As TV and Film production becomes more elaborate with leaps in budgets & technology, sound mixers face the challenge to keep to pace. Working together, Judi Lee-Headman AMPS and Tracer have created a solution, a custom-built Lithium Iron Phosphate Carry Case Kit to power their latest Sound Cart without impacting portability.
Judi Lee-Headman has worked in the sound industry for over 35 years, recording and mixing sound for film and TV. Working with production companies like Sky, Amazon, and the BBC, she is at the top of her game. Just recently she’s worked on hit shows Britannia, The Capture, Intergalactic & SAS Rogue Heroes.
Sound mixers use carts to house all the equipment they need to successfully record on set. In the earlier days, when power demand was not as high, Sealed Lead Acid batteries were the go-to when powering sound equipment. Now, with TV production becoming more complex, the need for more facilities on set is increasing. Leading to sound carts requiring more power-hungry equipment to power the extra miles and receivers. Portability is essential to keep the sound cart usable both in the studio and on location. With the new power demand, Sealed Lead Acid technology would result in a battery that is far too big and heavy.
“Sound mixers are expected to provide more and more facilities and be able to work across all terrains! The tracer power battery is very robust and reliable. I can just put it on my cart and not worry about it while I am on set”Judi Lee-Headman AMPS – Production Sound Mixer
The Tracer brand was first introduced to Judi when she discovered a Tracer LiPo BP2548 powering lighting equipment in 2018. Once reassured by the technician on Tracer reliability, she purchased 3x BP2586 -12V 40Ah LiFePO4 Carry Case kits online to use on her sound cart. The result, a reliable power source for up to 5 hours on each battery and easier rotation during production to get her through the usual 10-hour shoot days.
After 4 years of “rock solid” use and the need to upgrade the sound cart further (32 channels). Judi inquired about increasing the capacity of the Tracer Battery while retaining the small form factor similar to the 40Ah Case.
Tracer worked with Judi and settled upon a Peli Case Kit that would fit the new sound cart and house the Tracer BP2574 80Ah module.
The fit was so tight that the previously used Neutrik SpeakON connector would not fit. To overcome this problem, the CH2F socket along with a PL2M>Neutrik socket lead. This allowed the battery to be connected, using existing leads, to the dual battery power distribution system with universal fuel gauge on her cart. Keeping the battery separate to the distro unit reduces the footprint and increases portability. It also reduces the cost and makes interchanging the batteries on set easier.
The 12V 80Ah BP7090 lasts up to 6 hours when powering the new sound rig. Judi has been impressed with the new lithium batteries while putting them through their paces on her latest production. Her original Tracer BP2586 kits are due to be refurbished as back up batteries.
“I’ve used Tracer Batteries in all types of terrain, from inner city to the Sahara Desert, they’ve never let me down. My Tracer batteries combine power and portability perfectly.”Judi Lee-Headman AMPS – Production Sound Mixer