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Thread: Question about Celestron powertank 17

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    Default Question about Celestron powertank 17



    My charger crapped out on the power tank and I started using a 6v/12v 1amp motorcycle batter charger connected to the jumper cables on the power tank. Is 12v charger enough to charge it or should it be more?

    I just read also that the on/off/charge button should be in off button while charging (the middle position).

    Input appreciated. Im trying to figure out if the battery is crapping out or Im just not charging it correctly.

    Thanks.
    -Nick
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    Default Re: Question about Celestron powertank 17

    I dont know about the first part, but I've been charging mine in the charge position. It's been working so far with no issues.

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    Default Re: Question about Celestron powertank 17

    That charger you have should be fine for charging the Power tank, but you don't want to overcharge the battery. Do you have a volt/ohm meter? You can find them for about $7 to $10 and up. You need to see what the battery voltage is, both at rest, while charging, and after charging. The battery voltage before charging should be between 11.7 (100% discharged) to 12.7 (Full charge). Battery voltage while charging will vary according to % of charge, but it should not be much above 14.4 volts.(voltage higher than that indicates a bad battery) While charging, the voltage when fully charged should be around 13.4 to 13.8 volts. This is the voltage at which you want to stop charging. The battery should rest for a few hours and the voltage should stabilize at around 12.6 volts (good battery). A multi stage 'Smart Charger' is the best way to charge an AGM type battery in the Power Tank. Use what you have now and see if the battery is any good and then decide what to do next.

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    Default Re: Question about Celestron powertank 17

    You can take rtlrp 12's suggestion about getting a voltmeter and check which switch position voltage shows up on the jumper connection of your tank supply, use that position to charge your tank. If the motorcycle charger can handle charging a dead battery and goes into trickle mode after the battery is fully charged, it should be OK.
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    Default Re: Question about Celestron powertank 17

    I've been tracking voltage, during and after charging as well as after use, for my Orion Dynamo Pro 12 (first cousin to the Power Tanks) since I got it back in December. I've something like 150 data points for it now.

    My first observation was that the original charger, with a no load voltage output of 15V, was pushing the battery a half volt (bright, not glowing, CHARGED status indicator light) beyond the voltage the battery came to rest at after being disconnected from the charger for about 30 min. Over-charging is damaging to a battery, so I'd say losing the original charger, for whatever reason, is a good thing.

    Based on my observations I concluded, when using the original charger, that as soon as the "CHARGED" status light begins to glow it would be prudent to disconnect the original charger. Charging longer just raises the battery to a (damaging) voltage it is unable to sustain once removed from the original charger. In addition, as the battery ages and from repeated use the maximum voltage of the battery will diminish and the original charger does not compensate for this.

    To me this meant I'd have to closely monitor the battery while charging and I couldn't just hook it up and forget it at the end of a night of observing. I looked for an alternative.

    About two weeks after getting the DP 12 I started making exclusive use of a Deltran Battery Tender Jr to charge and float the DP 12. Now this thing floats a battery at just a couple hundredths of a volt above where it comes to rest after disconnect while automatically adjusting for changes in the battery's condition due to age and use, and therefore can be left connected indefinitely, a function it is designed to perform. In addition it has a slightly higher current output than the original charger so charging time is reduced. It's now been six months of near continuous use for the BT Jr and the DP's maximum at rest voltage has remained the same, ±0.01V.

    I too make my charging connection through the jumper cables (switch is OFF). As the cables are always "live" the position of that switch is irrelevant, but OFF makes sense, no point in letting charge leak away while charging.

    I purchased the DP 12 at the same time I purchased the Atlas as a convenient solution to my power requirements, fully expecting it to die in short order, judging from what I'd read in posts at various forums. Every indication now is that the DP 12 will have a long and useful service life, something, it would seem, is quite impossible to achieve with the unit's original charger based on the typical posts reporting trouble with these power supplies and my conclusions. In spite of features I'll never use and charge status lights I regard as too unreliable to use I like this unit. I know from experience it will run my Atlas (EQ6 Pro) for eight hours without issues. When the time comes I intend to replace the battery for some modest cost in the neighborhood of 30 USD with a deep cycle battery of the same physical size and perhaps with a higher Ah rating.

    If interested in knowing just about everything there is to be know about batteries I suggest browsing ...

    Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University
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