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 Battery Power for Locos

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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Battery Power for Locos   Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:38 pm

Battery power is ideal for garden railways, especially when combined with the now cheaply available R/C hardware. No need to worry about track cleanliness! The biggest challenge as I see it is where to put the batteries. I have three LGB locos with on-board battery power and remotes. You have seen my 2017 conversion before. I also have a 2090 Diesel and a 2076 Spremberger converted. In general, diesels are easier to convert because they typically have a large boxy area under the hood. The 2076 is also a good candidate because of its chunky boiler; it was in fact once sold by LGB as a battery powered model and the boiler pops off nicely for access to the batteries etc. The 2090 was also available as a battery powered toy.

I have finished converting my Spreewald for battery power. I chose to wire it for a trailer car providing the power. I decided this for two reasons. First, this method requires the least 'hacking' of the locomotive. Second, although it is a larger loco than the others I have converted, it really doesn't have much room for batteries. I also have another good idea for the power car, which I'll share later when I complete that part of the project.

First, let me discuss the wiring. This 2074 is rather old and has the three wire motor block.
Image hosted by servimg.com

The white wire post connects directly to the track and the motor. The green wire post connects to the track but not to the motor. The brown wire post connects to the motor but not the track. The wires from all three posts go to circuitry inside the loco for lights, smoke, etc. The track power from the green wire is supplied to the motor via the brown wire. So providing power from a battery is relatively easy as it only requires providing a power socket and splicing three wires. I use a socket that includes a built in contact to break the track power when a plug is inserted. This way I can avoid a separate switch to do this. The wiring ends up like this:
Image hosted by servimg.com

For the socket, I needed to choose a mounting location. There are no flat spots on the rear of the 2074 for mounting a socket of this type, but there are two air tanks that fit the bill. I drilled through one and mounted the socket in the tank as shown. I used Super Glue to fasten the socket.
Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

The three wires from the socket were twisted and covered with heat shrink tubing and fed along the chassis to a hole I drilled through the chassis to access the motor block wiring. The wires were cut and spliced as required.
Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

Everything can now be reassembled. Next step is the power car; stay tuned.....

_________________
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)


Last edited by KleineDicke on Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Paulus



Location : The Netherlands

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:21 pm

Interesting!!! I stay tuned in!!!

_________________
Paul pirat
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:45 pm

I have completed my "Power Wagon" and, as promised, here's some details. I decided the ideal candidate for a power wagon would be my LGB 4135S (Goods wagon with steam sound) because I could power the loco and the sound car at the same time. It worked out quite nicely. Please note no figurines were harmed nor were any moles killed executing this project. Also, no yellow equipment was repainted another color. Very Happy

First, an exterior shot of the victim. You can see the power cable and plug which attaches to the Locomotive. A small hole was drilled in the floor of the wagon to pass the cable thru.
Image hosted by servimg.com

I created a module of the R/C Receiver, ESC, and Reversing Servo by stacking them together and securing with a tie-wrap. The R/C hardware is all Hobby King stuff- it's cheap and works well. The DPDT switch for reversing is epoxied to the body of the servo as is the on/off switch, which only permits charging in the "off" position.
Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

For charging the battery, I used the existing holes on the end of the wagon (provided for lights) and inserted two socket head cap screws with nuts to create contact points for my charger. The socket head screws have a larger head than a normal screw as well as knurled edges, making it easier to grab with alligator clips.
Image hosted by servimg.com

Image hosted by servimg.com

Next, removing the roof, one can see all the bits and pieces installed.
Image hosted by servimg.com
The battery pack is 12 AA NiMH cells in holders, one 4XAA, the other 8XAA. They are held in place with velcro. For some reason, 6xAA holders could not be found locally; I'll probably order some off eBay to use with the new cells I have also ordered, 3000mAH AAs. With the lights, smoke, and sound effects, I'll likely need the extra milliamps. 10xAA cells is usually sufficient, especially for smaller locomotives, but my Spreewald is a older lady, and she requires a bit more "oomph".

The R/C module is mounted (with velcro) atop the speaker. The 9v battery provides back-up power to the sound module when the voltage from the ESC gets too low. Although you can't see it, I added a small 1K ohm potentiometer in series to the speed (voltage) sensor input to the sound board. This allows me to tailor (somewhat) the chuffing speed to the locomotive's speed. It isn't nicely synchronized like the newer digital sound units are, but it sounds OK.

One final photo shows access to the on/off switch through the door, as well as the polyswitch I used as a circuit breaker..
Image hosted by servimg.com

Now I can move on the my next project (as soon as I decide what that is). There's never a shortage of projects, is there?

_________________
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)


Last edited by KleineDicke on Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dtsteam



Location : Preston, England

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:36 pm

A nice project, Bill - thanks for posting.

Do you have a final shot of the van and loco connected together ?
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:22 pm

No, But I can take one. It'll probably be a few days, though. A spate of bad weather on it's way here. We might get snow (yes, I said snow) in Houston.

_________________
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 Locos   Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:18 pm

A worthwhile project.

What make of ESC did you use Bill? I looks very small.
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:15 pm

Its a Turnigy 20A from Hobby King.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9090

I guess my fat fingers make it look small.

_________________
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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Spule 4



Location : Tennessee, USA

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:39 am

Good work Bill, a proper looking conversion.

_________________
Garrett
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:58 am

I had a look at this speed controller and it costs $4.95.
It's rated at 20 amps and from the reviews it seems to a be a satisfactory piece of kit.

So why then are people paying 60 or 80 for Mac5 or 35 for Electronize products? scratch

What's the big difference apart from the price?




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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:12 pm

Carl Hibbs wrote:
I had a look at this speed controller and it costs $4.95.
It's rated at 20 amps and from the reviews it seems to a be a satisfactory piece of kit.

So why then are people paying 60 or 80 for Mac5 or 35 for Electronize products? scratch

What's the big difference apart from the price?
I don't know; all I know is they work fine on my trains. I wish HobbyKing had a brushed ESC with reverse, though.

_________________
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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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:33 pm

Bill, a while back I found these , looks like he's sold out but possibly worth watching out for. Brushed ESC with Reverse

And thanks for the thread, it will be very useful to me - love the idea of just using studs to connect a charger, there was me thinking of of everything BUT the simple solution.

Also the choice of control is pretty much lik ethe great DCC debate - people are blinded by brand names and expense.

_________________
Wake me up by noon please.

Patrick
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:56 pm

I did buy one of these recently
http://cgi.ebay.com/ESC-50A-Brushed-ESC-W-Reverse-Suit-2-3CELLS-LIPO-UK_W0QQitemZ200570263528QQcategoryZ140973QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp4340.m506QQ_trkparmsZalgo%3DNGRI%26its%3DI%252BC%26itu%3DUA%26otn%3D10%26pmod%3D200558059167%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D6809196186939929645
which I plan to use on my Stainz. It was however considerably more than $4.95.

The use of studs for charging was an idea Idea I borrowed from Greg Hunter (from Oz). Of course I had to reverse the polarity for the Northern Hemisphere Wink . He originally turned me on the HobbyKing.

_________________
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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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:19 pm

You've made a really tidy job there Bill! Its what turns me off R/c ( I dont think i could pack all that stuff into such a small space!!).

How did the testing go?

mikey
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:29 pm

Yes, Mikey, space can be a concern, although you'd be amazed what can fit with a little creative thinking. Anybody who can make an airplane out of a chair leg, a wine cork, and a printer should be able to muster up some creativity, eh? Very Happy

I'm not sure what testing you're referring to..but the loco/car combo works fine. It's just too freakkin' cold and windy right now to get any photos. Maybe I'll get some after it snows tonight.

_________________
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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Andrew



Location : Bomaderry, New South Wales, Australia

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:24 pm

Nice job! I love the hobbyking system.
I have managed to fit it all inside an Aristo lil critter with the mylocosound card and speaker. I later removed the speaker into a trail car and replaced it with a larger speaker to get more volume from the sound card. I also use studs on all my locos, simply park the train, connect charger to them and no removing batteries. The 16 x aa rechargable batteries @ 3000mAH for $12 au including postage. Usually 10 aa's in loco with 8 aa's in the hobbyking transmitter. So I buy 2 lots of batteries at once.
Installation may look difficult and technical, but once you sit down and do the job it is easy. I now have 5 locos on individual remote.
The idea is that when visitors come to the trains they get to drive their own train. The cheapest and reliable way for me is the hobbyking.
The great advantage of this hobby and forum is that people will try different ideas and report on success or failure.
Either way - this helps to grow our hobby and pastime.

Regards from Andrew Sandbar & Mudcrab Railway
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Battery Power for Locos   Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:23 am

As promised, here's the photo.
Image hosted by servimg.com

BTW, it did NOT snow in Houston. Worse; instead, we had freezing rain. It covered everything, including the roads and bridges, with a nice coating of ice. Since the temperature was below freezing all day, it was quite a mess. Pretty much back to normal now.

_________________
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 Locos   Today at 4:35 pm

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