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Celestron Powertank maintenance

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#1 dogeddie

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:07 PM

I have a 7AH powertank that I think the battery might be shot. I have charged it using both the wall charger and a trickle charger, and it indicates it is full, yet when I hook it to my scope the yellow light immediately comes on to indicate it needs a charge. What is the fool proof maintenance to keep these things tip top, as a replacement battery is $36.00, and if I replace it I don't want to keep doing that! :confused: Thanks

#2 Phil Sherman

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:01 AM

The only foolproof way is to scrap the charger and use a high quality multi-stage charger in its place. This does not account for figuring how to attach the replacement charger to the tank because there may already be some circuitry there.

It's probably a lot cheaper to get a replacement charger that has the smart charger built in that can be left plugged in forever and not damage the battery. You should also be able to get a replacement battery for a bit less from one of the online battery sellers.

Phil

#3 morrisng2

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:33 AM

I used Battery Tender to recover my Power Tank, as well as the battery in my Bimmer. Works great assuming you still have some charge left in your battery.

#4 dogeddie

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:19 AM

I have an old Radio Shack battery charger/conditioner that I use. It has some small alligator clips on it, so in order to use it, I have a few extra items. I got a cord that has a female end similar to a cigarette lighter, with alligator clamps on the other end. I plug the regular powertank cord with the male cigarette lighter end on one end into the charger port, then plug the female end of the cigarette cord to the male end, then attach the alligator clamps from that cord to the charger. Crude, but I think it works. I must have let the powertank battery get too low or go unattended too long.

#5 dogeddie

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:51 AM

I see Batteries Plus has the Battery Tender Junior on sale for $26. I was thinking maybe it's tome to retire the old Radio Shack charger and pick one up with the battery . For those who use the Tender, what method do you use to hook it to the Power tank? Here is what I use now - http://dx.com/p/ciga...les-black-re... Thanks

#6 barnowl

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:10 AM

I attach the clips from Battery Tender Jr to the large battery clips on the back of the Powertank. The Powertank clips are always hot, so ignore the charging switch on it. No need to go through the Powertank charging socket. I just replaced the battery in my Powertank after five years of use.
Lee

#7 dogeddie

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

I attach the clips from Battery Tender Jr to the large battery clips on the back of the Powertank. The Powertank clips are always hot, so ignore the charging switch on it. No need to go through the Powertank charging socket. I just replaced the battery in my Powertank after five years of use.
Lee


You mean the red and black threaded studs on the back, right? I thought those were for output only. I will try it - thanks.

#8 barnowl

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:12 PM

My Powertank has two large clips designed to be attached to the battery of your car to start it when the battery is discharged. They are wired directly to the Powertank battery, and are what I was referring to. I am not sure what studs you mean...
Lee

#9 dogeddie

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:25 PM

http://www.cloudynig...s/powertank.pdf

the third page has a photo of what I am referring to on the back side - the manual refers to them as jumper cable terminals

or here is another view

http://www.amazon.co...5/ref=cm_ciu...

#10 barnowl

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

The Powertank I have has integrated jumper cables. I know nothing about this newer model so can't say if the unit can be charged through the terminals. My apologies.
Lee

#11 morrisng2

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

I have a cigarette lighter adapter for the Battery Tender. I just plug that into the PowerTank and leave the PowerTank in "ON" position, NOT "CHARGE" POSITION.

Best of all, you can just leave it plug in and it will not damage the battery.

#12 dogeddie

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:15 AM

I plan to connect the Battery Tender directly to the jumper cable terminals/posts and leave it on as well, with the Tender in the "off" position as well. Thanks

#13 frisbsteve

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

I bought a power tank 17, charged it once and used it a few times. I went back a few months later and nothing. No LED's on, won't take a charge, absolutely nothing happens when I plug it in, no matter what switch is thrown. Is this normal?? How long should one last?? I read in a previous post that a guy had it 2 years. Mine is 1 year plus.

#14 calder

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

Hi Stephen,

I had this happen with my 17A power tank as well. I used it for a night then forgot to charge it when I got home. It sat for about 2 months before I went to use it again and discovered It appeared dead as you described and would not take a charge. I purchased a Battery Minder Plus to try to charge it but that initially did not work because the voltage of the power tank was too low. I then purchased a cheap 22A auto starting battery, fully charged it then connected it in parallel with my Power Tank battery leads. By connecting the batteries in parallel the voltage between the two batteries was great enough to enable the Battery minder to de-sulfate and charge the Power Tank. It took about 48 hours to recharge the power Tank. During the charging process I regularly checked the batteries and battery minder to make sure that nothing was overheating and from time to time I would check the voltage of the Power Tank by itself. Once the Power Tank reached a high enough voltage for the Battery Minder to operate without the assistance of the auto start battery, I disconnected the auto start battery and let the Battery Minder charge the Power Tank the rest of the way. As a precaution I did the charging outside in case something went wrong. That was four years ago and I'm still using the Power Tank today. Come to think of it, I may have actually had two auto start batteries hooked in parallel with the power tank and Battery Minder when I first started the charging process because the voltage on the power tank by itself was only reading about 2.5 volts before I started. I now make sure I recharge all my batteries right after they are used and then on a monthly basis when they are just sitting unused.

Hope this helps,
Bob

#15 morrisng2

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

I have the Powertank and the same thing happen to me. After researching I found the Powertank charging is badly designed. The tank will shuf off its charging even the battery is not at full capacity and it doesn't have triggle charge. So the battery will deplete to a level that you can not further charge it.

I ended up getting the "Battery Tender" and take a chance to recover the battery. It suppose to "cure" a dead battery as long as the battery still have a little bit juice left. At the end, it worked. And now I simply use the Battery Tender to charge the PowerTank all the time and ignore the "Fully Charge" indicator on the PowerTank.

- Morris

#16 starrancher

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

I bought a power tank 17, charged it once and used it a few times. I went back a few months later and nothing. No LED's on, won't take a charge, absolutely nothing happens when I plug it in, no matter what switch is thrown. Is this normal?? How long should one last?? I read in a previous post that a guy had it 2 years. Mine is 1 year plus.


The trick with these is to make sure they get a full charge ASAP after your viewing session . When I'd travel to a dark location , as soon as I returned home and unloaded my equipment (sun rise in action) , they got plugged in . Don't let them sit in a discharged state !
Like Bob also mentioned , charge them straight away and top them up on a monthly basis even if they are not being used regularly . Sometimes mine have gone a couple month before I remember to top them off but they are five years old now and still going good .






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