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GWSchott
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This is a sort of a general snipet of information about the Procast50 battery that some people might be interested in knowing: It is NOT the type that needs to be completely drained before it can be recharged. According to Joe Lefler of Fun-tastic Entertainment it's okay to 'top off' the battery anytime without fear of screwing it up.
Yours In Magic,
Gordon
sethb
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Thanks for the info, Gordon. We're supposed to be in the entertainment business, not the electrical business, so all information about how these PA systems operate is helpful!

While we're at it, here's a related question --- is it OK or desirable to leave the Procast plugged into the charger, even when it's fully charged? I've heard this can be harmful to some rechargeable batteries, but also that in some systems, once the battery is charged, the charger converts to a "trickle" charge mode that safely keeps the battery charged without overcharging or harming it. But I don't know which situation applies here. Can Joe can provide some guidance for us? SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
sethb
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BTW, it's also my understanding that it is desirable to keep the battery charged, as opposed to completely discharging it and leaving it discharged until you're ready to use it again.

These things seem to need almost as much attention as rabbits, doves and human assistants! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
GWSchott
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Good question, Seth. I'll have to check with Joe and find out his thoughts. My show runs about forty minutes and what I've been doing is charging the Paso after every second show. I plug it in until the LED light indicates the battery is fully charged then plop it back in its case. My gut instinct is not to leave it plugged in permanently when not in use.
Yours In Magic,
Gordon
AndyComic
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HI all,
I finally got a 'Paso 50'. As its an OEM product from Taiwan, its called many different names depending on where you get it from but its made by Chiayo (here is the item: http://www.chiayo.com.tw/producs/focus_01.htm).
The unit I got came with a 2.7Ah , 12V batt and a 4amp power supply. For charging batts, a general rule is 10% of the total Ah, so ideally this should have a 270mAh charger (0.27 amps) and hence be charged for 10 hours. If indeed its trying to charge with the 4amp power supply then you'll fry it in no time. I have used sealed acid batts for the last 15 years and have learnt how to charge them properly. The best brand I have used is Yuasa (http://www.yuasabatteries.com/index.html) - they have a great FAQ on how to care for them as well.
SEALED LEAD ACID BATTS
don't let it deplete to 0 watts or volts. This actually damages the batt and significantly reduces the life of the batt. As soon as you hear your electrical item run a bit flat or slow, turn it off.
Charging: Ideally, you want a 10% of total charger and charge it for 10 hours if its flat (which hopefully it shouldnt be). Most of the time it wont be flat so charge it less. Use a timer to switch it off after the alloted time. don't leave it on all the time.
Charger: Good chargers are reasonable expensive compared to the batt cost. Real chargers reduce the power as the batt gets more charged until its just a trickle. Cheaper option are power supplies from other items such as small CD player and such BUT these deliver a constant power and if you don't turn them off, they just keep trying to put in more power.

What we use: For all our small batts (1.2a - 4amps) we use a 100 or 200mA and work out the charge time needed. If the batt seems pretty charged but I feel I want to make sure, I leave it on overnight on a 100ma or 50ma . This is small enough to not damage the batt if it gets overcharged. We use power packs (constant voltage) and not chargers as they are a lot easier to find. I've had batt last for a long time doing this.

I worry about this unit having the charger and power supply in one as I really don't want to keep charging the batt every time I plug it in. This just shortens the life. I suspect I'll put a switch in to disable the batt when I plug it into AC and carry an extra batt for emergencies but change the plug type on them from the terminals to an easy connector to make it quick to change over.


Hope that helps, I really have no idea about sound systems and a lot of people helped me out a great deal with my selection. I do know about batts though so I hope you find this helpful.
sethb
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Andy, thanks for the battery charging info, it's very interesting and helpful.

Good luck with the PASO. I did not realize that it was not a "homegrown" product, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
AndyComic
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Hey Seth,
I had a look and I'm pretty sure the charging system for this is basically uses the 4amp power supply to charge the batt but also has a cut off when its charged. This still put too many volts in too quickly which is a problem. You'll notice on car batt chargers they have the 'quick charge' or 'slow charge option' - reason for the slow charge option is that its much better for the batt.
I've gotten another plug the same as the one that plugs into the back and welded this onto an old 200ma power pack and now use that to charge it. This will mean that charges fine.
As far as your homegrown product, it probably is but just made in Taiwan. Its possible that the specs are different but this one seems to be the same. Basically a company will release a product in a pretty raw form and the customer can specify additional specs if they want. The one I got came with a standard 2 wireless mics for instance.

Andy
sethb
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Andy, you raise some interesting questions.

First, I would assume the PASO's DC connection is some sort of standard plug, so that some Radio Shack adaptaplug would probably fit it. (As you can see, Radio Shack is one of my favorite magic stores <g>).

Next, it seems that some type of 12 volt adapter would be just as serviceable as the one supplied, but would be better if it were less than 4 amps. I did a quick search at the RS website and found a 12 volt 500 Ma adapter, click HERE to view. While this is stronger than your 200 Ma model, it's a lot less than the 4-amp one that's supplied. Would this be a good alternative?

And lastly, I'm just curious why a 4-amp adapter would be supplied, when it is supposedly way too strong. Was this done to speed up the recharging time, even at the expense of ultimate battery life? I also note that the supplied 4-amp adapter can be used to operate the PASO from a standard AC line. Perhaps the unit draws up to 4 amps in normal operation, and that's why it's being used? SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
AndyComic
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Hey Seth,
I looked thru that site and this is the one you should get
THIS ONE. 300mah, 12v - Perfect. Also good to find a small 100ma one for the occasional top up charge and only use the 4amp power supply in an emergency (I find these ones in thrift/op shops).

Yeh the unit must draw a lot of amps. I cant see how a small batt like this would handle this unit at full capacity (it can have up to: 2 wireless mics, one cord mic, one inbuilt CD player and or MP3 player and or aux in.) Normally for our little amps we use in parades, we use a 4amp batt.

Ultimately you want about an 8-10 hour charge. This works well with putting in on before you go to bed.

So are you using one of the expensive MP3 options as well? Or an IJET??

Andy
sethb
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Quote:
On 2007-07-11 11:31, AndyComic wrote:
So are you using one of the expensive MP3 options as well? Or an IJET??

Actually, neither. I have a small Sansa MP3 player with 4GB of memory, and I connect it to the AUX input of the PASO with a Radio Shack (natch!) 3' patch cord that has a male stereo mini-plug on one end and a male mono 1/4-inch phono jack on the other end. The MP3 player and patch cord ride in one of the compartments of the PASO's travel case; when in use, the player just hangs from a loop on the speaker stand and is not conspicuous.

My music needs are very small, I only run music for my own entertainment while I'm setting up or breaking down my booth, and for very short intermissions while I'm eating lunch or taking a nature call. I experimented with working music into my Svengali and Worm pitches, and found it wasn't really feasible or necessary.

If someone needed to play music through their PASO unit, I can't see going with the optional onboard MP3 player, which only has 64MB of memory, costs $250, and only further reduces the PASO battery's operating capability. You can buy a lot of external MP3 player for that same amount of money or less, and portability/convenience isn't an issue. Ditto with the optional onboard CD player, which seems to me to be even less desirable. I used that empty space inside the unit to install an additional 12-volt battery, as detailed elsewhere on this board. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
sethb
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BTW, just visited Radio Shack and can report that their Adaptaplug "M" is the correct size for the DC input plug on the PASO unit. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
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