speedotron and car charger

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by joshschutz, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. i have a speedotron power pack with 2 lights i believe they are 400w/s a piece. i haven't played with them in a while
    but i'm pretty sure it's the brown 400 series. i want to be able to play with them outside, but as far as i know
    speedotron doesn't make a battery pack. i have a car cigarette lighter converter. not one of those cheap ones, but a
    nice one that will charge it's own pack to 120v. can i use this.to power the speedotron. as far as i can tell there would
    be a surge to blow anything. the power pack should just charge and pop.
  2. Your car charger will have a wattage rating. If the wattage of your speelotron exceeds that, then your out of luck.

    I've read of people that try to put their Alien Bees on power converters (big ones rated for the wattage needed) and it doesnt act right. Loud whining and sizzling sounds (paraphrasing here and havent wittnessed it myself) but the inverters didnt deliver "clean power". Something about the sine wave wasnt what the AB liked. Your charger may be ok, since it has its own battery.

    All my info I gleened from http://www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/ You may want to check it out. They used to be more about small hotshoe flashes, but have recently embraced the more powerful studio lighting.

  3. The concensus is to avoid these kinds of inverters. They don't produce "clean" power and sensitive electronics in flash can get fried.

    Kent in SD
  4. you fry your car electrical circuits as well.

    "i have a Speedotron power pack with 2 lights i believe they are 400w/s a piece. "

    The heads are just the heads: what is the maximum watt-second rating of the pack, and more importantly what is the maximum amperage draw of the pack as it recharges?

    Speedotron does make a battery powered flash generator: http://www.speedotron.com/products/details/black_line/black_power_supplies/184
  5. As others have said, not a good plan-your power pack wants a pure sine wave power source, and car inverters, even the good ones, don't deliver that. For $300, you can get the AlienBees Vagabond battery pack that will give you about $300 full power flashes, if i recall correctly, and you could recharge the battery pack with your cigarette lighter converter. Speedotron does make a battery pack, called the explorer, but it is for the black line strobes, and it costs $1800.
  6. There are several "clean power" on the market inverters designed for this purpose, including the "Vagabond" from Paul C Buff, Inc. (Alien Bees, etc). In addition to pure sine-wave conversions, the inverter must deal with a high peak power surge during the charge cycle without harm to the inverter or flash.

    Speedotron monolights (Force 10 and Force 5) have a slow-charge option which limits peak power consumption. Perhaps others have this option as well.

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