Astera has introduced the RuntimeExtender – an invaluable ‘battery plate’ tool for lighting technicians working with Astera products.
RuntimeExtender is compatible with most Astera products – Titan, Helios and Hyperion Tubes, as well as HydraPanel, PixelBrick, etc. – and allows connection to an external battery, so spare camera batteries can be used to power the Astera units in situations where the internal batteries might run out.
When the connected lights are running at low level or switched off, the internal battery will also be recharging from this connection, allowing batteries to be swapped during the shoot so the lights can be used indefinitely.
The most common camera batteries are currently the ‘V-Mount battery’ and in some regions, the ‘Gold Mount’ battery, so Astera RuntimeExtender is offered in two versions for customers to choose either of these two options. V-Mount and Gold Mount batteries are available in different voltages, so the RuntimeExtender supports two popular battery types, 14.4V and 26V.
Any Watt Hour capacity battery works with Astera fixtures including units just below 100Wh which can be checked into an aeroplane hold. The batteries can be connected via the Astera power and data cable, which most customers will already have, and Astera now has a 1.5m cable which is included in the RuntimeExtender kit.
24 VDC lights are supported, and the RuntimeExtender is rated to 24V 100W shared between two DC outputs enabling one RuntimeExtender to power one Hyperion Tube and two Titan or Helios Tubes – each connected to one DC output – or four HydraPanels or four PixelBricks daisy-chained and connected to one or two DC outputs.
A third three-pin XLR socket with an unregulated output that passes on the voltage of the battery makes it future-proof for products that Astera might yet launch potentially with a different voltage. While in the event world, the three-pin XLR is universally used for data distribution, in the film industry it has become a standard to distribute power through this socket.
As always, Astera has put serious effort into making RuntimeExtender easy and straightforward to mount. It uses the same handy and highly practical AirlineTrack rail as PixelBrick on two sides for a swift slide-in of the included “HexConnect” accessory with integrated Babypin that allows mounting into a super-clamp whilst locking the rotation.
‘BrickConnect’ can be used to connect two RuntimeExenders together back-to-back for larger setups, and utilising ‘AirlineTrack’, many other mounting accessories from Astera can also be connected.
Astera offers one of their famous ‘Kit’ packages for Runtime Extender containing everything needed for site, venue, and stage. Included are four RuntimeExtenders, HexConnectors, BrickConnects and 1.5 metre DC cables plus four Clamps to mount with the HexConnect.
Two Kit versions are currently available with four V-Mount or with four Gold Mount RuntimeExtenders, dovetailing perfectly with the industry standard eight-way Titan Tube kits that are in use and ubiquitous worldwide.