On Jan. 1 an estimated 456 drivers of specially designed off-road motorcycles, cars and trucks began a grueling race from the Atlantic coastal resort town of Mar del Plata, Argentina to Peru’s capital, Lima, as part of the 2012 Dakar Rally off-road automobile race, which traverses some of the world’s most unforgiving environments.
Léon Jansen and his crew from the Dutch Dakar Press Team are photographing the race from start to finish, relying on Anton/Bauer’s DIONIC HCX and DIONIC HC batteries, and the company’s Solar Panels to help capture this competitive event.
Jansen first discovered the Dakar Rally in 2004 and began covering it as a photographer in 2005 when he launched the Dutch Dakar Press Team. “I fell in love with the Dakar Rally the first time I saw it,” he said. “It’s tough to fight against time and the elements, but very rewarding to be a part of this legendary event.” The 2012 rally will mark Jansen’s ninth year covering the race, which will take participants several thousands miles from the sunny Atlantic shores of Mar del Plata, Argentina, through Copiapó, Chile, which is surrounded by the formidable Atacama Desert and ending in Lima, Peru, a subtropical desert city located on the Pacific coast of the country. To get to the finish line, Jansen and the Dakar Rally 2012 drivers must cross deserts rising to more than 6,000 square feet in some locations and dune-strewn landscapes.
Jansen’s team for the 2012 Dakar Rally is comprised of eight people traveling in two Toyota Land Cruisers. As there is very little room for both people and equipment in the vehicles, the team uses DSLR cameras to cover the race and Anton/Bauer batteries to power them.
According to Jansen, the combination of Anton/Bauer’s Solar Panel and DIONIC HC batteries is the ideal formula for powering his equipment in a desert environment. “In January in South America, it’s summer, so there is a lot of light to power the Solar Panel,” he said. Ideal for remote locations where no power is available, Anton/Bauer’s Solar Panel uses direct sunlight as an alternate power source. Users only need to snap the Logic Series battery on the QR-TM bracket and attach the bracket to the solar panel to start charging. “Using the Solar Panel to charge our batteries while on location is really simple; we just unfold the panel and put it on the roof of the car. It charges relatively fast because of the very intense sun light.
“At night, we will use the DIONIC batteries in combination with Litepanels equipment. In many cases, when you are working in the desert in the middle of the night, you have no light at all, even from villages and the roads,” Jansen explained. “You discover very quickly that you must trust that you are using the right brand of batteries.”
The DIONIC HCX is the company’s latest addition to its high-current DIONIC series. Working closely with top cell manufacturers, Anton/Bauer developed the DIONIC HCX to incorporate a honey comb cell pack design for Li-Ion cell safety. Offering a 124-watt-hour battery capacity and a unique motion detection sensor, the DIONIC HCX will automatically go into “sleep mode” after a two-day period without a load, reducing self-discharge and allowing extended storage and battery life. To “awaken” the battery users need only to move the battery or attach it to a device. The DIONIC HCX is ideal for crews traveling on-location, as up to two batteries attached to a device per passenger can be transported as carry-on luggage.
The DIONIC HC provides 91Wh and can operate a 40 watt HD camera for over two hours.