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Nexstar 8se power supply question

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#1 Burgher

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:14 AM

I have a Nexstar 8se that I purchased new about 10 years ago. I am looking for a good mini-sized power pack for it, perhaps a lithium ion version. I do not run anything else with the mount (no dew zappers, starsense, etc.), nor do I use it for astrophotography. I just use to for visual observing.  I currently use a direct AC power source, but my goal is to eliminate the power cable completely. In the past, I used a conventional (non-lithium) power tank, which I was not completely satisfied with (due to its relative lack of portability and less-than satisfactory quality issues I had with it).

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, would any of the recommended power packs require the use of additional cables/ jacks in order to connect to the scope's mount?

 

Thanks!



#2 sg6

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 11:43 AM

I use 2 Li-ion batteries. One is a Tracer and costs way other too much, but I bought it some years ago when it was simply expensive not as now stupidly expensive.

 

The other is a "cheapy", similar to the Talentcell ones but half the cost, search ebay.

 

The problems. They start out as 12.6v I think, they drop fast to about 1v less say 20 minutes later thyey are 11.5v (lets use simple rounded numbers) and 1 half think 11.5 will be too low for consistant operation. My scope is an old ETX-70 that operates on 9v and takes 12v happily so whatever I am over 9v.

 

Mine is 4800mAh you can get 6800mAh likely better, I intend to buy one soon.

 

Talentcell do a bigger one that may be worth considering, I forget the mAh specification, but a fair bit more. Still however 12v area. Search one out and read the details.

 

Now the "12v" problem. Really you want one that starts at 13+v and then drops to 12+v.

Shido make a Li battery for a motor bike, and vehical batteries are 13.2v.

Thinking one may be a suitable solution, as in start at 13.2v and drop after time to 12.2v. Then all happy.

So again search out Shido and motor cycle battery. Search "Li motor cycle battery" in general.

The Shido batteries are "small" as in 4Ah, seen one at 5Ah but cost increases exponentially.

 

I think the problem is not getting something, it is getting something that will still be doing the job after 30 minutes. Assume that whatever the rating they will last half the time. So a 4Ah Shido I would say expect 2 hours safe usage - IF the output is maintained. My 4800 has done 2 hours happily but little slewing around the sky, 90% or more just tracking.

 

The small ones like Talentcell will sit on the base under the scope, but sit on at the front. The rear of the scope and battery collide it the battery is on the rear of the base area.


Edited by sg6, 11 August 2019 - 11:44 AM.


#3 speedster

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 12:00 PM

I ran an 8SE with this:  https://www.amazon.c...h/dp/B016BJCRUO.  It can run it for days before recharge



#4 Mike Mc

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 12:00 PM

Hey Burgher,

 

I used a 6000mAh Talentcell with my 8SE successfully for years. I used a "y-cable" to also power a  StarSeek wifi controller with the same battery. Plenty of power for a several hour session. I recharged it after every session and it never showed evidence of inadequate power.  As sg6 mentions, it works well to attach it to the front of the mount arm with velcro to keep it out of the way and avoid any cord wrap issues. Highly recommended.

 

CS...



#5 ShaulaB

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 12:14 PM

Is there a Harbor Freight store near you? We have used this successfully on the iOptron AltAz Pro mount holding two telescopes and with a 5SE mount with no problems.

https://www.harborfr...pack-62749.html



#6 Burgher

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 02:58 PM

Thanks to all of you for taking your time responding to my question. It really helps me out a great deal. Any one of your suggestions will definitely work for me.

 

Thank you again!



#7 jeffyen

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 04:52 AM

I use the 'official' one. Have not run of battery before. https://www.celestro...wertank-lithium



#8 Burgher

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 11:23 AM

Thank you for that recommendation, Jeffyen.



#9 lkannard

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 01:21 PM

A Tallent Cell and Velcro and no more cord wrap issues.

#10 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:07 PM

Hi,

 

You may want to have a read through this article at my website:

https://www.nexstars...owerSources.htm

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com



#11 GoFish

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:22 PM

I ran an 8SE with this:  https://www.amazon.c...h/dp/B016BJCRUO.  It can run it for days before recharge

Ditto. Very good performance with my CPC800. Best part is no cord wrap problems!



#12 mamisano

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 02:29 PM

I too have a NexStar 8 SE that I purchased long ago, and have been researching this and other topics for a few weeks.

 

I just ordered the TalentCell 6000mAh battery. I was actually trying to get the new Celestron PowerTank Lithium LT (12V @ 3000mA for $78.99) but it won't be available until next week. https://www.celestro...tank-lithium-lt

They actually have a chart comparing their new battery to "Other Scope Company's Lithium Battery" and "Top Selling Amazon Lithium Battery" showing it maintains 12V a lot longer than the other 2.

I'm heading to Vermont for the week and could not wait for it to be released, so TalentCell it is.

 

(First post after lurking for 2 years)



#13 bgrover

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Posted 15 August 2019 - 11:08 PM

I am not a serious astro-photographer and spend most of my time observing. So far the tank that came with my bundle has done great. I also like the options that it has for lighting and 12v power terminals. Without issue at this time.

 

https://www.amazon.c...,aps,147&sr=8-3



#14 HeliAv8r

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 06:45 PM

A Tallent Cell and Velcro and no more cord wrap issues.

+1

 

I added a little padding under the velcro strap so it would not scratch the fork arm. The padding is a rubber like material which grips, so the pack will not slip; it came in a roll that my wife used to line kitchen shelves & drawers and I stole a small strip (don't tell her).

 

This pack, from Amazon, is rated to supply 11Ah @ 12V  (132 Watt Hours) and lasts days before I need to charge it.  Of course it depends on what you run.  Mine powers just the mount for my Nexstar 8SE and the Celestron focuser.  And, as Ikannard mentioned, there are no cord wrap issues.  

FYI, I'm still rather new to all this; I got my scope last November, so please take that into consideration on whatever I say.

 

Dave

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#15 MattT

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:58 AM

Thanks for the answers here. I've been using a Neewer-brand power pack with my N8se. It's similar to the smaller Talentcells and labelled as 4500mah. I've generally used this scope for outreach sessions of a few hours, mostly tracking with limited slewing, and the small pack has worked fine. But it's a few years old now and might not be able to deliver its full rated capacity anymore.

 

If voltage drops below what's needed is there a risk of damage to the scope? Wondering if I should replace my pack before voltage drop becomes an issue, or wring as much service as I can out of it.



#16 Michael_Swanson

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 06:48 PM

No damage at low voltage.  The usual issue at that point is it just resets and loses the alignment.

 

Best regards,
Mike Swanson
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide II"
Author of "The NexStar Users Guide"
Author of "NexStar Observer List"
https://www.nexstarsite.com


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#17 MattT

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 10:07 PM

Thanks Mike. I'll stick with the little Neewer pack a while longer.

#18 VeloBob

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Posted 10 September 2019 - 10:07 PM

There is an issue here that I can comment on and that is battery type.  There are several common lithium battery chemistries, with two of the commonest being LiCo and LiFePO4.  The LiCo cells produce a nominal 3.7 volts per cell, so the "12 volt" battery, after a few minutes to get rid of the surface charge, is usually an 11.1 volt battery (3.7 x 3).  These are the lightest batteries with the highest power density.  Lithium ferrous phosphate, on the other hand, are a nominal 3.2 volts per cell, so a "12 volt" battery is actually 12.8 volts.  A second difference relates to voltage over time at a constant drain.  The LiCo has a steeper slope over time, so the battery that started at 11.1 volts, at 50% discharge may be down to 10.5 volts.  The LiFEPO4 battery has an almost flat discharge curve, so that at 50% discharge, it may be 12.5 volts.  Next there is the lifetime cycle issue.  LiCo can be charged 500 cycles or so before the output starts to degrade significantly. LiFePO4 routinely run at 1000-2000 discharge cycles before significant degradation.  Finally, there is the fire issue.  As Samsung and Boeing, among others, have found out, LiCo (and other lithium chemistries like LiMnCo and Lipo) can get into a condition called "thermal runaway" at the drop of a hat.  In this condition, the battery gets hotter, which increases the rate of reaction, which increases the heat output, around and around, till the battery catches fire.  RC car racers routinely charge their Lipo batteries in a fireproof bag because of this.   LiFePO4 batteries are almost immune to thermal runaway.   So if you want the most compact, lightest, highest output battery, get a LiCo or similar chemistry.  If you want the most stable, longest lasting, cheapest overall cost, and flattest discharge profile (and safest), look for LiFePO4.


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#19 MattT

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 01:55 PM

Thanks. I'd read LiFePo4 was "better" but that's a clear explanation of why. It's easier to justify the greater expense if you understand what you're getting.

#20 mamisano

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 09:50 AM

I used the TalentCell 6000mAh battery during my trip to Vermont about 5 weeks ago. It worked perfectly. My viewing sessions lasted about 3 hours and the LED indicator still had all 5 lights lit when I was done.

Eliminating the cord-wrap issue by mounting the battery to the fork arm was a nice bonus as well. I didn't have a Velcro strap at the time so I used zip ties.


Edited by mamisano, 01 October 2019 - 10:00 AM.


#21 Noah4x4

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 12:15 PM

For value for money consider a MaxOak 50000mAH charger, external power bank.

 

Offers 5v/12v/20v outputs and multiple cables and plugs (including one that will fit an 8SE).

Will power an 8SE for two or even three nights without recharge.

I additionally power camera and other 12v accessories - it will still last all night.

£119 from Amazon UK. Half the price of Tracer equivalents. 

Mine is running fine after three years of regular recharging and use. 



#22 MickTaurus

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 02:00 PM

Not as good maybe as what Noah4x4 suggest, but I brought this for £50 at Halfords UK for my 8se.

 

 

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#23 chomper

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 05:47 PM

For value for money consider a MaxOak 50000mAH charger, external power bank.

 

Offers 5v/12v/20v outputs and multiple cables and plugs (including one that will fit an 8SE).

Will power an 8SE for two or even three nights without recharge.

I additionally power camera and other 12v accessories - it will still last all night.

£119 from Amazon UK. Half the price of Tracer equivalents. 

Mine is running fine after three years of regular recharging and use. 

I'm hunting for a power solution for my 8SE and that would fit the bill nicely. However none of the examples on Amazon will ship to Australia. Which is why I'm considering a 12V 26AH deep cycle gel battery instead.



#24 Noah4x4

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 02:12 AM

I'm hunting for a power solution for my 8SE and that would fit the bill nicely. However none of the examples on Amazon will ship to Australia. Which is why I'm considering a 12V 26AH deep cycle gel battery instead.

Equally good choice for quality/reliability. I use an 12v 18 AH gel (mobility scooter) battery to power a PTZ IP POE camera and wireless point to point transmitter that I use for sports video recording . I get 10 hours continuous recording from that despite additionally using a 12v DC/240v AC Inverter to ratchet up the power to (UK) mains levels. Cost around £60 and not dissimilar to the Halfords unit (above) but I suspect lighter. I bought my GEL battery from Rapid Electronics (UK) which is a great Internet retailer for all manner of electrical stuff. 

 

The only disadvantage of the Gel battery (or Halfords) is it is double the weight of the MaxOak K2 and takes three times as long to recharge. If you want to velcro these to your mount they are too heavy. The MaxOak K2 is ideal. But a disadvantage of the MaxOak K2 is it is limited to 2.5 Amps continuous discharge at 12v (but that's enough for an 8SE plus accessories). The GEL battery will support whatever Amps is being drawn. 

 

A problem with ANY of these units is the CAA 100Wh limit on aircraft transportation. Anything over 12v x 8AH is too powerful to fly, so must be imported by ship. That probably explains the Australia import issue. They are also all manufactured in China and trade and import tariffs/restrictions might apply. Lots to consider when selecting a power unit! 


Edited by Noah4x4, 02 October 2019 - 02:18 AM.

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#25 chomper

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 02:29 AM

Equally good choice for quality/reliability. I use an 12v 18 AH gel (mobility scooter) battery to power a PTZ IP POE camera and wireless point to point transmitter that I use for sports video recording . I get 10 hours continuous recording from that despite additionally using a 12v DC/240v AC Inverter to ratchet up the power to (UK) mains levels. Cost around £60 and not dissimilar to the Halfords unit (above) but I suspect lighter. I bought my GEL battery from Rapid Electronics (UK) which is a great Internet retailer for all manner of electrical stuff. 

 

The only disadvantage of the Gel battery (or Halfords) is it is double the weight of the MaxOak K2 and takes three times as long to recharge. If you want to velcro these to your mount they are too heavy. The MaxOak K2 is ideal. But a disadvantage of the MaxOak K2 is it is limited to 2.5 Amps continuous discharge at 12v (but that's enough for an 8SE plus accessories). The GEL battery will support whatever Amps is being drawn. 

 

A problem with ANY of these units is the CAA 100Wh limit on aircraft transportation. Anything over 12v x 8AH is too powerful to fly, so must be imported by ship. That probably explains the Australia import issue. They are also all manufactured in China and trade and import tariffs/restrictions might apply. Lots to consider when selecting a power unit! 

I found someone who has brought the K2 into Australia, gave them a call this morning and I pick it up tomorrow.




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