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UPS as Strobe Power

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by cucco, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. cucco

    cucco Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Dec 28, 2010
    Just curious -
    Does anyone know whether it would be a BAD idea to use a high powered (1500VA) Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) as a power supply for remote lighting? (2x300w/s strobes)?

    I tried it tonight for about 20 shots and it showed that I had over 2 hours worth of shots after the first 20. However, I do know that it's a bad idea generally to use anything that draws too much current off the UPS batteries (laser printers, etc.)

    Any thoughts?

    (Yes, I know - when playing with electricity, it's always best to play it safe. I did have a fire extinguisher standing by when testing and stood back a ways from the UPS while testing).

    Thanks!
    Jeremy
     
  2. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    249
    Jun 21, 2010
    Is it a Lead / acid UPS or Li Ion?
    I'd have thought the solid state Li might be suseptible to localised overheating, but the Lead / Acid ones are pretty robust - not much to go wrong.
     
  3. cucco

    cucco Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Dec 28, 2010
    Thanks!
    It's a sealed lead acid.

    I'm assuming that it's basically just a battery with an inverter. In the case of this UPS (APC brand), it does regulate the output to a constant 60 cycles.

    Cheers!
    Jeremy
     
  4. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Feb 23, 2011
    Sheffield
    Howard
    Why would you want to?
     
  5. cucco

    cucco Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Dec 28, 2010
    Simple.
    I need to.

    I have a few Alien Bees strobes and I wanted to get a Vagabond power supply for it, but they're on backorder thanks to the vendor switching out parts.

    I need to do a remote shoot where I won't have power but need lights.

    I've also read about using a 12 volt emergency car battery jump kit mated with a 1000-1500w inverter. That seems like it's more designed for hard surges, but I've had bad luck with the quality of DC/AC converters before.
     
  6. Saelee

    Saelee Mu-43 Regular

    56
    Feb 10, 2011
    I can almost guarantee that the 12v emergency jump kit will kill your lights.

    The type of inverter is MORE important then the type of battery. A lot of cheap inverter use a Modified Sine Wave which is ok for non sensitive electrical equipment but with most studio lights, you will fry the lights.

    You want an inverter that is a PURE Sine Wave, which is the same thing as the vegabond and is typically a lot more expensive as well.

    I would double check to see if that APC has a Pure Sine Wave inverter in it. Some of the more expensive units have it while the lower end one use the modified sine wave. Also do NOT use the modeling lamp, that will overhead your power pack.

    I ended up building my own because the vegabond was out of stock, and I didn't have alien bees lights. I spent about the same amount as brand new VB but I get a lot more battery power, almost twice as much.
     
  7. cucco

    cucco Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Dec 28, 2010
    Thanks for the tip.
    My UPS is a modified sine - as they call it "approximating a sine wave."

    I'll see if I can hold out for one of the vagabonds.
     
  8. Kalieaire

    Kalieaire Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Feb 6, 2011