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    • April 24, 2018 6:20 PM EDT
    • A fuse would be a good start, cheap and easy.

       

      Charging in that holder? My concern would be related to my charging current, as long as you are not super fast charging it should be fine, and LESS than the current flowing when running the loco!!! Think in that context.

       

      Greg

    • April 24, 2018 6:01 PM EDT
    • Well, let me comment that I have had some feedback about the undesirability of using those cells and charging them in that kind of holder.  Hopefully the critics will add their 2 cents so we can all understand the issues.

       

      Note that I am NOT charging the batteries 'in situ' in the holder shown.  While the loco has a charger socket, my batteries came with an external smart charger so when I charge them, they are removed from the loco.

       

      In addition, there is no protection for discharge, or short circuits.  I will probably add a pcm to provide some protection in future.  As I only run on a friends layout for maybe 1/2 hr, I do not think I will ever discharge them enough to damage them.

    • April 24, 2018 1:56 PM EDT
    • A nicad that size is way heavier. Lithiums, like the element are lighter than any other battery for the same volume.

       

      I see you were homing in on the problem, as your modifications show. Also the older holder does not seem to wrap around the batteries as much.

       

      Greg

    • April 24, 2018 12:37 PM EDT
    • "Bragging Rights! "

      Works every time!

      Uh I'll pass on the prize.

    • April 24, 2018 12:19 PM EDT
    • John Caughey said:

      The batteries are dense and a sharp bounce could depress a weak spring allowing a battery to break contact. Horizontally there is no such condition.

       

      What did I win?

       

      Bragging Rights!  Or the old battery holder if you want it.  Here it is.

       

       

      There's a considerable difference in the springs between the old one and the new one in my earlier photo above.  I had already added small brass screws to assist with the battery contact, as you can see.  The solution came to me when I realized I was jiggling the batteries every time.  And yes, LiIon 18650s are quite heavy.

    • April 24, 2018 12:15 PM EDT
    • Not real sure what the electirical problem is, but it does look like your engineer is refusing to go - maybe you just need to pay him more, or at least change management style. 

      Almost missed that one, Bruce.  He's actually sitting back as the boxcab has the latest "Automatic Train Control".  It even beeps if the engine tries to veer out of its tracks.

       

    • April 24, 2018 11:40 AM EDT
    • The batteries are dense and a sharp bounce could depress a weak spring allowing a battery to break contact. Horizontally there is no such condition.

       

      What did I win?

    • April 24, 2018 11:04 AM EDT
    • well don't hold us in suspense, which guess was it and did it fix the problem!!

    • April 24, 2018 11:03 AM EDT
    • Pete Thornton said:

       Hint: maybe you guys aren't too familiar with the physical characteristics of LiIon 18650 batteries?

      Correct deduction; I have never used them and it has been about a decade since I've done anything with rechargeable batteries, or radio control.

    • April 24, 2018 10:15 AM EDT
    • Well, John nailed the issue, and lots of you got close, but not how/why the actual problem is caused.  Here's the solution I came up with - now what was wrong with the old set up?  Hint: maybe you guys aren't too familiar with the physical characteristics of LiIon 18650 batteries?

       

       

      P.S.  I haven't actually tested this to prove it solves the problem! But I am pretty confident it will.

    • April 24, 2018 9:41 AM EDT
    • Since there is a new battery holder outside the engine, it could be because the batteries are standing up vs. lying down in the holder.

      I doubt there are any missing contacts as the symptom is interrupted service, not a lack of.

    • April 24, 2018 8:50 AM EDT
    • Battery holder, second from the left upper contact appears to be missing, at least it's not through the end and flared over like the others

    • April 24, 2018 7:56 AM EDT
    • John Caughey said:

      Those slide switches aren't real reliable. I'd check that first

      My guess as well.

       

    • April 24, 2018 12:49 AM EDT
    • Pete,

       

      I just noticed it looks like the battery holder appears to be damaged from heat above the top of the cell on the right side? Perhaps high resistance presented itself at the intersection of the cells negative pole and spring tab creating enough heat to disfigure the plastic and reduce conductivity of same..

       

      Michael

    • April 24, 2018 12:06 AM EDT
    • I agree, it's the battery on the far right that is almost out of contact.

       

      Greg

    • April 23, 2018 11:55 PM EDT
    • Pete,

       

      What is going on with the three RED wires at right center above a black doodad opposite side of grab irons? What are the red wires connected to?  Looks like they need to be all connected together?

       

      I note the battery negative feeds into a terminal strip of sorts, with jumpers interconnecting all black wires. Something loose therein?

       

      Michael

    • April 23, 2018 10:16 PM EDT
    • David Maynard said:

      Not being able to fully trace the wires, I cant say for sure. But if a colour code was properly followed, then why is a red and back wire, wire nutted together?

      I believe that is the disconnected battery connector, not wire nuts...

    • April 23, 2018 8:21 PM EDT
    • Not being able to fully trace the wires, I cant say for sure. But if a colour code was properly followed, then why is a red and back wire, wire nutted together?

    • April 23, 2018 7:36 PM EDT
    • Hit a bump and bump the switch to an intermediate position, then have to jiggle it back into position.

    • April 23, 2018 5:53 PM EDT
    • Pete Thornton said:

      I finally figured out what the problem was.  Can you guess from this photo?

      I'm wondering if batteries are getting bounced out of holder; two on our right look to be displaced toward us from the contact points on holder.

      And, yeah, at least get the driver an on-board coffee pot or something.