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Is the C.PowerTank for LS a good option ??

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#1 franciscosjb

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:52 AM

Hello

As you all know, our LS Telescopes eats batteries in a night or two at the most, I´ve been searching for a solution and found that the Celestron Power Tank is an option, I'm pretty sure some of you guys have tried this solution.

So based on your experience can you help me telling me what differences do the 12 and 17 versions have?

How much time for a single charge using an LS 6"?

Does it works as advertised ? I have read over the internet that its chargeable battery dies after some time, found both good and bad reviews.


I really need a solution to this problem, I got the regular car charger and the ground one too, but need some power supply for places where those are not an option.

I think Meade should have a solution to this.

cheers!
Current Scope / Meade ETX LS 6" ACF /

My God, It`s Full of Stars!!

#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:18 PM

Hi Fransisco,

Unfortunately, the LS is a power eater. The stripped down version, the LT, lasts about 20 hours instead of 3 or 4 for the LS. It is all the bells and whistles of the LS that use the power.

I bought a power tank with another scope several years ago and it worked well for me, other than the charger going out in a couple of months with no warranty on it. I had to buy another charger for about $20. I ended up using it mostly with my DS scopes. I was taking one of those out several times a week for a couple hours. The Power Tank 17 only had to be charge about once a month. With that in mind, I think it would hold up to the demands of the LS mount.

The power tank lasted until we had an ice storm and we used to to listen to emergency weather. The ice broke enough trees into power lines that several hundred thousand people were without power, including us. The power ran down in the power tank and we decided we needed to travel away from the area to a hotel, and were there for a week. I did not even think about the power tank as I was dealing with fallen tree limbs all over the yard. When I did remember it, the battery was totally dead and not recoverable. I pulled the unit apart, saw what the battery was, and looked it up on line. It could be purchased for about $75 plus shipping.

The Power Tank 17 is fairly heavy, but is reasonably built. It is convenient to carry as long as you do not have to carry it a long way. Where ever you are going, you will have to make a separate trip to carry the power tank in one hand and maybe something else in another. You will not be able to carry it along with your telescope. I think the 17 would loose its appeal to me if I had to make very many trips over 100 yards (one way) with it.

With all that in mind, I think a power tank can be a good purchase. If you are debating which one to get, think about how much you plan on using it between charges and how far you think you will be carrying it. The 17 should pretty much last all night long or maybe a couple of nights. I would not know for sure without actually trying it. The 12 is going to last about two-thirds as long, but will be lighter to carry.

Currently, I am using either the plug-in power supply or the one I can plug into my pickup cigarette lighter socket. Since I have several manual scopes, I take one of those if I want to go somewhere that I cannot take my pickup. Ultimately, I will probably purchase another big battery power source for some kind of astronomy safari. When I do, I will probably also come up with some kind of dolly or wagon to haul it and other things around in. Weight does get to be a factor.

I am not sure if Meade has ever sold a power supply like the power tank. At least for the last eight years they have not. I think they have chosen not to get into that market.

As far as the LS and its power usage is concerned, it would be nice to be able to shut down some of the fancier functions when taking the scope to places where an external power supply from the house or automobile is not reasonable. I think that is definitely something that should be looked into. On the other side of the situation, I do not think Meade had those kinds of adventures in mind when they were envisioning the customers who the LS was being designed for.

Hope this helps,

Bill Steen
  • franciscosjb likes this
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 franciscosjb

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:48 AM

Perfect, thanks Bill ;D
Current Scope / Meade ETX LS 6" ACF /

My God, It`s Full of Stars!!

#4 MistrBadgr

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 04:07 PM

You are most welcome!
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#5 hamdul

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:12 PM

Another point of view. There are man other similar 12 volt units on the market. I'm using a schumacher XP500 which gives me 12V and 15 amps which is sufficient for my needs but there are heavier units out ther. If my memory is correct mu unit cost me around $35.00 to $40.00
Fred

#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:47 PM

Thanks, Fred! Good point.
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#7 franciscosjb

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 05:40 PM

thanks to both of you
Current Scope / Meade ETX LS 6" ACF /

My God, It`s Full of Stars!!





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