The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium is a third generation controlled-current pure sine wave power source for operating AC powered studio flash units in the field from its built-in battery. Both small and lightweight (weighing just 3.5 pounds, including quick-change high capacity lithium battery), the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium is designed to operate from one to four Paul C. Buff™ self-contained flash units.
The system includes an internal lithium battery that arrives connected to the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium inverter. This inverter takes the power from the internal battery and converts it into a usable, 120VAC true sine wave power source. Your flash units are connected to the inverter, plugging into the two standard, 3-prong power outlets (for more than two units, a power strip may be used). The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium inverter includes a multi-level, accurate battery charge indicator and a convenient front panel battery charging connection for the supplied 3-hour universal rapid charger (95VAC to 250VAC charger input). For heavy use, spare batteries can be charged externally so that they are ready to instantly plug in.
The inverter and battery components are completely enclosed within a strong, high-impact, flame retardant ABS housing. The fully encased battery can be instantly replaced with the slide-in latching mechanism; there are no wires or user connections other than the AC outlets and charger inlet. The unit additionally includes a light stand mounting mechanism and a convenient carrying strap.
The product utilizes the very latest LiNiMnCoO2 lithium battery chemistry to provide extremely high power density and elimination of battery sulfating and poor efficacy that plagued previous battery-operated systems using heavy and inefficient sealed lead acid batteries.
The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium offers fast recycle times, providing 200 to 250 full power flashes per battery charge with 1280 total Ws (two Einstein™ units, for example) connected and 400 to 500 full power flashes per charge with 640 total Ws (one Einstein™ unit or two AlienBees™ B800 units, for example) connected.
Like essentially all battery/inverter type supplies, modeling lamps are not generally used because their power draw would quickly deplete the battery and slow recycle times dramatically. The modeling lamps should only be used for brief previews to maximize battery life.
We offer an optional mounting upgrade for the Vagabond Mini Lithium that offers heavy-duty, versatile mounting. Check out our Vagabond Mini Bracket and Clamp Set to learn more.
The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium is designed to provide portable power for one to four Paul C. Buff™ flash units. Flash units from other manufacturers may or may not be successfully used with the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium. We cannot make any claim for suitability with products from other manufacturers, nor can we accept any liability for any damage that might be caused to such equipment. We will, however, warranty the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium itself as well as any Paul C. Buff™ equipment it powers.
The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium has two standard North American 120VAC, three-pronged power outlets on the front panel of the inverter. The power cords that arrive with Paul C. Buff™ flash units (the standard UPC15 or DA-UPC15) may be used as well as the optional shorter cord (VM-UPC3-120V) and optional longer cord (UPC25). To connect more than two flash units, a standard power strip / surge protector may be used. Choose a well-made power strip with grounded outlets. The proper power cord must be used with the system; simple cord adapters may NOT be used.
We recommend purchasing the VM-UPC3-120V Optional 3-foot Power Cord when using the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium as this allows minimal cord tangle in your setup. See the last photo above for an example.
The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium arrives with a 14.8V, 8.8AH LiNiMnCoO2 lithium battery. For heavy use, a spare battery can be purchased and kept charged for instant, plug-in use.
The battery is charged with the supplied 3-hour rapid battery charger, plugged into a standard AC wall outlet. For use internationally, a simple outlet adapter may be used on the VM3CA battery charging cable (100-260VAC charging).
With essentially all battery/inverter type supplies, a flash unit’s modeling lamps are not generally used because their power draw would quickly deplete the battery and slow recycle times dramatically. The modeling lamps should only be used for brief previews to maximize battery life. We recommend using a 25 Watt modeling lamp in your flash unit when powering it with the Vagabond Mini. Standard Edison-base 25 Watt household bulbs may be used for AlienBees™ and White Lightning™ units; for Einstein™ E640 units we offer the 25W 25 Watt Modeling Lamp
The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium arrives with a light stand clamp that fits around the stand shaft on all Paul C. Buff™ light stands and most other standard light stands. Care must be taken when attaching the system to a stand, with special consideration taken for the additional weight and distribution of weight so that addition of the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium does not make a stand overly top-heavy and unstable.
NEW: Optional Mounting Upgrade:
We offer the VMBRKT-SET Vagabond Mini Bracket and Clamp Set
(sold separately) as an optional upgrade to the existing clamp system on the Vagabond Mini unit. The Vagabond Mini Bracket and Clamp Set is a heavy-duty mounting option, offering a sturdier mount and accommodating various mounting surfaces.
Flash Units from Other Manufacturers:
The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium is designed specifically for powering Paul C. Buff™ products and we cannot make any claim for suitability with products from other manufacturers, nor can we accept any liability for any damage that might be caused to such equipment. We will, however, warranty the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium itself as well as any Paul C. Buff™ equipment it powers.
The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium may be used to power non-flash continuous loads for small electrical appliances such as fans, computers or radios. The maximum continuous power drawn in such applications is 120 Watts. If a continuous load is used in conjunction with flash unit use, this number should be reduced. It should be noted that when the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium is used to recycle flash units, the output voltage will not remain at 120 VAC; it will drop lower during the recycle period of the lights. Therefore, equipment that requires continuous 120 VAC should not be used in conjunction with flash units. To the best of our knowledge, the momentary low voltage will not affect laptops connected via their battery chargers. However, AC-powered computers will likely crash under the "brown out" conditions and likely draw more than 120 Watts. If you plan to power auxiliary equipment, you should consult the product’s manual and / or check with the product manufacturer to determine the power consumption.