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MiguelMJr

Keeping Laptop Going

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I will be starting my astro-imaging "career" in earnest in the not to distant future and eventhough I will image from my backyard I also plan to use a dark site that is about a two hours ride. When at to the dark site I would like to make the most of it and stay there imaging from sun-down to sun-up. So my question is.....

How does one keep a laptop powered for eight hours or more? Does one switch batteries at the merdian flip or is there a another/better way.

Thanks,

Miguel

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Never used it for that long, but you could try a cigarette lighter adapter, but you'll need to keep the car running so it won't deplete the car battery.

Mine lasts for about 2 hours or more, with the lid closed down i think it could last some more. Gonna measure it and post here.

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Depending what PC you have can you extend the battery?

I have a Dell Latitude with the extra sized battery fitted and get 8 hours out of it, however be warned battery lifetime under cold conditions can be shorted than expected.

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I will be starting my astro-imaging "career" in earnest in the not to distant future and eventhough I will image from my backyard I also plan to use a dark site that is about a two hours ride. When at to the dark site I would like to make the most of it and stay there imaging from sun-down to sun-up. So my question is.....

How does one keep a laptop powered for eight hours or more? Does one switch batteries at the merdian flip or is there a another/better way.

Thanks,

Miguel

Get yourself a 60Ah hobby battery, hook it up with a crocodile to female cigarette adapter. Get yourself a 12v inverter to 220v 150w, plug it into the cigarette adapter, turn on, plug in laptop - and you're good for at least 12 hours continous use.

I run both laptop and power demanding camera off a 60Ah battery. So far I've ran it for more than 9 hours - and no indication of battery problems.

If you got a heavy mount and heating strips, get a 30Ah battery for that. I use a 30Ah gel battery for my NEQ6 Pro and two heating strips. :)

Dont buy those car jump-start packs. They run out of juice sooo fast. I bought a load of those. Finally went for gel batteries instead. The kind you'd use on a moped, motorcycle, scooter, boat, car etc...

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Thanks for all the suggestions.

Atreta, our dark site doesn't allow cars in the area for telescopes during dark hours so I can't use my car to power anything.  

Baggywrinkle, I will look for a bigger battery for my laptop and see if one is available that will work for 8 hours, the one I have now is good for 4 hours at room temp.

Alveprinsen, if a bigger laptop battery is not the solution then I will try your idea of battery/inverter. I have done this before in industrial applications and it has worked well but there is a lot of lost EMF in the inversion phase. I will need to calculate/test what battery size will get me the 8 hours needed.

Thanks Again for All the Great Suggestions,

Miguel

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It's more efficient to avoid the 12V to Mains stage and instead use a 12V  "Laptop" adaptor. Also some laptop supplies don't like running off  the output generated by cheaper "mains"  inverters...

Peter...

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Alveprinsen, if a bigger laptop battery is not the solution then I will try your idea of battery/inverter. I have done this before in industrial applications and it has worked well but there is a lot of lost EMF in the inversion phase. I will need to calculate/test what battery size will get me the 8 hours needed.

Thanks Again for All the Great Suggestions,

Miguel

The loss of a 150w is about 10%. Just make sure you dont buy the cheapest one. You get what you pay for. :)

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The quad core atom CPUs will last 8 hours like in the Asus t100. Otherwise the cheapo linx tablet for £50 and a USB battery backpack for about £15 will keep you going for 12 hours or so

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I'll be heading down to the battery store the first chance I get and see what they have available. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks,

Miguel

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If you like tinkering with wires why not get two 12v batteries and put them in series to make 24v, purchase a dc-dc converter of ebay, a 5amp one should do that allows you to adjust the voltage down to around 18v for the laptop (check your laptop input voltage could be different).

You could then also have 12v for your mount and other stuff.

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