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Found 20 results

  1. I was hesitant to write this earlier, but I wanted to try all possible ways to get my new SkyWatcher 250P GOTO allgined, but to no avail. I have followed the instruction manuals of both the synscan and SW, and managed to get the message "alignment successful" multiple times on the handset or the app. The closest I got when I tried to dial a different star was a 20 to 25 degrees off on the azimth axis. Most times it's off by a margin on both axes. I have tried aligning around 30 times on more than 5 diffrenet occasions, different locations as well. I end up ignoring the thing and switch to navigating manually as the eager friends want to observe instantly, but we ran out of objectes and the planets are not close anymore, so I figured it's time to get deeper DSO's and sort out the GOTO. Here is what I do: • I level the scope to the zero reading on top of the base • I make sure the base is level with a spirit level I bought recently • I point the scope northish, but latley I bought compass to pinpoint north • I plug all equipments in and then switch on the power from a lead acid battery • I enter the date ( US fromat, month before day ) • enter correct time zone obviously • the coordinates in the format of E 000 00 , N 00 00 • As for elevation I use "my elevation" app, not sure if it's accurate. Does this entry have to be that accurate? • I tried both brightest star and the 2 star align methods on the handset (which seems to be the same thing apart from the brightest method having an extra menu asking for which direction you are pointing at) I even used the synscan app and the synscan pro, and tried the 3 star align method. The app uses location and enters all data automatically •I use the top and right arrows as the last press before centring the star in the eyepiece as recommended by the manual These are the steps I follow when I align , is there anythung I missed? Your kind help is much appreciated. Update: issue solved, check the reply in the second page
  2. Hi, Background: There will probably be too much information below, but my level of knowledge in electronics is unfortunately low. I own a EQ-5 - upgraded to pro with synscan, a SW 150pds and a SSAG guidecam on a 9x50. I bought this with the purpose of AP. I have my telescope on the porch, so i can sit inside with the PC (5m distance) and power everything from the socket in the wall inside. I live in Norway where there is 230V 50hz AC in the wall. I have understood most telescope equipment (?) is powered by 12v DC. The mount came with a 12V "car-connector" which im sure people are familiar with. But i didnt wish to use this, so instead i bought a plug (European), which the picture below shows. It is like a multipurpose plug where i can choose 12V and also choose different "pc-style" connectors in the other end. I am currently powering the mount via this plug to a 20m extension cord with 4 sockets. It's labeled "250V AC 50HZ". (picture below) I plug the USB3-powered SSAG straight to the computer. I plug the synscan controller to the computer with an adaptor to make it USB in the other end. So to the core of this post: I now have an ZWO ASI1600MM PRO (DC 12V 3A), with a 8 slot ZWO filter-wheel (USB2.0 powered - guess this connects to the camera). On its way. I also have a NEQ6 PRO on its way (12V 2A) - so no more EQ5 - but same power requirements. And lastly i have a HitecAstro 4 channel dew controller on its way (12V DC) - which i plan to use with a Omegon secondary mirror heating strap, SMALL (https://www.astroshop.eu/heater-bands-controls/omegon-secondary-mirror-heating-strip-small/p,56529#tab_bar_1_select), and maybe something else down the line. The strap uses 0,18amps the product specifications says. So....... With this setup, and from home like described: 1. -Plan is to use the 12v 2.25A adaptor-plug from the EQ5 on the NEQ6. -Buy another one just like it, for the dew-controller. I dont know what Ampere it needs, but the dew-strap is only 0,18A. -Buy a upgraded 12V 3A (or 5A) for the ZWO ASI1600 and 5m USB3.0 to PC. -Plug filterwheel to ZWO. -Plug guidecamera to PC as before - Or can this go straight to the ZWO? -Plug the EQ6 via the Synscan ST4(?) to USB 5m to the PC. So the mount, the ZWO and the dew-controller will go to the extension cord-cable drum outside which goes to the wall inside. The PC will go to the wall inside ofcourse. Can i do this? 2. If no: How should i do this?
  3. Hi Everyone, While we all know that there are plenty of hubs out there in the market like Hitec Astro Hub and Pegasus Astro Hubs for providing 12VDC and USB comm link for good cable management, I am a DIY person with little to no experience in electronics. I do know how to solder reasonably well. I am looking to see if someone here could help me with a circuit diagram for a hub that gives has 5x12VDC output, 3x5VDC output and 4xUSB powered hub for communication. I would then go out, purchase all components and build one for myself. This is only so that I don't have too many cables dangling off of my mount and becoming a constant trip hazard. TIA guys.
  4. Now that I have my new AVX Mount all set up, I realized that I have no way to power it up! Apparently, I need a power tank of some sort. The Mount came with a cigarette lighter cable but I’m no where near my car! Any suggestions??
  5. Hi, although I do not have an ASA mount (actually the 10Micron), my question is based if I can use for example a ASA Power Supply Unit 12V - 21A throughout to power cameras, fw, dewheaters etc, separate to the mount. And if so, do I need to split the main output cable to connect to each unit. Normally , and in a generals context, a CCD works up to 1.5-2A, Filterwheel around that level of amps like the focuser and guide camera, its correct to say that we need to add all these amps of all the units I am using, and take into consideration that the total amp-age does not surpass the power supply amps. Thanks
  6. My Lynx Astro power cable arrived today and the skies were clear so I thought I would grab the chance to try it out. Unfortunately it clouded over before I got a real chance of getting any decent data. However I thought I would get something useful out of the evening and do a quick review of the cable. As with many items, the packaging is usually a good indicator of the quality of what lies within. For the Lynx power cable there was no zip seal plastic bag, but a sealed padded bubble wrap bag with the Lynx Astro logo on it. OK, its only a bag but it shows that Lynx seem to be taking great pride in their products. Opening the bag revealed a 5m long cable with a standard 12v, 5A fused plug and a 5.5 x 2.1 centre positive jack on the other end. Although this is intended, and sold for use with a SkyWatcher HEQ5 and similar mount. However I wanted to use this for powering my Atik 314L+ and knew the jack was compatible. Comparing the cable with the original power cable the difference is significant to say the least. You can see that this is a seriously beefed up cable compared to the OEM one. The plugs have plenty of strong strain relief and are very snug and secure, certainly no fear of the cable wearing at the plug and causing a weak connection. Fitting the cable into the camera was a very reassuringly tight (but not too tight) fit and with the strange angles the camera can get into I certainly did not feel like it would come loose of its own accord. Later measuring the dimensions of the plug it showed that is at the upper end of the tolerance for the socket (at around 5.7mm). Something that I think Lynx Astro have done deliberately to reduce the chance of cables coming loose on mounts which is often a problem with that type of socket. The silicone cable is soft and very pliable (unlike the original cable that I had) and it hung in smooth curves with no signs of kinks etc. With a few slews of the telescope you could see that the cable easily rolled over the legs of the tripod, reducing cable drag. The temperatures did not get below zero so no frost etc. But its obvious that this cable is going to remain very flexible down to silly temperatures. Out of curiosity I did actually measure the resistance of the cable to compare it to the original one that I was using. With my cheap multi-meter (so it's not the most scientific or accurate analysis), it turned out to have around 0.1Ω resistance, 0.5Ω less resistance than the OEM cable. OK, its not a lot but when you are running on battery and want the strongest, cleanest power to your mount or in my case camera, every little bit helps. The only criticism that I can really point to the cable is that the orange cable might not be to everyone's 'cup of tea', but in the pitch black (light pollution aside) it doesn't really matter what colour it is. The orange does help you spot it more easily compared to black cables in the dim red light of your head torch, hopefully helping in reducing any trip accidents if you do need to trail your power lead away from the mount. I do hope that they launch a version that is compatible with the SkyWatcher AZ-EQ6 GT. Whilst the connector is not subject to the accidental power disconnection issues, the quality of the OEM cable is not the best, especially when compared to the Lynx Astro power cable. Hope you find this interesting/helpful, let me know your thoughts, especially if you have use this cable too.
  7. Finally, I think I've cracked it. I'd always had some dicky power connection problems with my 8SE mount, and even after replacing the plug on the end of my SkyTron power cable with one that I believed was a better fit, it still showed problems. I ordered matching plug and socket from Maplins, but even then it was all too easy to lose power from just the slightest tug on the cable. While I had the mount apart (the power socket and switch are on a convenient panel which unscrews - it is not necessary to dismantle the whole mount to remove this panel, it is just a couple of screws) I had a closer look at the socket.. no wonder it is so easily disrupted, the main center pin is fine, it's the pathetic small outer contact that is the problem; it doesn't connect to the main metal part of the socket chassis as I expected, but is a small contact right at the bottom of the socket, meaning that the slightest movement could break the contact. This may be fine for most applications of this socket type but where there is a chance that the cable may be snagged it is a terrible choice in my opinion. I had read somewhere about replacing it with a BNC connection, or saw another scope that used one, something like that, so that is exactly what I have done. One order of matching BNC socket and plug from Maplin's later... Maplin parts: http://www.maplin.co...sis-socket-1570 http://www.maplin.co...onnector-476116 (despite the picture on the Maplin website, it is silver in colour and not gold) I needed to make my own hole in the plastic panel but this was easy enough to do with a small drill bit and some needle files to finish it off; I was careful to trim the hole so that it has a flat edge for the BNC socket, otherwise it would be possible to rotate the BNC socket which would make using it more difficult. One trick I missed but got lucky with was marking which wire goes to the center pin (positive), I had to take a guess at their relative positions as I had removed the old socket. If I were to do it again, I would mark the wire with a red marker pen or such as they are fairly nondescript grey ribbon cable wires that disappear into the mechanism. I made sure that I applied heat shrink to all of the connections to prevent any dew droplets from causing a short. A quick test and it all works, the connection is rock solid and I believe should never break under normal conditions. The wire would probably get pulled out of the BNC plug before it broke due to the BNC losing connection! Perhaps that is a slight loss of a 'safety feature', but in my experience if the cable is wrapped around it will be pulling sideways and would not pull the plug out of the socket, if I snag my foot on the cable, well that would be my hard cheese. It should be noted that I am fairly competent with a soldering iron, but if you can solder small wires together neatly then that should be all the skills required. I'll probably plug the hole with something. I'm optimistic that this should be the end of the power problem, only time will tell, the real test will be at 12am on a cold January morning.
  8. So recently purchased a 14ah Tracer battery from FLO for my ATIK414ex and Filterwheel, to compliment the 22ah battery I bought off of Amazon about a year ago for the mount/dew heater. The 14ah battery happily runs the camera/filter wheel and based off of a 6 hour test today, could probably go for two nights of imaging, GREAT! However my concern is with the 22ah battery, as soon as the mount is engaged/tracking I get a blinking light on the mount, which I believe is a low voltage warning, and I noticed that EQmod had lost contact with the mount after a while, so I tested by unplugging the dew heater, no difference, still blinking. Wondering if it was the battery, or mount, I then went back to my mains adapter from maplins, no blinking, and no communication loss. Now the cable is a bit crap, if I jiggle it, the light will flicker, but upon checking the tracer battery, the meter says it still has 80% power left, (after 6 hours, that's awesome) but at that level there shouldn't be huge voltage drop off. My conclusion is that the battery isn't up to scratch for this job, unless I am missing something, or anyone has any suggestions?
  9. I have a 12 volt power pack for my NexStar SE 8 and always have it fully charged. It seems to work fine after the first alignment but picks up inaccuracy the more it slews. The pack shows the yellow needs recharging light after about an hour, though it does keep going. I have tried re aligning but the longer I use it the more inaccurate it gets and I think the motor is just losing power. I cannot connect directly to the mains. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  10. As I shall be off work for just over a week during Christmas I thought I should find myself a little project to stop me from going stir crazy! I have been having a little trouble with my jump starter power pack recently and have been thinking about making a mains power adaptor. Therefore I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to build one. At the moment I am only worried about powering my CG5-GT mount and an anti-dew heater band, but I am including another two power outputs for future purchases! Each output will be independently fused in addition to a main case fuse. This will all run through an RCD. I am hopefully going to be getting all the parts from my local Maplins store on Saturday so that I can be sure to have them for the holiday. My parts list consists of: 1x ABS Box MB4 (LH23A) 2x Panel Mount Power Socket 2.1mm (JK09K) 1x Switched IEC Chassis Socket (N94CZ) 2x Panel Fuseholder (GU73Q) 1x LED Toggle Switch Red (N26BJ) 1x Euro 3Pin Lead 5m Black (QZ82D) 1x CCTV 12Vdc Regulated 5 amp Switch-mode Power Supply (N63JN) Plus 3 amp wire in red and black. I'm going to add a 12v fan to draw out any heat that may build up in the case and put a couple of filters at the opposite side of the case to allow for air ingress. I will probably also add some feet to the bottom of the case just to keep it off of the floor & reduce any possible vibration noise from the fan. Not including the wire it comes to £53.53. I could probably source some of the parts cheaper elsewhere, but I wanted all the bits ready for the holiday and I didn't want to have to rely on the post getting through in time. If anyone sees any glaring problems or ommisions then please let me know. I am intending on taking pictures during the build which I will post here for your delight and edification!
  11. Hi All. After looking for, and failing to find, a 12v splitter that can do more than 10A, I've decided to build my own. But, I have a couple of questions about fusing things. The box has 3 marine-type locking cigar sockets. The internals are wired with 15A rated components (am thinking max load of 5A on 3 sockets = max 15A). The box will be connected to either an XM21X DC supply when at home, or an old car battery when out and about. Each cigar plug will have a fuse in it suited to the appliance (I note my HEQ5 Pro cigar plug, as supplied, has a 5A fuse - off topic but is that right?). The cable from the supply to the splitter is orange mower flex, rated at 13A. The dilemma I have is what rating of fuse to put at the supply end of the cable - 13A would match the cable rating and the box, but is too high for what the XM21X can deliver. So do I make a second cable fused at say 7A for the XM21X? Ultimately I might make a battery box to hold the battery and the 3 sockets (plus...) but not yet. Thanks!
  12. Hi. i haven just purchased my first telescope (Celestron Nexstar 8SE) and I'm trying to source the correct AC adapter for use in the UK. Does any know which is the correct one - 3 pin version and where I can get one. Many thanks nick
  13. kbrown

    The Crux

    Got tired of the mess of cables and loose devices I had to always put together and dismantle after each astrophotography session so I figured I'd do something about it. This tray will sit nicely under the tripod and provide a hub for everything including Fused Power, Raspberry Pi, USB Hub, GPS, Dew Heaters, Long Range WiFi etc... First version will be really crude as I need to have this working in less than a week as I'm going on a holiday taking my astro gear with me.
  14. Someone a while back, most likely on a different site, was asking about the current draw of their mount so that they could factor it in. Anyway, I decided to measure mine out of pure curiosity so here's my readings in case they are of any use whatsoever to anyone else... CGEM DX + StarSense HC + StarSense Camera + Celestron GPS (Measured using a regulated 12v supply and multi-meter) Normal RA tracking: 470ma max (5.56W) Full speed RA+DEC slew: 1550ma max (18.6W) I suspect there is also a momentary surge as the motors start as the power supply needed to be set to give up to 3A otherwise it cut the voltage on a full speed slew and the motor controller objected (although the hand controller was fine as it regulates down to 5v or so anyway I suspect). This wasn't picked up by the meter so it wasn't sustained. Rich.
  15. Hi I'm moving from a battery to a mains supply for my HEQ5 mount and foucsser, Ive just ordered a 12v 5a regulated power supply from Maplins which comes with a 5.5mm/2.1mm socket.Now have a few choices as to what to do about the cables. On ebay and Amazon I have come accross various lengths of splitter and extension cables with 5.5mm/2.1mm plug/socket mainly used for CCTV camera systems. These come in various lengths and I was wondering if anyone has any experience of these and their suitibility. Most state up to 12volts but few give the amps/watts. Like those in the attached picture. The other option is just to get a Cigarette to 5.5/2.1mm adapter cable and use the existing cables with the cigarette plugs/sockets. Any thoughts/suggestions greatly appreciated Pete
  16. Hi there, in an effort to simplify the setup procedure of my field observatory I spent a couple of hours yesterday researching solutions for a Power and Comms distribution box. I eventually settled on a very simple solution based around a cheap IP54 rated outdoor enclosure sourced from a local DIY store (UK readers will recognise the name B&Q). My power in the field is supplied by two 10ah Tracer LiPo batteries, which have served me well now for the past two years. In addition to the batteries the solution needed to accommodate a dinky little TPLink router, which provides me with WIFI control of my SXW mount via SkySafari from my iPhone. I'm pretty pleased with the net result. Had some concerns initially that the proximity of the batteries to the router in the enclosure might cause some interference with the comms, but completely unfounded, it all works like a charm. IMG_0215.MOV
  17. Over the past couple of months have been putting together the components to build my own 12v Power Tank. Finally got around to putting it all together. Not really being a DIY person, this was a bit of a leap into the unknown for me, anyway it’s all put together now and works a treat. Thought I’d share my experience just in case there is someone out there thinking about a similar exercise, but a bit concerned about proceeding. Here’s the list of components: Maplin heavy duty flight case - https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/large-high-impact-case-with-pre-cut-foam-interior-n14gr - £49.99 Bluesea Fusebox . https://seamarknunn.com/acatalog/fuse-block-screw-terminal-blade-6-way-4695.html - £46.35 Dual 12v Power Interface Panels with USB and voltmeter x2. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/253302906460 - £30.36 LED Blade fuses - 3A x 4 £3.96 7.5A x 4 £ 6.78 In-line LED fuse holders x 2 - £11.38 10A Twin core power cable (3 metres) £7.47 8A Rated crimp connectors (male and female) - £5.00 Total Cost - £ 161.29 Connecting everything together was actually quite simple in the end, all that was required was to crimp the wiring together and connect the leads to the fuse box and the various device interfaces, ensuring of course that the live and earth wiring is correctly connected. To add to the build I already had 2 10ah Deben Tracer LiPo batteries with power leads which have supplied my field power for the past 4 years these retail at £149.99 bringing the total cost of the power tank to £311.28. This might be viewed as a considerable outlay for power, however my view is that it’s money well spent. My power is now contained in a waterproof, easily transportable container and greatly simplifies my setup and tear down procedure when in the field. The proof of course as they say is ‘in the pudding’. I used the unit for the first time last weekend and it delivered just as expected. I’ve attached a couple of pics one showing the internal layout and another showing the unit connected up, supplying power to my dew controller, WiFi and Sphinx SXW Mount/Starbook.
  18. Decided to put cooling fans on my newtonians a 200pds and a 130pds ,used a 120mm on the 200 and a 80mm on the 130pds ,i used, Be Quite silent Wings2 fans they use rifle bearings and are so quite German made, i did the 200 first and was impressed with this make so ordered the same make for the 130 pds it comes with a lead with four wires but only needed neg ang pos so snipped other two out , made a disc from plastic and cut out around collimation screws on primary then used velcro to attach to OTA fitted a 2.1mm dc socket on to the disc then bought a usb lead to 2.1mm barrel though i may fit another 2.1mm socket on my power box and use 12v either way it works ,i used a dimmer on the 200pds but it doesnt need it and wouldn't use it again but its fitted now so will leave in place.
  19. While I'm still waiting on a couple of parts of my setup to arrive sorting out the various power requirements of the devices is proving to be by far the most annoying, to power my EQ5's dual axis motors I need to give 6v to the handset and as a few posts on this site mentioned the powertank had a 6v output option I bought one, however when I recieved it the thing only seems to offer USB 5v/1.5A (useless) or DC 12v/10A via the cig plugs so I grabbed a USB 3A adapter for one cig plug and that powers my Pi nicely but I had to get a variable voltage unit to get the 6v I needed for the motors. I have had to many thing blow up over the years because these types of adapter can't hold the set voltage correctly I was wondering is there a 6v output option I am missing on the powertank or is there a better way to do the power setup?
  20. Hey there I'm trying to gauge power requirements for my SXW. Recently added some new accessories, and just want to make sure that my existing 10ah tracer LiPo is still up to the job. All up load on the mount is about 9kg including: 8" EdgeHD Celestron RACI Finder Celestron Finder Bracket Baader Steeltrack Baader Clickstop Diagonal Nagler 22mm Thanks in advancePaul J.
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