Power for my Otto (and other)

JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
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After reading Mick's ( trammayo trammayo ) post the other reference his wagon with batteries and RC as alternative power this got me thinking (never a good thing) - My TE will not last for ever, not really repairable and spares are not easy to come by (outbid a number of times on THAT site), and both my Otto and Stainz are not really suitable for DCC, so a powered box car connected to either of these would be ideal. Having looked around this site lots of informations, but scattered and not easy to wade through, also surf of the web, and I have a basic idea of what I will need:
Transmitter (throttle): ideally able to control more than one loco.
Receiver: Ideally with a built in ESU
Battery Pack: Thinking of Lithium Ion
Ancillaries: Charging point, switch etc
So my questions are:
1) As the batteries will power my LGB 0 -22 volt locos what power batteries do I need?
2) Will the receiver take power from the loco battery or is a separate battery required?
I have looked at Fosworks, but it seems these only control a single loco, RC Trains receiver/ESU is limited to 13.5 volts, and Micron are similar to RCT, but still a lot of information top take in!
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Not trying to change your mind, but you can fit Otto and Stainz with DCC and sound. Please don't limit your options along that line.

You will find that many of the battery systems use DCC decoders.

One criteria missing is cost.

So if you are using a trailing car, size of the batteries is no concern, so please be confident that you can buy any size and capacity you want, and unless you are running mainline speeds, an 18v or so lithium pack will be fine...

For simplicity, a system that uses the main battery pack would be most simple, and if it were me I would not want my top speed limited by the inability or difficulty to run higher voltage packs.

You did not mention sound either.

So maybe we should get your criteria on cost and sound first, knowing that would eliminate some of the options.

I find instead of asking "what's best" and getting a whole bunch of options, if you use your criteria to eliminate options, you "get there" sooner

Best, Greg
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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23 Feb 2018
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Greg, many thanks for the info, the Otto may be able to be chipped, but my very old "pre-Bulher" motor Stainz is wired straight from the wheels to the motor, at least that what it looks like. Sound, I have sound tender and sound box wagon, both adequate for my needs, not that good at telling one train noise from another, deaf and tone deaf, so its more noise than sound.
Cost - Transmitter £80:00, Reciever/ESU £40:00, Batteries £30:00, set up for 1 loco £150:00, each additional loco £70:00, obviously these are "wet finger" costs.
What are the costs for a simple and basic DCC system?
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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I build a very inexpensive track powered 5 amp DCC system, but not with a wireless throttle... cost was about $210 for the 5 amp system. There's so many ways to go it's really impossible to say the "right way".

If cost is a target, my rule of thumb is track power with DCC vs. battery power with a similar level of control "trades off" at somewhere between 3 and 5 locos. Above that, battery power will cost more, and below that battery power will be cheaper.

This makes some assumptions about the level of functionality, you can get very cheap R/C systems if you give up control, flexibility, ability to run different locos.

So, it's definitely not cut and dried. Having a "trailing car" with a battery is definitely one of the least expensive ways to go.

I would recommend AirWire if you were in the states, in fact there are plenty of similar systems.

I thought the Fosworks system would allow control of multiple locos, but to make sure I follow you, were you thinking of having TWO trailing cars? If you are only running one loco at a time you only need an R/C system that talks to that single trailing car.

Greg
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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23 Feb 2018
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My thoughts were to "dip my toe in the water" with a single "trailing car", which would still give me track power, see how it feels, and if the TE fails sooner rather than later this would still give me a short term option. I am still, also considering live steam, and again, using the same single transmitter, but at this moment in time I am just considering my options.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
24,599
909
Tamworth, Staffs.
Jimmy
Have a look at Rik's blog:


Hours of happy reading and videos..
Then ask any questions you may have.
PhilP.

I will be at G-Rail on Sunday, if you want a natter.. :)
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
23 Feb 2018
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Phil, love to have natter, where will i find you!
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Jimmy,
Rik uses Deltang I am into FOSWORKS formerly by Peter Spoerer.

Both systems are very good and both would suit your needs. If sound is your need then My Loco Sound is not too bad though I am not that fond of the Whistles the last part to still be Electronic rather than a sample sound from the real thing as much of the other sounds are now so I believe.

If you are going to go down the route of a Battery Car you do need to make sure that the Wheels are not back feeding power to the Rails. This is achieved by inserting a DPDT Switch between the Wheels and the Circuit Board. The centre Tabs would be to the Board, two on one side to the Wheels the other end to your Battery Car. Now things get horses for courses choice. Deltang or Fosworks or another System, yes there are more out there.

Fosworks - Current Prices 19/5/2019
Transmitter - Omni Tx-2 £58 no inertia on this one, personally I find the inertia a bit of a pain but again that is just me.
Reciever - OMNIFRx22 £26 I have used the V version, long Aerial not really necessary but at only £2 extra may be worthwhile.
Speed Controller - ESC165 £33 wired up for Sound, a little less if you do not want sound.
Wiring Loom - PNP 110 £9.50 with the better Metal Based Switch, makes setting up a breeze.
Battery - BatAA at £3.00 each, suggest 12 at £36. This will give you plenty of Power and duration. On some of my Big Locomotives I get 4+ hours running with Sound on this size Battery. Steve will make up to your needs and shape. Send him a pic of what you want by making up with conventional Batts using tape.
Total £162.50

Now the bits that you only need to buy once.
Charger - CHG200 £29.50

Now the if you want it
Sound Card - SND700 £59 My Loco Sound for Steam
Speaker - £2.50-£6.00 depending on choice, ones in Sound Boxes (simpler but you can use a Rattle Can Lid) or not refine cost. Remember a larger Soeaker should give you a richer sound. If you are mounting in a Van then size would be not too much of a concern.
Snd-710 Sound Adjusting Remote £12 a once only purchase, you may get a domestic one to work or not!
Total Sound £77

Thus £269 for that first jump, not cheep but there are £99.50 worth of bits that you will only need to buy once. Plus you could delay the Sound till later, if you get the bits suggested (162.50 + 29.50 £192) it can be added later.

Other systems may work out cheaper or more expensive, I use Fosworks because I am familiar with the setup and have no issues with it.

Please note that I have no commercial connection with Fosworks, just a happy customer.

Steve of Fosworks is booked to be at Nottingham this Sunday.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
24,599
909
Tamworth, Staffs.
Phil, love to have natter, where will i find you!
I'll be floating around somewhere, though not first-thing. - Papers delivered first! :rolleyes:

I will be wearing a green 'Hunslet' branded polo-shirt and a GSS floppy hat (until I get fed-up of it!)..
Possibly eating cake :) and definitely annoying Mr Duffy! :devil::devil::devil::giggle:
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,942
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I'll be floating around somewhere, though not first-thing. - Papers delivered first! :rolleyes:

I will be wearing a green 'Hunslet' branded polo-shirt and a GSS floppy hat (until I get fed-up of it!)..
Possibly eating cake :) and definitely annoying Mr Duffy! :devil::devil::devil::giggle:
You eating Cake, who ever would have thought it!
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Further to my notes on Fosworks above, Brain Jones has added a new product called Unibox Plug and Play for Battery Radio Control. No price or presence in his Webb Site as yet but will probably be using the Big Clunky Plane / Car / Boat RC Controllers as is pretty well the norm with his offerings. But a good starting point for an External RC none the less.

I had thought about doing a comparison with Micron RC to my Fosworks one in Post 8, but having looked at the site decided that as I have no knowledge of their Products I would not be able to give a satisfactory comparison.
 
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JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
23 Feb 2018
2,384
445
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Weston-super-Mare
Jimmy
Have a look at Rik's blog:


Hours of happy reading and videos..
Then ask any questions you may have.
PhilP.

I will be at G-Rail on Sunday, if you want a natter.. :)
Phil, just read the Stainz conversion, and it seems to be close to what I am considering, and I have already put the socket on the rear. However mine is the (very) much earlier model.

As a point of interest, the motor block base plate, and general assembly looks a lot like my Anna, do you know where i could get a part number?
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
24,599
909
Tamworth, Staffs.
Do you have the LGB model number, for your Anna?
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
23 Feb 2018
2,384
445
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PhilP 92277
 
a98087

a98087

Registered
8 Nov 2009
1,561
60
32
Wiltshire
For my battery set up, this is what I use :

Battery’s - 3s lipo packs, of at least 1000mah

Tx and receiver - planet t5 now obsolete but you can use any set from hobbyking
Brushed motor esc designed for planes 20 amp rated
Mini servo
Dpdt switch

You can squeeze it into a stainz cab if you remove the firebox part.


For manual battery rc I use a pwm dc motor controller from eBay and a dpdt switch fo polarity and a fuse,
Total cost is less than £10

Dan
 
ge_rik

ge_rik

British narrow gauge (esp. Southwold and W&LLR)
24 Oct 2009
9,700
281
Cheshire
www.riksrailway.blogspot.com
Hi
Sorry, only just spotted this thread. You'll see from my blog that I've batteryised my Stainz in two different ways - trail car and then internal batteries. To answer your original question, I now use three 18650 li ion cells for most of my battery conversions which gives (nominally) 11.1v. This is more than enough to power LGB locos, provided you don't want top notch express train speeds.

To fit the cells in the cab, I used three 14500 li ion cells. These are smaller (AA sized) than 18650s so fit on the cab floor without having to modify the cab.

Details of these builds are on my blog, but feel free to PM me if you need any more info.

Rik
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Just out of interest I had a friend here with his LGB Diesel Running as Silberhütte Pilot all day. At the end of the 4 hour Timetable Seesion it was running round the circuit continuously for probably getting in for another hour. Uses the Tiny Deltang Controller and has Balanced Lipo Cells giving I think 12v. Looking at his setup to go into my Dapol 0 Gauge Terrier. Here is a sneak view of the insides of his Loco.
696663E7-B7B0-4A25-94A9-D566467F042A.jpeg

The Charging Plugs 2 of them to allow for Balanced Charging are mounted underneath. He did show me but I never took a pic. Here it is showing some grunt on one of end of day putting stuff back in the Shed Trips.
1A5D467B-0F44-48E3-ADC5-5DCB77D7B8C6.jpeg
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,942
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Hi Jon
I converted a Dapol Terrier to battery for a customer. It is possible but a very tight squeeze - How I converted a Dapol A1X Terrier loco to battery radio control

Rik
Thanks Rik, when I first looked at the Terrier my mind was on NiCadS, Fosworks DCC System with a Sound Decoder. That idea was quickly binned and the little beauty Boxed up and forgotten till yesterday. Despite my hate for Lipo’s I will one day just have to bite the bulletin on that Terrier. Also have a try with Deltang that I have had no experience of with Battery Conversions - as yet. Your Blog gives much help in that respect. Thanks again.
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
23 Feb 2018
2,384
445
65
Weston-super-Mare
Thank you all for your input, I have been and read various threads and the interwebby thing in general, and decided that I will "dip my toe" in the pool that is battery power, however it will be reversible.
The motor block has four connectors, though currently (no pun) connected together in pairs, I have already added a two pin (LGB) socket to the back of the loco, so the plan is to put a DPDT switch on the loco between the pick-ups/motor/socket, and battery power via a cable from a wagon.
So now I need to source the switch and the push on connectors for the motor block, and the batteries and R/C for the wagon. The question is NiMh, NiCad or li-ion batteries, I assume that for this small LGB loco 12 - 15 volts would be sufficient. also do I want sound!!