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Geoff L
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Hi

Does anyone have experience of finding a suitable battery and fitting into an Atlas HO GP9 or similar narrow bodied locomotive?

Geoff

W C Greene
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Howdy Geoff, my ops buddy has a pair of Athearn GP9's which are r/c'ed. He has the units coupled together (mu'ed) one has the board & battery (3 cell 1800 MAH Li Po) inside the dummy unit and power to the powered unit is just 2 wires. It depends upon which system you use (he uses a KYOSHO r/c car board) the equipment pretty much takes up the space in the dummy. The tractive effort is pretty much the same as it would be using a dummy GP9 hauling a train of 12-15 cars. I suppose that an Atlas unit would offer the same space inside the hood.
I hope this helps.

Woodie

jtrain
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Unfortunately I don't have an Atlas GP9 to confirm anything but generally, Woodie's answer is the easiest with the best results.

Finding a dummy unit (not too expensive) and putting the battery in the unit is the best way to go.  Plus, if you have multiple dummy units, you could swap them out as the battery levels deplete in each one.  This greatly lengthens your run time.

Here's a link to that set-up:

http://smallmr.com/wordpress/battery-and-wireless-control-for-ho-scale/

--James W.

Last edited on Mon Oct 30th, 2017 07:44 pm by jtrain

dan3192
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Hello Geoff,

This is the power chassis for my Athearn GP35, about the same size as the GP9. It's has a Hobbytown frame, trucks and gear tower and I'm using a 12v can motor with Athearn or A-Line flywheel. 

Upstream is a Panasonic 18650 3,400mAh Li-ion battery, Radio Shack SPST on-off switch, 5v DC-DC voltage regulator, and DelTang Rx61-2 Rx/ESC. Works very well and running it now about 2+ years. 

The China-made voltage regulator will be replaced with a Pololu 9v regulator. Fiber optic lighting and induction charging will be added to complete the model. The model is shown in the next post...can't seem to load two photos on the same post!

Dan     

Last edited on Tue Oct 31st, 2017 01:34 am by dan3192

dan3192
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This is the GP35 with Athearn shell on the Hobbytown chassis. It's a little further along than shown here.
Dan

Geoff L
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Thank you for the responses.

Woody and James, I had considered an attached caboose but am looking for reduced train length  for use on a very small layout.

Dan, I certainly like what you have done. I am using Deltang and had hoped for a similar set up by removing the drive to one truck, however, this seems to be used to keep the truck in place! With the metal chassis major surgery would be necessary to alter this and the truck.

I was looking for a 2s lipo battery but am finding it difficult to source by size rather than capacity. In the alternative, the idea of switching cabooses has its attractions.

Geoff

Rod Hutchinson
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Geoff, if battery size is a problem you could consider a Pololu voltage step up converter.  If you get the voltage up to 9v it should turn OEM motors.
I have had success with HOn30 open frame motors.

Last edited on Thu Nov 2nd, 2017 01:34 am by Rod Hutchinson

dan3192
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Geoff, you might want to check out the 18500 size Li-ion battery (3.7V, 2,000mAh). Two of these might fit, one mounted on the chassis cross-member that rests on the rear truck and the other near the middle of the chassis behind a motor that drives the front truck. I believe there are 18350's available, but don't know the battery capacity. 

There should be enough space above the motor and/or forward battery to mount a Rx/ESC, maybe also room to step-up the voltage. With Hobbytown's drive arrangement, I have this type of room, but with Athearn, and especially Atlas, there may be no room at all.  Might be worth a try, but suggest you lay it out on paper first.

Dan 

Last edited on Thu Nov 2nd, 2017 07:30 am by dan3192

jtrain
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If the engine is just meant for a slow speed, switching layout, then the battery requirements aren't as difficult to meet.  All you'd really need is enough juice to do an operating session, whatever length you normally run.

Good luck with your project!

--James

davecttr
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jtrain wrote: If the engine is just meant for a slow speed, switching layout, then the battery requirements aren't as difficult to meet.  All you'd really need is enough juice to do an operating session, whatever length you normally run.

Good luck with your project!

--James
I found the battery requirements were a lot less than I thought I would need. A typical operating session lasts about 2 hours and involves 12 to 16 locos. An individual loco does no more than 15-20 minutes work so no need for many hours of battery capacity. Most of my locos use 'UM' E-flite style batteries which I remove to charge. A large passenger loco pulling a 12 coach train at a scale 60mph draws about 400mA. A pair of 200mAh batteries will power that loco for about 50 minutes, plenty for my requirements
My diesel locos can also use 4xAAA size NiMh cells which give the equivalent of 1000mAh

Bob R
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Geoff L wrote:
I was looking for a 2s lipo battery but am finding it difficult to source by size rather than capacity. In the alternative, the idea of switching cabooses has its attractions.

Geoff

Not difficult.  The standard method of numbering Lipo cells is the actual size.  I am using a lot of 250mah cells #402035 which translates to 4mm x 20mm x 35mm (H x W x L).  Round cells like Dan suggested 18500 is 18mm x 50mm.
I search a size number on ebay.  I am purchasing individual cells and soldering into a two cell pack adding a battery protection circuit board.  Very simple, safe and reliable.
Picture shows a 2S lipo with protection circuit and charge jack in bottom of one of my engines.  For size reference the mechanism is a Bachman HO Thomas the Trains Percy 040.

Attachment: 20170525_195200_resized (2).jpg (Downloaded 135 times)

Geoff L
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Thank you all for the further useful advice.

With my British stock - ex Lima diesels and various 0-6-0 and 0-4-2 tanks I am using 2s 450mAh batteries with DT Rx62-22 receivers. I have toyed with making up battery packs, but as it has been early days have tried to stick to factory assembled packs.

The main use will be shunting/switching but probably with only one or two locos live at a time, hence search for max battery power.

Geoff

Rod Hutchinson
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My 2S battery materials designed to fit into a trailing wagon for HOn30 size.  Battery is setup with 3rd terminal for balanced charging.

R/C components.  L-R bottom, Polyswitch Fuse, Switch to isolate RX from battery, Pololu 9v step up, Deltang RX 6x.xx, circuit board

William M
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Google aDverts for 9v PP3 of 800 milliamps batteries rechargeable via a USB . 
You can obtain the correct lead for charging as well. Worth a look. They also have a 400 milliamp PP3 USB  rechargeable.
Might do the job....Prices vary quite a bit from seller to seller  see here also.
https://www.aliexpress.com/popular/usb-battery-rechargeable.html

Last edited on Fri Nov 3rd, 2017 12:33 pm by William M

Helmut
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Those 6F22 cells are far too clumsy for most of the H0 and smaller scale models. They use  the same stepup technique as mentioned here. The price is much higher, though. A combo of a 1S Lipo and a Pololu ( or whatever ) 9V-stepup may be easier to fit and lead to the same results at less costs.

Si.
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Just a comment ...

... which many people don't actually know.



The PP3 typical 9-Volt battery ...

... is in fact a packaged 'stack' of 6x small 1.5-Volt cells.



Not sure about what cells would be used in the 'package' for a re-chargeable PP3 ?

But it would be a 'stack' of smaller ones for sure.



:!:



Si.

dan3192
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Check Helmut's link, sent earlier today...

...the Okcell by Banggood - two LiPo cells with a protection board, tested on YouTube, about 2.9Wh (9V x 322mAh).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR3l82x88xg

Dan


Last edited on Sat Nov 4th, 2017 03:01 am by dan3192

Geoff L
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Hi All

Thank you for the further advice. I have updated my Mynis Cule Magna post with details of some recent stock running tests and added further pictures to the link showing my rebuilt controller, two of my converted locos and some views of the layout under construction.

Regards

Geoff

d10ng
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Geoff, Not sure if you're still looking, but I run these in my p2k GP9. Overland 550mah 1s lipo plus 9v pololu. Gives about 3 hours moderate workload. 

Attachment: IMG_20180429_182654.jpg (Downloaded 57 times)

Geoff L
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Thanks, Dave.

Quite coincidentally I had got around to converting the loco this evening and have it running, albeit not very fast, although that should not be a problem.
I sourced some Turnigy nano-tech 2s 300mAh batteries that fit a treat in the long hood without any structural alterations to the loco, just removing the DCC decoder and motor connections and tying off the wires from the pick-ups. I left the pick-ups in place as it seems they might double as bearings for the axle ends. Receiver is a DT Rx 62-22.
It looks possible that a second battery could possibly be fitted in the short hood.
Presently, the light tubes for the lights and number boards have been removed and I am pondering a way to fit LEDs to replace the original bulbs.

Geoff

Stuart C
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Neil Stanton has exactly this on his site,

it is a sound loco, it uses his universal circuit board to keep the wiring at a minimum:

S-Cab Atlas GP-7 r/c installation





d10ng
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I'm presuming then the wheel pick up acts as a charge point? As there's no mention of charging.

Stuart C
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d10ng wrote: I'm presuming then the wheel pick up acts as a charge point? As there's no mention of charging.

Yes.

Geoff L
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Thanks to everyone for the advice and support.


The conversion was straightforward once a suitable battery was sourced -

nano-tech 300mAh 2s measuring 44mmx15mmx12mm.

Using only Blutac (plastic putty), but some minor alterations to the lighted number panels are still needed.


Geoff



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