200 - 400 Watt HMI's
Published : 2nd October 2004
I'm in the market for a 200 or 400w AC HMI.
The price points of the digi-moles are great, but with no dimmer on the ballast....and their construction also looks to match their lower price - any comments?
I'm looking to use this in an ENG setting - stand-ups/live shots - very quick and very dirty. I have experience with the LTM 400s, Bron 400's etc. but those are a bit above my current budget. I'd also like to be able to power off of an ac/dc inverter, so the 200 may be the way to go.
Anyone suggest any sources for used items - or have any they want to part with?
Miami Beach, FL
I recently picked up a Joker 200 that runs on (2) Anton-Bauer bricks. I haven't put it to a stopwatch but seem to get about a half hour from 2 Hytron 100's.
I also use an inverter for the light, plus I carry a fully charged 12volt truck battery for the inverter if a vehicle isn't convenient and I want a longer running time.
I'm happy with the output and durability of the unit. Like all openface lights, I usually put at least a layer of Hampshire Frost on the doors to smooth it out.
The price is a bit higher than the DigiMole... but I think I paid less than $3K for the head, AC/DC ballast, doors and case.
>I'm looking to use this in an ENG setting - stand-ups/live shots - very >quick and very dirty. I have experience with the LTM 400s, Bron 400's >etc. but those are a bit above my current budget.
I like using the Bron HMI's for live shots because they can be left out in the rain. A great selling feature for ENG work! Also they do have dimmers. I don't like them as well for small room interview setups as they aren't as soft as other lights in a chimera. I've seen demo units being sold on their web site for a good price.
class="style6" >I'm in the market for a 200 or 400w AC HMI.
>The price points of the digi-moles are great, but with no dimmer on the >ballast....and their construction also looks to match their lower price - >any comments?
I have used a 200w Digi-Mole with flicker-free supply in ENG Sat-truck operations including hurricane coverage. It is very sturdy and certainly up for the job. The original bulb is still in service after 3 yrs. I would say that is a miracle after being bounced around in the back of a sat truck more
than burning hours.
The head however will droop down if a oversize softbox is set on it. I use a C-stand to help support the larger softboxes. A sand bag and a little TLC goes a long way. Other than the droop which my Arri 650 and 300 units are also subject too, the Digi-Mole is indestructible from my experience. It is also VERY portable.
New Orleans, La
>I also use an inverter for the light
Which inverter are you using? I've been told that only a pure sine wave inverter will do, and that I need approximately double the wattage of the light to allow for the extra 'pull' on strike.
Will a 'regular' (non-sine wave) inverter work?
Miami Beach, FL
Well I can't address whether it's a pure sine wave or not, but it's a 600w inverter made by StatPower. It's called The PowerWatz and I got it at the old Radio Shack.com before they went under.
That was a stand along store.
From what I see me and my peers using, any good quality inverter will do...and no you don't need double the wattage but enough over the rating to handle the surge.
My 600w works just fine with the 400w Bron.
I think when look for an inverter made sure it can handle the surge of say a small fridge.
Most RV places or if you have a Northern Hydraulic or a good boat store like West Marine or the like, should have what you need!
I think the key is to have a real heavy gauge cable that goes from the unit to the battery. Don't try the cigarette lighter.
Allen S. Facemire
Allen S. Facemire writes:
>From what I see me and my peers using, any good quality inverter will >do... and no you don't need double the wattage but enough over the >rating to handle the surge.
Whether you need a sinewave inverter or not depends on the device you're powering. Non-sinewave power can damage certain equipment, and possibly cause components to overheat. Can't say about HMIs, though.
Most quality inverters (sinewave and other) will handle at least a 30% surge for several minutes. Check the manual.
>Most RV places or if you have a Northern Hydraulic or a good boat store >like West Marine or the like, should have what you need!
West Marine's a good bet -- they tend to have very good prices on brand-name inverters... plus lots of ancillary electrical stuff. Marine-grade components won't necessarily meet home-wiring standards, but they're very high quality and reliable.
>I think the key is to have a real heavy gauge cable that goes from the >unit to the battery. Don't try the cigarette lighter.
Hear, hear. Cigarette lighter connectors can only handle about 150 watts. More than that can blow your fusible link or melt the plug! For anything heavier, use an appropriate cable of gauge, good battery clips, and an inline DC fuse or breaker that will handle the expected startup surge.
For DC circuits you MUST use an overcurrent protector designed for DC. That's because AC arcing is self-quenching, but DC can arc continuously, so DC breakers and fuses are designed to quench any arcing across the broken contacts.
Dan "don't mess with heavy battery currents" Drasin
Marin County, CA