Author Topic: RailPro on Battery Power  (Read 10760 times)

Alan

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2016, 09:17:37 PM »
That implies the operators on those layouts live with poor running. That would be a buzz kill.
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

G8B4Life

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2016, 06:18:30 AM »
I believe the biggest draw to deadrail for most of those looking at it is not what Kevin was saying (though that is a bonus) but it eliminates all those supposedly costly bus wires and power supplies around a large layout and eliminates the perceived bad track/wheel interface electrical connection.

I guess in some cases it could be handy in that you wouldn't have to gap and power whole yards etc but I always say if your going to have train detection, and I'd say it's a fair call that the majority would be current based detection then your going to need power in them rails. May as well use that power to run the trains.

- Tim

Terry

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2016, 10:05:20 PM »
Alan and Kevin

It's a good question.  No one format is for everybody.  I started battery operation when I was in Garden Railroading and it has fascinated me ever since.  In any scale, generally, layouts with battery power tend to have fewer locomotives and more operation.  Saying that, it doesn't mean all locomotives need to be batteried - they play well with anything.

Kevin's point is well made; not all track work is excellent - but as far as track is concerned, it is probably dirt that most people cite when thinking of batteries.

Another point is initial layout construction.  Not having to wire a railroad at all, or not having to worry about reverse polarity is a bigger draw for some.

It also might be the ability to run on anyone's track.  Particularly for those without their own railroad.

It's a nice feeling of confidence to know your locomotive will perform the way you want - every time (and if not, you know who to blame).

For me, and this is personal (and unprovable), I think there is a difference in how our battery locomotives act, they seem a little closer to real (I've piloted a few prototype).  At best, it is subtle - but for me it just feels closer.

BTW, whoever (or whatever) resized my photos - Thank You!

Terry

Alan

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2016, 10:27:31 PM »
That all makes sense. Different strokes for different folks. Thanks for the reply.

Wiring doesn't scare me. I actually enjoy it. RailPro being plain DC makes it even easier. As Tim mentioned, I want functional signaling which means detection. The layout wiring makes integrating detection very easy.

I wrongly assumed the battery craze was driven by electrical pick-up problems. Seems like a lot of expense and trouble to go to just to replace what a little acetone and a good masonite car does for almost free.

I think I am about as far as one can be on the other end of the scale. For example here is a shot of the occupancy detectors on just one module:

Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

Terry

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2016, 01:10:55 AM »
Kind of an update today - just got back from running the GP-35 again.  Last week we ran an operating session in which the loco spent two and a quarter hours hauling/switching.  The train(s) were short, the track level but with sharp curves.  I did not charge the unit when finished.

Today I took her to another layout, this time with almost constant grades, most quite steep (in the three percent neighborhood) and sharp curves.  The train was a constant 11 cars.  Without any recharging the loco went another hour and a half.  I think I can see some slowing, but at this point I know I can still operate without difficulty.  I wonít have a chance to run for a couple of weeks or more so tomorrow I will do a storage charge and put the workhorse away for now.

The two 500mah LiPos give a total of one amp hour at 3.7 volts.  The Ready to Run Athern GP-35 has a pretty good motor, as do most all locos nowadays, I suspect you could look forward to similar results.

On another note - I donít think I did a very good job of answering Alanís excellent post asking what the advantages of battery over track power were.  Thinking over some of the posts I have seen on Dead Rail, I was reminded while we always are striving for more realism in our modeling rolling stock, scenery, operations, sound, and so on, we are just beginning to look at how our motive power actually works.

Self contained motive power does make a difference - simply because it IS self contained.  Once you wrap your head around that, things change.  For instance, just like the prototype, you can strive for better traction, economy, smoothness, distance and so on in the same way the real guys do.  Itís another point of pride you can accomplish - and do so within the unit itself.  Itís another attachment to the real world, another goal toward railroad realism.

(Cue scraping sounds of me dragging my soap box off the page.)

Terry

TwinStar

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2016, 05:31:17 PM »
Terry,

I am curious why the allure of battery. Earlier today I was amusing myself after a module installation (and after break-in) by seeing how slow I could make my latest motive power addition craw with a 16 car train behind it. It traveled the whole railroad (about 150') at what had to be less than 1 scale MPH without a hiccup. Just for kicks I backed the train for the return trip at the same crawl. The trip included across many turnouts some curved and even a 3-way. It took a very long time.  ;D  While I was watching the train barely moving your battery thread came to mind. I even wrote myself a reminder note to ask you the question.

If an amateur like me can make conventional track electrical supply work this well what is about battery power that is so desirable?

Alan,

I operate on Free-mo layouts that are DCC powered. After a half day of running the rail is dirty and power is spotty at best. I'm waiting for the keep alive feature but can see why some would want batteries.

Jacob
Jacob Damron
Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Free-mo+ modules

Texas Railway Modeling and Historical Society trmhs.org
trmhs.org

TwinStar

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2016, 05:33:09 PM »
That all makes sense. Different strokes for different folks. Thanks for the reply.

Wiring doesn't scare me. I actually enjoy it. RailPro being plain DC makes it even easier. As Tim mentioned, I want functional signaling which means detection. The layout wiring makes integrating detection very easy.

I wrongly assumed the battery craze was driven by electrical pick-up problems. Seems like a lot of expense and trouble to go to just to replace what a little acetone and a good masonite car does for almost free.

I think I am about as far as one can be on the other end of the scale. For example here is a shot of the occupancy detectors on just one module:



Alan,

Whose detectors are those?

Jacob
Jacob Damron
Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Free-mo+ modules

Texas Railway Modeling and Historical Society trmhs.org
trmhs.org

Alan

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2016, 05:46:38 PM »
Quote
Whose detectors are those?

Mine. <not sarcasm> http://www.lkorailroad.com/circuit-breaker-and-block-detector-final-units/
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

Antoine L.

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2016, 09:12:54 AM »
One day I'll have a layout like yours Alan. I just 30. I give myself time to learn and, while I currently work on my third layout, it is still very basic when I look at your wiring.

Good work. ((sorry I'm off topic))

Antoine
Modeling a mix of CN / Wisconsin central on a 12x15 freelance area.

roofintrash

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2016, 07:31:03 AM »
The whole battery power thing for normal operations does not interest me, buuuutttttt, for a dedicated track cleaning train, why not. I also fly electric R/C planes and have a bunch of Lipo's laying around so I did a quick and dirty test. I dug an old blue box F45 out of the old crap pile and went to work. I basically just isolated the the motor and ran the wires to a car behind the loco. The first try was two,two cell 500mah in series for 16.8 volts. That was a no go for the LM2 as it gave me the track over voltage warning. That was a bummer because they fit in a gondola perfectly and I figured I'd just cover them and the LM2 with a coil cover. Went back out in the garage and grabbed a 3 cell 1300 pack which is 12.6 volts but too big to lay down in the gon. I just cobbled it together and stuck a Walthers abrasive box car and the CMX heavy ass brass tank car behind it and sent it on its way. My layout fills a 12 x24 room and most of the main is on a 2% grade up or down and I finally shut the loco down after 4hrs of running non stop thru every combo of yard tracks and such. The battery voltage was still in the acceptable range and I was quite pleased. I'm going to order a few 3cell 500mah batteries and do a permanent install in a gon all neat and tidy and park it on the MOW track. A few laps before an op session should do the trick.

Sorry about the never ending paragraph. I'm a truck driver,not an english teacher LOL

Couple crappy pics
DSCF0623.JPG
DSCF0622.JPG
« Last Edit: July 30, 2016, 08:36:41 AM by William Brillinger »
Rick

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2016, 07:56:18 AM »
Quote
The whole battery power thing for normal operations does not interest me, buuuutttttt, for a dedicated track cleaning train, why not

That's not a half bad idea for RailPro on battery power. I've seen a layout here and there where a normal track powered cleaning train just would not have gotten the power to run itself properly because the track was just a bit too dirty so the possibility is there. Now just build it it all into something that resembles a Loram rail grinder like I have long dreamed of doing and you have a prototype excuse to run it as well.

- Tim

roofintrash

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2016, 08:07:59 AM »
My biggest enemy for clean track is the hair from the fur kids. They don't get on the layout but it just seems to migrate right to the tracks. Mini car mounted rail vac is next on my list of projects.
Rick

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2016, 09:20:22 AM »
Rick, 4 hours is a long run time for those old blue box locos that draw a lot of current. I'll bet you would get a lot more run time with a modern engine. Now you just need to set up a charging track and mount the battery pack in a box car or baggage car.
Al

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roofintrash

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2016, 11:57:31 AM »
I was blown away with the runtime for sure. Never expected it at all. The reason I chose that particular loco was pure pulling power. 25yrs ago, the club I belonged to had a pulling contest up the 3% grade for bragging rights. Between the grabby old sintered wheels and the fact that the shell is full of lead sheet down to the gear towers, this thing is a beast. Perfect for pulling that cmx boat anchor tank car!!  I ordered the permanent batteries this am that will sit nicely in a gon so I can do it up right. I may just re-motor the old girl because the rest of the drivetrain is silky smooth. Best old blue box I ever had.
Rick

KPack

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Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2016, 10:02:33 PM »
Terry - what discharge rating is on those batteries?  I'm looking at a few I want to try out, but they are all made for small R/C helicopters with a discharge of around 30C.  Is that an issue with what we are using them for? 

-Kevin