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Generator/inverter/car battery for Joker Bug 800 HMI


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#1 Oleg Kalyan

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 08:28 AM

I've just bought Joker Bug 800 w light, very excited to use it a lot on different shoots,
looking forward to use it on location, possibly power it from the car
using an 12- 110/220 inverter, car battery to take with inverter, would I need to get a Generator?
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#2 Oleg Kalyan

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 10:46 AM

I've just bought Joker Bug 800 w light, very excited to use it a lot on different shoots,
looking forward to use it on location, possibly power it from the car
using an 12- 110/220 inverter, car battery to take with inverter, would I need to get a Generator?


I should add it requires 800wт. 110/220volt, 12.5Amps
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#3 Frank DiPaola

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 04:07 PM

I've had great luck powering smaller HMIs with electronic ballasts off of inverters but 800W sounds like it would be too big a draw for the average alternator. You may be able to squeak by on a bigger vehicle though, so it might be worth a shot. If you do use an inverter with a large draw like this make sure it's one that attaches to the battery, not the type that goes through the 12V outlet.
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#4 Oleg Kalyan

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 04:18 PM

Thank you Frank, will do more research,
Cheers!
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#5 Walter Graff

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 06:18 PM

Yep, that scenario is screaming for a fire or worse. Without constant power to recharge a batt in that kind of draw you will not get much use out of such a set up. And never hook such a set up to a car. Invertors are great but once you get beyond 300 watt versions, you are asking for trouble if you don't know allot about current draws, etc. And one has to be careful because many of these invertors are sold with max momentary peak ratings as the "standard operating wattage" which is misleading. Folks don't realize that in DC scenarios on 12 volts you are talking huge current draw. A car stereo with amp can draw 85 amps peak by itself. And most car alternators are rated at 85amp peak. Do make sure you do your research well as you can have serious consequences working with DC and batteries.
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 07:33 PM

If you have an invertor why don't you get two extra car batteries wired up in parrallel (with heavy gauge wire) and you would be good to go. That's what we typically do on jobs. In fact we would have two to four pairs of car batteries for back up if one is doing heavy car work. Many people like using Gel cell or Marine batteries for the extra power they provide.

It is best not to screw around with the picture car power systems.


Best

Tim
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#7 Andrew Rawson

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 08:26 PM

Tim is exactly right.
I run 1200 HMI's all the time off inverters and we simply parallel 3 or 4 12 volt gel cells together. The one lesson I learned however is "use magnetic ballasts". Electronic ballasts will not hold up in this kind of situation. Whenever I know I'm doing car inverter shots I specially order magnetic ballasts.
Andy
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#8 Oleg Kalyan

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 05:42 PM

Thanks a lot everyone!
Andy, appreciate, where can I learn more, order magnetic ballasts?

Cheers, Oleg.
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#9 Andrew Rawson

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 06:45 PM

Oleg,
You know what I didn't even think about when I posted was that Joker Bugs are always electronic ballasts, I don't think they have magnetic for them. I know you want to use your light but if the shot is that important rent a 575 or 1200 LTM with a magnetic ballast. It will work with electronic ballasts for a while. I used this setup for a few years but often got frustrated when my 1200's would kick out during shooting, when I switched to older style magnetic ballasts the problem was solved. I think it's got to do with the magnetic ballasts not being as sensitive as the electronic ballasts as the voltage drops.
Andy
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#10 Oleg Kalyan

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 05:26 PM

Andrew, thanks again for your input,
now is seems that I'd buy a portable silenced generator, instead of inverter,
that makes more sense, or does it? This way I can keep it inside the trunk and power it up whenever needed, it can also be of a higher power. Please correct me if that is wrong.
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#11 Andrew Rawson

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 08:18 PM

Oleg,
Well...I don't know of any generator you could run in the trunk. Firstly it is a motor that runs on gas thus spewing out exhaust. Secondly the quietest small gennys are still loud. Sure, if you are working on a camera car or a trailer you can do this but it sounds like you want to shoot in a real car in a real driving situation. The only option I would use at that point is the batteries and an inverter. You know, even with the electronic ballast it will run for a while, and if you are shooting in those kind of conditions then I also assume you are not working on a show that you have producers and actors breathing down your neck so maybe it's not a really big deal if the light kicks out every once in a while.
Sorry if I can't be more helpful, I can only tell you what I would do.
Where are you by the the way? If you are in LA maybe I can help you out.
Andy
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#12 Oleg Kalyan

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 02:06 AM

Andrew,
Obviously I meant to run a generator with the trunk open, and the car stationary, not really for car shots, more so for location filming.

Which HMI 1.2k do you use with the set of car batteries?

I live and work in Moscow, Russia now, running a small production company, putting together a small movie, I lived in LA for about 10 years, will visit some time in next couple of months. I will give you a call when I am in town, thank you for offering help!
Cheers!
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#13 Marc Galerne

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 04:39 AM

Hi All,
a few things to add to this subject.
There are two kinds of inverters "quasi sinus" and "sinus". The sinus wave inverters are exactly like a plug in the wall so you can plug in whatever you want: Electronic ballast, magnetic, fluorescent...
Quasi sinus are cheaper but not as versatile.
We have a lot of customers using the Xantrex Prosine 1800 W. It is crystal controlled and you can get it at around 1.200 $ in Marine shops.
A good battery for this application is the Optima :
http://www.optimabat...s/yellowtop.php
These are clean and specially designed for fast drain and quick charge.
This is the winning situation compared to small genie (which is noisy) and cleaner in your trunk (no oil and diesel spill).
This is used by rental companies with great and longlasting satisfaction.
Hope this helps
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#14 Oleg Kalyan

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:06 PM

Marc, thank you, I will look for it in Moscow.
Cheers!
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