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Celestron - Powertank 17 amp hour

Model#:CEL-18777

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Celestron Powertank 17 amp hour

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Contradictory Technical Documentation; Unneeded Accessories Review by JamesCArtero@aol.com
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The Celestron Powertank17 is an overpriced and poorly engineered product. A two-year guarantee is provided with this product, and you will be fortunate if the product functions for up to three years. Once the battery dies, there is no replacing it; so you will need to purchase a new power source. Celestron provides no worthwhile technical assistance for this product. One of the things that make this product a BAD BUY: You are getting an AM/FM radio, a siren, two flashlights, and jumper cables along with the lead-acid battery. You don't really need any of these accessories to power your telescope. When the battery dies (and it will), your radio, flashlights, siren and jumper cables become useless, even if they have seldom been used. So you are paying extra for accessories you will not use and will discard in 2-3 years (or less). The Powertank17 documentation states that you should initially charge the battery for 15-20 hours, recharge the battery for 10-12 hours when it runs low, and not overcharge for long periods of time. There is some disagreement about this among the astronomy technically community and electrical engineers I have talked to. Many say that the battery should be kept plugged in and "trickle-charging" for long periods of time, or it will lose power and die. Once there is no power to keep the memory chips alive, the battery cannot be recharged and the circuit breaker will trip when recharging is attempted. I discussed this contradictory technical information (community opinion contradicts Celestron documentation) with Celestron Technical support by email, but Celestron obtains these batteries from China, and they are reluctant to go against the procedures recommended by the Chinese manufacturer. Consequently, they are not able to offer any real help. I have been a long-time user of Celestron products, so this product has been found to be a real disappointment. I recommend buying the cheaper 7-amp Powertank (Item #18774). The 7-amp Powertank costs only $70. It has the same battery problems as the Powertank17, but at least you will not be wasting money on accessories that will be discarded when the battery dies. The 7-amp Powertank has only flashlight accessories (no siren, radio, or jumper cables). Oh, by the way, the Powertank17 does not really work for recharging your car battery either. Another alternative: Forget the Celestron Powertanks, and simply purchase a re-chargeable 12-volt power supply from Harbor Freight or an auto parts store. They cost about $40 and last longer. (Posted on 10/16/2015)

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