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gerardsheldon

HEQ5 and tracer lithium polymer battery

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I tested the tracer polymer battery over a six hour period and although the red light on the HEQ5 flashed most of the time, and more rapidly as time went on, the mount moved so that the time on setting circles changed by six hours, suggesting the mount will track OK.  (the test was carried out during the day).  I did not try to get the telescope to point in a different direction using the handset.

1) Should I be bothered by the flashing lights on the HEQ5 mount?

2) Is tracer misleading people by saying their batteries are 12 volts?  (they say that their discharge curves are flat)

I found that the battery's voltage falls.  Below is from the Tracer datasheet.

---------------------------------------------------------- 

Built-in Fuel Gauge - 5 colour LED fuel gauge mounted externally to show charge level. LED Status:

3 green & 2 red: Battery fully charged 11.7V

2 green & 2 red: Over 50% capacity 11.4V

1 green & 2 red: Over 20% capacity 11.1V

2 red: Less than 20% capacity 10.7V 1 red:

Less than 10% capacity 10.3V No lights: Battery empty 8.25V 

----------------------------------------------------

Thanks

Gerard

 

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My HEQ5 light never flashes, always a solid red. What I do know is it really is much happier above 13v. batteries and PSU's i've tried in the past that measure 12v can throw up errors on the handset or can give awful guiding. 

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How many amp hours is the battery ? I have 2 X 22amp hour and they read 14+ volts when on charge which drops to 13.4 in use but stays at that level in use all night for a couple of days at least and still show 3 green 2 red LEDs

Dave

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Just a thought. What power cable are you using? If the cable or one of the connectors  you are using is damaged this can cause low voltage.  Also too light a gauge wire can drop voltage.

Edited by johninderby

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I believe the Tracers are LiFePO and they will start initially at 12 volts but drop rapidly to around 11.5v.

Strange the lesser cost Li Ion batteries start a bit higher in voltage and if memory is right do not drop quite as much, they could run most of the time at around 11.8 volts.

Flashing light on the mount is under voltage so tracking may be also be a little low, which is no good. Also it will give up at some time and part way through a session is not what you want.

Yes they are 12 volts, but not for very long, probably 5 minutes of initial life when fully charged and maybe only when new. For that you would really need one that is rated at around 13 volts, maybe a bit more. Check out a motor cycle Lithium Battery as they are rated at 13.2v. They only come is small capacities. 4Ah or 5Ah being common before the cost escalates.

LiFePO are good as they maintain charge longer, you do not have to charge them as often, you can leave them longer. But if you use one and then recharge and either use the equipment regularily or check the charge at intervals of 2 or 3 months they would seem to have little advantage.

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Thanks for your posts. the model is a 8 Ah Li polymer tracer battery. Model is BP2544.  I am bit confused as the HEQ operating voltage is between 11 volts and 15 volts and on that basis the Li polymer should be OK.  The flashing lights is warning that the voltage is low but perhaps not too low.  The light flashes more rapidly when the voltage drops further.   However, there was one post above that says the HEQ5 is happier above  13volts.  I'll probably just get another battery as I don't to take the risk of wasting my time.   By the way, I find typing here very slow for some reason and the computer can freeze.

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Hi Gerard. Apologies for the slow reply. For some reason I missed the usual notification of reply.

This battery type will give <12V initially, dropping to 11V at the end of discharge.

With the benefit of hindsight, a LiFePO4 battery would be better. For example the Tracer BP2607, or similar.
These output a higher voltage. Starting at just over 13V and dropping to 12V when empty.

For dew heaters and the like, the lower voltage is OK.
Depending on the mount, it might be fussy about the lower voltage. This comment is to cover other mounts. Not just yours.

If was buying for a mount, it would be the higher voltage LiFePO4 type.
These tend to have better life expectancy in terms of charge/discharge cycles.
I have just used a 40Ah version in an industrial application. Very pleased with the performance. But at £550 + VAT I expect it work well!

HTH, David.

 

 

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The discharge curve is very telling LifePo4 vs Lead acid batteries.

 

 

44E050CC-F8E0-4C1E-9CAB-14753D89EBEB.jpeg

Edited by johninderby

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here is the discharge curve for Lithium Polymer. Not Great for powering an NEQ6 Pro. THats why i went for the LiPo4 which suited me better.

 

 

Capaciteit_zpsq1viocvl.jpg

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