Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_annual.thumb.jpg.3fc34f695a81b16210333189a3162ac7.jpg

Power Tank Problems...


Recommended Posts

Definitely one for the Beginners Forum this one. Having recently purchased a Skywatcher Power Tank (17Ah) from FLO, I’ve managed to accidently drain the battery – doh!

It’s now completely dead, and speaking to FLO this may mean it won’t work again. This is possibly the case – I put it on charge last night. It initially made some strange clicking noises but pretty soon it went silent. At no stage did the ‘Charging’ inidicator light show a flicker of activity… Trying it this morning there's no sign of life at all. Have I killed it?

Edited by Wiltshiresaint
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably :) although you can try to recover it with a multi-stage charger which has a recovery mode. I use the 7amp (CTEKxs7000) version of the CTEK3600.

I have given up on powertanks completely and now gone down the route of a deep cycle leisure battery with the above multi-stage charger.

Edited by arad85
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. I tried again last night and the Power Pack is definitely dead. An expensive mistake on my part but one I won’t make again I hope.

So as to be prepared for clear skies (yes, I’m confident at some stage we’ll have them again in Wiltshire) I’m off to Maplins later today to pick up their Portable Jump Starter and Compressor for a mere £24.99 – it’s mentioned on a few threads here (cheers Merlin) and seems to be fit for purpose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This recently happened to me with my 17Ah Skywatcher Power tank. When the battery is low, the internal charger seems to trip out. I managed to recover mine by connecting the power leads to another power tank that I had which itself was on charge. After an overnight connection, it recovered and seems OK. This was following advice on here to attempt to recharge it with a old style battery charger directly to the battery terminals.

I took mine apart to get to the battery terminals which proved totally unnecessary as the large powerleads are directly from the battery. If you have a multimeter, you could measure the voltage of the battery using those heavy leads. Mine had dropped to around 3V but did recover and eventually the internal charging system worked.

It may not work but is worth a try.

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if it is dead and you can run to the extra i use a halfords 200 power pack. Halfords Power Pack 200 from Halfords Was £134.99 Save £45.00 Price £89.99 1/3 Off Halfords Power Packs

20 amp, built in inverter if you need 240v, jump leads are detachable so it's nice and tidy and there's a nice 2 stage light on the side which wouldn't be too hard to convert to red with some film if you wanted too.

i bought mine for round the house / car use but the capacity is fantastic for mounts etc as well, when we had a power cut recently i ran a few house table lamps off it with a multiplug extension lead and it lasted all evening.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Listen veree carefullee, I shall say zees onlee wonce... (well twice, since I've already hinted at it....)

Get a high amperage deep cycle leisure battery (I bought one of these 105Ah ones: Numax Leisure Batteries XV27MF Low Cost Batteries Online a couple of weeks ago for £72.49 delivered - boy the prices have gone up!!) and build your own box to put it in with the right number of sockets on (pics to follow). Also buy a decent charger (e.g. CTEK 3600). All in cost of £130-£200 depending on what you have lying around. You'll buy it once, be able to run everything off it including PC and camera, and it stands being deep discharged (the one above should last 500 deep discharge cycles).

Edited by arad85
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You should be okay with the Maplins 17Ah unit if funds are tight. I bought my original Maplins unit in 2003 for £19.99 and it died two weeks ago. That's 7 yrs service for £19.99. I did look into one of the leisure battery options but in all honesty i just cannot afford that sort of money. So another Maplins unit it was. Just take care of it and it will serve you well for many years.

Russ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The deed is done, Maplins it was and all relatively painless. I'm still a little annoyed about the Power Pack though.

Get a high amperage deep cycle leisure battery (I bought one of these 105Ah ones: Numax Leisure Batteries XV27MF Low Cost Batteries Online a couple of weeks ago for £72.49 delivered - boy the prices have gone up!!) and build your own box to put it in with the right number of sockets on (pics to follow). QUOTE]

Thanks Andy. I've sorted out a short-term solution just to get me back up and running. This is probably what I'll look into once I've got the astrophotography side of things properly underway and seeing some pics of your build will prove very useful I'm sure. Something that can power the mount, plus a laptop and camera would be just the ticket.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The deed is done, Maplins it was and all relatively painless. I'm still a little annoyed about the Power Pack though.

Thanks for the info on the 'self-build' Andy. What I've sorted out is a short-term solution just to get me back up and running. This is probably what I'll look into once I've got the astrophotography side of things properly underway and seeing some pics of your build will prove very useful I'm sure. Something that can power the mount, plus a laptop and camera would be just the ticket.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simon,

Will take some this weekend and post in the DIY astronomer section. Although I didn't spend ages measuring where the screws needed to go to make the prettiest of finishes, it should be functional, and has 6 locking 12V outlets - should be enough for most things!!

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Maplins use the same sorts of technology, avoid fully discharging it. Mine has been and whilst it still works, is not as healthy as it was... Although it can power my HEQ5 under guiding with goto slews for about 2.5 hours. I've gone mains, but need to sort out some proper housing for the converters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine has been and whilst it still works, is not as healthy as it was... Although it can power my HEQ5 under guiding with goto slews for about 2.5 hours. I've gone mains, but need to sort out some proper housing for the converters.
That's exactly where mine is. The mount just dies suddenly. I'm going to keep it as healthy as possible so I can use it as a fan and dew heater power source attached to the dob (eyepieces and telrad for the moment may do the secondary if that proves problematic)....
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. I tried again last night and the Power Pack is definitely dead. An expensive mistake on my part but one I won’t make again I hope.

So as to be prepared for clear skies (yes, I’m confident at some stage we’ll have them again in Wiltshire) I’m off to Maplins later today to pick up their Portable Jump Starter and Compressor for a mere £24.99 – it’s mentioned on a few threads here (cheers Merlin) and seems to be fit for purpose.

I have the Maplins one. Unfortunately, I've managed to kill it too. I drained it by using for its intended purpose of starting the car. While it will take a charge, it runs down quickly without having been used. So, I'm going the converter route at least for home use and I'll buy another powertank for field use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and seeing some pics of your build will prove very useful I'm sure. Something that can power the mount, plus a laptop and camera would be just the ticket.
Hi Simon

http://stargazerslounge.com/diy-astronomer/95646-105ah-powertank.html

6 connectors:

- Mount

- Dew strips

- Laptop

- Camera (need to buy an adaptor from Astronomiser)

- 2 spare (which will undoubtedly get used for something)

Weight about 25kg

Hope that proves useful.

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not a fan of the power tank thingies, both pukka astro ones and the maplins offerings. I had a Maplins one and it only lasted 1 season, possably my fault as I had to use it to start my Land Rover at Kielder.....

So, I made my own using a 12v 17Ah gel battery from an emergency light fitting, works a treat just now. BTW, the battery I am using is physically 3 times the size of the gel battery that was in the power tank I had.

Although I understand the folks on here and their theory of using Leasure batteries I think they are a bit expensive, that'll be the tight Scottishness coming out in me. So, if my current home made power tank gives up I will make another, but, I will be using a standard car battery, possably from a breakers yard, you can pick them up for about a tenner.

I know that these dont have the same deep discharge cycle but they are much cheaper and if and when it does give up you can just get another from a breakers.

Just my 2p worth folks.....

Gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem with the leasure batteries is that they are VERY heavy!!

IMHO the 20Ah gel cell is the way to go ( they only weigh about 2.5Kg), buy one then add to your collection as your needs grow.... much easier on your wallet and your back!

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.