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01-28-2019, 11:04 AM   #1
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cheap, DIY Li ion pack for Yongnuo 460 ii flash?

I want to start off by saying that I have had DIY experience powering flashes from external power supplies. One of my 460 flashes was modified five years ago in order to use the 5 V leg from a PC power supply and it has worked flawlessly since when at home. However, impractical for outdoor use if for no other reason than lack of AC available. Up until now, I have used 4 lithium 10 year shelf life AA's, but even the best of these is used up fairly quickly by flash and they are expensive. I've never been impressed by AA rechargeables, so have stuck with the lithiums. I know they say "eneloop" is supposed to be a step up, but by the time those and a charger are acquired, I might as well buy a flash with built in power pack. The idea is a power pack possibility that's cheap, like under $20 and that includes the charger.....

Around the web, searches keep showing SLA based modifications. While I feel these might be ok, the high cost of the chargers puts me off.

Enter the rechargeable lithium ion battery pack similar to this one. I use several of these for my telescope equipment and they have performed flawlessly even in more extreme temperatures over the last couple of years. No separate charger needed and close to my budget. The problem is that, at least with the Talentcells, the emphasis of the most current output is on the 12V leg and not the lesser voltages. The one pictured isn't the exact battery I use for the scopes, but the 12V, 7000mAh or greater.

My local Walmart has the same time of battery, but more designed for cell phone charging, and I thought it might be ideal since I currently power the indoor 460 with the 5V PC supply. However, after modifying a USB cable to connect to the flash, all I get when I turn on the flash is a single blinking red light, so my guess isn't that this battery isn't robust enough in the current (mAh) area.

For any DIY who have successfully completed such a task, I'd like to hear how you did it on a budget.

Thank you.

01-28-2019, 11:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Surrey, England
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Do you really need AC power? It seems like overkill for such a budget flash, which surely is not being used in such demanding or professional circumstances to warrant it. I recommend the NiMH type of rechargeable, and they don't have to be expensive Panasonic or Sony brand ..... I use two store brand types (Maplin and Ikea's Ladda) with great results. They're cheap enough you can always have extra sets ready to go. Surly this is far more practical ?
01-28-2019, 11:37 AM   #3
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In the house, I use AC exclusively, but outdoors is a different matter. The benefit of AC powered flash in the house has been almost instant recharge time and never running out of power. When I used to be in extreme macro photography (insects, etc), I found the AC powered flash essential because you might fire off 1000 or more times in fairly short order as the insect was micro rotated to offset shallow DOF.

I've never been much of a fan of standard rechargeables. I tried to use them in my telescopes before going with the Talentcells, and there was just no comparison as the Talentcells were way better, which is why I wondered if anyone also had success with flash packs powered by such cells.

I'll continue to use the non-rechargeable lithium AA's if I can't find a feasible rechargeable alternative.
01-28-2019, 11:43 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Surrey, England
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I think people here will generally be saying there are plenty of feasible rechargeable options. I've only given you two at the budget end. Are you going to be a big "power user" when outdoors? If so is a cheap Yongnuo flash really the right choice? I know I'm not sticking to just the things you want to talk about, but that's the way of forums .....

01-30-2019, 07:14 PM   #5
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Brooke Meyer, the idea was to be able to use one of my flashes for umbrella softbox portraits outdoors without worrying so much about battery life. The AA lithiums, while robust for many applications, just don't last long with the flash.

After careful research, I think if I went with a portable battery, the cheapest route seems to be a 6 V SLA that, when not being used, would be kept constantly charged by a trickle charger. I believe I could get both battery and charger for around $25.

Although I use a custom made AC adapter battery eliminator with my Pentax KX, this gets to be troublesome to try using out in the middle of nowhere (although I have powered it with a car inverter many times), so the SLA system might serve the additional purpose of having much more portability for the KX as well.

Just some ideas I've been tossing around, but, in all likelihood, I'm probably just going to stick with what I have for now.

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