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Author Topic: Current drawn by Tascam DR-100 and Zoom H4N?  (Read 2330 times)

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Offline guyburns

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Current drawn by Tascam DR-100 and Zoom H4N?
« on: October 03, 2010, 10:38:08 AM »
I'm in the market for a field recorder and it will probably be the PMD 661, although the DR-100 and H4N are close. I want to know what battery life to expect and the only way to calculate that is to know the current drawn under typical conditions. The manuals don't state current drawn, and the manufacturers don't want to tell me (I've emailed them), so my only recourse is to find someone who has a unit who is prepared to, and knows how to, measure the current drawn. I have the figures for the PMD 661, and would like current figures in milliamps for the DR-100 and H4N.

If anyone is willing to take some measurements, below are the measuring conditions, preferably taken by measuring the current drawn from the battery, or if not possible to do that, by measuring the current from the external supply. In either case you'll have to break the circuit and insert a digital ammeter.

Current measurements will be just one part of an extensive comparison of these three units, the results of which I will make freely available when completed.

What I do not require is how long a certain type of battery lasted in your situation. There are simply too many variable to use that as a reasonable way to compare different units. Battery life is affected by their age; how many discharge cycles they have been through; were they fully charged; how long since they were charged; at what temperature were they charged (batteries accept a lower charge when colder); the type of battery; the temperature at which they were used; their capacity; and so on. Actual current drawn cuts through all that uncertainty and allows exact comparison between units.

Condition 1
Device turned off. The off-current should be a fraction of a milliamp.

Condition 2
• Device set to minimum current draw (display turned off, and so on);
• Recording in stereo via the 3.5 mm jacks at 44.1 kHz, 16-bit. An actual incoming signal is not necessary.

Condition 3
As per Condition 2, but all displays turned on.

Condition 4
As per condition 2, but with two phantom powered microphones.

Any current measurements would be most appreciated.


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