Battery Operated Project?

Hello all.
Awhile back I made a toy train layout for my nieces out of a modified, 3 dollar, toy train set. It was fun (some may remember the pictures links
I posted), but limited in size and the one thing I didn't like was that the factory set speed of the Engine was too fast. It's not flying off the track at curves but just doesn't look right. So I've been thinking...
If I could find a battery operated toy of any kind with axles that would fit between regular HO or N track, I could probably build cab and cars with HO or N wheels attached and make a custom train set with regular model railroad track (which would give me freedom as to the size and design) -if of course the motor speed was right and it had enough power to pull a few cars. My first thought was a Thomas engine but from what I've seen, the motors are too wide. The the other day I thought I recalled there being battery operated cars or engines of some sort that run on regular model track (for track cleaning or something??). I can't imagine logically what it's purpose would be but that's my main question for the group at the moment: is there an HO or N battery operated device that's designed to run on model track, and if so, what's the speed like and do you suppose it could be modified to pull cars?
~Brad
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

Brad, it seems to me that any loco big enough to take a 9V battery would work. An F type diesel, for example. Or put the battery in a boxcar, and wire it to the engine with mini-plugs. At 9V the speed would be slow enough to satisfy, I think.
Only problem: My guess is you don't want to spend too much money, so you'd need a secondhand loco. Older locos draw 1/3rd of an amp or more, which will eat up batteries something fierce. Newer locos with low-draw, high efficiency motors aren't cheap.
HTH
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At 9 volts even an older Athern locomotive might be a little fast for this. 6 volts might be better, which puts this down into the range allowed by the cordless battery packs used for electric radio controlled aircraft and autos. If you put the battery pack in a boxcar or etc., some of these would fit. Since they are rechargable and made for use in this type of item, you wouldn't go through so many batteries so fast.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

gl:
You could just use more batteries. A 9v can supply about .6 ampere-hours; divide by the current draw, that's how long you run. 6 D size batteries in series would provide 9v and 18 ampere hours, which would allow you to run an Athearn diesel for about 18 hours before replacing the batteries (or recharging, if they were rechargeables). Put the batteries in an old Tyco E9 with an on-off switch on its roof.
He could also use some portable drill rechargeable packs, I bet.
Cordially yours: Gerard p.
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Thank you all who responded! My thoughts: Weighting the original toy Engine might work but there is very little room, not enough to have much effect anyway (but I'll look inside next time I visit to check for sure).
The other ideas of installing batteries in a HO loco is something I hadn't considered and I wouldn't mind getting a couple used ones for the project (assumptions are correct I'm trying to keep the cost low). To be honest I've never popped open a diesel or steam shell either one so don't know how much room is in there but it seems a 9V battery could fit somewhere.
Gerard's suggestion sounds good but I think I'm misunderstanding the concept of using 6 D batteries fit-wise. ?
The speed might still be an issue and this reminded me of a project I was involved in at work on a larger scale involving several large 6 Volt batteries powering an electric motor for a powered food cart. We had to slow the motor speed down using resistors purchased at Radio Shack. It was fairly simple to wire up after a dozen or so tests with different ones to get the proper speed. I'm guessing I could use them on a loco motor to slow it down as well, and maybe it would also have the advantage of extending battery life? I will have to experiment.
So to double check that I'm understanding this idea right: If I can get 9 Volts of battery power to a loco engine in HO scale, it will run, and the only extra issues would be fitting the batteries, and on-board speed control?
~Brad
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote: [...]>

Most HO engines will run at a reasonable speed on about 6 volts. Four AA will provide 6V, rechargeables will provide 4.8V, wired in series, and that's enough for a large proportion of HO engines. You just want a straight DC loco, no frills. These generally start moving at about 3V. If you get a powered and a dummy (unpowered) diesel, not only will you plenty of room for four AAs, having _two_ locos heading up the train should impress your niece as being way cool!
HTH
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

fd64:
I was being a bit flippant with the Tyco unit (Tycos have no frame; the trucks snap in) as well as the D batteries. I think you could fit 3 D-size batteries in a dummy Athearn Alco PB unit - make a holder to fit the batteries in series and use 2 units. You don't really need D's for a model train. AA batteries would give you about 3 ampere-hours; a loco drawing 800mA could then operate for perhaps 3 hours and some change. I would in this case recommend that you use AA rechargeables, which with their chargers can be found at places like Big Lots for rather low prices.
You would have one dummy unit carrying 6 AA batteries, wired in series (each AA providing 1.5 volts, and connecting all in series woudl give 9 v) coupled to your motor unit, with a 2-wire MU cable to carry the power. A switch to change from battery to track power might be useful to keep the battery loco from feeding others on the same rails and causing trains to head for the floor.
Cordially yours: Gerard P.
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snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu wrote:

    If one is going to go that far. how about having the train when it is running via a normal track power pack charge the batteries a the same time. You would need a few diodes to prevent the backfeed and reverse from creating a problem. If done right. he charges simply by running train off track power. when no power it would run on its own internal power source.
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On 15 Jan 2007 09:47:56 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu wrote:

Jeepers, rather than having energized track to recharge batteries (which I gather is what you mean), it would be simpler to just power the motor directly. Simpler, but maybe not easier :)
I've purchased battery-powered trains as well- like from dollar stores. The temptation is to build a little battery powered empire. Maybe that's what the OP has in mind. In my experience, the track gauges are in the TT- HO range, but not necessarily standardized. I'd suggest keeping the original plastic track and perhaps finding a lower voltage rechargeable battery. Then modify the loco to accommodate a different size battery.
Dale
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Thanks all for the info about running a loco off a battery. I'm going to start looking for a used one somewhere, maybe eBay, that I can get cheap to start experimenting. If it's not too hard I think I could even change the hull to a scatchbuilt Dunkirk style and adjust the interior room for extra or larger batteries (such as the "D" size).
~Brad
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On Jan 10, 11:34 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As for your nieces train set, perhaps if you added weights to the cars, putting a bit of drag on the locomotive, it'd slow the train.
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