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  #1  
Old 12-06-2018, 01:14 PM
jimmyh1555 (James)
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looking for 12v battery and inverter

Now that I have got my home made pier at the bottom of the garden in middle of vege patch (only place where moron neighbours' lights don't shine), I don't have mains power nearby, so am relying on a discarded 7 amp-hr NBN battery to run my HEQ5, and relying on laptop battery for the camera which is not good as the other night the laptop switched off in the middle of a photo shoot. I have decided to run the lot off a lead acid battery with an inverter for the lappie.
So I will need this battery to: run HEQ5
Run laptop through inverter
Run occasional dew shields (8 inch scope)
Maybe dew shield for Telrad as well
Run cooling on my hopefully soon-to-buy ZWO cooled camera
What capacity battery should I be aiming for?
What capacity inverter to run lappie?
I am hoping to eventually work up to maybe 3 hours imaging or so
I don't reckon the NBN cast-off will be big enough
Would love to hear your ideas, suggestions etc.
I did see a thread on this subject last year, but cant find it
Thanks in anticipation for your help!
PS I have just looked up prices of batteries, chargers etc.,and am horrified!!
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2018, 03:45 PM
sil
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I use an old car emergency power supply thingy from Jaycar. Big yellow thing you charge up, has ciggy sockets, an air compressor and car jumper leads too built in. On the back it has an inverter socket I plug my laptop power pack into. A year after I got mine Jaycard replaced it with a newer model with digital readouts instead of analogue needle meters, and they doubled the price for that useless change. Also has a work light. I'm not doing long nights with it running but the unit powers my setup and laptop nicely for my needs. I guess super cheap auto and battery world would have similar portable power units. Caravan and camping places too should, 12V DC is a standard so as long as it has the cigarette lighter sockets you're set. Some of these things also have 5V DC USB power sockets for charging your phones too. I've got a smaller similar unit that also has a red light (meant to be a hazard warning light if you're broken down on the side of the road but is good ground light at an astro session.).

When I use the inverter on mine a noisy fan powers up too, so I guess if you're set on building your own look for something that has good cooling. I would avoid anything from ebay or anything suspiciously cheap from china, any "soldering" in the unit may have been "spit on the wires and stick em together" . Fire hazard stuff and more than likely to fry any gear you connect to it too.
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2018, 04:17 PM
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doppler (Rick)
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I've always just used a 12v standard car battery, $70 from supercheap and a cigarette plug adapter (with alligator clamps on the battery end) to power the mount < $10 jaycar.

My laptop is pretty low spec and runs for about 5hrs before needing recharge, but I have an ebay (au supplied) pure sine wave inverter (300w) for field use (cost about $70).

At home I just run a long extension lead out to my scope and use a 240v to 12v dc 4amp power supply unit to power the mount. 4 amps is ok to run the mount but if you need to power other stuff as well you would need a bigger unit.
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  #4  
Old 13-06-2018, 06:21 PM
jimmyh1555 (James)
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Thanks, guys! I have sussed out a battery and charger that will do (super cheap) . I will use the small inverter that came with our wood pellet stove Just an ordinary car battery will be fine. One shop wanted to sell me a battery combo for $500. WOW! I ain't powering up Mt Stromlo!
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  #5  
Old 14-06-2018, 10:20 AM
sil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyh1555 View Post
I ain't powering up Mt Stromlo!
Yet!

Why set your ambitions any lower ?

glad you got yourself sorted and yes expensive rip offs are common, but then again it may have been better spec batteries but you can do with more modest power options. Just be careful with cabling to avoid tangling as the scope slews around. Might take you several nights use to see how the cable hang and where they catch. You also dont want them putting any tension on the mount as it slews as it'll effect tracking accuracy. My current setup is a poor 6in sct and flimsy tripod and I've put it on a tripod dolly to easy wheel out the garage. This has given me the chance to attach a milk crate to the dolly perfect to hold battery and provide weighted stability to the rig. so everything is set up ready to wheel out and wheel back in,no lugging parts in the dark and back inside I just plug in chargers as needed then next session i just unplug and wheel, its all charged and self contained . simple but i still want that mt stromlo setup, theres a nice nature strip in the middle of my complex i could probably fit it
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  #6  
Old 14-06-2018, 11:43 AM
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If you are actually in your own Vegi Garden, so to speak, just buy a decent extension lead and use the house power and you can be out there all night if you need be.
Get a Battery set up for your field trips, maybe.

Leon
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  #7  
Old 14-06-2018, 09:19 PM
jimmyh1555 (James)
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Yes, Leon, I guess the long term solution will be a long cable from garage, (50m long!) but I just took delivery of a nice shiny battery, and, yes, Sil, great idea to fix it to the mount for more stability! (underneath the mount, that is ) Antd I now have a use for that cheapo sack trolley I bought when moving house to sunny (not today) TAS
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  #8  
Old 17-06-2018, 07:30 PM
Zuts
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Fusion LiFePo4

Hi,

I got a Fusion LiFePo4 battery. It's the size of a small brick but less than 2kg. It's rated for 15AH at 12 volts or 192WH. Powers heater straps, usb hub, camera, focuser all night long. Just a bit expensive.

Outputs constant 12volts all the way down, though I wouldn't run it below 20%.

Cheers
Paul
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  #9  
Old 21-06-2018, 12:56 PM
sil
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Woke at 2am the other day with an answer for your question: a computer UPS should do the trick. Its a battery with 240 inverter attached, just not clued up on what sort of running time you'd get but pretty sure the battery inside is 12v and you should be able to just dismantle and wire it to a larger capacity battery of the same time and it should charge it up and run fine, or daisy chain a few more batteries. They don't need to be connected to a computer to work, plug your laptop power pack into the 240V output on the ups then plug the ups into your mains and just unplug this one to wheel outside, the ups will detect the mains input is gone and just continue outputing 240v through its own inverter to power your lappy. Get a brand name UPS for some degree of certainty the inverter is a clean sine wave, cheapie chinese off ebay and expect it to provide flames at some point (nice on these winter nights).
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