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Power Tank for Skymax Synscan


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Thanks Tim,

So are you convinced the SW 7Ah is worth the money?

Most people on this forum will tell you that the dedicated astronomy power tanks are over-priced and you're better off with a cheaper Maplins battery or a more powerful leisure battery.

Personally I really find the Skywatcher power tank is really nicely designed for it's specific purpose, and I'd rather pay a little extra for it. I have the 7ah because my power requirements are small (about 500mA), you'd probably want the 17aH for slewing and that does get a bit pricey.

Interesting point about the cooling fan noise; is that a common issue with all these power sources? The sound of a loud fan does seem a bit incongrous with the serene image of star-gazing - or is it the back-yard astronomer's revenge on light-polluting neighbours? :hello2:

The cooling fan only comes on when you turn on the inverter - you can use the cigar lighter sockets without it. I found the noise was reasonably soothing, but I'd have preferred not to have it. Anything with moving parts does tend to go wrong quicker too...

Tim

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Whichever type of lead-acid power pack you buy, remember to put it on charge at least once a month whether it's used or not.

This isn't as critical as is often made out, but greatly extends battery life and drain capacity.

The Maplins 3 in 1 is a rugged, proven design that should give years of reliable, trouble free portable power.

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Another vote for the £30 maplins unit here, only had it a couple of months and been ideal, I put a piece of red acetate over light so I can still use the light when viewing if needed.

I know there are those on here who recommend the skywatcher units but at less than a third of the price (17Ah unit) I had to give the cheaper unit a try and its been perfect, only thing is to see how long it lasts.

I also bought a plug and socket (2.1mm jack type) that fit the goto mount and a metre or so of cable and soldered up an "extension lead" for the 12v supply. as I found being a bit of a noob I tend to be slewing all over the sky trying to see everything and end up with the cable wrapped around the tripod, it won't harm your gear but if you don't notice it happening the jack plugged into your mount pulls out and you have to do the whole alignment procedure again.....trust me :hello2:

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Just a quick update. UPS Warehouse lived up to their promise and the battery arrived via courrier at lunchtime today (Less than 24hrs between order and delivery). Very impressed at speed of service. On charge at the moment so will be ready for the weekend clouds permitting.

Neil

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So is anybody using one of the Maplin ones to power a Skywatcher Synscan AZ Goto mount?

The only reason I ask is the only connector lead I can find at FLO is

Cables, Leads and Controllers

which specifically says: Not suitable for Celestron SLT, Celestron CGEM, Skywatcher Supatrak or Skywatcher AZ-GOTO mounts.

I have a Celestron SLT and use this cable, supplied by FLO. It works fine. I've never had any problems.

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The cooling fan only comes on when you turn on the inverter - you can use the cigar lighter sockets without it. I found the noise was reasonably soothing, but I'd have preferred not to have it. Anything with moving parts does tend to go wrong quicker too...

Tim

That's good - I didn't want to disturb the peace!

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