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Astroblagger

Getting my mobile imaging campervan set up advice.

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Hello

Iv had to move back to the city from the country a while back, which means i can no longer image from a garden with a 240v power supply, and as im 3 floors up in a flat in the city i need to take my imaging gear and battery's etc a 1 hour drive to dark skies and set up to image.

So.......... I have a campervan so would like to have my netbook and battery's within the van (to stay warm) only prob im thinking is the distance of the cables to the mount and scope.

Im not sure the cables are long enough to  feed through the back door and set up the table in the back of the van, but if i use longer cables to to the atik camera and finder guider will this have a detrimental effect? as when iv tried to use longer USB's before they dont connect or there possibly isnt enough power? Also having longer power leads to my battery will this not increase the resistance? so require more power? 

my gear is as per in my signature, any advice before i try and spend loads of time on trial and error will be appreciated.

Thanks.

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This would depend on the location but could you not back up behind the mount to then use standard 3m usb leads?

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How about having the netbook and batteries at the mount, then use teamviewer on another pc or tablet in the van thereby keeping usb leads to a minimum length and yourself toasty warm for the majority of the session?! The other bonus is that you can then easily fiddle about to achieve focus etc at the mount, rather than moving back and forth from the van (unless you have autofocus, of course).

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Get yourself an active USB repeater cable.

I run a 10 metre USB repeater cable to a cheap 7 port USB hub - from this I run the mount (NEQ6) , 2 cameras one guiding one acquiring and a starlight Express automatic USB filter wheel.  

Laptop stays inside with me in the warm :) 

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usb repeater cable sounds like the way to go, is this off a battery? or 240volt supply? (which i dont have) do i need to boost the voltage of the usb? my point is to sit inside the van toasty once set up and check the images as they download.also with the battery's sitting outside this will kill them abit they dont like the cold too much.

 

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Edited by Astroblagger

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For power, I would seriously consider a small generator.

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22 minutes ago, Astroblagger said:

so if i run 2 usb active extension cables from the atik and qhy5 to my netbook that should work ok?

Don't see why not. Have a hunt around though as there are versions with 4 port hubs in the end of the cable so you would only need one.

They are powered over the USB port so no real need for an external power source. Just make sure your netbook kicks out the same voltage to the USB ports when on battery as it does when on mains. An inverter may be a good solution or you may find your imaging time severley curtailed.

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10 hours ago, Astroblagger said:

does the usb hub need power

That depends on how the devices you are using with said hub are powered. If they bring their own supply or consume less than around 500 mA i.e. 2.5W in total (if you use two devices and distribute the 5 V from the Laptop) you should be fine, but as you wrote, they are powered via USB. Maybe have a look at their respective data sheets? Personally, I would go for an active hub.

Edited by freiform

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