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I am just a beginner and looking for advice on mains power for my setup. I have a

Skwatcher ED 80 with a .085 Flattener.

Skywatcher evo 50 Guidescope fitted with an Atik GP camera.

On the scope I will fit a Canon 80d

I am thinking of a Dribox with  a 4 gang plug extension protected with an RCD plug socket. A  240-12v cigar type transformer with a splitter fitted to take the mount power and the dew heater. Power for the Laptop would also be plugged into the extension in the Dribos as would a powered USB hub and dc power for the Canon. I would be grateful for any feedback as to whether this would be a sensible setup. Also any suggestion as to how Laptops are protected from dew. Thanks in advance.

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It will be interesting to see suggestions. I ran my setup from mains for a couple of weeks with an RCD at the source and dribox but in the end was not too comfortable with it as things can get rather wet overnight. 

I found this thread to be extremely helpful so worth a read though. I've now gone with a regulated power supply and run a 30m 2.5mm cable outside. For PC I've just gone with a very long usb3 cable and run everything from my desktop inside.

 

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The laptop will keep dry in use from self heating. If you disable the various power saving settings (screen blank, disc shutdown etc) that will help it to stay dry.

The danger to the laptop comes when you go indoors. The computer will be cooler than your house and houses are very humid places.

If in doubt, power down the laptop and immediately put it on a radiator for an hour or two.

Hope this helps, David.then power it down

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18 hours ago, Carbon Brush said:

The laptop will keep dry in use from self heating. If you disable the various power saving settings (screen blank, disc shutdown etc) that will help it to stay dry.

The danger to the laptop comes when you go indoors. The computer will be cooler than your house and houses are very humid places.

If in doubt, power down the laptop and immediately put it on a radiator for an hour or two.

Hope this helps, David.then power it down

I would certainly not put a laptop on a radiator even if it is powered off.   You are risking serious damage to the disk drive and the display due to thermal shock. You will also stress all the soldered connections and accelerate the formation of dry joints.  

If its wet with dew then simply bring it indoors and wipe the outer surfaces dry with a towel then let it come up to room temperature over a few hours.

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Thank you wornish for your comments.

The rapid heating is something I do to anything I bring from outside.
The only variations being radiator or hair dryer, depending on the circumstances.

By bringing a device from 0C to say 40C over a short time, you reduce the time that there is condensation inside the equipment.
This minimises electrolytic corrosion.

Stress to soldered joints is minimal compared to the 200C+ up and down cycle over a few seconds that is applied during automated soldering in circuit board manufacture.

Stress to the display assembly is minimal compared to the shock and flexing seen in routine laptop handling.

My advice is based on 40+ years of experience of electronics design and manufacture.

This includes recovering flood damaged assemblies. Not just items suffering condensation.

Environments for my designs being mainly industrial (Alaska to Arabia for temperature) and downhole which is 100C+ with lots of shock and vibration.

I leave it to the reader to decide if my advice is worth more than has been paid for it.

Hope this helps, David.

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You are not the only one with experience, I  have a degree in electronic engineering and started designing mainframe computers back in the early 1970's. 

Putting any electronic device on a radiator is simply asking for trouble IMHO.

As you say its best for people to make their own choice.

 

 

Edited by wornish

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Ultimately the best solution is to try to avoid things getting wet in the first place unless they are specifically designed to do so.

Many people place their laptop etc. in a box, such as one of these plastic storage cases with the folding lid, sat on its side.  Usually the heat from the laptop is enough to ward off the wet nasties, but you can add a small heater to the box if needed (a dew heater).  There are also proprietary laptop igloos, which is what I use, and they are great, but more costly than a box.

220v outside is fine if it is well protected, both from the elements and from an electrical perspective (RCD and mechanical protection).  However, as suggested above, I tend to use a larger supply and only run the 13.8v outside.  The only downside to doing this is the need for larger cabling due to the voltage drop.  With a 13.8v supply and 2.5mm cable over 20m you would be fine.  I use 3mm twin core cables for boats at 10m (the distance is there and back, not just one way) and I have never had an issue and the voltage drop is minimal.

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Thanks to all for info. I am now thinking I will run a mains and usb cable from the house and operate the laptop from inside.

Bob

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I've tried a few different set ups and I can assure you that laptops don't stay dry! I've had them sopping wet with dew on and power saving makes no difference. And fwiw the thermal shock is a terrible idea imho!

I have settled on an Ethernet cable to a USB hub outside and it is absolutely brilliant, all the PC stuff is inside and I've never had a single issue with it (more than can be said for running long USB cables out there)

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This was my post previously and still applies: -

 

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