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#1 Tim Kirk

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 11:10 PM

just wondering about lighting in a bushy area where we wont have access to power. is there another way to get power for lights other than a gennerator. the noise it makes could mean having to record sound after and lay it over the top of footage. which id like to avoid if possible.

i thought maybe like a car baterry or some thing. but i doubt that would have enuf power to support the lights for sustained periods.its likely to be only 2 maybe 3 red heads.


any ideas?


Tim
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 12:35 AM

just wondering about lighting in a bushy area where we wont have access to power. is there another way to get power for lights other than a gennerator. the noise it makes could mean having to record sound after and lay it over the top of footage. which id like to avoid if possible.

i thought maybe like a car baterry or some thing. but i doubt that would have enuf power to support the lights for sustained periods.its likely to be only 2 maybe 3 red heads.
any ideas?
Tim


You need a silent generator. Battery-powered lights are only for emergencies or brief shots -- they are not reliable or long-lasting enough to shoot whole scenes with all night long.

Or find a new location with access to power.
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#3 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 05:36 AM

a car battery will run a redhead for half an hour (30ah@12v~400wh). a 200w joker will give you the same amount of light for 2 hours. i've shot like that and it works fine. i agree with david though it's only for special situations. in my case we were changing locations a lot in a short time. a small honda and a long cable will probably work better for you.

/matt
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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 05:57 AM

My experience is that battery powered stuff never, ever works as promised. If it works at all, they last for 5 minutes, tops. And getting dimmer by the second.

Get a small portable silent genny instead - you won't regret it.
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#5 Tim Kirk

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 06:31 AM

the silent genny would be nice but i have access to one which is probably not silent. its my mates and i can use it for free. which is preferable. i think the long cable is the way to go. i dont really like the idea of a battery for lights any way. ill just have to work a way round the noise issue if it is bad enuf

cheers guys
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 09:57 AM

the silent genny would be nice but i have access to one which is probably not silent. its my mates and i can use it for free. which is preferable. i think the long cable is the way to go. i dont really like the idea of a battery for lights any way. ill just have to work a way round the noise issue if it is bad enuf

cheers guys


Give yourself time to do a test before your shoot. I have a 2500W small Honda generator, and when it gets close to capacity, it fluctuates. Your lights start to pulse. Definitely changes the light levels.

-Tim
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#7 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 10:17 AM

I have a 2500W small Honda generator, and when it gets close to capacity, it fluctuates. Your lights start to pulse.

i don't doubt that, but doesn't running it on full speed rather than automatic help? i've always done that when i've had such problems and i've used the hondas a lot.

/matt
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#8 Tim Carroll

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 09:20 PM

i don't doubt that, but doesn't running it on full speed rather than automatic help? i've always done that when i've had such problems and i've used the hondas a lot.

/matt


Matt,

Only had the generator a few months. The guys at Honda who sold it to me said there was no way to adjust the speed. You fire it up and it adjusts the speed itself depending on the load, which as I said, when close to capacity, it fluctuates and pulses. Is there some way to over ride this and set the speed myself?

Thanks,
-Tim
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#9 timHealy

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 01:43 AM

If you can't get a real blimped film generator and you are budget minded, the Honda EU series generators are very quiet. We use the EU 2000 (for 2000 watts) and EU 3000 (3000 watts) all the time and are extremely quiet. But depending on your lighting set up they may not be enough. I think you can sync two EU 3000 together to burn a small 220 volt light but check with rental house/supplier.

Or as David mentioned, perhaps choose a location where power is available.

Best

Tim

PS why would you guys want to change the speed of a generator? The speed is controled by a governor which which monitors and adjusts the speed of the engine depending on the load you place on it. I would say leave the speed engine alone. just let it do its thing. just my 2 cents.

Edited by heel_e, 14 February 2006 - 01:44 AM.

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#10 Cole Webley

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 03:25 AM

If all else fails get some cheap thin pieces of wood 1/2'' thick in 4x8ft pieces or so and build a sound wall around the genny w/ ferney pads on top of that...this cuts down the sound quite a bit...just don't put the ferny near the exhaust pipe! Done that a couple of times.

Just worked on a shoot last week where we used a 1200w invereter on a car battery and powered a couple of pepper lights that equated to approx. 650w...the battery lasted a couple of hours then we had to pull out the second one...later that night the inverter quite working...my experience with inverters and batteries is that you can never trust them, best finding another location or getting more budget to use a silent generator.

Plus--remember when it is really cold all batteries have problems keeping their full charge (another problem causer)

Cheers.

Best of luck
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#11 david west

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 03:52 AM

are there kits somewhere to modify the honda generators to crystal sync, or pulse, or ????
or is this top secret mods performed at the rental houses?

not quite sure how to ask, but i vaugely recall someone mentioning that there are modified hondas
that are expressly modified for shooting film...

does this ring a bell for anyone?
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#12 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 05:14 AM

The guys at Honda who sold it to me said there was no way to adjust the speed.

on the ones i've used you could set it to turtle, rabbit or auto. in auto mode they adjust up and down all the time for no apparent reason and if the load is high it can indeed change the light intensity. you're not running on choke are you? that makes the problem worse.

/matt
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#13 timHealy

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 03:34 PM

are there kits somewhere to modify the honda generators to crystal sync, or pulse, or ????
or is this top secret mods performed at the rental houses?

not quite sure how to ask, but i vaugely recall someone mentioning that there are modified hondas
that are expressly modified for shooting film...

does this ring a bell for anyone?



Barber Coleman makes crystal sync controls for small generators but I am not sure how to get in touch with them. A Yahoo search did not help much.

Best

Tim
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#14 Paul Bruening

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 08:31 PM

Save yourself a ton of grief and relocate somewhere that has the juice. You'd be surprise how many remote-appearing scenes were little more than someone's side lot or way-back, back yard. Kurasawa was notorious for this.
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#15 Hal Smith

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 10:09 PM

Save yourself a ton of grief and relocate somewhere that has the juice. You'd be surprise how many remote-appearing scenes were little more than someone's side lot or way-back, back yard. Kurasawa was notorious for this.

I live about 3 miles from Aggreko's Oklahoma City office. I rented an Aggreko diesel generator to keep a radio station on the air after an ice storm took out just about all the power in Kingfisher Country, Oklahoma. Their machine ran like a watch for the entire two months, never a hiccup. I've also seen one of their event generators on site three or four times. Their gear always looks well maintained and their people seem to want you to be happy. I've never seen one of their hush generator movie location machines in action but I be very surprised to discover anything bad about them.

No, I don't work for them, just a customer once and a lurker a few other times. :)

PS: Paul, how right you are about location size - I've always been amazed by just how tiny a lot of TV sets actually are compared to what they look like on screen.

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#16 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 06:55 AM

yeah, i never had a major problem with generators either. in fact i've used gennys on powered locations too for convenience, and if you need more than houshold power it's still the only option.

/matt
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#17 Chien Huey

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 10:26 AM

are there kits somewhere to modify the honda generators to crystal sync, or pulse, or ????
or is this top secret mods performed at the rental houses?


Someone told me once that crystal sync'ed generators were quieter than "normal" generators. Didn't really make sense to me. I did some research and crystal sync'ing refers to the generator governor mechanism. It ensures the power you're getting is consistent and "clean" (60hz, 120v).

As stated previously, the Honda EU series is pretty quiet. But mind you, it still makes noise -- you just don't have to put it 2 miles away -- more like 50ft. The Honda EX5500 which is a little quieter than the EUs. We put one about 30ft down the block from the house we were shooting interiors at and we couldn't hear it - doors/windows were closed.
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#18 Paul Bruening

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 10:10 PM

That's not what I meant, Hal. Sometimes you can find a house in the country that has the 'scape you can use. If they can't swing the generator, this might keep them in the shoot. That's all.
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#19 Alex Ardenti

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 07:27 PM

That's not what I meant, Hal. Sometimes you can find a house in the country that has the 'scape you can use. If they can't swing the generator, this might keep them in the shoot. That's all.



Where would be a good place to buy the Honda generators mentioned. Home Depot?

I need to run 10k worth total how many amps would I need?

Alex

www.alexardenti.com
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#20 ChrisConnelly

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 08:39 PM

I live about 3 miles from Aggreko's Oklahoma City office. I rented an Aggreko diesel generator to keep a radio station on the air after an ice storm took out just about all the power in Kingfisher Country, Oklahoma. Their machine ran like a watch for the entire two months, never a hiccup. I've also seen one of their event generators on site three or four times. Their gear always looks well maintained and their people seem to want you to be happy. I've never seen one of their hush generator movie location machines in action but I be very surprised to discover anything bad about them.


I worked on a small feature awhile ago where our main power source was a 120k Aggreko movie generator. It performed very well, but was not nearly as quiet as the comparable sized Litepower model, which are far quieter (and common, at least in my area).
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