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Powering all astrophotography equipment with a single source


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Hello,

I am in the process of setting up an imaging platform and would greatly appreciate some feedback on how to power the setup. My component list is as follows:

  • GEM45 mount
  • 107PHQ refractor (yet to arrive)
  • IMX571 mono cam (yet to arrive)
  • 50mm guide scope and QHY 290M guide cam
  • Pegasus Pocket Powerbox Micro (yet to arrive)
  • 7 port powered USB hub (yet to arrive)
  • Pi with Astroberry

The platform would be setup around 10m away from the house, with the option to use an extension power lead from house to mount . I am trying to avoid power cabling as much as possible and have seen a few posts which suggest that I could use the Nevada PSW-30 as a single source to power the entire rig, with room for expansion. Which brings me to my questions:

1. How do I connect the Nevada to the Pegasus Powerbox? The Nevada has binding posts as output, while the Pegasus has a standard 2.1mm DC jack. Do I need to make my own power cable?

3K7vdUC.png

 

2. Once I have the above power connection sorted, what would be the ideal location (in terms of equipment safety from elements, power distribution etc) of the Nevada? Would it be better to either:

  a) Keep the Nevada (mounted inside some protective box) near the rig and run a 10m extension lead from the house?

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b) Keep the Nevada in the house and run a 10m DC power cable from Nevada to the rig?

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3. If I end up using all 4 of the DC power jacks from the Pegasus and I need more, how would I get this (assuming that I can't source power from the USB)?

4. In a set up like this, do I need to use Powerpole connectors at all? If yes, at which entry/exit points in the rig would I use them?

 

Thanks very much.

Felix

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Nothing wrong with 12v cable to the rig as long as you use good quality cable. I run a 2.5mm² 2 core cable from my shed to the mount over 10m. You just need to output more than 12v from the PSU. I use a Nevada linear supply and its set to output 13.8v. With everything running, mount, camera, focuser, dew straps it only drops down to 13.1 volts. I've seen more issues with people running out 240v and using inadequate 12v power bricks as they never put out more than 12v and under load they actually can drop causing issues.

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Just to add to my last post.... I run 240V to my Nevada PSU and then the Lynx silicon cables provide the 12v to the kit. I use the 5m 12v cables to give me placement flexibility right now as I set up outside although the PSU is in a plastic crate at the side of the scope. Within the next few months I will hopefully be in an observatory but will still use the same cables, no reason not to.

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Why not make a weatherproof box and run power via conduit  to that with sockets for 240v with relevant breakers and house the Nevada in that  you can use the 240 power for the lawnmower don’t use it whilst imaging though the neighbours will be annoyed 🤣 , I run 12v from my shed to my pier approx 16m run    Via conduit and have 13.6v at pier using a Nevada psu .

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I had an external dual 240V socket fitted to the house wall, and run an outdoor extension to the rig; the extension is also IR54 rated.

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18 hours ago, david_taurus83 said:

Nothing wrong with 12v cable to the rig as long as you use good quality cable. I run a 2.5mm² 2 core cable from my shed to the mount over 10m. You just need to output more than 12v from the PSU. I use a Nevada linear supply and its set to output 13.8v. With everything running, mount, camera, focuser, dew straps it only drops down to 13.1 volts. I've seen more issues with people running out 240v and using inadequate 12v power bricks as they never put out more than 12v and under load they actually can drop causing issues.

Did you prepare your own cable?  How did you terminate the end at the mount? I am trying to avoid soldering if I can.

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13 hours ago, alienf0rm said:

Did you prepare your own cable?  How did you terminate the end at the mount? I am trying to avoid soldering if I can.

Personally, I have the Nevada mounted about 5M from the mount with a small junction box located close to the mount. Between the Nevada and the junction box I have used 2.5mm cable and terminated this in 5 way quick release connector blocks adjacent to the mount. Cut the plugs off the leads and then you can just connect in the bits and bobs as you need to, no soldering required. If you wanted to put the Nevada further away, just put in something like a 4.0mm to minimise volt drop. It's probably well over the top but you only want to do it once.

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Posted (edited)

I have an external 240V socket with a 5m extension cable to the mount. Nevada 30A is located at the mount - in a plastic crate if I'm going to leave it unattended. I use the cigarette socket output with a Lynx Astro cable to a PPB Advance on the mount. The Nevada outputs 13.8V which is plenty for all of the electronics. I know that some people object to the cigarette plugs and sockets as the quality can be variable but I haven't had any issues, certainly not with Lynx Astro cables. The PPBAdv powers mount, dew heaters, imaging camera, PLL focuser and mini PC. I have enough USB sockets between the PPBAdv and the PC.

Edit: the whole setup doesn't draw more than 3-4A even when slewing.

Edited by Padraic M
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15 hours ago, alienf0rm said:

Did you prepare your own cable?  How did you terminate the end at the mount? I am trying to avoid soldering if I can.

OK so I run the power cable from shed to mount and fed into a banana plug type distributor. I then run a smaller cable from the banana plug box to the pegasus power box. Yes, I did solder the second cable to the plug that goes into the PPB but you could also just buy a crimping tool and some crimps. I avoided soldering for years and crimped everything but I've lately decided to tackle it again!

 

20220313_165131.jpg.f5c3524120ef1d0de35bad928e7de8bb.jpg

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On 18/05/2022 at 06:14, david_taurus83 said:

OK so I run the power cable from shed to mount and fed into a banana plug type distributor. I then run a smaller cable from the banana plug box to the pegasus power box. Yes, I did solder the second cable to the plug that goes into the PPB but you could also just buy a crimping tool and some crimps. I avoided soldering for years and crimped everything but I've lately decided to tackle it again!

Thank you, very helpful. I have an idea now of how I want to run things. I'll most likely keep the Nevada at the house and run a 10m DC cable from PSU to the mount. Will probable use a Powerpole distribution block at the mount end and terminate the cable from the PSU with power pole connectors. Then, from the distribution block to Pegasus, one of these, although I should look around for a shorter one or make one myself.

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On 17/05/2022 at 19:14, david_taurus83 said:

OK so I run the power cable from shed to mount and fed into a banana plug type distributor. I then run a smaller cable from the banana plug box to the pegasus power box. Yes, I did solder the second cable to the plug that goes into the PPB but you could also just buy a crimping tool and some crimps. I avoided soldering for years and crimped everything but I've lately decided to tackle it again!

 

20220313_165131.jpg.f5c3524120ef1d0de35bad928e7de8bb.jpg

I notice you don't have a USB cable in to the mount was that "just because" when the picture was taken or for other reasons? Just curious.....

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1 hour ago, scotty38 said:

I notice you don't have a USB cable in to the mount was that "just because" when the picture was taken or for other reasons? Just curious.....

I already had a Lynx EQmod cable so never bothered trying a normal USB. I even managed to update the mounts firmware through the EQMod cable.

Everything is connected to the PPB on the scope and then to a Startech USB to Ethernet box with RJ45 to the mini PC in the shed. The mini PC is connected to the house router via a Link powerline adapter. No issues with WiFi etc

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13 hours ago, david_taurus83 said:

I already had a Lynx EQmod cable so never bothered trying a normal USB. I even managed to update the mounts firmware through the EQMod cable.

Everything is connected to the PPB on the scope and then to a Startech USB to Ethernet box with RJ45 to the mini PC in the shed. The mini PC is connected to the house router via a Link powerline adapter. No issues with WiFi etc

Do you power the USB hub from the Pegasus or the distribution block?

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5 hours ago, alienf0rm said:

Do you power the USB hub from the Pegasus or the distribution block?

The Startech USB to ethernet extender needs 5v so I use the adjustable output from the PPB.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 19/05/2022 at 12:25, alienf0rm said:

Thank you, very helpful. I have an idea now of how I want to run things. I'll most likely keep the Nevada at the house and run a 10m DC cable from PSU to the mount. Will probable use a Powerpole distribution block at the mount end and terminate the cable from the PSU with power pole connectors. Then, from the distribution block to Pegasus, one of these, although I should look around for a shorter one or make one myself.

I use a powerpole fused distribution block. Had to buy the right crimper but it powers everything. I use a 12v deep cycle 40ah battery as the feedIMG_20220608_083835.thumb.jpg.1334530905a525a382880231f24fe5e4.jpg

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