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Battery Powered Fryup - watch that polarity
Old 6th April 2008
Lives for gear
Jonathan Starr's Avatar

Thread Starter
Unhappy Battery Powered Fryup - watch that polarity

Took my field surround rig out to remote Keanae in East Maui for a dawn recording on a project I'm helping a cameraman friend with.

Spent some good time the previous week getting everything wired and packed up really nice; new color-coded cable looms & correct hardware. I'm running Logic on a Macbook and an Ensemble Mobile and Grace Lunatek V2 off of Bescor 12v Video Camera belts. The battery belt 4-pin xlr plugs into a splitter and one leg goes to a volt meter on my table and the other goes to a second splitter, that I pulled new from a Bescor box, that plugs into the Ensemble and the V2.

Drove an hour and a half to arrive at dawn, dragged the gear into a raised area in the middle of a taro paddy, set up the table and stands and mics and shotgun on a stand and sat down and turned everything on. Neither the Ensemble or the V2 would light up. I had 13v on the meter, tried switching wires, batteries, still no go. Measured 13v at the plug that goes into the unit, scratched my head. Why would 2 separate units that were used days before not turn on?

Decided to check every wire and found that the Bescor Y connector I had connecting the 2 units was factory wired reverse polarity. It must have fried both units the moment I first turned things on, and it didn't show on my meter because the Y connector was parallel to the meter in the circuit. Later, when I took it out of line, the damage had already been done.

We had to postpone the shoot, lose a whole day, and now I've got to deal with getting the units repaired. Neither has a fuse that's blown. I'm hoping that all I'm facing is replacing blown diodes (each one has an LED next to the input plug on the power supply board, that I assume is there and sacrificial for that purpose) which can be handled by my local tech.

I know I should have meter tested every wire and connector as part of my preparation; usually I trust redundancy and feel secure in having backup cables.

I wonder what sympathy, if any I'll get from Bescor or B&H who sold me all the Bescor stuff. Has anyone had any experience in this regard?
Old 7th April 2008
Lives for gear
Corran's Avatar

That sucks!!! I'd be on the company that made the cable as well as sold the cable to buy brand new equipment ASAP! (Then repair the damaged stuff and sell for a small profit )
Old 8th April 2008
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Jonathan Starr's Avatar

Thread Starter
Waiting to hear back from Bescor and the vendor.

In the mean time, contacted Apogee and Grace and in both cases their tech people and management were helpful above and beyond the norm in helping me to troubleshoot the gear locally. Hopefully I can get it all back on line without shipping anything to the mainland & back.
Old 8th April 2008
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
Man, I'm so sorry to hear about this situation.
I bet you will always test a new cable before it's plugged in and powered up.

On long trips, we always test each and every cable and harness and, if that is not possible we throw in an extra cable (or two) or every cable used...
Well, for the most part that is.

Contacting the manufacturer was key!
Good head -- I look forward in hearing the outcome to this terrible dilemma.

I wish you the very best.
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