Battery Power and R/C ???

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Carlo
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Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Carlo » Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:16 pm

Hello, all -

I have been modeling in 1/12 scale, but I'm now considering a project in 1/24 (Gn15).
I would build my own locos, but they would have to be battery powered and radio controlled.
Can someone point me to info about these topics?

Also, I am particularly insistent about using batteries that DO NOT EXPLODE OR CATCH FIRE!
(this really worries me; can you tell?). Have they figured out how to keep these LiPo batteries
safe yet? Seems like they haven't with the hoverboards.

OK... I assume there are threads on this forum (or elsewhere) that discuss this; I just haven't found them.
As always, thanks in advance for any assistance,
Carlo

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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby docnjoj » Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:56 pm

Try The ON30 Guy in the US. He has been at the forefront of Deltang radio that I use. The batteries can be non dangerous if you use LiNMC or other 18650 cells like the tool batteries and Tesla use.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Nevadablue » Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:19 pm

Carlo, the batteries are dangerous when they are pushed past their limits. The manufacturers obviously don't know what they are doing in some cases. They are safe if you treat them in a normal fashion, that is use them as designed.

I am no serious model maker, but here is my thread on building an RC Air Porter Loco. It can't really get much smaller than this, but even I managed it.


viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10229&hilit=Air+porter


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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Thorness » Sat Oct 08, 2016 5:20 pm

Hi,
Like Ken I have also used Deltang equipment for a couple of R/C locos.
Certainly not had any issues with the batteries so far.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10552&p=121674#p121674

They are much smoother and more controllable than the track powered ones.

As to the space I originally spoke to a chap using R/C in 009 locos - there is a long thread on Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling Online but you need to sign up (free of charge)to view it : http://ngrm-online.com/forums/index.php ... o-control/

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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby NFBrown » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:56 pm

Carlo,

The danger of Lithium poly batteries has been way over stated. They need to be charged with a special charger than maintains balanced voltage between individual cells in the battery pack and protects them from over charging. The model airplane people push their batteries harder than you're ever likely to do in a locomotive. The Dead Rail Society has lots of stuff about battery power and RC groups has a forum devoted to batteries and their care.

The LiPo batteries I use in airplanes so far have never given me any problems except when I damage them (airplanes sometimes crash). Even then the battery just failed to charge. They should be treated with respect but maybe not fear.

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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Bob Roegge » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:44 pm

Late to party but want to share my thoughts based on experience. I have a 1/24th scale 15" guage (Gn15) shelf type layout that is approx 36 foot in length. It is battery operated RC using Del Tang equipment. I have been operating it several times a week for about two years and it is pleasurable and trouble free. I have also built Gnine RC and 1/12th scale RC using the same. very flexible and reliable. For Gnine and Gn15 i have used a single cell Lipo with a Polulu voltage regulator raising voltage to 9 volts. The 1/12th scale equipment uses two cell Lipos. The drawback to using a single cell with a voltage regulator is shortened battery life. I am using 300mah cells and have about 45 minute to one hour battery life. With two cell the run time is much longer. I have often heard that the Polulu step up regulators are 70 to 80 percent effecient. My experience does not support that. stepping from 3.7 volt to 9 volt I see about 50 percent. Still works great for me as space for batteries is an issue with my small critters. I have a two batteries for each critter and have built to enable a quick on the track change so I can run continuously. Careful thought in construction is all that is required. I have posted several things here on Gnatterbox on my efforts. You can search them with my name.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Bob Roegge » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:57 pm

This is a picture of a very small Gnine critter. Built from a Bachmann N scale Plymouth 060 mechanism. The trailing car has a Deltang RX and Polulu voltage regulator. The battery sits above them and plugs into the visible connector. The Budweiser boxes cover all. It uses a 50mah battery so only runs about 20 minutes on a charge. It shows how small things can be.

Look on Youtube... searching on MRBR911 and there are several videos. One is a short video of the yellow Gn15 critter showing how smooth and slow they can run.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Gnu Bee » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:58 pm

I started a thread that ended up as a discussion about RC - http://gn15.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10627 One of the questions for me is although 1:24 appears to be a huge scale the space inside my locos is still quite small, has anyone tried converting a Hornby Smokey Joe chassis for a Smallbrook Nellie? I am thinking that i might buy another Nellie or the new Hattie as an RC project.
I assume that I am alright putting an RC loco on a live track railway. This is because I have one loco I won't be able to adapt.
If R/C is dead rail - can my track be plastic now? I am thinking of having some dead rail rusty and overgrown track.
My name is Geoff - a dabbler in all things narrow gauge and unlikely.

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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby docnjoj » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:51 pm

Usually you can use a trailing car like a flat or sided flat to carry radio stuff. Plastic track is fine if it is quality but obviously it won't carry electricity for your lone loco that can't take radio. OH yeah, using R/C locos on live track is fine provided the pickups are removed or disabled.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Bob Roegge » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:46 am

Gnu Bee, The Smallbrook Nellie is fairly large and I would think there is plenty of room for the entire system including the battery. As stated earlier I am using a 300 mah Lipo in most of my critters. I like to have a quick change capability so that if a battery gets low during a session I can quickly change it and continue. The 300 mah batteries I am using measure 1" x 3/4" by 1/8". On all of my Gn15 critters the battery is under the roof and the roof is removeable. I have a spare roof for each with battery attached. I have attached a picture. It shows a 250mah which is the same size as the 300 mah batteries I use. The battery is wired to the pins of the roof support. This also eliminates the need for a switch (attach roof to turn on/remove to turn off).

Looking at the Nellie, I wonder if the battery could be "enclosed" in the side bunker which could be removeable.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Gnu Bee » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:22 pm

Returning to the original question on this thread. I was interested to find this article on a radio control car club site saying that you should never recharge a LiPo battery on board a model because of the danger of fire - http://www.wannarace.co.uk/page_2207335.html
My inclination is to steer well clear of the whole RC thing as I would rather keep the models I have spent 90 hours building rather than accidently setting light to them.
My name is Geoff - a dabbler in all things narrow gauge and unlikely.

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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby decauville1126 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:58 pm

Re: Battery Power and R/C ???
Unread postby Gnu Bee » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:22 pm

Returning to the original question on this thread. I was interested to find this article on a radio control car club site saying that you should never recharge a LiPo battery on board a model because of the danger of fire - http://www.wannarace.co.uk/page_2207335.html
My inclination is to steer well clear of the whole RC thing as I would rather keep the models I have spent 90 hours building rather than accidently setting light to them.
My name is Geoff - a dabbler in all things narrow gauge and unlikely.


I built an 009 diesel with r/c using Deltang stuff and have built in a charge socket to the underside. I recharge it using an e-flite USB unit and it switches off before the battery shows any signs of upset. Would have thought that if there was a problem with charging then fora would be full of 'Help - my model has melted/gone on fire/blown up/died' postings.

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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Bob Roegge » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:42 pm

One has to keep things in perspective.......

RC car racers use much larger batteries (generally 5000 mah 2S 7.4v Lipos) and due to the competition factor charge at much higher rates (often 20 amps). That said, I am a RC car racer and have never experienced a battery fire.

Likewise RC airplane fliers also use large capacity batteries often up to 6S 22.2v. They generally charge at more reasonable rates. Most battery failures are due to crashes which damage the batteries. I participate in this hobby also.

I prefer not to charge batteries in the engines for safety which is why I design mine with quick change capability. I do have some that are not easily changed though.

If battery safety is a concern the best solution is to use lithium iron Li-ion rather than lithium polymer Lipo. They are the type used in most cameras and cell phones. They are hard cased rather than foil cased. I have used them in some installations. They do not possess a high discharge capability which is not a problem with smaller engines that draw less than one amp. The capacity is better than Lipos though. My Canon camera battery is 1000 mah and the size is 1 1/2 x 1 1/4 x 3/32. I have used these to replace the 9 volt battery in my DelTang TX22 transmitters. I installed a small charge port and always recharge the battery while installed. For those wondering - the DelTang transmitter module requires 3.2-10 volts so a 3.6 volt battery works fine.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Bob Roegge » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:53 pm

Picture of rechargeable Li-ion battery in DelTang TX22.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby docnjoj » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:39 pm

My wife and I also ride electric assist bikes and they use Lithium batteries that are really large. Mine is 13.5 AH and hers is over 20AH. The cells are the ones like Tesla uses. Never a problem in 8+ years of using similar batteries.

While the teeny LithiumCO batteries in phones and in model aircraft are somewhat dissimilar chemistry, they rarely fail if you use the proper charger. Check out The ON30 Guys website for lots of info.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby docnjoj » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:41 pm

My wife and I also ride electric assist bikes and they use Lithium batteries that are really large. Mine is 13.5 AH and hers is over 20AH. The cells are the ones like Tesla uses. Never a problem in 8+ years of using similar batteries.

While the teeny LithiumCO batteries in phones and in model aircraft are somewhat dissimilar chemistry, they rarely fail if you use the proper charger. Check out The ON30 Guys website for lots of info.

Oh yes, I have flown electric powered model aircraft since the 60's when Bob Boucher ran Astroflight and have never had a battery fire.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Bob Roegge » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:25 pm

docnjoj wrote:Oh yes, I have flown electric powered model aircraft since the 60's when Bob Boucher ran Astroflight and have never had a battery fire.
otherDoc


Oh yes......Porterfield Collegiate with a Astroflight geared 25 and 12 cell NiCad pack. Those were the days. Concerns about Lithium battery safety pale compared to the problems early electric RC hobbyists had to deal with. Progress is always met with pessimism.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby docnjoj » Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:33 pm

Yes we abused Nicads on the powered gliders sometimes with 50 amps for 30 sec. Can't really do this with LiPo these days but it is lighter and more energy dense. Better, I guess. The Tesla type are extremely safe.
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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby Gnu Bee » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:48 pm

Not really trying to be pessimistic - more about being realistic about my soldering ability.
Rather aware that I didn't inherit this from my Dad - he was a wireman on the early Ferranti type computers and Blue Streak project in the 1950s.
My name is Geoff - a dabbler in all things narrow gauge and unlikely.

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Re: Battery Power and R/C ???

Postby docnjoj » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:56 pm

Soldering is just practice. Do it for an afternoon, about 30 wires and joints against a copper board and you will pretty much know what you need to. Don't use lead free solder as it melts at much higher temperatures. Use rosin core lead 60/40 if you can still find it.

Did your dad teach you a Western Splice? Very good way to put two wires together.
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