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Arri 16s Battery Problems


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#1 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 07:41 PM

I'm using an old PAG universal constant current charger to charge an 8volt battery I have. I've never used this before. It has two settings on it. One is low and the other is high. The Low setting shows 4 DC Amps on the meter and the High shows 6.5 - 7 DC amps.

I tried charging it on low and nothing happened. Then i charged it on High and the camera was running fine for a test last night. Now the battery doesn't seem to be charging.

I know I'm asking stupid questions, but I'm baffled.

Any help / suggestions as always would be greatfully appreciated.
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#2 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 08:50 PM

If the batteries are more than 5 years old, they are immediately suspect and should be replaced.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#3 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 09:02 PM

If the batteries are more than 5 years old, they are immediately suspect and should be replaced.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis



Yeah I feared that. What would you charge them on though. The Low or the High? DC amps 4 or 6.5?
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:12 AM

Definitely the low. It takes longer, but it's better for the batteries. Even 4 Amps is a lot for those little batteries. Rule of thumb is to use a ten hour rate, charging Amps should be one tenth of the Amp-Hour rating of the battery.




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#5 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 10:02 AM

You have not specified what type of battery you have. SLA, NiCd, NiMH, etc... ?

Different battery chemistry require different charging methods.

Like Mr. Sprung says, the one tenth of the Amp-Hour rating is the safest to start.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#6 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:44 PM

Thanks Jean-Louis, unfortunately I don't know what the batteries are. I think it's fair to say they're both banjaxed.

I really want to use it. So I have found this.


http://www.bhphotovi..._Lead_Acid.html


Could anyone see this as being a problem?
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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 06:00 PM

The Arri S is designed for 8 Volts. You can use that 12 Volt setup with the variable speed motor, provided that you're very careful never to run it too fast, and only with internal loads. You could also get a sealed lead acid battery of the type used for UPS's, motorcycles, etc, and an ordinary charger from AutoZone, and build your own -- probably for less money.





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#8 Paco Sweetman

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:17 PM

Thanks John. The Reason I'm looking at the 12volts is that I have a Tobin Cinema Systems Crystal sync motor from him (TX-22). And I'd really like to be able to use that. I know that it would also involve me converting my torque motor to 12volts. I figure fix the kit now while there is still items like this on the scene.

RE: Making one, i quite simply don't have the expertise. I figured if I bought a Bescor, apart from using a plug adaptor to charge it, it would work fine with my 12volt motor.

I would probably bin the original Battery's and sell the variable speed motor that came with it (who would take it anyway?).
I'm basically asking to make sure I don't order a loads of stuff from the US and figure out I've made a huge error miscalculating something.
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#9 Ian Cooper

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 07:11 PM

I appreciate you may feel uncomfortable making something yourself, but I'm sure you could find something suitable located in the Uk and thus save the costs of importing. Even if that fails, you shouldn't be too afraid about tackling it yourself either.

A 12V 3.4Ah sealed lead acid battery could be picked up for less than £10 (eg. here)

A charger for less than £20 (clicky)

You will obviously need to come up with a lead to go from this to the camera. The battery takes spade connectors, such as these. To fit these you would need a pair of crimpers, a cheap set like this would do. For the cable to the camera you might be able to modify the one for your existing battery pack - cut the cable at the battery end and crimp on the connectors to the new battery. Alternatively you could purchase a commercial XLR lead and cut one end off that to modify yourself to go to the new battery. You would need to make sure you connect the lead up to the battery the correct way round, but with a little guidance that shouldn't be too difficult to sort either.

If all else fails then I'm sure you could find someone able to help. A lot of car electrics make use of crimped on connectors (or at least used to), so if you took the bits to a self-employed car electrician (or small garage) they might be prepared to crimp the connectors on the end for you. I'd tend to avoid main dealers and garages that are part of a large chain.

I accept this approach doesn't give you a stylish battery pack in a shoulder bag, but if you take the battery to a shop stocking camera bags you'll probably find something you can stuff the battery in that'll give it a shoulder strap and a bit more of a professional appearance.


I wouldn't necessarily bin the original battery either, there are firms in the UK who will fit new cells in old battery packs for a fraction of the cost of a new "Arri" compatible camera battery. For the moderate cost it would give you a spare working motor should you ever encounter problems with the crystal sync system in the future. You never know, you might find you want to use the variable speed motor yourself to film something in slow-motion (or speeded up)
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#10 flavio filho

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 05:44 PM

I appreciate you may feel uncomfortable making something yourself, but I'm sure you could find something suitable located in the Uk and thus save the costs of importing. Even if that fails, you shouldn't be too afraid about tackling it yourself either.

A 12V 3.4Ah sealed lead acid battery could be picked up for less than £10 (eg. here)

A charger for less than £20 (clicky)

You will obviously need to come up with a lead to go from this to the camera. The battery takes spade connectors, such as these. To fit these you would need a pair of crimpers, a cheap set like this would do. For the cable to the camera you might be able to modify the one for your existing battery pack - cut the cable at the battery end and crimp on the connectors to the new battery. Alternatively you could purchase a commercial XLR lead and cut one end off that to modify yourself to go to the new battery. You would need to make sure you connect the lead up to the battery the correct way round, but with a little guidance that shouldn't be too difficult to sort either.

If all else fails then I'm sure you could find someone able to help. A lot of car electrics make use of crimped on connectors (or at least used to), so if you took the bits to a self-employed car electrician (or small garage) they might be prepared to crimp the connectors on the end for you. I'd tend to avoid main dealers and garages that are part of a large chain.

I accept this approach doesn't give you a stylish battery pack in a shoulder bag, but if you take the battery to a shop stocking camera bags you'll probably find something you can stuff the battery in that'll give it a shoulder strap and a bit more of a professional appearance.


I wouldn't necessarily bin the original battery either, there are firms in the UK who will fit new cells in old battery packs for a fraction of the cost of a new "Arri" compatible camera battery. For the moderate cost it would give you a spare working motor should you ever encounter problems with the crystal sync system in the future. You never know, you might find you want to use the variable speed motor yourself to film something in slow-motion (or speeded up)


Hi Ian

That's one of the best tips ever!

I might try that. I'm acquiring two Arriflex 16s. But no batteries or cables.
Regarding CABLES, you know which ones and where to buy in UK that attach on an Arriflex 16s?


I might do two packs to use on both cameras.

Thanks,

Flavio
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#11 Ian Cooper

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 06:38 AM

Hi Ian

That's one of the best tips ever!

I might try that. I'm acquiring two Arriflex 16s. But no batteries or cables.
Regarding CABLES, you know which ones and where to buy in UK that attach on an Arriflex 16s?


I might do two packs to use on both cameras.

Thanks,

Flavio


I'd be careful and check what motor is fitted to the cameras first. I understand the standard Arri 16s ran from an 8 volt battery, you are likely to cause damage if you just run this from 12 volts. The Tobin crystal sync motor Paco was using in this thread runs from 12 volts, hence why it's possible to use a common 12V sealed lead acid battery for that.

However, if you're up for a bit of fairly straightforward tinkering then it's not too difficult to sort out a new 8V battery pack. The bigger problem may be the connectors. I understand the standard motor used a 2-pin connector which doesn't look like a standard part.

If your camera already comes with a battery and connecting lead then it might be better to consider re-celling the battery pack you've got and reusing the cable you've got. New leads to go from the camera to a standard 4-pin XLR are available, but they're far from cheap.
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#12 flavio filho

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 07:57 AM

I'd be careful and check what motor is fitted to the cameras first. I understand the standard Arri 16s ran from an 8 volt battery, you are likely to cause damage if you just run this from 12 volts. The Tobin crystal sync motor Paco was using in this thread runs from 12 volts, hence why it's possible to use a common 12V sealed lead acid battery for that.

However, if you're up for a bit of fairly straightforward tinkering then it's not too difficult to sort out a new 8V battery pack. The bigger problem may be the connectors. I understand the standard motor used a 2-pin connector which doesn't look like a standard part.

If your camera already comes with a battery and connecting lead then it might be better to consider re-celling the battery pack you've got and reusing the cable you've got. New leads to go from the camera to a standard 4-pin XLR are available, but they're far from cheap.


Hi Iain.

Thanks loads for your answer.

I'll have two motors actually, one is 8V and anotehr is a tobin 12V
I'd like to have two battery packs, but in 12V as I intend to buy another 12V and sell my 8V.


If you could help me to make a list of what i'll need, it would be greatly appreciated.
I will get my two Arriflex soon, so want to be ready to turn them on when they arrive.

I saw your items above. But is there anything else I shoudl buy? (e.g.: the cable you mentioned, which one is?)

Thanks loads!

Flavio
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#13 Ian Cooper

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 08:44 AM

I'll have two motors actually, one is 8V and another is a tobin 12V
I'd like to have two battery packs, but in 12V as I intend to buy another 12V and sell my 8V.



In that case you have two options, the first is to make a lead yourself, the second is to modify a pre-made lead.

Standard wiring for 4-pin XLR connectors is:
Pin 1: 0V
Pin 4: 12V
(which reference to the Tobin website confirms is also the wiring for the TXM22 sync motor)

The connectors usually have their pin numbers moulded into them.
If you are happy doing soldering yourself (a useful skill to learn anyway) then female 4-pin XLR connectors are available on the high street in the UK from the likes of Maplin Electronics. They would also be able to supply you with a bit of 2-core flex, crimps and anything else you might need, including soldering irons etc.

If you're not so happy soldering together the plug yourself, then the next option is to modify an existing lead. A bit of googling might find something cheaper, but in essence you want something like this, or this.

You can then cut off the connector you don't need (the male one, which has the pins. The female one has the latch release button and will plug into the motor!) You'll need to find out which of the internal wires are connected to pins 1 & 4 (open the connector and have a look), then fit the battery crimps. Make sure you connect the cable to the battery the correct way around ;)

Edited by Ian Cooper, 03 May 2011 - 08:45 AM.

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#14 flavio filho

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 04:13 PM

In that case you have two options, the first is to make a lead yourself, the second is to modify a pre-made lead.

Standard wiring for 4-pin XLR connectors is:
Pin 1: 0V
Pin 4: 12V
(which reference to the Tobin website confirms is also the wiring for the TXM22 sync motor)

The connectors usually have their pin numbers moulded into them.
If you are happy doing soldering yourself (a useful skill to learn anyway) then female 4-pin XLR connectors are available on the high street in the UK from the likes of Maplin Electronics. They would also be able to supply you with a bit of 2-core flex, crimps and anything else you might need, including soldering irons etc.

If you're not so happy soldering together the plug yourself, then the next option is to modify an existing lead. A bit of googling might find something cheaper, but in essence you want something like this, or this.

You can then cut off the connector you don't need (the male one, which has the pins. The female one has the latch release button and will plug into the motor!) You'll need to find out which of the internal wires are connected to pins 1 & 4 (open the connector and have a look), then fit the battery crimps. Make sure you connect the cable to the battery the correct way around ;)



Ok, am going to build this cable.

I saw the Maplin piece, Ian. But what is the banana plug for the other side?
I saw on filmcamerakit on this page on New Arri 16 ST Power Cable, the banana plug has some kind of "clip" that would probably be helpful to hold the cable on place.

Please let me know other specs, like the CABLE TYPE/MM, and HOW LONG it should ideally be or how long they normally are.
Want to go soon to Maplin with a list to build 2 identical cables.

Thanks, guys!
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#15 Ian Cooper

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 05:04 PM

...what is the banana plug for the other side?
I saw on filmcamerakit on this page on New Arri 16 ST Power Cable, the banana plug has some kind of "clip" that would probably be helpful to hold the cable on place.


I think you'll find that plug is what was used to connect to the original Arri motor, however, you've said that the camera has a Tobin crystal motor which uses standard 4-pin XLR connectors - so you don't need the awkward original type.



Please let me know other specs, like the CABLE TYPE/MM, and HOW LONG it should ideally be or how long they normally are.


The original camera motor would draw 3.6A continuous (up to 6A starting). The Tobin motor manual doesn't give consumption figures, but we can probably assume it won't be any higher. On that basis you need to select a cable able to carry at least 4A continuously. Something like order code CA69A (rated 6A continuous) would be more than ample.

If that seems a little bulky then you could probably get away with something like order code XS91Y (3A continuous). It is unlikely the camera is going to be left running continously for any great length of time where the cable will dangerously overheat, and given the application you are quite likely to be able to feel it getting warm and take appropriate action.

As for length, that's entirely up to you!
What sort of battery do you plan to use with the camera, and where do you plan to put it?

If you plan to use a battery belt, or carry the battery in a bag over your shoulder, then the cable needs to be long enough to allow a bit of flexibility without dragging on the floor as you move around! If you envisage only ever using the camera with a big heavy battery sitting on the floor, then the cable needs to be long enough to go from the battery to camera whilst still allowing you to pan/tilt it around a bit without pulling. If you want to put the camera on the end of a jib then you'll probably need a longer cable (or at least an extension lead) so the battery isn't also hanging on the end.
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#16 flavio filho

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:41 AM

I think you'll find that plug is what was used to connect to the original Arri motor, however, you've said that the camera has a Tobin crystal motor which uses standard 4-pin XLR connectors - so you don't need the awkward original type.





The original camera motor would draw 3.6A continuous (up to 6A starting). The Tobin motor manual doesn't give consumption figures, but we can probably assume it won't be any higher. On that basis you need to select a cable able to carry at least 4A continuously. Something like order code CA69A (rated 6A continuous) would be more than ample.

If that seems a little bulky then you could probably get away with something like order code XS91Y (3A continuous). It is unlikely the camera is going to be left running continously for any great length of time where the cable will dangerously overheat, and given the application you are quite likely to be able to feel it getting warm and take appropriate action.

As for length, that's entirely up to you!
What sort of battery do you plan to use with the camera, and where do you plan to put it?

If you plan to use a battery belt, or carry the battery in a bag over your shoulder, then the cable needs to be long enough to allow a bit of flexibility without dragging on the floor as you move around! If you envisage only ever using the camera with a big heavy battery sitting on the floor, then the cable needs to be long enough to go from the battery to camera whilst still allowing you to pan/tilt it around a bit without pulling. If you want to put the camera on the end of a jib then you'll probably need a longer cable (or at least an extension lead) so the battery isn't also hanging on the end.


Sorry. I said Tobin CRYSTAL, but actually is not a crystal motor. It's the TCS TM-23. Not a crystal-sync motor...

And both cameras have the male "banana" connector on the back. That plug on filmcamerakit.com would be perfect cause it also has that piece that holds together with another pice that locks it firmly in the body, avoiding it be pulled by mistake.
Anyway, that's my only problem now. Find that piece (or a similar one, of course).

Another random question... I saw a nice soldering iron on Maplin, it's battery powered... Do you reckon this would do the job? Cause mine is an old one, a bit damaged, will trow out and buy a new. And have one on batteries, means I can do this on every place...

Many million thanks again for all your help, Ian!
F

Edited by flavio filho, 22 May 2011 - 07:46 AM.

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#17 flavio filho

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:11 AM

Sorry. I said Tobin CRYSTAL, but actually is not a crystal motor. It's the TCS TM-23. Not a crystal-sync motor...

And both cameras have the male "banana" connector on the back. That plug on filmcamerakit.com would be perfect cause it also has that piece that holds together with another pice that locks it firmly in the body, avoiding it be pulled by mistake.
Anyway, that's my only problem now. Find that piece (or a similar one, of course).

Another random question... I saw a nice soldering iron on Maplin, it's battery powered... Do you reckon this would do the job? Cause mine is an old one, a bit damaged, will trow out and buy a new. And have one on batteries, means I can do this on every place...

Many million thanks again for all your help, Ian!
F



One last thing... I'm looking for that "banana plug" but I find it only in the most different shapes. But none looks like that one.
Do you know the technical name of it?
I've found a similar line of IEC CONNECTORS, but I think are not that ones as well.

:S

Edited by flavio filho, 22 May 2011 - 09:11 AM.

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#18 Ian Cooper

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 11:42 AM

Sorry. I said Tobin CRYSTAL, but actually is not a crystal motor. It's the TCS TM-23. Not a crystal-sync motor...

And both cameras have the male "banana" connector on the back. That plug on filmcamerakit.com would be perfect cause it also has that piece that holds together with another pice that locks it firmly in the body, avoiding it be pulled by mistake.
Anyway, that's my only problem now. Find that piece (or a similar one, of course).

Another random question... I saw a nice soldering iron on Maplin, it's battery powered... Do you reckon this would do the job? Cause mine is an old one, a bit damaged, will trow out and buy a new. And have one on batteries, means I can do this on every place...

Many million thanks again for all your help, Ian!
F


If your motor still has the original Arri connections then you've got a problem!

In the absence of an original battery lead you can canabalise, you will need to try and find a mating connector. Unfortunately I don't know what type it is, or if it is still available. You might find FilmCameraKit have a small supply of original Arri connectors which they use to make their leads - but I doubt they'd be prepared to sell you one when they could sell you a nice new lead instead :rolleyes:

The other option open to you might be to convert the motor to a standard 4-pin XLR connector. You would have to investigate the possibilities of this yourself, as I don't know what the motor is like myself.

As for battery powered soldering irons - I would personally stick to a mains powered one.
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#19 flavio filho

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 01:14 PM

Damn!

Ok. But if filmcamerakit has them, they might know who does and where to find. I mean... This thing EXISTS!
Well, I'd really prefer to keep the camera original instead of adapting a hole somewhere just to connect a cable...

Is there any other electrical shops/suppliers in UK that might know the answer? Or maybe have it?
I'm on a quest for it now... I will not pay 75quid for a single cable, I think this is absurd.
I'm contacting Arri anyway, somebody there would be prepared to answer.

Thanks again, Ian.
F
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#20 Ian Cooper

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 01:24 PM

Damn!

Ok. But if filmcamerakit has them, they might know who does and where to find. I mean... This thing EXISTS!


Well, this thing certainly existed. Whether it still exists is another matter!

If it was a custom part made specifically for Arri 50 years ago, then I think it safe to say Arri sold out of stock long ago. I don't suppose there is a huge demand for replacement leads, so as I suggested before, FilmCameraKit could have their own limited supply which they've collected from various scrap camera leads over the years.

Whilst I can sympathise with your desire to keep things as close to original as possible, you might have to decide whether you're willing to pay £70 for the privilidge! ...or to modify it so a lead and connector hangs out the back thus enabling you to make a cheap lead for less than £20.
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