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Power tank, no clue, need help please.


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Apparently after a while of rejecting the idea of a portable power tank, now I can see its value since I have decided to go imaging away from my back garden.

OK, the Skywatcher small tank seems like a common choice. How long will it last if connected to the mount, laptop, focuser and perhaps an air con...nah, not the last one, 3 pieces only?

I dont like all these accessories like torch and radio. I'd be more intetested in a plain power tank. Just a box that runs my gear, if I can find one. Thoughts?

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Not long with all that equipment. The average laptop draws perhaps a few amps, the mount might be another amp while tracking, and then let us say for simplicity that the remainder of your equipment draws another amp, that would be a total of 5. The small Skywatcher Power Pack is only 7 Amp Hours (means it can deliver 7 Amps for 1 hour) so you might struggle to get more than a couple hours out of it.

Better to consider a large Amp hour leisure battery.

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Add up the amps of your kit and bobs your uncle. A 17Ah power tank, drawing 1 amp, will last 17hrs, but as others have pointed out the amps soon add up. I would agree on getting a decent leisure battery and deep cycle charger. There are a few posts in the DIY section on home made enclosures etc.

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Not the skywatcher/celestron power tanks I found mine to be rubbish. A Maplin power tank which I find very useful and are very reasonably priced or a leisure battery like others have suggested.

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Mmm...no clue pretty much indicates that when it comes electric connectors I'd rather go for a readily made equipment. Building a battery is practical, but I neither have the skill nor the room to store it. A readily made one will at least sit unintrusively in the house without the Mrs pulling her hair out in protest :D How about the Maplin ones, are they as good?

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With the branded ones, you pay most of the cost for the brand name. Nothing new there. 17Ah power tanks are the favourite because they let you observe for longer and you can run different things on them at the same time without losing power. Maplins seems to be the popular choice.

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You guys talking about this one ? http://www.maplin.co...le-power-224871

That's the one I use and it has been perfect.i have been out like 5 times each 3-4hrs using on go to and I still do not need to charge it.unit has 2 cigarette sockets to power up your mount and whatever else you can ,and it has also 220 v inverter with a normal uk 3 pin socket on the back of the unit if you have something running off 220volts.highly recommend this one!

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17AH is not going to last you very long running your kit the other thing to consider is that you shouldn't discharge them more than 50%. So your 17ah becomes more like a 8.5ah you might get 2 hours out of it if your lucky

A quick look through sgl will also turn up many threads about the maplins tanks that have stopped working completely or only work for a very short time

You don't need any electrical skills to knock up a basic power tank

The cheap maplins ones are fine for just running a scope but when you start adding laptops etc you will soon find its limitations

Edited by jnc71106
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You guys talking about this one ? http://www.maplin.co...le-power-224871

I have that exact power pack to use with my Skywatcher 200p Goto dobsonian. Im very happy with mine, i have never had any issue with it, i tend to give it a full charge (36 hours to fully charge) every 3 outings with it. Im usually outside for around 3 hours at a time, i only run the scope off it, no laptop or anything else. I tried once to run a hoover off it to hoover the car but it didnt have current to power the hoover :) worth a try i thought :)

I have had the power supply for about a year and am very happy with it. One thing to remeber is never to let the battery run flat as this will destroy the battery, also i recommend storing the battery in the house when not in use and not in a cold shed or garage as the cold drains the battery faster. Much like a car battery if it is sat for a long time.

good luck with your choice.

Richard

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I think for visual, powering a mount only, a power tank is more than adequate. It's when you turn to imaging and you have a laptop, guidecam, imaging cam, dew bands that power tanks fall short. I went from using a power tank to a bench supply because I image at home. If I wasn't lazy and took my kit out then a leisure battery would be what I would favour (or a really, really long extension cord :p )

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I use the Halfords Portable Powerpack 100 which is a 20 amp hours unit. It has 2 DC cigarette style sockets and it works like a charm on my HEQ5 Pro. No issues with it at all but you have to remember to keep it charged up. The manual states every 3 months but I usually give it a blast on a monthly basis or straight away after use. As others mention you should never flatten these things completely but most including this one have a warning light system or a meter to warn you. The other benefits are that it will jump start your car with the supplied leads and pump your tyres up as well. There is also a useful adjustable fluorescent light to help you find your eyepiece caps at the end of the session! One other thing to remember is they are quite weighty but they have decent handles for carting about. I think if I needed more juice I would probably get another one of these.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks, John. I bought a telescope this week and have been looking for a way to power it. The Halfords thing looks fairly useful!

And you can always trust someone with the PULSE album as their forum avatar... ;)

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Got a deep cycle leisure battery off the net. Really excellent, lasts for 3 +nights at star parties. Remember to keep it charged up regularly.

Think these specific power packs are expensive for what you get,

Nick.

Edited by cotterless45
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I keep looking at getting a power tank, but I really can't convince myself it'll be of any use for me. Then again, I'm a backyard observer and chances of being away from home on astro missions are slim since I don't drive. But I can see that the tank reduces clutter in wiring...

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Thanks, John. I bought a telescope this week and have been looking for a way to power it. The Halfords thing looks fairly useful!

And you can always trust someone with the PULSE album as their forum avatar... ;)

:grin: Any Pink Floyd album cover for that matter! Cheers :-)

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