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Old 26-07-2015, 07:26 PM
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codemonkey (Lee)
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SX674 power issues

A little while ago I bought a Trius SX674 secondhand. Ever since the night I first tried to use it in the field I've had power issues with it.

First night I tried to use it in the field it blew a brand new cigarette-lighter cable. I didn't have any spares, so that put an end to that night.

Next night it blew yet another one. This time I had a backup, which I used successfully for a couple of nights.

Then the final backup blew as well, this time taking out the 4-way cigarette lighter splitter that I had as well.

Around about this time I got a new dew heater controller. I thought I'd try that cable, even though it was starting to seem that the camera was the issue rather than the cables. This actually seemed to work and I've had a number of good imaging sessions since.

Last night I got a few subs (focus ruined sadly) of M8 while having the camera plugged in to the mains adapter by way of an inverter to my larger AGM battery. No worries.

Tonight I go up to the paddock and try to plug the "kendrick cable" into the 674; the camera doesn't turn on and the light on the cable goes out. In fact, it was connected to the battery via a two-way splitter and the light on the other cable went out too. Unplug the cable and the light comes back on. Plug the cable into the external fan the camera comes with and the fan powers up immediately. Unplug from fan, plug into camera, light goes off and camera does not come on. I tried another cable with the same results.

Then when I gave up and came back to the house, I tried plugging it in to the main power supply and it fired up straight away. What the...

Anybody have any suggestions? Pretty frustrated at this point. Don't think I'll be laying out such a large sum of money on second-hand electrical gear again...
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Old 27-07-2015, 06:12 AM
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Shiraz (Ray)
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A couple of possibilities.
1. the connectors on the cables can short circuit when you plug them into the camera/fan (they need to be perfectly aligned or the centre connector shorts to earth). This could be taking out internal fuses in your ciggy cables. Maybe plug the cables into the camera and fan before plugging into the power source.
2. The camera will probably need an amp or two while starting up - this might be enough to expose a faulty battery or connector - the external fan might still work by itself, but the battery supply may not be able to give the extra grunt needed by the camera. This would be consistent with the symptoms, since it seems to work when used with other power sources.

If the camera is not overheating and manages to maintain a low setpoint (eg -30C), my guess is that it is OK. Might be an idea to measure the current drain though, just to make sure it is in spec.

Last edited by Shiraz; 27-07-2015 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 27-07-2015, 11:13 AM
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codemonkey (Lee)
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Thanks Ray, appreciate it. I'll definitely try plugging in the camera-end first and then into the power socket, as I've always been doing it the other way.

Looks like inverters aren't as inefficient as I thought either, so I may end up just running this via the inverter and using the mains adapter it came with as I've never had a problem running it like that.

I'm pretty sure the battery is ok. I only bought it recently, it's pretty big (105Ah) and only running the CCD and my mount. I'd just charged it that day as well. Definitely possible the sockets are dodgy, but given I'd had issues with the camera on a different battery and using different sockets I'd kinda put that down as being less likely.

For the record, I dropped SX an email and even though I bought this secondhand they were very quick to respond with some good advice as well. Very pleased with their service.
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Old 28-07-2015, 08:40 PM
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codemonkey (Lee)
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Update: turns out it was a faulty connection. The two-way splitter I was using has died. Bright side is that my four-way is spontaneously working again and everything was fine tonight!
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Old 29-07-2015, 05:42 AM
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Slawomir (Suavi)
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Really good news. Looking forward to your new images then
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