# Thread: 110AC Strobes off a Car?

1. ## Re: 110AC Strobes off a Car?

Originally Posted by z_photo
anybody run profoto compact monolights off a vagabond II? at least Buff advertises the vag II as pure sine wave power so i assume it should be acceptable. given the prices of profoto gear if it is not a workable power source the results would be expensive.
guess it has been done. from the profoto blog:

http://blog.profoto-usa.com/?p=12

2. ## Re: 110AC Strobes off a Car?

What did Dynalite say? They would be who I would contact before Paul Buff or trying a UPS supply.

3. ## Re: 110AC Strobes off a Car?

I am waiting to hear back from them. They are generally pretty helpful even with 25-year gear (although nobody matches Bob S. for helping out people with older used Linhofs, which don't directly help his business.)

4. ## Re: 110AC Strobes off a Car?

Originally Posted by Frank Petronio
Yeah I have a couple of 40-pounders, I don't understand watts and volts, just weight.

Hmm it's raining outside. Think I'll go out and try. Should I be barefoot or wear flip-flops?
Volts are the measure of potential work, Current (amperes, amps) is the amount of energy through a load (your lights) at a given voltage. Watts is the potential energy expended through a load as a result of voltage (potential) and current (load)(heat is often the byproduct), Power (watts) = Volts x Current. 12VA is 12 volt/amps or 1 ampere of current at 12 volts for 1 hour.

In battery systems 12v and 24v DC (direct current not alternating like wall current) is the norm. An inverter takes the DC voltage and generates AC voltage. You want to match the power requirements of the load to the AC power requirements and ultimately to the DC power requirements (battery) which must supply the AC current.

Note that batteries come in two types: high cranking load and deep cycle. Car batteries are of the first type designed for a lot of energy in a short burst while the deep cycle battery is designed for powering appliances and even loads for longer periods of time. Flash lighting will have a low load when idle and high load when flashed.

The system Don suggested is the best way to go however you can use your car battery if you use a sufficiently sized power inverter (1000w and up). You can easily drain the battery dead however. I have done it in my Westy. Some people install an additional deep cycle battery for AC conversion.

5. ## Re: 110AC Strobes off a Car?

The unit I have has two lead acid batteries inside with a decent controlling circuit on an inverter - exactly what others have proposed here, except it's designed for the application and for \$350, is honestly dirt cheap for what it does. It's also relatively foolproof, and in my experience, that's essential for 99&#37; of photographers. Here's the manual for mine: http://www.innovatronix.com/tronixma...lorer%20XT.pdf You only need to cook your heads once to realize that even 25 year old heads are worth looking after.

An OEM solution from Elinchrom would have cost me thousands. When the lead acid batteries in my unit get tired (expected life of about 2-3 years), they are easily replaced.

6. ## Re: 110AC Strobes off a Car?

Originally Posted by Don Hutton

An OEM solution from Elinchrom would have cost me thousands. When the lead acid batteries in my unit get tired (expected life of about 2-3 years), they are easily replaced.
Gel cells might be worth looking at rather then wet cells. The gel cells eliminate the maintenance required with many wet cells.

7. ## Re: 110AC Strobes off a Car?

Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
Gel cells might be worth looking at rater then wet cells. The gel cells eliminate the maintenance required with many wet cells.
They are sealed batteries so maintenance free and I believe that replacement cost is of the order of \$25/battery - so it's hardly a lot if that's all they require after two years.

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