Does anyone use Vagabond Mini-Lithium with anything other than Buff products?

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by twmeyer, May 22, 2012.

  1. I can't see why it wouldn't supply fine power for any mono-light/power pack system... it's obviously safe to plug a laptop or cell phone into (via USB port), so why not a Dynalight pack or Elinchrome monolight?

    I suspect the disclaimer on the VML is just a CYA for Paul C...

    So can anyone say they've safely used another brand strobe with the Vagabond Mini? Thanks... t
     
  2. I have used my VMLs with JTL Mobilight 300s and 301s (the battery packs they come with are useless [or worse], like.... 30+ seconds recycle time, even when fully charged!) The VMLs will recharge the MLs to full in two seconds. I am a great fan of Adorama Budgetflash 160; I have ten of them and have run them all off my two VMLs when I have needed lots of light sources off the grid. As my Speedo 2400s have been inactive since before I acquired the VMLs I cannot supply any data yet. The Buffster says the VML will power the Zeus packs, consequently I think it will run the Speedo, certainly with recharge switch set to slow.
    Chris
     
  3. cool.
     
  4. I have two of the Buff Minis to run a pair of Profoto 500 AIRs set to "Bat" ... the Mini will NOT run the older Profoto Compacts at all. So, the answer is NO they don't run anything and everything.
    Call Buff and they will advise based on reports they have received back from various users.
    Nice batteries, the only thing I didn't like much was their stand mounts ... which I replaced with Manfrotto Mini grips.
    -Marc
     
  5. I use mine with my Photogenic Studio III's with no issues...
     
  6. I can't see why it wouldn't supply fine power for any mono-light/power pack system... it's obviously safe to plug a laptop or cell phone into (via USB port),​
    Whoa slow down there... before you go plugging the Vagabond into every strobe light you run across you should read these threads. One guy fried his studio strobe (Bowens/Calumet 750R monolight) plugging it into a Vagabond battery:
    http://www.photo.net/photography-lighting-equipment-techniques-forum/00ZzAz
    http://www.photo.net/photography-lighting-equipment-techniques-forum/00Zv6C?start=10
    http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-11314-11226
    Sure the VMLs will work with some studio strobes....and NOT work with other studio strobes. The point is when using Vagabond batteries outside of Alien Bee strobe lights you do so at your own risk. Do NOT expect Alien Beez to give you a new strobe light if you fry your brand new your strobe light. Please note Alien Bees does not guarantee compatibility with other brand strobes other than Alien Bees strobes with its inverter so you have to roll the dice when using a brand other than ABs as it may or may not work. Powering your cell phone/laptop is very different than powering studio strobes...
    I highly recommend you stay either with same brand name for portable batteries OR shop around for a solid battery pure-sine-wave inverter Dynalite XP1100 or Innovatronix.
     
  7. Slightly off topic:
    Here is a significantly improved bracket for the VML's:
    http://www.vmlbracket.com/
    Here is a review of that bracket: http://youtu.be/UfaGS4nWF-8
    I have only used Einsteins and AB's with the VML's and they work great - simply amazing duration for the size. So long strobe, hello studio lighting everywhere. However I would be very hesitant to plug in anything else to the VML's. Paul C Buff tests his equipment to work with them. They can handle the inverter noise, low voltage conditions on recharge etc. Just my 2 cents.
     
  8. I've used them with the same 750R Travelites without issue so YMMV. On the other hand I have had to have the travelite serviced but that was because of a different failure covered under warranty. I used the VML. It is worth noting thought that while the VML worked fine with a single 750R it would fail to charge either if I plugged in two.

    But, as they say, past performance is not an indicator of future success.
     
  9. SD, yeah I was going to suggest that bracket, too. I'm definitely going to order that one. The mini-clamp looks too localized/stress inducing on that one asymmetrical mounting hole.
    And RH, I read the one about the Bowens smoking on AC *after* it was used with a VML. A common tendency is to blame any troubles on immediate history, it's called "after, therefore because of...". This frequently causes investigations to be diverted from actual issues. Note that JPJ has used the Calumet version of the same Bowens light, with no issues. I suspect Pilot Induced Oscillation (if I might mix my metaphors), or a particular sample issue in that sad instance.
    Still, thanks for all the links, I have already read them. The Galbraith article being mainly responsible for my interest in the VML. Biggest caveat seems don't over tax them. I would only use one head per VML, and hang one on each stand that had a light, and probably never at it's full power.
    This investigation is in search of a decision to purchase either an Einsten or a Elinchrome Bx 500ri monolight (already have an ABR). It seems either would work fine on the VML and their specs are otherwise comparable (color temp/flash duration).

    I certainly wouldn't plug 1000 watt seconds of any strobe (much less two strobes) into one VML and expect anything other than trouble, just by way of over taxing the system. Just because something is possible, doesn't make it prudent.
    My purchasing decision is further complicated in my lack of confidence in the Einstein mounting system for softboxes/etc. Although the Buff PLM's seem the way to go for portraiture, I'm loathe to give up all the other modifiers I also rely on, especially for other types of work.

    There are significant similarities between the Dynalites and the Zeus products, so I'm not too worried there, either.

    Still, it's nice to hear of all these experiences, making this a very informative thread. Thanks to all who have and may yet contribute... t
     
  10. All strobes units will draw a lot of current while recycling. That is what could damage either the vagabond or the strobe. It has nothing to do with the power of the strobe other than the time it takes to recycle from a full pop.
    The vagabond units are manufactured to a very low price and the components inside are underpowered. That's why they can't be used with any kind of strobe.
    The strobes most likely to be problematic are those that recycle fast and don't have any special "slow recycling" mode. A 640Ws strobe like the Alien Bee B1600 takes two seconds to recycle (on AC) from a full pop so they are relatively slow as are the Einsteins 640.
    If the vagabond were more powerful and could deliver perfect clean AC power under high loads they would also have worked with any kind of strobe - just like hooking up the strobes to regular AC main does.
     
  11. Thanks...
     
  12. I am wondering if i can use the vegabond for powering my Nikon d700 for the purpose of shooting long 3-5 hrs of star trails.
    Is this even a possibility
     
  13. server time out caused second post... sorry
     
  14. Rob said:
    Whoa slow down there... before you go plugging the Vagabond into every strobe light you run across you should read these threads. One guy fried his studio strobe (Bowens/Calumet 750R monolight) plugging it into a Vagabond battery:​
    Yes, I've seen this thread before. However, the funny thing is, if you Google Vagabond Mini Lithium and "blown strobe" or similar, it's difficult to find any other reports. I've run a 400 Watt-second Dynalite Uni400Jr from the VML without any problems. However, I was nervous about using the VML to power my expensive 1,000 Watt-second Speedtron Force 10 monolight (even though it does work), so I finally bought a used Dynalite XP-1100 inverter/battery to power it (which works great!).
     
  15. And now Dynalite has shown it's new lithium battery power supply that will power anything you plug into it... plus 3 USB connections. I think I heard something about $800.00... t
     
  16. My bad: "a MAP price of $999"... t

    Why don't they just say $1000?
     
  17. Yes, I use mine to power LED lightpanels for video work. I absolutely love them. Do you know how much it would cost to get battery powed video lights any other way
     
  18. Tom said:
    And now Dynalite has shown it's new lithium battery power supply that will power anything you plug into it... plus 3 USB connections.​
    That's been rumored to be announced for almost a year! I first heard about it last July from a SportsShooter.com member. Then I called Dynalite myself a couple months ago, and asked about it (with no definitive answer). Nice to see it's finally been released (thanks for posting that!). Impressive specs, and weight! Looks similar to, but a much-improved version of the Chinese-import, Godox LP-750 inverter/battery.
     
  19. According to the website mentioned below:
    "Dynalite confirmed to Lighting Rumours that the XP800 and [Godox] LP-800X are the same unit."
    Which is fine. Now we have a US-manufacturer backed product with a full factory warranty, and distribution available through normal photo reseller channels (e.g., B+H).
     
  20. Another big difference is that one is Ni-Mh and the other is Lithium. Of the two, the balance tips to Dynalite, for me.
     
  21. Although I would love a new Lithium-ion Dynalite pack, I recently bought a used Dynalite XP1100 for $400, plus two brand new Enersys Odyssey PC680 SLA (sealed-lead acid) batteries from Battery Mart for $116 each. I assume the spare Li-ion packs for the XP800 are going to be $$$. On the plus side, SLAs (though, heavy) are relatively cheap, and a bit easier to maintain than Li-ions.
     

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