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Equipment Discussions >> Observatories

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super member

Reged: 05/20/10

Loc: California, USA
Re: Power to the obs--Generator, solar or wire? new [Re: Mary B]
      #5691481 - 02/20/13 06:25 PM

laptop = 60W,
mount = 50W,
CCD camera = 40W,
dew heaters = 30W,
and a couple of lights = 80W,
Total ~= 260W? Make it 500W just for any future luxuries.
I assume these are mostly 12V devices or run on universal switching power supplies capable of going down to 90VAC. Let's assume worst case 110V at the house and no more than 100V at the observatory. You can do that with 12ga wire, 10ga if you want to feel better about the voltage drop.
For your budget, you can buy a 600' length of SOOW or SJOOW cable -- both are rated for outdoor use and make a plenty-long extension cord. I did this with a 150' length of 10/3 and ran all of my equipment on one leg of the 240V and a 1500W heater on the other leg.
Make sure you run it on a GFCI outlet, however. That cord is long and extremely durable, but if you snag it with a tool or lawnmower enough to nick the insulation and it rains, you want to know that puddle is safe on your walk out to the observatory.
And if these are your power needs, I definitely recommend this over a permanent installation if that means the difference between a permit versus no permit required (which -- only counting paperwork -- is costing me more than $1000 for my roll-off so far).

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Mary B
Vendor - Echo Astronomy and Electronics

Reged: 05/21/10

Loc: Minnesota
Re: Power to the obs--Generator, solar or wire? new [Re: jazle]
      #5693188 - 02/21/13 05:32 PM

For solar that would be about 25 amps per hour so a 8 hour stint would be 200 amp hours from the battery if you go solar. Lighting could be dropped considerably with led dropping it to about 20 amp hour or 160 amp hour for 8 hours.

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Reged: 05/24/12

Re: Power to the obs--Generator, solar or wire? [Re: Mary B]
      #5693255 - 02/21/13 06:04 PM

I power my mobile observatory with a 3Kw Honda EU3000is generator and a 3Kw inverter so that I can run my gear at 12V DC native.


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