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Powertank 17 Amp internal battery replacement

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#1 musicwon

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 06:11 PM

Is there a link on how to replace the Celestron Powertank 17 internal battery?

I cooked my battery after only a few uses!

EDIT: Here is my (Musicwon) link on how to replace the Celestron Powertank 17 internal battery. Musicwon's Celetron Powertank 17 Battery Replacement with Pics

Again, thanks to Randy, Ed, Randy and Rod for your help and information.

#2 David Knisely

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 07:00 PM

Is there a link on how to replace the Celestron Powertank 17 internal battery?

I cooked my battery after only a few uses!

Here is a link to a picture of one Celestron Powertank 17[/url]


Hi there. The owner's manual is available on-line and it shows how to remove the battery:

Powertank manual (pdf file)

I don't have a link for a replacement battery for the Powertank itself, but you may want to consider replacing the whole Powertank with something else. Its internal battery is mainly of the "jump-start" variety, so you can't draw on it the way you can a simple deep-cycle battery (you will often kill it if you draw it most of the way down to discharge). If you use these starter battery systems for powering telescopes, you must "de-rate" them by at least 50% before deciding what to get. I consider the 17 amp-hr Powertank to actually be effectively only an eight amp-hr battery system for common use. I have an old Schumacher "InstantPower" 18 amp-hr jump-start system I got from Sears for around $60 which is still going strong after four years. My scope has a maximum current draw of about an amp or so, and this means I must not use the battery to power the scope for more than about five or six hours before recharging it. This deep-discharge problem is one reason some people get into trouble with the Powertanks. I would recommend a deep-cycle battery system, as they are designed to provide long-term continuous current draws without damaging the battery. Good luck and clear skies to you.

#3 b1gred

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 08:56 PM

There are a bunch of screws to remove, and you'll need a pair of pliers and perhaps a small adjustable wrench.

If you go to "Batteries Plus" you can get a "Werker" 18AH battery that is a perfect fit.

Once you get it, never-but-NEVER leave the PT on charge for more than 24 hours,or discharge it totally (by maybe leaving the "power switch" on, and it'll last a long time...

#4 musicwon

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:15 PM

Thank you David and Randy!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU BOTH:
Is the term "Werker" a company or type of battery?

Can I put a deep cycle battery in the Powertank?

The Powertank is just so darn useful!

#5 David Knisely

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:37 PM

Thank you David and Randy!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU BOTH:
Is the term "Werker" a company or type of battery?

Can I put a deep cycle battery in the Powertank?

The Powertank is just so darn useful!


Werker is a company that makes AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries. The Powertank charging unit is set up for an automotive "starter" battery, rather than a deep-cycle battery (they use different charging methods). If you replace the battery in the Powertank, it will have to be a similar starter battery, so you will be under the same restrictions as you had with the original one. With care, a new starter battery can last for a few years, but one low continuous current overdraining episode can be enough to kill it. Clear skies to you.

#6 musicwon

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 11:49 PM

Thank you David.

Indeed, it did not take long for me to kill it --- less than 10 or 15 uses! I think I overcharged it.

What is a good deep cycle battery that has multi outs for scope and dew heaters?

#7 b1gred

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:10 AM

I'm going to respectfully disagree with Mr. Knisely. The original battery in the PowerTank I have was clearly not a "starter battery" it was a 17AH "standby" AGM. (which is more closely related to a "storage battery" than a starter). This is the same type of battery commonly used in "desktop UPS" devices, but the UPSes have much more sophisticated charging/maintenance circuits. These AGMs are also becoming very common in standby power supplies for telephone and other telecommunication systems, and (in a different form factor) even some really large "whole building" UPS systems.

Although the makers of the PowerTank (as well as the Coleman, Husky, Black & Decker, and several others) have attached "jumper cables" to them, they are NOT truly "starter batteries" which is why they caution that you shouldn't "crank" for more than 5 seconds at a time using these products. The plates just can't take the current demand of starting for an extended (some would say, "reasonable") period. If any thing, "starting" is the wrong application for these batteries. There ARE AGM starter batteries, these just aren't really them. "Starter AGMs" are much heavier.

The internal charger of the PowerTank is properly designed for just such a battery (voltage, current limiting, etc), unfortunately, however it does not have the latest technology (some would say the proper technology) for "maintenance" charging, thus the PT needs to be taken off charge as soon as it's fully charged.

The replacement "Werker" AGM ("Absorptive/Absorbed/Absorption Glass Mat" a/k/a "Starved Electrolyte") is very happy and reaches full charge with the 'stock' wall-wart supply and the PowerTank's internal charge circuit. (the charging circuitry is in the unit, not the "wall-wart")

Bottom line: The replacement Werker battery in my PowerTank has been working great for well over 3 years now, it goes out on just about every observing session, and a lot of ham radio field sessions. It gets recharged immediately after every use (unless it was VERY short term - less than 20 minutes), and it gets charged for not more than 24 hours every 3 months whether it's used or not.

Here's a good reference source.

#8 David Knisely

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:41 AM

I'm going to respectfully disagree with Mr. Knisely. The original battery in the PowerTank I have was clearly not a "starter battery" it was a 17AH "standby" AGM. (which is more closely related to a "storage battery" than a starter). This is the same type of battery commonly used in "desktop UPS" devices, but the UPSes have much more sophisticated charging/maintenance circuits. These AGMs are also becoming very common in standby power supplies for telephone and other telecommunication systems, and (in a different form factor) even some really large "whole building" UPS systems.

Although the makers of the PowerTank (as well as the Coleman, Husky, Black & Decker, and several others) have attached "jumper cables" to them, they are NOT truly "starter batteries" which is why they caution that you shouldn't "crank" for more than 5 seconds at a time using these products. The plates just can't take the current demand of starting for an extended (some would say, "reasonable") period. If any thing, "starting" is the wrong application for these batteries. There ARE AGM starter batteries, these just aren't really them. "Starter AGMs" are much heavier.

The internal charger of the PowerTank is properly designed for just such a battery (voltage, current limiting, etc), unfortunately, however it does not have the latest technology (some would say the proper technology) for "maintenance" charging, thus the PT needs to be taken off charge as soon as it's fully charged.

The replacement "Werker" AGM ("Absorptive/Absorbed/Absorption Glass Mat" a/k/a "Starved Electrolyte") is very happy and reaches full charge with the 'stock' wall-wart supply and the PowerTank's internal charge circuit. (the charging circuitry is in the unit, not the "wall-wart")

Bottom line: The replacement Werker battery in my PowerTank has been working great for well over 3 years now, it goes out on just about every observing session, and a lot of ham radio field sessions. It gets recharged immediately after every use (unless it was VERY short term - less than 20 minutes), and it gets charged for not more than 24 hours every 3 months whether it's used or not.

Here's a good reference source.


Ok, I have not seen the battery inside of the Powertank, but mainly assumed that it was one of the starter variety (especially given that so many of the Powertanks have seemed to fail prematurely). So many of the auxillary "starter" packs have the added "features" common to a low-current continuous draw units that people often assume that it is OK to draw power from them almost all the way down when it really isn't. I would still go with what the manufacturer recommends for a replacement in the Powertank, and treat it gently (more like a starter than a true deep-cycle). Clear skies to you.

#9 rmollise

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:25 AM

Is there a link on how to replace the Celestron Powertank 17 internal battery?

I cooked my battery after only a few uses!


A couple of observations? First off, yes, you can find batteries to replace those in the Powertanks. The catch? They may be almost as expensive as a new Powertank.

Best solution? Get a plain ol' jumpstart pack from Walmart (or Pep Boys or whatever). Unless it matters to you that the battery say "Celestron" or "Orion," the ones in Walmart are usually better deals. They often have more capacity (the last one I got is 22ah) for less money...and are often put on sale.

How do you keep one alive? I have one that I bought at the same time I bought my NexStar 11 nearly 8 years ago, and it still works fine. It's branded "Prestone," but there is nothing special about it. The rules? No overcharging and no complete discharges have been mentioned, but what I've also adhered to strongly is:

1. Charge for 12 hours after each use.
2. If the battery wasn't used over the course of the month, charge it for 12 hours anyhow.

If you do these things, one will last for years, not months.
;)

#10 b1gred

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:31 AM

I frequently tell people to charge for "not more than 24 hours". Rod's 12 hour suggestion - especially if the unit wasn't heavily discharged (say below 11.5V) is probably a very good rule of thumb.

#11 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:36 AM

Werker makes a charger for their batteries.

http://www.replaceme...wka12v1000.html

#12 musicwon

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:04 PM

Thank you Randy, David, Uncle Rod and Eddie!

Here is a link to how I replaced the Powertank 17 Battery. The battery in the unit is a 7.13" X 3.03" X 6.57" (LxWxH) 12V 17Ah sealed lead-acid rechargable battery. Musicwon's Powertank Battery Replacement with Pics



Here is a link to the battery Randy is talking about - $49.95 - ($63.69 shipped) Werker WA12-18NB

A Powertank 17 runs for $100 new so a $63.69 battery is a good move for me! The Powertank has two 12 volt ports, lamps, removable small lamp, radio and a siren --- lots of good stuff worth keeping for me.

Attached Files



#13 Skylook123

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:07 PM

I've been using a multi-mode charger with my three versions of Powertank-like units with pretty good luck. I do the recharges and maintenance charges through the jumper cables, which bypasses the inner circuitry and just lets the charger do its thing. The Orion/Celestron power tanks are always on; just connect the charger and let it work. My other two have an on-off switch I have to remember to enable to charge, then turn off to keep them from leaking down.

The latest one I bought from Batteries Plus as a backup for a separate site actually has an internal conditioner and can be kept always plugged in.

Battteries Plus "Rescue"

It's charge rate is low, though, less than an amp, so I use a Soneil 1206s
Soneil 1206S Triple-Mode Charger

through the jumper cables until it's charged, then plug it in on its own internal system to keep it topped off.

#14 musicwon

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:24 PM

By the way guys, I put in a BIG thank you for your help and information I need to complete the project.

Thanks again Randy, David, Uncle Rod and Eddie.

#15 SanDiegoPaul

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 06:32 PM

Is there a link on how to replace the Celestron Powertank 17 internal battery?

I cooked my battery after only a few uses!


A couple of observations? First off, yes, you can find batteries to replace those in the Powertanks. The catch? They may be almost as expensive as a new Powertank.

Best solution? Get a plain ol' jumpstart pack from Walmart (or Pep Boys or whatever). Unless it matters to you that the battery say "Celestron" or "Orion," the ones in Walmart are usually better deals. They often have more capacity (the last one I got is 22ah) for less money...and are often put on sale.

How do you keep one alive? I have one that I bought at the same time I bought my NexStar 11 nearly 8 years ago, and it still works fine. It's branded "Prestone," but there is nothing special about it. The rules? No overcharging and no complete discharges have been mentioned, but what I've also adhered to strongly is:

1. Charge for 12 hours after each use.
2. If the battery wasn't used over the course of the month, charge it for 12 hours anyhow.

If you do these things, one will last for years, not months.
;)


I disagree about the cost. I replaced mine for 19.95 from an electronics supply house locally. And the replacement battery is 10 times better than the *BLEEP* that Celestron put in there to begin with.






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