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Battery power

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Battery power
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, January 25, 2004 11:41 AM
In the "Construction" forum Marty brought up the idea that he uses and recommends battery powered locomotives. I am in a position that I am starting from scratch on my garden railway, so I want to make the right decisions now and not go back later and decide that I shoulda, woulda, coulda...

It seems like battery power has advantages. (Tell me if I'm wrong in this.) No wire to the track. No expense of a power pack. Cleaning track is less important. Essentially, each locomotive has its own remote control.

How do the locos run? Are they as controllable as a wired track? Do they have equal power as a wired system? How long do the battery packs last?

I'd appreciate any feedback from those of you with experience with battery vs. wire.
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Posted by Marty Cozad on Sunday, January 25, 2004 2:52 PM
Piper
Please keep in mind I was track power for 8 years or so till I realized I had all the components aready to go to battery. If folks are just "tring" G then I would say stay track power, But I know couple of newbies in our Iowa club that started battery right off with a simple open gondola and cheap battery with Aristo's TE. I showed them how to add a switch that allowed them to use battery or track power just like Aristo comes from the factory. The size of battery is based on how long or how heavy of train you want to pull.
Say a bach big hauler with 4 cars takes little power. 3 Aristo SD-45s with 40 cars take s lots of power and bigger battery.
One main reason for the battery change is : I wanted to run trains when I came home from work for only couple of laps till dinner, then off to family stuff. My wife has told many that I am lot more happy now. Plus I get calls from Track powered folks who are having open house asking if I can bring a unit just incase they have problems.
Each engine or battery car is a self contained power and RC unit. We run up to 6 trains at once on my RR, mainly cause any more and folks get talking and run into each other.
Cost wise it equals out. I sold both 10 amp power supplies to buy batteries. The amount of volts will decide the top speed of the train.


My Thomas engine has a 9,6 $5 battery with on/off switch, runs about an hour, change battery them your off again. Engine needs no RC and it runs about a scale 20 mph... My traveling RDC had two 9.6 batteirs in seriours and mini TX in it so i can countrol it as it visits other railroads and runs on the same rails as other trains are using track power.
i think its safe to say that 50% of our Iowa club is battery power now. Some use RCS systems which controls sound also and some use Linolink. up to you.
Getting started is the main thing and having fun ......
Speaking of train wrecks , after I stopped cring I realized how realistic the wreck was and took photos of it. There is 3 cars rolled down the hill BTY

The AT&SF box car stooped the 40-2 ,cause remember , battery runs even off the track[;)]

Is it REAL? or Just 1:29 scale?

Long live Outdoor Model Railroading.

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 8:43 PM
Thanks Marty,

I looked at the St. Aubins ad and website. They have an R/C starter set - loco w/ two cars for $160.00. Sounds good. But, I went to their website and it gets confusing. They offer transmitters and receivers, some for high dollar. Will the starter set have everything I need, or do I have to order other equipment as well? I assume the starter set has limitations. I have planned a small layout (one loop with a few turnouts) which can grow in the future. I will start with a small amount of rolling stock. What would you recommend I start with in terms R/C power. This question is open to anyone who uses battery power. Thanks guys.
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Posted by bman36 on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 10:30 PM
piperford,
IF the set you are talking about is Aristo, then it is actually a set using track power and RC. Confused? The set comes with a transformer. It also has a transmitter/receiver that will control the transformer up to about 50 feet away. This gives you radio control using track power. As Marty said you can start out with track power and convert to batteries later. The transformer included with the set is quite efficient for a single loco. It is when you start "double heading" that you need a bigger pack. I have run over 200 feet of track with a starter set transformer. Best to keep it all simple for starters and then go from there. I like the idea of not having to clean track either but it really is not all that bad. A quick wipe prior to each run will help avoid major cleaning. Also using metal wheels will really help to keep track clean. Plastic wheels create static and attract dirt. Then they leave clumps around the line. Metal will not do this nearly as much. Have fun. Later eh...Brian.
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Posted by vsmith on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 10:36 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Marty Cozad



Speaking of train wrecks , after I stopped cring I realized how realistic the wreck was and took photos of it. There is 3 cars rolled down the hill BTY

The AT&SF box car stooped the 40-2 ,cause remember , battery runs even off the track[;)]


Holy smokes, Thats TOO realistic....[:0]

I think Gomez Addams would be proud of you....[;)]

   Have fun with your trains

  • Member since
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  • From: Nebraska City, NE
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Posted by Marty Cozad on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 7:59 AM
Piper
Brain made a good point about RC does not always mean battery power. As for me the Aristo TE trackside "RC" unit made for power packs I used also for battery. Alot of folks have some kind of RC unit, its just the power supply that changes. And a power plug on the engine VS wheel pickups.
I'd call ST Aubins and ask them. adds are hard to understand sometimes because there is not enough info cause of space.
Keep us posted.

Is it REAL? or Just 1:29 scale?

Long live Outdoor Model Railroading.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 2, 2004 1:31 PM
Marty, Where in Iowa? Im in Cedar Rapids and just bought my first Big Hauler set. I like
the idea of Battery and have the same thoughts as you. (ie. run a little bit before dinner, etc.) Could you elaborate a little more on the battery part. Thanks

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