The Hypercore series of battery packs have taken off since their release, employing the very latest in Lithium Ion technology. What many don’t know though is that the series had been in testing nearly 2 years prior their release.
In 2012, in order to fulfill a military request to provide a higher C rated battery cell for a powered application, Core SWX had to rely on MoliCell, their Canadian-based cell manufacturer. Dubbed the “Hypercore” cell, Core SWX was provided from MoliCell, a high density cell to provide 10A of steady current for the device needing to be powered. With any military application, reliability and service were paramount. After successfully providing power for the military application, Core SWX turned its sights on transitioning the product into a professional video useable platform. Released at NAB 2014, the Hypercore series of battery packs were born.
In late 2016, a new industry-born application arose, and Core SWX had transitioned it's design to an 8-cell design, utilizing a high-power, Panasonic originated cell. The updated cell packs now offer a 12A or 15A continuous draw, while being 30% lighter and more compact than the original Hypercore line.
At the heart of any battery pack needs to be a great quality cell. The 18650 Lithium Ion cell employed in Hypercore battery packs ranks is the best in the Li-Ion industry. The packs are designed with the specific purpose of handling and sustaining high power draws. Core SWX’s proprietary battery management firmware assures the cells are always balanced and at an optimal state to withstand up to a continuous 12A load for extended periods of time while not diminishing service life. This battery management firmware also dictates the charge routine when during charging, increasing battery safety and efficiency. To provide the cells protection against accidental impacts; the cells are incased in an overmolded, non-slip rubberized housing, something Core SWX has been offering for nearly a decade. All these advancement in the mobile powering space have allowed us to offer a rating of up to 2000 charge cycles on these packs, currently the best in the industry.
Hypercore is outfitted with a runtime LCD on the front of the pack which is the most visible part of the battery, making it more convenient to view. Not only will you be able to see true runtime, in hours and minutes, the LCD also provides an estimation based on a dummy load of 30w, when in standby (disconnected from any devices). Furthermore, the LCD serves a third purpose as a charge indicator allows Hypercore to be the most charger compatible in the industry, a primary concern for users who have existing charger hardware. Recognizing this as a critical feature for battery packs in our industry, Core SWX’ proprietary on-board fuel computer leverages the Hypercores’ “smart” battery platform to take an aggregate view of the past usage of the battery, charge and discharge performance, to provide the most accurate runtime calculation. For ENG cameramen, there is also a 4-stage LED display on the side of the battery, which can be used to glance at leftover battery capacity.
A SMARTER BATTERY
As mentioned above, Hypercore is a “smart” battery pack. We wanted to make sure it was the most intelligent in the industry. The battery pack is “multilingual,” able to communicate to cameras as well as chargers with both one-wire, and two-wire protocols. This allows for Hypercore to be the most charger compatibility in the industry which is always a concern for users who have existing charger hardware. Obviously, any charger within Core SWX’ charger lineup will charge Hypercore, but the V-mount offerings (Hypercore S) will also charge on IDXTM and SonyTM, allowing you to keep getting service life out of your current charger. The 3-stud (Gold) mount offerings to a Hypercore “Gold” series which is 100% compatible with Anton/BauerTM chargers firmware V3.6 and up.
Now that usage had been addressed, what about inactivity? Some clients have seasonal downtime, and we wanted to make sure that life and longevity don’t go wasted. The Hypercore series has a hibernation mode function within eachn battery pack, monitored by an accelerometer to detect motion, a similar component that is in mobile devices. The accelerometer is tied to a clocking device to gauge how long the battery is inactive. One of the issues with all battery packs is self-discharge, but the Hypercore battery packs will go to sleep or hibernate when there is no battery usage or movement after a 48 hour period. The LCD shuts down as well, to preserve state of charge. Once you pick up the battery, or the battery detects the slightest movement; the battery pack awakens, coming back to life at its maximum capacity. The hibernation function means you no longer have to leave your batteries on the charger at all times, saving energy and being Green!
As with all Core SWX brick battery offerings, the Hypercore series have an integrated p-tap (powertap/dtap) connector on the side of the battery allowing you to power any 12vdc device from this port which is a feature Core SWX had since its first battery 16 years ago. With our “ear to the ground,” we also know how important mobile devices are to production, and so we are one of the first companies to incorporate a USB port on the packs, providing accessible charging for your mobile devices.
To protect self-discharge even more and to help with travel regulations since all lithium ion battery packs need to be at or below 30%, Core SWX incorporated “storage mode” into the Hypercore battery packs back in May 2016. All of the Hypercore batteries are shipped from the Core SWX warehouse in storage mode which reduces the chance of the battery packs being delivered in a fully depleted state of charge as well as reducing service life. When the battery pack is received by the client, they can either fully charge to awake the pack, or they can simply hold down the LCD backlight button for about 20 seconds. The packs can also be placed to go back into storage mode, making this feature furthermore valuable for clients who also travel or ship their production gear via Air.
The Hypercore lineup is available in both v-mount and 3-stud (Gold) mount, with capacity offerings of 98Wh, 150Wh, 190Wh (Prime), and 293Wh. There are two different 98Wh Hypercore options; HC9 Mini and Hypercore Slim 98. The HC9 Mini is designed with a short form factor, perfect for small, compact Cine cameras such as RED DSMC2TM and Arri Alexa MiniTM. The Hypercore Slim 98 is the go-to battery pack for UAV, gimbal and other handheld productions. The standard Hypercore 150 is the 150Wh solution for extended runtimes. Hypercore Prime is a two-part system to provide a higher capacity, air travel friendly battery solution which allows it to be legally transported without restrictions under IATA, ICAO, and UN regulations. Separated, the battery packs are 95Wh each, but together they have a capacity of 190Wh so it can sustain larger power hungry cameras such as the Arri AmiraTM and Phantom FlexTM. Last but not least, the king of them all is the Hypercore XL, a 293Wh pack with a 15A continuous load (20A peak).
We have also given the user the ability to scale the Hypercore technology into other battery necessary production scenarios. The Core SWX Fleet Micro chargers are the most advanced in the industry by being an all-in-one rapid charger, discharger, power supply, battery management system for your battery “Fleet.” For an example on the charge times, the quad model will charge four 98Wh li-ion packs in 2 ½ hours (now that’s fast!). Other than that nice capability, the charger offers a “test mode” that allows users to determine their battery’s health and recharge performance right on the on-board LCD, or via a PC using the micro USB on the rear of the unit. Additionally, the Fleet Micro has a SafeFly mode that allows the users to charge or discharge their battery packs to 30%, making them acceptable for air travel. This charger series is also the most cross-compatible, able to address not only Core SWX battery packs, but those offered by many other manufacturers such as REDTM and Anton/BauerTM. Lastly, the Fleet Micro’s include a 90w DC 4-pin XLR power supply to power most cameras, and it can also double as a battery bank when in “Hypercine” power supply mode (unregulated 12v-16.8v DC). Furthermore, we have integrated our VoltBridge technology into the Fleet chargers to now allow you to control any of these functions right from your iOS or Android device via the VoltBridge app.
Core SWX’ philosophy is to provide additional features outside the tangible products offered by leveraging the technology housed within. By providing extra feature sets it provides additional value and ROI for the end user. VoltBridge and the Fleet Micro series are just TWO of the many technologies on the horizon for Hypercore as well as our other packs. The Hypercore series already delivers the most value and ROI in the industry, but with more being developed, Hypercore is the best battery pack in the video industry today.
Many prominent industry professionals were early adopters and have been overly impressed by the Hypercore series. One in particular is Emmy Award Winning Cinematographer, Andy Casagrande, who specializes in capturing wildlife and natural history documentaries all around the world for networks such as Discovery Channel, NBC, National Geographic, and more. Currently, he’s out filming for another season of Discovery Channels “Shark Week” using the HC9 Mini to power his RED WeaponTM. After using Core SWX products, he was thrilled with the results and stated, "Core SWX is an incredible company on the cutting edge of innovative & reliable power-products for the world’s most advanced camera systems.”