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PAGlink reviewed… battery When a battery is not just a by Jon Pratchett U ntil recently I always thought 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 smartphones etc. 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 power off.  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 TV-BAY078JUN13.indd 70 10/06/2013 15:16