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Old 31-07-2021, 04:57 PM
Efendy
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Portable power for an 8se

Day 5 of owning the 8se and I am already experiencing the same issue that many *se owners must have had. Alkaline batteries don't last long and based on what I've read on the web, they make the 8se sluggish compared to an AC adapter.

Even though most of my usage of 8se will be from my backyard, I would like to have a portable solution as I am an avid outdoor enthusiast and I don't want to run a cable every time I use it. Instead of forking out $50-60 for the AC adapter and risk of cable being pulled off as I have little kids, I though a portable battery would be better.

I have a 130ah AGM battery at the back of the car running the fridge and everything else. I won't be able to move this to the back yard or anywhere else when camping. Therefore, I want to get something portable that I can use for other things when away from the car.

I've ruled out celestron products as power tank is only 7ah and others are very expensive.

Powertech (jaycar) portable power station seems to be a favourite which ticks most of the boxes. This provides about 12ah @12V. Can anyone share their experience with this unit from the point of running an 8se or similar and a dew heater or any other potential astronomy-related power suckers that I will need to use in the future?

Has anyone done a LifePo4 box for this purpose?

Any other suggestions? I am trying to limit the spend to $200.

Cheers,
Abdullah
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  #2  
Old 31-07-2021, 05:39 PM
RobK (Rob)
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Hi Abdullah,

I was in a similar situation with a need for remote power.
This is the solution I went for
50ah agm battery which I consider will give me enough power to run a mount, camera and dew heaters for a night.
A battery box with cig lighter socket, USB and anderson plug for connections.

I found that when imaging I was using just under 2 amps of power. That would be about 12 hours considering you don't want to run your battery down to less than 50% of its capacity.


https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/143345238099

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/293955000619

cheers
Rob
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Old 31-07-2021, 06:49 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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A very inexpensive solution is to go to your auto mechanic & ask for a car battery that is not up to the task of powering a car but will still be ok for a small 12v system.

I have a good relationship with my mechanic & I haven't paid for one of these batteries for years. They may last a couple of years but so what - they cost next to nothing other than the power used to recharge them.

I usually have two on the go at home so if one does die then I am not left without power.

Which reminds me one of mine did just die a couple of weeks ago & I need to go get another when lockdown conditions here lift.

Car batteries are heavy suckers, so I also have a smaller SLA one for some smaller mounts.

Alex.
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Old 31-07-2021, 07:17 PM
raymo
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Alex, I've been doing just that for almost 50 yrs, and advocating it here for
more than 10yrs, but I fear that it largely falls on deaf ears. Today's newbies
generally have more money to spend on this hobby, and want as many bells
and whistles as possible, and asap. This is analagous to many of today's first home buyers wanting a 4x2 with all the goodies, whereas 50-60 yrs ago we
started out with a 3x1 and worked our way up over the years.
Sorry for the minor hijack.
raymo
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Old 31-07-2021, 07:52 PM
Efendy
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Hi Rob,

Thank you for the suggestion.
This is a great solution but I already have a 130ah agm, a fridge and a drawer (and now the 8se) on top of everything else that come with three kids therefore there is no space left to have another full size battery box. But I'll see if I can diy a box for the 50ah agm as it is smaller than a full size battery box.

Hi Alex and Raymo,

Appreciate your suggestions. Unfortunately as above, I don't have any space left in the 4by to accommodate a full size battery.
As you also know, lead acid batteries are not sealed and vent out sulphuric acid therefore I am reluctant to use them in the cabin with kids inside. However, I did this before and it definitely works!

Cherrs,
Andy
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Old 31-07-2021, 08:21 PM
raymo
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many lead acid batteries are sealed, including the one in my present car.
raymo
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Old 31-07-2021, 09:10 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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Sealed lead acid batteries don't vent.
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Old 31-07-2021, 09:42 PM
Efendy
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I've read that they are not recommended to be used in a space as small as a cabin of a car as even though they are sealed they still have a vent to release pressure build-up due to generation of hydrogen gas (I'd wrongly stated sulphuric acid). But, I am sure they are alright if they are not permanently installed inside but in my case, unfortunately I have a space problem but I appreciate the discussion.

Cheers
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Old 31-07-2021, 10:18 PM
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Weird1 (Keith)
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Portable power supply

For the past few years I have run my AVX of ajump starter from Super Cheap, paid $99 on special. They are now $269 but if you wait they come on sale a couple of times each year. The power jumper pack lasts me several nights depending how many dew heaters you run.

Cheers Keith
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  #10  
Old 31-07-2021, 10:39 PM
Dave882 (David)
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I know there are options with more power/features etc- but for my celestron cpc800 I went with a cheap small lithium pack. I got it off eBay for about $70.
Does me about 3-4 nights visual, or 4hrs running an eaa setup (scope, asi294mc uncooled, ASIAIR pro, dew heater. Ive never had a problem with it in about 12mths but for eaa if I had my time again Id go a bit more capacity.

Its small and light enough I Velcro it to the side of the mount.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Portable...154756-20017-0

Just my 2c
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Old 01-08-2021, 08:25 PM
Efendy
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Hi Keith,

That's a great idea. I'll definitely keep an eye on supercheap specials.

Cheers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird1 View Post
For the past few years I have run my AVX of ajump starter from Super Cheap, paid $99 on special. They are now $269 but if you wait they come on sale a couple of times each year. The power jumper pack lasts me several nights depending how many dew heaters you run.

Cheers Keith
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Old 01-08-2021, 08:29 PM
Efendy
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Hi Dave,

It's a big positive that it is small. I'll see if there is a 15-20ah version.

Cheers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave882 View Post
I know there are options with more power/features etc- but for my celestron cpc800 I went with a cheap small lithium pack. I got it off eBay for about $70.
Does me about 3-4 nights visual, or 4hrs running an eaa setup (scope, asi294mc uncooled, ASIAIR pro, dew heater. Ive never had a problem with it in about 12mths but for eaa if I had my time again Id go a bit more capacity.

Its small and light enough I Velcro it to the side of the mount.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Portable...154756-20017-0

Just my 2c
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  #13  
Old 02-08-2021, 10:06 AM
AdamJL
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If they come back to Australia, a Jackery 500 is perfect. Also keep an eye out on Bluettipower.com.au, they should be bringing one of their Lithium batteries here shortly.

Me, I don't advocate for lead acid at all. They're heavy, cumbersome, have too many "quirks" when it comes to power and longevity compared to Lithium

I would choose either standard Li-ION like I mentioned above, or a LiFe-PO4 system, which you can build yourself using say a battery from Solarking or wait for Bluetti to release their LiFe-PO4 range here.

For what it's worth, I have
- Jackery 240. This is the main right that powers everything during the night
- Since 240 isn't enough juice, I top it up during the night with one (or more) of my LiFe-PO4 batteries: 12Ah, 15Ah and 20Ah. This is enough for two nights of shooting.

If you choose Li-ION, make sure it's a regulated unit to guarantee 12V power. If you choose LiFe-PO4, that spits out around 13V all the way to about 5% capacity so you're fine with that.

There's also an Aussie option at 40Ah, which uses LiFe-PO4 cells:
https://www.snowys.com.au/rover-lith...-power-station
I believe they also sell a 70Ah version.
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Old 02-08-2021, 09:16 PM
Efendy
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Hi Adam,

Thank you for the suggestions and tips. Definitely many options out there and they are getting cheaper.

I agree fully that lifepo4 is the future. Lightweight, can be discharged to 100% DOD 2000 times, and safer than li ion.

Jackery is definitely a refined product. I'll keep an eye on that.

Bluetti is premium including the price! But big capacity and good features.

I wouldn't have expected such a good product from companion. That's another candidate for the watch list.

I have a large agm permanently attached to the 4by that is being charged by a dc-dc charger +solar. I need the portable battery only for the telescope and maybe for the beach etc. I have also invested in a few agm chargers in the past several years. Therefore, in the interim, yesterday I bought a 25ah agm for $55. I will put it in an ammo style box and add a few panel mounted accessories. Until I get a decent capacity lifepo4 box, I will discharge it to 30% DOD which should last me several years!
Cheers
Abdullah


Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamJL View Post
If they come back to Australia, a Jackery 500 is perfect. Also keep an eye out on Bluettipower.com.au, they should be bringing one of their Lithium batteries here shortly.

Me, I don't advocate for lead acid at all. They're heavy, cumbersome, have too many "quirks" when it comes to power and longevity compared to Lithium

I would choose either standard Li-ION like I mentioned above, or a LiFe-PO4 system, which you can build yourself using say a battery from Solarking or wait for Bluetti to release their LiFe-PO4 range here.

For what it's worth, I have
- Jackery 240. This is the main right that powers everything during the night
- Since 240 isn't enough juice, I top it up during the night with one (or more) of my LiFe-PO4 batteries: 12Ah, 15Ah and 20Ah. This is enough for two nights of shooting.

If you choose Li-ION, make sure it's a regulated unit to guarantee 12V power. If you choose LiFe-PO4, that spits out around 13V all the way to about 5% capacity so you're fine with that.

There's also an Aussie option at 40Ah, which uses LiFe-PO4 cells:
https://www.snowys.com.au/rover-lith...-power-station
I believe they also sell a 70Ah version.
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