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  • Topic: A inexpensive battery RC setup?

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    • November 27, 2015 5:12 PM EST
      • Cape Cod,
         
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      A inexpensive battery RC setup?

       Today was a rare nice day in these parts so running trains was on my mind.   After a tough time of dealing with dirty track and cleaning engine wheels I'm thinking I need a battery RC engine.    

       I like my track power since it is usually reliabe and it works for any of my 7 engines that get regular use and the 10 or so more that sometimes do.  

       

      Question:   I have a Aristocraft RS3 that is going under the knife this Winter.   If I were to battery RC this engine what would the be the easiest to install and operate and least expensive system to use?   Since this a small loco  I understand I would probably need to setup a battery trailing car.

       

      Can I setup this loco to work on battery then flip a switch and bring it back to track power? 

       Thanks.

       

    • November 27, 2015 6:08 PM EST
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      Todd,

      I can't offer specific advice on the RS3, but Li-ion batteries are very small these days.  Just get the ones with a built-in PCB to control the charge/discharge.

      Yes you can set it up to work on track or battery.  Just make sure the battery has an on/off switch, then put a DPDT switch on the motor leads.  One side to the track pickups, the other side to the motor output of the r/c throttle.

       

      the easiest to install and operate and least expensive system to use?

       

      That, my friend, is somewhat subjective.  There are lots of threads in various places asking those same questions.  Kevin ran a series in Garden Railways on the various systems, but I still couldn't tell you the answer!  I personally use the RCS Elite and an old Aristo TE.

      This post was edited by Pete Thornton at November 27, 2015 6:09 PM EST
      ____________________________________

       

        Pete

    • November 27, 2015 7:35 PM EST
      • Odenton, Maryland
         
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      Todd,

      If you'd like, I can dig up the schematics that my father drew up when he converted his RS3 to be (I do believe)  both RC battery and track powered for the RC.  He used the old TrainEngineer (AC) transmitter/receive, I've since took out the TrainEngineer and was planning on converting it to the Revolution system, but haven't...yet.

      I'd have to think about it, or someone else online here can describe what you need.  I think the basic component will be a DPDT (Double Pole Double Throw) switch (to pick if it will be batter vs. track powered).

      Matt

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      To Infinity and Beyond...

    • November 27, 2015 7:46 PM EST
      • Shut up Rooster
         
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      Todd Im all about simple battery powered.  I used  the critter control on a few of my engines.  https://www.gscalegraphics.net/store/p2/Simple_Critter_Control.html   You can use a DPDT switch so you can switch between track power and battery or even easier,  get rid of the track power all together.  If you want forward and reverse just use a DPDT switch.  I used a lithium battery because they are small and hold a charge much longer when just sitting.   My Class A climax is done this way and it doesn't get much more simple then that. 

    • November 27, 2015 7:53 PM EST

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      Shawn Viggiano said:

      Todd Im all about simple battery powered.   My Class A climax is done this way and it doesn't get much more simple then that. 

        

            

    • November 27, 2015 8:18 PM EST
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      Hi Todd,  I did a RS-3 for Kevin in Hyannis and now doing a conversion (USAT GP-38) for Andrew in Yarmouth Port. He is new to G scale and I would like to meet you guys on the Cape. 

       If you want a modular system that will grow for use in future locos I can offer some options. Is your RS-3 an earlier version without the track/battery switch? If so there is plenty of room for on-board and 2 hour runtime batteries. If your RS-3 is the newer version with the socket then the REVO  or RailLinx will plug in and just add a battery. Done!

      If you want more details and pricing I can email you or visit my web site.

      Don

    • November 28, 2015 8:33 AM EST
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      If only one engine is to be done then a dedicated system may be the best choice cost wise, but if you want to run several conversions from a single controller then there are choices to be made here also.  I would definitely want speed and direction control as the original poster does have a good sized outdoor RR.

      What size battery, current rating (more amps expressed in mah (MillAmpHours) is longer run time) and voltage (higher is faster speed).  THe RS3 is a 2 motor engine and I would suggest 3 or more amps (3000mah) and at least 18 volts.  Be aware that some 22 volt batteries when fully charged are over 22 volts and the receivers are rated at 22 volts max, so be sure the battery you purchase is under the receiver max voltage spec.

      SO, bigger battery features take up more space.

      Also consider the charger expense and features for best battery protection.

       

       

       

       

    • November 28, 2015 12:20 PM EST
      • Northridge, Ca
         
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      I just did a conversion to my Aristo Critter using the Railboss control system and a 14.4v battery in a trailing car. I wanted something simple that even my 4 year old granddaughter could use. I also wanted the option of using track power when I bring it indoors.

      I have a crude drawing of how I wired in the DPDT switch

      http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/24642/rc-batter-conversion-for-critter

      Good luck

    • November 28, 2015 12:28 PM EST
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Todd Haskins said:  Since this a small loco  I understand I would probably need to setup a battery trailing car.

      Todd,

      You must be joking! The Aristo RS-3 is a big loco. There is plenty of room inside the front (long) hood for everything needed. I just converted mine using the Crest Revo system, Tenergy nimh batteries (9.6v 2000mah x2) and a great sounding and inexpensive 1 inch speaker with enclosure from All-Electronics. Of course you have to gut everything else that is under the hood (like the smoke unit).

      Here's a video of mine after conversion...

       

       

       

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • November 28, 2015 1:36 PM EST

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      Yeah, I did not get the "small loco" either, maybe meant "narrow" so you have to pick your battery packs more carefully.

       

      By the way, the oval speaker that comes stock with the RD-3 is excellent sounding, one of the few locos I run with a stock speaker.

      Just don't run it in the rain!

       

      Greg

       

       

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    • November 28, 2015 3:11 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      IF your RS-3 is the later model with the power plugs at each end and track/battery switch it is tailor made for a trailing car system.  The advantage of a trail car is that you can share it with multiple locos - a nice convenience when first getting started in battery. There are also a few disadvantages to a trail car, one being that the car needs always be there. If you a a roundy-round person this isn't a problem, but can be an issue for switching operations. Another disadvantage is that the lights work the same as with track power, dim or none at low speed to bright when cruising. Again, not a real problem fro roundy-round but an annoyance when switching as lights indicate direction of travel.

       

      I mounted one of Del's original Rail Boss systems in a trail car for all my 1:29 locos along with a Phoenix 2K2 and a large speaker. To solve the direction issue I wired some bi-color LED's to the Railboss lighting output. I can run two RS-3s of a single 2200MAH 14.4V LiIon pack....

      When I first designed this system I was using track power. The car has ball bearing wheels with power pick-up and wanted to keep that capability, thus the Battery/Track switch in the trail car.

       

      Edit to add: Version 3 build thread is here: http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/15875/cheesy-sound-car-version-3

      This post was edited by Jon Radder at November 28, 2015 3:21 PM EST
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    • November 28, 2015 5:25 PM EST
      • Cape Cod,
         
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       Hmmm   Railboss,  Rail Linx,   Revolution, RCS,  critter control ??    too many choices.   At least the DPDT switch to isolate track power sounds relatively easy to do.

       

      The RS3 is not so small as it is narrow.  wink.      I checked mine and despite it being in a yellow box it does not have a track/ battery switch.  I pulled the lid on the top and there is a switch for lights, smoke and motors.      

      I do have a good size RR over 500 feet of track with grades so having the ability to control the speed and direction with RC is a must.  If I can get away without using a trailing car that would be great.  I had a thought about trailing cars has anyone ever used a dummy loco to hold the batteries?   

       

       

       

       

       

    • November 28, 2015 6:21 PM EST

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      I am just about to start a new diesel demo loco for myself.  I chose the later version RS-3 as IMHO it is the smoothest running diesel AristoCraft ever produced.  It will feature the new Dallee sound systems.  Kadee servo uncouplers will be fitted at either end.  No special parts are needed for controlling them individually on the loco.

      The later model RS-3's also benefit from having the trucks reversed so the rigid wheelbase is considerably reduced.  Doing so takes advantage of the excellent 3 point suspension in the BB versions of the trucks.

       

      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • November 29, 2015 7:06 AM EST
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      Todd, check out the different sized battery packs that Don Sweet has at the January BIG-E meet.

      I am sure one will fit in the RS3 nicely.  Bring the shell to make sure!!  Receiver could go in the short hood end, batteries in the long end.

      Battery extra weight will give more pulling power!!  Also, change lights to LEDS.

    • November 29, 2015 9:34 AM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Deciding on what R/C system to buy is definitely as little overwhelming. I/m not sure if the article mentioned above had a feature comparison chart - if it did that would be a great help in determining which one fits your needs.  Your biggest challenge is determining what you need.

       

      I hear you on the trail car - self contained is always preferred if possible.  A dummy loco could certainly be used if needed, but you should have no problem stuffing everything inside an RS3. A self contained R/C loco could also be used to power an M/U'd loco with a little added wiring.

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    • November 29, 2015 11:13 AM EST
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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       Hi Todd, Dan mentioned about the different shapes of batteries I have. I can send you some now to fit and if they are not what you want stop by the booth at the show to swap them.  I added photos of batteries and different system boards in the album section under RailLinx Components for your RS-3. Notice the size comparison between various brands.   I was surprised how long the AirWire is.  When you choose, the smallest board will be the easiest to place inside the RS-3.

      Recently I lashed up two USAT  S4. The first unit has all the gear and the second unit a additional battery. Thanks to Tony's BIKU design this is the easiest method to connect a second battery.

      Don

       



    • November 29, 2015 11:58 AM EST

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      Todd - the most inexpensive radio control you are likely to find may be this one:

      http://www.tmart.com/8A-Wireless-Single-way-Dimmer-Black-12-24V_p124102.html

      It uses a simple LED lighting control unit and a small hand-held RC transmitter - as you receive it you don't have a reverse option but adding that is described on my web page here:  http://www.trainelectronics.com/Articles/RadioControl-LED-8Amp/index.htm

      I had a great time working with these little gems and have used them very successfully on my outdoor railroad when I just want to run a small train around the yard.  The ones I built up had no trouble with a Shay pulling a number of cars. 

      If you are OK with no reverse the hole thing can be done for less than $10.00 plus batteries.

      Please let me know if you have any questions.

       

      dave

       

    • November 29, 2015 9:38 PM EST
      • Cape Cod,
         
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      That is a neat little system David that might be a good thing to put in a railbus.

       

       I will have to check out your site Don.  

       

      This battery inquiry is to merely start the process and get some ideas. The actual build won't happen until after Miks build challenge.

       

      I'm curious about your build Tony, do keep us posted.  

       

       

    • November 30, 2015 6:53 AM EST
      • Shut up Rooster
         
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      David I bought a few of those when you first posted that.  I have a few smaller engines to convert, might look into using that system again.   

    • November 30, 2015 8:17 AM EST
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      In Austrailia Greg Hunter used automotive key fobs to run his RR at the Sandstone and termite RR.  Check out his website.

      Greg has tried to keep costs down as the freight and duty taxes make everything very expensive in the land down under.

       

      He did have his RR published in Garden Railways  (1999 issue I believe).

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