We first tested Mentor in fall 2016. It was released in spring and upgraded in summer 2017, based on user feedback. With its two heavy duty LiFe batteries, and its safe and trouble-free power, Mentor exceeded sound mixers' expectations.
Low and high temperature protections have been added for Li-Ion and LiFe batteries: charge is inhibited below 0°C and beyond 50°C. A warning is displayed on both the remote control and the main unit OLED panels.
A lever switch has been added on the back of main unit providing an earthlift whenever earth connection is ineffective – thus sometimes noisy.
Fifteen units are available for rental from DC Audiovisuel, for its bulky soundcarts, and even for the slimmer ones: mixing desk apart, you still need power for Cantar X3 and Cantarem, radiomikes receivers and antenna coupler, amplified antennas and foldback transmitters, HD video monitor and receiver, light and other amenities. Not to mention the mandatory charging of smartphones and tablets. Anytime, anywhere.
Six out of the seven outputs of Mentor can be configured at will on order: they can be fitted with a resettable fuse protection, or with a wide input range, isolated output, high power DC/DC converter.
A resettable fuse is simple and effective, and the losses by heat are reduced. It offers the best power transfer. But it has two drawbacks: output voltage is the same as input voltage, and depends on the primary power source. From 11 to 16 volts according to the battery, and the voltage step when mains is connected or disconnected (13.7V) can be noticeable. Output and system grounds are common, which can cause audible ground loops.
On the other hand, a converter is bulky and has a mere 90% efficiency, meaning more power losses. But it grants for a constant output voltage regardless of the kind of battery connected. Well dimensioned for line variations, it is insensitive to mains switching on or off. And as output ground is totally floating relative to input, audible loops are minimized.
Cost will differ. Just consider:
a resettable fuse
to balance with a 60W converter
or a 30W one
Not to mention the heatsink
and the other
For this anniversary, DCA is offering a special bargain on Mentor, its remote control and two heavy duty 256Wh LiFe SBS Batteries. Simply connect to your gear, and forget about power and runtime.
You can also purchase Mentor and its remote control alone, If you already own your batteries – hopefully smart ones (SBS).
Just find a mains outlet one hour before wrap and fast charge the batteries: you're ready for next call.
Is Mentor another revolution?