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Using USB charger to power SkyFi III in the cold?

The SkyFi III ran out of batteries on me the other night and I want to ensure this doesn't happen again.  I have a Celestron Lithium Power Tank to power the scope when using it remotely but I am running an extension cord and AC adapter out to my mount when I'm using it at home in the yard. I was planning on doing the same for Ski-Fi III.

I have 2 questions about using the Ski-Fi III in cold weather:

1) Is it OK to power it from a USB charger (AC charger or portable power brick) while I'm using it in the cold rather than running it from the built-in batteries?  The manual says not to charge it when it's cold but I'm wondering if it's OK to use it plugged in while in use in cold weather?

2) If it is not possible to use it plugged-in when it's cold out, is it OK to recharge it after each use to ensure it will have enough power when I need to use it? Will this have a negative affect on the battery life? How far should I let the battery run down to before recharging to get the optimal battery life?

Thanks,

Joe

 

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    Bill Tschumy

    Joe,

    You should not charge Li-ion batteries when the battery is below freezing.  It can damage the battery.  I suspect (but can't guarantee) that while using the SkyFi, the battery will heat up a bit so you can actually get away with outdoor temps a bit below freezing.  If it is above freezing you can definitely charge while using the SkyFi.

    Lithium ion batteries do not have any sort of "memory" unlike Ni-Cad batteries.  You can charge them whenever you want.  You do not need to drain them first.

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