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Looks like my Lipo project so far may be working good, ran a trial last night with a 3200Mah 3 cell Lipo from my RC airplane, the battery is an 11.1V nominal charge (uncharged) but charges up to 12.6V (4.2V per cell fully charged). All Lipo batteries display nominal charge capacity, which can be misleading because when charged, they jump up in voltage past displayed voltage.
I wanted to see how long that went for before using one of my larger 5000Mah batts, didn’t take much more than $5 for a 2.5mm connector with 6ft cable included and a Deans connector on other end for the battery. I have a small voltage meter we RC guys use to monitor battery levels per cell and combined voltage, meter just keeps displaying levels constantly then emits a buzz when it drops to pre programmed level. The loud buzz I muffled to a pitiful hum by dropping some hot glue over the little speaker holes, last thing I need is an 80 decibel buzz at 2am in my yard.
I set buzz for 3.5V per cell which is lowest you want to drain a Lipo per cell, after slewing around manually more times than I can remember I still had enough juice to slew around for another hour if i wanted, I was mimicking a nights slewing around and I think after I slewed around on both axis simultaneously on and off for 40 min I pretty much covered a nights worth.
the test will be in the field, if this battery doesn’t cut it I’m sure the 5000Mah will do the trick. I was watching for any shenanigans from the scope as the level dropped but nothing, no glitches or twitching of the controller display, all remained solid.
The next morning i turned on the scope (without recharging battery) and again spent the better part of an hour until i was just bored slewing the scope around, i was afraid to burn out a motor with constant back and forth slewing with a short pause of course.
i am now convinced that this 3200mah battery not much bigger than the average candy bar will last a whole night out and more! fantastic to know that when i drag the scope out for short periods locally (won't need heat strip those times) that this battery will be fine.
i was dreading having to take my 50Lb deep cycle marine battery every time id like to go for a short local 2hr outreach session, on those long drive dark sky all night sessions yes i will need heat and my marine battery but those a few compared to
short local sessions. I can now fit my power supply into my pocket and that is just GOLD!!
My lovely 8" LX200 Classic has been de-mounted from my observatory pier and I'm selling a load of accessories that used to be used with it.
8" Bahtinov Mask - SOLD Astrozap 8" dew shield - SOLD Pair of 5" Asymetric mounting rings - £22 Astroengineering 3D counterbalance system with 2kg counterweight - £45 Baader SCT Crayford Focuser - SOLD All prices include postage to UK mainland
Both remaining items for £62 posted
I have a venerable old Meade LX200 Classic which I drive using the Meade LX200 Classic and Autostar #494, #495, and #497 (combined telescope/focuser, 5.0.4) driver on an ASCOM6.1 platform on my Windows 7 Pro 64 bit computer.
Last night all was running well with Cartes du Ciel,(CdC) PHD guiding and APT camera control all connected simultaneously with no problems. CdC is used for GOTOs, PHD for guiding and ASCOM talks to the mount for plate solving and for dithering.
Half way through the night I shut down APT and relaunched it, only to find that it wouldn't connect to the scope. On testing, I found that in fact this problem was not restricted to APT. What had happened is that I could connect to the scope via ASCOM with any of these pieces of software one at a time, but regardless of the order I launched the software, not two programs simulateously. (I checked that PHD was set to server mode).
I have tried uninstalling the Meade drivers and ASCOM itself and installing the latest version of each but I still get the same problem.
ScopeSleeper for Meade LX200
AC399 Scope-Sleeper Dongle
A simple but effective device that allows you to leave your LX200GPS or Classic powered up continuously (probably the best way to store this type of scope in a observatory) retaining sky alignment but with the drive disabled. Scope-Sleeper should only be used with telescopes set-up in polar mode.
Only £5.00 + £1.99 Postage
By Emmanuel Marchal
Here we go. It's been a long long time I've been wanted to have my own obsy. Having recently (2y ago ) upgraded my scope to a LX200 10", I found that setting up that scope was no longer a 10 min operation and as a result, my observations got severely reduced to close to nothing. I have to admit I've taken on a full house renovation last year with my family and 2 young children so been quite busy. But now that the house is done, 2016 will be all about getting the garden done and that mean a new shed.... which has to have space for the telescope. The old shed was a simple 7x4, so it makes sense to upgrade to 13x7 doesn't it?! A small spot for the lawn mower and the rest for the scope plus maybe a warm room.
Still working on exact plan and dimensions so I will start posting more soon and keen to get feedback. One thing for sure is I've decided to build it from scratch rather than buy. just much more fun.
One first question is wether i need a concrete slab or concrete foundations or i can simply lay it on top of stone tiles. The garden is well protected so not worried about wind. Thoughts?