Battery Trains

Greg Procter wrote:


I thought I might interject with an experiment I have been doing for the past year in Large Scale.
I have a Bachmann 0-4-0 which has limited track pickup capabilities. The goal was to be able to oprate in my outdoor layout withoug cleaning the brass track and have it operate and be controllable at all times.
An extra requirement was the ability to control its sound unit at all times so that the operator need not be concerned with track conductivity.
The logical question first asked is why not operate it with batteries. Alas Battery and radio control is not practicle for my uses. The Porter is small and if you stuff it with batteries you get at most a few hours or operation and you have to be concerned with battery charging. The goal here is to be able to operate any time with absolutely no concern with track conditions. SOme suggested using an anternal battery car. This is not practicle because the Portor is primarily a yard locomotive and having a trailing car is not very practicle for realistic operations.
DCC is a great approach for outdoor operation. It provides a framework for total layout control and provides the capabilities for controlling a vast amount of locomotive functions.
The problem is that the poor track pickup that many Large Scale locomotives have after a few years together with the use of brass track makes operation a chore (the need to clean track.
The approach I took was to combine the Lenz USP technology with small batteries.
I installed 12 AAA recharagable batteries in the locomotive. AAA batteries are small and can easily fit in the locomotive. This battery power can provide about 30 minutes of power to the locomotive. 12 were chosen because I use 21 volts of DCC and 12 batteries provides just about the right difference between battery voltage and track voltage to allow easy recharging.
When track power is available the decoder trickle charges the battery. WHen track power is not available the battery power is used for power of all the locomotive functions including the motor and sound.
Thw USP technology provides the ability to pick up the DCC signal independent of where the power is coming from.
In practice this hybrid power source has proven totally reliable and provides a seamless control. I have never run out of battery power or not been able to control the locomotive. Actually the 12 batteries is way overkill but it was an easy solution to try.
My conclusion to date is the use of this hybrid technology makes reliable outdoor operation a reality.
In the next month I will try a few supercaps as an alternative.
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On Thu, 03 Nov 2005 08:53:24 -0500, Stan Ames wrote:

You should publish an article (with circuit diagrams) - or have you?
--
Steve

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Maybe for garden railroads (and certainly easier to do in a larger scale). It would be fun to fiddle with in any case :_>
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On Mon, 31 Oct 2005 20:27:17 -0800, Steve Caple

Available now with Lenz Gold decoders! <http://www.lenz.com/products/decoders/currentdecoders/power1.htm
Keith
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On Tue, 01 Nov 2005 19:18:06 +0000, Keith wrote:

Aha!
--
Steve

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Steve Caple wrote:

Aristocraft has had this system available for several years. While it's designed to run from track power you could add batteries.
http://www.aristocraft.com/catalog/crest/trainengineer/whitepaper/index.html#HO%20TRAIN%20ENGINEER%20CRE-55000
John W Rosenbauer
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John W Rosenbauer wrote:

http://www.aristocraft.com/catalog/crest/trainengineer/whitepaper/index.html#HO%20TRAIN%20ENGINEER%20CRE-55000

Thank you for the link. It is a nice system and the price is not too bad. There is something to be said for a hybrid system, it may be the best way in the end. For now, I'll try the battery route to get some data.
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Been done.
Take your R/C model car engine, hook it up to a DC motor to create the MG set. Then feed the generator output via a speed control resistor to the wheel motors. Add a two channel R/C control set (one channel for the throttle on the engine, the other to the spped control resistor)
See Oct 05 Garden Railways
--
Bob Small

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