The VLX™ ($399.95 - 6lbs is the 4th generation Vagabond™ compact portable power system for studio flash units. The first production run is built and thoroughly tested/debugged, waiting only on one minor stand-clamp part that is being remade. ETA for shipping is about April 20. Further information, pix, and details will be posted here and at http://www.PaulCBuff.com
in the next ten days.
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VLX™ employs a BUFF designed 400W continuous power 120VAC 60Hz Pure Sine Wave Current-Limited inverter capable of recycling normally-AC-powered flash units considerably faster than than the 25lb Profoto Batpack, 11lb Innovatronix Mini, Elinchrom Quadra Ranger and others, with up to 5 times as many flash WS per charge, It can operate multi-voltage units at 120VAC. (230V 50Hz units are not being made at this time.)
VLX™ includes a 3-4 hour global charger that runs from 90 to 250VAC, 50/60Hz. VLX™ may thus be operated while charging, in any country, for all day in-studio shooting, or spare batteries may be charged outside the VLX™ unit. As with all battery power supplies of this sort, Modeling Lamps must be turned off, or replaced with very low wattage lamps for successful operation.
VLX™ typically cycles 640WS in 2 seconds, 1280WS in 4 seconds, 1920WS in 6 seconds, 2560WS in 8 seconds, and 3200WS in 10 seconds, as well as most 1200 to 2400WS power pack systems in 4 to 8 seconds. It employs a very sturdy metal light stand clamp for up to 1-1/2" poles, and a 2A USB port capable of charging smart phones and tablets.
Typical shots per charge is 1000 full power 320WS pops, 500 pops at 640WS, 250 pops at 1280 seconds - proportional to total WS recycled.
A single VLX™ can operate an entire 4-5 light system (using "Power Bar" extension cords) in the field at usable recycle times, or multiple VLX™ units can be employed for lightning fast shooting and extreme numbers of shots per charge.A most important part of the design is the quick-change 26.4V 6.4Ah 170Wh LiFePO4 (Iron Phosphate) battery system. This is the latest, and far and away the safest and most durable Lithium made today.
All other systems mentioned use either Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) or LiCoxNiMnzO2 (NMC) Lithium batteries. Depending on battery sizing and recycle speed, these battery types offer typical storage life of about two years and as few as 100 battery recharge cycles before depletion.
Also, SLA batteries characteristically result in longer and longer recycle times (very frustrating) as they discharge, and are easily destroyed if not recharged immediately after use.
LiFePO4 batteries have a shelf life of over ten years, and offer an estimated 1200 to 1500 recharge cycles, and maintain recycle speed throughout their discharge cycle.
While the LiFePO4 battery is somewhat heavier, and initially more expensive, in real world use it can be expected to last from 5 to 10 times as long before needing replacement . . . making it not only the best battery made, but also the cheapest to operate.
A high quality carrying case is optional at $24.95, and is smaller and lighter when loaded than a Canon Rebel case.