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 OziRigPro.com/au 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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Comments (19)

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  1. Mário Matos says:

    Great solution!

    I am looking for something similar: affordable, gold mount line (with a few outputs with different voltages and HDMI too) and effective.
    Do you have any suggestions? The seller you got your dock from was individual or a company?

    I’d appreciate your help.
    Thanks!

  2. Mário Matos says:

    Thanks a lot!

    I did some research and I found a German company that imports and sells it here in Europe for €249.90 with free shipping to Portugal.

    I did try to buy it directly and through the links you gave me but with shipping cost it would cost me around €350 (taxes and customs), so I’m going to buy it from http://goo.gl/0OifC

    Even so, thank you for the answer and the recommendation though this article. The power dock is pretty good from what I’ve heard after reading this post. I wouldn’t have been able to find it without your suggestion here.

    It works well with the AF100, right? Not too much of a power drainer and feeds a whole system like yours, no?

    Best regards!
    PS: A few more Amazon clicks to help you out :-)

    • Erik Naso says:

      Mario glad your find the blog helpful. That’s why I created it. I just want to help others with my experience as a gear head. The dock is very good. Build is basic but has many outputs. To power the camera you need to make a adapter for the plug. All the info is in the article.

  3. Matt Johnson says:

    Hello!
    Thank you so much for this review! I just ordered this through Linkdelight, and am awaiting the product now. I am shooting with a canon 7d, and they sell a battery with an adapter to plug into. Therefore if I am not mistaken I would not have to go the route of soldering anything correct? Also did the supplied cables work for your external monitors? Or did you have to purchase those as well? Thanks so much once again for this post! It is extremely helpfull! :)

    • Erik Naso says:

      Hi Matt.
      Your welcome! I have a new source for the cable so you don’t have to solder one up. You can buy them from Oz Rig Pro. http://www.ozirigpro.com.au/lanparte-af100-power-cable-adapter/
      For only $11. Good deal considering what a pain it was to make. I’m going to add this to the review soon. Thanks to Josh at Oz Rig Pro for letting me know about them. They have lots of Lanparte rigs and good prices on batteries for the dock. Check them out.

  4. Rudy Lopez says:

    Hi Erik,

    Thanks again for the great job you do on your blog and videos. You provide very useful information that is well presented. Can I use the Lanparte power cable adapter on the Tilta V-mount? I am putting together a rig and I like the Tilta but I was told it wasnt compatible with the AF100 and I don’t want to fry the camera.

    I also have a lilliput 7″ HD SDI monitor that I want to power off the V-mount. Would powering both at the same time put a considerable drain on the battery which isnt worth it or is it ok? Would I be better off picking one or the other?

    Gracias!

    Rudy

    • Erik Naso says:

      I don’t see why you couldn’t a Tilta V-Mount on the Lanparte power dock. I have the AB version. Just so long as you use the Lanparte cable with your AF-100 camera AC adapter you will be fine. That’s how I use it.

      The Lanparte has several power outputs so if one matches your device’s power requirements your good. One thing that can be a challenge is the right plug for your the device.

  5. Rudy Lopez says:

    I actually meant that I want to use a Tilta Battery dock and I want to know if the lanparte Cable will work on to connect the Tilta battery dock to the AF100. sorry if I wasnt clear earlier.

    thanks

    • Erik Naso says:

      Ah! The voltage has to be 7.2 volts from the power source. I just looked at a picture of the Tila battery Dock and it has a multi-pin connector. I’m not familiar with this cable type. Did it come with any cables? My guess is it wont work unless you can make a cable with the multi-pin on one end and a 1.7mm x 4.75 Coaxial plug on the other.

  6. Rudy Lopez says:

    I believe it is a 7.2 power source. Here is the link that has some details. I think the one you looked at was the “Pro” version.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/330798525148?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

    • Erik Naso says:

      Looks like you need a custom cable that has the 5.5mm x 2.1mm for the Dock and 1.7mm x 4.75 Coaxial plug for the AF-100 AC camera adapter.
      The Lanparte cable won’t work for with the Tilta. Looks like you need to head over to the electronics store and get the soldering iron out or sell the Tilta and buy the Lanparte power dock. Or you could buy the Lanparte cable and put a new 5.5mm x 2.1mm end on it. Either way it will have to a custom job.

  7. Rudy Lopez says:

    Thanks! Thats very helpful. It looks like I’ll go with the Lanparte. I’ll post some pics when its all set up.

  8. Lee Mullen says:

    Hi Erik,

    Being Aussie based, I thought I check out the cable link for the AF102 but it appears they no longer stock them. Do you have any other supplier contact to connect the Lanparte dock with AF102?

    Cheers
    Lee

    • Erik Naso says:

      Looks like they don’t make the cable anymore and I’m sorry I don’t know of others that make it. You can make one yourself with the parts list in the article.

  9. Erik do you know the actual output from your plate?
    I bought one of those Lanperte plates, and did a check on the output voltage, it read 8.4v on the 7.4v output (all the other were very accurate +/- 0.5v). I get the error that you mentioned (battery can not be used),
    I also had this problem with my GH2 and another plate (cheap one). The GH2 uses a 7.2v battery, but if you run from the mains it needs to be 8.4v, so I constantly got the battery error. (think panasonic did this so you cant use non panasonic batteries) Luckly I have a friend who made the 15v into an 8.4v using resistors or somthing, now the GH2 works fine, will run for days with camera evf and a monitor from the same battery.
    So I was just wondering if I got a bad plate?
    Derek

  10. Hi, I also bought the Lanparte v-mount but my AG AF-101 WON’T work with it. I continuous get the message “This Battery Can Not Be Used” and after a few seconds the camera turns off. LanParte can’t help me and did point me to this website. Hope you can help me with it.

    • Erik Naso says:

      This is an issue and I cant figure out what the problem is. I have the same problem but only when I playback the clips. During record it never fails.

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