We are creatures of our environment. Same with products: they are a function of the time and circumstances in which they are developed. Have you ever faced the problem of carrying gear to an airport boarding gate, getting hassled about excess baggage and the need to check your gear due to an over-full flight, only for everyone to realize you CAN'T, you're NOT ALLOWED, to do that because they contain Li-ION batteries? Anton Bauer has an app for that. Well, not exactly...
You've no doubt read that lithium ion batteries can overheat or even explode (heck, I won't even leave the Li-ION battery from my electric lawn mower charging if I'm not home).
And I'm sure you've been in the situation where you insist upon bringing your camera gear onto the plane with you, while a gate attendant insists the bag is too big or the overhead bins are already full and you have to check it.
I bet you didn't know, however (well, I didn't, anyway) that there's a work around (at least for certain types of batteries for filmmakers), courtesy of updated IATA regulations and battery maker Anton Bauer: a firmware update for their Performance Quad Charger that allows their lithium ion battery chargers to discharge batteries to a preset 30% allowing them to be carried on board.
Now I see yet another reason why they put a display on their Cine batteries -- visual confirmation that they are discharged to appropriate levels.
Sorry, though: doesn't look like this is going to help you at all for your regular sized camera batteries. For now.
Contents of the full release below
ANTON/BAUER IS THE FIRST TO OFFER AN AIR TRAVEL DISCHARGING SOLUTION FOR LI-ION BATTERY USERS
Brand Now Offers Two Solutions to IATA’s New Travel Restrictions
Shelton, Conn. (May 25, 2016) - Anton/Bauer, a premier provider of mobile power solutions for the broadcast, film and video industries, a Vitec Videocom brand, and part of Vitec Group, plc, has updated their Performance Quad Charger to satisfy new regulations set by the IATA. The new function makes the Performance Quad Charger the only charger on the market which allows the user to discharge a battery to any level, including the level specified in the new IATA regulations.
To help customers comply with IATA’s new regulations, Anton/Bauer has developed a new feature for their Performance Quad Charger that allows the battery to be assessed and discharged to the users desired preset level including the 30% SoC level required for safe air transportation. As a result, this free firmware update allows current owners of the Performance Quad Charger to travel hassle-free when transporting their Li-Ion batteries and comes included in all new Performance Quad Chargers. This firmware update is Anton/Bauer’s latest solution to IATA’s new travel restrictions.
Andrew Butler, Product Manager at Anton/Bauer, says “Anton/Bauer continues to be at the forefront of the mobile power solutions industry. I am extremely pleased we have been able to react so quickly and create this feature to allow our customers to stay within IATA regulations. Of course, as an alternative to a workflow involving discharge before shipping, customers could switch to Anton/Bauer’s HyTRON products which use Nickel Metal Hydride cells and do not face travel restrictions. ”
Anton/Bauer’s popular HyTRON mobile power product range uses Nickel Metal Hydride cells which can be shipped conventionally and carried onto aircraft. The HyTRON range has long been a favorite for global production crews for the last decade due to its durability and because it does not face travel restrictions.
For additional convenience, all current generation Anton/Bauer Li-Ion batteries have a highly accurate power gauge so users can tell right away if their battery is cleared for travel. For the CINE and Digital Series batteries, the display provides the battery charge percentage while the Dionic HC Series will show a single bar of charge to represent less than 30% SoC.
New and current users can obtain the firmware and installation instructions by going to http://vitec.ftpstream.com/?lid=2cot2ask# and opening the Anton/Bauer Performance Quad Update folder.
Information or actions outlined above are only relevant for our current generation of Lithium batteries and does not apply to discontinued models or non-Lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are considered dangerous cargo and should never be shipped if the battery has been damaged in any way or modified in any manner irrespective of the SoC mentioned.
For more information regarding the new regulations of battery transportation, please visit the IATA website at http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Pages/lithium-batteries.aspx.
Anton/Bauer’s Performance Quad Chargers and HyTRON batteries are available today. Visit antonbauer.com for details.