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- New Battery Technologies - What Do We Need ? -
 Moderated by: W C Greene Page:    1  2  3  4  5  6  ...  Next Page Last Page  
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 Posted: Fri Apr 11th, 2014 08:51 am
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davecttr
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With new battery technologies being reported in the press at regular intervals things are looking good for removal of the last obstacle to the perfect battery powered train. There is the university of Chicago nano 3D system which promises battery capacities of potentially a thousand times better or the recently demonstrated Isreali nano-spheres which can increase capacity by about 10 times and recharge in seconds.

The problem is that these technologies take time to bring to market and it has been reported that because of marketing the portable device manufacturers are unlikely to sanction more than about a 20% increase in capacity per year as they want to go on bringing out new phone models etc annually.

We all want the most powerful battery but what would your minimum satisfactory increase in battery capacity be? What about run time? for me 30 minutes under load is what I am aiming for but should I aim for longer?



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 Posted: Fri Apr 11th, 2014 12:02 pm
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jtrain
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Depends completely on what kind of operating you want. For me, a battery powered Fn3 would be great, ad it's starting to look like such a power system would be even better than DCC for one reason, when going to train shows there is no need for a power supply.

If doing a short operating session, I think a run time of 45 minutes would be adequate. But when running outdoors, the train would need to have at least 3-4 hours of run time. Running at a show, you'd want at least 2 hours, but at a show it's common practice to have a second train ready, and that goes out while you rest the other one, which can be quick charged or have the battery swapped out. A train show typically is open 7-8 hours of the day, and most are only two day shows. Small scales have this covered perfectly with Lipo batteries and low current draw.

But large scales like Fn3, 1/24, 1/29 and so on require a lot of power. I haven't gotten a chance to test my Bachmann 0-4-0 yet, but it could pull as much as 2 Amps at full stall.

Battery packs, in case you or some reader doesn't know, comes with the power listing: 7.2V @ 2200mah is a common rating. 7.2V determines the max speed of the locomotive, but 2200mah means that the locomotive can run for 1 hour if drawing a constant 2.2 Amps, or 2 hours if drawing 1.1 Amps.

Modern motors are also more efficient, so batteries can go further. One thing I don' think you'll see dissappear is the trail car, because it makes installations so much easier.

Now despite what I've said, I haven't actually built any RC trains, or converted any. This is because I have not yet figured out quite what is required. I don't like spending $300 on a starter RC system with batteries for a $100 Bachmann Loco. What the RC community really needs to do is create an affordable product, with a basic model that sells for around $100, is easy to install, has clear instructions, and is small enough to fit in even the smallest of locomotives. Then there can be more powerful, more expensive options to add on to this basic system. So a $100 dollar loco only needs $100 more to be converted, and for that you get basic speed control, direction, and an on/off switch. A $200 loco can also have the $100 system, but there could be more options available to it. and so on...

To sum up my problems with RC, Airwire is too complicated for my needs, RCS in Austraila is a bit expensive once shipping is added in, and Deltang doesn't tell me what I need to turn a loco into RC and battery power.

Simplicity brings customers, and RC doesn't yet have that simplicity. I'll admit, RC is an easier concept to understand than DCC, but DCC has ready to go systems that require very little set up, RC does not.

So that is what I'd like to see come out of RC. Batteries are the least of the problems, certainly the least of mine.
But since I'm new to the concept, my opinion is worth what you paid for it.

Happy modeling:thumb:

--James:java:

Last edited on Fri Apr 11th, 2014 12:10 pm by jtrain



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 Posted: Fri Apr 11th, 2014 12:20 pm
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Tony Walsham
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James are you asking for a complete system TX handpiece, RX and ESC for $100?
Rest assured that is not going to happen.
However, if you would stump for 1 x TX that can be used with all models   and pre-wired and set up 3 amp RX/ESC's then they are already here. With LED constant brightness directional lighting outputs too.

PM me for details, prices, and shipping costs.

Tony



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 Posted: Fri Apr 11th, 2014 01:35 pm
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NathanO
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When it comes to batteries, which is what I thought the thread was supposed to be about, to me the most important part is safety. Many 'modern' batteries tend to overheat and catch fire. Others start to loose the ability to get a full charge in a short time.

Price per useable power would be high on my list as well as weight and volume per useable power.

Nathan

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 Posted: Fri Apr 11th, 2014 02:37 pm
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W C Greene
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Well, here's something. If you want...IF...in the r/c store, FUTABA has a nice 2 channel/2 stick r/c "ground" system (ATTACK) which most times retails for around $50USD. This would control a large scale loco quite well since r/c cars pull more amps than the locos you have. Batteries can be as simple as AA's or Ni Cads or Li Polys, whatever can fit into the loco. So, around $100USD can do the job. This is "old tech", 27MHZ AM but it works.
I have used rechargable Lithium Polymer batteries in my locos for at least 10 years now and the older lokies have batteries that old and with a charge, I still get 6 or so hours run time. My locos are basically On30 "off the shelf" Bachmann but in a larger than 1:48 scale, I have room for larger batteries. Using slow charging, I have never had any overheating problems. Just be careful.

Woodie



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 Posted: Fri Apr 11th, 2014 03:01 pm
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Tony Walsham
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The problem with 27 MHz is that it is very susceptible to Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). They also require very good motor "noise" suppression. The RFI and "noisy" motors causes the ESC to glitch when the RX is buried inside a loco causing the loco to often jerk backwards and forwards.

No problem using very low cost car ESC's but brushed motors are very thin on the ground as most cars, bots and planes nowadays use brushless motors which are totally different.
Also most car ESC's can usually only handle max 10 -12 volts when locos like the Bachmann big haulers are best on 14.4 volts. 4 x LiPos or 12 NiCd/NiMh cells.

I do agree that AA size rechargeable cells will work just fine for low current draw locos where they will fit. Beware of NiMh as they do have a habit of rapid self discharge on the shelf. Sanyo developed hybrid NiMh/Alkaline cells specifically to overcome that problem. They are known as LSD cells. Aldi sell 4 x packs for around A$6-$7.
I do not recommend AA cells for larger Large Scale locos. They have built in chokes to limit current drain. Sure you can draw 2 amps but that will shorten the battery life. I still use and recommend SubC NiCd cells.
Many Large Scalers nowadays use Li-ion rather than LiPo's. LiPo's usually have to be charged in special ceramic protectors although low cost charge bags are now available from Hobby King.
Making batteries easily removable for charging is not always easy.



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 Posted: Fri Apr 11th, 2014 03:34 pm
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W C Greene
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Goodness, I guess the Lord loves an idiot...I have no problems with my old timey AM stuff. Guess that I must be living right.

Woodie-going outside and running my trains



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 Posted: Fri Apr 11th, 2014 04:14 pm
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mwiz64
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If I wanted to try R/C on an Fn3 scale train and I didn't want to break the bank, I'd just buy what any R/C car guy would need to buy. Here is an example of a cheap easy system that you could install in a tender or following car.

Radio:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__10608__Hobby_King_GT_2_2_4Ghz_2Ch_Tx_Rx.html
Speed Control:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__32025__HobbyKing_X_Car_45A_Brushed_Car_ESC.html
Battery:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__6308__ZIPPY_Flightmax_1300mAh_3S1P_20C.html
Charger:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__22297__Hobbyking_ECO_SIX_80W_6A_2_6S_Battery_Balance_Charger_AC_DC_w_PSU.html

How does it work? Simple, plug the controller to the radio receiver. Connect the battery to the controller... might need to solder up a connector on the controller side. Connect the controller leads to the motor terminals. Again, you might want to solder up a connector for this. Id use the connector between the battery and the controller as an on/off switch on the loco but you can wire in a switch, if you like. Now turn on the radio and loco and go play. How long would this installation take me....? Maybe an hour at most and I haven even spent $100 total... including the charger.



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 Posted: Fri Apr 11th, 2014 04:23 pm
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Herb Kephart
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With S-CAB, a single 850Mah LiPo, and BPS, I can get 2 hours switching time.

So for my purposes this is the perfect system. If you look at the S-CAB.COM site, you will see that it is simple--connect the receiver board to the BPS (which raises the single cell 3.7 volts to 12 volts) and to the battery--and go.

It has features that you can set, such as acceleration and deceleration rate, reduction of top speed and the like, but the default settings work well--and they can easily be changed later when confidence builds.

But since th question was asked-- Yes-smaller batteries. I would like to see 1000Mah LiPo's WITH built in overcharge and undervoltage protection, at 2/3 or 1/2 the present size. But some other battery system will probably replace them before that happens. Batteries should be flat, rectangular -round ones waste too much valuable space.

As to the overblown (IMHO) LiPo danger--this comes from the air and race car folks trying to recharge as quick as possible. We can recharge slowly, and after my batteries are fully recharged, I can barely feel any heat in them.
How many LiPo's have you blown up, Nathan?

Herb



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 Posted: Fri Apr 11th, 2014 04:27 pm
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Helmut
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@mwiz64
Agree with exception of the TX/RX. GFSK without FHSS is not that interference-free. This one is much better. FHSS IMHO is the best choice for track vehicles. And Ihave a lot of them going so far, not only in TT scale.

Last edited on Fri Apr 11th, 2014 04:29 pm by Helmut



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