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Eclair ACL Batteries, Charger and the like

First off, let me say that Ray's idea of officially adding more cameras
to the list isn't going to effect your inbox - 99% of everything
discussed on this list isn't ACL specific, it applies to most film
cameras.  I started off with an ACL, then I got an Aaton and this list
has not become even slightly less useful and informative to me.

Ok, that said, I've been meaning to share my latest project with the
list for a while.  The information everyone has shared about building
your own batteries has been excellent - but for me it left one big
problem - the charger.  I built a few batteries, but I couldn't find a
good, reasonably priced charger anywhere. So I went on eBay and picked
up an Anton Bauer LSQ4 charger for ~$100 (you can often find them for
less). The LSQ4 charges/equalizes 4 Bauer Bricks at once - you can just
get the one battery type if there's one available, I'm sure they go for
less $.

I removed the Bauer mounts, drilled holes in the faces with my handy
dandy 20mm Forsner bit, screwed in some Neutrik male XLR surface jacks,
wired it up, and now I have one hell of a great charger for about $110.
Again, I'm sure you could do it for less with the one battery variety,
but get the LifeSaver, not the QuickCharge - the LifeSaver will
"recondition" your batteries by equalizing the charge on each cell
before charging it - and from my understanding, it is not wise to "Quick
Charge" a battery without a chip inside that tells it when to shut off.
Actually, I recently read somewhere about a TI chip that you could wire
into you batteries to serve this function... I'll look into it.

As far as batteries, I tried to come as close to the original Aaton
battery as possible - the onboard ACL battery on the ACL II is similar,
but smaller and with a much weirder way of attaching - but this should
work well for the ACL as well.  I got a project box from
allelectronics.com - 6.7" x 3.33" x 1.35" - drilled a hole at the very
bottom of one side and screwed in a female Neutrik XLR connector.  I
snipped the flexible shaft part of the back, so it became more like a
nut, and screwed that onto the back of the connector, after wiring up
the batteries to the connector. Works better than my original Aatons -
runs at least twice as many mags (NIMH AAs vs. NiCad sub-Cs). I'm sure
it wouldn't take much to modify it to connect to the ACL II battery
bracket, and for the Aaton I plan to insert a piece of metal through the
shell, above the XLR connector so it can more securely attach to the
battery screw.  The other difference is that if you are looking at the
XLR connector, on an Aaton, the pin holes will all be on the top, but
for the ACL they have to face down.

If I ever get around to finishing my web site, I'll post pictures.
There'll be a link on the main page of www.242inc.com when I get around
to it.

Much thanks to everyone who posted information about building batteries
- it was invaluable in doing this project.

See - one post that should hopefully be of equal interest and use to
both LTR owners and ACL owners :)



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