How can I power my astronomy setup when away from home?

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Scope Doctor Steve Richards solves your practical astronomy ailments.

Good preparation will help you get the most out the darker autumn and winter nights. Credit: Astrobobo/iStock/GettyImages

How do I power my astronomy setup while away from home?

Steve says: “Modern astronomical equipment requires copious amounts of power. While operating Go-To mounts, dew heaters, cameras and focusers from home with mains power supplies is straightforward, you’ll need a suitable portable power source when operating away from home.


Astronomy ‘PowerTanks’ containing lead acid gel batteries in elegant housings and, more recently, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery packs are off-the-shelf solutions from astronomy shops.

However, if you have a prodigious requirement for power then an excellent DIY solution is to use a leisure battery as these have huge reserves of power and are very reasonably priced for their capacity.”


Email your astronomy queries to Steve at and they could get answered in a future issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.