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Battery Advice

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  • Member since
    July 2011
  • 17 posts
Battery Advice
Posted by pdxtrains on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 3:56 PM

Hi Friends:


I recently was able to add two MTH sets to my growing subway collection.  One is a Proto 1, the other a Proto 2.

The Proto one is not here yet, but I've been told I should immediately change and charge the battery before placing it on the track, and pray to god a discharged battery hasn't screwed up the chip.  Any advice to add to that?

Second, the Proto 2: I changed out the AA blue pack and did a charge on the track for thirty minute and then turned off the power to see if I got any sound ghosting, and I didn't which worries me.  So I connected it to the charger to give a full 12 hour charge.  Should I be concerned that the half hour track test produced no sound at all after the power was off, or does it normally require a full charge to work?

Your insight is appreciated.

  • Member since
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  • From: Jacksonville, Florida
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Posted by Wabashbud on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 6:18 PM

If these are two used older MTH engines, as you mention, the first thing you do is install new fully charged batteries.  If you run them often you'll have no problem.  Bu the way, a 30 minute charge will not be sufficient.  Plus I am sure God couldn't care less about your battery.

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Posted by Seayakbill on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 6:24 PM

BCR's are the only way to go, especially for PS-1 locos

Bill T.

  • Member since
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Posted by pdxtrains on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 6:26 PM

Thank you for your advice, but I respectfully disagree: I happen to know, as a theological certainty, that God is a train collector.  Has all the post war sets.

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  • From: MICH
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Posted by sir james I on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 8:47 AM

Yes since these engines are used a fully charged battery is a must. The newer blue wrap pack does hold a charge longer and causes little problems. Take the advice above and pop for BCRs, battery problems are over.

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

  Charter Member- Tardis Train Crew (TTC) - TCA  - Detroit3railers-  Detroit Historical society Glancy Modular trains- Charter member BTTS

  • Member since
    January 2022
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Posted by JoeNap7 on Thursday, January 13, 2022 12:49 PM

I have several MTH RailKing proto 2 engines that I have in storage for at least 6 years. I read about issues with the orignal batteries that came with them. Should I try starting them up with the batteries as is or should I take them out and charge them first before powering up? Or should I just replace the batteries with new ones or BCRs?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, January 15, 2022 3:20 PM

JoeNap7

I have several MTH RailKing proto 2 engines that I have in storage for at least 6 years. I read about issues with the orignal batteries that came with them. Should I try starting them up with the batteries as is or should I take them out and charge them first before powering up? Or should I just replace the batteries with new ones or BCRs?

 

Honestly, I'd go ahead and replace them with BCR's.  I've installed BCR's in all my MTH engines and I swear by the things, well worth the money, both for the reliability and peace of mind.

I wouldn't expect much from those original equipment batteries if they've been sitting idle for six years.  You MAY be able to recharge them if you leave the engine (and connected tender if a steam engine) on a powered track for several hours but I wouldn't bet the ranch on it.

PS:  Some MTH tenders have their own pick-ups, some don't.  The ones with pick-ups don't need to be connected to the engine.

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 9:15 AM

Got to agree with everyone, replacing the batterey is strongly advised but only as a short term solution. Ultimately a battery eliminator like the BCR is what you need.

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  • From: Bensalem, PA
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Posted by Dave45681 on Thursday, January 20, 2022 7:37 PM

Only thing I would add for the Proto One unit is that once you install a BCR, be aware that you still must follow the instructions to raise the voltage for long enough for it to charge (if memory serves, 30 seconds to a minute is recommended) each time you run it.

If you forget, you can possibly create the same chip scrambling situation the dead battery can cause, since an under charged capacitor can create the same scenario.

-Dave

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, January 20, 2022 8:03 PM

I can't speak from experience on a Proto-1 engine since I don't own one, but I can say with Proto-2 engines unless the BCR's got a good charge on it, usually takes 45 to 60 seconds, the engine's not going anywhere anyway.  I've never had a problem with too low a charge on a BCR in a Proto-2 unit. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Bensalem, PA
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Posted by Dave45681 on Friday, January 21, 2022 12:20 AM

Flintlock76

I can't speak from experience on a Proto-1 engine since I don't own one, but I can say with Proto-2 engines unless the BCR's got a good charge on it, usually takes 45 to 60 seconds, the engine's not going anywhere anyway.  I've never had a problem with too low a charge on a BCR in a Proto-2 unit. 

 

I'm sure that's true.  The thing is if someone gets too button happy without thinking (trying to cycle out of "reset" to F-N-R, etc) on a P1 with too low of a charge AND they have one of the chips that may get "scrambled" (unusable, hence the "3 clanks of death" term ;) ), you can still potentially create the same problem even with a BCR.  (well, "unusable" may be too strong, there is the Reset Chip Kit, but that's a PITA, assuming you have one or can get to a hobby shop that has one and is willing to work on the engine).

The point being that installing a BCR, while an excellent idea, is not bullet proof in terms of totally eliminating any risk, even if it is a relatively small risk.  So one should still be careful even once the BCR is installed.

 

{edit: facepalm of embarrasment, as I realize now the only people asking about Proto 1 specifically were well over 10 years ago. Embarrassed  Oh, well.}

-Dave

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