Jump to content


Photo

Nexstar SE8 power connection question

  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 MG1962

MG1962

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 243
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2011

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:14 AM

I have a minor issue that my scope loses power during a session. I have identified the problem is (especially in cold weather) the connection between the lead from the power tank and mount is a tiny bit lose.

I have heard people talk of the need to 'spread' the pin. Now I am no handy man, so I really have no idea what this term means, or what tool should be used to accomplish the task.

So any explanation, or tips would be greatly appreciated.

#2 butsam

butsam

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 132
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Ohio

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:34 AM

I haven't noticed this yet, but I heard someone say it is because the connection that comes with the power tank is a way to *charge* the battery using a cigarette lighter output...the connection from the charger to the telescope is actually slightly different...a bit smaller. I don't remember the details, though, as far as what connector fits more snugly.

That said, a good solution I've heard others use that don't want to "spread the pin" is to put in 8 AA batteries AND use the power supply. That way, during those brief, fleeting moments where the connector is somewhat loose, you don't lose everything, since battery power is present as a backup. You definitely don't want to rely on the batteries only, but having them in for when the connection briefly comes loose can save headache.

#3 MG1962

MG1962

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 243
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2011

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:43 AM

Thanks and I will definitely consider that if I am not comfortable performing the fix

#4 Peter9

Peter9

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4757
  • Joined: 30 Oct 2008
  • Loc: Yorkshire - Born & Bred

Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:08 PM

Hi MG1962,

Spreading the pin refers to the receiving pin where the jack plug end of the power lead fits into the mount. That pin is split down the middle and by using a thin blade or similar, you can spread the halves apart slightly thus make the jack plug a tighter fit.

Regards. Peter.

#5 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11515
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

Hi MG1962:

If you look into the power socket on the base of your mount, you will see a small split-pin in the center of it. You can take a sharp knife, insert it into the spilt, and *gently* spread the pin for a better connection to the power plug.

However, usually this is an indication that the power plug is the wrong size. Note that there are different size specification for these plugs and some look nearly identical. The correct one for a Nexstar SE mount has a 2.1mm inside diameter, and a 5.5mm outside diameter.

Another common (although incorrect for this mount) size is 2.5mm inside and 5.5mm outside. This kind of plug can be used, and will work, but will not be reliable. Any slight pull to one side or the other will cause intermittent disconnection of the power.

Here is a power cord that meets the spec for the required connector size:
http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_cc14.htm

-Dan

#6 MG1962

MG1962

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 243
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2011

Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

Thanks midnight - is it all possible Celestron supplied the wrong sized fitting with the power tank I purchased from them?

#7 Arthur Dent

Arthur Dent

    Galactic Hitch-Hiker

  • *****
  • Posts: 3708
  • Joined: 23 Oct 2008
  • Loc: South Yorkshire, UK

Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

Unlikely - but possible.

This may help. Meade use the other (more common) type N 5.5mm DC plug!

Celestron use the type M plug.

Posted Image

Art

#8 MG1962

MG1962

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 243
  • Joined: 13 Aug 2011

Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:34 PM

Cheers I might purchase that cable from scopes stuff and see if that makes the difference - At $16.00 at worst I have a back up if anything goes wrong. And I will do the other suggestion of stacking in some batteries

#9 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11515
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 06 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

Thanks midnight - is it all possible Celestron supplied the wrong sized fitting with the power tank I purchased from them?


Well, I'm not sure. If you read the manual that comes with the Celestron Power Tank, it DOES say that the supplied cord is for charging the Power Tank from your car's cigarette lighter outlet, not for supplying power to the scope. So the question is, did they use the same connector as is used on their scopes?

I'm not convinced they did. The Celestron branded unit is also sold by other companies with different trade dress. So it is probably supplied by some other manufacturer who made the decision on what size connector to use for their charging plug.

-Dan

#10 Skip

Skip

    Starlifter Driver

  • *****
  • Posts: 3940
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Posted 07 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

Well, I'm not sure. If you read the manual that comes with the Celestron Power Tank, it DOES say that the supplied cord is for charging the Power Tank from your car's cigarette lighter outlet, not for supplying power to the scope. So the question is, did they use the same connector as is used on their scopes?



Hi Dan,

Wow! That is interesting. I never realized that. But my PT came with both a "recharging" (Input) cord and an Output cord. The output cord has the cigarette lighter type plug on one end and the Scope input plug on the other - and it was the correct size. The receptacles on the PT are clearly labled "Output" for the cigarette-style receptacle and "Input" for the recharging receptacle. My PT is nearly 6 years old and things may have changed. :p

#11 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11515
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 07 January 2013 - 02:44 PM

Hi Skip:

Odd. I got mine about 4 years ago and it only came with one cord. Mine was the 7 amp-hour model.

-Dan

#12 barbarosa

barbarosa

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 875
  • Joined: 11 Apr 2010
  • Loc: 37°50'N

Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:11 PM

Although there are industry stnadards for this type of inexpensive DC power connector, there are so many suppliers and slight variants that any given "M" connector might be make poor contact at the center pin/inner barrel or the outer barel/ring connection.

Spreading the center pin does not always create a good fix.

A US maker of bicycle lights used these connectors for many years. To maintain a reliable connection on a road or mountain bike they used a rubber grommet to position and hold the plug. This did not always work and their field solution was to take a pair of long nose pliers and squeeze the plug barrel makeing s slight dent. Sometimes a second dent was required.

I've used this squeeze fix on an after market connector with my CPC and with a Celestron connector on my Nexstar mount, when spreading the center pin did not entirely solve the problem.

#13 butsam

butsam

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 132
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Ohio

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:38 PM

Hi Skip:

Odd. I got mine about 4 years ago and it only came with one cord. Mine was the 7 amp-hour model.

-Dan


I just got mine right for Christmas, and I came really close to returning it because the documentation said there were 2 cords, but I only saw one...turns out the 2nd cord (with the cigarette lighter plug-in) was in the door on the back that had the warning label on it (the label didn't make mention that it was a door either)...the only way I found this out was by looking online. This was for the Celestron Power Tank.

Not saying yours was the same way, but I do want to include this in the forum in case someone gets the newer Celestron Power Tank and wonders where the 2nd cord is!

#14 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11515
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:03 PM

OK, now I'm confused.

Mine actually came with 2 cords, one with a power brick for charging from AC, and the other with the cigarette lighter plug for charging from a car. That second one was inside the back panel. I was leaving the AC charging cable out of my discussion because it clearly had nothing to do with the scope.

Skip: Are these the 2 cords you mentioned? I guess I was assuming you meant you received two cords with a cigarette lighter jack on one end and a scope-type connector on the other ... and that one was designated for the scope and the other was designated for charging.

-Dan

#15 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11515
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:08 PM

I just went and checked Celestron's website. They have the documentation linked from this page:
http://www.celestron...wer-supply.html

Under the "DC Charging" section, it says "The DC recharging adapter is located in the compartment on the back side of the PowerTank."

This says to me that the cord is designed to fit the charging connection on the front of the Power Tank. It may or may not fit the scope too, but that doesn't appear to be its designed purpose.

-Dan

#16 Skip

Skip

    Starlifter Driver

  • *****
  • Posts: 3940
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:36 PM

Skip: Are these the 2 cords you mentioned? I guess I was assuming you meant you received two cords with a cigarette lighter jack on one end and a scope-type connector on the other ... and that one was designated for the scope and the other was designated for charging.


You know Dan, you could be absolutely correct. I seldom read manuals and it does get me in trouble sometimes. :p I did get two cords as you mention but I don't recall any designation on them (and I don't read manuals). But my reasoning comes from the label under the cigarette lighter receptacle. It says "Output". The one under the charging receptacle says "Input". So I assume (and you know what that does) that the input means power going into the unit and the output is for power going out of the unit, for example, to the scope. That seems logical to my militarily wired brain. But I could be all wet!! :foreheadslap:

So, that is the way I have been using the PT for 6 years and I've never had a problem with it. But what this does is confirm for me that I am right about reading manuals - I'm not gonna start doing it! :grin:

#17 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11515
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 09 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

Hi Skip:

OK, sorry if I'm being dense :p but I'm still not clear on your statement:

I did get two cords as you mention ...


Since I mentioned a couple of different cable-set options, which one do you have:

A) one CL (cigarette Lighter) to scope-type, and one AC brick to scope-type

B) two CL to scope-type

C) two CL to scope-type and one AC brick to scope-type

-Dan

#18 butsam

butsam

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 132
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2012
  • Loc: Ohio

Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

Skip,

I think the confusion is on where the 2nd cord goes. By the manual, the 2nd cord plugs in to your car's cigarette lighter, and the other end plugs into the power tank's input port. (In other words, it is to allow you to charge the power supply while driving -- presumably, to your dark viewing location. I do not recommend using it if the car is off unless you have another way to get home and a good set of jumper cables!)

The plug also works decently if you plug it into the cigarette lighter's output port and into your telescope, but that is not the stated purpose.

(At least for me, I haven't had issues yet, although others have reported intermittent connectivity when using the cord this way, and solutions are above. I have very little experience, being a newbie myself, so I'm not sure what the difference is, but a lot of the posts above have suggestions. If it makes a difference, I have a very new unit that came with the NexStar+ remote -- not sure if the fork arm mount changed at all also in the new manufacturing to accept a more standard plug, or if I have just been lucky.)

#19 Skip

Skip

    Starlifter Driver

  • *****
  • Posts: 3940
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

Since I mentioned a couple of different cable-set options, which one do you have:

A) one CL (cigarette Lighter) to scope-type, and one AC brick to scope-type

B) two CL to scope-type

C) two CL to scope-type and one AC brick to scope-type


Howdy Dan,

Option A. But after reading what butsam wrote, I can now see how the cigarette style cord could be used to charge the PT. But I guess my thinking was, "How do I get power from the PT to the scope, except by putting the cig-stlye plug into the cig 'output' receptacle and the "M" style plug into the power receptacle in the scope."

Oh well, we've probably pummeled this necrotic equine sufficiently. :p So peace be unto ya my friend! Hope your weather clears and you get some viewing/imaging in. :grin:

#20 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11515
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Thanks for the clarification, Skip! So it does indeed sound like we have the same thing.

Like butsam says, the cord is supplied for charging, not for powering the scope. However, if it is the correct connector, there certainly is no reason why it can't be used for the scope as well. I'm just not sure if it's the same connector.

As you say, and to paraphrase :grin:, we have sufficiently flogged this deceased equine. I'll go back to looking through my scope for a lovely, closeup view of the underside of the clouds.

-Dan

#21 Doug Michel

Doug Michel

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 273
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Lincoln, NE

Posted 08 February 2013 - 09:16 AM

Wait a minute, how are we supposted to use the power tank to power the scope if not using the car adapter plug from the tank to the scope? The other cord that came with mine I believe (been a while since the scope has been used) is the AC outlet plug on one end and the M connector shown above that plugs into the input of the tank to charge it. What other cord is there to take power from the tank to the scope if not the car adapter looking guy?

#22 jturie

jturie

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 130
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2012
  • Loc: Valley Forge, PA

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

Reading the PDF manual for the PT, it says:

"Uses the DC cord with car plug to connect your device to DC 12V output receptacle."

So, it seems that the cigarette plug cord can be used for both DC charging of the PT and for supplying DC power to the scope. I would find it hard to believe that they would make you go out and buy a separate cord without explicitly stating this in the product description.

#23 Midnight Dan

Midnight Dan

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 11515
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2008
  • Loc: Hilton, NY, Yellow Zone (Bortle 4.5)

Posted 08 February 2013 - 11:18 AM

Hi Doug:

According to the manual, the AC cord is supplied to charge from an AC outlet (obviously), and the other cord is supplied to charge from a car's 12V DC cigarette lighter jack. The power tank is NOT shipped with a cable for powering your scope. Since different scopes have different power connectors, there would be no way to provide the right one for everyone.

Having said that, *IF* the connector on the end of the DC-charging cable matches the scope you're using then there is no reason you can't use it for powering the scope as well. The question is still whether the connector is the correct one for the 8SE or not. It DOES fit, but there's more than one connector size that will fit the 8SE. Only the correctly sized one will provide consistent, reliable power.

If you want to buy one that is designed with the correct connector, here is one such:
http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_cc14.htm

-Dan

#24 Doug Michel

Doug Michel

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 273
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2011
  • Loc: Lincoln, NE

Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

Ok that makes sense Dan. I have had spotty issues with slew speeds and such when using the PT as opposed to using an extension cord when in my own yard. My guess is the connector into the mount is not quite right and probably doesnt get consistent power supplied. Will look into getting a new cord for it.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics