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Hi all, this may be a little bit off from what should be posted, but I'm stuck trying to find an inverter for my acer aspire laptop first light optics couldn't point me in a direction of one so in in need of some help again, they did however link me to a site that sells caravan batteries

http://www.caravantechnology.com/Power-Inverters-C18.aspx gclid=CLuxuaGonbkCFQjA3godIygADQ

can anyone tell me if those batteries are suitable for 4-6 hours of power for my HEQ5pro mount? And can any point me in the direction of what ill need to charge my laptop and charge those caravan batteries? It's stressing me out a lot now :( and I'm getting worried I won't find anything in time for astro camp on the 7th September any help is a huge help

thanks

chris

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A caravan battery tends to be what is called a leisure battery, they are charged as a car battery is from the alternator, with the proviso that there is a circuit in the system that will first charge the car battery then the leisure one. You do not want a flat car battery and a charged caravan battery. I would expect therefore any car battery charger to charge one however do not get a charger that is a fast charge. They tend to push the charging rate and so the plates and chemical too far and eventually damage the battery. A normal low amp sort of trickle charger should be OK for when the battery needs topping up. No reason to keep it on the charger all the time.

I think they are a bit more robust then a car battery, the purpose is different. A car battery has to supply a large currant for a few seconds whereas leisure battery gets a more gradual drain over hours. HOWEVER both are lead acid types and getting fully drained is a problem.

An HEQ5 cannot take too much current so I would expect a rating of over 25Ah to be enough fot that alone, and that would I suspect be a safety margin of twofold.

For the inverter side do you want to charge or run or both the laptop?

Look up the laptop power requirements, then I suggest adding 25-50% on and getting an inverter that is 10-20% more then this.

The 25-50% is for the laptop variance and the 10-20% is for the inverter - they typically use about 10% of the rating to do the conversion.

Where is all this to be used?

If at home get an extension lead from mains.

If away and you drive look there is the option of the car itself - I run one of mine from the power socket in the boot.

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Caravan batteries, AKA Leisure batteries or deep discharge batteries, are ideal for field astronomy and far better than the mysteriously popular but unsuitable 'power packs' which are designed to deliver a short, intense surge of current, not withstand a steady drain. You may also find them in boating outlets. So called power packs are of very variable quality, as well. You can buy really good leisure batteries, though.

Olly

Edit. Apologioes to Ronin. We crossed in the post but seem to agree.

Edited by ollypenrice
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A caravan battery tends to be what is called a leisure battery, they are charged as a car battery is from the alternator, with the proviso that there is a circuit in the system that will first charge the car battery then the leisure one. You do not want a flat car battery and a charged caravan battery. I would expect therefore any car battery charger to charge one however do not get a charger that is a fast charge. They tend to push the charging rate and so the plates and chemical too far and eventually damage the battery. A normal low amp sort of trickle charger should be OK for when the battery needs topping up. No reason to keep it on the charger all the time.

I think they are a bit more robust then a car battery, the purpose is different. A car battery has to supply a large currant for a few seconds whereas leisure battery gets a more gradual drain over hours. HOWEVER both are lead acid types and getting fully drained is a problem.

An HEQ5 cannot take too much current so I would expect a rating of over 25Ah to be enough fot that alone, and that would I suspect be a safety margin of twofold.

For the inverter side do you want to charge or run or both the laptop?

Look up the laptop power requirements, then I suggest adding 25-50% on and getting an inverter that is 10-20% more then this.

The 25-50% is for the laptop variance and the 10-20% is for the inverter - they typically use about 10% of the rating to do the conversion.

Where is all this to be used?

If at home get an extension lead from mains.

If away and you drive look there is the option of the car itself - I run one of mine from the power socket in the boot.

Im looking to just charge the laptop, It's really more for day use for processing what I do from the night before, I will use it for football manager if I'm bored waiting for It to get dark aswell, I'm going to be in Wales at astro camp, there's is mains power but its only for charging through the day I thinking going to double check this just in case I can use a mains plug etc

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Converting from 12V to 240V then back down to 18V -ish for the laptop is going to be very wasteful on energy.

There are devices available to run 18V/20V or thereabouts laptops from car batteries.

They contain a small switched mode power supply.

Some laptop manufacturers have them available as accessories.

There are also 3rd party manufacturers who sell either fixed output voltage devices, or switchable with an assortment of plugs to suit different computers.

I have been using one of these laptop adapters for several years. It was not expensive and has run a couple of different laptops. Sorry I can't remember where I bought it, but remember it was a lot cheaper than an invertor. If I find anything, I will post a link.

Hope this helps, David.

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I've actually asked what power is available and as it turns out I can use a 3pin plug as i have paid for power, ill get a socket at my pitch, I just need a normal conversion lead and an exstenion with the number of plug sockets I need for the things I want to power or charge haha thanks everyone though info was a big help

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Sorry to barge in on this thread, but I've got sort of the same questions relevant for my setup. I bought this battery LFD75, at a store specializing in batteries & specifically asked for a deep cycle caravan/leisure battery, it's 75 Ah and good for 200 recharges.

But then I looked in my dad's garage and found he had a battery with 86Ah stored there called Sprinter P12V2130, having googled it, it appears to be a deep cycle battery as well but I didn't find much information about it other than a data sheet and that it was an industry battery & very expensive, costing around 300£. He got it from a family member a while ago.

So maybe I should return the LFD75? It cost me 170£ after all. But it only weighs 19kgs, whereas the other one weighs 33kgs!

Anyway, I need advice on maintaining this battery & how to connect my devices.

What I'm planning to do is use lighter plugs from astronomiser, I'm too much of a nab at DIY to make them myself and they're cheap anyway, so I would pick the cigar lighter plug to crocodile clip adapter with 3 outlets, with those 3 outlets I can power my Canon 1100D with the cigar lighter adapter I bought from astronomiser as well and a lighter plug adapter I bought for my old Inspiron 9400 dell computer of ebay and finally a lighter plug adapter for my mount which I'll also purchase of this site. All USB devices I have can be powered from my laptop as normal, I guess. My laptop's battery is so Rubbish that I'll need constant power from the adapter for sure. Does this sound smart? Is there something else I should consider? Any advice is appreciated.

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Sorry to barge in on this thread, but I've got sort of the same questions relevant for my setup. I bought this battery LFD75, at a store specializing in batteries & specifically asked for a deep cycle caravan/leisure battery, it's 75 Ah and good for 200 recharges.

But then I looked in my dad's garage and found he had a battery with 86Ah stored there called Sprinter P12V2130, having googled it, it appears to be a deep cycle battery as well but I didn't find much information about it other than a data sheet and that it was an industry battery & very expensive, costing around 300£. He got it from a family member a while ago.

So maybe I should return the LFD75? It cost me 170£ after all. But it only weighs 19kgs, whereas the other one weighs 33kgs!

Anyway, I need advice on maintaining this battery & how to connect my devices.

What I'm planning to do is use lighter plugs from astronomiser, I'm too much of a nab at DIY to make them myself and they're cheap anyway, so I would pick the cigar lighter plug to crocodile clip adapter with 3 outlets, with those 3 outlets I can power my Canon 1100D with the cigar lighter adapter I bought from astronomiser as well and a lighter plug adapter I bought for my old Inspiron 9400 dell computer of ebay and finally a lighter plug adapter for my mount which I'll also purchase of this site. All USB devices I have can be powered from my laptop as normal, I guess. My laptop's battery is so Rubbish that I'll need constant power from the adapter for sure. Does this sound smart? Is there something else I should consider? Any advice is appreciated.

I would probably stick with the LFD75 although it looks like a duel purpose it will work fine. A deep cycle battery usually has at least 500 charge cycles. The problem with the Sprinter battery is you have no idea what condition it is in or is it still holding a charge?

A trickle charger or solar panel linked to a charge controller should keep the battery tipped up, I use a 100 Watt panel on mine and the controller does the rest and forget about it. A charge controller can cost as little as £10, the panels are usually a £1 a Watt.

£170 seems expensive for a battery if you dont mind me saying, I would have thought about £100 for an 85 Ah leisure battery.

Hopefully something useful here, Carl

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I would probably stick with the LFD75 although it looks like a duel purpose it will work fine. A deep cycle battery usually has at least 500 charge cycles. The problem with the Sprinter battery is you have no idea what condition it is in or is it still holding a charge?

A trickle charger or solar panel linked to a charge controller should keep the battery tipped up, I use a 100 Watt panel on mine and the controller does the rest and forget about it. A charge controller can cost as little as £10, the panels are usually a £1 a Watt.

£170 seems expensive for a battery if you dont mind me saying, I would have thought about £100 for an 85 Ah leisure battery.

Hopefully something useful here, Carl

Thanks for the comment, appreciate the advice. :)

I have no idea about the condition of the Sprinter battery, I just know it was used by the telephone company & this family member was going to use it for his caravan, but didn't need it after all. I think my dad has something I can check it's charge with. He also has a battery charger for a motorcycle battery, think that would be fine for my battery too?

About the price, I knew it was much more expensive than on the internet, but this is basically the only store in the Faroe Islands that specializes in batteries and this is one item I don't want to order over the internet as it's extremely heavy & after shipping/customs and stuff it will probably end up just as expensive. When using this outdoors in a mobile should I get a box to put it in, or maybe put in my car's boot if it's close enough? Or is it getting wet not an issue?

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Sorry Amra should have looked at your location, ref price. Rain generally doesnt effect batteries at 12 Volts but would eventually lead to corrosion of the terminals. If it starts raining put it in the boot and give it a wipe as observing is over in that weather :smiley: .

If the other battery is from a telephone company its worth a charge I would think.

Carl

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If it starts raining put it in the boot and give it a wipe as observing is over in that weather :smiley: .

True, rain = clouds, haha! But was just thinking high humidity/dew etc. but generally it won't even be used if conditions are like that, just don't want to accidentally fry something!
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True, rain = clouds, haha! But was just thinking high humidity/dew etc. but generally it won't even be used if conditions are like that, just don't want to accidentally fry something!

Should have no effect bit of grease on the terminals now and again (corrosion being the main enemy) and a good trickle charge :smiley: .

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I found this charger in the garage: CTEK XS 800 Battery Conditioner, my dad has used it for his motorcycle battery, but he has since got rid of it. Having googled the charger it says that it will charge batteries from 1.2-32AH and maintain batteries up to 100AH, so what does that mean? Can I use it for my 75AH leisure battery and keep it attached all the time? or would it not charge it up after a session?

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Perfect for the job, dosnt need to be on constant. Probably once a fortnight until battery is back up to full charge. It protects the battery from over charge by pulse charging once the battery is full. Works the same way as a solar controller.

Good find! Carl

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have made up a lead to power my 130 p az sky watcher so that it will run off a leisure battery, i have no problems at all its a old battery but stores enough amps for a nights viewing as the scope only draws about 1amp per hour

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