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First time charging of Celestron Power Tank

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#1 Solozo

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:21 AM

Hello All

I recently purchased the Celestron 17H powertank for celestron Goto mount powering. I was about to charge it for 20hrs before use as per the instructins. On inserting charging plug and CHA on, the indicator lights showed green Fully Charged. Do I still need to charge it for another twenty hours especially there is a cautionary warning against overcharging it?

Thanks

#2 EdTheEdge

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:39 AM

Not sure... that said....

I have had gotten great service out of my powertank by not using the included charger. When I got mine last year I tried the included charger once, afterwhich I got rid of it because of the same uncertainty that you are going through. I immediately got a battery defender type charger from Amazon. Since then I have had ZERO charging problems.

You have to take great care when using/charging these powertank batteries. You can't overcharge or deplete the battery too much, otherwise it will shorten battery life. The battery defender type charger will keep the batteries operating at peak performace.

#3 johnnyha

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:48 AM

If it has been sitting awhile it's OK to plug it in for a little while when full to "top it off". I'd try using it first at home before charging overnight, and see how it does - it may have been a return, that would explain the charge. If you have a 12v fan or the like you can run it out but it'll take awhile, if you have a 12v heater you can run it out pretty quickly.

#4 michael hester

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:55 AM

The charger on my 17AH powertank is bad so i've been charging it with one of these
http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B000EJTI7I

So far its the longest running battery i have for my setup and it has performed better than the other ones i have.

Edit: after reading the reviews on that, im not sure what those reviewers had a problem with but mine's been working stable for at least 9 months now. The schumacher one gets better reviews but this type of charger is generally what you're going for for making your astro batteries last.

#5 Solozo

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 11:03 AM

Thanks for the prompt responses. I like EdtheEdge idea of teh defender charger. EdTheEdge,can you provide a link to the battery charger you talked about?

#6 johnnyha

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 11:14 AM

The CTek Charger is what I use, great little Swedish charger for auto as well, charges a little faster than the 2 AMP chargers. Completely weatherproof. State of the Art charging algorithms - this thing is SMART. I have brought dead batteries to life with this one. Read the reviews... Porsche uses these onboard. :cool:


Here is a trick I learned by accident... when the CTek disconnects from the battery during charging, it starts blinking for a few minutes until you reconnect it. What you can do is connect it to a good battery, and then disconnect it, and while it is still blinking connect it to a bad or dead battery. Often as not it will start charging the dead battery... Great charger! :grin:

#7 EdTheEdge

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 01:18 PM

Thanks for the prompt responses. I like EdtheEdge idea of teh defender charger. EdTheEdge,can you provide a link to the battery charger you talked about?


They don't offer the exact one that I got. But pretty much any smart charger will work. If you sear for Battery Defender on Amazon something will come up. HTH.

#8 mexjon

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 01:30 PM

My 7ah came charged as well. I think there was some mention of that in some of the paperwork, but now I'm not so sure. If the green light is on, don't charge it. Just go ahead and use it for a while and then charge it until the green light comes back on. Everything should be just fine.

#9 Fred1

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 04:10 PM

I've found that charging my Powertank 17Ah with its wall wart charger does excellently as long as I charge it until only the "Fully Charged" light is lit. If the "Charging" light is even dimly lit, it doesn't have a full charge. It's seen fairly heavy use in the last 3 1/2 years and it still gives me good night's work powering my mount. BUT, I only use it to power one piece of equipment. My dew heaters are on a separate power supply with higher Ah's. Also, the Powertank does take a long time to recharge after along night's use. Often as long as 18-20 hours or more.

A very reliable source recommends the Battery Tender, 1.25 amp for charging. He advises that charging with higher than 1.5 amps shortens battery life.
http://www.batteryma...l-021-0128.html

#10 mtibor

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:41 PM

I have the Celestron 7hr powertank,after the 3rd charge it would not charge anymore.I've been using my small charger to charge it.Once the battery is fully charged,the charger will shut off.I've been using/charging it like this the past 5 months now,it will run my lx200 for about 3 nights.
(my Atlas mount will suck the Juice out of it in about 90minutes)

Tibor,

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#11 drollere

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 08:43 PM

i found i can't trust the lights on the powertank. when you plug it in it may say "charging" (green) and "fully charged" (red), but keep charging it until the green light goes out.

when i first got mine i thought they were defective, because i went by what the lights said and i wasn't getting much power out of them. now i tase the bejeezus out of them and they work fine.

#12 b1gred

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 10:23 PM

If you charge the 17AH unit using the Jump Start clamps, or the 7AH using the screw terminals with a regulated "smart charger", (on the lowest possible settings), you'll get LOTS of life out of them. Unfortunately the WallWart/internal charging circuits just aren't up to doing the job well - especially over a long term.

If you MUST use the WallWart, NEVER charge it more than 24 hours, always charge it just after use, and NEVER - BUT NEVER fully discharge the unit by even accidentally leaving the switch on.

#13 frolinmod

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 11:50 PM

Don't discharge lead acid batteries to less than 50% of their capacity. If you do, you'll significantly decrease the number of charge-discharge cycles you get out of them. With that in mind, always buy twice as much capacity as you think you need.

#14 mtibor

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 06:18 AM

B1gred:That's how charge mine on the lowest setting.It seems to me that I get more out of the powertank since I use the charger to charge it.I like the little charger because I can leave it on and not to worry about "overcharging"

Tibor,

#15 Panotaker

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 11:45 AM

I use a Motorcycle Battery Tender. They are a smart charger that is waterproof, so you can leave it outside. It also comes in handy for keeping my vehicle batteries charged up. I also just use a cheap sealed battery instead of a Powertank.

#16 mexjon

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 03:20 PM

i found i can't trust the lights on the powertank. when you plug it in it may say "charging" (green) and "fully charged" (red), but keep charging it until the green light goes out.

My 7ah pack doesn't work that way. The red light comes on first when it is down, and after a few hours or more of charging, the green light starts coming on, and then goes full green when charged.

#17 b1gred

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 10:03 PM

John, your's may be one of the few in which the charging circuit is properly calibrated.

#18 Radiostar

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 03:05 AM

John, your's may be one of the few in which the charging circuit is properly calibrated.


I have never seen a Power Tank or been able to take one apart. Is there a way to calibrate the charging circuit? Just curious.
Eddy B

#19 mexjon

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 03:17 AM

I have never seen a Power Tank or been able to take one apart. Is there a way to calibrate the charging circuit? Just curious.Eddy B

Beats me, I just use it, never been in one, but I would imagine there is a way.

#20 Dandelion

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 07:49 PM

My Celestron 17A PowerTank lasted several nights then it simply died. I returned the unit expecting to get another one - instead they automatically returned my money. Actually, I am glad I can buy something else.
Clear skies!

#21 Fred1

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 08:17 PM

My Celestron 17A PowerTank lasted several nights then it simply died. I returned the unit expecting to get another one - instead they automatically returned my money. Actually, I am glad I can buy something else.
Clear skies!


It should be fully recharged ASAP after each night's use. I never venture out without it fully charged. See my earlier post. Three and a half years and not a hiccup.

#22 Dandelion

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 08:54 AM

I always fully recharged it. I was told that this is a fairly common problem.

#23 Skylook123

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 05:28 PM

One of the many weaknesses in the Celestron/Orion power tanks is that the Fully Charged light is not a capacity indicator; it seems to trip "ON" when the voltage is in spec, but not the capacity. They have to be charged until the Fully Charged light is on and the Charging light goes off.






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