12v Deep Cycle Battery

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  • Member since
    December, 2008
12v Deep Cycle Battery
Posted by SkyCruiser on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 2:53 PM

I do deep space and planetary imaging from remote sites and I want to extend my options for powering my laptop, cameras, telescope and other electronic accessories.  I have looked at the Optima D31T (75 Ah) but before I make a purchase I would appreciate others' comments about their battery experience and recommendations.

 Skycruiser

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  • Member since
    July, 2002
  • From: Texas
Posted by chipdatajeffB on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 4:25 PM

I have used a number of power schemes over the years. Most recently, I just finished making a powerpack we jokingly call The Nuke.

It uses three 33AH Glass-mat Technology 12V batteries and is built into a wheeled tool box that is about 12x16x20 inches. It has a battery charger and 1500W inverter, a 12V receptacle, a 12V hair dryer for dew removal, and I'm having a custom-fit Telegizmos 365 cover made for it to keep everything water tight overnight.

It runs my SBIG ST-7XME, two laptops, an STV autoguider, and an AP900 mount all night with plenty of juice leftover to run my 12V electric blanket while I sleep in. Uses about 40% of capacity and recharges in about 6 hours.

The downsides are cost (about $600, most of it in the inverter and charger) and weight (just under 70 lbs).

I have no doubt that it could run the mount, a laptop, and a webcam or similar imager all night long on just one of its three batteries.

12V accessories are your friend. If you have a 12V converter for your laptop you'll save at least half on energy consumption.

Planned upgrades:

  • Two additional 12V sockets
  • Anderson PowerPole cables and connectors to replace the hard-wired setup
  • 12V coffeemaker

The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine. --- JBS Haldane

Come visit me at Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (we're on Google Maps) in Texas.

www.3rf.org

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Eastern SD.
Posted by johnjohnson on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 5:12 PM

I use a size 27 deep cycle battery rated at 105 amp hours with a 400 watt inverter and I also always have a spare size 24 at 85 amp hours with me too. I also made a cable with two male cigarette plugs on it so i can plug it into my cigarette lighter plug and charge them when I'm traveling in my truck.

JJ 

20" F5 Obsession, OMI mirror .987 Strehl. 10" F4.7 reflector. 6" F5 ST reflector. 120mm F7.5 EON. 80mm F11.3 guide scope. SkyWatcher EQ-6 Hyper Tuned.   Flicker Astro Site   More Astro Images

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by sbbbugsy on Saturday, November 07, 2009 9:14 PM

 I use the Optima D34M (55aH) with an 800 watt inverter (I have three 12 VDC outlets in addition to the one on the inverter). I can run my laptop, an LXD-75 SN-10 (w/EQ-G mount), a small LCD monitor (DVD player), and my Canon XTi for a night's worth of observing with this setup.

 

Steven

  • Member since
    May, 2007
Posted by Bullfox on Friday, December 11, 2009 9:34 PM

My system draws about 6 amp. I had an 80 amp hour deep cycle battery that would run the system for 6 or 7 hours before the dc to dc converter for the laptop dropped out from low voltage.  I wanted to be able to image over two consecutive nights camping out at deep sky sites so a bought another 80 amp hour battery.  One battery runs the laptop, the other battery runs everything else.  With this set up both batteries will go about 21 hours before the voltage drops too low, and they both drop out at about the same time.

  • Member since
    October, 2006
Posted by Star Dragon on Saturday, December 12, 2009 5:35 AM

HI SkyCruiser,

I have a similar set up , I use three 750 A/h 12V deep cycle batteries, One runs my laptop with a 12DC to 110V cigarette lighter inverter, One runs my dew heaters and I have another one for back up, while the Celestron 17A/h power pack runs my CG5 ASGT mount.

This will run my DSI and setup all night long, the backup is mostly for the nights that dew becomes a major problem, I have a Kendricks dew removal system that runs 4 band heaters.

I also use a enclosure to keep my laptop out of the sub zero weather and protect it from dew.

 

Dennis

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Tuesday, March 09, 2010 4:47 PM

We ran a very similar thread on this topic a month or so ago.  I think it's great that most of us seem to feel that 17AH provided by the stock retail "power tanks" just don't quite get it done.  Looking at pictures etc. we usually arrive at similar resolutions to the problem (except for "the Nuke" - I thank he want to power up Minneapolis! - I can't talk too much on that since one of my main pieces of equipment is a coffeemaker!)  My 55AH Optima deep cycle seems to handle all of my loads easily for a weekend's viewing.

    

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

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  • Member since
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  • From: Texas
Posted by chipdatajeffB on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:07 PM

Along the lines of "if a little bit's good, a whole lot oughtta be better," here's TheNuke:

 

 

 

Click here for more photos and details (a Flickr! set of 12).

The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine. --- JBS Haldane

Come visit me at Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (we're on Google Maps) in Texas.

www.3rf.org

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:16 PM

Wow!  I finally get to see "the Nuke"!  What a great job of putting that systme together.  Compact and portable (relatively speaking).  Very well thought out and executed.

 

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

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  • Member since
    July, 2002
  • From: Texas
Posted by chipdatajeffB on Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:21 PM

Thanks! I've been using it for several months now and generally stay completely off the grid even when AC is avaiable (I use that to recharge during daytime).

Next project is to replace the hard-wiring with Anderson PowerPoles (that's gonna cost me some $$), which will allow me to quickly remove and replace batteries (like when I want to leave the dew heaters running while I sleep, but I need one of the batteries to run my 12V electric blanket for the back of the truck ... LOL.

Being able to easily swap out the batteries will also allow me to lift this thing into and out of the truck more easily. It's right at my weight limit comfort-zone, so I don't find it much fun.

And the PowerPoles provide better and more waterproof connections than the alligator clips. I'm thinking I'll put a PowerPole panel in the side of the box so I don't even have to open it unless I need accessories from the top tray).

The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine. --- JBS Haldane

Come visit me at Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (we're on Google Maps) in Texas.

www.3rf.org

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:01 AM

chipdatajeffB

Being able to easily swap out the batteries will also allow me to lift this thing into and out of the truck more easily. It's right at my weight limit comfort-zone, so I don't find it much fun.

You could get a set of tailgate ramps to help load it into the truck.  I use a set to roll my JMI wheeled case with my CPC1100 into the back of my Silverado.  They work great.  No lifting of the scope at all.  I got my ramps from a Sam's Wholesale Club, but Lowe's or Home Depot should have them also..

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

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  • Member since
    July, 2002
  • From: Texas
Posted by chipdatajeffB on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 9:33 AM

Yeah, I've borrowed a set to try them out. Sure is easier, but even the folding ones take up some space and weigh too much.

TheNuke looks all neat and organized, but you should see me pack for a trip! Good thing the truck has outside mirrors ... Smile,Wink, & Grin.

I literally must decide which 50 lbs to leave out each trip. I'm already way over my 700lb weight limit in the little Isuzu pickup.

And every time I consider getting a larger truck, I get to thinking about new equipment it could carry ... LOL

I think a TommyLift is in my not-too-distant future (that will be the first accessory after I get a larger truck). 

No, wait, the camper will be the first accessory, then the Tommy Lift. Uh, well, after I switch from the C-11 to a C-14 ... and a particle wave pier ... and some Ethos eyepieces ...

The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine. --- JBS Haldane

Come visit me at Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (we're on Google Maps) in Texas.

www.3rf.org

  • Member since
    November, 2009
Posted by Poppa Chris on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 9:44 AM

chipdatajeffB

No, wait, the camper will be the first accessory, then the Tommy Lift. Uh, well, after I switch from the C-11 to a C-14 ... and a particle wave pier ... and some Ethos eyepieces ...

Just what I love!  A brother pack-rat techno addict!  I'm glad to see such a kindred spirit.

---Poppa Chris---

Denham Springs, Louisiana USA

"Second star to the right - Then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Celestron CPC1100GPS (XLT) - 279mm aperature, 2800mm Focal length. (f10) Celestron Ultima LX (70deg AFOV) Eyepieces 32mm thru 5mm, Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR, Backyard EOS imaging software, Orion Star Shoot Planetary Imager IV, Celestron Skymaster 15x70 binoculars

 

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