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On Track Charging ...
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 Posted: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 12:33 pm
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davecttr
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In a discussion on RMWEB this site was mentioned.

I found it interesting and wonder if it would be possible to develop,
an easy to construct on track charging system, that idiots like me could understand.

It appears that having to recharge the batteries,
might be why modellers are reluctant to try radio control and battery power.

http://www.clag.org.uk/battery-radio.html




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 Posted: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 08:19 pm
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Rod Hutchinson
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Issues to consider is the current flow between wheels and track, don't stuff your polarity.

In addition you will need to isolate the pickups on the wheels, in case you put your vehicle on a live rail.






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 Posted: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 10:03 pm
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Bob Walker
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The issue of on-track charging has come up many times.

I plan to make it one of my next battery power projects to go with my array of battery powered engines.

Do not expect it to be easy.



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 Posted: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 10:37 pm
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bobquincy
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A DPDT relay and a diode can detect and reverse incorrect polarity.

If the track has DCC on it all bets may be off.





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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 01:58 am
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Rick Dow
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Hi Dave,

I certainly agree with you that it would be great to develop a track charging system,
and I'm assuming it'll happen someday,
especially if someone can hire the right people and pay them to R&D the solution.


You also mentioned:

" It appears that having to recharge the batteries,
might be why modellers are reluctant to try radio control and battery power "



I believe that the greatest impediment to battery power/radio control,
is the fact that brand new and experienced modellers alike,
still cannot simply purchase a plug and play unit off the shelf at this time.


When a product is not available commercially,
the potential market for that product suffers.

Where we are right now,
reminds me of the old Heathkit electronics parts we used to buy when I was a kid.
The idea was you could buy enough parts,
then wire-up and solder them together into a functioning component of some kind.
It wasn't something that most people wanted to do.


Certainly you are correct in your statement,
when you suggest modellers may be threatened with recharging their own Li-Po batteries.
But I believe that to be a little further down the list of obstacles.


There's a learning curve to all of this,
but there is also a learning curve with DCC control and wiring.


I like to remove my batteries for recharging,
and I have built my locomotives with that in mind.

But many here have a plug built-in to the locomotive,
and they can charge the battery without its removal. 


I believe the market will explode,
when battery powered locomotives become 
available commercially and are marketed effectively,
by advertising in the lions den of model railroad magazines and at train shows.

I'm of a mind to believe if there were six different locomotives available to choose from,
the battery powered world would increase dramatically.

Thanks,

Rick




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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 04:51 am
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Tom Harbin
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Dave,

The closest I have seen to an "idiot-proof" solution is the BPS from S-Cab.

I don't know how good it really is, but before funding became an issue,
I had planned on hooking one up to a Deltang receiver, to give it a try.

S-Cab has been doing it for longer than anyone I know of,
and they are on their forth generation of their battery/regulation/charging board.

Out of the box it provides regulated 11 volts (can be custom ordered at different voltages),
connects to a 1s (can be 1 or 2p) and recharges if DCC or DC is present on the track.
It even has battery bypass if running on powered track.

My original plan was to power the tracks in my engine house and at the water tower,
so that I could recharge on track in a semi-prototypical fashion.

Leave the wipers in the engine and hook them to the BPS instead of the motor/decoder board.
Then hook the BPS to the Deltang and the motor/lights to the Deltang.

That was the plan anyway.
 
Hope somebody tries it out.
I think it would be the bees knees.  :)

Tom


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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 11:38 am
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davecttr
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Thanks Tom,

I checked out the S-Cab system and it looks interesting,
however it is too large to fit in many OO scale locos.


Why did I start this topic?

I have lost my modelling mojo, after 6 months dealing with eye surgery,
when I could have been playing trains.

A full operating session means I need to charge up to 30 batteries for the locos,
and up to 20 for the vehicle mounted un-couplers, a daunting prospect.

I almost started dismantling the layout yesterday,
or rewiring it and buying some DCC stuff.

Not happy times!




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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 06:24 pm
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Bob Walker
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Each of my battery powered engines has a battery access jack,
which allows me to monitor voltage and recharge,
without having to remove the battery.

However, on-track recharging is still more convenient,
and I plan to look into it.

I have some ideas to explore.


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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 09:06 pm
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Tom Harbin
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davecttr wrote: 
I checked out the S-Cab system and it looks interesting,
however it is too large to fit in many OO scale locos.


Why did I start this topic?

I have lost my modelling mojo, after 6 months dealing with eye surgery,
when I could have been playing trains.

A full operating session means I need to charge up to 30 batteries for the locos,
and up to 20 for the vehicle mounted un-couplers, a daunting prospect.

I almost started dismantling the layout yesterday,
or rewiring it and buying some DCC stuff.

Not happy times!


Dave,

Just to be clear.
The BPS is large but I figured that the BPS connected to a smaller 1S battery hooked to the Deltang,
wasn't much bigger than a 2S battery or a separate voltage regulator attached to the receiver.
I was not planning on using the whole S-Cab system, just the BPS part.

Sorry to hear about your eye surgery issues.  That must be very frustrating.
I only own eight locos and I'm planning to sell two or three of them so recharging is a lot less of a potential issue for me,
but I don't really want to do in-loco charging without a smart charger and battery protection circuits,
both are included in the BPS (well the battery protection is in their batteries).

I tore out all of my track and was preparing to hand-lay new track without gaps or wires and go fully BPS,
but I may need to stay with DCC as I already own all of the equipment needed.

Take care,

Tom


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 Posted: Wed Nov 6th, 2019 11:23 pm
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Bob Walker
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When I convert an engine to battery power,
I always disconnect the roller and wheel pickups as they are no longer necessary.

This creates a key issue with on-track recharging,
which is how to get track power into the engine mounted battery.

I have some ideas which I plan to experiment with and will report on.


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