Monday, April 2, 2018

New Batteries; Nice Try, Fleet Farm, but You Can Do Better

My 50Ah batteries have arrived, both purchased from Battery Superstore though Amazon. Delivery was promised by April 4-9, but they got here March 31-The day after placing the order! Both were double-boxed, arrived in perfect shape, and were fully charged. Amazing!

They're smaller than I had imagined, and should fit easily into the Group 24 boxes that will arrive tomorrow.

Today and Tomorrow are snow days-another 4 to 10 inches of the stuff are due to arrive, followed by another week of well below normal temperatures. It's a good time to get the battery boxes wired up with their Anderson Powerpole connectors. But first I'm going to get my new imaging laptop loaded up with  the software I need to image- BackyardEOS, ImagesPlus, and Astrotortilla. Yes, I'm actually going to join the 21st Century and start using plate solving as part of acquisition!

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I did a few more battery capacity tests, staring with a Duracell Powerpack 600 28Ah portable power supply I'd been given years ago.  The nice thing about this is it has some bells and whistles built into it-radio, light, and inverter. The previous owner said it has been allowed to go dead at least once, so I wasn't terribly hopeful; in fact I was ready to send it off for recycling. It tested out well enough, though: 253 minutes, 15.7Ah. That's about 56% of the stated capacity, which is quite a bit better than either of my old wet lead-acid batteries were able to provide.

I also tested my old 7Ah power supply. I replaced the battery in it several years ago, and it has been used only a few times since then to run a small camping fan when it gets really hot.

After a full charge (or so I thought) it kept the inverter going only 40 minutes during which it produced 2.58Ah. Not very good! I recharged it and let it sit on the charger overnight, then tried it again. The second performance was much better, 71 minutes and 4.42Ah. That's about 63% of the 7Ah capacity. In its capacity as a fan battery it needs to provide only a fraction of an amp, so it will probably do better.

The way the 7Ah battery rebounded after a first draining makes me wonder if I should retest the Duracell. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

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I've had a personal boycott going with Mills Fleet Farm since the Sandy Hook shooting in December of 2012. MFF sells assault-style rifles and large clips, and also handguns. I won't shop in a any store that sells weapons like that, so my money is now going to stores like Menards, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware.

MFF recently decided to stop advertising their weapon offerings, but it isn't changing what it sells. Changing advertising is a good, but essentially meaningless public relations gesture. It's time they do better: get rid of guns designed to kill people, Fleet Farm.



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