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I'm going to stop asking questions soon.

Looking at one of these power tanks

http://www.firstlightoptics.com/batteries-powerpacks/skywatcher-powertank-17ah.html

To power whichever mount I finally decide on and, presumably through one of the USB outputs, the QHY5 that I intend to use as a guide camera.

I was also wondering, from the other outputs on it, what else I might be able to power?

Has anyone powered a DSLR, Dew Heaters, CCD cameras from one?

I was going to go with mains power, but this doesn't seem to bad from a value for money point of view... especailly as I have been eating D-CELL batteries in the EQ3-2.

Cheers

Mark

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I have the smaller version and I think they are not very good value for money compared to bog standard Maplin power tanks which come with the car type 12V sockets and some have USB sockets..  There was a thread earlier this week for a Lion power tank at about the same power output and compact form factor.

I have run a cooled QHY6 CCD from the smaller version.  I found powering a mount needed more  for long periods.

Lion power supply

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/242573-power-supply-potential/

One advantage of the Maplin power supplies is that you can charge it from the mains whilst using it.  Which you can't do with the Starwatcher/Celestron power tanks.

Edited by gkec
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I have same tank with skywatcher badge on,

for me i found this to be a good purchase, i get a few long sessions with each charge and plenty of power remains when you get recharge indicators.

i power mine with a 3m cigarette cable, with hindsight 2m would have done.

Al

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I have the smaller version and I think they are not very good value for money compared to bog standard Maplin power tanks which come with the car type 12V sockets and some have USB sockets..  There was a thread earlier this week for a Lion power tank at about the same power output and compact form factor.

I have run a cooled QHY6 CCD from the smaller version.  I found powering a mount needed more  for long periods.

Lion power supply

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/242573-power-supply-potential/

One advantage of the Maplin power supplies is that you can charge it from the mains whilst using it.  Which you can't do with the Starwatcher/Celestron power tanks.

Thanks GKEC, that looks interesting. The power tank at FLO does come with two Car Type sockets from what I understand and 2 USB outputs, so perhaps it is slightly different from the one you have? That little charger looks more portable though!

I have same tank with skywatcher badge on,

for me i found this to be a good purchase, i get a few long sessions with each charge and plenty of power remains when you get recharge indicators.

i power mine with a 3m cigarette cable, with hindsight 2m would have done.

Al

Cheers Al, how long is a long session? Are we talking a few or several hours?

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Thanks GKEC, that looks interesting. The power tank at FLO does come with two Car Type sockets from what I understand and 2 USB outputs, so perhaps it is slightly different from the one you have? That little charger looks more portable though!

Cheers Al, how long is a long session? Are we talking a few or several hours?

Yes the smaller one doesn't have the USB sockets. But my Maplin power tank was on special offer at about £35 and matched the bigger Skywatcher. Even without the offer they are cheaper.

Whatever you buy when you do kill it, which I have with both of mine,  just take it apart and replace the battery.

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I think you need to take care with how much you expect to power using these, my experience suggests that when you start added dew heaters etc the accuracy of the goto mount starts to suffer. Maybe I have a power tank made on the proverbial Friday afternoon!

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Hello marky, my sessions are usually 2 to 4 hours a time, a few times a week,

i have had since november and have only charged 3 times including initial charge.

i move my scope about quite a lot with the goto and always tracking something so constantly running.

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I have the same one. It powers my mounts, my laptop, a videocam & monitor. I use a 12V hub with 4 ports. And it can jump-starts a car.

It's not just good for astronomy - it's great for emergencies as well.

Dave

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I was looking at these and was advised against them and go down the leisure battery route, I still dont know what to do yet but got plenty of time on my hands to think about it

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The "probem" is the nature of the battery used, they are standard lead acid type batteries and suffer when they get half drained or less.

The purpose they are best suited to is being used sort of short and sharp then recharged - car battery set up where you take a hefty kick from the battery to start the car then it recharges from the alternator.

In astronomy you drain it slowly, and you often only stop when it will no longer drive the mount. The long slow drianage is not good for it and when it can no longer supply the power its future efficency is reduced and will get worse.

If you have a 17Ah tank and draw at say 4Ah are you going to stop after 2 hours?

I mean STOP, set a count down alarm and when it goes off after 120 minutes you stop mid exposure on an object that is imaging well ?

These power tanks are from the car world and are meant for emergency use, astrophotography is not "emergency" useage in nature.

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deep cycle batteries and leisure batteries are designed for a slow drain though aint they?

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The "probem" is the nature of the battery used, they are standard lead acid type batteries and suffer when they get half drained or less.

The purpose they are best suited to is being used sort of short and sharp then recharged - car battery set up where you take a hefty kick from the battery to start the car then it recharges from the alternator.

In astronomy you drain it slowly, and you often only stop when it will no longer drive the mount. The long slow drianage is not good for it and when it can no longer supply the power its future efficency is reduced and will get worse.

If you have a 17Ah tank and draw at say 4Ah are you going to stop after 2 hours?

I mean STOP, set a count down alarm and when it goes off after 120 minutes you stop mid exposure on an object that is imaging well ?

These power tanks are from the car world and are meant for emergency use, astrophotography is not "emergency" useage in nature.

Thanks Ronin, it is interesting, in that case, that they are touted so much for astronomy purposes? Potentially misleading for novices like me?

The leisure batteries look like a good option, but the price puts me off at the moment, and also the way to power several things from one battery.

Maybe I will go back to the mains supply to start off with as i will be mainly imaging from home to start off with - I was trying to get all my kit in one go and from one place, but FLO were out of the Baader adapters, so was looking for alternatives....

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I have only been in this game since november, so far it performs faultlessly and i am more than pleased with it.

i am in no position to comment on the other types of tanks that have been suggested by others with a hell of a lot morevexperience in astronomy and associated equipment than me.

Like you i thouht it would be easier getting everything at once from same place.

at least if or when i do require another tank there is plenty advice on here!

al

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I've seen a similar 12v 5A power supply on another site for £25, so I might just go the mains route for now, as I am never far from home at the moment and will be controlling through the Laptop which will, presumably, power the guide cam via USB.

There are just too many choices!

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In my experience leisure batteries are the way to go. They might weigh a tonne but they will power you all night flawlessly and are fine to be drained and recharged. Mine has close to 100Ah of capacity and I have run my GOTO, Laptop, DSLR and dew heaters for over four hours with no issues.

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Hi JIm - stupid question from the new guy then - how do you power all that from one battery - presumably you need some adapters/junctions?

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Hi JIm - stupid question from the new guy then - how do you power all that from one battery - presumably you need some adapters/junctions?

Here's a thread I started some time ago detailing my battery box. Yes you are right - I have connected up some cigarette lighter style sockets for use with the battery.

http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/164296-leisure-battery-box/

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If you are anywhere near mains and can keep it somewhere dry, then this is the one to get.

http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/375w-linear-dc-variable-voltage-bench-power-supply-rp10l?gclid=CPmeyJ_JocUCFQcYwwodXbYA_Q

30A will take care of any needs you are likely to have and no worries about it running flat.

Also it is a linear power supply rather than the cheaper switched mode supplies...so no electrical noise to upset your mount.

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What about one of these;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221624168583?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

In fact you could have 3 for the price of the power tank.

I use one with one of these with crock clips instead of the car plug;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-Way-Multi-Socket-Auto-Car-Cigarette-Lighter-Splitter-USB-Plug-Adapter-Charger-/191012359340?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2c79394cac

If you have to have a 12v  mains powered supply, this is great value;

http://www.rcmf.co.uk/4um/page/139/

.

Edited by keithatrochdale
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One thing to remember is that powering your guide cam from a battery wont necessarily connect the cam to the laptop as i'm not sure how many of these batteries with usb connectors actually act like a usb hub but simply just charge things i.e. Phones/tablets.

I' m new to the whole leaisure battery game myself and am just getting to grips with the extra bits and peices to actually make it work myself :)

Good luck

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Good point about the camera connection!  :grin: I hadn't really thought about that..... :rolleyes:

Anyway, thanks for all the comments again - I think I am going to start off with mains power just to get started and, while I am getting used to the mount, I'll do some more research into a proper battery set up like some of those above. Cheers!

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The usb sockets on battery packs are just for power...no data functions.

if you can work with mains power, it is a much better option than batteries... no worries about losing power half way through a session and no problem with heavy loads.

You do need to keep the supply dry and plug in via an RCB for safety....otherwise you really will have no worries...ever! :eek:

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I don't want to over-spec power source for my SW MAK127 GOTO investing in 100Ah power tanks.

I was thinking about these smaller power batteries:

http://www.hardwarexpress.co.uk/12v-20ah-vrla-deep-cycle-battery-2921-p.asp

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221624168583?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

then this cigarette power socket adaptor with clips

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-Battery-Terminal-Clips-Cigarette-Lighter-Power-Socket-Adaptor-Van-Car-Auto-/390712523840?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item5af847fc40

plus this junction

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-Way-Multi-Socket-Auto-Car-Cigarette-Lighter-Splitter-USB-Plug-Adapter-Charger-/191012359340?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2c79394cac

what 12V charger do you suggest?

what do you think about this one?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Car-Charger-to-DC-2A-Power-Supply-For-LED-Strip-lights-12V-Truck-Cigarette-Plug-/391156086836?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item5b12b83834

Please can you suggest any good dew heater with cig plug for MAK127.

I am not going to connect more things to this system.

Please advise. Thank you

Powering all this stuff is quite challenging, I mean if you want to add a camera, laptop and a microwave. :)

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