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Help with powering an imaging set up

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I'm new to Astrophotography and I'm just getting all my equipment together.

I will shortly have the following equipment :-


HEQ5 Pro Mount

SW ED 80 DSPro (imaging Scope) with reducer

SW ST80  (guide Scope)

Canon 450D Modded


and I will be getting a guide camera, something like the ToupTek or similar.


I am thinking of setting everything up with an old computer (19V) with Win8 on, I have already got Stellerium, PHD, EQMod, sharpcap, etc on this computer.  I'm thinking of leaving the old computer running in a box or similar near to the scope then using Team viewer to run everything from my house.

The problem I am having is with the power source to run all the equipment.


I am thinking of getting a regulated power supply and RCD from maplins or similar place to run my equipment when at home but was wondering the best way to set it up.  Would I be best trying to build a power hub (not very good at electrics) and then I can supply the power to the hub then run all my equipment off it, if building a power hub how can I run the computer, will I need some sort of step-up equipment to take the 12v to 19v and likewise for the camera which I think runs at 8v.  If I build a power hub then I think I will be able to get a deep cycle battery to run everything from when out at dark sights.

I have seen the SW powertanks but not sure if these will run the astro imaging equipment long enough, or have enough capacity to attach all the necessary equipment.


I already have a 17ah LifePo4 battery available and can buy one of these from FLO http://www.firstlightoptics.com/batteries-powerpacks/tracer-t-bar-std-to-12v-cigar-socket-025m.html to attach to it and then I will have additional power.


Can anyone offer any advice on how best to set up the power source for the imaging equipment





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Why not use mains and a (or more) converter? As long as you are close to your house, that is the best option.
With a converter you will not have problems with low voltage because of battery drain. You can keep your laptop running with no problems, well... I can go on for a while, but I am sure you get it... Some people will tell you now, that using mains outside is dangerous. Yes, it can be, so you have to take safety precautions like putting the converters in a 'weatherproof' case. But you are not going out in the rain with your equipment, are you? So normal safety measures like a wooden or plastic would suffice. It will stay a bit warm in there, so no condensation.

Just my 2 €c

O... and try to avoid the use of cigarette lighter plugs... they suck!!!

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the trick to know what you need in terms of power (Ah) is to add up all your equipment like:

2 A for the mount + 2,5 A for camera cooling + 2,5 A for dew lints a.s.o. multiply with the hours you will be outside times 2 so you will not completely drain your batteries.
So: 2,5 + 2,5 + 2= 7 x 8 (hours?) x 2= ± 110 Ah. (this is just an example of course) Be sure to get a leasure battery

The best thing would be to use a voltage regulator in combination with the batteries, for a fully charged battery will provide over 13,5 Volts. It would be better for your equipment to stay around 12,5 Volts. They are cheap to buy ands easy to set up. Check google



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Hi. I'm just starting out too. I'd go for mains if you are close to a socket, but I'd say that is the least of the issues.

By far biggest problem I've had -and this makes drift alignment seem easy- which doesn't hit you until it's all out there, is coping with the cables. It's a nightmare. Nothing is long enough, or it gets tangled or the slew pulls something... My refractor is about 100cm long and slewing is hairy to put it mildly. You end up running around the mount with laptop in hand. For your first sessions I'd recommend you stay very close to the telescope. Until I'm more familiar with everything, I've gone back to the handset, plugging stuff in when I'm on the object.

HTH and good luck. It's worth it when it does finally happen.

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