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daniel

USB rechargeable bag power.

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Has anyone found or tried powering the bag with a battery which can itself be recharged through USB?

My NP1s are getting on a bit and aside from all the obvious advantages of the smart batteries (Hi-Q/EI) - I thought it would be nice to have less charger/s to carry about. The only thing I've found so far are these laptop powerbanks which can be recharged through the USB or the coax:

https://www.xtpower.de/XT-20000QC2-PowerBank-modern-DC-/-USB-battery-with-20400mAh-5V-12V-to-24V

https://www.xtpower.de/External-Charger

 

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People do it, especially in the lower budget crowed, lets say the Zoom F series and Sound Devices Mix pre series users. Inside a NP1, Hi-Q, Vmount AND USB battery they are all the same; Lion Batteries, so that doesn't matter, unless of course they cheap out on the vendor. the connector, in your case an USB one is not the most ideal/monkey proof sollution though, so keep that in mind. Your linked USB powerbank has 12v out so no step up needed, thats good because that will give a couple of percentages loss. 

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I tried it for awhile with one of my smaller bags. Honestly I found it more of a PITA than it was worth. I moved over to smart batteries and a BDS in that bag and haven't looked back. 

 

-Mike

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Obviously not a massive fan of non locking coax plugs, a Dtap O/P would have been ideal for me but I was thinking a DIY battery shoe could hold the elements together in durable way. Curious to know if the PITA was in the charging/plugs/other. I already have power distribution for my bag and I can buy 3 XT (75wh) units for the price of 1 Audioroot (98wh). I can charge all 3 in 9 hours via USB hub or I can buy/use XT AC adapters (c.€15) to charge in 3 hours. AR chargers cost £129 (single travel charger), £282 for 2 bay DT charger, £540 for 4 bay.

 

I am sure the AR, Hi-Q, EI are all better, smarter more professional etc than XT (especially if you run X3 or R4+) but the attraction is more about the portability, redundancy and USB convenience of the XT than the price (£1/wh vs £3.5/wh).

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On 12/19/2018 at 4:18 AM, daniel said:

Curious to know if the PITA was in the charging/plugs/other. 

All of the above, honestly. 

 

I used a battery pack that had both coax outputs for wireless receivers and a USB output for my MixPre. Neither was very reliable however, as neither connection was locking, and I had to use a rather convoluted set of adapters in order to make the coax output work with my Zaxcom receiver. I had an AA battery backup in the MixPre so that wouldn't lose power while recording, but I definitely had power fail on the wireless a couple of times. 

 

The batteries took forever to charge and did not seem to discharge reliably. Some days I would get 3 hours out of one, other days only an hour and a half. 

 

It also took a very figety set of steps to turn the battery on - everything had to be plugged in and booted on in a certain order and then the battery turned on. There was also no easy way to turn it off between takes to save power. 

 

I went over to the 49Wh Inspired Energy smart batteries after that. They are about the same size and weight as the USB battery I was using, so pretty small, but way more reliable and power the gear for far longer. A bit more expensive, but I'm willing to pay for reliability. 

 

-Mike

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20 hours ago, Mobilemike said:

The batteries took forever to charge and did not seem to discharge reliably. Some days I would get 3 hours out of one, other days only an hour and a half. 

Sounds more like you used one of those run of the mill power banks with outrageous impossible claims of power. Or was it a reputable name brand?

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Just back from hols, thanks for the feedback. I'm on the same page as you all on the merits of pro batteries (I run Np1s and L batteries currently - excuse the pun). The ideal battery for travelling light would have a proper connector for output and a USB I/P for charging. 

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