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Hensel Porty Lithium packs to ship ahead of schedule  
Thursday, October 23, 2008 | by Rob Galbraith
The innovative Hensel Porty Lithium power packs are to begin shipping next month, ahead of the 2009 release date the company had set out earlier this fall. Beginning in November 2008, both the 600ws Porty 6 and 1200ws Porty 12 packs will emerge in small quantities at retailers in Europe, the U.S. and other regions in which Hensel products are sold, with larger volumes expected to begin flowing out of Hensel's production facility in Germany early next year.

During a discussion today with Marc Gottula, Hensel's U.S. representative, and Christian Lutz, Hensel's Export Sales Manager, we picked up some additional details about the newest Porty location lighting packs:
  • Like previous Porty models, the Porty Lithium units can be be used, if necessary, in the rain or along the ocean shoreline. The packs themselves are designed to be water resistant, though any attached heads would need a covering of some kind to remain functional in wet conditions.

  • The full power recycle times of 1.95 seconds for the Porty 12 and 0.95 seconds for the Porty 6 remain consistent as the battery drains. When the battery is nearly spent, the pack emits a series of audible beeps before shutting down.

  • The Speed versions of Hensel's heads deliver much shorter flash duration than its standard heads, but at the expense of shorter flash tube life (roughly 80% of that provided by the standard tube) and a higher tube replacement cost.

  • The included charger is multi-voltage (90-250VAC). A full recharge takes 1.5 hours.

  • The only internal difference of significance between the Porty 6 and Porty 12 is the number of capacitors. In effect, the Porty 6 is a Porty 12 with one capacitor bank removed.

  • Hensel is targeting a March 2009 release date for an AC power accessory for the Porty 6 and Porty 12. The accessory will come in the form of a slide-in module that takes the place of the battery inside the pack. It will operate worldwide (90-250VAC) and will offer the same or perhaps slightly faster recycling times than the battery (the exact performance is still being determined). It will also allow the 300W modeling light in certain Hensel heads to function.

  • The AC power module will work with all Porty 6 and Porty 12 units; the packs that begin to ship next month won't require a modification to be compatible.

  • Extra batteries are likely to be in short supply initially.

  • Certification of the batteries for airline travel is expected in the next few weeks. Hensel will publish online a document that can be printed out and carried along with the packs/batteries to show this.

  • In the U.S., one major online photo retailer has posted the following prices for components in the Porty Lithium system:

    • Porty 6 (600ws) with charger and SoftbagP: US$2898.95
    • Porty 12 (1200ws) with charger and SoftbagP: US$3328.95
    • Additional charger: US$398.95
    • Additional battery: US$524.95

  • There will also be several Porty Lithium kits that bundle a pack, head, charger and other pieces together, at a lower price than if the same items were purchased separately.
The Hensel Porty Lithium packs were announced in September 2008.

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