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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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cameron12x
sage


Reged: 11/10/10

Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field?
      #6052951 - 08/29/13 04:47 PM

What are the best options?

* cigarette lighter hookup to car battery
* dedicated 12V battery
* other

Does the CG-5 come with the first option as included equipment?

Thanks!


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: cameron12x]
      #6053097 - 08/29/13 06:19 PM

Don't use your car battery unless you like being stranded at a dark site. The mount is surprisingly power hungry and can potentially run a battery down over the course of a long run with a lot of go-tos.

The solution is a jump-start battery pack you can get from Walmart or automotive discounters.


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Stelios
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/04/03

Loc: West Hills, CA
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: cameron12x]
      #6053158 - 08/29/13 06:53 PM

I've been using the same old Celestron Power Tank (the small one) since 2003.

It takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'...

I'm sure you can find cheaper, but I like the looks of it and the big flashlight (but DON'T try that at a star party). When observing at friends' home and it's time to pack, that flashlight locates the occasional dropped filter or EP in a hurry.


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Mike4242
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/11

Loc: Memphis, TN
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: Stelios]
      #6053300 - 08/29/13 08:13 PM

I power my CG-5 with the Celestron 7ah power tank and I've never had it run down. My typical observing sessions at the dark site last about 4 to 5 hours.

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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: Mike4242]
      #6053313 - 08/29/13 08:21 PM

interesting.. I was concerned the 7 and 17Ah power tanks were too small. bought a 24 Ah AGM battery from RS (similar to Mouser or Element14) and put it in a toolbox.

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BRCoz
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/21/05

Loc: Moreno Valley, CA
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6053374 - 08/29/13 09:13 PM

I use two Power-Sonic PS-1270-PS-1270 12 Volt 7 Amp Hour Sealed Lead Acid Batteries. Get the lowest milliamp charger. I put them in a tool bag for about $10. I use it for the weekend without needing a recharged. I have used this setup for years.

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: BRCoz]
      #6053438 - 08/29/13 10:04 PM

I power my CG-5, Netbook and Camera with this pack

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-volt-jump-start-and-power-supply-38391.html?c...

if you have a harbor freight tools in your area snag it while its on sale for 50 bucks.

mine will run my mount only all night long (6+ hours easily) or it will run my mount + camera + netbook for about 3 hours, if i'm smart i'll disconnect my netbook and run off its battery after 2 hours and when doing this i have managed 6 hours of imaging time on this battery pack! even then its still not dead, its just my camera's power adapter will drop below "acceptable" voltage for my camera and it shuts down. one time a month ago while doing an overnight imaging camp out i hit the sac at 3:30 am and my camera and netbook died around 4:00-4:15 AM or something but the mount was still on and tracking when i woke up at 7 AM


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: frito]
      #6053460 - 08/29/13 10:28 PM

interesting regarding the netbook..

my problem is the TEC on my camera pulls 4 Amps...


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DaveG
sage
*****

Reged: 12/28/03

Loc: Ohio
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: frito]
      #6053462 - 08/29/13 10:29 PM

I am using a Schumacher XP2260 for my Nexstar 8SE and dew heater. Had it out last weekend for over 4 hours and it was still about 95 percent charged when I got home. It has a 22 amp hour battery, which is pretty darn good for a portable power unit. Bought it at Walmart for $99.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: cameron12x]
      #6053578 - 08/29/13 11:50 PM

The battery is not someplace you want to skimp. You want a deep cycle marine battery. Among the best are the Optima Blue Tops. I'd go with 30AH minimum and 50AH to 70AH preferable. Such a battery with a single 15W amorphous solar panel gives you pretty close to indefinite, sustainable field power, including recharging phones, tablets, etc., and powering your mount and dew suppressors.

Regards,

Jim


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Ranger Tim
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 03/25/08

Loc: SE Idaho, USA
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #6053599 - 08/30/13 12:00 AM

How much weight are you willing to carry around? That will dictate which battery you should consider. Some folks use jump packs, some wheel chair batts, and I use a pair of 100+ amp hour boat anchors that live in my trailer. Whatever you do, keep 'em charged and the cells filled. A discharged battery is one step away from a dead battery. Use an automatic charger that is smart enough not to overheat the batt. and has a maintenance cycle.

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frito
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/05/12

Loc: Fremont, CA
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: Ranger Tim]
      #6053690 - 08/30/13 01:18 AM

I agree if you have lots of gear for an imaging rig to power then some boat anchor deep cell's are the ticket no doubt.

the OP is asking specifcally about just powering a CG-5, a single car battery is overkill for powering it for even a long night of observing. the harbor freight pack i linked above will run it for more than enough time and can even be pushed to running some additional gear. I already have accquired a deep cell truck battery i will be using when the need arises but until then i'd rather not lug the thing around.


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Americal
sage
*****

Reged: 09/14/07

Loc: La Verne, CA
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: cameron12x]
      #6053737 - 08/30/13 02:12 AM

I'm using a CHEEP lawnmower battery for my CG-5, 5 years and still going. Last June it did 3 nights w/o recharging just fine, thank you. It's going in a couple of days for a 5 night marathon, we'll see. I've got a 2.5w solar panel to help this time (I've got a plan B )but I'll report back. But there's some qualifiers; 1.) I keep it well charged, 2.) I typically don't run more than 20 or so goto's nightly, 3.) it's housed in a Coleman cooler so it doesn't suffer from exposure. BTW the lid's off the box while running, we don't need no H2-O2 incidents, it is a CHEEP lead/acid battery.

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T1R2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: NeverWhere, 35*N
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: Americal]
      #6053743 - 08/30/13 02:24 AM

I wouldn't recommend a 17ahr power tank, on cold nights I run my astrozap at about halfway on the C11, It pull about 5A an hr, and it drains the battery in a little over 3.5hr, even faster if its up any higher, add a camera and extra heater for ep's, guidscope, and your down to nothing real quick, works fine for a 80mm obj. all night maybe. I've ran it down with a 5" dew strap in 3-4 hrs also, This may be enough for you if its only your mount, and you don't slew around a lot. I'd go with the 24Ahr.

Edit: I never knew they made up up 100Ahr, Go with one of those like Jim said, I know what Im getting next.

Edited by T1R2 (08/30/13 02:28 AM)


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: T1R2]
      #6053776 - 08/30/13 03:41 AM

100 Ah weighs about 70 to 80 lb. That's more than most mounts.

Now I realize my 24 Ah is too weak. Because I also have dew heaters and my 4-amp sucking TEC cooler.


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Stelios
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/04/03

Loc: West Hills, CA
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #6054330 - 08/30/13 12:22 PM

Too weak for what? Not for the original question. I've powered the CG-5 with a 7AH Power tank for 2-3 consecutive 4-5 hr. sessions without recharging.

If you are going to be adding dew-heaters, iPads, Macbooks and the Space Shuttle, then, of course, you need more power.


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bierbelly
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/04

Loc: Sterling, VA
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: Stelios]
      #6054361 - 08/30/13 12:39 PM

Get a Honda generator...or better yet see if you can find one with a diesel engine!

...or you could get two batteries/power sources, one for the mount and one for everything else.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: bierbelly]
      #6054538 - 08/30/13 02:27 PM

It's quite funny how every post asking about power ends up as some sort of contest for who uses the largest array of batteries.



Chris


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cameron12x
sage


Reged: 11/10/10

Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: Stelios]
      #6054623 - 08/30/13 03:18 PM

Quote:

Too weak for what? Not for the original question. I've powered the CG-5 with a 7AH Power tank for 2-3 consecutive 4-5 hr. sessions without recharging.

If you are going to be adding dew-heaters, iPads, Macbooks and the Space Shuttle, then, of course, you need more power.



I believe that my initial imaging sessions will be anywhere from 2-4 hours. The wildcard for me, however, is how many "GOTOs" I do during a given session and how long it takes me to get a good polar alignment for AP. And I'm still very new at exploring the vast array of targets we have!

Quote:

It's quite funny how every post asking about power ends up as some sort of contest for who uses the largest array of batteries.



So true!

Nonetheless, I appreciate all of the candid responses based on actual experiences in the field.

Thanks everyone!


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: cameron12x]
      #6054739 - 08/30/13 04:39 PM

One of the most popular sizes of sealed lead Acid batteries is the 7Ah, it's practically a standard. These are used in all sorts of UPSs, burglar alarms and emergency lighting.

The result is that they are one of the most cost effective batteries out there in terms of pounds per amp hour. Chargers for them aren't difficult or expensive either and most are of the sort that can be connected indefinitely, once the battery is charged they switch to a float charge mode.

What I do suggest is fit some sort of polarised and fused plugs and sockets to everything. Avoid the cigar lighter connector, they are very unreliable. The cost of some decent connectors is tiny compared to the expense of connecting power the wrong way.

Chris


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skullpin
sage
*****

Reged: 03/13/09

Loc: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6054778 - 08/30/13 05:05 PM

Has anyone tried those inexpensive 12v lithium batteries from eBay? I have one that is 3800mAH, cost $30 shipped, and is about the size of and weighs about as much as a deck of cards.

I was originally not planning on using it with a mount, though I have tried it on my new Vixen GP2 with DD3 (not goto). It worked fine for 2.5 hours until I gave out at 3am. I have no idea how much longer it would work as I have only one use with it so far.

There are other models around 6800, 9600, 15000, and 20000 mAH, and all are quite light compared to SLA batteries.

Any other experiences?

Keith


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cameron12x
sage


Reged: 11/10/10

Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: frito]
      #6100472 - 09/25/13 02:01 PM

Quote:

I power my CG-5, Netbook and Camera with this pack

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-volt-jump-start-and-power-supply-38391.html?c...

if you have a harbor freight tools in your area snag it while its on sale for 50 bucks.

mine will run my mount only all night long (6+ hours easily) or it will run my mount + camera + netbook for about 3 hours, if i'm smart i'll disconnect my netbook and run off its battery after 2 hours and when doing this i have managed 6 hours of imaging time on this battery pack! even then its still not dead, its just my camera's power adapter will drop below "acceptable" voltage for my camera and it shuts down. one time a month ago while doing an overnight imaging camp out i hit the sac at 3:30 am and my camera and netbook died around 4:00-4:15 AM or something but the mount was still on and tracking when i woke up at 7 AM




I decided to give this solution a shot. It was on sale for $39.95 so with tax and shipping I'm paying $50. Not bad. I should have it in a few days.

Thanks for everyone for your input... much appreciated!


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dragonslayer1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: cameron12x]
      #6100491 - 09/25/13 02:10 PM

am curious, how do you tie into 3 things at once with one 12v plug in (cigarette lighter) source? mount, camera, notebook? thank you,
Kasey


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: skullpin]
      #6100547 - 09/25/13 02:33 PM

Quote:

Has anyone tried those inexpensive 12v lithium batteries from eBay? I have one that is 3800mAH, cost $30 shipped, and is about the size of and weighs about as much as a deck of cards.

I was originally not planning on using it with a mount, though I have tried it on my new Vixen GP2 with DD3 (not goto). It worked fine for 2.5 hours until I gave out at 3am. I have no idea how much longer it would work as I have only one use with it so far.

There are other models around 6800, 9600, 15000, and 20000 mAH, and all are quite light compared to SLA batteries.

Any other experiences?

Keith




If it works for you, cool. But < 4ah won't run the mount long, and 30 bucks is pretty steep when you can trot to Harbor Freight or Pepboys and get a 17ah jumpstarter with a charger for about twice that.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: rmollise]
      #6100684 - 09/25/13 03:35 PM

If lead-acid batteries are considered, choose an AGM one. A normal car battery will be damaged when drawn below around 11.5 volts, a "leisure" battery will be somewhat more tolerant, a lead-acid gel battery even better and an AGM one can basically be shorted to zero with no damage. They're a bit more expensive but well worth the extra money.

/per


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #6100775 - 09/25/13 04:20 PM

Quote:

If lead-acid batteries are considered, choose an AGM one. A normal car battery will be damaged when drawn below around 11.5 volts, a "leisure" battery will be somewhat more tolerant, a lead-acid gel battery even better and an AGM one can basically be shorted to zero with no damage. They're a bit more expensive but well worth the extra money.

/per




That's not what I am suggesting. I am suggesting the ubiquitous jump start battery pack. The one I use with my NexStar 11 (a "Prestone" from cotton-picking Walmart) is still going strong despite me having purchased it at the same time as the scope in 2002.


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6100912 - 09/25/13 05:25 PM

Quote:

am curious, how do you tie into 3 things at once with one 12v plug in (cigarette lighter) source? mount, camera, notebook? thank you, Kasey



Kasey,

Just search on "12v splitter" ... here's one example.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Way-Car-Cigarette-Lighter-Socket-Splitter-Charger-P...


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dragonslayer1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: mclewis1]
      #6101244 - 09/25/13 08:36 PM

Thank you Mr. Mark,
Once again the encyclopedia of astro stuff to the rescue ,,,, I wonder how reliable they are?? Thats really slick if the source will carry the load of 3 @ 12V draw and what ever amperage? Thank you again,
Kasey


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Powering the CG-5 ASGT in the field? new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #6101594 - 09/26/13 12:43 AM

Kasey,

They're generally not bad and they are certainly cheap and popular. Cigarette style plugs and outlets are not the ultimate in reliability, custom wiring with Anderson powerpoles and similar products are certainly better. In some cases the cigarette style connectors can be pretty bad (when they're in bad condition bumping them and you get an intermittent connection) ... but if all the springs and connectors are intact and you're not tossing stuff around or tugging on the cables and such around you shouldn't have problems.

They have big flat surfaces for electrical connections so they can handle reasonable amperage loads (a few amps per connector is typical). I've run 4-5 amps into one of these splitter units on a regular basis with no problems. Many of the splitters have a 10 or 20amp automotive style fuse in them (a good thing), and the plugs on many devices or cables have cartridge style 2/5/10amp fuses in the tips. The reason for the fuses is to reduce the chance of serious heat and flame in the event of a short in a cable ... beyond that they don't do much.

I like to always make sure the connector going back to the battery is in good condition (it's the one carrying the most amperage), ensuring nothing is broken and the connections are clean. Getting debris and moisture in the sockets is probably the biggest problem so if you use one of these splitters outdoors I would keep it in something like a heavy ziplock style bag to keep dew off of it. I find it also helps if you give the connectors a slight twist as they are being inserted, this seems to keep keep any debris or corrosion that has gotten into the socket from getting in the way.


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