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Thread: Wayne's Power Tank power distribution system

  1. #1
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    Default Wayne's Power Tank power distribution system



    This thread is meant to share my power distribution system I have built to connect my accessories to my NexStar 8SE and Power Tank. I have not been having much luck with clear skies since I bought my 8SE with only 4 clear nights so far, so I have been putting my energies into some DIY accessories and bit and pieces, and I thought I would share them with you all in case anyone else is looking to DIY some of this stuff too.

    I bought the Celestron 7aH Power Tank with my 8SE, and it works well for me, but I could see a problem in that there are only two cigarette lighter sockets on the Power Tank to connect my accessories to it. So far I have built an electric focuser and will be moving on to dew heater elements and controls next, which means that I am already short one power socket. In order to have enough power source sockets to connect accessories to, I had to come up with a plan to have some sort of power distribution system.

    What I have built is a simple system that makes use of a small project box which has=s an input socket to connect to the Power Tank, and three output sockets to connect my accessories to. I have made use of 1/4" (6.3mm) stereo plugs and sockets to connect the power distribution box to the Power Tank, and to connect my accessories to the power distribution box. I chose the larger 1/4" plugs and sockets to distinguish power cables from data/accessory cables like the one to connect my servo to my electric focuser control box. I could have used the mono 1/4" plugs and sockets but I had quite a few of the stereo ones in my stash already so I made use of these instead.

    I used the tip and the common terminals on the 1/4" jacks and sockets to make accidental shorting more difficult, and I made sure that I used sockets on the live ends where possible which prevent the possibility of shorting out the Power Tank feed.

    Here is a picture of the project box with the input socket on the bottom and the three output sockets on the side. I will be using self-adhesive velcro squares to mount this box on the side of the scope mount so it can be removed when not in use to keep it out of harm's way, make sure it doesn't get lost as I can store it in my accessories case, and to prevent it from getting in the way when I store my scope in my carry cases.

    Power Distribution 1.jpg

    Here is the short cable I made which connects to the Power Tank with a female socket on the distribution box side to prevent shorting when moving or setting up. I used a cigarette lighter plug with a red LED in it to keep lighting in line with reserving my night vision. This seems a bit odd because the On light on the Power Tank is green, but it felt better using red.

    Power Distribution 2.jpg

    Here is the cable that connects to the Power Tank with the long extension with two male 1/4" stereo jacks on it. This is long enough to run from the ground where the Power Tank is to the fork arm of my 8SE with some slack to spare to allow for turning of the fork arm mount.

    Power Distribution 3.jpg
    East London, South Africa - 32°57' S 27°56' E
    Celestron Nexstar 8SE 8" SCT, Celestron 80LCM 3.15" Refractor, Orion 9x50 RACI finder, Celestron Upclose G2 10x50 Binoculars, Celestron OMNI 40mm Plossl, Orion Sirius 32mm Plossl, Celestron ELUX 25mm, Orion Expanse 20mm, 15mm, 9mm and 6mm, Orion Shorty 2x Barlow, Orion Variable Polarizer filter, Orion Ultrablock filter, Celestron 7aH power tank


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    Default Re: Wayne's Power Tank power distribution system

    And here is a picture of the cable from the Power Tank with the extension plugged in and the other end plugged into the power distribution box.

    Power Distribution 4.jpg

    To connect my DIY accessories to the power distribution box I made up 3 relatively short cables with 1/4" stereo jacks on both ends. My DIY accessories will all have 1/4" stereo sockets to connect to the power distribution box.

    Power Distribution 5.jpg

    And lastly here is the power distribution box connected to the Power Tank and ready to feed power to my accessories.

    Power Distribution 6.jpg

    I hope some of you find this thread to be useful, and if anyone has any questions just let me know.

    Wayne
    East London, South Africa - 32°57' S 27°56' E
    Celestron Nexstar 8SE 8" SCT, Celestron 80LCM 3.15" Refractor, Orion 9x50 RACI finder, Celestron Upclose G2 10x50 Binoculars, Celestron OMNI 40mm Plossl, Orion Sirius 32mm Plossl, Celestron ELUX 25mm, Orion Expanse 20mm, 15mm, 9mm and 6mm, Orion Shorty 2x Barlow, Orion Variable Polarizer filter, Orion Ultrablock filter, Celestron 7aH power tank


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    pederv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wayne's Power Tank power distribution system

    Ingenious way to use materials that you have on hand to solve a problem.

    Being in amateur radio, I drift towards the ARES configuration for Anderson Power Poles. The configuration is not only polarized and it reduces contact exposure, but it also allows for sharing of power resources.
    UrbanArmitage likes this.
    Name - Verne / Call sign - KF7UHL

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    Atlas 10 EQ-G
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    / Orion 130ST on an AstroView Mount with RA Drive
    EPs - Orion Plossl (10mm, 25mm, 32mm, 40mm), Tele Vue Plossl (32mm), Orion Stratus (5mm), 12.5mm Orion Illuminated, 7-21mm Orion Explorer II, set of Orion Q70's
    Camera Adapters - SteadyPix Deluxe, Orion Universal, Digi-Kit DK118, T-ring, 2 inch EOS
    Camera - Canon 5D Mk II, Canon T6i, Panasonic FZ35, Celestron NexImage


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    Default Re: Wayne's Power Tank power distribution system

    Thanks for your post pederv, yes I too like the power poles you linked to in your post. I prefer not to have any way of causing a short or exposing the contacts. Over the years I have had a few incidents of shorted terminals and it isn't pretty!

    I used the phono jacks because I had a pile of them lying in my electronics stash. The way I have done it still allows for inadvertent shorting if I am not careful but I have tried to minimize it as much as possible by putting female sockets on live ends as much as possible, and using the exposed terminals for the negative connection.

    Wayne
    East London, South Africa - 32°57' S 27°56' E
    Celestron Nexstar 8SE 8" SCT, Celestron 80LCM 3.15" Refractor, Orion 9x50 RACI finder, Celestron Upclose G2 10x50 Binoculars, Celestron OMNI 40mm Plossl, Orion Sirius 32mm Plossl, Celestron ELUX 25mm, Orion Expanse 20mm, 15mm, 9mm and 6mm, Orion Shorty 2x Barlow, Orion Variable Polarizer filter, Orion Ultrablock filter, Celestron 7aH power tank


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