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Hi all,

I have been looking at some great posts on how to DIY a power tank. The help has been great and I am nearly ready to start but I have some queries!!!

On several tanks made by members, I can see that some have used 5 amp fuses and some 10amp!! does this matter.

Also I am under the impression that the wiring used is 15amp but again I am not sure.

I am fitting a volt meter, I presume this just goes straight to the battery or does it have to be fused and then go to the battery. Also an off /off switch for the meter, I'm not sure exactly how to wire the switch to it !

And lastly, I want to put a point in for an astrozap dew strip but don't know what electrical socket is needed for it?

As for everything else I'm just about there and I will be putting a detailed post in the DIY section with pictures etc for anyone else who wants to see the outcome and maybe wants " yet another guide " as to how to make one. I will be an expert by the end of the build and what better way to keep busy waiting for those clouds to melt!!!

Thanks and clear skies...

Andy

Edited by Gaze Away

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Whilst I'm not an electrician I believe that you shouild use fuses that have a rating slightly above the maximum current you expect in the circuit. For a mount that will draw 2A when fast slewing a 3A fuse should suffice, for a laptop like mine that draws 3.5A then a 5A fuse. The idea being that if anything should go wrong the fuse will blow before any real damage is done!

A 10A fuse protecting a 2A circuit would be far too high - the electrics would be ruined before the fuse blew (if it ever did!).

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Whilst I'm not an electrician I believe that you shouild use fuses that have a rating slightly above the maximum current you expect in the circuit. For a mount that will draw 2A when fast slewing a 3A fuse should suffice, for a laptop like mine that draws 3.5A then a 5A fuse. The idea being that if anything should go wrong the fuse will blow before any real damage is done!

A 10A fuse protecting a 2A circuit would be far too high - the electrics would be ruined before the fuse blew (if it ever did!).

Hi Roger,

That sounds like common sense to me, so If I use the 5 amp, that should be good for all equipment I want to run.....I guess as long as the fuses are not less, it would not matter if they were more!!! I think most equipment runs on 5 amp or less.

Regards

Andy

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Hi Andy.

Cant help with the fuses but the Astrozap will connect into a 12v cigarette lighter socket like this http://compare.ebay....sbar&adtype=pla

Luke

Luke Hi,

I have now solved this problem. I wanted to plug the astrozap straight into the power tank without going through a dew heater!

I emailed astrozap 10 minutes ago and he came straight back with the plug I need, its a female 3.5 rca socket !!

Thanks astrozap!!!

Luke cheers for the info .....

Andy

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More - yes but not too much more!! The fuse must blow before your expensive kit fries. It may be a good idea to put several cig-sockets in and fit each for a specific bit of kit, then you can fit the correct fuses and know everything will be OK.

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More - yes but not too much more!! The fuse must blow before your expensive kit fries. It may be a good idea to put several cig-sockets in and fit each for a specific bit of kit, then you can fit the correct fuses and know everything will be OK.

Good idea,

I could mark the sockets separately and put the correct fuses in to match...

Thanks again

Andy

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Exactly where I bought them from..lol great minds and all that !!!!!

They are quite expensive but I am hoping this tank lasts a lot longer than my 2 17ah cels ........

Thanks

Edited by Gaze Away

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Hi Andy, I have gathered some bits and pieces together to do the same project, You might like to consider some car type plugs and sockets from such as Towzertronics, these are weather proof, have a green LED in the plug, which illuminates when current is flowing and the plug locks into the socket with a twist action to stop it being pulled out, Roger is quite right about your fuse rating, it just wants to above the current being drawn by the device which you are attaching, this is easily catered for as the plugs have their own interchangeable fuses in the plug head. If you want to use a meter, this might be best wired across the main output of the battery, switched on the + side lead , this will monitor the battery drain, so you can see when the voltage is dropping to low. switches and wiring anywhere between 5 and 10 Amp current handling should be quite sufficient. Make sure you fit a strong carry handle to the case, as these units with batteries can be on the heavy side :)

John.

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Oh dear sorry, seems I have just recommended what you have already purchased, anyway you will find it good kit, but do not try and use much above 5 Amp wire for the plugs as they can be a bit fiddly, they have small wire connection clamps. And just for interest I am using 7Ah and 17Ah Power-Sonic SLA batteries as they come highly recommended from my Alarm installation friend :)

John.

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Oh dear sorry, seems I have just recommended what you have already purchased, anyway you will find it good kit, but do not try and use much above 5 Amp wire for the plugs as they can be a bit fiddly, they have small wire connection clamps. And just for interest I am using 7Ah and 17Ah Power-Sonic SLA batteries as they come highly recommended from my Alarm installation friend :)

John.

Hi John,

I am actually using 15amp wire for all the plug connections and have found a 3.5 rca (phono) female socket which means If I want to run the heater strip I can do it without having to use a dew controller. I am also fitting a switch between the battery so I can cut all power from the battery to the unit. I was rather hoping I could fit a car plug to the end of this charger so I can just plug in and charge through one of the car sockets but I am not sure, maybe you would know!! this is charger that I will be going to use http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/110773987526?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_999wt_905

Thanks

Andy

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I should imagine all your wiring will be designed to return to direct to your battery source, so long as nothing is connected when you want to do a recharge, any one of the sockets could be used, all you need to do is put a car plug on the end of your charger, after removing the crocodile clips, then rewire the clips to a lead and car plug socket and you can use it to charge your car battery as well, best of both worlds. Have you checked that the 15 Amp cable wire conductor will go into the Towzertronic cable connectors as I assume you are using the matching plug, they are a bit of a devil to get apart with the tight rubber grip ring on the bottom end, had a bit of a struggle with about 7 Amp and just managed it, I think these are designed for Motor Bike electrics etc. one final point, make sure everything is correct polarity when you have finished, I know it may sound a daft thing to say, but mistakes do happen, double checking everything is worth it in the long run. :)

John.

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Andy, whilst perusing the DIY thread I cam e across this great project completed by astroimpulse which you can view here. Quite inspirational really and will certainly provide you with some ideas. :smiley:

James

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I should imagine all your wiring will be designed to return to direct to your battery source, so long as nothing is connected when you want to do a recharge, any one of the sockets could be used, all you need to do is put a car plug on the end of your charger, after removing the crocodile clips, then rewire the clips to a lead and car plug socket and you can use it to charge your car battery as well, best of both worlds. Have you checked that the 15 Amp cable wire conductor will go into the Towzertronic cable connectors as I assume you are using the matching plug, they are a bit of a devil to get apart with the tight rubber grip ring on the bottom end, had a bit of a struggle with about 7 Amp and just managed it, I think these are designed for Motor Bike electrics etc. one final point, make sure everything is correct polarity when you have finished, I know it may sound a daft thing to say, but mistakes do happen, double checking everything is worth it in the long run. :)

John.

Sounds like a good plan to me too John. As for making sure nothing is connected while I charge the battery, I think between the battery and the fuse box is where the cut out switch will go. I presume that If I then switch this off, I would be able to charge the battery.

I also found these which I am going to connect the fuse box to the battery with. (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261031344833?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_1380wt_1037). This would mean that If I cant cut everything off to charge the battery, I can just quick release these clamps and charge the battery safely without risking damage to the rest of the unit.

I'm just waiting for a few more bits to arrive and by say the middle of next week I should be able to make a start. I am going to spend a lot of time documenting this and with any luck people will use the thread and I will have finally done a bit of helping myself !!.

It may end up being a bit expensive but should run great for all my needs and If looked after, last a long time :laugh:

Thanks Again,

Andy

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Andy, the quick release battery terminal clamps look interesting. Just a thought, I can`t quite see why you want a fuse box, as all the plugs have their own glass fuses in the head of the unit and the rating can changed to match whatever you are going to connect to it, so in effect each devise is fuse protected to the correct rating. If you just use one fuse between your battery and your circuits, this would have to be rated to take account of all of your equipment being connected at any one time. If you are going to use an isolation switch for the battery why don`t you install a couple of dedicated terminals on the outside of your case, suitably protected, directly wired to the battery, purely to clip your charger leads onto, that will save you a plug. this will, if you make a record of everything, be very useful in the DIY section of the forum when competed :)

John.

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just a thought the power tank is a good idea with all the gadgets on but when i made mine i did a very differen aproach.

my thinking was why have a power tank on the floor and loads of leads coming of it that can tangle and get in the way so i made a small hub which i moumt to the scope by means of a plastic hook and the whole unit rotates with the mount and 1 single lead to my power supply. the power supply is a car battery which i fitted a red led volt gauge with a toggle switch and a car type cigarette socket i then plug my hub into this with a long lead which goes straight to my hub, i then have a main power switch (fused) and a red led to tell me power is there i then have 3 leads coming out of my hub one is to power my scope(fused) and 2 rca gold sockets (fused independantly) these 2 power my heaters they both have toggle switchs and red leds which increase in brightness when i up the power to the heaters which i control with pwm controllers and it is all contained in a small box measuring 5" x 4" and it works perfectly and looks realy neat. all fuses are quick blow rather than std blow

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Andy, the quick release battery terminal clamps look interesting. Just a thought, I can`t quite see why you want a fuse box, as all the plugs have their own glass fuses in the head of the unit and the rating can changed to match whatever you are going to connect to it, so in effect each devise is fuse protected to the correct rating. If you just use one fuse between your battery and your circuits, this would have to be rated to take account of all of your equipment being connected at any one time. If you are going to use an isolation switch for the battery why don`t you install a couple of dedicated terminals on the outside of your case, suitably protected, directly wired to the battery, purely to clip your charger leads onto, that will save you a plug. this will, if you make a record of everything, be very useful in the DIY section of the forum when competed :)

John.

John, this is very helpful. As you know this is a first for me and I have had to get all the information from the site to enable me to build this power tank. I decided more or less what I was going to do because of this thread (http://stargazerslou...05ah-powertank/). As you can see, they have used the same plugs but have put in other fuses. What you say makes sense and as you say, you surely don't need to add all these other fuses. This also means that as long as I put the correct fuses in my plugs, I wont have to mark up the sockets to know what amp fuse they are running from inside the box (if you know what I mean).

As for a fuse between the battery terminal...If everything is fused anyway...would I even need one of these? As long as I have the correct fuses in my equipment, these would surely melt before my equipment died !

Also as for the charging side, the terminals on the outside were thought about but I'm not too sure how I could keep them safe if you know what I mean.

Thanks Andy

Edited by Gaze Away

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just a thought the power tank is a good idea with all the gadgets on but when i made mine i did a very differen aproach.

my thinking was why have a power tank on the floor and loads of leads coming of it that can tangle and get in the way so i made a small hub which i moumt to the scope by means of a plastic hook and the whole unit rotates with the mount and 1 single lead to my power supply. the power supply is a car battery which i fitted a red led volt gauge with a toggle switch and a car type cigarette socket i then plug my hub into this with a long lead which goes straight to my hub, i then have a main power switch (fused) and a red led to tell me power is there i then have 3 leads coming out of my hub one is to power my scope(fused) and 2 rca gold sockets (fused independantly) these 2 power my heaters they both have toggle switchs and red leds which increase in brightness when i up the power to the heaters which i control with pwm controllers and it is all contained in a small box measuring 5" x 4" and it works perfectly and looks realy neat. all fuses are quick blow rather than std blow

Sounds a really great way to get over the problem of all the leads.I have to build this now as I nearly have all the bits to do it but I could make a hub and still power it from the tank. I will definitely keep this in mind. I was just going to have the tank sitting under the middle of my mount!!

Regards

Andy

Edited by Gaze Away

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Andy, the introduction of a fuse link between the battery and circuit wiring is a safeguard, I would not have thought, at a guess, it would be rated much above 5 or 6 Amps. You never know what can happen in the dark, when damage to a cable results in a direct short, if that was not in place you would have the total battery current direct at the break, you could fry some of your wiring as a result, if you are using a fairly large capacity battery. Faulksy`s idea is very good, a single cable and a hub box, you would only need to add a further plug and socket to your list and the provision of an additional box to sit under your scope, you would only have one lead to trip over then lol, Your design, your choice in the end. look forward to seeing the end product :)

John.

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i will try and add a few pics later of my set up if that helps anyone

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i will try and add a few pics later of my set up if that helps anyone

Thanks, would be a great help!

Andy

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Here's my DIY power tank. I used a small tool box with some 1/2" plywood fastened to the bottom of the box. Terminal strip with fuse clip (seen to the left of the battery) plenty of room for a 2nd 7.2Ah rechargeable battery. I use the battery conditioner from my motorcycle to charge it. It has worked well for me so far. Good luck with yours. http://gordongreene....p_display_media

Edited by ggreene1
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Here's my DIY power tank. I used a small tool box with some 1/2" plywood fastened to the bottom of the box. Terminal strip with fuse clip (seen to the left of the battery) plenty of room for a 2nd 7.2Ah rechargeable battery. I use the battery conditioner from my motorcycle to charge it. It has worked well for me so far. Good luck with yours. http://gordongreene....p_display_media

Nice little power tank there. Definitely a bit easier to manage than mine I expect. I think I may actually be putting a small set of wheels on the bottom of mine which will include a small metal plate on the bottom to strengthen it and a quick release u shaped handle.

Thanks for the post and with any luck I will be starting the build at the weekend.......

Andy

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Hi guys, I am trying to upload some pictures but It will not let me do it. I have tried to make an album, I upload pics and then when It has finished It says , you do not have permission to upload these files !!!!

Andy

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