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mitchelln

Deben Tracer 14Ah LiPo battery

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I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to a Tracer LiPo battery. I thought 8Ah was not enough and 22Ah was overkill for my needs (as well as becoming rather expensive).

I finally bought it from FLO who stocked the 8Ah and 22Ah variants, but not the 14Ah. I emailed them and asked and they started stocking them for less than buying from Deben direct. Usual great service from FLO :)

First impressions was "Wow, this is small". Here is a comparison against my existing jump start style battery:

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Okay, the jump start is a 17Ah unit, but you get the idea!

The battery comes with a proprietary connector with a cigar socket at the end for connecting to the scope. It also comes with a cable to allow you to charge it from the socket in your car. Useful for some, not not something I'd normally do. Handily though, the socket is the same as the one on my 300P's mount. So I've used the cable to replace the shoddy SW cable which keeps losing connection during viewing sessions. The Deben cable keeps a nice tight connection, so that's one major annoyance sorted as a bonus.

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A 1.65A mains charger is supplied and it took 6 hours to charge it from the partially delivered state. To fully recharge must be an overnight job. Deben don't seem to sell an uprated charger, so I guess 1.65A is the safe limit they have gone for.

It weighs exactly one kilo and the dimensions are 161 x 115 x 56mm. Really small :) One problem I had before was where to put my lead acid battery. It's bulk meant I either had it on the ground and risked cable tangles, within the mount which then meant I couldn't reach full elevation. I finally had it strapped onto the front of the mount after removing the eyepiece holder. Such issues are gone now. The Tracer sits inside the mount out of the way.

There is a "power gauge" that lights up a set of LEDs depicting how much juice you have left. Unfortunately this is pretty useless as Deben has chosen to use a little recessed button that you can't press with a finger. You have to use something to prod the button. I guess they have done this to avoid the button being accidentally pressed or jammed, but I'm sure a better solution could have been implemented. I couldn't press the button and take a picture at the same time, but it's simply a row of LED's. Three green and two that light orange and then red as the battery gets low.

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It comes with a nice neoprene sleeve. Handy to keep the moisture out and help insulate the battery against cold nights. My only niggle is they haven't allowed for the connector. So the velcro on the tab only just makes contact. A minor point though, especially as most manufacturers these days sell cases as optional extras. So it's nice to have it included.

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In operation it powers my 300P for hours with plenty of capacity left. After a recent 5 hour session I still had 2/3rds left. Any dew heaters etc would obviously cut onto that, but I think a typical session would be achievable even with extras like that. I keep my jump start battery handy for the 12V hairdryer though ;)

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Nice write-up!

I have just taken delivery of a 14ah version today, and am going to try it out on my 250px FlexTube tonight - my old 'jump-starter' that powered a 130p all night only lasted about an hour in the new scope so i needed to upgrade. interesting to see it lasts 5 hours!

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It lasts a lot longer than 5 hours. It still had 2/3rds capacity after that time. In fact, judging by the recharge time, I think it was more than that :)

Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk

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Well, last night I went out for 3 ½ hours, skewed EVERYWHERE! It's still showing full :) 

It fits perfectly under the scope, so no trailing leads!

Definitely a good buy!

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