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MartinTheMixer

Zaxcom ZMT3 Battery Life

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Brian posted :

"I have bought several, and found their performance to be quite similar to the Lectros. :-) for 1/10 the the price. :-) Since 6 of these cost $30 it was a cheap experiment that paid off so far.

 

Since we're talking about having some empirical evidence on the performance of NP-50 batteries, why not test them all? Like scientific and stuff. :-) I don't have the same test equipment as larry :-)"

 

Hi Brian,

I'd buy one for curiosity and test it but, good, bad or indifferent, I'm not going to recommend a Li-Ion that doesn't have safety markings (CE and/or UL/UR). I don't even want to imply a battery is safe by publishing a test. A over heated battery on talent is not something I want to think about.

 

Here's how you can reasonably test the Watson batteries yourself. Run a transmitter with a new or moderately used Lectro NP-50 and make the assumption the Lectro is 1 Ah. Then try the Watson battery and see how long it runs. If it runs 60% of the time, it's surely a 600 mAh battery. For instance, if your brand transmitter runs 3.5 hours on a newish Lectro and runs 2.1 hours on the Watson, you have the aforesaid 600 mAh battery (2.1/3.5=0.60). I note the Watson claims 800 mAh so you should get 2.8 hours (2.8/3.5=0.80).

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

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Hi Brian again,

I note a earlier post in which you got 3.5 hours out of the Lectro's and "nearly 3 hours" out of the Watson. That corresponds perfectly with my   2.8 hours divided by 3.5 hours equals 0.800 Ah,   the claimed Watson numbers. So you've already tested the batteries exactly as I recommended.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

On 2/4/2018 at 11:05 AM, MartinTheMixer said:

<snip> For that matter what is the shut-off voltage on the transmitter? 

Sincerely, Martin

Hi Martin,

The SSM shut off voltage is 3.0 Volts, according to DT at Lectro. That is a very common shut off voltage for electronic gear with moderate current draw. It gets near maximum capacity out of the battery while leaving some residual behind to protect the cell. Again, it is recommended to change cells at 4 to 5 hours when it is reasonable. That would give you 300 cycles, whereas a full discharge of 6.5 hours might give you only 150 cycles. On the other hand, 150 cycles is less than 30 cents a cycle even for our "overpriced" batteries.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

 

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I hear you, just thinking that Mr Fisher's priorities may not include testing everything available,

since Lectro has some tested and proven under their own label.

 

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I ran a little test with the stuff I use in the field, configured as such.

 

Basically none of the batteries can really get me to lunch or from lunch to wrap. On paper the SMV can, but if things run just a bit long, as they often do, that's where the Tx would die. IOW the worst possible time to die.

 

The interesting thing was the closeness of the battery meter on the ZMT3s. They looked the same until just past the halfway point. The Watson dropped like a rock. Only flashing for less than two minutes before shutdown. I think that's why I haven't thought of the batteries as being that different. I rarely let things wind down that far.

 

Now this next point has no science behind it. I feel like the ZMT3s loose some range at the lower end of the battery life. Several times I have experienced some dropout, when I don't think there should be. Then, a battery refresh clears it up. 

 

I also tested the drift of the Nomad Vs my Denecke Slate. It drifted by 1 frame over the 5 hours. The nomad display and the slate were always one frame off, it drifted an additional frame over that time.  Naturally the slate said "Sync error 24" as it always does jamming from the Nomad (gross). It is set manually to mode "23" as it will not read the correct frame rate in auto. 

 

My quasi-scientific results are:

 

Zaxcom ZMT3 - 75mW

NP-50   Watson 800mAh 

3:49  in use
2:31 to recharge 
 
Zaxcom TRXLT - 125mW
AA Li Ultimate SIngle Batt
4:02 in use
 
Zaxcom ZMT3 - 75mW
NP-50    Lectrosonics 1K mWh
5:05 in use
3:05 to charge
 
Zaxcom Nomad 12
IDX  NP-1
5:23 in use
3:10 to charge
 
Lectrosonics SMV - 100mW
AA Li Ultimate single batt
6:30 in use
 
Sound Devices Mix Pre-3
Anker Powercore+ 26800
over 12Hrs, less than 20.
10:30 to charge via 2.4A 5V supply

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1 hour ago, Brian Liston said:

...

Zaxcom TRXLA - 125mW
AA Li Advanced Extreme
4:02 in use
...

 

 

First, Energizer Ultimate Lithium are the longest lasting AAs that I'm aware of -- the Energizer Advanced Lithium are not quite as good (they may not even make the "Advanced" any more, as they no longer show up on Energizer's web site ).  Of course, you may be using a different brand. 

 

Second, are you talking about a TRXLA or a TRXLT (2 AA vs 1AA)?  4 hours is way low for a TRXLA using a good set of lithiums.

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33 minutes ago, John Blankenship said:

 

 

First, Energizer Ultimate Lithium are the longest lasting AAs that I'm aware of -- the Energizer Advanced Lithium are not quite as good (they may not even make the "Advanced" any more, as they no longer show up on Energizer's web site ).  Of course, you may be using a different brand. 

 

Second, are you talking about a TRXLA or a TRXLT (2 AA vs 1AA)?  4 hours is way low for a TRXLA using a good set of lithiums.

 

Yeah, I used Ultimates. Such stupid name conventions (super-mega-awesome-to-the-max). I changed the listing, and spelled out that it is a single battery.

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11 minutes ago, Brian Liston said:

 

Yeah, I used Ultimates. Such stupid name conventions (super-mega-awesome-to-the-max). I changed the listing, and spelled out that it is a single battery.

 

You also should indicate that it is an LT transmitter and not an LA. 

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20 hours ago, Brian Liston said:

I ran a little test with the stuff I use in the field, configured as such. [snip]

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the real world tests. 

 

I did a final test as promised on a brand new FujiFilm NP-50 from B&H and it tested out as 1.050 Ah (1050 mAh) which is within a few percent of the Lectro LB-50's and the previous year old (?) Fuji NP-50's directly from FujiFilm. One can assume all these batteries are OEM'd from Panasonic. I can say that you will get the best operating time possible from the LB-50 from Lectro or the Fuji NP-50 from B&H.  Different battery brands bought from fly by night sources, will probably not meet their specs. Be very, very wary of any NP-50 style battery that claims more than 1000 mAh or has a much lower price. By lower price, I mean anything under $29-30. 

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

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