Author Topic: RailPro on Battery Power  (Read 14216 times)


  • Conductor
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  • Posts: 211
Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2016, 09:37:01 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

  What a great idea! I have a bunch of old blue box Atherns that are collecting dust. I also have a CMX track cleaner car. I'll put on my list of things to do...near the top.


  • Fireman
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  • Posts: 31
Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2016, 08:47:53 AM »
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? 


As far as our applications go, we pretty much cant hurt most lipos. In my test mule, I was using an 1300mah 30C battery. Capacity times C rating = capability of delivering 39 amps. Not that you would ever want to use them right at that threshold, but they are capable of it. The biggest issue would be draining them to far. Most R/C speed controls have a lipo low voltage cut off to keep from over discharging but I usually just land as soon as as I see any performance drop. Once again, in our application I really cant see it being an issue.

I got my battery packs the other day and they slide right in a gondola or hopper car. I'm going to parallel a pair of 3 cell 800mah. If I go to a newer more efficient loco, I should be able to run it until I'm sick of watching it run laps. I'll post updated pics in the next few days.


  • Fireman
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  • Posts: 9
Re: RailPro on Battery Power
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2016, 05:57:02 PM »

Sorry!  I haven't been online for considerable time, my apologies.  Our draw for railroading is VASTLY less than any flying model.  I'd be talking through my hat if I were to be specific, but I cannot imagine anything we run could come even close to the limit of these LiPos.  Of course a direct short is gonna fry any cell.  You can expect to be closer to full current range when you are charging - and this is something to be careful with. 

As you look at batteries online you should be able to find what the maximum rates are ('C' rating)  My charger (Hitec brand, model X1AC) has a whole menu of choices for LiPo, NiCad, and Pb [lead] at 1, 2 and 3 cell rates as well as amperage levels.  Fortunately it also has extensive instructions.  Be SURE your charger is made for LiPo batteries - otherwise it can get dangerous.

When running, a good seat-of-the-pants check is to put your finger on the battery while you are testing, it should be ambient temperature even when running for a considerable time.  If you want to be extra picky, after using your finger touch your lip to it.  While these batteries can get fairly warm in R/C flight use and be perfectly normal - I don't expect you'll ever get there.  Mine have not yet gotten above ambient.

Hope this helps