Thought I'd start a new thread about power, both AC and DC. While I wait for my new Orion triplet to return from having a custom flange made, and focuser put on at MoonLite (ships Monday, for a late Tuesday arrival) and the start of the next good imaging window...
During these times I get bored and find projects to do, so the past day or so I built what I call 'Power 2.0(tm)', an upgrade of my field setup, using two 75AH lead-acid deep cycle batteries.
I use AC in the field to power my mount, 2 laptops, and focuser through an inverter. I use DC for the Parsec, Dew heaters and other things, including a DC powered hairdryer. I've had a feeling that my current inverter didn't have enough output to fully drive the mount during peak draw (while everything else is connected to the inverter as well), and another CGE-Pro user on Yahoo gave me some more data to support my theory. So I got:
- lengths of 0 gauge power and negative cable
- 80A ANL fuse and inline fuse holder
- lengths of 4 gauge power and negative cable for connecting my batteries in parallel, replacing the 10-gauge I had been using for the same task
- a Xantrex pure sine wave 600W inverter, replacing my Dura-cell 400W modified sine-wave unit
- nice quality ring terminals, both 0 and 4 gauge.
So I came up with this:
I will keep the old inverter connected, to run my laptops, and the Xantrex will purely be used to drive the mount. The 3-outlet cigarette plug will continue to be used for my dew heater stuff if I use it, and the camera.
Overall this setup has treated me really well, and I've used it for 15 hours straight, will the voltage never dropping below 12.3V. It takes between 2 and 3 days to fully recharge at a 1AH rate with a nice trickle charger/maintainer.