Finding power in remote locations

December 29, 2012 — Leave a comment

Over the years I have worked everywhere from the jungles of the Congo to the Australian Outback. Many of these trips have been on expeditions that have lasted weeks at a time. One of the biggest challenges is keeping equipment powered up over these extended periods. Since the evolution from film cameras to higher and higher definition video cameras, this has only become even more of a challenge. The power requirements for the camera, plus all the attached accessories like monitors, microphones and recorders take a toll on battery reserves.

This means making some critical choices regarding batteries and how they are going to be charged. The options are often dictated by what the location can provide in terms of resources. And where there is not the right option you have to fill the gap. These are the criteria I use to assess what I need to take into the field.

  • Is there access to any mains power?
  • If not, perhaps a generator?
  • Is there enough sun to use solar panels?
  • If all else fails you need enough batteries that will hold their charge until used and then allow you to complete the job.

With everything depending on a reliable power source, I made the choice to build a system around what I consider the most reliable batteries and chargers on the market, Anton Bauer

While most of the decision is based on the weight to power ratio offered by their cells, as well as their reliability, their mounting options are, in my opinion, the best on the market. This makes for a winning combination. The mounts are easily to use even in the most challenging conditions and ensure you can easily remove or replace the battery quickly even in the freezing cold, wearing think gloves.

I started out with the Hytron range of batteries to power my Super-16 Aaton, but know with the great power requirements of an HD video camera use the Dionics. My choice is to generally user the smaller form factor batteries to keep down the weight of the camera. these batteries and backed up with a very extensive line of mounting options and accessories. I always carrying the following in my expedition kit.

  • For powering anything from a camera to a light the Unipac, but this is especially useful when working in extreme cold as it allows you to keep the battery inside your clothing for extra run time and power the camera via a cord.
  • When there will be long reliable periods of sun, I carry the Anton Bauer foldable solar charger 

  • My charger of choice is the Anton Bauer T2 as it chargers two channels simultaneously, while still having a small footprint and therefore being easy to pack.

For more information on Anton Bauer great products please go to their main website-  http://www.antonbauer.com/

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