Author Topic: Battery power conversion  (Read 1746 times)

Catmaster

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Battery power conversion
« on: May 10, 2018, 11:10:40 AM »
Hello All  from a newbie just getting into the hobby,I have some
questions
I want to convert my locos to battery power and Iím wondering which
way to go. I looked at Airwire converters to convert to battery, but it has
itís own receiver. With that said can I still buy a rail pro system to run the locos
or am I stuck with the Airwire system.
I would like any guidance in this matter.
Thanks Stan

Alan

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Re: Battery power conversion
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2018, 12:08:15 PM »
What scale you are using? As the forum members know, I am not a fan of battery power in anything smaller than O scale. In the smaller scales battery fitment can be a real problem in all but the largest of locos. Add in sound and you have a lot of pieces to stuff into an already cramped area. The concessions that must be made are, in my opinion, not worth the benefit of eliminating a few one-time installations of wires and/or reversers. Additionally, battery power raises your cost with each loco added whereas wires do not. Possibly a concern if you have or plan to have many locos. So, my best advice is to first give serious consideration as to why you want battery power and are the trade-offs worth it to you.

With that said, Airwire and RailPro are essentially direct competitors to one another. Neither communicates with the other so it is an either or question. RailPro is far more advanced than Airwire in operational functionality. Most would be sold on this fact alone. However, Airwire works with DCC sound decoders whereas RailPro does not. If you must have a particular DCC sound decoder then Airwire is the right choice for you. Relative to battery power conversion I don't see any difference between the two.
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

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

Catmaster

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Re: Battery power conversion
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2018, 04:14:58 PM »
Thanks for your input , I have G scale  equipment
1 Bachmann C-19
2 LGB Genesis
So as you can see I havenít invested in a system yet and wanted to know the best
way to go before I start investing.
I plan to an all outdoor layout and have an acre to play with. I just want to avoid
Dead spots and having to hunt down bad connections.
I live in Arizona so the weather can be a bit extreme with dust,rain,wind and other
debris.
I willing to go the expense on the locos but I want to stay with 1 system.
Thanks

KPack

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Re: Battery power conversion
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2018, 04:30:32 PM »
Railpro can be used with battery power without a problem.  As Alan said, in the smaller scales (HO) it is much more difficult to find room for a battery, but it can be done.  See this video for what I did in mine:

In G-scale you'll have all the room you need.  You will want to look at the Railpro's LM-3SG module that is made to handle the demands of the larger scales.  Railpro will be able to do all that you need and keep it simple.  Airwire can do the job also, but like Alan said you need to pair it with DCC decoders.  With Railpro your control, power, sound, etc is all handled via one system.  Simple is better.

-Kevin

Catmaster

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Re: Battery power conversion
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2018, 05:27:04 PM »
Thanks Kevin, so all I need is the LM3G module,is there a need to get a converter
to run from a battery pack or will LM do that job. I know this seems to be
simple questions but for me Iím still in the woods.
Theres a place here in Phoenix that deals in rail pro,maybe I can go pick there
brains and maybe they can show me how itís done.
Thanks again for the advice should there be anything else I should know please
Let me know

KPack

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Re: Battery power conversion
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2018, 05:37:15 PM »
I looked over the instructions for the LM-3S-G (http://ringengineering.com/RailPro/Documents/LM-3SGInstructions.pdf) and it appears that you can connect the battery directly to the module.  Read carefully, as there are limits on what size battery you can connect directly.

In HO, you can't connect the battery directly to the module....a voltage converter is needed, because battery packs that fit in HO are typically 3.7 volts and not 12.  It's good to see that Ring Engineering designed the LM-3S-G with battery power in mind!

-Kevin

William Brillinger

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Re: Battery power conversion
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2018, 06:42:46 PM »
G Scale Wireless...

We have a member that specializes in large scale RailPro, His name is Don Sweet.
Here is a link to his website: https://www.rcsofne.com/
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


donsweet

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Re: Battery power conversion
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 09:41:30 PM »
Hi Guys, and thanks to Bill for the plug. I have been converting G scale locos for the past 25 years and sold and installed  everything. RailPro is a installer dream. Now you get the best control system and a heavy duty large scale loco module with great sound. In my G scale LGB Genesis I have the Visaton 2.7" speakers  playing the GE 7FLD-16ULT sounds. WOW! Captures Amtrak as it goes by.

Catmaster if you can contact me directly I can offer more info about the conversion for the Genesis and C-19. We have 7 different packs to fit inside your engines.  That includes the special shaped C-19 pack that's fits inside the tender without surgery.  Over all the RailPro will cost you less using a single board than the AirWire converter plus a DCC sound decoder and wrestling with all those CV's and addresses.

I have been so successful with providing RailPro in G scale we now offer it for HO, ON30 & O scales. Imagine controlling  your HO AB units or a pair of Geeps running thru turnouts and reverse loops without stopping!   The option is here for battery powered HO engines using RailPro.

Don

 

Catmaster

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Re: Battery power conversion
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2018, 10:10:09 PM »
Thanks Don, I will do that and send an email.sounds like you got the
answers I need especially for my pair of Amtrakís.
Thanks Stan

atsfguy

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Re: Battery power conversion
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2018, 10:07:19 AM »
Kpack, what type voltage converter is needed for plugging a 7.4 v lipo directly into an LM? Please be specific, I am not completely electronics literate.
Thanks.
Cecil
atsfguy
Cecil
ATSF-Eastern Division

KPack

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Re: Battery power conversion
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2018, 05:40:18 PM »
Cecil, I honestly don't know.  I used the voltage converter that Lichfield station sells because it was made for converting 3.7 to 12V, and my batteries are 3.7 V. I would assume there is a converter that is made specifically for 7.4V.  Polulu made the ones I have, they may have what you are looking for.  Maybe check Digikey or somewhere similar?

Kevin