Starting January 1, 2012, an estimated 456 drivers of specially designed off-road motorcycles, cars and trucks will race from the Atlantic coastal resort town of Mar del Plata, Argentina to Perus capital, Lima, located on the Pacific coast of South America, as part of the 2012 Dakar Rally off-road automobile race. Drivers from around the world will traverse some of the worlds most unforgiving environments, and along for the ride will be L©on Jansen who, with his crew at the Dutch Dakar Press Team, will photograph the race from start to finish. Anton/Bauer, a brand of The Vitec Group, and a premier global provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video and film industries, will also be on hand, as Jansen and his crew will rely on the companys DIONIC® HCX, DIONIC® HC, Solar Panel, and various other power and lighting accessories to help capture this competitive event.
Jansen first discovered the Dakar Rally in 2004 and began covering it as a photographer in 2005 when he launched the Dutch Dakar Press Team. I fell in love with the Dakar Rally the first time I saw it, he says. Its tough to fight against time and the elements, but very rewarding to be a part of this legendary event. The 2012 rally will mark Jansens ninth year covering the race, which will take participants several thousands miles from the sunny Atlantic shores of Mar del Plata, Argentina, through Copiap, Chile, which is surrounded by the formidable Atacama Desert and ending in Lima, Peru, a subtropical desert city located on the Pacific coast of the country. To get to the finish line, Jansen and the Dakar Rally 2012 drivers must cross deserts rising to more than 6,000 square feet in some locations and dune-strewn landscapes.
According to Jansen, the combination of Anton/Bauers Solar Panel and DIONIC HC batteries is the ideal formula for powering his equipment in a desert environment. In January in South America, its summer, so there is a lot of light to power the Solar Panel, he says. Anton/Bauers Solar Panel is a flexible power option for the Tandem 150 Modular Power System and uses direct sunlight as an alternate power source. Ideal for remote locations where no power is available, it is easy to operate. Users only need to snap the Logic Series battery on the QR-TM bracket and attached the bracket to the solar panel to start charging. Using the Solar Panel to charge our batteries while on location is really simple; we just unfold the panel and put it on the roof of the car. It charges relatively fast because of the very intense sun light.
At night, we will use the DIONIC batteries in combination with Litepanels equipment. In many cases, when you are working in the desert in the middle of the night, you have no light at all, even from villages and the roads, continues Jansen. You discover very quickly that you must trust that you are using the right brand of batteries. Weve been working with the Anton/Bauer batteries since the 2010 rally, and they have never let us down.
The DIONIC HCX is the companys latest addition to its successful high-current DIONIC series. Working closely with top cell manufacturers, Anton/Bauer developed the DIONIC HCX to incorporate a honey comb cell pack design for Li-Ion cell safety, performance integrity and high current draws of up to 10 amps. Offering a 124-watt-hour battery capacity and a unique motion detection sensor, the DIONIC HCX will automatically go into sleep mode after a two-day period without a load, significantly reducing self-discharge and allowing extended storage and battery life with nearly zero capacity loss. To awaken the battery users need only to move the battery or attach it to a device. The DIONIC HCX is perfect for crews traveling on-location, such as the Dutch Dakar Press, as up to two batteries attached to a device per passenger can be carried onboard*. To provide precise run-time data for added confidence, the DIONIC HCX has an enhanced LCD RealTime® fuel gauge, which has been incorporated to display up to nine hours of run time (under low power load conditions) using a seven-segment display enclosed by four circular arcs that indicate 15-minute time intervals.
Whats more, the DIONIC HC provides 91Wh and can operate a 40 watt HD camera for over two hours. Transported as carry-on luggage without restrictions, the DIONIC HC is the perfect lightweight battery for shooting on location.*
Jansens team for the 2012 Dakar Rally will comprise eight people traveling in two Toyota Land Cruisers. As there is very little room for both people and equipment in the vehicles, each one carries only four batteries per day, in which the team will charge each night using the 375 watt Power Inverter for Mobile Power. As there is no room for large HD broadcast cameras in the vehicles, the team brings DSLR cameras to cover the race and uses the Anton/Bauer batteries to power them, as they provide seamless power and compatibility, regardless of the camera brand.