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    • August 1, 2020 7:23 AM EDT
    • LGB forneys have a large weight in the boiler and there is not enough room for multiple boards and these need to be somewhat narrow.

      I am DCC track power and put the decoder in the boiler and the speaker in the fuel bunker. 

    • August 1, 2020 1:12 AM EDT
    • I'm thinking of going to Airwire for an LGB Forney that I've been struggling to convert.  Has anyone done this??  If so what decoder is the appropriate one??


    • July 20, 2020 8:30 PM EDT
    • HJE is the brand sold by RLD Hobbies where I purchased from. I’ve also seen them on the Reindeer Pass site. I’ve thought about it just purchasing future batteries through Tenergy. But I’ll check out Don Sweets site

    • July 20, 2020 7:53 PM EDT
    • Not that it matters, but who is HJE?  I see a lot of dealers sell this brand, but can find no manufacturer info.  I buy MTO batteries from Don Sweet, RCS of New England. MTO has a website with technical data on their packs which can be helpful.

    • July 20, 2020 1:44 PM EDT
    • Thanks Jon!!  I think I'll heed your advice and leave it all alone.  In the meantime I'll search for a different battery so I can get this engine up and running again.


    • July 20, 2020 1:08 PM EDT
    • Short answer: No.


      The cells inside are spot welded to metal bus bars which in turn are soldered directly to the PCB.   To split the cells you would need to un-solder the PCB from the cells and completely re-wire. Not something I would suggest for someone with no experience.


      That 8 cell pack would give you a very long run time.  If a pack half that thick (same width) would fit without modification, then you would do just fine with a 4 cell pack.  I run 4-cell 3500Mah packs and I get many hours (sometimes days) of runtime from various locos.  If you are roundy-round you would get less time than me as my trains sit idling more than they move, but still should be good for 3-4 hours of continuous operation from a 4 cell pack. One made with the same cells would be about 3350 Mah.

    • July 20, 2020 11:35 AM EDT
    • This is the battery I was hoping to install in the 3 truck shay tender.  The original NiMH batteries were two 7.4 volts put in series...each battery was slender and was siliconed at a slight angle against the side walls of the tender.  This allowed space for the speaker.  So my question is can I split this battery in to two parts and but not touch or mess with any of the wiring or circuitry?  I'd Shrink wrap the two pieces again and install like the original two batteries...The key point for me is not touching the wires, rewiring, messing with any of the PC board stuff...



    • July 18, 2020 8:25 PM EDT
    • Thanks.  I did the remote wiring on my Shay. 3 cells in the boiler and one cell in the air tank.   Worked perfect on the bench, but when I took it apart to put in the loco, I triggered something on the PCB and it wouldn't work. Ended up finding a way to reset the PCB, then all was good.


      When my Porter batteries eventually give up the ghost, I will change to one of the 4 cell balancing PCBs.  For now, I won't fix what I can't see (cell voltage variation).

    • July 18, 2020 6:00 PM EDT
    • Jon,


      Perhaps my assertion requiring separate regimen's was to matter of fact!


      Each of the two batteries should have a simple PCB or battery protection circuit board. Cell imbalance is inevitable, series-wired-charged cells suffer imbalance by design and the charger sees the average voltage of the two batteries through the PCB's. Each PCB acts independently if need be as well. In the scheme of things as you've realized it works; best scenario, NOT! The consideration/inconvenience of two charging regimens is doable, but why? You can purchase a 4 cell, 30A, 14.8V, 4S Li-ion, 18650 Battery BMS-PCB Protection Board with cell "Balancing" for $3.00. Or use the original protection board and remote wire the two cells.



    • July 18, 2020 11:31 AM EDT
    • Michael Glavin said:


      Purchasing two separate two cell batteries is an option, but you'd have to charge them separately.



      Hi Michael - Thanks for adding your expertise.  When I did my Porter install Tenergy Customer Service told me that it was OK to charge two 2-Cell packs wired in series together as a single 4 cell pack.  I have been doing it that way with my Porter for years. I understand that there are limitations and disadvantages to doing it this way, but so far (5+ years) both packs are holding up well.  What are the disadvantages besides possible imbalance?

    • July 18, 2020 10:12 AM EDT
    • Richard,


      Yes, you can series connect two 2-cell Li-Ion batteries. That said the are caveats. What size, capacity and make battery did you purchase? I'm not suggesting you attempt to modify a Li-Ion battery yourself! If this the only way you see fit to make this happen let us know. Some of us have the proper equipment and experience with battery assembly and the knowledge to get-er done. Purchasing two separate two cell batteries is an option, but you'd have to charge them separately.



    • July 18, 2020 9:59 AM EDT
    • Yes. I do this in my side tank Porter, with one of the two cell packs in each water tank.  Each pair has it's own PC Board. The battery packs are wired in series and charged as a single 4 cell pack.  This is not an ideal situation since during run or charge, one board may cut off before the other.  If you never run the loco until it stops (the way you always should with LiIon) and use a programmable charger like you have purchased, the charge should cut off well before the PC board trips as "full".


      Better would be to split up a 4 cell pack and keep the single PCB. That will do a better job of keeping the cells somewhat balanced, but still not perfect.  Since you bought the balancing charger, the best wiring would be to include the individual cell leads or the balance charger's input and then charge with the balancing program.  This requires a bit of wiring and a connector that fits the charger.


      I am far from the expert here. If Michael Glavin. chimes in again I would take his advice over mine!  He has taught me a lot over the years.


      EDITED to clarify a few statements and to add this picture of a balance charge in progress on Frankenbattery...

    • July 17, 2020 11:25 PM EDT
    • new Li-ion is a tad to big to fit in the 3-Truck Shay tender. It runs into the speaker just enough to not allow the tender shell to close.

      so question... can I series 2 7.2 volt Li-ions safely?


    • July 17, 2020 11:23 PM EDT
    • new Li-ion is a tad to big to fit in the 3-Truck Shay tender. It runs into the speaker just enough to not allow the tender shell to close.

      so question... can I series 2 7.2 volt Li-ions safely?


    • July 17, 2020 10:22 PM EDT
    • Rooster, thank you...I feel so much better now!

    • July 17, 2020 9:35 PM EDT
    • I was hoping you would post that!

    • July 17, 2020 12:02 PM EDT
    • Thanks Jon...when I purchased the Li-ion batteries I also purchased a Tenergy TB6B Multifunction Balance Charger.


    • July 17, 2020 11:59 AM EDT
    • That looks like a Polyfuse. Also looks like it's the first thing, connected in series with the battery on the left which is logical for a fuse.  So, yes - leave it in the circuit.  You will probably need a different charger for a LiIon pack.

    • July 17, 2020 11:59 AM EDT
    • The CVP (AirWire) website has articles about using the two different batteries, I think from what I read, using the correct charger is most important as you want your battery protected from overcharging, which can lead to a disaster if not done correctly.