What's new

Desperately seeking base-to-screen cable

flar

Member
I think I mentioned this before, but now that I've udated to the 15" SB2 it looks like it will be even more of an issue.

I use the tablet to view sheet music for long periods in rehearsals where you need to hold the tablet up high to keep an eye on the conductor (UPDATE: and there are no outlets nearby). The battery in the SB1 used to last a 3 hour rehearsal 95% of the time and for those remaining times I could just attach the base backwards and hold it that way, but that could get tiring as the combo is not lightweight.

Now that I'm using the 15" SB2 (and my eyes are loving it), the battery seems like it might not last quite so long and so the chances that I'll need to attach to the base are going to be a bit higher. I've already tested the weight of the 15" tablet in one rehearsal and that is manageable, but the weight of the entire unit is higher, and if I was already struggling with those occasions when I had to hold the whole 13.5" laptop up high, then I'm not going to make it very far with the whole 15" laptop.

Now add to that one retreat per concert season where we have 6-8 hours of rehearsal in one day and it can be a big problem. Charging between rehearsals (meal times basically) can help, but the tablet may not completely charge during the breaks.

So, what I'd love to see is a light cable that looks a bit like a double-ended version of the charging cable, but which attaches to the base on one end and the clipboard on the other. I'm guessing it would have to connect to the proprietary hinge connector on the base end as I'm not sure any of the other ports can produce a charge. And I'm guessing that it would have to convince the base to provide power somehow. But, such a cable would essentially give me the full charge of both batteries in tablet mode at the slight inconvenience of having a cable run down to my laptop bag.

Has anyone seen such an accessory? Would it be possible for anyone but MS to produce?

I suppose I could get away with a big external battery bank and an appropriate cable instead, but it would be nice to use the base that I already have with me as the battery bank.
 
Last edited:

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
From another musician ...

You are aware that you can power the clipboard WITHOUT the base, aren’t you? Just plug the connector onto the middle connector of the screen where the hinge connects!

Unless, of course, the problem is that you have no access to a mains power source.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
What that other guy said.

OR a Surface powerbank would do the trick.

I might also suggest a music stand or some sort of stand to hold your sheet music display system :)
 
OP
F

flar

Member
I updated the OP, there are no outlets nearby in (most of) these rehearsals. We have 300 singers in chairs in an auditorium packed in pretty tightly and they need to move in and out of formation frequently so long extension cords will just trip people. Depending on where we have our retreats I have sat in the corner next to an outlet to keep the tablet powered, but that hurts the rehearsal experience. Also at retreats we frequently move to alternate halls for sectional rehearsals and so dealing with cords gets in the way...

Some people do use stands designed for iPads, but those pose problems as well, including getting in people's ways when they need to move in and out of the rows, and when we stand to learn choreography we're often packed so tight that I much prefer putting my tablet on my chair behind me. Besides, I did look and didn't find any stands that could hold a 15" tablet. Still, I'd prefer to hold the tablet, but would be open to checking out a stand if there is one that would work with the 15" tablet, and it would have to work with the tablet plus base in this case if it is going to help with my power problem.

I tried to look for a battery bank, but hadn't searched for "surface powerbank". Now I see a few models out there. Does anyone have any first-hand recommendations or experience with them on a 15" SB2?
 

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
That clarifies things.

I have used the Halo Bolt 58830 mWh on my large sailboat when we've been out for three days or so. Enough juice to power/charge your SB2 clipboard for sure. I got it in case I needed to jump start the diesel engine on the boat. The cost is about US$150 but was well worth it. Has a regular US 3-prong outlet, so you don't need any special cables to charge your equipment. Don't have the boat any longer - sold it a year ago. Used to charge SB2 15", 2 iphones, Bluetooth speakers, and occasionally a MacBook 13".

Seems to me you could travel with some Velcro "one wrap" straps to tie the unit and Surface brick to the base of your music stand, and a couple of smaller or trimmed Velcro straps for tying the cable up to the top of the stand.

Hope this helps.

(After being reminded by your need, I remembered that I liked this unit so much that I just now bought it again. Replaces the one sold with the boat.)
 
Last edited:

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
WindowsCentral and SurfaceTip both recommend the same powerbank.
BatPower ProE

The best ways to keep your Surface Pro charged on the go

Best Power Banks for Surface Pro/Surface Book/Surface Laptop in 2020

There are certainly other choices.
Amazon Search

I'm sure you can find one to meet your needs. It sounds like you only need a little extra battery and not a behemoth but the choice is yours.
A good choice. No AC outlet and half the capacity, but you wouldn’t need to use your regular Surface brick too.
 

Wayne Orwig

Active Member
I use a 32000mwh power bank set to 12 volts when I go out on the porch swing with just the clipboard. The 12 volts holds the power, and charges VERY slowly. But it works for me. The cord I got off Amazon is pretty long. The power bank is a pretty heavy brick though. A simple DC power cord can be extended fairly easily if needed.
 
OP
F

flar

Member

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
Looks the same - but possibly battery or case, etc. did not meet QC specs so is sold a bit cheaper by a 3rd party. Don't know.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
The BatPower device looks the same as this one which is $30 less: Amazon.com: PoderCamino 98Wh Carry on MS Portable Charger Power Bank External Battery for Microsoft Surface Book Surface Laptop Surface Pro 6 5 4 3 2 RT USB QC Quick Charge Fast Charging tablet smartphone -SB2680: Computers & Accessories

I found that last night doing a search on amazon and it looks to be basically the same original unit sold through a different company, possibly with fewer additional cables?
The only differences I see are BatPower includes; 18 months vs 12 months warranty, USB to Type C Cable, Mirco USB Cable. It appears the PoderCamino is not a second or refurb but the same product with a shorter warranty and fewer cables.
 
OP
F

flar

Member
Good catch on the warranty. And y'all forgot the name. What's that worth?

"Does anyone have a charger I could borrow?"
[gravelly voice] "I don't have a charger. I have BatPower. BatPower PRO!"
"Oh, no, that sounds too savage to me. I don't want my lightning connector to fray. Does anyone have a PoderCamino?"
[inner 8 year old starts to pout]
 
Top