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posted by - Friday, 20 May 2011

The latest Digital Cinema cameras are sophisticated computers that draw considerable power. Filmmakers then pile on lots of camera accessories that can also pull a hefty load. As standard power solutions were limited, AbelCine created a line of power solutions to answer any need.

Designed and manufactured by AbelCine and introduced at NAB 2011, the UniBob Universal Power Breakout Box is designed to answer both the power draw and distribution needs for Digital Cinema production crews. The UniBob is a compact unit (about the size of a Dionic 90 battery) and can mount directly to a standard 3-peg Anton Bauer-style battery mount or attach directly using an Accessory Mounting Kit.

The UniBob takes in power via a large Lemo-8 connector, which can deliver in excess of 300w each of both 28v and 14.4v power simultaneously. There are three 28v outputs and three 14.4v outputs. In addition to the Anton Bauer 3-peg battery mount (14.4v), the UniBob has two Phantom-standard Fischer-4 ports for 14.4v power, two ARRI-standard Fischer-3 ports for 28v accessory power, and one large Fischer-3 port for 28v power to directly feed a camera or other large-draw device.

There are numerous devices available to send power to the UniBob. AbelCine commissioned Frezzi to build the Universal Juicebox AC Power Supply. The Universal Juicebox can output in excess of 300w of both 13.5v and 28v power simultaneously. In addition to the dual-voltage Lemo-8 port, outputs include 3x XLR-4 (13.5v) and two XLR-3 (28v). All outputs and both voltages are available at all times. The unit has auto-ranging voltage, meaning that it can be used in electrical systems throughout the world. Anton Bauer makes the DT-500 AC Power Supply, which has a Lemo-8 to supply 300w of 14.4v and 200w of 28v simultaneously.

For battery power to the UniBob, there are several options available. The Anton Bauer Cine VCLX-CA Battery Block has a Lemo-8, which can provide up to 300w of both 14.4v and 28v simultaneously. This large block has a 560whr. capacity. If you’re traveling, the Anton Bauer / AbelCine QBH-HD Battery Station is a clever solution. It is a small, lightweight mounting accessory that accepts up to four standard Anton Bauer–mount battery bricks and gangs their power to output both 14.4v and 28.8v power. AbelCine modifies the unit by integrating a Lemo-8 connector. Power is converted and regulated so individual batteries can be hot-swapped without losing power. With four Hytron 140 batteries attached, the QBH-HD has 560whr. of power available, yet it is simple to snap apart to store for shipping. IDX makes a similar unit for V-mount batteries, the EB-424L Power Base Station. Note that the maximum output for 24v power through the Lemo-8 is 120w. For handheld shooting, the Anton Bauer SO-SF35 Battery Belt accepts two standard Anton Bauer-mount battery bricks and gangs their power to output both 14.4v and 28v using the standard Lemo-8 connector. Power is converted and regulated so individual batteries can be hot-swapped without losing power.

If you do not need the versatility of the UniBob system, AbelCine offers other high capacity options. On the most basic level, AbelCine manufactures a simple industrial-grade 24v/221w AC power supply. AbelCine originally started with a 150w supply but found that clients were pushing close to the limit, so the wattage was bumped up to 221w at nearly the same modest price. You can mount an industry standard XLR-3 connector for 24v power, which is the same port generally found on most 24v battery solutions. To power an ARRI ALEXA, you would use a KC-20 or equivalent cable. The 24v/221w power supply has auto-ranging voltage for worldwide use.

Lastly, there are a myriad of devices designed to run off 12v power. To power them, AbelCine worked with Frezzi to create the Juicebox 400, a 15v/400w AC Power Supply. It has three industry standard XLR-4 ports for 15v output (higher voltage to compensate for line loss through long cables) and also has auto-ranging voltage. The Juicebox 400 is the most powerful device of its kind. In comparison, most common power supplies (such as those that double as battery chargers) top out at 70w, and even the more powerful dedicated supplies are 150w. The Juicebox 400, however, can output in excess of 400w.

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