STXL16200 Power Supply

Discussion in 'STX and STXL Series Cameras' started by Mike Hambrick, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    I don't see a 12V DC power cable listed on the web site for the STXL16200. Do you offer this option ? Mine is the camera plus filter wheel.
     
  2. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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  3. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Hi Colin. I am starting to investigate the feasibility of setting up my imaging system at remote locations where all of my power has to come from 12V car batteries. This would mean that I would need a cable that would come from a 12V car battery or Rig-Runner to the camera. My power requirements are pretty typical of what a lot of people have: Mount, Cameras (STXL16200 + STi), Dew Removers, Laptop, Electronic Focuser, and Icron Ranger ( extra USB ports for mouse and focuser).

    I should also ask that if running the camera off of a 12V battery do you recommend having a separate source of power for the camera, or at a minimum keeping it separated from the dew removers ? Astro-Physics recommends having a dedicated 12V DC power source for their mounts. If you have a similar recommendation for the camera, I can easily imagine that a system such as mine might need to be run off of three separate 12V DC power sources.
     
  4. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Some dew removers make an incredible amount of electrical hash (they use PWM to adjust the heat level). I'd at the very least check and if you have problems use a separate supply.

    There's another reason to use a separate battery: capacity. The STXL takes 8.5 amp at full cooler power. I had a quick look and the largest deep cycle marine battery I found has a capacity of 92 Amp-hours (Ah). That will last about 10 hours at full cooler power, running just the camera.

    We currently do not have a 12V cable on offer. You could make your own by chopping the end off an extension cable.
     
  5. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Doug - I run FIVE 100Ah AGM deep cycle marine batteries (very similar to solar batteries). What I've learned over the years with them is you have to derate them 50%, or else they don't last. The Ah rating is usually based on a 20hour discharge time, or the battery won't recover. So basically you would have 5 hours runtime on one.

    Mike, my home observatory setup uses rig-runners extensively. The biggest issue is wire gauge. I use 12AWG for stuff, or the voltage drop due to wiring loss is too high.
     
  6. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Hi Colin. To follow up on the question you asked back in November, I am looking for a cable that would go directly from a 12V battery or DC power box (the one I have is 13.8 V) to the STXL 16200 camera. I assume that something like this is available for imaging from remote sites, but I do not see anything on the web site. Doug mentioned cutting off the end of one of the extension cables as an option. If I did this, can you give me some details on how the two leads from the power supply need to be split to the four pins on the camera power cable ?
     
  7. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Here is a drawing of the power supply end of the extension cable:

    cable.jpg
     
  8. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    Thanks Doug. So if I were going to modify one of the 12V extension cables I would only need to cut off the supply end and combine the red and brown wires to connect to the positive terminal on the battery, and the black and white wires combine to connect to the negative terminal. If I do this I would use Power Pole connectors and go through a Rig Runner with a 10A fuse. Are there any other precautions or watchouts that I need to be aware of ?
    This is all contingent on whether I decide to pack everything up and go to a remote dark sky site where I have to run everything off batteries.
     
  9. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    Yes, that's it!
     
  10. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    OK Last question (I hope). I purchased one of the 12VDC extension cables and cut off the supply (4 pin) end connector and replaced it with Anderson Powerpole connectors. I noted tote that the cable itself is actually a two-conductor cable with a red and black lead rather than the four wires that you show in the drawing. I assumed that the red wire is the one that splits into the red and brown wires described in the drawing.
    Now, I am ready to test the modified cable with my camera, and I want to use my Pyramid DC power supply to do this, but before I plug anything in I wanted to double check to make sure there will not be a problem if the supply voltage is higher than 12V DC. The Pyramid power supply puts out 13.8 volts. Do I need to be concerned that this higher voltage will fry any of the electronics in the camera ?
     
  11. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    No, 13.8V will be ok.
     
  12. Doug

    Doug Staff Member

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    In fact our STXL "12V" power supplies actually put out 13V, for some extra margin on cable voltage drop.

    The camera's internal power supply automatically adjusts; if the voltage is higher it draws less current to maintain the same power level.

    I would not recommend exceeding 15V, though it should tolerate 16V.
     
  13. Mike Hambrick

    Mike Hambrick Cyanogen Customer

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    OK I ran a test last night with the modified cable and 12V DC power supply. Everything went as normal until I turned the cooler on. It was at this point that I realized that my power supply can only supply a constant 5 Amps. Apparently the camera does not respond well when it can not get enough current (per Doug's comment above I need 8.5 amps at full cooler power). The cooler would shut down and I was getting a USB device not recognized error. Is this the expected behavior when there is insufficient current ? Everything worked as normal when I started the camera back up using the AC power adapter.
    I could probably put a clamp on the cooler output, but I think that the important takeaway from this is to make sure that my power supply can supply enough current.
     
  14. Colin Haig

    Colin Haig Staff Member

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    Yes, it needs what it needs. A 10A or better supply would be a good choice.
    The USB error probably came about as the power supply voltage dropped below the voltage needed to keep the camera's electronics running.
     

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