Minolta EP-2 Set

Minolta announces the EP-2 Set as external battery pack for the 5600HS(D) flash.
There is not much information available except that it will
double the number of flashes and reduce the charging time by half.
But nobody would pay 200 Euro for a simple Battery holder.

After some research and the little information I received, it looked as if the EP-2
would be more than just a battery pack, since it is almost twice the size of 6 AA cells.
Then I found a reseller where I got the EP-2 at 129 Euro plus 12 Euro for S&H and COD.

Package contents

The box, instructions sheet, pouch (can be attached to a belt horizontally),
the EP-2 and a screw to attach the EP-2 to the tripod mount of the camera.
Notes: The D7Hi is too small to use the EP-2 attached in line with the camera. Attaching the EP-2
at 40° angle will make one corner touch your palm, but will allow using the zoom and focus rings.
There is also a hole of about 7mm×3mm through its top, so you could attach it to a neck strap.

The EP-2 is an additional external power supply powered by 6 AA size cells. The flash
requests the charging voltage and the EP-2 will supply 330V/2.5W charging power.

Since the technical information is that easy to get,
I wonder why nobody replied to my questions.

Since the EP-2 only supplies the charging voltage, you have to keep the 4 cells
in the 5600HS(D). Now you are running the flash with a total of 10 AA size cells!

Recharge times
10× AA NiMH 2000mAh used.
Time from pressing test button to flash ready lamp on.

 Power Level   5600HS(D) 
 standalone   with EP-2 
 1/1   6.56s    3.12s  
 1/2   1.37s    ~0.70s  

Additional information

The EP-2 is 158mm×69mm×21mm/25mm (main body/bulge)
and has a weight of about 130g without batteries.
That makes about 280g with 6 2000mAh NiMH cells.

The cable has a minimum length of 47cm and can be stretched to 1.8m
without using excessive force. I would recommend using it up to 1.4m.

The plug fits very tight, but the cable runs between the zoom and focus ring.
I will try attaching the cable to left side of the EVF since I'm only using the LCD.