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Alex_Mustard

Inon Z240 battery life

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I am interested in using Inon Z240s for an upcoming shoot. I need strobes with a cooler colour temp than my Subtronics.

 

Whenever I have used Inon strobes in the past I have always been very impressed with their battery life. But have never used them regularly enough to know exactly how long they last.

 

Please can someone tell me the number of dives (typically shooting 100 shots say) that the batteries will last for. Assuming using standard NiMH 2300.

 

Thanks.

 

Alex

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I have a pair of well used 240's.

I have done 2 dives on a set of 2500 MAh NiMH - although it is my usual habit to use a fresh set each dive.

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Thanks for the Info, Peter.

 

That's a bit disappointing, I was hoping for them to last for at least three dives. Maybe someone who is more prepared to chance it, can confirm that.

 

Alex

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Well, I never used them until they died. I did go two high volume dives at a time in Indonesia without a problem. In the Galapagos I would do 3 dives before changing. My charger has an indicator showing the level of juice in them. Even after two full dives, they seemed to have plenty of juice left.

 

My unscientific conclusion is a positive nod of the head and facial expression indicating "I'm impressed, better than I expected"

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Hi Alex,

 

Over 280 images using 2500's and 2700's with an equv.140mm macro and wetlens=high F/stops. No noticeable change in recycle times and power left over. I would guess many more at half power or so in W/A.

 

Phil

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The manufacturer claim 320 full flashes on a fresh set of NiMH:s (2700:s). Don't know if it will make a difference with 2300:s, but I think it will only affect recycle time?

 

I brought a pair of Z240:s on a liveaboard for the first time this summer. I'm pretty far from 100 shots a dive, perhaps 40-50. But I made 4 dives (I use 2700's) on the same charge. And the reason for changing after four dives wasn't empty batteries, in fact there seemed to be a lot of oomp left. Just wanted a fresh start in the morning.

 

/christian

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I'll back that up: I get 300+ flashes (2400 mAmp NiHM) with plenty of reserve. This is in the sTTL mode for macro, so they would not be full dumps except may be at night. I change the batteries every four dives or so.

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Hi Alex,

 

I got really lazy about changing batteries and chanced it this weekend on a trip to the Flower Gardens:

 

The first set of fully charged NiMH 2400s lasted 5 dives, including over 190 flashes, a night dive with the focus light on for the entire dive, and approximately 3:45 bottom time. I was shooting a mix of macro and w/a. The batteries were still going strong with no noticeable difference in recycle time when I suddenly remembered that I ought to put in some fresh ones.

 

The second set lasted the remaining 6 dives of the trip, including close to 200 flashes, almost 5 hours of bottom time, two early morning dives with lots of use of the focus light, another night dive with the focus light on for the entire dive, and several hours in the camera tank with the strobe powered on because I had forgotten to power them down. Again, these dives were a mix of macro and w/a, with more w/a and full-power usage this time around than the previous. The recycle time never wavered until the last 10 or 15 shots in the last 15 minutes or so of the 6th dive -- then it started taking 30 seconds to a minute to recycle, but the strobe never fully died.

 

Hope that's helpful. I was quite in awe of how long the batteries lasted since I've always previously made sure to put in fresh batteries after every other dive.

 

Cheers,

smash

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The older Z-220s do about 3-400 flashes on 2500mAhr AAs before the recharge time becomes annoying, but at least another 200 flashes after that with a pause between flashes, using roughly equal numbers of full and 1/2 power shots (1/4 power obviously better again).

 

Tim

 

B)

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Alex,

 

I've just purchased 2 Inon Z240s and am taking them on the Pelagian for 10 days next week. I'll answer your question when I get back to civilization.

 

basim

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Assuming that your 100 shots per dive are not shot at full power, 2300s will probably last 3 dives. If they are all full power shots I'd expect only half the third dive (although 2700s are available and cheap). I just finished a trip with Z240s and 2700s and the battery life was impressive. I did run out once but that was on a fourth dive where the first two were wide angle (all full) and the second two were 150+ exposure macro dives. Normally I was changing every three dives and still showing over half a charge.

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I just back from a trip to Lembeh. Using 2700mAh Sony NiMh's in my Z240's (and almost always at full power) I easily got 3 dives a day shooting around 200 shots. According to my ULCS Pulse Load Battery Tester I had around 40% charge left in the batteries at the end of day. On the one day I did four dives, I shot around 260 shots and had the spotting lights on in both strobes for much of the last dive (a twilight dive) and my batteries died right at the end of dive just before I came out of the water.

 

 

I always test my batteries with the ULCS Pulse Load Battery Tester after they come out of the charger to check they are fully charged and to identify any batteries that may be on the way out. I also test them when they come out of the strobes to see how much charge they have remaining and also to identify any batteries that are on the way out.

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Just a thought. Don't get mad :) I was wondering how Inons can possibly put out enough strobe output and have extremely good battery life out of 4 AA batteries? It seems like a contradiction. Is this strobe unit that good or is it too good to be true??? How many strobes do you all shoot with at any given time? Also does Inon work ttl mode with an Ikelite housing and a Canon 5d???

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Z-240s do put out plenty of light and get lots of recycles on a set of AAs. Today's AAs are a lot better than they used to be. Far more effort is put into optimizing the performance of a AA than is invested in improving an Ikelite or Sea & Sea custom pack.

 

Using a nominal voltage of 1.2V (charged NiMH will be higher), a set of 2700mAh AAs will provide 13Wh. That's a lot more than people realize. The bigger custom packs in larger strobes don't necessarily provide a lot more energy but they can provide higher draw rates that reduce recycle times.

 

Assuming 13Wh and 320 cycles (Inon's rating), a Z240 will provide 140Ws per full cycle assuming 100% efficiency. A DS-125 is rated at 110Ws so you can see that a Z-240 is certainly comparable to the DS-125 in terms of watt-seconds delivered to the strobe tube and potentially greater. It's recycle time is a little slower, but not much, and it's discharge time may be longer.

 

Inon's higher color temps compared to larger wide angle strobes may also indicate that it operates its strobe tubes at greater efficiency. It's not hard to see how a Z-240 might out-power a DS-125 with more power and better efficiency. That's all speculation, of course, but look at it another way: recycle counts are verifiable and there are multiple tests available documenting Inon's competitive brightness.

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When I first got my Z240's last year I tested them to see how many dives I could get on a charge. Using 2400 mAh batteries in one and 2700 mAh in the other strobe. On my forth dive the 2400 mAh one died while the 2700 mAh one continued to work, but with a longer recycling time. You can easily get three dives with over 450 flashes out of 2700 mAh nickel metal hydride AA batteries with the Z240's.

I would just caution you to test your batteries with a pulse load tester prior to your dive trip since the one weak AA will alter how many flashes you can get.

 

Elmer

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Alex,

 

I just got back from 10 days on the Pelagian out of Wakatobi (02-12 Oct).

 

I used the Inon Z-240s for the first 5 days of diving exclusively. I had brand new Maha PowerEx 2700 batteries and was able to reliably shoot ~300 shots per charging. That number was reduced to about 175 images if the focusing lights were used. If I was at 250 shots after 2 dives, I found it better to change batteries rather than risk losing a strobe in the middle of the dive.

 

I was using two Z-240s on manual, full power, with a Canon 5D in an Ikelite housing.

 

I switched back to my beastly DS-125s on day 6 and was much happier with the recycle performance of the DS-125s over the Z-240s. I ended up shooting them the rest of the trip as there is a significant difference between 1 sec and 1.6 seconds. I had hoped to be able to replace the DS-125s completely with the Z-240s. Alas, that will not end up being the case. Given how you shoot/shot your subtronic strobes, I think the recycle performance might be a bit frustrating for you.

 

All the best,

 

Basim

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Do NiMH accept a full charge when new? I thought they needed a few cycles to build up full performance and seem to be happiest when cycled through a charge/discharge cycle every few days.

 

If I'm shooting fish I will try to change the batteries in an Inon every dive, maximising the repetetive firing rate. The recycle time is pretty good, though, at anything less than full power, even into a third dive or over 200 shots.

 

You can't ignore the wealth of experience behind making and using Ikelite strobes, either. Is this thread really about learning how to get the best out of whatever unit you have, and using them in slightly different ways?

 

Tim

 

B)

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Z-240s do cycle fast when they aren't being used at full power. If full power is needed, they are a stop brighter than a DS-125. If you compare equal brightness, recycle times are pretty comparable between the two, especially with fresh batteries.

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my pair of z240s last the entire day, 3 dives. I usually change the batteries for the next day's shoot. I have a few hundred exposeures on one set of batteries and they haven't run out on me.

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I have used dual Z240's on three trips. I typically shot 250 - 300 shots a day @ an average of 1/2 power manual or iTTL, over 4 dives and only replace my batteries ( NiMH 2300 ) @ the end of the day. I have never had long recycle time or run out of power. I dont know how much further I could push them.

 

J Malo

I have a pair of well used 240's.

I have done 2 dives on a set of 2500 MAh NiMH - although it is my usual habit to use a fresh set each dive.

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