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mhard26339

New Observatory in Norfolk UK

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Hi All, The continuing saga of no charge from the solar panels in November!.  The induction loop package duly arrived from the US and worked However, trials did not prove as successful as I hoped, to get maximum transfer the distance between coils had to 1mm and uniforn to each other, not a serious problem but the main failure was from the battery charger point of view in that the one I bought senses the condition of the battery (essential I thought due to remote operation) and regulates the charge, with the inductive loop it did not sense a battery load at all so no charge!!

I then turned to a version of Steve's (Steppenwolf) version above and hopefully improved on it?? My initial idea was to use spring loaded carbon brushes from a washing machine, swiping copper plate, they would ride up into their housing and transfer the 12V seamlessly; upon the first rotation the brushes did not ride up, broke the brush and jammed the dome rotation :hmh:.

Next try was to use braided cable to swipe the plate and with a block of foam inside the loop to help hold the shape and give an element of  more pressure (although not needed) it works a treat. The woodwork skill is not the best, it may be tidied up later (sorry Tinker1947 not to your standard) but it works and November/early December should not be a problem with dead batteries any more; I will continue to use the solar panels for the rest of the year but now I have the alternative fix, the charger on/off is controlled by the APC 7920

 

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DSC_1053.JPG

Edited by mhard26339

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Well done, Mike, I'm pleased to see that you have a working solution - this year, I too got close to running out of charge as the trees on the South Downs and the low altitude of the Sun meant no direct sunlight falling on the panel.

Can I make a tiny safety suggestion? Cover the gap between the two copper strips with a ridge of wood or plastic to ensure that it is impossible for one of the braids to distort over time and short across the plates as this will most likely destroy the charger or worse become a fire risk.

Hopefully, your charging saga is now at an end!

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5 minutes ago, steppenwolf said:

Well done, Mike, I'm pleased to see that you have a working solution - this year, I too got close to running out of charge as the trees on the South Downs and the low altitude of the Sun meant no direct sunlight falling on the panel.

Can I make a tiny safety suggestion? Cover the gap between the two copper strips with a ridge of wood or plastic to ensure that it is impossible for one of the braids to distort over time and short across the plates as this will most likely destroy the charger or worse become a fire risk.

Hopefully, your charging saga is now at an end!

Thanks Steve, on my way out to the Observatory now!

Regards

Mike

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On 30/12/2016 at 13:29, steppenwolf said:

Well done, Mike, I'm pleased to see that you have a working solution - this year, I too got close to running out of charge as the trees on the South Downs and the low altitude of the Sun meant no direct sunlight falling on the panel.

Can I make a tiny safety suggestion? Cover the gap between the two copper strips with a ridge of wood or plastic to ensure that it is impossible for one of the braids to distort over time and short across the plates as this will most likely destroy the charger or worse become a fire risk.

Hopefully, your charging saga is now at an end!

As you can see Steve perspex added to ensure that stray strands do not short out the charger. Also added a shot of my new set-up a Willam Optic GT-81 triplet + Lakeside focuser, laser pointer and Baader Skysurfer V. Still using the Trius 814 OSC, cannot afford to change to Mono and filters yet.

 

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DSC_1076.jpg

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Looks a great setup, can I have your thoughts on the lakeside focuser please, looking at getting one for my GT 81, or my other choice is a moonlight focuser and a moonlight motor focuser to go with it, although this adds another £500 to the bill, is the spend every done L.O.L

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54 minutes ago, mhard26339 said:

As you can see Steve perspex added to ensure that stray strands do not short out the charger. Also added a shot of my new set-up a Willam Optic GT-81 triplet + Lakeside focuser, laser pointer and Baader Skysurfer V. Still using the Trius 814 OSC, cannot afford to change to Mono and filters yet.

I'm much happier with that safeguard in place!

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1 hour ago, red dwalf said:

Looks a great setup, can I have your thoughts on the lakeside focuser please, looking at getting one for my GT 81, or my other choice is a moonlight focuser and a moonlight motor focuser to go with it, although this adds another £500 to the bill, is the spend every done L.O.L

Hi,

To date the focuser has worked OK. Load in the driver but you must load the Utils program to do the calibration, after that it works OK with Maxim, Focusmax but it will not allow you to connect to the Utils program whilst connected to POTH in ASCOM, a bit quirky but when you know it is OK. When I had it operational for a couple of days on start-up it was not recognised by Maxim, Focusmax and would not connect for no apparent reason. I checked all of the plugs and sprayed with cleaner and when switched on again it was recognised but it had lost its calibration. After a straight-forward calibration all has been well since. I don't know what happened but I operate remotely so sitting in Spain I remain a bit nervous but all OK at the moment. For the money it seems a shoe in for the GT-81 and the service from Ian King was excellent. If anything untoward happens I will post but at the moment, silence is golden (from me not the Hmmm of the focuser motor).

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I find if I switch everything on and don't try to connect to the Lakeside focuser in Maxim immediately then it won't connect after a while unless I switch it off and on again.

Dave

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57 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

I find if I switch everything on and don't try to connect to the Lakeside focuser in Maxim immediately then it won't connect after a while unless I switch it off and on again.

Dave

Hi Dave, I had not had that but as I said I do think the software is a bit quirky but at £305 I consider it a good buy. Before I changed to the GT-81 I used a Starizona for my SCT at that now retails at £800+ the focuser but I must admit it is a very smooth bit of kit.

Regards

Mike

Edited by mhard26339

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