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Help with Equipment list/Upgrades


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Good morning guys & gals,

I am looking at upgrading my equipment would love some input from you all to ensure I am on the right path in terms of the upgrades I am planning.

My current set up is as follows;

- Sky guider pro mount

- William Optics wedge for Sky guider pro

- William Optics Z73 III APO (430mm refractor) weighing about 2.83 KG

- William Optics Adjustable Flattener + M48 Ring adapter

- Modified Canon 600D

- Sky-watcher 3/8" steel tripod 

- Intervalometer/USB Dew heater/Red dot finder scope

I am looking to make the jump to a more suitable GoTo mount capable of tracking to take the next step in my deep sky AP, while the above equipment will then be reserved for nightscape/Milkyway imaging with my Samyang 14mm f/2.8

My current basket on the FLO (of course!) website is as follows;

- Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro 

- ZWO ASIair plus, ASI120MM-Mini and Mini guide scope bundle (The guide scope being a 30mm f4 I believe)

- Celestron Lithium 13.2 Ah LiFePO4 Powertank Pro

I plan to upgrade the main imaging camera in a few months, once I am settled with guiding etc. If I am not mistaken, the ASIair plus kit will work with my Canon DSLR until then.

I was going to try really stretch my budget to go for the EQR-R6 Pro for the large weight capacity, but I am not convinced it will actually pay dividends for a long time (no plans to upgrade my scope or go heavy anytime soon, and even then I should still have wiggle room) and money is tight as a student. :D 

My questions;

Do you think the Celestron Lithium 13.2 Ah LiFePO4 Powertank Pro is appropriate to power my set up for a reasonable amount of time? I do not have a backyard to image from, so I only ever travel out to remote dark sky locations to image. It would ideally power the full rig (- minus the dew heater and tablet used for ASIair, no laptop involved)

I feel dumb for asking this one...The ASIair plus doesn't need an actual internet connection does it? Just to be within range of the tablet/phone commanding it? As I plan on being out in the sticks under a nice dark sky.

 

Thank you guys, I am not that technically minded and have no experience with this equipment, so I appreciate the guidance. 

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If I am understanding this right, and it is almost certain I am mistaken;

Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro - 12v 2 amps

ZWO ASIair plus - 12v 6 amps

ASI120MM-Mini guide camera - 12v 3 amps

ZWO ASI 183MM-PRO USB 3.0 Cooled Mono Camera (Future camera) - 12v 5 amps 

I tried to find max power draw on each item to factor in for less than ideal circumstances. And the power bank above apparently is 13.22 Ah at 12v

So with the introduction of the ZWO ASI 183MM-PRO USB 3.0 Cooled Mono Camera in a few months, I would require more power I believe?

That and the power bank has a telescope power port 12v at 5000 mA and a Car battery adapter port 12v at 10A (plus 2 5v outlets)

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Your amp figures look out to me. 6A for an ASIAir? A Pi4 only draws 3A max that is under heavy load and will often run happily on 2A.

3A for a guide camera and 5A for the main camera seems incredibly high as well. The guide cam I would have thought only draws milliamps and OK my camera is a Starlight Xpress with a small CCD but even with the cooler and two fans running full pelt barely draws an amp.

That said a 5A power bank isn't huge and I would have thought you'd get 2-3 hours from it - once up and running and slewed to target is expect you to be drawing 2-3 amps per hour. 

Edited by dannybgoode
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2 hours ago, dannybgoode said:

Your amp figures look out to me. 6A for ab ASIAir? A Pi4 only draws 3A max that is under heavy load and will often run happily on 2A.

3A for a guide camera and 5A for the main camera seems incredibly high as well. The give cam I would have thought only draws milliamps and OK camera is a Starlight Xpress with a small CCD but even with the cooler and two fans running full pelt barely draws an amp.

That said a 5A power bank isn't huge and I would have thought you'd get 2-3 hours from it - once up and running and slewed to target is expect you to be drawing 2-3 amps per hour. 

Yeah I think I misinterpreted the figures a bit! 

I will take another look soon and have another go soon, thank you for the help :)

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Posted (edited)

I found somebody else noting their findings when testing similar equipment to what I am planning on getting;

ASIair Plus draws 0.2 - 0.4 amp alone 

The ASIair + HEQ5 + ASI guide camera + ASI MM camera draws just over 1 amp imaging and 1.5 amp while slewing. Seems much more reasonable. I know the cooled cameras draw a bit more, so a rough estimate could be 1.5 -2.0 amp for my setup perhaps? Unless it's a massive difference 

 

Edited by Iem1
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Assuming between 2 ah and 3 ah draw, that battery should last between 4 - 6 hours if I am not mistaken? (with the full kit, including cooled camera)

Any other advice/input welcome. Looking to order everything soon :)

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Just a cautionary note

Useable battery capacity is diminished the colder the battery gets

Either allow for the reduced capacity at low temperature or make some provision to keep the battery warm before (and during) use.

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Slight change of plan

I have ordered the EQ6-R Pro & the Celestron Lithium 13.2 Ah LiFePO4 Powertank Pro from FLO 

I have been trying to convince myself for the last week that the HEQ5 was sufficient, which it would have undoubtedly been for the most part. But the big payload difference, and spec differences just make too much sense for the sake of ~£400 all things considered. Completely future proof. The mount is the most important part of the setup, so I do not think I will regret my decision.

Made the 'mistake' of settling for a Sky Guider pro with a 430mm APO as my first rig, taught me a lot of things and had a heck of a lot of fun, but it has serious/obvious limitations. Reserved for nightscapes now.

Will be a couple of months before I look at purchasing guiding etc (Will test and reassess power situation then) as this broke the bank on an already student budget, Merry New Year to me :D 

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