To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version
11.1.0 or greater is installed.
When a battery is not just a
by Jon Pratchett
U ntil recently I
that a battery
was, well... just a battery.
After all it’s just a load of
cells strung together and put in some
kind of case right? Well apparently
not, it seems that there is a bit more
to it than that, and the folks at PAG
were keen to prove this by providing
me with a set of their PL96e V-Mount
Batteries to test. This was about 1
year ago, and I have to say they have
been tested on many different camera
systems and in multiple scenarios,
including the BroadcastShow
interviews and live show we produce.
The PL96e is a 96 Watt-Hours, 14.8v
6.4Ah Li-Ion battery with a V-Mount
system. It has a nice little 5 Led
runtime and capacity indicator and
depending on the camera can even
talk to it properly so that the capacity
is displayed in the viewfinder. I was
impressed at the size; they are pretty
small for this kind of battery system
and lighter than expected.
It doesn’t stop there either. Another
advantage of this V-Mount at the
back is it also supplies power as well
and PAG have utilised this feature by
creating a small accessory called the
PAGlink PowerHub. This clicks either
on the back or between two batteries
and provides up to four outputs via
D-Tap connectors and a handy USB
1amp output as well for charging
Other features include user uploadable
firmware updates to add new features,
a nice small plugin charger and data
reading system. These are seriously
well specced batteries, not just a
bunch of cells wired together.
As I said earlier it’s been nearly a year
since I got my hands on four of these
batteries along with a PL16 charger,
and I have been very impressed.
There have been times where on larger
jobs with multiple camera crews there
have been fights over who gets to use
the PAG batteries over other systems
the crew have brought along. They
love the lighter weight and the long life
of these systems, and the knowledge
that if needed during a live event while
roaming round, they can just wack
on another battery without having to
They have been independently tested
in accordance with UN air transport
regulations This means that unlike
batteries that have capacities greater
than 100 watt-hours, and those
that have not been tested, PAGlink
batteries can be legally transported
on passenger aircraft, to any location,
without quantity restriction.
My only gripe is I do wish they had at
least one D-tap connector built in, but
you can’t have everything.
If you’re in the market for a new
battery system, look them up. I don’t
think you will be disappointed.
Now that’s all well and good I hear you
say but what makes these batteries
stand out is the ability to link multiple
batteries together. Each battery has
a V-Mount on the back onto which
you can attach another PL96e. You
can in fact link up to eight batteries
together for REALLY long run time!
When you link two together you get
more run time than if you were to use
two individually! Don’t ask me why,
you will have to track down your old
science teacher to explain that. But
it’s true, and by linking them you can
sustain higher current loads of up to
12A. Another advantage of this linking
is you get yourself a hot-swap battery
system. By simply removing and
replacing that second battery you have
yourself a constant power system.
Excellent for those long events where
you can’t get a mains supply.
70 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 78 JUNE 2013