Why choose Tronix Explorer?
Photographers will always have to face a situation of shooting outdoors. Most often, in locations where electricity is not always available and when natural light isn't just enough.
Solutions to these problems, if you are going to bring your lighting equipments out on location, include long, unwieldy extension cables, gas-powered generators or inverters. Going with battery-powered inverter is the easiest and most flexible solution. But, how you do you know which one, among the commercially available products in the market, is the smart choice?
There are other inverters in the market today, which ranges from USD100 to USD1000, or in some cases, even more. Depending on the built or brand of your gear. But generally, some people are fine with something that just works flawlessly.
Inverters convert the DC (direct current) from a battery source to an AC (alternating current). There are several types of inverters, and they differ on the voltage output. Some have the square wave, or modified and the others are pure sine wave. But for photography lighting applications, pure sine wave inverters are a must.
Since the electronics of the monoblocks (studio flash) or powerpacks are quite sensitive and complex, they need to be powered with a pure sine wave voltage input. In simple terms, a voltage output similar to what we get from our 110V or 220V convenience outlet. Otherwise, it will fry the electronics out or will have long-term ill-effects on the monoblocks or powerpacks.
With the Tronix Explorer (or its predecessor, Tronix Explorer 1200) – it qualifies to the number one requirement – its voltage output is a pure sine wave or has the voltage output similar to what we get from our convenience/household outlets.
Actual Sine Wave of a Tronix Explorer XT
It is also primarily developed and designed for use with studio lighting equipments.
Other than being a pure sine wave inverter and being one of the most affordable inverters at around USD300+ a unit, what makes Tronix Explorer stand out?
Power and Reliability
Due to its increased power rating at 350 to 800 watts continuous (while other products stood at 150-300watts) and with a peak power rating of up to 2400watts, it can power up more powerful monoblocks or powerpacks. Its efficient circuit design that generates almost a thousand pops for 300ws monoblocks, a typical cycle in a 3-4 hour photoshoot.
In addition, compared to the very first Tronix Explorer, Explorer 1200, it can give faster recycling times. For example, a 300ws monoblock can recycle in 1 sec (for Tronix Explorer Mini) while the Tronix Explorer 1200 can recycle in 2-3 sec.
Best of all, it has a wider list of compatible monoblocks and powerpacks, used by most photographers today. (Check Compatibility Chart.)
Flexibility and Mobility
Tronix Explorer is an autovolt device. Since it is battery-powered and hence, power is limited, it can be recharged from 100V to 240V. So, when traveling worldwide, whether in North America to Europe or down to Asia, charging the unit will never be a problem. The charging port comes on a universal computer (male) socket.
Other than charging the Tronix Explorer to the convenience sockets, it can also be charged from the car's battery. It has a 14Vdc slot for auto/car charging.
The charging module has a trickle charging capability such that leaving it continuously plugged will not result in bloated batteries or overcharging.
Tronix Auxiliary Battery Pack connected to a Tronix Explorer XT
Instead of changing batteries on the field, Tronix Explorer (except Tronix Explorer Mini) has an auxiliary battery port for a 24V external battery pack. The Innovatronix-made auxiliary pack is called Tronix Auxiliary Battery Pack. This external battery pack is the recommended back up power for Tronix Explorers. When this battery pack is used, the internal batteries of Tronix Explorer are bypassed and that the new power source (battery source) is the auxiliary battery.
Its box-style enclosure has an optional carrying case or the Tronix Explorer Bag. From 5 kilos (Explorer Mini) to 10 kilos (Explorer XT3), the whole unit is pretty manageable with the heavy padded strap on the Explorer Bag. The bag comes with inside and outside pockets – very useful in keeping your power cords, car charging plug and other accessories in place.
Or while the monoblock is connected to the Tronix Explorer, use it as a counter weight on your light stand.
Since the voltage output is similar to what the convenience outlet provides, the Tronix Explorer can power battery chargers, laptops, printers, etc. Since battery-power is limited, the product is not recommended for continuous lighting source or modeling lights. These draw too much power from the Tronix Explorer unit discharging it much faster (compared to when used at high power, instantaneous power load such as flashing in monoblocks.)
Safe and easy to use
One of the major advantages of the Tronix Explorer is its plug and play feature and its compact design. The inverter, charger and battery module are enclosed in one solid, sturdy metal casing such that there are no wires or "intestines" poking in and out.
Unlike other products that only put the power LED indicator, the Tronix Explorer has the power LED indicator, battery status and charging status indicators. The power indicator also serves as indicators for thermal shutdown and overloading warning – features that cannot be found in other similar products.
It is also equipped with exhaust fans. Exhaust fans that are important features in order to prevent the unit from overheating. Short circuit and overload protection on the output features are also put in place for safety.
Performance and Value of Money
On top of these features, the Tronix Explorer is a reliable power supply capable of powering your studio lights (or monoblocks) for several hundred pops before it runs out of power. When it does, charging it is as easy as it is used.
Most of the features of the Tronix Explorer products are copied by those "loosely-connected modules and electronics enclosed in a PVC bag" product – making the Tronix Explorer (and originally the Tronix Explorer 1200), the professional standard and reliable power supply for studio lighting equipments.
At USD349 to USD790 (depending on the model), it is a very good investment to your equipment arsenal – allowing you to capture images beyond your usual studio.
To locate other distributors/dealers worldwide, click here.
Tronix Explorer is available in the following models:
- Tronix Explorer XT3
- Tronix Explorer XTSE
- Tronix Explorer Mini
- Tronix Explorer XT (now discontinued)
- Tronix Explorer 1200 (now discontinued)
For more info on Tronix Explorers, click here.