Batteries and r/c Scaleforum 2019

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Batteries and r/c Scaleforum 2019

Postby zebedeesknees » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:17 pm

Members and guests,

Nick and I were very pleased with the positive responses to our demo table at this year's show. The number certainly exceeded my expectations! For some years in my past employment, part of my job was as training instructor on our products, and I never ran a course without learning something. So it was over the weekend.

I was aware that Li-po batteries can be used in series to raise the voltage, but also, they cannot be charged in series without a balancing pcb. Wiring them in parallel, using different spaces in the model, hadn't occurred to me until it was mentioned.

Research on Youtube suggests that it's fine provided the cells are exactly the same, and charged to within 0.1 volt of each other when first connected. After that, they can be treated as a single cell of the nominal voltage, but with the capacity multiplied by the number of cells. They can also be recharged as if a single cell.

Another idea from a couple of sources was to recharge the batteries through the buffers. Though possible, there are conditions; clearly the buffers would need to be isolated from each other, so a non-conductive beam or insulation of one buffer from it would be needed. One side at least should be switched anyway to avoid a short circuit if there is a chance of ever buffering up to a vehicle or stop with a conductive connection between the two.

It has been pointed out to me today that the 10x16 4v coreless motors that I showed in the demo are no longer to be found on my major source, eBay. There are a number of other 4 volt types, and new ones may yet appear. 'Micro motors' is a place to start, or 'Mabuchi motors' - the FF180 type, available in different voltages. The spec. is rarely given by China suppliers on eBay, but the Mabuchi motor website does if the code is copied, though they do not accept small orders direct. These motors are bulk used for shavers, door mirrors, locks, etc.

There are a couple of r/c suppliers that I am aware of, Protocab are the professionals, we are DIY.. Several visitors asked from where we obtain the r/c products, transmitters and receivers that we use, it's Andy Rutter at

Several members have suggested that perhaps there should be a new subforum for radio and battery subjects under Control Systems...

Ted Scannell.

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Re: Batteries and r/c Scaleforum 2019

Postby Horsetan » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:10 pm

A glimpse....
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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Re: Batteries and r/c Scaleforum 2019

Postby zebedeesknees » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:52 am

Starting with radio...
Forget batteries for now, though the elimination of the dreaded pickup hiccup is the ultimate goal, controlling the first loco by radio does not require a huge commitment.
The Tx22 transmitter kit is £38.00 and an Rx61-22 receiver £32.00.
For those not comfortable with soldering fine wires, the transmitter assembled (and tested!) is £72 and the receiver has a pre-wired option for an extra £2.00.
Assuming this is to be fitted to an existing loco, the wires from the pickups to the motor are disconnected or cut, and fed to the 'AC in' of a small bridge rectifier (pence) and on the DC out preferable, though not essential, the largest capacity 16v + capacitor (a few more pence) that will fit.
From there, the + and - is connected to the receiver, and the motor connected from that.
For under £75.00 or just over £100.00 and and hour, familiarisation can begin.
For DC powered track, the usual controller can be left at max, or that bypassed and pure 12v fed directly, polarity doesn't matter. Locos that are normally controlled through the track voltage won't like it of course!
DCC powered tracks are easier, as there should be a constant AC current available, and DCC equipped locos can be controlled simultaneously.
As with DCC, there are programming options in the receiver software. Control variables... default works fine, changes are more about subtle preferences for later consideration.

A dedicated sub-forum would be most desirable, especially for those not interested...


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