12v power in the field

For the past few years I've been powering my telescope and all of it's gear from my car's cigarette lighter plug. While this mostly works well there are times when it's hard to get the vehicle close enough to the telescope. What I needed was portable power.

Kendrick has a 33Ah battery pack that must be made out of pure platinum judging from the price that they want for it ($307Cdn). I found a better deal at Canadian Tire.

The Nautilus Booster Pack has a 33Ah marine deep-cycle battery in a nice high-impact plastic case. Built-in is a swivelling emergency light, a digital battery level display, air-compressor, navigation lights and a compass (it's made for boating). It comes with a wall charger, booster cables, and a male-to-male cigarette lighter cord so you can quick charge it while driving; all for the price of $159.95Cdn. You can't beat it.

I'm not a HUGE fan of cigarette lighter plugs. They're probably the worst connectors you could choose. The fix with the Nautilus is to go to banana plugs (or something else). I use banana plugs on the telescope end of my power cable so I cut my cable and put some more male plugs on the scope side and some female connectors on the cigarette lighter side. Then I put two plugs in the battery cover of the Nautilus. It works really well.

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