Author Topic: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power  (Read 3405 times)

ajt12

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Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« on: March 18, 2016, 12:21:39 PM »
I know this a tall order, but I am looking for a site at which I can image that has AC power available. I have a CCD that does not have a DC to DC power supply option. If has anyone has a suggestion it would be greatly appreciated. I am in the Santa Cruz area, so the further south the better. However, definitely willing to travel.

DDK

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 05:28:45 PM »
Not too tall. There are outlets at the pads in front of the Observatory at Fremont Peak. You'd need to join FPOA to get access. www.fpoa.net
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Marko

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 06:03:15 PM »
Jamie beat me to the reply.  Fremont peak is great and the membership is well worth it if you stop and consider the price of an astro-pic-rig along with having bathroom and a great drive to get up there.

Also be aware that a rather large fully charged battery with AC inverter frees up your constraint depending on your power draw it works for summer but the longer winter nights with colder temps even a big battery can just not cut it for a long night.  They are not as inefficient as you may think but yes, you do loose power in the inverter.  Power just the camera on that inverter then the mount and pc from different battery with direct DC - DC converters or direct if that works.  Have spare battery for camera and it's not so bad to have to power down camera, swap battery and so on as it is to swap battery out of a fully aligned and setup astro-rig which is a pain to setup.
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John Pierce

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 09:18:17 AM »
or, plan B, get a Honda or Yamaha 2000VA DC inverter generator.  Avoid the cheap off brand ones, they aren't reliable and likely won't last.  Honda EU2000i is the classic model.   very quiet, very fuel efficient, up to like 1500 watts sustained power.   If your power needs are much less than this, use a marine/rv battery and inverter as Marko suggests, and use the generator to periodically recharge it via a 15-20A car battery charger.

but... this camera, what are its power supply requirements? (volts, amps).  I bet there's a DC-DC out there that would work fine.

ajt12

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2016, 08:19:36 PM »
Thanks everyone! I will sign up with FPOA.

The CCD is an STX 16803. There is not a DC to DC option of any kind. It has an 8Ah draw, so the power loss is just impractical with an inverter. I am an exerianced imager and have many deep cycle batteries, but just don't want to even try that with this setup.


Marko

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 08:34:02 PM »
That is a fine camera.   Nice.    Does soak up the suds though so I understand.
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Marko
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Marko

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 08:38:32 PM »
I pulled the manual and it says this about power so I'm a bit confused but no need to reply.   I was puzzled why SBIG would not offer dc input.    Anyway, I only looked quickly so this may be wrong info.  Your own manual and research should prevail.  Good luck.

This port ac
connected to the I2C port. Use the supplied 100-240VAC Universal power supply or
connect directly to a 12VDC supply such as a car battery. If using the Universal pow
supply, note that the supplied extension cord must also be used between the power
supply and the camera to provide the correct pin configuration at the camera. Note
also, that the STX's power connector will accept a direct connection from an STL
camera power supply. If you inadvertently plug an STL power upply into an STX
camera, it will not cause damage to the STX camera, but the camera will not
operate reliably under full cooling power as the STL supply does not provide
required current for the STX camera. If you wish to make a custom power cable, th
pin outs for the connector may be found in the appendix of this manual. We recommend
16 gauge conductor for 10’ to 15’ of cable or 18 gauge conductor for less than 10’ of
cable.
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ajt12

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2016, 09:31:36 PM »
Appreciate the attempt to help. However, I had an hour long call with a VP at SBIG after I purchased the CCD. SBIG does not make a DC to DC for this CCD. They do for the smaller CCD's, but not the STX. I could make a cable, but, IMO, too risky to use a homemade cable for a camera like this.

John Pierce

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2016, 10:01:46 PM »
risky?  its just two wires, follow their instructions, get the right power connector (looks to be a '6 pin DIN' connector, like this: http://www.amazon.com/6-Pin-DIN-Plug-240-b0/dp/B000LDWV80 ), get a few feet of 2-conductor 16 gauge wire (lamp 'zip cord' would work fine), put battery clips or a powerpole connector on one end, and wire the other end to the DIN connector according to the operating manual appendix, plus goes to pins 1,5,6, and minus goes to pins 2,3,4.   

If you're not comfortable soldering electrical connectors, find a radio amateur or something, I'm sure there's tons of people around this community who could make you a solid reliable cable.

the manual says 12-14VDC at 6 amps with the cooler on max, so you should use a fairly large battery, like a full sized marine-RV battery, this will give you enough power for an all-nighter (100-120 amp*hours rated battery, so 12 hours at 6amps is 72 AH, that won't over-discharge the battery).


Marko

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2016, 10:36:03 PM »
Understood completely.  I was thinking you may not be aware of that info. 
Just go with the AC power and you will be fine.  Great camera. 
May you get many years of great pictures.
Marko
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ajt12

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2016, 12:09:00 PM »
risky?  its just two wires, follow their instructions, get the right power connector (looks to be a '6 pin DIN' connector, like this: http://www.amazon.com/6-Pin-DIN-Plug-240-b0/dp/B000LDWV80 ), get a few feet of 2-conductor 16 gauge wire (lamp 'zip cord' would work fine), put battery clips or a powerpole connector on one end, and wire the other end to the DIN connector according to the operating manual appendix, plus goes to pins 1,5,6, and minus goes to pins 2,3,4.   

If you're not comfortable soldering electrical connectors, find a radio amateur or something, I'm sure there's tons of people around this community who could make you a solid reliable cable.

the manual says 12-14VDC at 6 amps with the cooler on max, so you should use a fairly large battery, like a full sized marine-RV battery, this will give you enough power for an all-nighter (100-120 amp*hours rated battery, so 12 hours at 6amps is 72 AH, that won't over-discharge the battery).

Again, the offer to assist here is appreciated. However, not sure what you are expecting. Been doing this a while. Made my decision. I consulted a friend who is an electrical engineer prior to posting on here as well. I have had both a laptop and a Takahashi mount short out from dew while imaging remotely. And those were unmodified. No way I am going to risk frying a $12k CCD with a poorly sealed homemade cable. BTW, the 6 pin din connector you referenced is about a third of the size of the connector the SBIG PS uses. Worse case I will go with an inverter and some extra batteries.

jrgose

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Re: Observing/Imaging Site with AC Power
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2016, 11:55:01 AM »
You've an awsome ccd.
FPOA membership is the most affordable option on power.  Just like to add note on last option (batteries) - If battery size ever becomes a consideration consider these LiPO4 batteries.  Usually batteries put out about 90% of there rated Amp hour before voltage drops out of useful range.  cost - pricey, size 1/3 to 1/4 size, no run away sorts. Many of these have a higher hourly amperage discharge maximum rate rating so pay attention to that specification too.  Eventually these battery prices will drop, so keep an eye on these.  Batteries are subsidized if you by them with the car:)  https://www.bioennopower.com/collections/12v-series-lifepo4-batteries/products/12v-50ah-lfp-battery-black-w-pvc-pack

PS
I didn't realize CCD could pull so many amps - thanks.  I've been dreaming on a Microline 8300.  You've a awsome SBig rig.