Astera introduces RuntimeExtender
- 10 November, 2022
GER: Astera - a leading developer of innovative light solutions for film, event and TV markets - has announced the launch of its RuntimeExtender, a battery plate designed to allow lighting professionals to extend the runtime of their existing Astera lighting setups through connection to all major third-party camera batteries.
Ideal for gaffers and event lighting coordinators, the RuntimeExtender allows lighting engineers to leverage their existing battery sources - both 14.4V and 26V, using either ‘V-Mount’ and ‘Gold Mount’ connections. The full portfolio of Astera 24V lights is supported, with the RuntimeExtender maintaining a rating of 24V 100W shared across two DC outputs. This means that it can run one Hyperion Tube, two Titan or two Helios Tubes (using both DC outputs), or four HydraPanels or PixelBricks (in serial sets of two, using both DC outputs). These can be connected using any of Astera’s 5m, 10m or 15m cables, as well as the recently added 1.5m cable. In addition, the RuntimeExtender maintains a power-only 3-pin XLR socket with unregulated output, meaning that it accommodates the voltage of the battery attached. This integration ensures that the RuntimeExtender remains future-proof to accommodate further extensions to the Astera lighting range.
As with all of Astera’s products, the key focus is on usability; providing flexibility and speed in any installation. HexConnect and BrickConnect accessories can be slid into the unit, enabling it to be mounted securely and locking rotation onto any Super Clamp, or - with the BrickConnect - allowing two RuntimeExtender units to be combined back-to-back in a single block, facilitating bigger battery setups. Airline Track and PixelBrick rail system-mounting fixtures are also integrated directly into the unit. In essence, this means battery packs can be securely and discreetly integrated into any lighting setup.
In terms of battery mounting, batteries simply slot and click-in according to their mount type. When the lighting device is off, the battery will automatically discharge into light’s internal battery reserves through the RuntimeExtender. The ability to quickly and easily slot batteries on and off whilst the lighting device is running means that with rotational charging, the lighting setup can be maintained indefinitely.
Speaking of the new addition to the Astera range, Sebastian Bückle, Sales and Marketing Director for Astera, said: “Although Astera lights are built with substantial in-built battery life, there are occasions where productions require extended runtime, but where AC power connection is not viable. In these cases, the RuntimeExtender is invaluable; it provides incredible flexibility in terms of connection, mounting, power and duration, and it means that on hectic film sets where time is precious, lighting engineers will be able to save time and ensure reliability”.
He continued: “We have a loyal legion of Astera users who love the creative potential of our lighting solutions, and the RuntimeExtender was built as a direct result of their feedback. It was crucial to us that we could allow them to leverage the value of their existing kit investment - namely, their existing Astera light collection and the endless number of camera batteries that are inevitably present on-set, rather than tying them to a vendor-specific charging solution. Our aim is always to make life on-set easier, quicker and less cumbersome, equipment-wise”.
The Astera RuntimeExtender will be available as either an individual unit, or a comprehensive kit of four units - including a 1.5m power/data combination cable, Super Clamps and HexConnect and BrickConnect accessories - in a rugged and highly portable box.