Piko 35040 R/C Pocket Remote Upgrade to Piko 38501 GE 25T 'Clean Machine'

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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I, or rather Mizzy, owns one of the Piko 'Clean Machine' battery powered locos.

It's ideal for layouts with continuous circuits, but our layout is a 'out and back' to a terminus one.

The control is a simple forward/off/reverse switch under the cab, with no speed control.

Piko later brought out the 38506 loco with the pocket remote control and they now make an upgrade kit which can be fitted to Piko and other makes, such as LGB.

This thread shows how I did our loco. Firstly, you need to remove 4 screws under the chassis to remove the body. I referred to the Manual supplied with the loco to check how to do this....

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Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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In the previous post, you can see the existing Piko PCBs and the battery pack, which is one I brought from Strikalite especially for this loco.

In the upgrade kit, are a pair of PCBs which replace these. There are various ways of wiring including wiring in parallel to the existing PCB, but I opted for the 'Direct Installation' as per Piko's instructions. Here, I have removed the original PCBs but left them wired, and fitted the replacement ones.

The 2 new PCBs are already wired together. Also, you can just make out the red antenna sticking out from underside the PCB at the bottom of the new PCB....

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Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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It is possible to use this upgrade to work from track power or a battery, by using the switch PCB, but if you do, you need to have a heatsink on the bridge rectifier on the PCB.

Our loco is battery only though. I had to cut a small chunk from the top corner of this PCB for it to fit where the original one was....

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Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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I swapped over the wires from the original PCB, to the new one, referring to Piko's instructions.

One of my wires was a brown colour rather than red, but I traced this to the head light to confirm it was correct.

There is a DIP rotary switch which you set to pair with the key-fob transmitter, which I set to 4....

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Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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Once this is done, replace the body on the chassis and test!

However, I seem to have a faulty PCB. Fortunately, Sandy of SGR is sending me another which he has tested and I should get it soon.

Here you can see the switch for power. Off is centre, rearwards is battery and forwards would be track power.

Note that I have only fitted one cleaning pad to the skate, so you can see how the cleaning works....

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Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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An update on this project.

I received a replacement unit from Sandy at SGR..

However, I had the same problem.

So I wired up a LGB Transformator and set it to 10 V, feeding the output to the track input of the switch PCB. It all worked as it should.

Happy with that, I then checked the battery packs. I have the original pack with new AAA batteries giving 8.9 V and a re-chargeble NiMH pack especially made for this loco from Strikalite reading 7.9 V. Both wouldn't work reliably. I tried a 9 V PP3 and then I got pulsed running.

It appears I'm on the limits of the Rx PCB which should work with 7 - 24 V dc.

If anyone has the red Piko 38506 Clean Machine, I'd be interested to how many of what type of battery it uses please....
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Give me a minute...
I'll open the box! :)

PhilP
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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I is back..

I have Uniross NiMH 800 series in mine..
Six of them, obviously.
 

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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I is back..

I have Uniross NiMH 800 series in mine..
Six of them, obviously.
Is your loco an upgraded 38501 like mine, or the red 38506 with R/C PhilP?

Sounds like you have the same Piko battery holder though....
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Mine is yellow, so a 38501 but that should make no difference at all..

7.95V is a little low for a newish battery pack of 6 cells..
Give them a charge, and see what you get then?

Look's like the specifications of the Piko RC are a bit optimistic?

PhilP
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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I have bodged-in a 2S Lipo and Rx60 into a 'spare' 6 x AAA holder, and have run it like that..
Not pretty, and much reduced runtime (I only had a 300mAh battery at the time.

I do not have a Piko RC unit, sorry Gizzy.
 

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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I'll give them a charge later.

I've ordered some higher capacity batteries from Strikalite to try as well....
 

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
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If NiMh cells are 1.2v, then you're only going to get 7.2v from 6 - you'd need 8 cells to get at least 9v, and I bet there's not enough room :think::think:
 

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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If NiMh cells are 1.2v, then you're only going to get 7.2v from 6 - you'd need 8 cells to get at least 9v, and I bet there's not enough room :think::think:
That is one of the problems Chuggy.

I might have to get Strikalite to make me a special pack. The one I brought is smaller than the Piko battery holder which has 6 AAA cells, so there might be some wiggle room for 8 cells?

Otherwise I could make something with a pair of PP3s in series....
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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I'll give them a charge later.

I've ordered some higher capacity batteries from Strikalite to try as well.
Unless you swap to Eneloop (hybrid) cells, they will still give a nominal 7.2V.-Eneloop cells are 1.5V so will give you 9V.

A larger capacity battery will give an extended runtime. - it will not help, if the problem is that the equipment needs a higher voltage than the specifications suggest?


Brand - new non-rechargeable batteries would give over 9V.
I wonder who specified / acceptance tested these units, and what batteries they used? :nerd: :wondering:
 

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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Unless you swap to Eneloop (hybrid) cells, they will still give a nominal 7.2V.-Eneloop cells are 1.5V so will give you 9V.

A larger capacity battery will give an extended runtime. - it will not help, if the problem is that the equipment needs a higher voltage than the specifications suggest?


Brand - new non-rechargeable batteries would give over 9V.
I wonder who specified / acceptance tested these units, and what batteries they used? :nerd: :wondering:
My Strikalite cells are Enerlong. As the pack is sold as a replacement for the Piko holder, I would have hoped it would be fine for the job, and it did work pre-upgrade.

My reasoning for higher capacity batteries is that I believe the cells are having too much current draw, as the motor and lights operate for a second before stalling. I'm still a little unsure about what is happening, but I'll persevere for now. The Strikalite pack is now on charge ready for testing tomorrow.

Otherwise, I'll be reverting back to the original fit....
 
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PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Gizzy,
I think the specifications of the Piko RC (down to 7V) are a little optimistic..

You could prove this :
Use an analogue DC system to supply 7.2V (check with a meter) and see if that works?
I do not think that it will..
Then try with the supply set to 9V. - I think this may well work?

If it works at 9V then an 8-cell pack would be fine.
However, I do not think you will be able to fit eight cells, without modifying the loco?

PhilP
 

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
34,037
1,731
60
Cambridgeshire
www.gscalecentral.net
Gizzy,
I think the specifications of the Piko RC (down to 7V) are a little optimistic..

You could prove this :
Use an analogue DC system to supply 7.2V (check with a meter) and see if that works?
I do not think that it will..
Then try with the supply set to 9V. - I think this may well work?

If it works at 9V then an 8-cell pack would be fine.
However, I do not think you will be able to fit eight cells, without modifying the loco?

PhilP
I was using 10 V dc earlier from a LGB 5003 Transformator I use for testing, so I could try it tomorrow.

I might be able to fit a larger battery pack, if I move the weights either side of the space inside the bonnet. Refer to post #1. There is 3 mm space either side of the Piko battery holder, and the Strikalite pack is narrower, so I could gain 6 mm?

I've packed up the loco for now, so Mizzy and I could get on with painting our Signal Boxes....
 

beavercreek

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Hi Gizzy
I have the Piko battery 'Clean Machine' and am wanting to 'RC' it with the Piko 34050 kit.
If you take out the weight plates from the sides that will give plenty of room for extra batteries.
The plates could be redistributed around the chassis. Or pieces of lead could be used (I have some lead flashing that I use for cutting out shaped pieces)
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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This is all very well..
But IF the system will not just 'drop-in' and work, Piko should say as much, and the specifications of the unit should be amended.

What we need, is either a Forumite who has the RC fitted version, or a Dealer with one, to look-see what battery arrangement it has. :think::wondering:

There is nothing I have seen, to suggest this should be anything but a straight swap, only requiring a screwdriver.

PhilP