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Questions On Installing My 'DelTang' R.C. Gear ?
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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2018 09:07 pm
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Rick Dow
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I have purchased a basic Del Tang Receiver and Transmitter from Micron in England. Very prompt service by the way.

I have several Lipo Batteries on hand. 1 cell, 2 cell and 3 cell.  

I have a small 2-6-0 Bachman DCC locomotive. I also have an older DC switcher 0-6-0.  Not sure which to convert to BPRC first. But I can make room in both tenders for the receiver/battery etc.

I have no issue charging any of these Lipo Batteries. I have a smart charger that balances the cells.

Here is my General Problem:    How do I set up the Lipo Battery charging functions without having to continually remove the battery in the future from the tender?

There are some BPRC locomotives on YouTube that charge in the tender with a pin style socket but they don't deal with the balancing issue. Is this because they are 1 cell Lipo batteries??

In my experience, most of the BPRC wiring diagrams offered on YouTube, gloss over the issue of the balancing chord on the 3 cell.  Plus no where can I find how to wire in a 2 cell


One Cell
My 1 cell Lipo (1S) installation seems straightforward. The 1 cell has two wires (red and black).  The red wire can be interrupted on its way to the Receiver in order to install a regular "pin style charging port". Half and inch later, the Red wire will interrupted again for the installation of an Off/On switch before finally ending its journey at the + pad on the Del Tang Receiver. 
If I install (glue) both the charging port and the Off/On switch into my tender, I can simply turn the On/Off switch to Off and then plug in the pin charging connector and charge the battery while it remains inside the tender.  So 1 cell Lipos seem to be no problem................... except for the fact they offer only 3.7 V

Two Cell
My 2 cell Lipo batteries have three wires coming out of the battery (2 Reds and 1Black)  Unlike the 1 cell battery, I cannot simply interrupt the red lead coming out of the battery and connect it to a charging port and an On/Off switch because there are TWO red leads.So does anyone know how this would be done in such a way as to charge the battery and yet remain inside the tender and hooked to the Receiver? 

Three CellI'm assuming that with the 3 cell Lipo, a person will need to drill 3 holes in the side of the tender (first hole is for a charging port to connect to the red power lead, second hole is for the Balancing chord to poke through the tender and be available to be hooked up to an external but similar balancing chord that leads back to the charger. The 3rd hole would be for the On/Off switch.

So my main question is about those 2 cell Lipo Batteries that do not have a separate balancing chord. How in blazes do we wire those puppies up??

Thanks in advance

Rick

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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2018 10:12 pm
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Toeffelholm
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Rick,

I'm using 2cell and 3cell lipos as well and do also use a balancing charger device, and that's quite simple. 

Basically, the outer red wire and the black wire of the balancing plug carry the voltage of the battery, so 7,4V in case of your 2-cell and 11,1V in case of your 3-cell lipo. 
So in your 3-cell lipo the 2-wire cord and the 2 outer wires of the balancing cord connect to the same points.

The three wire cord on your 2cell Lips is the balancing cord. This Lipo you have is intended to be charged via the balancing socket. 
The 3cell has a separate 2-wire power cord with 11.1V +/- of the battery. It is intended to be charged by this 2wire plug, while the 4-wire cord is intended to be used for keeping care of the balance by your charger. So normally you have to connect both plugs with your charger.

But, with the small lipos we use in our locos, it is also possible to simply charge via the balancing socket (only difference are the thinner wires).  So you can use the 2-wire cord for feeding your electronics inside the loco and the balancing socket for charging. You only may have to make a special connecting cable from the balancing socket of the lips to your charger, as you may have to have a 2-wire plug with +/- 11.1V and a 4-wire balancing connection as well. In my case, I have a special charger that only feeds the balancing socket.

So what charger do you use?

Juergen

Last edited on Sun Jan 28th, 2018 10:25 pm by Toeffelholm



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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2018 10:18 pm
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W C Greene
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Howdy Rick, welcome to Freerails and this r/c forum. While I am not familiar with Del Tang (except from what I have read here and other places) it looks like a great system. As for charging Li Pos, you would still need to remove the loco or tender from the rails and plug it in to charge. Some maintain that it is simpler to use a dedicated "charging track" which the loco can be parked on and then the charge goes through the wheels to the battery. Sounds great but the facts are that the tiny contact area between wheel treads and rail makes for a poor connection and the associated wiring seems to go against the wireless nature of using r/c. Lately, there has been talk of "wireless" charging using cell phone devices. This looks to be viable but I have no idea about what to do. So, you may need to locate a place under the tender where a plug can be installed for charging. On using a balancing charge, all I run are 2 cell 7.4 volt Li Pos and in the almost 20 years I have been using them, I have never used a balance charge. I have not seen the need for this extra bit of hassle but then I am "old school" and have had no problems doing without balancing. Other opinions will be offered up so keep watching this space. On the on/off switch, recently I have installed magnetic reed switches in my locos and they are "turned on" by small rare earth magnets. Some other r/c operators have adopted this plan and seem to love it...no tiny DPDT's or other manual switches to mess with. If interested, I can post some photos here about them, right now they are shown in my Silver City Narrow Gauge thread.
Once again, I haven't messed with balancing my 2 cell batteries and have no problems. Maybe I am just "livin' right".

Woodie



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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2018 10:51 pm
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Rick Dow
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@  Toefflholm                 Hi Juergen, you mentioned that    "Rick,I'm using 2cell and 3cell lipos as well and do also use a balancing charger device, and that's quite simple. Basically, the outer red wire and the black wire of the balancing plug carry the voltage of the battery, so 7,4V in case of your 2-cell and 11,1V in case of your 3-cell lipo. So in your 3-cell lipo the 2-wire cord and the 2 outer wires of the balancing cord connect to the same points."

2 cell   ..........  "the outer red wire and the black wire of the balancing plug carry the voltage of the battery"

3 cell   ..........  "So in your 3-cell lipo the 2-wire cord and the 2 outer wires of the balancing cord connect to the same points."   

This is information I did not know!!   Thank you.
Since I want to charge the 2 cell similar to the 1 cell, by means of a charging port installed into the side of the tender, how do I wire it up, using the info you have
 provided?  Hmmmmmmn...... grey matter in my brain overheating slightly:glad:

Now scratching my head a bit as I try to figure out the required connections, in order to be able to charge the battery while it remains fully wired inside the tender (by turning the switch to Off first) and then inserting the pin connector from the charger.  But also want to be able to balance at the same time.


I think you know what I'm trying to do - I'm trying to wire it up semi-permanently inside the tender by installing a charging port and if necessary also a balancing port plus an On/OFF switch by drilling holes through the side of the tender itself, then mounting flush to the outer wall of the tender - to which a charging connector may be inserted - like in Steve Sherrill's video on YouTube. 

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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2018 10:53 pm
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davecttr
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Rick, check out this page for wiring a 2S battery.

https://www.on30guy.com/dead-rail-primer/dead-rail-wiring-diagrams/

An alternative is to have the tender top easily removable so you can swop the battery for a fully charged one in less than a minute. The wiring is a lot simpler as well. I have over 40 locos converted in this way.



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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2018 11:22 pm
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Rick Dow
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@ Woodie     Thanks for your reply, Woodie much appreciated.  You have mentioned, "I have installed magnetic reed switches in my locos and they are "turned on" by small rare earth magnets - no tiny DPDT's or other manual switches to mess with. If interested, I can post some photos here about them"

I have been trying hard to find exactly how to get my hands on the correct Reed Switch!!  Yesterday, I was trying to understand the magnetic switches made by the Marata Manufacturing Company, but it's tough slugging. 
 
My local electronics dealer has never heard of a Reed Switch that wasn't just "momentary" in nature.

What does your switch look like??  How big?? Name and Product number? Where did you get yours. etc etc etc.  :glad:


Like you though, I'm not planning to charge through the wheels. 

But I do believe (until its proven to me that I've simply lost my mind) that we can charge through an integral port, with the port itself being installed in the side or the top of the tender, thus leaving the wiring inside the tender undisturbed while doing so.

Are you currently removing your Lipo from your tender and taking it to the charger?  

My plan is to install the charger itself under a removable building on the lay-out. Then I'll run the locomotive over to a side track beside the building, remove the building and then insert the charging pin into the port on the tender.  

If the above removable building scheme fails, I'll simply remove the loco from the layout and take it to the charger, but I still want to avoid having to disconnect the battery from the wiring inside the tender and yank it (the battery) out.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2018 11:38 pm
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Rick Dow
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@ Davecttr       Hi Dave, You mentioned:  check out this page for wiring a 2S battery. https://www.on30guy.com/dead-rail-primer/dead-rail-wiring-diagrams/


Thank you! I am a happy guy.

I have been on that site several times and have never seen that particular diagram.

That is exactly what I have been looking for.    
     
So, the middle wire on a 2 cell battery's set of 3 wires, is only used when the Charger is plugged in and charging and then needs at some point to balance how the charge is being accomplished?

Final question, what are you powering (if anything) with 2 cell Lipo Batteries at 7.4 v? HO Scale 

Thanks, Rick

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 Posted: Sun Jan 28th, 2018 11:57 pm
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Toeffelholm
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Rick Dow wrote:
I think you know what I'm trying to do - I'm trying to wire it up semi-permanently inside the tender by installing a charging port and if necessary also a balancing port plus an On/OFF switch by drilling holes through the side of the tender itself, then mounting flush to the outer wall of the tender - to which a charging connector may be inserted - like in Steve Sherrill's video on YouTube. 



Rick, I use the balancing socket for charging and balancing as well. I only lead the balancer plug to the loco outside. In case of an extra 2-wire plug, I use this for feeding the RC via an on/off switch. (There are also 2-cell lips that have separate power and balancing plugs).
My charger feeds each cell separately and has only one socket for 2-cell 3-cell, 4-cell etc. that connects to the balancing plug of the lipo. 
Normally a balance charger feeds the battery via the 2-wire power plug and monitors voltage of each cell via the balancer connection. So using only the balancer plug of the lipo, need to build a special connector cable, using a balancer connection cord fitting to your charger and splitting the outer wires of the balancing cord to an additional 2-wire plug that also fits in your charger. Thats why I ask what charger you have.


I don't use a switch that choices between charging and running the loco. 


Juergen

Last edited on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 12:12 am by Toeffelholm



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 Posted: Mon Jan 29th, 2018 12:23 am
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Michael M
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Don't know if this will help but I found a 7.4v LiPo with just a two-wire plug.  Keeps life simple.  About $6.00 off eBay.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 29th, 2018 03:18 am
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davecttr
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Rick Dow wrote: @ Davecttr       Hi Dave, You mentioned:  check out this page for wiring a 2S battery. https://www.on30guy.com/dead-rail-primer/dead-rail-wiring-diagrams/


Thank you! I am a happy guy.

I have been on that site several times and have never seen that particular diagram.

That is exactly what I have been looking for.    
     
So, the middle wire on a 2 cell battery's set of 3 wires, is only used when the Charger is plugged in and charging and then needs at some point to balance how the charge is being accomplished?

Final question, what are you powering (if anything) with 2 cell Lipo Batteries at 7.4 v? HO Scale 

Thanks, Rick
That middle wire on a 2 cell batteries set of 3 wires is actually connected to the positive on one battery and the negative in the other giving you a 2S 7.4 battery. During the balance charge the charger is rapidly switching the polarity of the wires so each battery gets a small charge in turn until they both get to 4.2V.
I model UK 00 scale 4mm/foot. I use 1 or 2 batteries depending on how many milliamps the loco needs when pulling its heaviest train. I use mostly 9V Pololu voltage regulators which boost either 1 or 2 lipos. I also have some 5V and 12V regulators. You might not want or need a regulator, the nominal 7.4V from 2 lipos might give you sufficient maximum speed for your loco and be simpler to install.



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