Modifying a Piko 25 Tonner to Battery Power.

dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Now I imagine that some on here will be wondering why he is doing that when there exists a Battery Powered one already? Well the answer is that I have no need for a Track Cleaning Loco, I want one that is controllable (the Track Cleaner to the best of my knowledge can only be made to go Backwards or Forwards), I want Sound and I was not prepared to pay the premium cost of the Track Cleaner. Finally the Track Cleaner has Traction Tyres a particular hate of mine!

So I searched the net and found that Tops Slots in Blackpool were offering a Blue one for £159.99 plus £2.99 Postage. Great deal I thought so I ordered one for it to be delivered in a day or so.

First job was to pull it to bits to see if I could fit what I needed to and where. This is a small loco and space is at a premium. But I figured with some faffing, cutting and ingenuity I could do the job. But a health warning here, if you are not prepared to accept add ons, hacking and inspirational fitting of things this may not be the conversion for you. You have been warned!

So a few pics of inspiration from the net, these three appeared to offer some idea's even though one is not a 25 Tonner.

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The insides were removed as the space they took would be needed. For the record here are the Circuit Boards though the Grey Speaker Enclosure will be replaced inside the Roof with a Speaker. At this stage I also began to work out how Batteries may be fitted and the third pic with the £2 Coin shows my standard Lash of AAA Batteries that will fit into the varying spaces. The 4 at the rear under the Cab Floor and the 6 inside the Hood. This means that some of the necessary Weight for Haulage will be lost. Careful work with the Kitchen Scales revealed a loss of 383g with the big one the Batteries only replacing some 191g of that so some more weight to find. The Batteries and varying Sound and Control were thus ordered from Fosworks that were happy to make up my required Battery Configuraion. The picture helps Fosworks enormously in this respect.

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Then we came to Cutting and generally messing up the investment in a Piko Loco. The cab bottom has screw places to fit some of the Boards. So these were chopped out. Also as it was suggested and turned out to be the only place to fit some of the new cards Coupling Mountings has to go as well. More of this later.

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Having made space below as it were a trial fit of the varying components showed that the Receiver and Speed Controller would indeed fit where the Coupling Mountings had been removed. But this required extensions to the joining wires, while I was about it I also extended the wires from the Speed Controller that go into the Sound Card as well. All in all a pain in the butt to do, but the only way. The next three pictures shows what fits and where, Speed to the Rear Receiver to the Front and with the Chassis Wedged in plus the view from above. Bit of a jumble but I now knew that it was going to happen, to this point I was beginning to wonder!

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Next up was the issue of where to fit the Switch and Charging Socket. My recent Railbus Conversion was always seen as a possibility and the Black Non 25 Tonner Pic with the Tank on the running plate the inspiration for my solution. But first a pic of the two items mounted on the footplate and the wires that slot out of the Back go to the Sound Card which is to be mounted in a Utility Box.

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Couplings needed to be addressed, the prototype helps us here and the Mounting Plate outside had the Central Lug removed to make way for Buffers and the inevitable screws that would be used to hold the Couplings in place. Here you can see an unmodified one but with theCoupling Drop Down Spacing Of 6mm in place, together with the other end with a Coupling held in place by 10ba Nuts and Bolts. I used a leftover pair of Newquid ones as they are easy to saw off the unwanted buts.

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More plastic removal, I found that the lugs that hold the rear of the Cab down had to go as they would not go in place after the varying bits had been put in place . Also getting the Cab off if required in the future would be the devils own job. So off the came. I also cut out a couple of bits from the cab rear (sadly no pic) just to the middle if the two lugs to enable wires to exit to the rear for the soundcard.

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Thus a start was made on the rear Utility Box and the sides can be seen on both this and where the Tank Will go that is removable for Charging and On/off Switch. A couple of small 12 BA Screws can be seen that help to hold it in place.

Now you see it.

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Now you dont.

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Rear view if the cab showing theSound Card and the bits leading to it. This will be lost inside the Utility Box.

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But it all works, runs satisfactorily and pulls a more than adequate load for its intended shunting use.

Finishing off and where I fitted the lead to come.
 

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BakerJohn

BakerJohn

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Interesting take, Dunny. I like the details you've added.
What type of rechargable batteries do you use for your locos?
 
spoz

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I’ve been thinking seriously about getting one for just such a conversion, so a very timely article, thanks. Are you going to disguise the wires under the running board below the switch - if so, what are you planning?
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Interesting take, Dunny. I like the details you've added.
What type of rechargable batteries do you use for your locos?
I used NiMh AAA in this instance. Probably would have been easier with a different type saw LiPo, but I do not have confidence in that type of Battery at this time.
I’ve been thinking seriously about getting one for just such a conversion, so a very timely article, thanks. Are you going to disguise the wires under the running board below the switch - if so, what are you planning?
Yes the Switch and Wires have already been disguised with a Fuel Tank type of Box. It has a Lego Piece to act as the Filler Cap.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Another instalment to show where we are, pretty well finished all bits added, weathered and Test Run. Only now need to do some Number Labels and the job will be done oh and I forgot to put the Handrails back on yet either. Ooppps.

I remember in my early visits do the DR many odd small Narrow Gauge Diesels painted in blue. This was to be my concept colour for the 25Tonner, well it came in blue anyway (cos that was the cheepest one I could get). Thus an example of the sort of scheme I am looking at, completely different type of Diesel on the Rungen Island but you get the idea.
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My little beastie on Test Runs with most of the bits added showing the Train that it can manage, though a little bit of wheel slipping on return at the curve which has a bit of a Gradient.
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The following pic shows the enclosure that has been added to hide the Switch Wires and its disguise as a Fuel Tank.
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View underneath to show the Lead added that has been screwed onto the frame after cutting to size and painting on one side so that it is not apparent through the open parts of the Loco Frames.
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Views taken this morning after extensive dry weathering, the theory is that it has been getting very dusty at the Flourspar Loading Sidings, Flourspar being somewhat white. First pic showing the Fosworks RC Handset that drives the little beast.
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Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

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Very dirty - I was looking for the electrical lead that you had added and painted black :think::think::think::think:

until I realised that you had added a couple of strips of lead :D:D:D

I was worrying about the wires to the sound card, but I'm hoping it's just the camera angle that seems to show them close to the flange of the front wheel :wait::wait::wait:
 
spoz

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Nice job all around. Now, to get preliminary acquisition approval..... (although I’ve got a Climax to convert first)
 
Madman

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Nice job ! I was wondering what you were going to do with the red wires and toggle switch. Then I scrolled down, of course, viola'. I'm waiting for one to arrive. Should be here soon, I hope. Will also be converting it to battery power.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Very dirty - I was looking for the electrical lead that you had added and painted black :think::think::think::think:

until I realised that you had added a couple of strips of lead :D:D:D

I was worrying about the wires to the sound card, but I'm hoping it's just the camera angle that seems to show them close to the flange of the front wheel :wait::wait::wait:
The gap at that end is the same as at the other so plenty of clearance.
Nice job ! I was wondering what you were going to do with the red wires and toggle switch. Then I scrolled down, of course, viola'. I'm waiting for one to arrive. Should be here soon, I hope. Will also be converting it to battery power.
For ease a different type of Battery to NiMh AAA may make things simpler, but you know me windy of other types.
 
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Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

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For ease a different type of Battery to NiMh AAA may make things simpler, but you know me windy of other types.
Yep, I looked at Li-on for the MDC Hustler, which was also pretty tight (slightly less space between some of the wires and wheels than your 25T o_O ) but the entire technology is different, not just the chargers, and I think if you're going to go that way, you've got to have everything on Li-on, otherwise you'd have to have some massive database of what's been charged when, where and how.

Like you, I decided I had too many with NiMh battery packs, so I'd stay with that technology.

I save myself from charging nightmares by always re-charging after a running session - if I don't recharge a loco, it stays out on the bench for further running, or subsequent charging :rock::rock::rock::rock::rock::rock:
 
PhilP

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Hi Jon,
Just curious.. How fast does it go on ten cells? - I ask, as the Piko battery version runs on six, at a reasonable pace.
Thanks,
PhilP.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
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Hi Jon,
Just curious.. How fast does it go on ten cells? - I ask, as the Piko battery version runs on six, at a reasonable pace.
Thanks,
PhilP.
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:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
 
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PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Well..................
I know one of those will fall-off on the curves.. :devil::devil:
 
BakerJohn

BakerJohn

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Well..................
I know one of those will fall-off on the curves.. :devil::devil:
I did that the other day. I was testing my passenger train and it was going a bit fast. The coaches fell over at the curve.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

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I did that the other day. I was testing my passenger train and it was going a bit fast. The coaches fell over at the curve.
Wreck of the old 97 :oops::oops::oops::oops:
 
Madman

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Jon, in the event you change to Li-on, I have found Li-on batteries with the nomenclature of 168 as part of the type of Li-on battery that is is. They are very small, about the size of three AA batteries.

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Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
24,521
313
North West Norfolk
Jon, in the event you change to Li-on, I have found Li-on batteries with the nomenclature of 168 as part of the type of Li-on battery that is is. They are very small, about the size of three AA batteries.

View attachment 245491
Yes, you can get a lot more grunt out of a lot less space with Li-on batteries - the big issue is the charging regime which, at the time that I investigated, is not entirely straightforward. GE Rik of this parish has quite a lot of info about Li-on technology as he uses them exclusively :nod::nod:

Now to find a link to his blog spot - I may be some while :emo::emo:

Try this

Peckforton Light Railway: Quick introduction to the iMax B6 charger
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Hi Jon,
Just curious.. How fast does it go on ten cells? - I ask, as the Piko battery version runs on six, at a reasonable pace.
Thanks,
PhilP.
Quite slow, probably around 15-20 scale kph. Could go faster but I have put it on the slowest setting on the Speed Chip.
 
casey jones snr

casey jones snr

Registered
An excellent conversion Jon and a very enjoyable thread.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,524
234
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
An excellent conversion Jon and a very enjoyable thread.
Thanks Paul, will be an easy little beast to bring to your line when you are up and running again. Will be possible to fit it in a small box in my Rucksack when I come over by train.
 
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