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Project Box - Battery Holder for Celestron CG5 Controller
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I have a couple of tips that I use on my Celestron CG5 Mount. The battery holder that comes with the telescope mount is a light plastic bag which contains a four-battery holder and some wire that are only lightly attached. I do not like this contraption so I redesigned my own, that you can do with a trip to radio shack.
The enhancements that I wanted to make to this replacement devise are;
Improve the durability of the holder/bag of batteries
Lengthen the wire/cord that connects the holder to the telescope drive motors
Add an Off/on switch and indicator LED light
Holder for hand controller
The redesign of the battery box is intended to ensure that connectivity is maintained with the batteries and internal connections. Although the old battery pouch has in internal holder with a clamping tyoe feature for holding the batteries, it would still allow the batteries to come loose. This is a little frustrating when trying to find out what is wrong and repair a lose connection in the dark. So fixing this shortcoming was the primary purpose of the redesign for the battery holder. I also wanted the cord connecting the battery box to be longer, more flexible in cold weather and fix existing connections on the hand controller. Hence the braided wire cord with shrink tube encased connectors. The longer length allows be to use the same cord with my Celestron PowerTank. Then the LED light and switch were added the cord would not have to be unplugged when not in use. I can simple lift my assembled telescope back into my garage, and leave the entire devise on the tripod. Just switch it off and the LED goes out.
Although related, the telescope hand controller is usually left dangling from the tripod, which fatigues any connectors and makes the hand controller difficult to find. This was remedied by attaching a wrap of Velcro tape to the leg of the tripod and patch of Velcro to the back of the hand controller.
I didn’t take sequential pictures of the assembly process of building the new battery box, but all of the electrical components can be purchased at Radio Shack. They sell 6 inch project boxes and 4 D-Cell battery holders. The 6 inch project box is wide enough to move the battery holder off to one side and still have room to install the RCA plug connector for the power cord, a micro switch and LED light. Some simple soldering skills are helpful. I used some shor rivets to connet the battery holder to the back wall of the box. The project box has screw holes per made which can be used to close up the box, but I added a Velcro type latch to hold the cover closed. I used the some nylon webbing that was in my garage to add a handle to the box to hang it from my tripod. I found a neat clip at my local Harbor Freight store to use for attaching the handle of the New Battery Box to the tripod that has enough gap in it to manage any surplus cord found dangling.
2 inch Velcro tape added to the leg of the Tripod is holding the Hand Controller.
A rear view of the hand controller showing the Velcro pad attached to the back of the Hand Controller.
A picture of the old battery holde, a simple vinyl pouch with a battery holder. Certainly a flimsy made affair.
The completed Project Box Battery Holder. You can see the red off/on button and the small micro-LED between the pug in connector.
Inside the box you can see the battery holder and the wires for the switch/LED/plug. The battery holder is attached to the box with pop-rivets. The Lid of the box, to the right has a piece of adhesive backed foam rubber tape, sort of what you would use for window insulation. It is positioned to help keep the batteries pushed into the holder.
Another inside view.
The Project Box Battery Holder hanging under the tripod. The snap link / binder is made by a company called “Nite Ize S Binder Clip. I bought mine at Harbor Freight, but I think a lot of hardware retailers sell such a binder.
Niteize S-biner Clips are available in stainless steel and plastic