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stickbow

need a new power pack but which one

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Hi everyone

Yep I need a new power pack for my HEQ5 pro mount, the 2nd halford one has died again so I don't want another one from there, any one know of a good one, been thinking about a Maplins one!

Cheers..

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They all use cheap lead acid batteries, which when they drain get damaged and never recover, drain is not 100% drained but 50% or less. I would suspect yours have both drained too far to be usable and recoverable, the Maplins ones will be much the same as the Halfords ones.

We can use them for our purposes but they were not intended for it so need more care/attention to keep them servicable and working.

Many build their own from a larger leisure battery, not everyone is willing to have a go. A more costly option could be the Li polymer rechargeables from FLO and others these days.

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Thanks

I have not used it for 3-4 months and it has been on charge in the bedroom all that time, I tried it yesterday and the flouresent light died after about 10 minutes and the lights said out of charge but after plugging it in and charging for about 3 minutes it showed fully charged again but today the light died after 2 minutes and so I think it is kapput.

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Think Ronin is correct battery is damaged. To be honest power tanks/packs are rubbish. Get a 100Ah leisure battery and the suitable connectors and you will save a fortune over years. They are heavy but that is the price for reliable power.

Power tanks have all the fancy connections and a big torch but lack the most important bit of the description "power" . To me they are just a long lasting torch. sorry for being blunt, but will save money in the long run and years of service.

Carl

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You couldn't have asked this question at a better time as I'm also looking at a power pack.

I really don't fancy lugging a leisure battery around, would a golf trolley battery be ok?

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I've had a 55Ah golf cart battery for 4 yrs and due to illness haven't used it for around 14 months, it hasn't been charged in all this time but when I re-charged it 4wks ago it was still at 12.4V and after reconditioning works fine.

I was given the battery by a work colleague who retired and couldn't play golf any longer so goodness knows how old it is!

If you go for a gel, deep cycle battery you will be repaid many fold in longevity but you will need to shop carefully because the prices vary wildly, I think you are looking to pay roughly £80 which seems a large initial outlay but will outlast the usual power pack jobbies which can vary between £30 and £55 and last for a very short time particularly if run to below 12V.

As a long shot you can look for deep cycle mobility scooter batteries which come up from time to time in sales

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I have to agree the golf battery would be the ideal compromise for power and weight. With a good charger to look after it.

Carl

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Another thing with these cheap power tanks is the charger you get with em is rubbish.

Mine never charged the battery up fully, when tested with a meter not the stupid LED's, so I adapted my car charger to charge it. It's been ok for 3 years but you can't let them discharge too much.

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Thinking outside the box a little. Do you use your mount close to your house? If you do then what about a mains power supply on an extension lead? I use my scope in my back garden and have a couple of outside sockets, so I run an extension lead out and plug in my Maplin 12v transformer. Now I have constant regular power and there is no chance of it running flat as it is connected to the mains. I used to use one of the Maplin powertanks and it did work with my 127 SLT, but once I started using my CG5 it couldn't cope. Of course if you are planning to use it away from a mains source then forget what I just said;-)

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Hi everyone

Yep I need a new power pack for my HEQ5 pro mount, the 2nd halford one has died again so I don't want another one from there, any one know of a good one, been thinking about a Maplins one!

Cheers..

I have 2 of the halford ones but they are the ones without the compressor, one for my scope and one for my heat tape.

So far they have functioned fine but my observation times are usually limited to 3 to 4 hours so there isnt too much drain.

I have noticed that the charge times are getting longer so I assume they must be going the same way.

I think a decent 80+Amp hour deep cycle is a must, a little diy to put it in a box with some car lighter sockets like others on here have done and you should be good for at least year or two.

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I've had a 20Ah wheelchair battery in my Celestron Powerpack for the last 4-5yrs and it's never let me down (the original one died cos I didn't charge it for 6mths). Also my Maplins 5 in 1 powerpack (original battery) for 3-4yrs has never failed - and I've started flat car batteries as well as astro use with that one. Both have always been recharged with the original supplied chargers. I think it depends mostly on how well you store them and how frequently they get charged or re-charged after use.

However - if you want to run the mount, dewbands, cameras, and a laptop off one - don't expect it to last more than 5mins (if it doesn't explode first lol). You would need a marine, caravan, or leisure battery with high amp hours for that (eg 85 or 110 ah) in order to last through an overnight session.

But all batteries need a good level of care. Mine are stored in the warmth of the house but away from direct heat, and after a session of 4-6hrs I recharge it for 8-12hrs. I never run dew bands from them - I use a 5a mains power supply with a ciggy socket for that. The powerpacks are used just to power my mounts and start the odd car at a star party. Hth :)

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I have a Maplin 17Ah jump starter and it has been absolutely great. I typically start setting up at 20:00 and pack up around 03:00 the next day (7 hours ish). I don't get to go out every night so I am usually able to run the full 30+ hour charge in between uses. Usually after 7 hours or so it still shows at just above 100% charge and even when I left it running in my shed by mistake it only got down to about 60% charge. I run an AZ goto mount, 2 dew strips and controller, hitecastro dc focus and a 1000D.

If I wanted to go out every night though I might need to look at something with a shorter optimal charge time. I think the key with the jump starters is to do that full charge between uses. Suits me but might not suit everyone.

hth

Chris

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