Astronomy Power Box Project
Posted 07 December 2011 - 07:49 PM
Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:05 PM
You might want to add a solar panel to the lid. It won't recharge your battery totally, but it will extend the life of your battery. Depending on where you store the box it would eliminate having an external charger.
I cannot not tell the size of your "lid", but it should be easy to find a 10 or 20 watt panel that would fit it. Those start at about a 100 bucks for the 10 watt.
Posted 09 December 2011 - 10:36 PM
You added cigar lighter sockets?
Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:10 PM
Posted 11 December 2011 - 02:03 AM
Interested in hearing reports as you use the power supply Astro-Pig in the field, and if you make any modifications.
Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:44 AM
Posted 14 December 2011 - 06:49 PM
I may have to learn from your project. I like Jim's solar panel recharger idea, and you have the room...
Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:43 PM
Posted 20 December 2011 - 05:44 PM
Posted 02 January 2012 - 06:15 PM
Posted 03 January 2012 - 07:05 PM
Posted 05 January 2012 - 05:56 PM
My only issue is the size and weight..it is very heavy. But my 95ah battery was heavy by itself, and it didn't have wheels like my new box. Mobility is not the issue, in and out of the car is....thanks for the inspiration, great project.
Posted 07 January 2012 - 12:47 PM
A few things from your comments:
I am considering adding a solar panel for charging at some point, but currently here in England I have yet to see enough sun to make it worthwhile, probably once I get back to the States in a few years. I have a few possibles bookmarked for down the road - might go with a Battery Tender solar charger.
frolinmod: everything I run has CL sockets to power them, that's why I used them.
blb: I have 6" pneumatic wheels on it, it moves around a field quite easily as a result - a little heavy to load in the car to bring out in the field, but after its there its no problem getting it around. If I take the battery out and throw it in the car separately I can get it in and out of the car myself so is a feasible option for remote/star party power.
astrocamman: I will email you the state of charge chart I have as soon as I did it off the hard drive. Expect it later this evening. I got the digital voltmeter from eBay.
Donald6887 - I haven't actually weighed it. I will do this sometime soon and post the final weight here. The box itself isn't that heavy - the weight is mainly the 140AH battery.
I have gotten to use this many times now and must say I am incredibly pleased with it. 10 hr nights for two nights over the weekend has been no problem and with the USB hub I used that has #s for the ports I #d the corresponding cables so they always go in the same port which has eliminated the "finding driver" problem that is typical when using a USB hub and moving the accessories around. The side lights have been fantastic. When I but the AstroPig up to the tripod of the scope one shines through the legs which has eliminated tripping over tripod legs and the other gives me an ambient ground light to avoid tripping over cords and to use to read charts/make notes as necessary.
I have added a few things since I wrote this up: I have fans on it now for circulation (one on the back top and one underneath) not always necessary, but nice to have. I also have a humidity/temp gauge now. Here is a recent pic: