Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (show all)
Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6102208 - 09/26/13 11:56 AM

Thanks all

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6104442 - 09/27/13 03:24 PM

I could run my house on that battery bank my solar setup that runs all the living room electronics is 24 volts at 464AH

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BradleyB
professor emeritus
****

Reged: 09/01/06

Loc: Olympia, WA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Mary B]
      #6106651 - 09/28/13 10:01 PM

I see 24 batteries that look like Rolls Surrette S-460/530/600. So it would be three parallel strings giving 1380, 1590, or 1800 Ah total. that is at the 100 hour rate of discharge, you'll probably have a bit faster discharge when running your larger loads so a little bit less capacity, but this is a nice large battery bank. I've designed a lot of systems just like this one, that is what I do. I like this choice of Magnum inverter, panel, and MidNite charge control, good stuff. I think the MidNite lightning arrestors you have on the side with the blue LED's in them are probably some of the best in our industry, you'd have to go to the lightning suppression industry to get anything more.

Brad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: BradleyB]
      #6106975 - 09/29/13 06:00 AM

Yup! S-530's. I did my math at the 20 hour rate, but in reality my usage will be somewhere in between. And I wanted to make sure I have enough capacity even when it's -15F. Though I have yet to get a satisfactory answer about their performance when they're that cold. I figure if their performance suffers I'll have to put a lightbulb in the battery box, knowing that heating the battery box will obviously draw power and lower performance in and of itself. I'm hoping that simply cycling the batteries keeps the battery box a little warmer than the bitter cold low at night and that I won't need to do anything.

I'm glad to hear your comments about the lightning arrestors. Quite honestly I hope I never have to see them work but we get some really nasty lightning storms around here.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
BradleyB
professor emeritus
****

Reged: 09/01/06

Loc: Olympia, WA
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6107702 - 09/29/13 03:06 PM

Fist realize that even if your temps get down to -15°F the batteries will not. They have a lot of mass and will stay at about the average temperature over the period of a few days. Batteries like this (and most lead based batteries) will have about 45% of it's full capacity at -15°F. If they really only get down to about say 20°F they will have about 65% of their capacity. They will heat up a little when being charged, but not much when being discharged. Having the solar array connected will make a big difference in how well they do. Having that solar power connected in the winter will help keep the batteries fully charged. It's really hard to take good care of batteries with just a generator. You'll also really like having that silent solar power source working for you all the time. I have not heard of putting a heater in the battery box as ever ending up with a positive result. It will generally cause a lower state of charge and less available energy, and if it discharges the battery far enough will damage it, especially if it freezes. And do make sure that the inverter and charge control temperature sensors are placed somewhere in the middle of the battery bank where it will get a good reading, this is very important. I expect you'll like this system.

Brad


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
wavecloud
sage


Reged: 09/22/13

Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: BradleyB]
      #6108012 - 09/29/13 06:49 PM

What are you calling your obs?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: wavecloud]
      #6108274 - 09/29/13 09:48 PM

You could use rigid foam on the outside of the battery box to insulate it.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: 1965healy]
      #6109139 - 09/30/13 11:50 AM

Thanks for the helpful information Brad!

@WaveCloud: "My observatory" *chuckle* It doesn't really have a name. Maybe Swain Hill 'cause that's where I live?

@Karen: Great idea! Maybe I'll just use rigid foam AS the battery box.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
wavecloud
sage


Reged: 09/22/13

Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: corpusse]
      #6114155 - 10/02/13 09:55 PM

You should call it the Dewdrop Observatory. Sounds nice, and it fits

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics
*****

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: wavecloud]
      #6115608 - 10/03/13 04:37 PM

My batteries are in an enclosed porch that is unheated. Lowest I saw them drop was to ~35 degrees f when it was -21 outside.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rimcrazy
sage


Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Overgaard, AZ
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Mary B]
      #6115719 - 10/03/13 05:26 PM

While this is probably not your specific batteries, lead acid batteries in general fall off quite fast in efficiency as the temp gets below freezing.

Effecinecy vs Temperature

You might want to check the curves for your specific manufacturer. I'm guessing they probably have them on the web.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: rimcrazy]
      #6118259 - 10/05/13 12:19 AM

Perfect design! I love it.

Can you tell us more about the panel for flats? As in a nice write up! :-)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Wmacky]
      #6119285 - 10/05/13 04:32 PM

For the flat panel I bought a 30" split electroluminescent panel from Knema.com (aka LuminiousFilm.com). I also bought three 33" square pieces of white translucent acrylic from tap plastics. And some 1"x1" wood trim. Then I made a sandwich of acrylic, EL Panel, acrylic, wood trim, and another piece of acrylic. The wood trim is around the edge (but just inside the acrylic) and is used as a spacer, keeping the two "front" pieces of acrylic a little bit apart. I do this to get rid of any little blotchyness in the EL panel as well as to hide the little tiny thin line down the middle of the panel.

I then drilled through around the perimeter and bolted it all together.

Mounting it to the dome was really a PITA, and it's still not quite perfect and won't be until I get my new telescope and know the exact measurements.

In truth I think this is all overkill. I think a sandwich of acrylic, EL panel, and acrylic would be plenty sufficient, and much lighter. The light wouldn't be perfectly even but I seriously doubt the flats would ever notice.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
1965healy
The Snarkster
*****

Reged: 06/23/07

Loc: San Antonio, TX
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6120175 - 10/06/13 08:20 AM

I made an ELP for my scopes as well. Mine fits the dew shield of my 8" CPC and has insets to drop the size down for my other scopes. It's about 14" square. Pretty easy to make and it stores in a cubby hole.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Christopher EricksonModerator
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: 1965healy]
      #6120625 - 10/06/13 01:40 PM

Setting the batteries on top of rigid foam will help with their winter temps.

As for PV solar charge controllers, MPPT controllers are currently the most efficient type. They typically cost a bit more but will give you about 5 to 10% more charging on average, which allows them to pay for themselves rather quickly.

Are there any wireless ISP's (WISP's) in your area?

http://www.wispa.org/find-a-wisp

Great observatory!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6120793 - 10/06/13 03:28 PM

What kind of fire detection/protection do you have?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6120868 - 10/06/13 04:08 PM

Thanks Christopher- the Midnite Classic charge controller I have is an MPPT charge controller. And sadly, no, there are no wireless ISPs. Maybe I should start one!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tori
sage


Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Somerville, MA/Warren, NH
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Raginar]
      #6120877 - 10/06/13 04:13 PM

Quote:

What kind of fire detection/protection do you have?




Fire? If it catches fire it's gone. Let's not go down that path.

Burglar and vandalism, however, I've got covered...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ManuelJ
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/19/05

Loc: Madrid, Spain
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: Tori]
      #6122029 - 10/07/13 10:05 AM

That's ok.










Would you marry me?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
starquake
sage


Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Nádasdladány
Re: Just completed my new observatory! new [Re: ManuelJ]
      #6122699 - 10/07/13 02:57 PM

Gorgeous observatory, congratulations! May I ask if you have some special plans with your future telescope? Some automated supernova patrolling? Spectroscopy? Minor planet search? People rarely do such decisions without a serious reason.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (show all)


Extra information
9 registered and 13 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Christopher Erickson, Joe C, Mr Greybush 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 5014

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics