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Thread: Battery packs / external batteries / USB power

  1. #1

    Default Battery packs / external batteries / USB power

    I'm taking stock of my power options for portable devices and wondering if it is time for an overhaul/upgrade.

    To summarize, most of my gear is:
    - device-specific batteries, but can be made to use an adapter
    - AA rechargeable batteries
    - Sony NPF-type batteries

    All my potable lights are Sony NPF. I'm about to go buy some more batteries, but what I would rather do is get some sort of adapter that would let me hook up an external USB powerbank to my portable lights, something compact but with more power and easy to charge without a dedicated charger.

    I'm thinking the next level up is to use AA batteries inside the USB box, which means I can use my army of AA and keep buying those instead of watching the USB banks fade and die over time.

    So in short, I think the ultimate battery pack is a box that takes 10 AA batteries (rechargeables usually operate at 1.2v so x10 = 12 volts) and provides output in 12 volts or 2 USB plugs. Then I can get simple adapters for all my cameras and Sony NPF-type, and use these boxes to run my camera and external lights so I get several hours out of them instead of 45 mins per battery. Something like this but made with higher quality, also with a USB option, and with 2 more AA battery spots or I won't meet the minimum 12v for my LED lights:

    Is this a pipe dream or have you seen something like this, and what do you use to extend the running time on your devices?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    I use something similar which takes 12 AA batteries, which I picked up in Shanghai, I bought four of them because they're so useful. And, with 12 x 1.2v rechargeables it kicks out 14.4v Spot-on!
    It has a standard 4-pin XLR type socket but I can't find a maker's name anywhere.
    My soundie has something similar which he made himself.
    The thing is... Exactly 12v can be a pain because a lot of so-called 12v equipment actually prefers 14.4v, so when it gets down to slightly below 12v it won't work, even though there's juice left in the batteries.
    If you are good at DIY electronics I can find out what Rod got to build his boxes.

    On the plus side, if you run out of power, you can get AA batteries almost anywhere and ten will give you 15v... result!
    But be aware that AA batteries have quite a low ampage, so might not be so good on your lights, depending how much they draw.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 03-30-2019 at 05:52 PM.

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