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Robbie Carman: You know, Rich, both of us travel a lot, and we're frequently in places where power is very hard to come by. Now you know, we've talked about it in previous episodes and I'm sure we'll talk about in future episodes, the ability to carry obviously a lots of batteries and your camera chargers, lots of chargers or potentially you use AC adapters that come with cameras. But one of the situations I found myself all the time in is I literally cannot charge a battery nor can I plug in, because I don't have the right type of power adapter with me for the particular place that I'm in.
Say maybe I'm traveling to Europe or Australia or wherever, adapting power is a very big concern that you need to be focused on. Rich Harrington: Yeah, and one of the things you're going to realize is you don't want to rely upon the hotel to give you that adapter. So if you are traveling internationally, there's a whole range of things like you see here that'll go from different types of connections to allow you to plug in and it's going to let you go ahead and adapt just some US ones. Chances are, though, that's not going to be grounded, so you're going to want to be careful as you're thinking about that, but get some sort of international kit before you travel and make sure you've all the options that you're going to need, so you're going to adapt to whatever your country uses.
Robbie: Yeah, you made a really interesting point. A lot of these adapters, especially the ones that you can buy, say like the airport or, you know, book store and gadget shops, stuff like that, they're not going to be actually grounded. So you have to be careful when you're plugging something in and I have made this mistake, once or twice, I have plugged something in and all of the sudden, it's a little zap. They do make grounded adapters, they just tend to be a little bit more expensive, so especially if you're connecting camera gear and stuff like that, having a grounded connection is very important. Rich: Yeah, you're going to want to go ahead and make sure you potentially invest in a good one before you go abroad.
Even traveling domestically, I still run into problems, which is the fact that people who design hotel rooms, many hotel room seem to been designed before the invention of personal electronic devices. Robbie: This is true, and you often find yourself in a place where, you know, you're on set and you need to make that one call to that one vendor or if the talent is running late and all of a sudden your iPhone or your Blackberry, whatever is not charged, not ready to go and you know, if you don't have an external battery pack or something like that it can become a little bit difficult. Now we have an adaptor here that I think is really kind of cool.
This one actually allows us to plug in traditional type of plugs, right? But then at the very top, guess what it has. Rich: USB. Robbie: USB, right. So you can plug in your phone, your iPad, your tablet whatever it may be and, you know, as we discussed in previous episodes, Rich, these devices like iPhones and iPads have actually became really important on set for things like slates and the weather apps and that kind of stuff and not having access to them, because you don't have power can be a dangerous thing. Rich: Well, I like to have the ability to go ahead and multiply a port. Now you have to be careful, but one of the advantages of using something like this device, this is just one from Belkin here, is that you could take one outlet to three, you don't want to go crazy, but a simple power strip, this is small enough that it fits in my camera bag which is nice.
If not when you get on location, you can go ahead and pick up a traditional power supply, get a power strip at just your normal electronic big-box store, but I can't emphasize enough, the number of times that we get on set and you can't reach the power, because it's behind something, so this is just your typical hardware store heavy duty shielded power supply. Why shielded? Robbie: Right, well, shielded because we're working with electronic equipment, right? And we don't want that power in the interference that might be causing the power cable interfering with things like SDI cables, HDMI cables. Rich: Audio. Robbie: Yeah, audio and things of that nature.
Now actually, we don't have it here, but one thing that's really nice too is you can buy these extension cords in sort of spindle units, right, where you can--they are easier to carry and wrap up and a lot of times, those spindle units will actually have a block of four or five different power connectors right in the center of the spindle. So you can plug in a number of things directly to the spindle, while still extending the reach to whatever power source that you have. Rich: So just make sure even when traveling in your own country that you have port multiplier, so you have enough ports and that's going to really help, and then of course, go ahead and get some shielded power supplies.
Now you can always buy these locally, when you get on location. Fortunately, this is the type of equipment that just about everybody needs, so your local hardware store could help you out.
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