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Ceph and Cass

power for laptop


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Hi out there. I have been working on my setup and will soon with the nights closing in be looking to take myself off in the car to a clear area etc. I have a 12v power supply at the rear of the car but the laptop is the problem. The battery as always with these is awful and needs to be mains powered. I have a converter that fits to the battery and gives a 240 supply but my question is this. If you go to a star party how do people power their laptops. Will the power boxes take tthese converters for any length of time as I have no idea how much they drain the battery. I dont want to be in a field late at night with a flat car battery????

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At star parties quite often there are electric hook ups to the pitches so there is no problem for lap top power. If there is no hook up i use a 110 amp hour leisure deep discharge battery with cigarette type inputs to it.

You can get lap top chargers with these attached off the internet, but make sure it matches your laptop power requirements. I use this size of battery as laptops can use quite a bit, plus dew heaters, cameras, mount etc.

The draw can be up to 8 amps so a decent battery is essential. the only disadvantage is that these batteries are very heavy (15-20 kgs) but it is the only reliable way i have found that you dont run out of power over the period.

You will need several cigarette type inputs on the battery for all the equipment


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Velvet has covered much of it! Most star parties have mains power (you'll need an adaptor though - standard camping/caravan fare). I run my laptop and camera off the mains and the mount and dew heaters off a couple of deep cycle batteries. I wouldn't use the car if you can at all help it - car batteries really aren't meant to be run down and if you run it too far you'll be shortening it's lifespan considerably. Not to mention the obvious risk you've already identified of it not starting the next morning (although there's probably no shortage of astronomers at star parties who can jump start your car if necessary!).


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