eq mounts .. mains or battery ?

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Ender Of Days
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eq mounts .. mains or battery ?

Post by Ender Of Days »

Hi,
Im about to buy an eq mount (hopefully) Im getting it with dual axis motors,but it only comes with a battery pack,

Id prefare to use it via mains power,
so the question is ..
.. What do I need to know about powering the eq motors via mains power ?

Im not too good with electrics :oops: :roll:
so any help will be gratefully recieved :wink:

Thanks

JJ..
Last edited by Ender Of Days on Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
aint no speed limit where im comin from ..
lets hit the highway doing 69


ETX 125
Meade Series 4000 box set
Earthshine
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Post by Earthshine »

Mains provides you with 240v AC, but your mount will require 12v DC most likely.

Batteries provide low voltage DC and so will your power tank.

If you decide to use the mains you will have to buy a DC adaptor that is effectively a step-down transformer to convert 240v AC into 12v DC. You will need to check that the adaptor has the correct sized jack plug for input into your mount (they often come in 4 standard sizes). It also probably won't have enough wire lead to reach your mount from inside the house anyway.

Better to stick to the power tank.
Ender Of Days
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Post by Ender Of Days »

Thanks
I'm primarily going to use it in the back garden,so I figured mains would've be the standard way to go :?:
However Ive got a dark site that I occasionally use (the local shooting range) no power there,so the pack is a must for that,

So are battery packs the recommended power source for scopes ?

Thanks,

JJ.. :)
aint no speed limit where im comin from ..
lets hit the highway doing 69


ETX 125
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Earthshine
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Post by Earthshine »

Yes. The problem with just buying a set of say, AA batteries, is that they expire within a few hours of use, maybe even less. When you consider that most mounts will require a set of 8 batteries at about £6-£7 a set, it becomes very uneconomical. A good power tank is rechargable and should give you at least a full nights viewing.
markt
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Post by markt »

I would go battery all the time - but a proper battery - something like this >>> http://www.firstlightoptics.com/products.php?cat=65 - you can pick up similar things from places like maplins for maybe even cheaper. Avoid aa battery options, they have no life to them, you'll be continuoslly replacing them...

Beware of mains - may seem the obvious way forward but just bear in mind if its a dewey night, or you're on damp grass, extension cables and the like can be a killer - safety first and all that :wink:
Meade 5" Refractor, ETX90, Coronado SolarMax40, C8 XLT CF CaK PST
EQ6 Pro, 15x70's, 20x80's
Canon 350D, DMK31
Ender Of Days
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Post by Ender Of Days »

Ok battery it is :wink:

Or rather "tank" as they are,
I take it as long as they are 12v and 17ah that should be ok ?

Ive seen a couple that look like they'l fit the bill when the time comes,

Thanks,

JJ..
aint no speed limit where im comin from ..
lets hit the highway doing 69


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Brian
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Post by Brian »

A word of caution re the EQ4 power supply. If I read the manufacturer and suppliers info correctly, the battery power supplies are running at 6volts (4x 1.5volt cells), not 12v. If you use a 12v supply, you may need a step-down device such as this one. Otherwise a "switching mode" mains to 6volt DC with the correct output polarity should work.

HTH,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
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Ender Of Days
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Post by Ender Of Days »

Thanks,
I found an old variable 3 - 12 v plug type unit,Ive used it in the past to power several electrical goods (digicams etc),
According to a mate it should be ok set at the correct power and polarity,

Il triple check everything before anything gets plugged in,
But as it comes with a pack (don't think its rechargable) Il use that for starters,
Il be asking about this when I order the mount,

Thanks for the heads up,

JJ..
aint no speed limit where im comin from ..
lets hit the highway doing 69


ETX 125
Meade Series 4000 box set
markt
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Post by markt »

Ender Of Days wrote:Thanks,
I found an old variable 3 - 12 v plug type unit,Ive used it in the past to power several electrical goods (digicams etc),
According to a mate it should be ok set at the correct power and polarity,

Il triple check everything before anything gets plugged in,
But as it comes with a pack (don't think its rechargable) Il use that for starters,
Il be asking about this when I order the mount,

Thanks for the heads up,

JJ..
Just double check the ampage the adapter delivers, I had a similar such device which I was initially going to power my heq6 - the lights and everything would come on but it didn't have the juice to slew across the sky...
Meade 5" Refractor, ETX90, Coronado SolarMax40, C8 XLT CF CaK PST
EQ6 Pro, 15x70's, 20x80's
Canon 350D, DMK31
Ender Of Days
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:00 pm
Location: north sheffield
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Post by Ender Of Days »

I had a chat with the shop on the phone this morning,
He says the motors will run on 6v but they are rated for 9v

Things are a bit more clearer,thanks,
I should be ordering it tomorow,and I'l keep you all updated :D

Thanks again,

JJ..
aint no speed limit where im comin from ..
lets hit the highway doing 69


ETX 125
Meade Series 4000 box set
Ender Of Days
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:00 pm
Location: north sheffield
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Post by Ender Of Days »

HI,
The mount arrived this morning :P
Its better than I thought it'd be,and it actually turns smoothly on both axis unlike most other eq4's Ive been reading about :wink: ,

I'm getting the power tank,but to use in the mean time (in the porch),can anyone figure this out for me ?

From my old variable mains plug comes a wire with a female part on the end,I'm wanting to use an adapter (it came with several) to plug into the hand controller,
The controller says + should be the "inner"
http://img119.imageshack.us/my.php?imag ... lerpv9.jpg

However the adapter plug shows either pin to be the + or -
http://img147.imageshack.us/my.php?image=vplugpo5.jpg
I hope the pic makes sence :D

Its just the plug that's got me a bit confused,I can get a mate with a multi meter to have a check,
Is that the best option ? (other than waiting for the power tank :wink: )

Thanks,

JJ..
aint no speed limit where im comin from ..
lets hit the highway doing 69


ETX 125
Meade Series 4000 box set
markt
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:19 pm
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Post by markt »

Multi meter it or wait for the power tank else you'll be gutted if you blow something within days of having it ;)
Meade 5" Refractor, ETX90, Coronado SolarMax40, C8 XLT CF CaK PST
EQ6 Pro, 15x70's, 20x80's
Canon 350D, DMK31
gfletcher
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Post by gfletcher »

Brian

Would this step down device connect to a Maplins Portable jump starter & Air compressor currently at a sale price of £19.99 ?
Does the Maplins unit have a 12v cigar lighter socket on it ?

thanks

Graham
Ender Of Days
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Post by Ender Of Days »

Thanks,

The seller (il name him as ALAN :) ) says .. "I don't think it causes any harm if you get it wrong as long as you put it right fairly quickly. On the d/a controller the lights flash a few times on powering up then go steady so you will soon know if you have it right."


Il be checking it out with a multi meter tomorow,just to be shure
I think the reason im taking my time with it is the terrible weather were having,theres not much rush due to the thick wet cloud thats spoiling the view,
I managed to put the mount on top of an old metal tripod,but its far from ideal,as its not stable enough,

As for the starter box thing there was one on that awfull "bid up tv" the other night for less than £20 (with p+p)

Thanks,
JJ..
aint no speed limit where im comin from ..
lets hit the highway doing 69


ETX 125
Meade Series 4000 box set
Brian
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Post by Brian »

gfletcher wrote:Brian

Would this step down device connect to a Maplins Portable jump starter & Air compressor currently at a sale price of £19.99 ?
Does the Maplins unit have a 12v cigar lighter socket on it ?

thanks

Graham
Hi Graham.

If the Maplin box has the standard cigar-lighter output socket then it should work. Unfortunately the Maplin webpage doesn't show that socket, although it states that the 12V output socket is present. With these power packs the 12V output is invariably in the form of the lighter socket, but maybe an email to Maplin to clarify this before you buy might be the best approach?

ATB,
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
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