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Old 15-09-2019, 02:50 PM
Mikel85 (Michael)
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Mobile power

Hi All,

I'm looking for suggestions of a mobile power setup, preferably lithium ion and ability to future proof for when I upgrade my running gear down the track.

Equipment to power:
Heq5 - WO Z73 + guide scope
Laptop
Dslr (will upgrade at some point)
Asi290 mini
Will be adding dew strips

What battery boxes and batteries are suggested or are there any power tanks that offer a decent value for money now?

I'm assuming a budget of $400-$1000.

Fyi doesn't need to be ultra light as I'm young but is always a preference not lugging around heavy gear.

Thanks in advance,

Michael.
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Old 15-09-2019, 04:28 PM
Pepper (Steve)
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Depends what your doin I suppose.
If it were my situation I’d hook an Inverter up to a battery in my car and plug all my 240v into that. 2500w inverters are cheap.
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Old 15-09-2019, 07:35 PM
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I have tried 12 vlts but finally went for 12 vlt battery (110 amps) powering a 200 watt inverter with a back up small Genny and running everything from a 240 vlt power point. There is a solar panel but having the Genny is great back up.
Alex
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Old 15-09-2019, 08:20 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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Why do people want to spend money ?

When I am out which isn't often, I use my old car batteries from my Renault Scenic Diesel, when I get a new battery every three years I keep the old one, I have five now, and camping/scope/away I take three in the back of the car, along with a converter, they last a week including charging my phone/laptop/tablet, lighting the tent

During last winter, and we are in a small town/large village not the outback, they lit the house running low energy lights (20W = to 100W) in the lounge, bedrooms, etc for the full 12 hour power cut AND ran oil heaters

Cost ZERO

They have never ever run flat.

Oh I also have these and they are exceedingly good for 2-3 hours, but blasted expensive, just convenient

https://www.celestron.com/products/powertank-lithium

https://www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/...tery-pack.html

GREAT for phones/gopro etc

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Veho-Portab...gateway&sr=8-8
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Old 15-09-2019, 08:42 PM
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doppler (Rick)
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Go the car battery, a 100ah lead acid battery is around $200 a similar spec Lithium ion one is around $1000.
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Old 15-09-2019, 08:50 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doppler View Post
Go the car battery, a 100ah lead acid battery is around $200 a similar spec Lithium ion one is around $1000.
And they don't explode

Get old ones, garages and places (here you must have similar) KwikFit, ATS are happy to give them away no good for cars 100% perfect for lighting and scopes/camping why pay





...
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Old 15-09-2019, 09:15 PM
RyanJones
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Firstly Iíll talk from experience with mobile power. Go way more Ah in a battery than you think you need because youíll be surprised how much adding things draws. Iíd go with the others and say a car battery is the way to go. Remember though to allow for the price of a good charger as they arenít cheap and cheaper ones are slow and can damage the battery. This is now leading into my experience as a mechanic. If you are constantly draining down the battery and then charging it, lead acid batteries donít like this. With the price you are talking about you can get a good deep cycle battery. They are generally Gel and are sealed which is good for safely and they donít mind being heavily discharged and recharged. I hope this helps

Cheers

Ryan
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Old 15-09-2019, 10:07 PM
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Most of the astro gear is designed to run on 12V, i.e. from a standard (car) lead acid battery. If possible you should run your gear directly from such battery and avoid inverters due to the power losses in conversion.

If you use an inverter it basically means that you are converting 12V DC to 240V AC and then back to 12V DC. You will be wasting at least 20% of the total power (10% at each conversion) and that is probably a very conservative estimate.
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Old 15-09-2019, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luka View Post
Most of the astro gear is designed to run on 12V, i.e. from a standard (car) lead acid battery. If possible you should run your gear directly from such battery and avoid inverters due to the power losses in conversion.

If you use an inverter it basically means that you are converting 12V DC to 240V AC and then back to 12V DC. You will be wasting at least 20% of the total power (10% at each conversion) and that is probably a very conservative estimate.
I was going to write exactly the same thing until I remembered the OPs list included a laptop and I’m under the impression that some of these take more than 12v ? Short of that I 100% agree.
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Old 15-09-2019, 11:33 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luka View Post
Most of the astro gear is designed to run on 12V, i.e. from a standard (car) lead acid battery. If possible you should run your gear directly from such battery and avoid inverters due to the power losses in conversion.

If you use an inverter it basically means that you are converting 12V DC to 240V AC and then back to 12V DC. You will be wasting at least 20% of the total power (10% at each conversion) and that is probably a very conservative estimate.
I only use inverters/converters as I said for lighting/charging laptops, camping etc



.
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Old 16-09-2019, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luka View Post
Most of the astro gear is designed to run on 12V, i.e. from a standard (car) lead acid battery. If possible you should run your gear directly from such battery and avoid inverters due to the power losses in conversion.

If you use an inverter it basically means that you are converting 12V DC to 240V AC and then back to 12V DC. You will be wasting at least 20% of the total power (10% at each conversion) and that is probably a very conservative estimate.
It is inefficient that's for sure but after 20 years living with solar, deep cycle batteries and a Genny converting to 240 vlts I have found the best approach.

The key with battery systems is to go bigger than you believe your needs will be and try to keep the discharge to 20%...Gel batteries are great for a number of reasons we have 1200 amp hours for the house but really I would like double that.
My van set up...for the astronomy rig I have only 110 amp deep cycle to run the cooled camera,, the mount and the lap top. It has 120 watt solar panel but often needs a top up from the Genny via a huge charger (max 60 amp charge rate) but I charge only at 10 amps.
There is a 200 watt inverter and a battery checker..shows volts and current draw.
I have been using this set up to run the van but have a similar set up that I am putting together to run the van.so this one goes back to just astronomy.lights fridge and phone charging as well as lap top and tablet. Besides my 750 watt Genny there is an additional back up 2000 watt Genny which is really not needed but it was at Aldi on special for $200 so a great buy for a back up.
I don't agree that old car batteries are much chop in the long term and say deep cycle are the go for power supply. Mind you there are many videos on YouTube that shows how you can get more hours out of old car batteries. And have a multimeter and use it daily to monitor your batteries if you don't have a battery quality unit in line.
Alex
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Old 16-09-2019, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanJones View Post
I was going to write exactly the same thing until I remembered the OPs list included a laptop and Iím under the impression that some of these take more than 12v ? Short of that I 100% agree.
You are right, laptops usually use 19V. But most of the other gear can run from directly from the battery.
(for anyone interested, Intel NUC can run from 12V)
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Old 16-09-2019, 06:46 PM
Mikel85 (Michael)
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Thank you to everyone for all the responses.

If i was to go for a deep cycle battery, do most people use a battery box to give the various options for connection types?

If so what would be some good options for these?

I've been reading too much information and have paralysis by analysis and really just want to get set up so I can get out with my scope and do some imaging.
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Old 16-09-2019, 07:17 PM
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You'll be looking at 2-4 AH to run the gear you describe.
For a 8hr night, say 24 Amps total for the night from your battery max.

10/4 x 24 = 60 AH battery (assuming 40% max drain)
About $150 on ebay for a decent 60AH

$50-$100 for decent 3 or 5 stage charger

Up to $50 for a battery box.

$40 for Jaycar DC-DC power converter to run the laptop.
https://www.jaycar.com.au/60w-regula...aptor/p/MP3478

Invertors will significantly increase your power usage and cheap ones may not be kind to your sensitive gear/laptop.


That's doing it old-school with lead acid AGMs. No experience with Lithium batteries sorry, but likely to be more expensive again.

Larger battery or some charging solution during day or some of the night would be helpful (e.g. generator or large solar panel). You always end up using more power than you plan, and very cold weather doesn't help if imaging in winter.
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Old 17-09-2019, 10:49 AM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luka View Post
You are right, laptops usually use 19V. But most of the other gear can run from directly from the battery.
(for anyone interested, Intel NUC can run from 12V)
Pretty well all the current ones can, but older ones were very touchy. I had an old Celeron one that was supposed to be 12V and it would work with its supplied adapter (12.5V) but not my bench DC supply (13V)
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Old 17-09-2019, 02:17 PM
Mikel85 (Michael)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobF View Post
You'll be looking at 2-4 AH to run the gear you describe.
For a 8hr night, say 24 Amps total for the night from your battery max.

10/4 x 24 = 60 AH battery (assuming 40% max drain)
About $150 on ebay for a decent 60AH

$50-$100 for decent 3 or 5 stage charger

Up to $50 for a battery box.

$40 for Jaycar DC-DC power converter to run the laptop.
https://www.jaycar.com.au/60w-regula...aptor/p/MP3478

Invertors will significantly increase your power usage and cheap ones may not be kind to your sensitive gear/laptop.


That's doing it old-school with lead acid AGMs. No experience with Lithium batteries sorry, but likely to be more expensive again.

Larger battery or some charging solution during day or some of the night would be helpful (e.g. generator or large solar panel). You always end up using more power than you plan, and very cold weather doesn't help if imaging in winter.
Hi Rob,
What about something like this? Thinking a bigger battery though incase I go camping for two nights or can repurpose the battery box for other camping power requirements if not imaging.

https://www.australiandirect.com.au/...2120_KACHG1212

https://www.australiandirect.com.au/...s-Trays/KABB-G

Plus I'd need to get converter from Jaycar for the laptop as you rightly pointed out.

Thanks again, Michael

Last edited by Mikel85; 17-09-2019 at 02:20 PM. Reason: Update to information
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Old 17-09-2019, 03:44 PM
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Perhaps just check weight - 120AH will be a heavy sucker

Having a quick look around a decent 120AH AGM is around or above $200, a decent battery box is easily $65 (and that ones seems to have some practical useful fittings on it).

I'm not a guru on brands or chargers, but 12A capacity is more expensive generally and handy if you only have an hour or two access to a friends genny (versus say a cheaper 4A or 8A unit). Would expect over $100 for 12A or greater charger.

So all up sounds like a fair deal from what is described.



Can seem like a lot of money, but you can easily get close to this going through a couple of "jumpstart" power packs that often have 15AH or less batteries in them, and aren't designed to be drained significantly or for any period of time - typically $100- $150 each.


Perhaps check the warranties and reviews, but sounds like something that should last years if looked after.
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Old 17-09-2019, 07:34 PM
Mikel85 (Michael)
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Thanks Rob, it's about 31kg. Just sent them an equiry to see if it'll fit in the box as the noted dims are 5 mm too tall for the internal size of the box otherwise I'll need to find a different battery.
Thanks for the replies!
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Old 17-09-2019, 07:52 PM
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Hope it works out....
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Old 19-09-2019, 11:34 AM
Dober (Steve)
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Mobile power

Mike

Have a look at these, I run my 8" goto dob off the 1000 unit. Used it over three nights thus far, one for 3hrs and the others for around 1.5hrs and still had a little charge.

They claim it will run a car fridge overnight and start your car if the battery is flat. Have't tested that yet.

There are cheaper versions through the 4x4 super centre.

Very compact and seems to work fine on mine at least, You are running more gear then me and you know what output you need but worth a look.

The fit in the glove box.

https://itechworld.com.au/products/i...kup-power-bank

https://itechworld.com.au/products/i...ess-power-bank


Steve
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