understand and I have little knowledge of electricity myself. However it seems to me that the main issue people are having is a cable connector issue, not a battery per se issue.  

The old camera motors, for example on older Arris and (I believe) older Eclairs, only needed two two wires connected to two pins on each end, positive and a neutral to power the motor (I suspect this is also true on the most modern of film cameras although they may have found a use for extra pins, maybe for variable speed control or something).

Getting back to the older battery operated camera motors,  which need two pins (or prongs) into the motor and two pins (prongs) into the battery, it seems that simple"banana plug" connectors were used first. Keeping in mind that the pins, prongs, banana plugs, etc., are a convenience - chewing gum or paper clips could in theory be used to connect the two wires to the motor and battery leads.

My research suggests that sometime in the late sixties battery and battery belt makers switched from simple prongs to 4 and 5 pin XLR connectors. Now as to why they did this, I have been unable to find out, on the internet. The only reasons that make any sense too me are that the XLR connectors may be a little more structurally sound than prongs (banana plugs) or they turned out to be a little cheaper.

However, the 2 or 3 extra pins on the XLR connectors are just dummy pins -  they serve no purpose (except to confuse the audience). On this website, and on many other internet sites, there are many posts which should diagram, for a particular XLR manufacturer, which two pins are meant to be used, or active, and which of the other three or four are dummy.  

There is no question that those multi-pinned XLR's and other such connectors are extremely intimidating to non-techies like myself. I don't think they need to be used however. I think that basically anyone is capable of soldering up two useable wire connectors from the battery leads to the motor leads, or crimping some connectors if soldering is an problem, and making it look decent.

I personally did not do that as I had an empty Arri battery box with a female banana plug outlet built-in, and I did not want to take a chance on messing it up. So I took it to Batteries-Plus and the guy sold me batteries and soldered it up. Maybe it was on the other recent post, but others have advised  OP's to have a battery shop do this. I think that this could be done contactless, with a phone conversation and leaving the cable or whatever the techie asks for outside, in this age of COVID.       

(Two asides for readers with more knowledge then me - I don't think there is any issue with motor polarity, is there? - and please correct any misstatements I may have made a I am also trying to learn.)    

 

Edited by charles pappas
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