I don’t always write about power solutions for video and photography equipment, but when I do, it’s because I see something that is versatile, space-saving, and designed with traveling in mind. I appreciate all three of those things in a product, so the Crank Juice Box might be a product I get behind.
I travel a lot for production projects, which is why I wanted to take a closer look at this item. Even when I go away for just a simple weekend job, I tend to pack quite a bit of gear. Usually a laptop, iPad, a few cameras, iPhone, hard drives, and maybe something fun like a GoPro. All of these items need power, and especially for things like my laptop and phone, I’ll run these down in a single day of use so they need power constantly. I already own a small portable power source for my phone, but it can’t power my laptop or anything that isn’t USB. So one device to rule them all sounds pretty cool, and so does leaving my power supply and USB chargers at home when I'm trying to stay as light as possible.
For a quick rundown, here are some things you can charge/power:
- Phones (iPhone or Android)
- Mac and PC Laptops (includes all three version of the Mac power plug)
- Video cameras like the Canon C100 and Sony FS5 (for others check your plug type)
- Your car battery
- USB devices
I looked around my gear closet for a few minutes and here were some of the pieces of gear I saw that could be powered by the Crank: a Zoom H4n, DJI Osmo, GoPro, external monitor, hard drives, Kessler Second Shooter, and some small LED lights.
The amount of time it will power these items will of course vary, but here's a breakdown of approximate times you can expect on some more common items according to the company.
A cage with a 1/4"-20 mount is expected in 2018 for camera-mounting the Crank above, below, or wherever on your rig.
An important distinction between this power supply and other portable power bricks are the different voltages. With Crank, it can power accessories with different voltages without worry. Here’s the specs on the output voltages for those who want to know: 8.4V/2.1A 12V/2A; 16V/3.5A; 19V/3.5A. It also shows an actual power percentage on a small display, unlike a lot of other portable chargers that just have three bars to indicate the power left.
Their Kickstarter goal is $50,000 and as of the writing of this article they are almost at $18,000. There are a number of rewards available still, including being able to snag one of these for $109.
There are even more features and items that come with the Crank Kit than what I’ve noted here, so if you’re like me and want to see how this could fit into your travel kit, check out the Crank Juice Box on Kickstarter.