James Paulson's roll off roof observatory at the Sunridge Observatory site, taken in the summer of 1986, housing a 10 inch f/5 Cave Astrola Newtonian reflector telescope

Monday, September 7, 2009

Your Basic Powertank

Here is the new powertank that I built today. Most commercial units cost about the same but after reading all the stories about the short battery life on them, I decided I would rather make my own. Equipment to make one includes 1 Group 24 Battery Box (Walmart), 1 3 LED Clearance Light (Walmart), 1 inline blade fuse holder (Walmart), 1 toggle switch (Advance Auto), 1 weatherpoof 12 volt receptacle (Parts City), and 2 color coded battery terminals (Advance Auto). I've not put a battery in mine yet but will be choosing the Walmart 75 amp hour deep cycle to install in mine. The light is wired into the toggle switch so it can be turned on and off as needed. The purpose of the light is to provide some visibility to the scope and equipment when people are around or near the telescope, and to assist in setup and teardown. This little unit will give me all the power I need for running the scope, and a dew heater, and I have designed it to allow for additional 12 volt outlets to be added. This unit will be wired into my camper's solar system and kept charged fully at all times. No more trips to the store once a month to buy $10 worth of battery's. And with power to spare, it improves the ability of the slewing motors to perform smoothly in the Winter months.

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