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Is my Power Tank dead?

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:36 am
by The Bat
I have had my Celestron Power Tank for about 4 years now, but increasingly I am noticing that it is not holding charge very well. If I plug it into the wall to recharge, the 'fully charged' light hardly ever shows any more; it's eternally 'charging'.

Connected to the telescope, it seems to be able to power the tracking motor reasonably well, but it usually starts to protest when I try to use the slewing controls (often within half an hour of setting up), and I get red or flashing lights on my handset which generally indicates low battery.

Is there anything I can do to restore life to my poor Power Tank, or am I looking at a replacement? :(

Rachel

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:39 pm
by David Frydman
Dear Rachel,
I don't know much about electrical stuff, but it sounds like the battery is nearing the end of its life.
Is it possible to replace the battery at a reasonable price?

Even the Sanyo Eneloops eventually die and camera battery lithium ion packs don't last that long either if you use them or not.

And car batteries always seem to pack up about November just when you need them most. They last about 4 to 7 years normally.

Regards, David

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:11 pm
by Gregger
Happened to mine 2 years ago
TBH I mainly use mine to power a digital radio (they eat batteries)
I ran the Celestron a bit low and it behaved exactly like this and died
RIP
New one in place which I try to avoid running too low

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:31 am
by The Bat
Thanks, guys. I thought this might be the case. I was just wondering whether 4 years was a reasonable life expectancy and whether replacement batteries were available as a long shot (guess not!).

Oh well...

Cheers,

Rachel

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:55 pm
by Brian
Hi Rachel,

there's a thread here might have some info:

http://stargazerslounge.com/beginners-h ... -tank.html

Regards,

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:58 pm
by The Bat
Thanks for that, Brian. Could be useful.

Cheers,

Rachel

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:34 pm
by Brian
Hi Rachel,

I see you know of that "Other Place" :D

Don't forget to have a look at this as well:

http://stargazerslounge.com/discussions ... tanks.html

Best regards,

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:23 pm
by David Frydman
One thing to note with lithium ion batteries I think that are used in cameras and laptops also toy helicopters etc. is not to leave them charging when you are out of your home..
There have been quite a number of cases of them catching fire and unfortunately burning down homes.
This mainly occurs with cheap clones of the original, but can happen with the original makers batteries. Especially with low priced consumer products made in millions normally in China. But also with top names.
At the very least they should be on a surface or in a place where nothing would happen if they caught fire.
There are literally millions of suspect chargers of various sorts again probably made in China.

I also once got a fast charger for AAs, both batteries and charger were well known brands, but the charger got so hot I disposed of it. It was frightenly hot.

For my Sanyo Eneloop AAs I use the normal faster originally supplied charger which takes about 2.5 hours. There is also the original 7 hour charger, which is probably better as Eneloops do not like fast chargers. But 7 hours is too long for me.
Even with these I try to be present when they are charging.

I dropped a charger and something inside started rattling, so I binned this and got another one.
One cannot be too careful with some of the modern high tech batteries and chargers.

regards, David

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:33 am
by The Bat
Aha. Now, I didn't know that these things need recharging periodically. Nor did I know it's not a good idea to run them into the ground. I think I am guilty of both. I used to recharge religiously after every observing session, but with an increase in public observing activities and outreach events, the power tank got left in the car a lot (in the cold) to save packing/unpacking the car all the time and this seems to have been the nail in the coffin: no recharging, multiple use, cold conditions...!

This has been a useful exercise: I now know how I need to treat my replacement when I get it! :D

Thanks for all the pointers.

Rachel

Re:

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:32 pm
by Eclipse
The Bat wrote:Thanks, guys. I thought this might be the case. I was just wondering whether 4 years was a reasonable life expectancy and whether replacement batteries were available as a long shot (guess not!).

Oh well...

Cheers,

Rachel
Probably find a motorcycle battery with right Ahr to fit!

Re:

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:05 pm
by nealeh
The Bat wrote:I didn't know that these things need recharging periodically.
It was my understanding that 'car battery' type power units should always be kept on charge when not in use.

Re: Is my Power Tank dead?

Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:29 am
by The Bat
I have bought a new power tank in the last couple of weeks and this one actually comes with instructions on the tank to recharge periodically - every 3 months in winter and monthly in summer - and not to let it drain fully. :)

Rachel