Customer Reviews

142
4.0 out of 5 stars
Celestron Power Tank
Price:$57.26 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2006
I used my Power Tank (17Amp version) for a whole year. After many months of bad weather, I stored it away with my Telescope. Six months of unattended storage were enough to kill the battery. I should had read the manual before putting it away for so long. These tanks need to be recharged at least once a month in order to preserve the cell inside. These power tanks contain a sealed dry 12Volt battery cell inside. One can probably replace it, but it in my case, the cost for the 17amp version is roughly $40 plus the risk of installation. I decided to get a new Power Tank 7Amp version because it is more than enough for my Telescope (Meade LX200GPS). In conclusion, the power tank is a must have for large 12Vdc telescopes, but one must take very good care of charging it at least once a month in order to get maximum lifetime of the product.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2006
I have a 7 Ah unit and have been using it for years. Not bad for what it is -- after all, deep down it's just a 12V lead-acid battery. But one fine day it just stopped charging. At first I thought the battery was dead and so I went to Radio Shack and bought a new one for $15. It isn't hard to replace and all the lights lit up and everything, but still no charging. Then I did what I should have done in the first place -- measured the output voltage of the 15V power adapter. No voltage to speak of. Then I tried to repair the adapter itself but it turned out that one needs a screwdriver with a triangular tip to open the protective cover of this thing!! No hardware store in my area (and I checked quite a few) had such an outlandish screwdriver. For that matter, I couldn't find a replacement either. It is hard to find a 15V adapter; most power supplies out there are 6, 9, or 12 volts. In summary, I'm left with a functional main unit and no easy way to charge it up. So, buyer beware: if something stops working you may well have to buy a brand new one.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2004
This battery unit has been usefull to me in the field as long as I don't use a dew zapper for too long (more that 4 hours).
I live in Montreal where it gets pretty cold in the winter (typical viewing session this winter was below zero F.) Using a dew zapper to keep the corrector lens of my Mak clear of frost will drain the unit in about 4 hours
If I use a dew shield and only use the zapper occasionally, I can use it all night but some nights, the humidity gets so high that the dew zapper needs to be on almost continuously, and this is where it is slightly underpowered for a full night of use. And since my telescope drive is also connected to it, I've had to shut down on some nights prematurely.
All in all, a pretty good unit
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2011
Verified Purchase
First of all - there is 17Ah power tank here on amazon for just a few bucks more (too bad that I didn't see it or I would have purchased that one instead)

Secondly, the unit I've purchased either arrived with dead battery or the battery was destroyed by me running the initial charge 6 hours longer than needed. Either way it is not good. Since this item is sold by another company though amazon and I already discarded the box I was out of luck in regards of returning the item.

I've decided to fix it instead. The battery inside is a standard 7Ah 12V SLA battery. These sell for around $22 here on amazon or $35 at your local radioshack. Getting to the battery is a pain: you need to completely take the thing apart. The screws are so tight, I had to use pliers to turn the screwdriver.

To avoid such situation again I purchased smart charger for SLA batteries. It automatically protects from overcharge so you can leave your battery connected to it for months without risking battery damage. You can connect it to the terminals on the side that are supposed to be used for jump-starting your car.

Other than that the unit is pretty nice. Though I haven't taken it to the field, other people say that it can run CG5 GEM in tracking mode all night long. Having 3/6/9V connectors is handy - I wouldn't need to haul additional 6V battery pack for the autoguider that I have. Upper red light is convenient but perhaps too bright. It would have been better to have a 3 position switch to control full on and blinking though rather than having to cycle trough modes (no bid deal though).

The main light is blinding - can be handy in scaring away bobcats and bears if you observe stars where wildlife is abundant. It's also heavy enough to be used as a weapon.

The wires that run inside from the battery to the terminals that are supposed to be used for jump-starting are very thin - I strongly doubt that you would be able to jump-start your car with this if your car battery is completely dead. So don't count on it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2004
This thing is great, built like a tank with many clever features. If nothing else, it is the best flashlight I have ever owned. The spotlight can be tilted over a 180 degree range and uses a 55W halogen bulb. The smaller flashlight/emergency light uses a smaller 6W krypton bulb and includes a red filter which is strapper to the handle to keep it from getting lost. The battery can be recharged with the included AC adaptor or the cigar lighter in your car. There is a handy storage compartment in the rear of the unit to store the DC recharging cord. An elaborate display of LEDs provides status of the battery and charging process. A shoulder strap is also included, as it weighs 8.4 lbs. There are plenty of outputs and power to easily drive two telescopes and your radio or CD player.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I bought this in advance of ordering my Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope because I wanted to be able to use the telescope right out of the box. The alternative was to get a set of eight AA batteries to power the telescope, but that would have only given me a little over an hour of use per set, and I would need to realign the telescope after each set died.

OK, so what about rechargeable AA batteries? Let's say I only wanted to go out for a modest two hour stargazing session with my telescope--really I would want enough power for four or five hours of viewing time, but let's say two here. That means I would need 16 fully charged, rechargeable batteries. I actually use these batteries in just about everything at home and for outdoor sports, but 16 of them would cost me over $40 if I buy them here on Amazon, or over $60 if I buy them at CVS.

I paid $49.86 + tax ($54.29 total) for my PowerTank. It comes with the cord required to connect it to my telescope. And I've used it for a total of over six hours so far--including powering the telescope and using the lights--without needing to recharge.

Don't waste your money on what you perceive as cheap batteries when what you really need is a PowerTank. The PowerTank will actually save you both money and frustration.

Add that it's a fantastic item to have even during a minor emergency both as a power source and a powerful light (and 'powerful' is really an understatement here).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2010
Verified Purchase
I read some reviews on this from Amazon after I had ordered it and I got worried. However, after using it for a week now, I can say it's fine. It's a decent tank. If you can find it for around $50 like I did, jump on it. Most of the reviews talk about receiving bad units that failed right out of the box or after a single charge. Mine worked flawlessly and has taken two charges. It still can last several hours off a single charge. All in all, a decent pickup for not a lot of cash. It sure beats buying 50 batteries. Although, I would recommend you keep some batteries in your scope in case you are a klutz (like me!) and accidentally pull the cord out. The batteries saved myself from having to realign the scope.

To sum that up, it's a pretty good deal. It's priced similarly to other power tanks and works just fine. I'd recommend this to anyone who is in need of an external power supply for their scope.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2014
Verified Purchase
The description on this reads "3, 6, and 9-Volt outputs for accessories"- which is exactly what you need for accessories like autoguiders and cameras. Unfortunately, Amazon delivers a model that has a pair of USB outlets in the place where the accessory power plugs belong. This means you cannot use this for astrophotography since you cannot power common accessories like the NexGuide.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2004
The 1 star review is about the supplier, and not the light. I am sorry this person had the light destroyed in transit, but I had no problem with an Amazon return on anothe product 4 years ago.
Many lights claim to be 1 or 2 million candle power, and they may be -- if supplied with enough voltage and ampacity, which this one is! This is the brightest handheld light I have ever used! It will light up tree-tops nearly unbelievably. I had a friend with a plug-in 'One Million Candle Power' light, and we made a comparison. There was no comparison. His looked bright, but when I turned on the Celestron, his light looked yellow and dim -- off of a car battery! Therefore, I doubt that his bulb was even rated for 1 million C.P.
Many 1 million C.P. lights have the bulb, but not the battery to drive them. Not the Celestron! It is BRIGHT!!! Yet, it also has a built-in standard flashlight that will last nearly forever (all nigh is no problem at al). This has a flasher and a red lens if needed for a red flasher. I cannot imagine a better light for a trucker, or anyone needing independent power and the brightest "flashlight" I have ever seen. I could write a small book about the ways I have used this, and I have owned it for nearly a year.
It also has sockets of all polarity, including a cigarette lighter plug. This sucker really will help you to jump-start a car! I came in to write this when that became necessary.
It is a bit heavy! All larger batteries are heavy. But, it is quality! And, quality is becoming more rare by the day. You need go no further. Get one! You will not regret it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2012
Verified Purchase
I guess I have to concur with the commenter that said it was cheap factory assembly. My power switch was actually installed backwards, so ON was CHARGE and vice-versa. They asked if I wanted another one when I called Celestron (...). So now I'm waiting probably 2 weeks for them to ship me another one and I have a star party tomorrow. I guess I will also have to concur with the commenter that said not to rely on it, but in this case don't rely on it being correctly assembled the first time.
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