Although using AA rechargeable batteries is convenient, I decided that for some of the theatrical photographs I've been doing, I'd like an external battery pack. This will let me make hundreds of photographs on a single charge.
I chose the Quantum Battery 1 Compact model, which is a 6 volt NiMH battery that recharges in 3 to 4 hours.
Steve's Digicams has a pretty good review of the battery.
Click on the photos for larger images.
The battery is designed to screw into the tripod socket of the camera. However, I prefer using a Versatec RX flash bracket that clamps onto the lens of the Nikon 990. I wasn't happy mounting the battery under the camera because it doesn't clear the tripod head properly, and it puts extra weight under the LCD portion of the camera.
So, I thought I'd try using the battery as a handgrip with the RX bracket. Although I typically use my black anodized version of the bracket, I'm showing the setup here with an earlier gray bracket because it's easier to see the details. When I'm finished tweaking the design, I'll paint or anodize the grip to match the black bracket.
I took a piece of aluminum angle, cutting and grinding it to wrap around the battery... tapping a 1/4x20 hole for the battery's screw. I also cut a rectangular hole into the grip to let me easily spin the screw, and it make for a comfortable thumb rest.
I needed to leave a little room between the battery and bracket side to accommodate the screw heads that attach the grip to the rest of the bracket. I also made one of the attachment hole elongates so I can tilt the handgrip forward or back.
The battery mounts neatly by screwing it into the receiver hole. The side of the battery rests against the pads. The on/off switch and "battery fuel gauge" are easily accessible (the switch is nicely recessed, and will not be accidentally turned on/off).
I may do some refining as I get to use the combination (I might, for example, shorten the standoff distance between the grip and the rest of the bracket), but so far, this looks like a nice way of mounting the battery.
I'm currently only powering the camera with the battery, however there are two power outputs on the Quantum unit, so one could also be used to power an electronic flash at the same time.
I'll make photos of the finished bracket when I get it all done.
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