Battery Powered Forney

BakerJohn

BakerJohn

Baker, Modeler, Flour Ambassador
Among my other projects, I'm planning to start conversion of my LGB Forney to battery R/C power. I have a couple of questions for someone who's done something similar before. I've found several US-based companies who sell such products, but my main concern is voltage. The manual says this loco will run at 0-24V, so does that mean I need a battery of that size?
I'm sure I'll have many more questions after this one.
 
Tony Walsham

Tony Walsham

Manufacturer of RCS Radio Control.
25 Oct 2009
2,087
0
Casino, NSW
14.8 volts (4s1p in Li-ion speak) is perfectly adequate.
 
dunnyrail

MOTM

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,014
31
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
I have an LGB Twin Motored Diesel that runs on 10 x 1.5 NiMH quite happily for in excess of 4 hours with Sound as well, so if you do not wish to go down the Modern Tech Battery option there is another way.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,038
32
Tamworth, Staffs.
10-12 NiMH batteries will be adequate, of the Lipo option, as above..

Easiest way to work it out:
Length (loop?) of track.. Analogue supply (or bench power supply - that will have meters!)..
Run up loco to 'bit more' than sensible top-speed, then measure the voltage on the track.
 
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BakerJohn

BakerJohn

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Thank you all for your input. I am looking into bluetooth connections to minimize the hardware purchased. What are your thoughts?
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
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North Essex
I would agree with Tony, having used 14.8 volt lith-ion packs (either 4 cells in a 4S1P pack, or 8 as 4S2P) in my two LGB battery conversions (both twin-motored locos, a 2095 BoBo and a Saxon IVk) that sort of voltage is more than sufficient to give a good speed, much faster that you would ever want to run as "sensible" scale speed.
You can get the 4-cell packs in either square or flat format, either of which is only a little bit larger than a 4xAA battery box; I would think that one or the other shape would be a relatively easy fit into the cab or bunker space on the Forney.

Jon.
 
Tony Walsham

Tony Walsham

Manufacturer of RCS Radio Control.
25 Oct 2009
2,087
0
Casino, NSW
Baker John.
I would be delighted to hear of any success or otherwise with Bluetooth on board battery control.
Please advise what Bluetooth equipment you are investigating and whether or not the telephone handpiece is practical / usable outdoors in sunlight.
 
stockers

stockers

Trains, aircraft, models, walking, beer, travel
Staff member
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24 Oct 2009
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What sort of range can one expect from Bluetooth?
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,038
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Tamworth, Staffs.
What sort of range can one expect from Bluetooth?
Probably not enough, for outdoor use, unless you run 'cruise control' and are happy to let them go at the far end of the run.

You *can* boost range a little, but it means 'getting at' the electronics.
Given Bluetooth devices tend to be physically quite small, this may be problematic for some?
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,342
7
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
I saw Shawn Viggiano has a battery powered Fourney in one of his recent videos. It is a Bachmann though by the look of it. He is on here as "Shawn" so you might want to PM him. Max
 
Last edited:
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
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San Diego
www.elmassian.com
To be fair, there is a higher power, longer range bluetooth setup... some people making bluetooth control systems claim quite a bit of range.

Bluetooth 5, in cell phones in 2017, has some new modes, and gives up to a 4 times increase in range in exchange for slower data rates (and we don't need high data rates).

Now, not sure if any of the bluetooth systems out there specify BT 5.0, but it is possible.

Greg
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,038
32
Tamworth, Staffs.
I would expect many to re-purpose an older mobile handset for this??

That would tend to suggest the Bluetooth would be the older standard / power. Buy, yes, there are ways and means to increase Bluetooth range.
 
stockers

stockers

Trains, aircraft, models, walking, beer, travel
Staff member
GSC Moderator
24 Oct 2009
25,390
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60
Nr. Ashford, Kent. England.
Increasing power may well put them outside of some radio interference regulation. Power output is very tight in EU and sometimes tighter in UK.
 
BakerJohn

BakerJohn

Baker, Modeler, Flour Ambassador
Thank you, all.

I have decided against Bluetooth for the moment, as the one company I was looking at appears to be out of stock until August or so. The company was BlueRail, Tony. I do like the look of their board, but I'm not looking to wait until the fall to get my loco running. Instead, I have found two companies S-Cab and RC Trains. Since the latter is from England, I'm not sure about shipping, but his stuff is simple enough that I would be very interested in using it. S-Cab seems a little more advanced (and more costly) than what I really need at the moment. Within the next three years I'll probably only have a couple trains, so I don't need an expensive transmitter that will run multiple locos.
So, I've got most of my system planned out and basic wiring diagrams drawn. I've even taken most of the Forney apart to see what the wiring currently looks like (though, I cannot get the boiler apart.). I'm still unsure about sound; but if I do add it, it will probably just be a simple chuff (based on speed) and a manual-activated whistle. Additionally, if I do add sound, the speaker will probably have to fit in the steam dome, which only gives me about an 1" of usable space.

That's enough ranting for now, I think. Thoughts, comments, and concerns are more than welcome!!
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,038
32
Tamworth, Staffs.
Thank you, all.

I have decided against Bluetooth for the moment, as the one company I was looking at appears to be out of stock until August or so. The company was BlueRail, Tony. I do like the look of their board, but I'm not looking to wait until the fall to get my loco running. Instead, I have found two companies S-Cab and RC Trains. Since the latter is from England, I'm not sure about shipping, but his stuff is simple enough that I would be very interested in using it. S-Cab seems a little more advanced (and more costly) than what I really need at the moment. Within the next three years I'll probably only have a couple trains, so I don't need an expensive transmitter that will run multiple locos.
So, I've got most of my system planned out and basic wiring diagrams drawn. I've even taken most of the Forney apart to see what the wiring currently looks like (though, I cannot get the boiler apart.). I'm still unsure about sound; but if I do add it, it will probably just be a simple chuff (based on speed) and a manual-activated whistle. Additionally, if I do add sound, the speaker will probably have to fit in the steam dome, which only gives me about an 1" of usable space.

That's enough ranting for now, I think. Thoughts, comments, and concerns are more than welcome!!
Hello John,
Not a problem to ship to the States..
PhilP
phil@rctrains.co.uk
 
BakerJohn

BakerJohn

Baker, Modeler, Flour Ambassador
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,038
32
Tamworth, Staffs.
Oh! Hi there Phil! I did not realize you were one in the same haha Are my emails getting through to you?
Yes..
Emails getting through..

Taken to email, but will probably see more of this later??
 
BakerJohn

BakerJohn

Baker, Modeler, Flour Ambassador
Here we go, everyone! I ordered all my small electronic components as well as the battery and charger.
94637_dbc9df61874e54485af5143bf515a6d0.jpg


So, I'm going to be putting a 14.8V Li-ion battery in the coal bunker. The charger socket and SPDT switch will hide under the coal behind the cab. The switch will have three options: OFF - ON - CHARGING. I glued a small piece of wire to the coal so I can grab it to pull it away easily.
94638_d86a34433266db3057639fbe4c1d65d0.jpg


The speaker is going to go into steam dome. That dome is molded with the boiler so I just need to add a false bottom to the dome for the speaker to sit on. In the photo you can see the two feet at the bottom of the dome that the weight used to sit on. This is where the false bottom will rest. I also have to remove the pads that kept the weight from moving at all.
94639_731dc0e7148daccf1f743dc5342225b5.jpg


I am also going to put a switch into the lead to the smoke generator. I wanted to put it in the sand dome, but that will require a lot of rebuilding the dome. Alternately, I'm thinking of putting it all the way in the back where LGB had a 2-pin socket. I would have to buy a new switch for this. The push button for the sand dome won't work in the rear socket. Any thoughts??
94640_2dd7ed5b9c21ea8dcdcf7b245e309713.jpg
94641_8320fb13e7ed9b1e38da049f78f57510.jpg


That's all for now. I'm still waiting for the battery and charger to show up. Next to order: the transmitter, receiver, and sound decoder.
I know these pictures suck; I blame the basement lighting. ahaha :D
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,038
32
Tamworth, Staffs.
If the smokebox door opens, could you put your switch in there?
 
BakerJohn

BakerJohn

Baker, Modeler, Flour Ambassador
If the smokebox door opens, could you put your switch in there?
It doesn't, unfortunately. The only other option is under the cap of the water tank.