Hoping that the MFD veterans can help me out here.
I recently put in a low bid on a Leaf Volare On-Location Kit and was surprised to win it for 200 smackeroonies.
My interest was that it's a monochrome back, with Peltier cooling, a large (by amateur astronomy standards) FF-35mm sensor, and the On Location Kit doesn’t tie you to a desktop Mac and mains power.
I do know that it is limited to 32 seconds max, which is a pity, and that it won't cool as deeply as a real astro CCD camera.
But it was 20 times cheaper than a used FF-35mm monochrome astro CCD camera like the ones based on the Kodak KAI-11000 sensor, so why not see what it can do?
The kit came in a large Leaf On Location carrying case and included:
...the Volare back,
...a Fuji GX680 adapter plate and camera cable (I have no interest in these, and will fashion my own lens adaptor),
...the colour filter wheel with RGB filters and LCD video shutter,
...the heavy “Leaf On Location Battery” in its own carrying case,
...the Volare "Portable Power Supply" (it looks like a regular Volare power unit, except a note on the rear says that it cannot be powered by anything other than the battery),
...the charger for the battery,
...the all-important PC-card for a Mac laptop,
...a hand-release cable,
...as well as all the other connecting cables (battery to the Volare power unit, power unit to the Volare back, power unit to the PC card, Volare back to the filter wheel)
...little things like a 77mm whitebalance/LCC/gain filter, 77-95mm adapter ring (I guess that’s for reversing the filter wheel on larger lenses), a strange dongle for Leaf Colorshop, and a USB “A-Dongle” key for “oXYgen OPEN(HASP)” in Phase One packaging.
...original CD with Leaf Capture 5.2, and non-original CD marked “DCB/Leaf Ver 3.6”
...and a box of manuals – oddly they are mostly for the DCB/Catchlight rather than the Volare, and for Colorshop and Contact Sheet software rather than Leaf Capture.
So in theory all I need is a suitable older Mac laptop and I’ll be all set to play. I understand that Leaf Capture up to Version 8 will run the Volare, so I got V8.4.6 from the Phase One FTP site.
1) What is the most recent Mac laptop that is compatible with the Cardbus PC card?
2) Any idea what the dongles are for, and if they are of any use or value now, in an era of better and upgraded software?
3) Is my reading of the Leaf Capture user guide correct – that the camera can trigger for the exposure time set in Leaf Capture in “Trigger Mode -> Camera”, using only the hand release cable? That no connection to a camera body is strictly necessary in order to get the unit to activate an exposure?
4) I suspect that the sealed lead acid battery is dead. At least, when I connected it to the Volare power unit, the LED on the power unit did not light, and the same happened when I charged it overnight (the charger LED lights, so that component is working). But perhaps nothing switches on because the system is not connected to a Mac yet?
5) I’ll see if I can find someone to test the battery. If it is dead, this seems to be an exact replacement - “Hawker/Enersys Genesis 12EP16, AGM-Batterie, Reinblei, 12V16Ah
”, also here
- but I’d rather not fork out so much if I don’t need to. Is there something special about this battery, or is it a standard type for motorbikes etc., and if so could I use a much cheaper 3rd party SLA battery instead?
PS. I look at the size of all this kit, and then at my not-quite-so-old Kodak DCS645M back...wow the Kodak seems tiny and amazingly self-contained in comparison!