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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Digital Camera Battery refurbish?
Jon L Hendricks, Photographer
Merrillville | IN | USA | Posted: 5:19 PM on 04.18.07
->> Digital Camera Battery hasn't returned my calls or emails for the past two months. Does anyone know of a business to refurbish dead DCB 30W batteries? Is it even worth it? Thanks
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Andrew Smith, Photographer
Ross-shire | UK | Scotland | Posted: 6:06 PM on 04.18.07
->> I once got an e-mail from a guy there thanking me for a positive review of their product. When I started having problems with the product they didn't return my e-mails.

The retailer that supplied my faulty 30W unit replaced it with a 40W unit for no extra charge. When the 40W unit started to fail in the same way (not holding its charge) the retailer gave me a full refund. It's my understanding that DCBs were regularly being returned for the same reason.

I'm now using a Quantum Turbo Compact and couldn't be happier. Cheaper, more convenient and a lot more reliable. Plus the leads don't cost a fortune.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 12:42 PM on 07.11.07
->> The DCB website is now "dead" ... http://www.digitalcamerabattery.com/

So I am assuming since their website is no longer working and they do not return telephone calls or emails that DCB has ceased operation?

Does anyone know of a 3rd party company that refurbs/replaces the cells in the Digital Camera Battery?
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Belvidere | IL | USA | Posted: 2:26 PM on 07.11.07
->> Oh great, I am waiting to get a Canon flash cable back from them. They were evaluating my cable for problems and sent me a Nikon cable back by mistake... I sent the Nikon one back and haven't heard a peep from them since.

When I sent them all my cables and DCB to determine why my flash units were overheating, they overhauled my DCB pack for $100 even though it was the cable that was faulty. I used to be a big fan of DCB but I'm starting to have another opinion now... hmmm it appears even the cables are getting hard to find from dealers like and B&H too. B&H has the higher-voltage cable for $173 though. Ugh.

Here is some contact information... good luck!
http://www.goestores.com/contact.aspx?Merchant=timdodgesalesn
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Jon L Hendricks, Photographer
Merrillville | IN | USA | Posted: 2:46 PM on 07.11.07
->> I took my cases to Batteries Plus in Michigan City. They are a chain and have stores around the region. There are about a dozen or so AA Nickel Cadmium rechargables in there. They replaced them with higher power AA NiMH batteries that work much, much better. Cost about $65. I had two done in less than a week. If you're good at wiring and soldering and shrink wrapping the batteries, you could probably do this yourself.
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Jon L Hendricks, Photographer
Merrillville | IN | USA | Posted: 2:49 PM on 07.11.07
->> Here's a link to the Batteries Plus stores in Cali.
http://www.batteriesplus.com/storelocstate.aspx?st=CA
Hope this helps.
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Ron Manfredi, Photographer
Merrick | NY | | Posted: 3:07 PM on 07.11.07
->> Jon, Are you able to use the original DCB charger with the new cells?
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Jon L Hendricks, Photographer
Merrillville | IN | USA | Posted: 5:15 PM on 07.11.07
->> Yes, it works fine so far. No explosions yet.
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Pat Farrington, Photographer
Ft. Collins | CO | USA | Posted: 9:41 PM on 07.11.07
->> Rob Gaglbraith mentions the DCB situation today and promises to keep people up to date: http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-8741-9034
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 10:24 PM on 07.11.07
->> We've tried emailing and calling DCB and have gotten no response over the past month or so.

A look at several on-line catalogs list DCB products as "unavailable" or "discontinued".

Hopefully they are simply on "hiatus"? But no response at attempts to contact directly ... plus the website being down ... does not bode well for this company.

Maybe there will be good news in the near future for the thousands of photographs that purchased their products the past several years...
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 10:27 PM on 07.11.07
->> Also note: A colleague attempted to use the Canon cord with a new 580EXII. He maybe tried to force the cord a little too much and broke the flash. Apparently the newer cords are not fitting the new flash.

Anyone use the DCB with the new 580EXII?
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 10:28 PM on 07.11.07
->> And lastly ...

Anyone have an experience using a DCB with a Dyna-Lite Uni Jr?
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William Luther, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | USA | Posted: 9:19 AM on 07.12.07
->> Robert,

I've been using the DCB's with the Uni Jr.

I like the set-up a lot. It won't be for everyone, but it works great for me. The majority of the lit portraits I do are small affairs...one person, two lights, etc. What I like most is that is woks great for all the high school sportraits we do. So many times we are out in the middle of a baseball/soccer/football/track field with no power.

I'm pretty sure I'm using the original DCBs and they give me enough power to just barely over power the sun and get off enough frames to make a nice sportrait. I wouldn't try to use them on the batteries to shoot indivuduals of the whole local starting line, but you'll have enough power for a couple of people if you aren't trying to ovver power the sun. If you are shooting indoors with the batteries, you'll have all the power you need.

To get the batteries to work with the strobes, you'll need the jackrabbit cord AND a cord from DCB that adapts the jackrabbit cord to the battery. So that may be a problem now...

The UniJr's on batteries are definitely a compromise, but one I'm totally willing to live with. The ability to use AC when it's available and then switch to batteries when it's not is great. The ability to fit the heads, batteries, two small softboxes and cords (minus long extensions) into a standard domke is great. I just carry the stands in my hands.

Check out my portraits

http://www.sportsshooter.com/williamluther/portraits/

Numbers 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 were all shot with the UniJr's on batteries.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

William
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Pat Farrington, Photographer
Ft. Collins | CO | USA | Posted: 9:28 AM on 07.12.07
->> Rob Galbraith has heard from the president of the company and has updated his story http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-8741-9034

"We heard from company president Tim Dodge via email late today, and he indicates that concurrent phone system and bank snafus are responsible for the disappearance of their website and the inability to reach the company by landline. 'All should be straightened out in a few days or less,' says Dodge."
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Jana C, Photographer
Ottawa | ON | Canada | Posted: 9:33 AM on 07.12.07
->> Robert,

I've used the DCBs with the 580EXII. My experience is that you can't used the lastest version of the cord with the new 580s because it breaks the connector part on the flash.

If you use the original version of the DCB cords (no cube part where the connector to the flash is) then you're OK. You have to use the cord where the cube part (the voltage regulator) is closer to the connector where the the battery connects to the cord). I hope this makes sense. Make the pics below will help...

Good:

DCB--[]--------------580EXII

Bad:

DCB----------------[]580EXII
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 11:30 AM on 07.12.07
->> Thanks for the help everyone ... that's what I'm talking about when I say that Sports Shooter is this wonderful "community of photographers"!

I hope that the news Mr. Galbraith has from DCB is really the case and that the "snafus" they are experiencing will be worked out soon.

William --- Thanks for the links and samples! I have an old Norman 200c that I have been using on location for years and it has finally breathed its last breath. So I have been looking for something to replace it and our equipment manager is leaning toward getting a Dyna-Lite Uni Jr. I have one of the older Jack Rabbits that has been refurb'd with a new cell. But I wanted to keep that with my shoe mount strobe bag. If I can find the cord for the DCB somewhere I wanted to use that with the Uni instead. One question: How is the recycling time and number of pops you get with the DCB? Keeping my fingers crossed I can find a DCB Uni Jr. cord ... but it doesn't look good. The good people at Penn and Samy's don't have it.

Jana --- One of my colleagues found out the hard way about the use of the newer cord and the 580EXII. But fortunately Canon repaired the damaged speed-lite quickly and under warranty.

Thanks again!
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Jana C, Photographer
Ottawa | ON | Canada | Posted: 11:55 AM on 07.12.07
->> Robert - yeah I learned about using the wrong cord the hard way as well :(
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William Luther, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | USA | Posted: 12:02 PM on 07.12.07
->> Robert,

Full dump recycling time is a couple of seconds -- not great, but not too bad either. If I remember correctly from way back when I bought the batteries, this time is faster than the units with the jackrabbits attached.

Recycle times for the batteries at anything less than full power is quite peppy I think. You're still not going to be able to shoot a basketball game with them on batteries, but for portraits they are great at half power and good aa full power.

Another weird quirk with the UniJrs on batteries is that they lose partial stops on their power output. On AC the units can adjust their power in third stop incriments. On battery power the units can only go full, 1/2, 1/4, and I think 1/8 power. But that is a function of being on batteries, though, not the DCBs

Basically, on AC the units are really great.

On batteries, you have to make a few compromises.

The main advantage to going with the UniJrs on DCBs vs Jakcrabbits is the increased power (ie longer lasting) of the batteries. Like I said I have the original DCBs, but some of the larger DCBs would provide even longer life.

As a final bit of advice...a piece of heat shrink tubing does wonders to hold the jackrabbit cord and the DCB cord together.

What you end up with is...

DCB --> DCB cord --> Jackrabbit cord --> UniJr.

It sounds bulky, but the two batteries fit into the front pockets on a domke bag, the cords for both my heads fit into one side pocket and the AC cords fit into the other. Extension cords are another matter. :-)

William
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 1:25 PM on 07.12.07
->> William:

You wrote:

To get the batteries to work with the strobes, you'll need the jackrabbit cord AND a cord from DCB that adapts the jackrabbit cord to the battery. So that may be a problem now...


I don't think that is accurate. DCB sells (or used to sell) a cord that goes from the battery and connects directly to the Uni400jr, so you shouldn't need the jackrabbit cord.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 1:40 PM on 07.12.07
->> PJ --- I think the "problem" now has to do more with the availability of any products or service from DCB since they seem to be a)out of business or b) struggling or c) struggling to get back into business.

I have checked with several stores and none have the direct DCB to Dyna-Lite Uni cord or the Jack Rabbit cord to DCD adapter. (Heck at this point I'd buy either!)

I think the Jack Rabbit adapter was made because everyone that bought the Uni probably started off using it with the Jack Rabbit?

Dasaga Photographic in OK City ---the company that refurb'd my Jack Rabbit --- has said they can replace the cells in the DCB. So that problem has been solved. Now it's a matter of whether DCB comes back to life and starts making and distributing the Uni Jr. cords.

One can only hope...
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 1:41 PM on 07.12.07
->> "It's ALIVE!!!"

http://www.digitalcamerabattery.com/
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Glenn Matsumura, Photographer
Redwood City | CA | United States | Posted: 3:31 PM on 07.12.07
->> "I think the Jack Rabbit adapter was made because everyone that bought the Uni probably started off using it with the Jack Rabbit?"

Dynalite made two versions of the Uni400. The early version has a black battery connector plug on the back. The newer ones have a black plug.

From the Dynalite.com site:

JR-UNI DC cable for UNI400JR - older style - black connector - limited availability. call for price

JR-UNIG DC cable for new UNI400JR G -- grey connector $65.00

The cords are not interchangeable.

Hope this helps,

Glenn
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William Luther, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | USA | Posted: 4:39 PM on 07.12.07
->> PJ ---

Like I said I bought my several years ago and at the time that was what you had to do to use the DCBs.

If you could do it in one cord that would be great.

Sorry to post the out-of-date information.

William
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 4:56 PM on 07.12.07
->> William ---

Actually the only cable for the Dyna-Lite Uni I can find in the DCB catalog I downloaded from their website looks to be the adapter you write about above.

DCB9120

I don't see a direct DCB to Dyna-Lite Uni cable itself...unless I am missing something in the catalog.

I tried calling and sent an email this morning and haven't received a reply as of yet.
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Jock Fistick, Photographer
Brussels | Belgium | | Posted: 7:01 PM on 07.12.07
->> Bert:

I used to use the DCB and a Uni 400jr and it worked ok - 100 or so frames at 1/4 power - as previously stated - enough for one or two quick portraits.

What I am using now is the Tronix Explorer - admittedly a much different animal - bigger and much heavier than a DCB - but also much more useful. For me the trade off in portability is well worth what I gained in power and battery life.

And the Explorer costs about the same money as the DCB to Uni 400 adapter that you will need. If memory serves me - I think I paid about $200 for the adapter and the Explorer runs $250.


Just food for thought...:-)
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 7:45 PM on 07.12.07
->> OK, maybe I'm the one who is confused...

I just took another look at the DCB connecting device. The DCB box has two cables coming off it, one to the battery and the other which plugs into a coiled cord that goes to the Uni400jr.

When I first looked, I assumed that the entire thing, including the coiled cord, came from DCB but maybe the coiled cord is the Jackrabbit one that William referenced. It doesn't have any markings on it that I can find to indicate where it came from.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 9:20 PM on 07.12.07
->> I tried the Tronix Explorer with my Dyna-Lites and it failed.

Dyna-Lite's XP1200 is something I'll eventually have to buy...I'm saving my dimes and quarters for one.

But I am looking for a portable lighting kit to replace my trusty Norman 200C kit that has served me well for 12 years but now is too unreliable for my portrait work outside on location.

I have a new Uni Jr. coming and was looking to put my seldom - used DCB into use with it.

I have a Dyna-Lite Jack Rabbit but want to keep that with my 580EX.

But with the obstacles involved with the DCB maybe I'll have to just go with my trusty Jack Rabbit which I had refurb'd a coule of years ago...
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Jock Fistick, Photographer
Brussels | Belgium | | Posted: 6:07 PM on 07.16.07
->> Bert:

Which Dyna Lite strobes did you try to use with the Tronix?
Just curious since I have had no problems using the Uni400jr with the Tronix - but I would like to know if I should expect a problem? :-)
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 6:18 PM on 07.16.07
->> Three different M1000 series packs. The company originally listed them as compatible. However they are not and now they are listed as not working with this product.

On another note: I heard from DCB today and received a work order form for refurb'ing my battery pack. Now all I have to do is find a cable for the DCB to the Uni and I'm in business!

Mahalo!
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Jock Fistick, Photographer
Brussels | Belgium | | Posted: 9:45 PM on 07.16.07
->> The cable you need is the same cable used for the Jackrabbit pack - I ordered mine from Penn Camera.
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Jock Fistick, Photographer
Brussels | Belgium | | Posted: 9:52 PM on 07.16.07
->> better stated - The cable you need is the same cable used to connect the Jackrabbit pack to the Uni400jr - then the DCB adapter is the bridge between the cable and the DCB.
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Belvidere | IL | USA | Posted: 10:09 PM on 12.28.08
->> I'm just digging this old thread up to see if anyone has done business with Digital Camera Battery in the last year or so.

Are they fully operational again? The website looks the same as it ever has.
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Robert Deutsch, Photographer
NY | NY | USA | Posted: 10:30 PM on 12.28.08
->> Curtis,
DCB recently changed out my HV cables from one camera brand to another for a nominal charge and did it quickly and effectively.
It was hard to reach them, but once I did all was fine.
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Adam Bettcher, Photographer
Bloomington | MN | USA | Posted: 10:30 AM on 12.29.08
->> I recently had 2 DCB 30 watt batteries rebuilt by them. They now replace the old 30 wt cells with Lithium Ion 40 wt cells and they also converted my old 580 cords to the new plug for a small fee. I fedex'd the gear to them and had it all back in a matter of days. Great people, great product.
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Thread Title: Digital Camera Battery refurbish?
Thread Started By: Jon L Hendricks
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