Run Your AF-100 & More With A Power Dock

Charging batteries for long shooting days can be a hassle. I have three batteries for my AF-100 and one charger. I will pretty much use them up on a big shooting day. I’ve been wanting to power my camera with a AB gold mount for some time now and finally got around to researching my options and finding the right product that suits my needs.

One option is a Anton Baur gold mount plate that has a AF-100 battery adapter hard wired to it. This is a good option if you only need one extra port which on this model would be a D-Tap. Another option is a messy system by Dolgan that has a mini voltage regulator in between the cable. This is to bulky for me. With the Anton Baur plate you still need to buy a cheese plate and block to add it to your rig. That makes this option expensive. The plate cost $200 alone. Add the mounting hardware and your close to $500.

Gold Mount Adapter

Gold Mount with Adapter

The first thing I wanted from this setup was to be able to power multiple items like a external monitor and EVF not just the camera alone. I found a product on Ebay that fit the bill perfectly but it was designed for a Canon 5D or 7D, so I was taking a chance that it would work with the Panasonic AF-100. I did try to email the seller but never got a response. I went ahead and bought it for around $200. Thats a good price for what this little power port can do. Not only does it have several power outputs that are different voltages but also two HDMI outputs! Very cool! The big one is the 7.2 volt camera output. This is the same power that the AF-100 requires so no need for other voltage regulators. I could use the AF-100’s AC adapter and just plug it into the power port. Sort of.

Lanparte Power Dock

The Power Dock arrived after waiting for it for a month from China. I grabbed my AF-100’s AC adapter that plugs into the charger to see it by chance it would fit in the 7.2 camera power port. It didn’t. So off to the electronics store I go to find a few piece to make this work. The problem with these coaxial plugs is figuring out what size they actually are. I took all the parts into the store and they helped find the right pieces so I can put together either a cable or adapter. I didn’t want to modify the original AF-100 adapter since I didn’t have a backup for it in case I messed up so I had to go with a adapter cable that has a female end, and the other end has a male plug that goes into the power port.

Cable all put together

The 7.2v camera out on the dock is 1.4mm x 3.8mm.

The AF-100 battery adapter that goes to the charger is a 1.7mm x 4.75 Coaxial plug.

I soldered the two connectors onto the cable and tested it out to make sure the center was positive. Don’t want to fry the camera. It ll works like a charm!

Six dollars and some solder = DONE!

Don’t want to make it?

Now if you’re not a DIY kinda a guy you can buy the cable all ready to go for your AF-100 at for $11. Thats a fair price. They are looking into other cables as well for the dock since the ones that come with are limited. They also sell many LanParte products and you know your getting the real deal from OziRigPro. UPDATE. These cables are no longer available. Several people have had issues with powering the AF-100. You milage may vary.

Now I can power everything I need with one battery and have the added benefit of a counter weight for handheld use. Don’t you just love it when things work out.

UPDATED 7-29-12

I did run into a little hiccup. I had the AF-100 working great during shooting but sometimes when I go to review the shots the camera would give me a warning “This Battery Can Not Be Used” I then shut the camera off/on and then go back to review mode and it played the clips back with no issue. This didn’t happen every time but maybe every third time. I don’t tend to playback every take but this was a walking dialog shoot so the director wanted to make sure we all nailed it. I never get the warning when recording or powering up into normal camera operation. I had the camera powered up and recording for four hours with no issues on a diffrent shoot. Not sure why this happens but it’s worth mentioning.

Happy shooting! Cheers!

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