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  • Topic: Battery Powered Passenger Car LEDs

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    • April 9, 2018 2:00 PM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      Battery Powered Passenger Car LEDs

      My latest project is a string of age appropriate passenger cars for my detailed Kalamazoo 4-4-0. When I started the project an embarrassingly long time ago, I was going to use track power and capacitors to avoid the dreaded blinkys. However, I am now impressed with the rapidly advancing small battery technology and am exploring batteries in each car. One that intrigues me is a Garberiel 3.7v 6000mah li-ion cell. The 6000mah seems too good to be true. Would this work in my application? Am I missing something?

      Thanks,
      David

      This post was edited by David Palmeter at April 9, 2018 2:03 PM EDT
    • April 9, 2018 4:38 PM EDT
      • Elverta, CA
         
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      David,

       

      A 3.7V, 6000mAh Lithium battery is certainly doable. That said 6000mAh battery is a lot of battery power for a single coach me thinks. Are you going to retain the incandescent OEM bulbs? LED's typically draw about 20mA each while incandescent T1 bulbs atypical of our coaches run the gamut, maybe 70-170mA.

       

      Make sure you employ a charger designed specifically for Lithium cells and the voltage and or battery size you have in hand!

       

      Michael

      This post was edited by Michael Glavin at April 9, 2018 4:39 PM EDT
    • April 9, 2018 5:24 PM EDT
      • West Glocester, Rhode Island
         
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      David Palmeter said:

      One that intrigues me is a Garberiel 3.7v 6000mAh li-ion cell. The 6000mAh seems too good to be true.

      They lie.  Highest capacity Li-ion 18650 battery you can get is like 3400mAh.   A quality 3400mAh battery should power LED's for about a solid week.

      This post was edited by Dan Gilchrist at April 9, 2018 5:40 PM EDT
    • April 9, 2018 5:50 PM EDT

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      David Palmeter said:

      My latest project is a string of age appropriate passenger cars for my detailed Kalamazoo 4-4-0. When I started the project an embarrassingly long time ago, I was going to use track power and capacitors to avoid the dreaded blinkys. However, I am now impressed with the rapidly advancing small battery technology and am exploring batteries in each car. One that intrigues me is a Garberiel 3.7v 6000mah li-ion cell. The 6000mah seems too good to be true. Would this work in my application? Am I missing something?

      Thanks,
      David

      David - the cells that I use are rated at 3000 ma and I believe that claim - they also have a built in protection circuit that prevents overcharging and over discharging - If you don't have such a circuit you can easily kill a LiIon cell.

      Here is a link to where I purchased them

      https://www.amazon.com/18650-Rechargeable-Lithium-Ion-Batteries/dp/B01CIN1XF2/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1523310403&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=ecogear+fx+3000ma

      dave

    • April 9, 2018 6:37 PM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      Thanks to all for your comments. Yes, I will be using LEDs and want all the mAh I can get for the longest possible time between charges. Further research indicates 'mAh' scams up to 9900mAh of fantasy and/or dangerous power. So, some questions:

      The cells that you mentioned, dave, were noted in Amazon comments to be a bit larger than some.

      What charger do you use?

      What cell holders do you use?

      I am assuming that the 3.7v can be fed directly to the LEDs in parallel without resistors - true?

    • April 9, 2018 11:38 PM EDT
      • Elverta, CA
         
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      David Palmeter said:

      Thanks to all for your comments. Yes, I will be using LEDs and want all the mAh I can get for the longest possible time between charges.

      I am assuming that the 3.7v can be fed directly to the LEDs in parallel without resistors - true?

       

       

       

      David,

       

      You cannot run the 3.7V cell unbridled... Off charge Lithium are generally in the 4.2V range...

       

      FWIW: Running Lithium batteries down to voltage cut-out numbers is highly detrimental to the cells life cycle. Yes a bigger mAh battery will allow you longer run time between charge intervals. That said if it were me I'd run the batteries down know more than 60% if I expected them to last for years. You can charge Lithium battery technology as often as you like without issue, even if they are slightly discharged.

       

      Michael

    • April 10, 2018 4:33 AM EDT

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      David Palmeter said:

      Thanks to all for your comments. Yes, I will be using LEDs and want all the mAh I can get for the longest possible time between charges. Further research indicates 'mAh' scams up to 9900mAh of fantasy and/or dangerous power. So, some questions:

      The cells that you mentioned, dave, were noted in Amazon comments to be a bit larger than some.

      What charger do you use?

      What cell holders do you use?

      I am assuming that the 3.7v can be fed directly to the LEDs in parallel without resistors - true?

       

      David - I would use a current limiting resistor with the LEDs just to be safe.  You could also use a CL2N3 to limit current - very cool device - see

      http://www.trainelectronics.com/LED_Articles_2007/LED_104/index.htm

      The spec sheet says they need 5 volts to operate - I have not tried them with a single 3.7 volt cell - I'll give that a try and get back to you.

       

      The cells are larger (longer, actually) as they have the protection circuit installed - I use magnets to hold the connections in place -  I have also soldered wires directly to the cells - not something to try unless you are very fast and very careful as Lithium Ion cells don't like heat.

       

      And I frequently use a charger that holds on with magnets - very convenient - see

      https://www.banggood.com/Folomov-A1-Multifunctional-Mini-Portable-Magnetic-Li-ion-Battery-Charger-p-1228676.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=CN

       

      dave

       

      This post was edited by David Bodnar at April 10, 2018 4:34 AM EDT
    • April 10, 2018 6:01 AM EDT

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      David - we can cross the CL2N3 off of the list of options - the device was true to its data sheet - I just tried one and it didn't start conducting till it was close to 5 volts -

      A 15 ohm resistor worked well and allowed about 30 ma at 3.7 volts with a 5 warm white LED load - when I increased the voltage to 4.2 volts the current went up to 50 ma

      I hope that helps

      Have fun experimenting!

      dave

    • April 10, 2018 9:19 AM EDT

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      How is this for a coincidence?  The latest email blast from Instructables has a feature on how to make magnetic connectors for 18650 cells

      see

      https://www.instructables.com/id/Magnetic-Connectors-for-Batteries/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email

       

      dave

    • April 10, 2018 9:22 AM EDT
      • Missouri
         
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      David Bodnar said:

      How is this for a coincidence?  The latest email blast from Instructables has a feature on how to make magnetic connectors for 18650 cells

      see

      https://www.instructables.com/id/Magnetic-Connectors-for-Batteries/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email

       

      dave

      As well as battery connections, functiional cat-to-car connections?

    • April 10, 2018 1:04 PM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      "How is this for a coincidence?  The latest email blast from Instructables has a feature on how to make magnetic connectors for 18650 cells

      see

      https://www.instructables.com/id/Magnetic-Connectors-for-Batteries/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email "

      That IS a coincidence, dave, I was just going to ask how you connect wires to a battery, I am not comfortable soldering to a Li-Ion battery. Also, I am going to build the whole lighting system into the roof and use magnets to attach the roof to the car body for easy access. Thanks to everyone for all your comments, I'll post the results when I get the cars back together and get the light assembly built.....

      This post was edited by David Palmeter at April 10, 2018 1:17 PM EDT
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