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Celestron PowerTank Lithium Pro

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#1 sandconp

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:49 PM

I was wondering if anybody had any comments on the Celstron PowerTank Lithium Pro good or bad?

 

I currently have the smaller Celestron Power tank which has the terminals which allows me to charge it with a trickle charger which is way faster than the power supply that Celestron provides.

 

Also does the Lithium Pro have the positive and negative terminals like I have on my original Powertank which allows me to charge it with my Black and Decker trickle charger?

 

I have not yet made the plunge in getting a deep cycle marine battery to power my CGX, CPC1100 and Evolution mounts when I don't have access to AC Power.

 


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#2 jimandlaura26

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 12:20 AM

I have both the older Power Tank and newer generation Lithium Power Tanks. The Lithium Pro versions  are great. The terminals on the older Power Tank are not present on either style of the Lithium Pro versions... but, I would add that charging them with the provided charger has gone well to date.



#3 david_od

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 01:12 AM

I have had for about two years now, and it's been great with my CEM25P mount. It has lasted 2 or 3 nights, as far as I can remember (mount only, and I think this one typically uses a less power than other similar ones). The plastic cover also broke very early on me, but I have managed not losing it. One issue is that the main connector that works both as a charging port and 12 V source has become a bit loose, and I can lose power with a slight movement, even under the action of the gravity on the power cable going to the mount. I use gaffer's tape on the L-shaped connector of the cable to keep it firmly attached. It's a bit of a small nuisance, but still like the battery a lot.
Some people have complained that you can't use the usb ports when the 12 V output is connected, and mentioned that Celestron acknowledged that this worked on some early versions, but such feature was then removed. I can say it worked for me recently when I connected a tracing light panel to take a few flat frames. I lost power after a few seconds, but it might have been an issue with my light panel. I will try again at some point during the next two weeks.



#4 Chote

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 01:14 AM

Here is an alternative power source I'm using. It came with a blank power-bank-like box which has three outputs (2A-5v usb, 1A-5v usb, 12V 5.5x2.1mm DC), and one white LED flashlight. I bought 6x18650 Li-ion battery of 3500Ma each (flat-positive type). The whole pack can be charged by plugging a microusb charging cable from any mobile phone charger brick.

 

So basically, you can have 12v and 5v output sources at the same time. If you don't like the  12v, you can adjust it to lower ones.

 

The box is a bit flimsy, but workable. 

 

The box and batteries cost me less than USD30.-

Attached Thumbnails

  • front.jpg
  • back.jpg
  • ports.jpg
  • charging_micro_usb.jpg
  • volt_selector.jpg
  • battery_internal.jpg

Edited by Chote, 27 February 2021 - 01:19 AM.

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#5 Dave_L

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 02:22 AM

I have three old PowerTank 17 versions (two of them have reached end of life after many years of good service), and one of the new PowerTank Lithium Pro versions. I just started using the new one, however I love that it straps directly to the tripod leg and is so compact. No complaints thus far.


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#6 Ring_Singularity

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 02:37 AM

Here is an alternative power source I'm using. It came with a blank power-bank-like box which has three outputs (2A-5v usb, 1A-5v usb, 12V 5.5x2.1mm DC), and one white LED flashlight. I bought 6x18650 Li-ion battery of 3500Ma each (flat-positive type). The whole pack can be charged by plugging a microusb charging cable from any mobile phone charger brick.

 

So basically, you can have 12v and 5v output sources at the same time. If you don't like the  12v, you can adjust it to lower ones.

 

The box is a bit flimsy, but workable. 

 

The box and batteries cost me less than USD30.-

Are those AA batteries I see there?  Can rechargeable AA batteries like Eneloops be used as a power source for the 8SE?



#7 Chote

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:01 AM

Are those AA batteries I see there?  Can rechargeable AA batteries like Eneloops be used as a power source for the 8SE?

It is not AA rechargeable battery (NiMH). It is the 18650 model, 3.7v Li-ion battery which has full charge at 4.2V. So three batteries in series can feed 12V equipment. 18650 battery is bigger than AA.

Battery like Eneloops is 1.2v. I would recommend external 12v battery source.


Edited by Chote, 27 February 2021 - 03:05 AM.

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#8 ayadai

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 10:08 AM

Are those AA batteries I see there?  Can rechargeable AA batteries like Eneloops be used as a power source for the 8SE?

As Chote observed, they are 3.7v Li-ion batteries. You could technically power an 8SE with Eneloops; 10 BK-3MCCE would give you 12v, but only 2.28 Wh. The unit pictured earlier looks like it might be a bit under powered. 600ma capacity @12V, while the 6/8SE mount max draw is 750ma. Plus, 76Wh @ 3.7V = ~23Wh @ 12V. I'd shoot for 66Wh; there's a good discussion in this thread.


Edited by ayadai, 27 February 2021 - 10:27 AM.

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#9 sandconp

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 04:42 PM

I have both the older Power Tank and newer generation Lithium Power Tanks. The Lithium Pro versions  are great. The terminals on the older Power Tank are not present on either style of the Lithium Pro versions... but, I would add that charging them with the provided charger has gone well to date.

How long does it take to fully charge the Powertank Lithium Pro with the AC adapter that's included?  I know my smaller power tank could up to 24 hours to fully charge it with the AC to DC adaptor which is why I bought a B&D Decker trickle charger and I use the terminals to charge it which was much faster.



#10 roelb

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 08:23 PM

About 3 hours.



#11 Ring_Singularity

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 04:43 AM

As Chote observed, they are 3.7v Li-ion batteries. You could technically power an 8SE with Eneloops; 10 BK-3MCCE would give you 12v, but only 2.28 Wh. The unit pictured earlier looks like it might be a bit under powered. 600ma capacity @12V, while the 6/8SE mount max draw is 750ma. Plus, 76Wh @ 3.7V = ~23Wh @ 12V. I'd shoot for 66Wh; there's a good discussion in this thread.

Thanks, I saw this option listed:

 

If you're hell bent for leather on using 1.2V AA rechargeables, then I'd suggest making a 10 cell pack and wiring it to use the 2.1mm center positive power connector; it'll be a solid 12V, and be about 10V when depleted, which should keep the mount happy.

 

I actually have an iSun BattPak that takes 10 AA batteries and has a DC output port so it can be used as a power source.  Would this be the way to go with the Eneloops?



#12 ayadai

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 05:59 AM

Thanks, I saw this option listed:

 

If you're hell bent for leather on using 1.2V AA rechargeables, then I'd suggest making a 10 cell pack and wiring it to use the 2.1mm center positive power connector; it'll be a solid 12V, and be about 10V when depleted, which should keep the mount happy.

 

I actually have an iSun BattPak that takes 10 AA batteries and has a DC output port so it can be used as a power source.  Would this be the way to go with the Eneloops?

If it's hardware you have hanging around, give it a go! The price is right and the worst case is that it runs out and you pack it in for the evening. Just triple check the polarity at the jack with a multimeter before connecting it to the scope.

 

FWIW, my previous scope, an AstroFi 102 MCT, (a much smaller mount with far less weight than the 8SE) ran for 2 4-hour sessions on a charge with 8 Eneloops @26.6C (80F); something that others said would not work; YMMV.


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#13 Ring_Singularity

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 06:08 AM

If it's hardware you have hanging around, give it a go! The price is right and the worst case is that it runs out and you pack it in for the evening. Just triple check the polarity at the jack with a multimeter before connecting it to the scope.

 

FWIW, my previous scope, an AstroFi 102 MCT, (a much smaller mount with far less weight than the 8SE) ran for 2 4-hour sessions on a charge with 8 Eneloops @26.6C (80F); something that others said would not work; YMMV.

Oh perhaps I dont need it then!  These eneloops are power tanks in their own right, supposed to last 20 years and they are rated at a higher voltage- looks like 1.4V?



#14 ayadai

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 06:50 AM

Oh perhaps I dont need it then!  These eneloops are power tanks in their own right, supposed to last 20 years and they are rated at a higher voltage- looks like 1.4V?

Eneloops (both regular and Pro) have a nominal voltage of 1.2v. 10 of them have a total watt hour capacity of 2.28Wh @ 12VDC vs 158.72Wh @ 12VDC for the Power Tank. No comparison at all. Apocryphal average draw for the 8SE mount is 500Ma, so .5*12 = 6 Watts, and 2.28/6 = .38 hours. If you're slewing a lot, that could easily be cut in half. If you're running accessories, like cameras or focusers, even less.
 


Edited by ayadai, 28 February 2021 - 07:06 AM.


#15 Ring_Singularity

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 09:24 AM

Eneloops (both regular and Pro) have a nominal voltage of 1.2v. 10 of them have a total watt hour capacity of 2.28Wh @ 12VDC vs 158.72Wh @ 12VDC for the Power Tank. No comparison at all. Apocryphal average draw for the 8SE mount is 500Ma, so .5*12 = 6 Watts, and 2.28/6 = .38 hours. If you're slewing a lot, that could easily be cut in half. If you're running accessories, like cameras or focusers, even less.
 

So definitely need to use the BattPak then.

 

Any idea why rechargeable battery companies skimped on power and made them 1.2V instead of 1.5V?



#16 mlord

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 09:31 AM

Any idea why rechargeable battery companies skimped on power and made them 1.2V instead of 1.5V?

The voltage of a cell is determined by the chemistry used, not by the manufacturer.  So NiMH battery cells will always be 1.2V, regardless of corporate desires.


Edited by mlord, 28 February 2021 - 09:31 AM.

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#17 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 12:32 AM

Back to the old and new PowerTanks...

 

I have the original version (SLA battery, 7AH).  Those two terminals at the end are indeed great for charging.  They are also nice in that I can saddle up another (larger) SLA battery to the Tank for longer imaging sessions.  Just wire them in parallel, with a fuse in line, being extra careful to get the polarity right.  Also be sure to use exactly the same battery chemistry throughout.  I use PowerPole connectors for quick attachment.  This arrangement keeps the base battery's charge sufficient to run lights and such during tear-down, with a flexible configuration in terms of total capacity.

 

With the mount, 2 cameras (one cooled), a Raspberry Pi, and powered USB hub, and a small network router all running, the 7AH of the base Tank would only last an hour or so.  I have either a 21AH pack that I made from 3 more of the 7AH SLA batteries wired in parallel, or a regular 55AH deep cycle SLA battery, either of which will last longer than I do while attending the scope's travels.  The Tank itself becomes more of a glorified power distribution box, with a huge capacity, and in a pinch, the auxiliary battery can be swapped out while everything keeps running from the internal.



#18 ayadai

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Posted 01 March 2021 - 02:03 AM

  The Tank itself becomes more of a glorified power distribution box, with a huge capacity, and in a pinch, the auxiliary battery can be swapped out while everything keeps running from the internal.

For other kinds of batteries with the 5.5mm connector, you could get a pack of 10 male and female 5.5mm connectors, terminal blocks and a box and wire up a distribution manifold.
 




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