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 12v Battery Pack with LCD Panel Meter 
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:05 pm
Posts: 72
Location: ATL, GA
Post 12v Battery Pack with LCD Panel Meter
Hello all,

I have been frequenting this forum for a long time, but just now contributing to the community. I hope you'll find this set-up useful for your own needs.

I have been using the Dynamic Perception rig since October 2010 with great success. Jay and Chris did such a magnificent job creating the system that I wanted to give back to other DP users or anyone else using a basic 12v battery to power a pan/tilt head, etc. After getting my power cables and battery grimy in abandoned warehouses while shooting with the moco dolly, I decided to find a simple way to to contain the 12v battery, MX-2 unit, cables and charger. I searched around for a while and eventually chose a shoulder bag from REI. The bag was just the right size-- it could fit a 4.5aH battery or a larger 7.2aH battery along with all my other gear in the extra zippered pouches. The best part about the shoulder bag is the small size and shoulder strap that allows the bag to hang from a tripod without touching the ground. To top it off, I added a weather-proof LCD panel meter to provide visual feedback of the battery voltage. There is an on/off switch to power on the battery & meter. I used standard barrel connectors to follow in Dynamic Perceptions simple plug and play configuration. The wall charger was modified by replacing the standard alligator clips with a barrel connector so I could quickly go from shooting to charging without any extra hassle. Once it's all built, the battery is never seen. There is no reason to open up the zippered area with the battery unless you use the extra space next to the battery to store the charger (which I do). I have a 6ft ski bag that fits the Dynamic Perception rig, 2 tripods, and this power-pack with a bit of extra room to spare. It's super easy to transport and I can easily walk distances with a camera bag on my back and the ski bag over my shoulder. This power-pack really seals the deal on the Dynamic Perception dolly kit for my personal use.

If you want to try to make your own, it's very straight-forward.

Parts list:

1. REI Travel Day Bag - $29.50
http://www.rei.com/product/747931

2. Your 12v battery of choice. I have used a 4.5 aH battery as well as a 7.2aH battery. The 7.2aH battery that I recently upgraded to was $25 @ a local shop.

3. Battery charger for the 12v battery. You can use a 12v/300ma unit or for faster charging you can use a 12v/800ma unit. I have used both, but highly recommend the 800ma unit as it will charge the battery quicker. Make sure you get a unit that offers float charging. I'm using Part # PSC-12800A-C from ACK Industrial Electronics in Atlanta. It cost $39.95

4. For the panel meter, I recommend the Martel QM 100V unit. It features a basic LCD and can be wired in-line (a plus for the LCD units, more common on analog panel meters). It's water resistant and durable. It's $39.80. Make sure you get the additional TVS Zener Diode (Part # 80311) for an additional $2.50. It will allow you to use the panel meter while charging the battery without risk of any transient voltage spikes destroying the meter. Cost w/ Diode: $42.30
Buy it online: http://www.martelmeters.com/products.php?cat=1

5. SPST, ON-OFF Pushbutton Switch (3A) w/ pig-tails - around $5 at RadioShack or any other electronics shop

6. Standard 2.1 x 5.5mm barrel connector with pig tails(1 male & 2 female). $4/each @ your local electronics shop. Total: $12

7. Some additional wire (if needed), electrical tape and/or soldering gear & heat shrink (not necessary, but it will make it easier to attach the diode to the panel meter).

Total cost (without the battery & charger) = $88.80
Total cost-- assuming you had to buy all of the parts, but I assume most anyone building this set-up already owns the battery & charger = $153.75

Instructions... I'm assuming you already have enough basic knowledge with wiring to work from these vague directions. ;-)
Step 1: Connect short extension cables (6-9 inches) to the positive and negative battery terminals. This will allow you to pull the battery out of the back if needed. Use the appropriate terminal clips or solder to the terminals and heat shrink. Make sure the connections are rigid and well insulated.

Step 2: Connect the on/off switch inline with the positive lead. It's important to place the switch before the panel meter so you can disable the battery and meter when it's not in use.

Step 3: Connect the diode as instructed with the LCD panel instructions (really easy bridge). This is best done with heat shrink and soldering gear. Connect the LCD panel meter inline with the positive / negative leads coming from the battery.

Step 4: Cut small holes in the bag and position the LCD meter and on/off switch with the included screws.

Step 5: Add a barrel connector with at-least 6 ft of wiring coming off of the LCD panel. This will be the end that plugs directly into the MX-2.

Step 6: Test the switch to ensure you can enable/disable the LCD panel meter. Everything should work just fine.

Step 7: Take the battery wall charger and remove the alligator clip terminals (or whatever it shipped with if your unit is different from mine) and replace the positive / negative leads with another standard 2.1 barrel connector. Connect the two barrels (once unplugged from the MX-2) and test charging your battery. Make sure the on/off switch is turned to ON for charging.

Several photos are attached to show the battery pack...


Attachments:
File comment: Battery pack is suspended from the rig during a recent shoot.
Screen shot 2011-01-31 at 6.27.55 PM.png [1.38 MiB]
Downloaded 1290 times
File comment: MX-2 and all cables fit within the front zippered pouch.
DP_BatteryRig-0004.jpg [535.09 KiB]
Downloaded 1290 times
DP_BatteryRig-0001.jpg [437.34 KiB]
Downloaded 1290 times

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UPTHINK.TV
Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:46 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:05 pm
Posts: 72
Location: ATL, GA
Post Re: 12v Battery Pack with LCD Panel Meter
A few more photos...


Attachments:
File comment: Hidden wires and rear panel/switch connections
DP_BatteryRig-0007.jpg [449.44 KiB]
Downloaded 1289 times
DP_BatteryRig-0005.jpg [653.04 KiB]
Downloaded 1289 times
Screen shot 2011-01-31 at 6.28.07 PM.png [2.02 MiB]
Downloaded 1289 times

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UPTHINK.TV
Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:48 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:05 pm
Posts: 72
Location: ATL, GA
Post Re: 12v Battery Pack with LCD Panel Meter
One final image.


Attachments:
File comment: Barrel connector is connected to charging unit.
DP_BatteryRig-0008.jpg [331.28 KiB]
Downloaded 1289 times

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UPTHINK.TV
Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:49 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:43 pm
Posts: 1
Post Re: 12v Battery Pack with LCD Panel Meter
It would be great if the guys from DP could add a 4 pin 12v xlr to the end of the power cable, then we could get a something like this

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1 ... _Acid.html

I use this to power my monitor for hours.

actually just found this, Can the guys from DP chime in and tell me if this cable would fit into their controller?

http://www.markertek.com/Cables/Power-E ... M21P.xhtml

CP


Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:53 pm
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Post Re: 12v Battery Pack with LCD Panel Meter
CP-Philly wrote:
actually just found this, Can the guys from DP chime in and tell me if this cable would fit into their controller?

http://www.markertek.com/Cables/Power-E ... M21P.xhtml

CP


Bingo! yes that's a 2.1mm x 5.5mm 12v power barrel. The most common 12v power barrel on the planet! =)


Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:07 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:06 pm
Posts: 18
Post Re: 12v Battery Pack with LCD Panel Meter
This is really cool. I have a 12V motorcycle battery and the Zero Stage/MX2 should be here later this week.

Obviously I haven't tried to power the thing yet, but this looks like a pretty clever way to do it.


Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:28 pm
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