Pegasus Powerbox Advanced Gen 2 Review

Pegasus Astro Powerbox Advanced Gen 2

Pegasus Powerbox Advanced Generation 2

Price: $324 (as of the time of this review)

Website: https://pegasusastro.com

Introduction

Experienced astrophotographers know that technology has made this hobby much easier than it was 20 years, or even 10 years ago. Technology has allowed much of what we do to be automated. This type of automation requires power, and power requires cables. My setup has a powered focuser, dew heaters, camera, and mount. And many of these devices are not wireless, so they require communication cables as well. It’s not hard to imagine that the more devices you have, the more wires you need. My setup would require 4 power cables and 4 data communication cables, as well as 2 power cables for dew heaters (necessary to keep dew from forming on the lens at night). These 10 cables would be strung from the DC adapters of each unit to the power source, and also to the computer to allow the software to control everything. This could easily lead to a mess of overlapping cables, and enhance the possibility of entanglement and even the possibility of catching on something while the telescope moves. This could result in disconnection or worse, tipping over the telescope or pulling a device off of its mount.

Mounted below my telescope
Another view of Pegasus Powerbox Advanced Gen 2

Luckily there are cable management devices that make the hazards less likely by requiring fewer cables and shorter length cables. The Pegasus Powerbox Advanced Gen 2 by Pegasus Astro is one such device, and the one I use. It takes one DC 12v input and you can connect up to 4 DC 12 volt devices to the box, up to a maximum of 12 amps distributed output. It has one USB-B data input port and 2 USB2 and 2 USB3 ports. One of the USB3 ports can provide up to 3 amps. It also has a 3 amp port for controlling a DSLR or mirrorless digital camera, adjustable to 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, or 12 volts, as well as 2 RCA type outputs for controlling typical dew heaters. And lastly, it has a RJ-12 output to connect temperature sensors or focus controllers that use that interface. As you can see, only two cables would be needed to power everything and to connect to a laptop. This device also can run without hooking up to a computer, making it possible to only need one power cable to connect. Pegasus Astro also makes an enhanced device called the Ultimate Powerbox 2, with even more output choices.

Once the device is connected to a power source and optionally to a computer, short cables can then connect to each device for data and power, making it virtually impossible for these to become tangled. If you enclose the cables in a cable conduit (sold separately), it makes your setup even neater and safer.

In the box is the controller box, a temperature and humidity sensor, 4 DC power cables and one USB3 cable with a USB-A and USB-B end. Downloadable software can be used to control the device, which is fully compatible with common communication standards such as ASCOM and INDI.

Pros:

  • very lightweight
  • can operate without separate computer reducing even further the number of cables
  • reasonable price for what it can do

Cons:

  • software sometimes won’t start (makes independent operation a necessity)
  • mounting hardware not included
  • DC 12v power supply not included

Conclusion

All-in-all a very useful device for the serious astrophotographer. The more equipment attached to the telescope, the more this type of device is necessary. I highly recommend it.

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