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Got tired of the mess of cables and loose devices I had to always put together and dismantle after each astrophotography session so I figured I'd do something about it. This tray will sit nicely under the tripod and provide a hub for everything including Fused Power, Raspberry Pi, USB Hub, GPS, Dew Heaters, Long Range WiFi etc...

First version will be really crude as I need to have this working in less than a week as I'm going on a holiday taking my astro gear with me.

 

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This is not the final configuration but the first working version I wanted to get done before holidays.

I'll add 4A adjustable DC-DC step up boosters in some of the DC outputs as for example my Atik 383L+ is quite stringent about the input voltage.

23379843_10214663346601191_6424874946698633383_n.jpg

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Since I already received the XL6009 step up boosters I ordered I decided to do some tests with them and ultimately ended up adding one into the system for field testing on my holiday. I adjusted the output voltage to 13.8V and it easily kept it there even if I dropped the input voltage to about 10V. Normally I'm using a small car battery which never should get this low anyway.

Then using a lab power supply with adjustable current limiting feature I hooked up my Atik 383l+ to it. I had to raise the current limit up to 3.5A as in some cases when the cooler was on at full power and the camera was exposing and doing USB comms it was momentarily drawing a lot of current. On average it drew a lot less than that though so I think it's well within the specs of max 4A input current. It did warm up to about 45-50C on higher loads (ambient temp about 22C) but it's totally acceptable. It'll be a lot cooler outside in the field anyway.

I also checked the ripple of the output voltage using a digital storage oscilloscope. It wasn't the cleanest but not too bad either. It got a bit better after adding a 470uF 25V capacitor parallel to the output. The images below show's the AC component of the output voltage under load without and with the 470uF capacitor.

xl6009_ripple_under_load.jpeg

xl6009_ripple_under_load_with_470u_cap.jpeg

Edited by kbrown
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Here's some discussion about the camera producing more noise in low voltage conditions in case you're wondering why I did the above: https://forums.atik-cameras.com/index.php?topic=126.0

I've certainly seen an alarming amount of hot pixels and surprising amount of noise when running the camera directly off of the car battery. From my quick tests last night adding the booster felt like an immediate improvement. I did 10-300s dark exposures at 22C and 2C and the images were a lot cleaner than I can remember from the past. Will do some more tests later.

Edited by kbrown
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