SWIT originally showed its new TD-R230S 48V 750W Light Stand Power Adapter at NAB 2023. Above you can see our interview from the show.
The TD-R230S takes two 28.8V V-mount batteries and then converts that to a 48V power source so you can run high-power draw lights remotely. This isn’t the first time we have seen solutions like this. SWIT previously had the TD-R210S Dual Battery 48V/500W Light Stand Power Adaptor which came as either a stand-alone unit or in the form of the Prince Rental Kit that included a hard case and four V-mount batteries.
The TD-R230S was designed to work well with SWIT’s HB-C420S batteries.
48V power gets provided via a 3-pin-regulated XLR. You can also output 22-33.6V power through a speakCON cable.
- Install 2x V-mount batteries
- 4-pin Regulated 24V out, Max 240W
- 3-pin Regulated 48V out, Max 500W
- 500W by SWIT Bi-voltage batteries
- For Skypanel S60/S120 100% output
- Neutrik XLR connectors
- 25-45mm light stand install
Why would you need it?
The problem with a lot of high-power draw lights is that they require a 48V DC input to run at 100%. That means to run these lights remotely without mains power you need to use 48V power sources. You can’t just put 14.8V batteries (regardless of their capacity) onto the V-mount or AB Gold mount plates and expect the light to work at 100%.
Some manufacturers have equipped their own lighting adapters with V-mount/ AB Gold mount battery plates that support standard voltage and high voltage, however, they still limit the power output in battery-powered mode.
Unfortunately, there really aren’t any shortcuts if you want to run high-power draw lights that require 48V remotely. You either need to use a large and heavy portable power station, an old school generator, a heavy block battery, or 28.8V batteries with a power converter. None of these solutions are going to be super affordable, but that’s the price you have to pay if you want to remotely run a lot of lights.
Core SWX Renegade XL48 Mobile Power Station (1376Wh) FXlion 620Wh 15/28/48V Lithium-Ion Mega Battery BlockBattery 1648Wh Multi-Voltage 48V High-Current Li-Ion Battery Power Station
48V DC remote power solutions are hardly new, but a lot of them are heavy, stand-alone high capacity floor batteries.
Recently we have seen smaller solutions such as the FX Fxlion 48V Mini Skypower Dual-Channel V-Mount Battery Output Adapter appear that allow you to use two high capacity 14.8V or 28.8V batteries to output a 48V source. However, this solution is limited to outputting 400W.
There is also the BLUESHAPE Field Gold Mount Battery Power Station with Impact-Resistant Case where you can utilize up to four AB Gold Mount batteries to create a 48V DC source. This solution is only capable of outputting 560W
Another solution would be something like the Hawk-Woods Reel Power 4-Way V-Mount Battery 48 VDC Power Adapter, but again, it is limited to outputting 500W
The SWIT TD-R230S takes that same concept, but it has been designed so that you can attach the power adapter directly to a light stand and output up to 750W.
Unfortunately, there really aren’t any shortcuts if you want to run high-power draw lights that require 48V remotely. You either need to use an old school generator, a large and heavy block battery
The only flight-safe batteries that can be checked in are made out of Nickel Metal Hydride. One of the few options that are available that are capable of outputting 48V is the Anton/Bauer VCLX NM2 NiMH 600Wh Free-Standing Battery, but it tops out at 600W. It also requires you to buy an additional charger, so it becomes a very expensive solution.
There is also the CORE SWX Maverick Block Battery. This is a 605Wh NiMH Battery but that can’t power lights that require 48V.
What does it allow you to do?
The power adapter allows you to use two SWIT HB-C420S high-load batteries to run high draw lights at full power remotely.
How it does this is by converting the power from these batteries and outputting it through either a 3-pin regulated 48V cable or through a 22-33.6V speakCON cable. The maximum output the power adapter can supply is 750W. 750W is enough to run lights such as the ARRI Skypanel S60-C, ARRI Skypanel S120-C, ARRI Orbiter, Prolycht Orion 675 FS, Aputure LS 600d/c Pro, etc.
With the ARRI Skypanel S60-C the max power draw is 450W. Through the 3-pin 48W input, you can use the SWIT TD-R230S Dual Battery Light Stand Power Adaptor to easily power the light at 100%.
The ARRI Orbiter has a maximum power draw of 500W, and as it features a 3-pin 48V DC power input you will also be able to power it at 100% using the SWIT solution.
The Prolycht Orion 675 FS draws 675W and because it features a 3-pin XLR DC input you can run it at 100% will no issues.
The Aputure LS 600d/c Pro has a maximum power draw of 725W, and just like these other lights, it can also be powered via a 3-pin XLR DC input. This means it can also be run at 100% from the SWIT solution.
Above you can see what lights can be powered using the SWIT solution, along with the estimated run times.
The SWIT TD-R230S has been designed to be relatively compact and to distribute weight evenly when you mount it to a light stand. Speaking of light stands, the TD-R230S will attach to any light stand with a diameter between 25-45mm / 0.98-1.77″.
There is nothing overly complicated about the SWIT TD-R210S.
As I previously mentioned, it has two outputs, a 3-pin XLR 48V output, and a 22-33.6V speakCON output. There is also a simple on/off switch.
Size & Weight
The SWIT TD-R230S tips the scales at 1.3kg (2.86 lb) and it has physical dimensions of 146 x 123 x 110mm (5.74 x 4.84 x 4.33″).
While the weight is not that much, you do need to factor in that you need to attach two SWIT HB-C420S batteries that weigh in at 2.08kg / 4.58 lb each. The whole solution will come in at under 7.5kg / 16.53 lb. As a comparison, the Anton/Bauer VCLX NM2 NiMH 600Wh Free-Standing Battery weighs 13.3kg / 29.35 lbs.
If you are using a light such as a Prolycht Orion 675 FS and the SWIT TD-R230S and 2x HB-C420S batteries you are probably going to put that combination on a very heavy-duty light stand. If you plan on moving a combination like that around a lot on flat, even surfaces, it is probably better to use some sort of rolling stand.
You could also just choose to sit the adapter and batteries on the ground and run a longer cable. In that capacity, you are almost using it like a block battery.
The SWIT TD-R230S is solidly made but it is hard to know how it would stand up after continued use in the field without using one for several years.
The HB-C420S batteries secure down correctly on the V-mount plates and they don’t wobble or move around. The batteries are also easy to remove.
You really need to be very cautious and fully understand power requirements and specifications when dealing with high-power draw sources. With the SWIT TD-R230S if you want to power a device that accepts a 48V DC input you need the correct cable. YOU CANNOT just plug in any old 3-pin XLR cable. You need to use the correct rated 3-pin 48V XLR cable. If you are using the TD-R230S to power your light, your cable must be able to support specifications above 48V and 750W. According to SWIT, the cable should preferably support a current of 25A passing through it.
Different lights require different cables so you need to do your homework. Do not under any circumstances plug in a regular XLR cable that you use for audio!
Using the wrong cable is extremely dangerous and it can lead to not only damaging your light, but it could also cause an electrical fire.
I would have liked to have seen SWIT make this point very clear in its documentation and provide a specific list and links to cables that are required when using the SWIT TD-R230S with different lights.
Usability & Real World Performance
The SWIT TD-R230S is straightforward to attach and use. It is a nice compact way of powering high draw lights remotely when you don’t have access to mains power. It works as advertised and is robustly made.
I tried it out with several lights, including the Prolycht Orion 675 FS to see how it performed. With two HB-C420S batteries, I could power the Prolycht at 100% output with no limitations.
I could also power the Aputure LS 600d/c Pro by just attaching two SWIT HB-C420S Batteries directly to the V-mount plates.
Now, to do this you need to do the following on the controller box:
- Press the MENU button to enter the menu interface, rotate the select wheel, and short press to Battery Power Option.
- Wake-Up Battery: for A-Mount or V-Mount lithium battery, you need to activate the lithium battery from over-discharge protection.
- Confirm Activate to output 3A current in order to activate the lithium battery.
- After activation, check whether the lithium battery has a voltage output. If so, the activation is successful, otherwise the activation fails.
- Full power output: a single lithium battery meets 360W continuous output (14.4V lithium battery maximum output current 30A, 26V lithium battery maximum output current 15A) two lithium batteries can meet the input power requirement of 720W, and the lamp can achieve 100% illumination Output.
The SWIT solution stays out of your way, it doesn’t have a large footprint, and it does its job with a minimum of fuss.
It was really nice to be able to run high-power draw light at 100% output such a compact and easy-to-use power solution when you don’t have access to mains power.
I could also use it to power flexible LED panel lights with lower power draws for long periods of time.
For news crews, people shooting docs, and anyone else who needs to run high-power lights remotely in the field, this is a good solution. However, there are certainly caveats that you need to be aware of that I will talk about next.
The only problem with solutions such as this is that you can’t fly with high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that are required to provide the power. This is something to keep in mind, however, you could potentially rent batteries on location and just take the SWIT TD-R230S with you. The issue is that these are quite specialized batteries and a rental house would have to have them.
Another downside is that it is highly recommended that you use two identical batteries that are the same make and model. The SWIT TD-R230S will also only output 48V 750W when used with the SWIT HB-C420S batteries.
If you need to fly with a high-capacity battery then your best bet would be to use something like the Anton/Bauer VCLX NM2 NiMH 600Wh Free-Standing Battery, but that won’t be able to power some of the high-draw lights at 100%.
SWIT HB-C420S Batteries
The SWIT HB-C420S Batteries are 420Wh 28.8V batteries that were developed specifically for running high-power draw lights.
- 28.8V (22-33.6V) high voltage
- Standard V-mount connection
- 420Wh large capacity
- 500W constant high load, 650W peak load
- 33.6V 100W fast charging support
- 5-LED digital power indicators
- Multiple circuit protections
The HB-C420S uses a modular structure, and the batteries are protected by a bracket, which can effectively protect it from impact damage. The whole structure, including the electrode, is made of flame-retardant materials to avoid any risk of burning. The modular battery pack is also easy to repair and replace, which avoids damage to the environment and the waste of resources in the form of direct scrapping when dealing with damaged batteries in the past.
The HB-C420S has a peak power of 650W. Even with only 1% of the capacity, it can have a minimum output power of 500W. This allows it to fully meet the driving requirements of most lights.
Paired with a SWIT four-channel high-speed charger, the HB-C420S supports 33.6V 100W high-voltage high-speed charging, which allows the batteries to be charged to 80% in 3.9 hours and fully charged in 5.3 hours.
Price & Availability
The SWIT TD-R230S 48V 750W Light Stand Power Adapter retails for $799 USD and the SWIT HB-C420S batteries are $779 USD. What you also need to remember is that you would also require a V-lock charger that is capable of charging 28.8V batteries if you don’t already have one.
The SWIT solution is going to set you back $2,357 USD, which is more than something like an EcoFlow DELTA Max Portable Power Station that retails for $1,899 USD. A solution like the Anton/Bauer VCLX NM2 NiMH 600Wh Free-Standing Battery costs $4,499 USD with its required charger.
Powering high-draw LED lights remotely has always been difficult to do. A lot of solutions on the market only allow you to power lights at 50% remotely. The SWIT TD-R230S allows you to run certain high draw lights at 100% output remotely in the field. It is easy to use and operate and it certainly solves a real-world problem.
The caveat, as I mentioned earlier in the review is that you can’t fly with high capacity Lithium-Ion batteries and that will certainly be an issue for anyone that travels a lot. However, for broadcasters, production houses, and owner/operators who have high-power draw lighting fixtures and don’t need to fly, the SWIT solution makes a ton of sense for those who don’t want to go down the route of using a generator or large portable power station.