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Small, Light, Rechargeable Pack for NexStar?

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#76 Sarkikos

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 09:50 AM

I sent an email to the person on eBay who's selling the connector. I asked them if the connector I buy would be a fully working unit including metal contacts.
 
I like the short lead on the eBay item. I don't like having three foot long leads that I have to tie up.
 
Mike


#77 hamdul

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 03:20 PM

Sorry to get in so late on this topic but here's what I just bought.

 

http://www.amazon.co...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I took about 6 hours to fully charge the unit. Since then I've had about 4 hours of use time on the scope and it still does not need to be recharged.  Of course all I have on this battery is the scope. I'll use My Jump start Battery for dew prevention if needed.

The only problem I had was the instructions were in that pigeon English but there are instructions on the "Amazon" page.

 

Fred



#78 Sarkikos

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 04:18 PM

Where were you when I needed you, Fred? Maybe you could have saved me some money and a lot of back and forth about mAh's, Anderson powerpoles, connectors, discharge rates and capacities. :grin:  

 

I hope your power supply works out for you. I don't know exactly how it would compare to mine under field conditions. 

 

Mike



#79 sonny.barile

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 05:15 PM

Fred    I saw that one too. I was worried about the recharge time but it sounds ok. I ended up buying this one....

 

http://www.amazon.co.../ref=pd_cp_ba_1

 

 

Looks like you got a better deal.


Edited by sonny.barile, 07 August 2014 - 05:17 PM.


#80 hamdul

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 05:26 PM

Sonny,

I looked at that one also but you have to buy a recharger and cables so I opted for the lesser Mah or what ever they call it. 

Mike forgive me. I read the first part of the question and thought that you were looking for a light, as in flashlight so I didn't read the posts until a few minutes before I sent my response

Fred



#81 Sarkikos

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 12:06 AM

My power supply, charger and connectors arrived today from MaxxPacks. Surprise! The return address was OnlyBatteryPacks!  I still can't get that website to work. 
 
All I need now is the Anderson-to-2.1 connector. The guy on eBay who makes these connectors (radstar_n_cowboyk) agreed to set one up for me with the red and black to match the orientation followed by MaxxPacks/OnlyBatteryPacks. So it looks like I'll be receiving the last piece of the puzzle shortly.
 
Mike


#82 Midnight Dan

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 08:27 AM

Nice of him to set it up right for you!

 

-Dan



#83 sonny.barile

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 08:28 AM

I hate waiting for stuff. It seems like forever.  :fingertap:



#84 Sarkikos

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 09:18 AM

You got that right. 

 

:grin:

Mike



#85 Sarkikos

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 12:19 PM

I ordered the Anderson-to-2.1 connector to my specs today from Kenny on eBay.  He said, "For future reference also, you can contact me with just about any cable need and I can quote building to your specs."  Something to keep in mind.

 

Here's the item: http://www.ebay.com/...=item19e652c533

 

Mike



#86 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 12:51 PM

Sorry to get in so late on this topic but here's what I just bought.

 

http://www.amazon.co...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I took about 6 hours to fully charge the unit. Since then I've had about 4 hours of use time on the scope and it still does not need to be recharged.  Of course all I have on this battery is the scope. I'll use My Jump start Battery for dew prevention if needed.

The only problem I had was the instructions were in that pigeon English but there are instructions on the "Amazon" page.

 

Fred

 

Thanks, Fred!  I just ordered 2 of those; one each for the CPC and the ASGT mount. 



#87 Sarkikos

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 07:10 AM

The connector arrived yesterday from Kenny on eBay. I hooked it up between the MaxxPacks battery pack and the NexStar mount. Everything is at it should be and works fine.

 

Next step is to attach Velcro to the bottom of the battery pack and the top of the NexStar battery compartment. I'll secure the battery pack so that it will not interfere with the OTA when positioned to look at zenith.

 

Also, I charged the battery pack last night with the charger I bought from MaxxPacks. It was a trickle charge and was supposed to take about 12 hours according to the instruction sheet. I started the charge at 6pm and when I woke up this morning at 6am the green light was on. 

 

Mike



#88 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 07:32 AM

You can now see the ingenuity of the Anderson connectors. Just flipping one over allows it to connect to one of the same shape yet all terminals are recessed for safety. This is especially helpful since both the charger and the battery are voltage sources. With most other connectors, one side would have to have male pins and present a hazard. Also, by changing only the metal terminals, you can get 30A and 45A capacity with the same housing.



#89 Sarkikos

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 07:35 AM

The Anderson connectors are very user friendly once they are set up correctly.  And the connection seems secure and easy to connect and release.

 

:grin:

Mike



#90 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:54 AM

Mike, I'll bet that your instructions were written in English! The two power supplies that I bought from Fred's link above arrived yesterday, and the instructions were all in "Engrish"! It was really kind of comical, but I did figure out how to charge the things. Oh, the red LED indicator lights on these units could be used as hazard lights if you break down at night. I will need to pick up some taillight repair tape to dim them considerably. Otherwise, they work just fine and, at $22 each, I am pleased.



#91 Sarkikos

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:22 AM

Yes, my instructions were in good English, but with a mixture of the techie dialect. :grin:

 

I had heard that the red lights on the power supply you got were very bright. There are no lights at all on my supply, which is fine. I'll just charge it before I use it.  I'll keep fresh AA's in the NexStar battery compartment as backup.  MaxxPack is for grab-n-go here at home. I'll probably continue to hook up to my Orion at dark sites. But I'll bring along the MaxxPack as well. I value redundancy when I'm in the boonies 50 miles and more from home.

 

I'm not sure about yours, but the other self-contained battery supply that was mentioned in this thread appeared to have too many optional ports and settings for my taste.  In the dark, I want simplicity.  I don't want to accidently flip the wrong switch or forget which is the right switch. With the MaxxPack, you just plug it in and you're done.

 

Mike



#92 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:31 AM

The light on this power pack is brighter than the one on the CPC power switch! Those here who have a CPC will know what I am talking about. I had to cover that light with a piece of black felt.

 

On this particular power supply there is one outlet for the 2.1 power supply cord and charger cord, and one switch, so it is also pretty much plug it in and go. This weekend is finally supposed to be clear, so I can give it a go to see how well it actually works. If I can get a few hours out of each pack, I will be happy with it. I tend to stick with an object for several minutes, so I don't tend to slew around a whole lot.

 

I would still bet that  your MaxxPack and Anderson connector is far superior to this unit, and I like that it has no lights on it.



#93 Sarkikos

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 09:52 AM

I'm planning on taking my EdgeHD 8 and NexStar mount to a dark site either Friday or Saturday night, depending on the weather. Maybe I'll have the MaxxPack hooked up all night for a test. It sure will be more convenient than moving that heavy Orion power supply around the mount.

 

Mike



#94 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:05 AM

You got that right. I use three of those jump start things from Harbor Freight. They are great, and last a good long time, but they are heavy.



#95 hamdul

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:09 AM

Doug,

You're so so right about the red light on the Battery case. It is a tad bright. :p  I mounted Mine on the side of the unit and upside down so the light is not a problem in that location. :flowerred:  What got me was the fact that you had to have the battery switch in the on position during charging. :confused:  Who would have thought. :foreheadslap:

 

Fred



#96 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 10:15 AM

Fred,

 

Yes, I had to read those horrid instructions three times before it sunk in that you have to turn the switch to on for it to charge. That just wasn't making sense to me. I was also a bit flumoxed by the light on the charger turning green when it's charged, but the light on the unit is still red. FWIW, mine only took two hours to charge out of the box.

 

In spite of the wonky instructions and the bright light, I think that I am going to like this thing. It's really lightweight, and easy to Velcro on one of the fork arms. BTW, that's a great idea to mount it with the light pointing downward. That way it will just light up the ground.



#97 sonny.barile

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 07:31 PM

At least your lights are red. My pack has blue lights and they are quite bright. I do the same thing Fred does an mount it upside down. It looks like an alien craft when it is charging. 



#98 hamdul

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Posted 15 August 2014 - 10:55 AM

As a follow up and to let you know how my battery is behaving. I had my scope out again last night for about 3 hours  so that makes it approx. 7 hours on this charge and when I attach the battery to the charger it still shows the green light. I'm liking this thing more and more.

 

Fred



#99 Sarkikos

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:03 AM

Fred, Sonny & Doug,

 

You might be able to find a small black zip-up bag that will fit over the battery pack and shield the lights from your eyes. You can find bags like this in arts and crafts stores,  maybe hardware stores or camping stores. I did this to cover my BlueTooth gizmo. Just leave it open enough to let the power cord hang out.  But if you attach the battery pack to the mount with Velcro, you'll have to put some Velcro on the bag itself.

 

Mike


Edited by Sarkikos, 17 August 2014 - 10:04 AM.


#100 Sarkikos

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:15 AM

I took my new EdgeHD 8 on NexStar to my dark site for the first time last night.  The MaxxPacks battery pack worked great. I Velcroed it to the top of the NexStar battery compartment, off to one side so that it would not interfere with the movement of the OTA. 

 

It was a clear night, but unfortunately very dewy. I had a dew shield on the scope, but dew still formed on the corrector after about three hours. So it looks like I will need to power my dew strips. I'm thinking about using my big Orion power supply to power them.  I need to prevent dew on the corrector and the eyepiece in the focuser. Maybe the eyepiece on the optical finder, too, because I still need to star hop a little for the more difficult objects.  Goto will get you close to the object, but it doesn't point it out to you.  Some dim and difficult objects need to be verified among the background stars.

 

Rather than have the NexStar mount and all my dew strips powered by one battery supply, I think I'll keep the MaxxPacks attached to power the mount alone.  At the same time, I'll use the Orion power supply for the dew strips. I don't think I'll even bother with the Dew-Not controller. I usually need to have the dials turned up to maximum anyway, so why not supply the strips with full power from the Orion power supply?  

 

The Orion power supply is heavy and will have to stay on the ground by the mount. I have NexStar set to prevent cord-wrap, so that shouldn't be a problem.

 

Mike








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