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Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:51 pm

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Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:49 am
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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.

Questions?



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Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:41 am

Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:18 pm
Posts: 10

If I understand correctly, it has one 110v outlet and one USB outlet ?

Thanks

J



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Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:29 am

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Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:43 am
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It has 2-120VAC outlets and one 2A USB outlet.



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1-800-443-5542


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Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:26 am

Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:11 am
Posts: 41

Wow! Looks great.

Does this replace the current Vagabond or augment it?

What is the pricing on spare batteries? Charger?

Thanks
Fred




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Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:37 pm

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Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:43 am
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This will be offered in addition to the VML120.

As for accessory pricing, I will need to defer this to the forthcoming announcements over the next week or two.



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Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:39 pm

Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:18 pm
Posts: 10

So if I am reading this correctly, for $70 more and 2.5lbs more, we get a 1 second better recycle time (for an Einstein) and a battery which is supposed to last much longer. Is that about right ?

Sounds cool.

Now, what I was really hoping for was a replacement to the Zeus line..

J



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Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:10 pm

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It's the battery that's $70 more ($159.95 vs $89.95) The package is $399.95 vs $239.95.

VLX recycles lights at twice the speed as VML, and can recycle 2000WS in about 6 seconds instead of 12 for the VML. This is faster than the $1800 Profoto BatPack.

As for Profoto B1, the batteries are close to $300 (about 40 Wh NMC) (don't have the exact number in front of me) and you'll likely be buying several new batteries per year if you use it much. Same with Quadra Ranger Lithium and several others.

Prices can be deceiving, because even though the VLX battery initially costs more, the VLX battery cost over 5 to 10 years of use is a fraction of replacement VML batteries or just about any other system.

Then there's the Photogenic ION - over $400 with the optional stand clamp. It's almost a direct ripoff of VML except we made improvements to the inverter that they didn't. We've tested four new ION units against VMLs. and the VMLs are about 33% faster and yield about 30% more flashes per charge - even though they use the same battery.

The only thing close the VLX performance is the $1000 or so Dynalite unit. Innovatronix isn't even competition at all.

As for Zeus - it never sold enough to make it worth producing, even though it's a great system.



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Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:45 pm

Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:18 pm
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I am fairly certain I'll be buying 1-2 this summer. I was trying to figure out what the real upgrade is from previous batteries.

The weight has me a little concerned since I tend to run around bike races with two Einstein's and two batteries attached. But another 5lbs+ isn't going to make my back any more worse then it is already.

In regards to the Zeus, it's a shame really. I really wish you'd try and take on the the pack and head market. Lumedyne is the only thing close but their flash durations are pretty poor and I'm sure you could do better at a much lower price.

Until then, I'll stick with my Einstein's.



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Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:58 pm

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The real LiFePO4 battery advantages are the very highest safety, 5-10 times the number of charge cycles, >5 times the storage life and highest safe discharge current. Inverters for flash draw very high discharge current.

Combined, these factors make LiFePO4 batteries the safest and most rugged of all Lithium batteries and, ironically, the cheapest by far to operate in the long run. One LiFePO4 battery can be expected to outlast 5 or more NMC batteries (used in cellphones and laptops and most other portable flash power supplies) that typically deplete in about two years from date of manufacture. (LiFePO4's are good for >10 years.)

As for your bike races, you can use one VLX™ instead of two VMLs, with the same recycle rates, and actually lose 2.5 lbs.

Here's a couple of links:

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/arti ... ithium_ion
http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles ... rview.html

As for pack and head systems, been there-done that with a very good, inexpensive system that didn't sell (Zeus).



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Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:00 pm

Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:50 pm
Posts: 1

Glad you mentioned the Ion. I own several Photogenic strobes (PL2500 & PL1250). When I contacted Photogenic they advised me only their Ion will safely power these. Other forums say any "pure sine wave" source would do. Can I use this new product to power my Photogenics or not? Any potential pitfalls in doing so?




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