View single post by Craig W
 Posted: Mon Mar 25th, 2013 05:56 am
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Craig W

Joined: Sat Jan 5th, 2013
Location: Napa, California USA
Posts: 71
Hi Jim, I would agree with Woodie and Nathan. Certainly the locomotive + R/C equipment you choose to convert with, will play a big role in how the system as a whole operates, but so will battery choice, as far as free run times go. LiFePo4 batteries are emerging as one of the better choices these days, for their safety, reliability and C-ratings. Unfortunately, there isn't much to choose from, in terms of packaging (read sizes) in these cells. The vast majority of them are cylindrical in shape, so depending on the locomotive you are going to outfit, you may have to compromise in capacity if you decide to use these cells. I’m currently running both LiFePo4 and LiPo cells.

To answer you original post question on smoothness; through numerous and continuous tweaks, I have been able to achieve average run times of over 2 hours and “unparalleled” low speed performance and smoothness from my R/C conversion efforts. For me, the R/C conversion is no longer a myth. I have been able to reach a higher level of performance through much trial and error testing and by engaging numerous aspects which affect system performance, trying to solve them one at a time. I hope R/C train systems continue to progress as there is a tremendous operational freedom offered by battery powered R/C that just can’t be matched through pure track powered systems. I have been quick to exploit this freedom with my own trains, which has really deepened my interest in this great hobby.

A working R/C example is pictured below. Please ignore the awful looking black trucks and fuel tank; it's still a work in progress. This is a Kitbashed GP-38 using an Atlas shell, Bachman trucks, and a custom brass chassis. It is currently equipped with a brushless motor with add-on hall effect sensors (don’t ask) and a one-off Atmel microcontroller based ESC, also a work in progress. It receives signals through a 2.4Ghz Hobby King Orange Rx. Overall gearing is 28:1.

Jim, what scale are you working with?

Model train enthusiast, Mechanical engineer, frequently misunderstood. :)
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