NEWS LETTER - IDX-tra: July 2023

NEWS LETTER - IDX-tra: July 2023

Posted by Don Mainardi on 13th Jul 2023


Through the years, battery chemistries have evolved. Lithium-Ion is used in all manufacturers nowadays because of the positive benefit of the lighter weight of the cells while producing higher power output. Smaller and lighter. This allows for the delivery of higher capacities in smaller battery cases. Add to that the power output taps to accommodate onboard accessories on cameras and the greater power consumption of modern lighting systems. All good, right?

Well, enter IATA restrictions. Battery companies are always asked, “Can I ship or travel with this battery?”. A refresher about the allowances is important here. Up to 99Wh, each member of the group may carry on (never check) 20 batteries plus one on each device. Regarding 100-159Wh batteries, one can also be affixed to a device and each member may carry on two spares. Greater than that capacity (160Wh+) MAY NOT be carried on. You can learn more by clicking the button below:

How do we get the longer record times and power our lights? IDX pioneered the “stackable” battery many years ago with the E10, then the E-HL9. They could “piggy-back” two batteries and drain from the inner one to the outer one. Then the IPL Series allowed for staking several batteries drawing from the outer one to the inner ones, allowing “hot swapping.” Both concepts addressed the need for longer continuous shooting without having to shut down the camera. But the drawback was that adding batteries caused the weight to shift to the rear and compromise the balance, which camera operators did not like. IDX understood this. As cameras evolved from shoulder mount to smaller palmcorders with lower profiles, the need to reduce the physical size of the battery and still deliver the same capacities found in brick batteries was obvious.

This evolved into Imicro batteries. The IDX Imicro-98 and Imicro-150 meet that challenge, offering 97Wh and 145Wh respectively, with power taps. In case you forgot the point we started discussing, here is the tie-in. IDX developed a “hot swap” plate, the A-Vmicro2. This plate is the same size as a standard V-Mount plate. The two batteries mount vertically and do not change the balance. What separates this plate from the rest of the pack is that the first channel is monitored in the plate and when the voltage reaches a predetermined value, the plate switches SEAMLESSLY AND AUTOMATICALLY. The operator does not have to manually do anything (However, there is a manual override). Once the Channel 2 light comes on, the battery on Channel 1 can be swapped. As long as there is another battery handy to be changed, shooting continues. One of each Imicro battery or two of the same model may be used. So lower capacity batteries are used, circumventing IATA restrictions, and the effect of longer recording previously requiring higher capacity batteries can be accomplished.

Pretty cool, right?