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 Battery Power for Stainz and Similar Locomotives

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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Battery Power for Stainz and Similar Locomotives   Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:41 pm

I have been searching for a battery to use for powering a Stainz (as have others); quite a challenge, given its diminutive size. But I finally scored. I bought one of these and it fits inside the boiler. Of course, you will have to remove the lead weight, but it does fit. Even better, when I tested it yesterday, it powered the loco pulling two cars for 1 hr 45 min, far exceeding my expectations (I would have been happy with 1 hour). There is plenty of room in the cab for a receiver and ESC, so a remote controlled battery powered Stainz is a distinct possibility. BTW, this battery also fits inside the cabin of the Elias tram locomotive (alongside the boiler).

You'll also need to buy a Li-PO charger; I bought this one; it's cheap and it works. I also bought some JST-HX 3S wire extensions for connecting to the charger.

My first victim will likely be this guy, which I wrote about a while back here:



The AAA NiMH batteries never gave enough run time (only about 40 min although they were rated at 1200 mAh, same as the Li-PO battery) and finally stopped accepting a charge. Once I get the new battery installed and connected I'll try to remember to post some photos.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Stainz and Similar Locomotives   Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:04 pm

I will be interested to see how you deal wih these Lipo batteries. They're something relatively unknown to me.

I've still got lead acid ones in some stock. Shocked
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Stainz and Similar Locomotives   Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:41 pm

As I understand it, the chemistry of Li-PO cells are the same as Li-Ion; in fact, the voltage is identical. The main difference is Li-PO has a flexible (polymer) housing wheras Li-Ion has a rigid (metal) housing. Li-PO cells can therefore be almost any size and shape, although most I've seen are still roughly rectangular. The polymer housing does mean however one must use more care when charging a Li-PO battery.

The individual cells are best charged using a "balancing" charger, which simultaneously charges the cells in a battery in parallel. While you can charge cells in series, and some chargers do it this way, it is not recommended since a single cell could overcharge which could lead to bad consequences (fire, explosions, etc.). BTW, some folks advocate using balancing chargers for LI-Ion batteries as well. It is further recommended that one not charge a Li-PO battery unattended. Model airplane users typically remove the battery from the airplane to charge it and some use a "charging bag" which is intended to contain any shrapnel etc.

I'm not sure how credible the doomsday scenarios are, but that's what I've read. (There's a member at "that other forum" who is a strong proponent of the doomsday stuff.affraid ) I figure a Stainz boiler is at least as strong as any charging bag Razz and I use a balancing charger which I believe mitigates the hazards.

Anyway, I'm off to push the envelope (my own envelope, at least).

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Stainz and Similar Locomotives   Today at 2:27 am

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