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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Newport Beach, CA

    Portable Power Using Lithium Batteries to Operate Studio Lighting at Field

    Someone who has a good knowledge about this subject please chime in.

    Alien Bees is releasing a lithium battery portable power unit that can be used to operate studio flash when out in the field. It uses a Pure Sine Wave inverter that draws power from a LiCoxNiyMnzO2 lithium battery. The item is called the Vagabond Mini and the full details about this item can be found here:

    I have been following their other Vagabond II product which is also portable but uses a much larger 20AH 12v battery (heavy) and people have found many ways to DIY this for much less than what it is being sold for by Alien Bees. However, it is about 6 times heavier than the new Vagabond Mini.

    So naturally I was thinking of creating my own portable setup just like their mini mentioned at the beginning of my post. I have a lot of large batteries I no longer use that I once powered 2m electric pattern planes with. If I recall correctly, they are 10s 5000 packs at 25c continuous and 40c burst.

    Unfortunately, I don't know enough about "power" to figure out if these batteries would work to power flash strobes that don't need continuous output such as the Alien Bee 800.

    Anyone who has some knowledge about this stuff, what do you think?

    I already know I should get a 300-500 watt Pure Sine Wave inverter and a GFCI plug between the batteries and my strobes but that's pretty much it. In addition, I am trying to save money using batteries that I already have. This would be interesting to get figured out for the strobists and photographers out there!

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    RE: Portable Power Using Lithium Batteries to Operate Studio Lighting at Field

    I don't see why it would not work. As long as you use a large enough flash capacitor you could use any battery. What about a stereo capacitor? They are available at most automotive speed shops for under a hundred bucks and are used for large audio amplifier systems. I would imagine they would be capable of delivering the amperage you would need.

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