Have you ever ventured outdoors to photograph someone or something and thought to yourself… “I wish I could bring my strobes” Then you think… “I wonder how much those power supplies for my studio strobes would cost”. Then you realize that most of the portable power options cost between $700 and $2000!
After hoping and praying for a less expensive solution I finally found it in the low cost Tronix Explorer. A Philippine company called Innovatronix has created a $300 (thats no typo!) gem that will power a 300 watt second strobe at full power for up to 1,000 bursts!
When I first saw the unit, I couldn’t believe that I could have all of that on-location portability and excitement for just $300 shipped. There had to be a catch! 300 dollars and hundreds of shots later there is no catch!
After plunging 300 pops out of my 440 watt second Britek HS-2000 strobe I find that it is quick to recycle in one second or less even at full power. In fact, over the past month alone the 967 shots taken with it have all proven to be completely liberating – from the wall socket that is! The unit also features Hi Med and Lo indicator lamps which are designed to help you monitor the charge level. In addition, the unit makes an audible chirp sound when the battery is nearing depletion. Once depleted, the manufacturer recommends a four hour recharge.
The Tronix Explorer is absolutely professional looking. Its 15 lbs and shaped like a car battery. The weight of the unit makes it a great counterbalance for your light stand on breezy shooting days. If the weight ever becomes a problem, it’s small size would allow me to put it on a skateboard.
The unit features 2 sockets which release true sine wave output power… the exact same type of power that comes out of your household electrical sockets! Both sockets are basic AC outlets just like in the typical US home that US made monolights connect to (non-US voltage models are available). That means that the having a Tronix Explorer is like taking your home sockets with you on location! The unit is compatible with any strobe that is not a digital strobe. It even works with some pack and head systems! The list of compatible strobe units is available on their website here: Innovatronix compatibility chart.
Overall, the Explorer 1200Ws is a very tough, sturdy and very powerful unit. The handle is the only part of the unit which felt less rigid. The battery is stated to last 5 to 10 years meaning that this piece of equipment should remain a part of my lighting kit for many future sessions. When the internal battery wears out, replacements can be found for under 30 dollars.
The Explorer is a tool that any photographer who uses strobes must own! Having the Tronix Explorer means that I can be more mobile and versatile under many more circumstances because I can now take my lights out anytime, anywhere. Think of it… you are in the middle of a shoot and the power goes out. You simply take out your Explorer, pop your strobes and collect your paycheck (now go pay the light bill). In addition, being able to shoot outdoors means that your portfolio can be full of interesting and unique backgrounds and settings which would not have been possible without power. In my opinion, the Innovatronix Tronix Explorer 1200Ws is the best investment you could ever make after getting serious about your photography!
Lastly, let me mention the company. Innovatronix is a small company in the Philippines which was able to magically build and ship this terrific unit out in less than 48 hours from my order time. They send you lots of email confirmation about the shipment and it arrives packaged quite well.
You can read more about the Tronix Explorer at the Innovatronix website: http://www.innovatronix.com