Large Scale Central

Grasping the battery decision

I’ve started a new thread to avoid walking on others. I’ve been reading up on the topic for awhile since I decided I was done with track cleaning. I recently bought the RailPro and a couple of their boards to start playing with. But with a number of different Bachmann engines, the battery dimensions are also a consideration.

First, I’m trying to understand real difference between the nickel vs lithium batteries.

Second, is the voltage. I was thinking 14.whatever but now I’m reading about higher?

Lastly, figuring out which packs for which engines. Initially, I’m going with what I think (hope) will be the easiest conversion (due to tender) either the K27 or C16. But eventually will need to do the 2 and 3 truck Shays, 2nd gen Climax, and the 2-6-6-2.

If you’re going with steam or early diesel, which is what I did, 14.8 Volts was enough. It really depends on how fast you like to run your trains. I think some of the diesel guys use higher voltage batteries.

The lithium ion batteries are a lot lighter than the nickel; I usually put my batteries in the tender, so lighter was better; heavy would only be good if you were installing the batteries in the loco, as that would give it more pulling power.

If you’re unsure, call up Don Sweet and talk with him; he’s very helpful AND he has the stuff you need. (Contact info can be found at https://rcsofne.com/)

Mickey,

Not sure what scale you are using, but for G-scale consider this

It’s a “step-up/step-down” so no matter what the battery voltage, your engine always sees the

set output voltage. Even more important, it shuts down when your battery pack gets to its “minimum safe level”,

preventing damage to the battery.

If you’re going with steam or early diesel, which is what I did, 14.8 Volts was enough.

I am with Bruce on all he says. Non of my locos have more than 4 LiIon cells, with avg 14.4V (actual is 16V to 12V, when the BMS kicks in.) NiMH lose charge constantly, and I recharge all my r/c packs every 6 months whether they have been used or not. (Most of my live steamers have spaces set up for AA cells, so its NiMH or non-rechargeables.) The LiIon packs are still fully charged after 6 months.

I recently installed 14.8V, 5,200 mAH of Lithium Polycells in an AristoCraft FA. Personally, I think full speed is still a might too slow and would step up to the next available voltage if I was running trains with it. But, I use it for track cleaning and testing so no big deal for me and I can switch it to run on track power and run faster once the rails maintain continuity. You can always throttle down.

Todd Brody said:

I recently installed 14.8V, 5,200 mAH of Lithium Polycells in an AristoCraft FA. Personally, I think full speed is still a might too slow and would step up to the next available voltage if I was running trains with it. But, I use it for track cleaning and testing so no big deal for me and I can switch it to run on track power and run faster once the rails maintain continuity. You can always throttle down.

Yep - I think that for modern diesels you want more power AND speed, so higher voltage are typically better. However, if you run slow, then 14.8V MAY still be good. This is where it’s good to talk in person to different folks.

I used a maximum of 14.8V in all my locos (I do run small trains) most are 12V and they run just fine, in fact I rarely use full throttle unless the battery is getting tired.

This is a link to my blog and on the right hand side there is a list of my locos with details of the battery conversions I have done.

Ringbalin Light Railway G Division: About the Railway (ringbalin-light-railway.blogspot.com)

The Buck converter suggestion is not a bad one as you could just use the one higher voltage battery and interchange tit with all your locos physical size would be the main consideration in purchase choice.