Portable AlienBees w/Vagabond battery

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Patrick L., Jan 7, 2004.

  1. Patrick L.

    Patrick L. Guest

    The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a cheaper
    alternative?


    Patrick
     
    Patrick L., Jan 7, 2004
    #1
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  2. Patrick L.

    Gordon Moat Guest

    "Patrick L." wrote:

    > The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a cheaper
    > alternative?
    >
    > Patrick


    You could look for a used power pack. Find something that can connect to your
    existing lights, and make a deal. Unless you really want something new, there
    are often good used deals to be found.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    <http://www.allgstudio.com>
     
    Gordon Moat, Jan 7, 2004
    #2
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  3. Patrick L.

    Patrick L. Guest

    "Gordon Moat" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Patrick L." wrote:
    >
    > > The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a

    cheaper
    > > alternative?
    > >
    > > Patrick

    >
    > You could look for a used power pack. Find something that can connect to

    your
    > existing lights, and make a deal. Unless you really want something new,

    there
    > are often good used deals to be found.
    >
    > Ciao!




    Well, AlienBees run on AC power, no DC input jack, so just a DC power pack
    won't do, that is why I asked.

    The Vagabond system is a battery, and another inverter thingy which converts
    it to AC 120 volts, or something like that.


    Patrick
     
    Patrick L., Jan 7, 2004
    #3
  4. Patrick L.

    Bobs Guest

    On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 18:42:13 GMT, "Patrick L."
    <> wrote:

    >The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a cheaper
    >alternative?
    >
    >
    >Patrick
    >

    Seems to me that all they're using is a 12V DC/AC converter (inverter)
    to supply 110V power to the flash. Can't you find something like this
    at Radio Shack or elsewhere? Just make a compact bundle out of a
    lead-acid 12V battery (the kind used in UPS units) and the inverter,
    that's all there is to it.
     
    Bobs, Jan 8, 2004
    #4
  5. Patrick L.

    zeitgeist Guest

    Subject: Portable AlienBees w/Vagabond battery


    > The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a

    cheaper
    > alternative?
    >



    buy a UPS battery backup system to power your AC lights, though I'd like to
    find one that didn't shreek the warning beep.

    or find a Norman 400b and use an LH head with a modeling light.

    this reply is echoed to the z-prophoto mailing list at yahoogroups.com
     
    zeitgeist, Jan 8, 2004
    #5
  6. Patrick L.

    Patrick L. Guest

    "zeitgeist" <> wrote in message
    news:ac4Lb.779895$Fm2.758751@attbi_s04...
    >
    > Subject: Portable AlienBees w/Vagabond battery
    >
    >
    > > The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a

    > cheaper
    > > alternative?
    > >

    >
    >
    > buy a UPS battery backup system to power your AC lights, though I'd like

    to
    > find one that didn't shreek the warning beep.
    >
    > or find a Norman 400b and use an LH head with a modeling light.
    >
    > this reply is echoed to the z-prophoto mailing list at yahoogroups.com
    >
    >



    I had one (before it died on me) for my computer. However, it did not work
    as a remote AC battery for my monolights.


    Patrick
     
    Patrick L., Jan 8, 2004
    #6
  7. "Patrick L." <> wrote in message
    news:5Q5Lb.24841$...
    >
    > "zeitgeist" <> wrote in message
    > news:ac4Lb.779895$Fm2.758751@attbi_s04...
    > >
    > > Subject: Portable AlienBees w/Vagabond battery
    > >
    > >
    > > > The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a

    > > cheaper
    > > > alternative?
    > > >

    > >
    > >
    > > buy a UPS battery backup system to power your AC lights, though I'd like

    > to
    > > find one that didn't shreek the warning beep.
    > >
    > > or find a Norman 400b and use an LH head with a modeling light.
    > >
    > > this reply is echoed to the z-prophoto mailing list at yahoogroups.com
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    > I had one (before it died on me) for my computer. However, it did not

    work
    > as a remote AC battery for my monolights.
    >
    >
    > Patrick
    >
    >

    If you buy an invertor, (12 VDC to 115 VAC) make sure it can handle the
    wattage. The little cheap ones (around 140 watts) won't drive bright
    photoflood lights. Buy an invertor that can handle the wattage of your
    lighting setup or you'll just be wasting your money.
     
    William Graham, Jan 8, 2004
    #7
  8. Patrick L.

    Dave Guest

    There is an alternative, but without the nice carrying bag. Wal-Mart
    has a portable 15 Amp Hour vehicle battery/DC Power Source with its own
    charger for about $40.00. They also have a 350 watt inverter for about
    $60.00.

    So, for around $100.00 you have a portable 350 watt AC supply.

    That should do the trick for a couple of heads.

    Patrick L. wrote:
    > The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a cheaper
    > alternative?
    >
    >
    > Patrick
    >
    >
     
    Dave, Jan 8, 2004
    #8
  9. Patrick L.

    Maywood Guest

    Ok, but has anyone really tried this?

    The information on the Vagabond/Alien Bees is that the flash units may be
    damaged by anything other than a true sine wave inverter.

    True sine wave inverters are expensive, but the modified sine wave inverters
    a la WalMart are relatively cheap.


    "Dave" <> wrote in message
    news:t17Lb.124$...
    > There is an alternative, but without the nice carrying bag. Wal-Mart
    > has a portable 15 Amp Hour vehicle battery/DC Power Source with its own
    > charger for about $40.00. They also have a 350 watt inverter for about
    > $60.00.
    >
    > So, for around $100.00 you have a portable 350 watt AC supply.
    >
    > That should do the trick for a couple of heads.
    >
    > Patrick L. wrote:
    > > The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a

    cheaper
    > > alternative?
    > >
    > >
    > > Patrick
    > >
    > >

    >
     
    Maywood, Jan 8, 2004
    #9
  10. Patrick L.

    Tom Guest

    "Bobs" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 18:42:13 GMT, "Patrick L."
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a

    cheaper
    > >alternative?
    > >
    > >
    > >Patrick
    > >

    > Seems to me that all they're using is a 12V DC/AC converter (inverter)
    > to supply 110V power to the flash. Can't you find something like this
    > at Radio Shack or elsewhere? Just make a compact bundle out of a
    > lead-acid 12V battery (the kind used in UPS units) and the inverter,
    > that's all there is to it.


    No, that's NOT "all there is to it". It is, indeed, an inverter that is
    necessary but garden variety "Radio Shack" inverters are not true sine wave
    inverters.

    The electronics in Alien Bees require true sine wave input power. These
    inverters are available, but cost more than the cheapos you find at Wal-Mart
    and Radio shack. Do a Google search as I don't have time now to look up
    sources of supply... but they are not hard to find.

    Tom
     
    Tom, Jan 8, 2004
    #10
  11. Patrick L.

    Tom Guest

    "Maywood" <> wrote in message
    news:MP7Lb.8105$...
    > Ok, but has anyone really tried this?
    >
    > The information on the Vagabond/Alien Bees is that the flash units may be
    > damaged by anything other than a true sine wave inverter.



    You will destroy your units if you don't use a true sine wave inverter. You
    do not have to use the Vagabond, but you MUST use a sine wave unit.

    Tom
     
    Tom, Jan 8, 2004
    #11
  12. Patrick L.

    Patrick L. Guest

    "Tom" <> wrote in message
    news:C7dLb.88350$I07.421698@attbi_s53...
    >
    > "Maywood" <> wrote in message
    > news:MP7Lb.8105$...
    > > Ok, but has anyone really tried this?
    > >
    > > The information on the Vagabond/Alien Bees is that the flash units may

    be
    > > damaged by anything other than a true sine wave inverter.

    >
    >
    > You will destroy your units if you don't use a true sine wave inverter.

    You
    > do not have to use the Vagabond, but you MUST use a sine wave unit.
    >
    > Tom
    >
    >



    So how do you know if it is a true sine wave, put it on an O-scope?


    Patrick
     
    Patrick L., Jan 8, 2004
    #12
  13. Patrick L.

    Alan Browne Guest

    Patrick L. wrote:


    >
    > So how do you know if it is a true sine wave, put it on an O-scope?
    >
    >
    > Patrick


    Sine wave inverters are declared as such. They cost more too.

    --
    e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
     
    Alan Browne, Jan 8, 2004
    #13
  14. Patrick L.

    Alan Browne Guest

    Bobs wrote:

    > On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 18:42:13 GMT, "Patrick L."
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a cheaper
    >>alternative?
    >>
    >>
    >>Patrick
    >>

    >
    > Seems to me that all they're using is a 12V DC/AC converter (inverter)
    > to supply 110V power to the flash. Can't you find something like this
    > at Radio Shack or elsewhere? Just make a compact bundle out of a
    > lead-acid 12V battery (the kind used in UPS units) and the inverter,
    > that's all there is to it.



    Read Tom's post. I heartilly concur. The P/S in monolights (in fact
    many electronic products) do not handle the power generated by a
    'chopping' inverter. Sine only.

    The thing they (Alien Bees, et al) don't tell you is that they could
    design their P/S to handle choppers (bigger P/S caps, isolation
    trasformer, better P/S design), but it would drive up the size, weight
    and cost of the unit. In the end this is the right decision as most
    strobe shooting is in a studio.

    http://www.ecovantageenergy.com/catalog/items/item1410.htm these go up
    to 600 watts which might not be enough for two AlienBees when they recycle.

    http://www.ecovantageenergy.com/catalog/items/item1395.htm is a lot more
    $ but can probably handle a couple AlienBees 800's.

    Cheers,
    Alan.

    --
    e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.
     
    Alan Browne, Jan 8, 2004
    #14
  15. Patrick L.

    Patrick L. Guest

    "Alan Browne" <> wrote in message
    news:TljLb.8736$...
    > Bobs wrote:
    >
    > > On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 18:42:13 GMT, "Patrick L."
    > > <> wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > >>The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a

    cheaper
    > >>alternative?
    > >>
    > >>
    > >>Patrick
    > >>

    > >
    > > Seems to me that all they're using is a 12V DC/AC converter (inverter)
    > > to supply 110V power to the flash. Can't you find something like this
    > > at Radio Shack or elsewhere? Just make a compact bundle out of a
    > > lead-acid 12V battery (the kind used in UPS units) and the inverter,
    > > that's all there is to it.

    >
    >
    > Read Tom's post. I heartilly concur. The P/S in monolights (in fact
    > many electronic products) do not handle the power generated by a
    > 'chopping' inverter. Sine only.
    >
    > The thing they (Alien Bees, et al) don't tell you is that they could
    > design their P/S to handle choppers (bigger P/S caps, isolation
    > trasformer, better P/S design), but it would drive up the size, weight
    > and cost of the unit. In the end this is the right decision as most
    > strobe shooting is in a studio.
    >
    > http://www.ecovantageenergy.com/catalog/items/item1410.htm these go up
    > to 600 watts which might not be enough for two AlienBees when they

    recycle.
    >
    > http://www.ecovantageenergy.com/catalog/items/item1395.htm is a lot more
    > $ but can probably handle a couple AlienBees 800's.
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Alan.
    >
    > --
    > e-meil: there's no such thing as a FreeLunch.



    They're more than the Vagabond, which was designed for AlienBees, and so I
    guess I will have to go with the Vagabond.

    Thanks, all.


    Patrick
     
    Patrick L., Jan 9, 2004
    #15
  16. Patrick L.

    Alan Browne Guest

    Dave wrote:

    > There is an alternative, but without the nice carrying bag. Wal-Mart
    > has a portable 15 Amp Hour vehicle battery/DC Power Source with its own
    > charger for about $40.00. They also have a 350 watt inverter for about
    > $60.00.
    >



    ....I don't know if 350W is enough to handle two 800's during a 1/1
    recyle...sounds like a stretch.
     
    Alan Browne, Jan 9, 2004
    #16
  17. Patrick L.

    Alan Browne Guest

    Patrick L. wrote:

    > So how do you know if it is a true sine wave, put it on an O-scope?
    >
    >
    > Patrick


    At a Canadian Tire (hardware/automotive) store yesterday I saw some
    inverters (175W and 700W). Both of them had explicit "NON-SINUSOIDAL"
    warnings on the data plate. This doesn't mean that all manufacturers
    put that warning on their plates, but at least this manufacturer did.

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
    Alan Browne, Jan 10, 2004
    #17
  18. Hi ,

    The Alien Bees will only work with a true sine wave power inverter. If you
    don't use one it will damage the bees. Check out www.alienbees.com
    "Alan Browne" <> wrote in message
    news:ZcqLb.10729$...
    > Dave wrote:
    >
    > > There is an alternative, but without the nice carrying bag. Wal-Mart
    > > has a portable 15 Amp Hour vehicle battery/DC Power Source with its own
    > > charger for about $40.00. They also have a 350 watt inverter for about
    > > $60.00.
    > >

    >
    >
    > ...I don't know if 350W is enough to handle two 800's during a 1/1
    > recyle...sounds like a stretch.
    >
     
    Robert Brodie, Jan 14, 2004
    #18
  19. Patrick L.

    Alan Browne Guest

    Robert Brodie wrote:

    > Hi ,
    >
    > The Alien Bees will only work with a true sine wave power inverter. If you
    > don't use one it will damage the bees. Check out www.alienbees.com


    ....missed the rest of the thread when it was still news, didya?
     
    Alan Browne, Jan 14, 2004
    #19
  20. Patrick L.

    KBob Guest

    On Fri, 09 Jan 2004 02:47:59 GMT, "Patrick L."
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"Alan Browne" <> wrote in message
    >news:TljLb.8736$...
    >> Bobs wrote:
    >>
    >> > On Wed, 07 Jan 2004 18:42:13 GMT, "Patrick L."
    >> > <> wrote:
    >> >
    >> >
    >> >>The whole Vagabond thing is very expensive. Does anyone know of a

    >cheaper
    >> >>alternative?
    >> >>

    I've often thought that these Vagabond gadgets could be easily cobbled
    together from a common DC-AC converter, and a great many of them now
    produce quasi-sinewave output, so should in theory work all right.
    The problem that I see with these is the very large inrush current
    that occurs during the first period following each flash. Studio
    flashes can draw upwards of 80 amps and more during these short
    transients--usually to short a period to blow fuses, unless you fire
    in quick succession. So my concern would be that an inverter of this
    type may need to have higher capacity than expected in order to handle
    these transient inrush currents. I'd be anxious to hear if anyone has
    any luck with this.

    Also consider that D-size NiMH cells having a 9 amp-hour capacity and
    solder tabs are available (on eBay and elsewhere), and 10 of these
    might make an ideal battery for this.
     
    KBob, Feb 5, 2004
    #20
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