DIY Power for Astrophotography



The problem I want to solve is supplying 12v dc power to my astro setups away from mains/grid power, for example, a 110v ac line running from the house. I want enough storage to last a full night with everything–even the big power drains like thermo-electric cooling and dew control covered by the system. Of course there are off-the-shelf solutions for this, but I wanted a little more versatility, a system that I can upgrade, add more batteries if needed, and this is much cheaper than the portable power options out there. It’s also specific to my needs: a handful of 12vdc devices, with varying current requirements. (I don’t need a built-in flash light or an inverter to power AC devices–things that plug into a wall socket).

Here’s what I’ve put together and successfully tested so far:

I bought a small deep-cycle 35 amp-hour lead-acid (AGM) battery, which will get me completely through a night of astro-imaging: through evening setup, an entire night’s imaging run with a cooled camera (TEC set to -20C) and dew control running the whole time. In my first tests I discovered I would not go any smaller than the 35Ah @12v dc battery, because I ended the night with it pretty close to completely discharged. Keep in mind the charging cycle with AGMs is a gradual process that uses lower power. Absorbent Glass Mat batteries are safer to use, but require a slower, steadier charging cycle.

Everything I purchased for my power box was perfect except I went underpowered on the charger. The NOCO chargers are awesome (https://no.co). I bought the NOCO Genius G1100 (1.1 amp) and I should have gone with with the G3500 (3.5 amp)–for $20 USD more. The G1100 will charge my NPP NP12-35Ah AGM battery from dead to full in 18 hours. Yeah, see the problem? That’s not going to work with more than one clear night in a row. The G3500 will charge the battery in less than 6 hours.

I have everything housed in an old milk crate–an original from the early ’80s. But you can buy similar containers today–at Amazon, the Container Store. I attached two pieces of scrap acrylic to two sides. I have my Fanless Windows 10 box secured to one, and I drilled out the other side for my battery power cut-out. I added this so there was no draw on the battery–even minimal. The three switches on the rocker panel are lit when they have power, even when they’re off. They have a small LED bar that shows that the switches are functioning, and a brighter red LED when they are powered on. The cut-out also allows me to completely separate the lines running to my gear from the NOCO charging line, if I want to.

Tools: wire cutters, wire stripper, soldering iron + solder, and the crimping tool for the connectors (link below)

NOCO chargers https://no.co

NPP NP12-35Ah Rechargeable AGM Deep Cycle 12V 35Ah Battery with Button Style Terminals
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LW19AOE

Rocker Switch Panel
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075V4CZLF

NOCO GC018 12V Adapter Plug Socket with Eyelet Terminal
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G8WLW2Y

NOCO Genius G3500 6V/12V 3.5 Amp Battery Charger and Maintainer
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LWVEKS

Car Battery Switche MAX 50V DC 50A
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GDYGQJA

Insulated Wire Electrical Connectors Assortment
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078PMWNJC
Ratcheting Crimper Tool – for the connectors above
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IQIALJC

Primary Wire, 14-Gauge Bulk Spool, 100-Feet, Red & Black
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016TQKT9K

3 x 6ft 2.1mm x 5.5mm Extension Cable, 18AWG for 12V
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079P842DK

Power Pigtail Cables, 12V 5A Male and Female Connectors
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QH8VNY7

SALTWATER WITCH ASTRONOMY
https://saltwaterwitch.com/blog

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Se2Ep25 Turon Sofala Wattle flat P2



#nosmallcreator Day9 September Challenge

Well after a night of heavy rain, thunderstorms a fire ban, we pack up and hit the tracks.

First we head back out of turon NP to head down to upper turon river road, via Turon Gates.

We follow this heading towards sofala, branching of at redgum road to cut across to Wattle Flat where we make camp for the night under the shelter, and are welcomed to the million billion star sky.

Australian Creators Needed head on over to | https://www.reddit.com/r/AustralianCreators/

Support the future of this channel
https://www.patreon.com/adamdavidabello

Whats in My Camera Bag
Mavic Air – Flymore pack
https://amzn.to/2tLhcy4
VLog / Timelapse | Camera Canon 6Dmk2
https://amzn.to/2lDNGH5
Lens | Canon Lens 16-35mm f2.8 v2
https://amzn.to/2KiJ4oE
Main Camera Stills / timelapse | Nikon D7500
https://amzn.to/2MZeoGB
Lens Stills | Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon DX-Format Digital SLR Cameras
https://amzn.to/2MwltgT
Lens Astro | Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Digital Zoom Lens
https://amzn.to/2yQugbs
Lens Portrait | Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
https://amzn.to/2lD5YIo
Camera Phone | Samsung S8+
https://amzn.to/2lDNmrR
Microphones | ode VMPRPLUS Videomic Pro-R+ On-Camera Shotgun Condenser Microphone
https://amzn.to/2N3wg2Q”
Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone with Rycote Lyre Shock Mount
https://amzn.to/2tIMIgk
Action Cam | GoPro 4 Hero
https://amzn.to/2KtzIST
Accessories | SmoothQ Gimbal
https://amzn.to/2MsTvT2
| Tripods
| Gorilla Pod
https://amzn.to/2N3Ac3L
| HD2000
https://amzn.to/2tCr5yQ
Battery Chargers
https://amzn.to/2tKIGUu

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