Re: 1200 Battery Woes


Aug 13, 2004

 


----------------------------

#10496 Aug 13, 2004

Hi all -



My new 1200GTO has been behaving perfectly when powered by house

current and a Pyramid power supply. No problem slewing to one

object after another and complete access to all of the menus and

functions.



My first try with my trusty 12v 17Ah was a disappointment. It had

been doing a great job simultaneously powering a G-11 and Kendrick

system so I was hopeful but not certain it would be up to the task

of driving the 1200. The first time I plugged it in (in a state of

charge that would have been no problem with the G-11) the display

froze on the first screen - Astro-Physics version 4.07 - and would

not respond to any inputs. The LED on the control box was red but

the paddle wasn't in the game. Nothing to do but unplug it, and

everything worked fine when I plugged back into the Pyramid.



15 hours later the trickle charger was flashing a happy green so I

tried again. This time, the mount booted up just fine, allowed me

to sync to a star, and slewed correctly to an object on the other

side of the sky. The display was frozen however, with a solid

frozen cursor in the extreme lower right, and nothing could persuade

it to budge. Again, the only way to break the impasse was pulling

the plug.



This is where I abandoned all critical reasoning - I assumed that

there must be something wrong with my BATTERY. It's 4 years old, I

told myself, it's been through many cycles and some periods of

disuse. I decided I needed a NEW battery, so I went to the boat

shop and bought a 12v 33Ah deep-cycle AGM battery. We put it on the

meter and it showed a healthy constitution and a full charge, so I

took it home and plugged in the mount. Same sad story. It boots

up, slews to the first object, and calls it a day. Same solid

frozen cursor. (That screen displays no cursor, blinking, fozen, or

otherwise, when the system is working properly, btw.)



What now to do? I know there was some talk in here on this topic a

few weeks ago but the truth is I didn't understand any of it. I

need somebody to tell me exactly what to do. Who can help? I'm

really dying to "go remote" tomorrow night.



Rob Hunt



----------------------------

#10502 Aug 14, 2004

I had similar woes with my AP900 and various batteries. With the

regulated power supply, it works like a champ.



Bryan



--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" turtlepig@y...> wrote:

> Hi all -

>

> My new 1200GTO has been behaving perfectly when powered by house

> current and a Pyramid power supply. No problem slewing to one

> object after another and complete access to all of the menus and

> functions.

>

> My first try with my trusty 12v 17Ah was a disappointment. It had

> been doing a great job simultaneously powering a G-11 and Kendrick

> system so I was hopeful but not certain it would be up to the

task

> of driving the 1200. The first time I plugged it in (in a state

of

> charge that would have been no problem with the G-11) the display

> froze on the first screen - Astro-Physics version 4.07 - and would

> not respond to any inputs. The LED on the control box was red but

> the paddle wasn't in the game. Nothing to do but unplug it, and

> everything worked fine when I plugged back into the Pyramid.

>

> 15 hours later the trickle charger was flashing a happy green so I

> tried again. This time, the mount booted up just fine, allowed me

> to sync to a star, and slewed correctly to an object on the other

> side of the sky. The display was frozen however, with a solid

> frozen cursor in the extreme lower right, and nothing could

persuade

> it to budge. Again, the only way to break the impasse was pulling

> the plug.

>

> This is where I abandoned all critical reasoning - I assumed that

> there must be something wrong with my BATTERY. It's 4 years old,

I

> told myself, it's been through many cycles and some periods of

> disuse. I decided I needed a NEW battery, so I went to the boat

> shop and bought a 12v 33Ah deep-cycle AGM battery. We put it on

the

> meter and it showed a healthy constitution and a full charge, so I

> took it home and plugged in the mount. Same sad story. It boots

> up, slews to the first object, and calls it a day. Same solid

> frozen cursor. (That screen displays no cursor, blinking, fozen,

or

> otherwise, when the system is working properly, btw.)

>

> What now to do? I know there was some talk in here on this topic

a

> few weeks ago but the truth is I didn't understand any of it. I

> need somebody to tell me exactly what to do. Who can help? I'm

> really dying to "go remote" tomorrow night.

>

> Rob Hunt



----------------------------

#10504 Aug 14, 2004

My problem with batteries seems to be when I have too much plugged

in to one. I have never had my keypad screen freeze up though, as

far as I can recall, just the red light turning yellow. I could do

the keypad query and the keypad would come up with everything is ok

when the light on the mount was clearly yellow. I still don't

understand why this should be. Anyway, to solve all this, read on.

I purchased a Lacey 12V-18V inverter which I ran in-line with the

mount cable only. With a bit of care, I have managed to run all my

stuff (dewheaters & mount & inverter for laptop and CCD camera) off

of one battery. I generally made sure that I power up the mount

last, after all the other stuff. Once the initial surge of the

various electronic gadgets is out of the way, the mount works like a

champ for very long periods unless it is out of balance in any

significant manner. A few months ago the Lacey 12-18 inverter blew a

fuse when my setup was moderately unbalanced in Dec. Not having a

fuse handy, I went to a power supply run directly off of the

inverter. I run a 12V (~13.5V) power supply to run the mount. I

don't recall when I have had a problem since. I know that this is

not a panacea. It can be a right royal pain to drag around yet

another box with inverter, power supply, extension cord, multiplug

bar, etc, but, it has made running all the toys foolproof as far as

power goes. The efficiency of the system probably leaves something

to be desired, but I now keep two 12V deep cycle batteries on-line

and have run the setup, without charging for three days at a time

without stalling out due to lack of power.

So, in summary, I run the inverter (450 watt if I recall properly)

off of one very heavy 12V lead from the battery and the dewheaters

off of another. The inverter then goes to a power bar into which I

plug in the CCD camera, the laptop power block and the linear 12V

power supply.

It seems that the 1200 mount is running at or very close to the

maximum limits for power and any slight voltage drop will interfere

with it. One thing to check is the power connector on the mount. The

center pin on that connector is a split pin. Carefully and gently

pry the halves apart SLIGHTLY to ensure that the plug makes good

contact. Check the AP website. I think there are some detailed

instructions with pictures.



Rick.





--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" turtlepig@y...> wrote:

> Hi all -

>

> My new 1200GTO has been behaving perfectly when powered by house

> current and a Pyramid power supply. No problem slewing to one

> object after another and complete access to all of the menus and

> functions.

>







----------------------------

#10505 Aug 14, 2004

Robert, this is obviously not normal. A new battery of the 33AH type

should last several nights - I do this. If it fails after one slew

you need to check a few things. First measure the current draw of

the mount. I believe it should be around 5 A. slewing and around 2 A

tracking after that. Look for excessive current draw. Second, maybe

for some reason, yours is more needy than 12V to run properly,

wouldn't know why, but since you say it works great off of a supply

(generally 13.5V) you may want to get a voltage converter for 12-

18V - but this really shouldn't be necessary. To track this down,

get a variable power supply (0-15V at 5Amps and "go-to" with the

mount starting at 13.5 V where you say it works, then try 13.0 V,

12.5V, etc until it stalls. I'm not sure what the low voltage spec.

is for the mount, but Roland would and maybe you can determine that

it is not meeting this spec.



George

Aloha, Oregon

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" turtlepig@y...> wrote:

> Hi all -

>

> My new 1200GTO has been behaving perfectly when powered by house

> current and a Pyramid power supply. No problem slewing to one

> object after another and complete access to all of the menus and

> functions.

>

> My first try with my trusty 12v 17Ah was a disappointment. It had

> been doing a great job simultaneously powering a G-11 and Kendrick

> system so I was hopeful but not certain it would be up to the

task

> of driving the 1200. The first time I plugged it in (in a state

of

> charge that would have been no problem with the G-11) the display

> froze on the first screen - Astro-Physics version 4.07 - and would

> not respond to any inputs. The LED on the control box was red but

> the paddle wasn't in the game. Nothing to do but unplug it, and

> everything worked fine when I plugged back into the Pyramid.

>

> 15 hours later the trickle charger was flashing a happy green so I

> tried again. This time, the mount booted up just fine, allowed me

> to sync to a star, and slewed correctly to an object on the other

> side of the sky. The display was frozen however, with a solid

> frozen cursor in the extreme lower right, and nothing could

persuade

> it to budge. Again, the only way to break the impasse was pulling

> the plug.

>

> This is where I abandoned all critical reasoning - I assumed that

> there must be something wrong with my BATTERY. It's 4 years old,

I

> told myself, it's been through many cycles and some periods of

> disuse. I decided I needed a NEW battery, so I went to the boat

> shop and bought a 12v 33Ah deep-cycle AGM battery. We put it on

the

> meter and it showed a healthy constitution and a full charge, so I

> took it home and plugged in the mount. Same sad story. It boots

> up, slews to the first object, and calls it a day. Same solid

> frozen cursor. (That screen displays no cursor, blinking, fozen,

or

> otherwise, when the system is working properly, btw.)

>

> What now to do? I know there was some talk in here on this topic

a

> few weeks ago but the truth is I didn't understand any of it. I

> need somebody to tell me exactly what to do. Who can help? I'm

> really dying to "go remote" tomorrow night.

>

> Rob Hunt



----------------------------

#10506 Aug 14, 2004

It may not be "normal", but there are several concerns.

1. How clean are all your connectors?

2.What gauge wire are you using 18 preferably 16 is great smaller than 18

can cause some line loss.

3. All the "new" servo controlled mounts require well regulated 12 volts.

The voltage on a battery can vary from over 13 volts to below 10. Once the

the voltage drops below 11.5, many of the newer mounts will quit working.

4. Battery amp-hours ratings are misleading, they are usually calculated. on

a very unrelaistic draingae scenario. For instance the typical drainage

rates for these tests are over a period of 10 or even 20 hours. If you draw

more than 1/10th of the rated amphour, your amphour rating will be less and

it is not linear. Another consideration is that the tests are normally run

until the voltage hits 10 volts. This is well below the level that will run

any mounts. So to prevent this amphour ratings should be derated by a third

or even a half.



This is a little exotic but you can use a inverter to convert electricity to

ac and then a power supply to create regulated voltage. You can also try one

of those 12 to 18 volt DC to DC step up converters but I wish they would

make a 14 volt one. Finally, try to get someone with a voltmeter to measure

the voltage and if you can get one a clip on current probe. You might find a

short somewhere or simply that you have a very bad connection.



----- Original Message -----

From: "yahglabelle" glabelle17@...>

To: ap-gto@yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Saturday, August 14, 2004 12:12 PM

Subject: [ap-gto] Re: 1200 Battery Woes





> Robert, this is obviously not normal. A new battery of the 33AH type

> should last several nights - I do this. If it fails after one slew

> you need to check a few things. First measure the current draw of

> the mount. I believe it should be around 5 A. slewing and around 2 A

> tracking after that. Look for excessive current draw. Second, maybe

> for some reason, yours is more needy than 12V to run properly,

> wouldn't know why, but since you say it works great off of a supply

> (generally 13.5V) you may want to get a voltage converter for 12-

> 18V - but this really shouldn't be necessary. To track this down,

> get a variable power supply (0-15V at 5Amps and "go-to" with the

> mount starting at 13.5 V where you say it works, then try 13.0 V,

> 12.5V, etc until it stalls. I'm not sure what the low voltage spec.

> is for the mount, but Roland would and maybe you can determine that

> it is not meeting this spec.

>

> George

> Aloha, Oregon

>

> --- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" turtlepig@y...> wrote:

> > Hi all -

> >

> > My new 1200GTO has been behaving perfectly when powered by house

> > current and a Pyramid power supply. No problem slewing to one

> > object after another and complete access to all of the menus and

> > functions.

> >

> > My first try with my trusty 12v 17Ah was a disappointment. It had

> > been doing a great job simultaneously powering a G-11 and Kendrick

> > system so I was hopeful but not certain it would be up to the

> task

> > of driving the 1200. The first time I plugged it in (in a state

> of

> > charge that would have been no problem with the G-11) the display

> > froze on the first screen - Astro-Physics version 4.07 - and would

> > not respond to any inputs. The LED on the control box was red but

> > the paddle wasn't in the game. Nothing to do but unplug it, and

> > everything worked fine when I plugged back into the Pyramid.

> >

> > 15 hours later the trickle charger was flashing a happy green so I

> > tried again. This time, the mount booted up just fine, allowed me

> > to sync to a star, and slewed correctly to an object on the other

> > side of the sky. The display was frozen however, with a solid

> > frozen cursor in the extreme lower right, and nothing could

> persuade

> > it to budge. Again, the only way to break the impasse was pulling

> > the plug.

> >

> > This is where I abandoned all critical reasoning - I assumed that

> > there must be something wrong with my BATTERY. It's 4 years old,

> I

> > told myself, it's been through many cycles and some periods of

> > disuse. I decided I needed a NEW battery, so I went to the boat

> > shop and bought a 12v 33Ah deep-cycle AGM battery. We put it on

> the

> > meter and it showed a healthy constitution and a full charge, so I

> > took it home and plugged in the mount. Same sad story. It boots

> > up, slews to the first object, and calls it a day. Same solid

> > frozen cursor. (That screen displays no cursor, blinking, fozen,

> or

> > otherwise, when the system is working properly, btw.)

> >

> > What now to do? I know there was some talk in here on this topic

> a

> > few weeks ago but the truth is I didn't understand any of it. I

> > need somebody to tell me exactly what to do. Who can help? I'm

> > really dying to "go remote" tomorrow night.

> >

> > Rob Hunt

>

>

>

> To UNSUBSCRIBE, or for general information on the ap-gto list

> see groups.yahoo.com/group/ap-gto

> Yahoo! Groups Links

>

>

>

>

>

>







----------------------------

#10511 Aug 16, 2004

Have you had the battery tested ? Don't assume a brand new battery is

going to work flawlessly. If you have a local batteries plus store

they will test a battery for free. Also double verify what all of

your connections are in top notch condition. The contacts don't

have to be very dirty to create problems.



Scott

--- In ap-gto@yahoogroups.com, "Robert" turtlepig@y...> wrote:

> Hi all -

>

> My new 1200GTO has been behaving perfectly when powered by house

> current and a Pyramid power supply. No problem slewing to one

> object after another and complete access to all of the menus and

> functions.

>

> My first try with my trusty 12v 17Ah was a disappointment. It had

> been doing a great job simultaneously powering a G-11 and Kendrick

> system so I was hopeful but not certain it would be up to the task

> of driving the 1200. The first time I plugged it in (in a state of

> charge that would have been no problem with the G-11) the display

> froze on the first screen - Astro-Physics version 4.07 - and would

> not respond to any inputs. The LED on the control box was red but

> the paddle wasn't in the game. Nothing to do but unplug it, and

> everything worked fine when I plugged back into the Pyramid.

>

> 15 hours later the trickle charger was flashing a happy green so I

> tried again. This time, the mount booted up just fine, allowed me

> to sync to a star, and slewed correctly to an object on the other

> side of the sky. The display was frozen however, with a solid

> frozen cursor in the extreme lower right, and nothing could

persuade

> it to budge. Again, the only way to break the impasse was pulling

> the plug.

>

> This is where I abandoned all critical reasoning - I assumed that

> there must be something wrong with my BATTERY. It's 4 years old, I

> told myself, it's been through many cycles and some periods of

> disuse. I decided I needed a NEW battery, so I went to the boat

> shop and bought a 12v 33Ah deep-cycle AGM battery. We put it on

the

> meter and it showed a healthy constitution and a full charge, so I

> took it home and plugged in the mount. Same sad story. It boots

> up, slews to the first object, and calls it a day. Same solid

> frozen cursor. (That screen displays no cursor, blinking, fozen,

or

> otherwise, when the system is working properly, btw.)

>

> What now to do? I know there was some talk in here on this topic a

> few weeks ago but the truth is I didn't understand any of it. I

> need somebody to tell me exactly what to do. Who can help? I'm

> really dying to "go remote" tomorrow night.

>

> Rob Hunt



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