Best way to connect power cables in remote observatory


Eric Claeys
 

Prior to finishing my remote observatory I'd been using PowerPoles and a Rigrunner to distribute 12V to my filter wheel, focuser, etc.  12 V from power supply connected to a Rigrunner via a PowerPole connector, and then PowerPole connectors on through-the-mount cables to the devices.  Pretty straightforward and I'm sure the same as many of you.

Now that I have a remote observatory and am not plugging things in and out all the time, I'm wondering if I should continue to use PowerPoles or use something like a barrier strip with cables screwed into it, or something else.  What are the pro's and con's of the various connectors in an observatory?  It's in the mountains of NM so is pretty dry, gets into the 90's in the summer and teens in the winter.

Eric


Mike Dodd
 

On 1/23/2021 1:25 AM, Eric Claeys wrote:
Now that I have a remote observatory and am not plugging things in and
out all the time, I'm wondering if I should continue to use PowerPoles
or use something like a barrier strip with cables screwed into it, or
something else.
I use Power Poles to connect power to my AP1200, and they've performed perfectly for more than a year in hot and cold, with humidity up to 90%.

I run power cables for cameras, focuser, rotator, anti-dew heaters, and the Arduino lens cap opener directly from the power supplies to the scope. If necessary, I extend the cables with inline soldered splices (insulated with shrink tubing). I prefer to minimize the number of connections between the power supply and the equipment.

--- Mike
http://astronomy.mdodd.com


Barry Megdal
 

I would suggest running whatever devices are sharing the same power (perhaps main and guide camera and focuser (and maybe dew heater depending if the controller you use generates noise) from a RigRunner mounted on top of the scope, and then you only need one power cable up through the scope to the RigRunner.

 

-        Barry

 

Dr. Barry Megdal

 

President

Shb Instruments, Inc.

19215 Parthenia St.  Suite A

Northridge, CA 91324

www.shbinstruments.com

(818) 773-2000  (818)773-2005 fax

bmegdal@...

 

Faculty (retired)

Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Caltech

 


Woody Schlom
 

Eric,

 

I like the fact that each power line in the RIGrunner is individually fused.

 

In my mobile observatory, I use traditional marine (plastic, stainless steel and brass) screw terminals, switches and fuse blocks to move 12v around in the observatory, but then switch to RIG runners as I get near my telescope and video gear.

 

The marine stuff is quite expensive (I use Blue Seas and Marinco – different divisions of the same company), but it’s most definitely made for harsh environments.

 

Woody

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Claeys
Sent: Friday, January 22, 2021 10:25 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: [ap-gto] Best way to connect power cables in remote observatory

 

Prior to finishing my remote observatory I'd been using PowerPoles and a Rigrunner to distribute 12V to my filter wheel, focuser, etc.  12 V from power supply connected to a Rigrunner via a PowerPole connector, and then PowerPole connectors on through-the-mount cables to the devices.  Pretty straightforward and I'm sure the same as many of you.

Now that I have a remote observatory and am not plugging things in and out all the time, I'm wondering if I should continue to use PowerPoles or use something like a barrier strip with cables screwed into it, or something else.  What are the pro's and con's of the various connectors in an observatory?  It's in the mountains of NM so is pretty dry, gets into the 90's in the summer and teens in the winter.

Eric