Author Topic: Go Deadrail with RailPro  (Read 9782 times)

William Brillinger

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2016, 09:31:50 PM »
Why not put the charging circuit on the rails and let the battery charge from it? Perhaps at a fuelling pad or a storage track?
Then 1 circuit could be used for multiple locos and not take up valuable space?
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


MidnghtOwl

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2016, 03:53:04 PM »
I'm Debating a ton of options so far William.  -  Only powering the yard, meaning I could unhook the battery tender for switching operations, (still dealing with frogs though).  Running straight DC for rail charging (requires a battery management circuit board for power/recharging, but would allow you to skip the reverse/frog wiring).  True Dead rail, meaning I have to figure out power for engines at all times, including switching, solo engine running and extended operations sessions. And i'm not ruling out just wiring the track from the onset, since HO battery technology isn't quite "there" yet as far as size/capacity.  Every HO dead rail I've seen has been either steam engines and using the coal trailer for the battery, or a battery in a box car behind a "modern" engine. 

I don't need to be on the bleeding edge of the technology, but would be nice to not be wrong in 3 years and have missed the trend on where our hobby is headed. 

:-)
Decisions decisions decisions!!!

-Owl (Jared)

Shawn T Hogan

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2016, 09:08:54 AM »
Good Morning!
Been a while since I've been on here. Quite a fascinating discussion going on!
I have a question about going battery power with RailPro: I had contacted Ring Engineering and they did not recommend battery power for operating RailPro. Has anything changed? I believe it was primarily due to a concern for maintaining proper voltage.

I really like the RailPro system but given that I am starting over, I too, am weighing the benefits of battery power versus wiring for frogs, reverse loops, etc.
Shawn Hogan

William Brillinger

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2016, 09:37:22 AM »
I'll check with Tim to see where he is on the Keep Alive idea.
The keep alive would at least eliminate frog wiring.

The big issue for RailPro and batteries is having the voltage drop too low during programming, and so bricking the module.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


Shawn T Hogan

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2016, 11:44:28 AM »
Hello Bill,
Let's see if I understand you correctly: The voltage needs to be XX for programming to be successful and not destroy the module. Once programming is complete, then one could run with a lower voltage?
I can see that working because it would be easy enough to use a test track wired up conventionally for programming but the model layout be "dead".
Shawn

William Brillinger

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2016, 11:51:03 AM »
DISCLAIMER: I don't really know of this is the only issue.

The concern I see is that if the power dropped low enough for the module to shut down while programming then it could be toast. Programming while the unit is on a charging track would presumably negate this worry.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


nodcc4me

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2016, 01:39:35 PM »
Hello Bill,
Let's see if I understand you correctly: The voltage needs to be XX for programming to be successful and not destroy the module. Once programming is complete, then one could run with a lower voltage?

Shawn
RP power supplies output regulated power, so whatever the current draw from several locomotives or even one older one, it can provide enough current for all of the module functions. I have an old DC power pack hooked up to a small test track where I work on my engines. It outputs about 15 volts of unregulated power, similar to battery power. I can move engines and operate lights but some sound files will not play properly due to voltage drops. I have done programming with it at times, without problems, but as a rule, I program on the layout. RP modules are protected from overcurrent but as Bill stated, undercurrent while programming could cause a glitch and ruin a module.
Al

Run your train, not your brain. Get RailPro. It's a no-brainer.

Shawn T Hogan

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2016, 02:03:47 PM »
Hi Al,
Good to know. I have a Star-tec walk around throttle that puts out 18V regulated so I guess I could use it as you use your old throttle. But I don't want to burn up a module.
BTW- love your email and the tag line after your signature!!
Shawn

nodcc4me

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2016, 02:15:39 PM »
Thanks Shawn. Fishing is my other hobby when it isn't 20.  ;D
Al

Run your train, not your brain. Get RailPro. It's a no-brainer.

melarson

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2016, 10:30:10 AM »
Next step is of course to get it installed in the engine.  That may take another month or two but when done I will post another video.

Well, it has been a lot more than a couple of months but the system is finally installed in the Big Boy.  The first photo shows the battery pack and the Converter/Charging board in the tender.  The second shows the placement of the battery shut-off switch on the tender's frame.  The LM-3S module and the speaker are in the boiler (not shown because it was nearly impossible to get a good pic of that).  I've included the schematic of the system showing how it is installed (PDF, attachment).

This morning I am off to the club to take more pictures and videos and will post them when I get back.

BB Tender Install.JPG

BB Tender SOSw Placement.JPG

*Battery Powered LM-3S Schematic for Big Boy 4023 - color.pdf
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 10:40:35 AM by Michael Larson »

G8B4Life

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2016, 10:54:40 AM »
Quote
Well, it has been a lot more than a couple of months but the system is finally installed in the Big Boy.

Now I am perplexed as to how this runs. I ask as your schematic seems to be missing a connection that provides power to the module and is also feeding the battery into the common, which is in effect an output, which may or may not be a good thing to do.

There is a thread on sizing pictures you can find here http://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php?topic=11.0. See the sample code bit in the first post.

- Tim

melarson

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2016, 06:34:40 PM »
Now I am perplexed as to how this runs. I ask as your schematic seems to be missing a connection that provides power to the module and is also feeding the battery into the common, which is in effect an output, which may or may not be a good thing to do.

Yes, under normal input conditions (red and black wires connected to the rails) the blue common would be considered an "output."  The blue common connection is effectively just the positive output connection of the bridge rectifier.  However, in the absence of non-polarized input power we can safely connect polarized power to the blue common (V+) and the new negative lead (V-) of the LM-3, bypassing the module's rectifier and supplying rectified DC directly to the module.  This is true as well of DCC decoders that have a negative lead, and was added to allow the connection of keep-alives.  It is not possible to run the LM-1 or LM-2 in this manner as they lack this negative lead (though Bill and others have posted in another thread how to add keep-alives to these other LM's).

I have to say, the engine ran flawlessly.  Not a flicker or stutter, no dead spots what-so-ever.  All of that was expected of course, but considering our club's lack of clean track and wired frogs it was truly refreshing to see.  I did take some pictures and videos but don't have time now to post them, plus the videos didn't come out too well.  I will attempt to make better ones here at home and post them tomorrow.

melarson

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Re: Go Deadrail with RailPro
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2016, 10:19:58 PM »
So here is a short video of the engine running at the club.  Still working on getting good video of the engine under obvious battery power (my installer has a great video of it running on his workbench surface, not on track, but haven't been able to get it to me as yet).