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I have an Airwire system in a trailing boxcar with a power lead to the rear of a USA F3A. I also use the same configuration with the USA GP7. I don't double head them, only running them solo. At most, I get only one hour of running time. I took one of the motors out of the F3A figuring the run time would increase. Nothing doing. I haven't checked out whether the batteries are in proper working order. When I run, I always charge them fully. Beside a possible battery problem, are there any other things I should be looking for. Has anyone else had this problem ? I know USA engines are power hogs, but ???

Thanks in advance.

Pat McCarty
 

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Pat,

I run two USA GP's together and get about a hour with a Milwaukee 18 volt drill battery. I get about two hours on my LGB A-B-A F units. What kind of battery are you using?
 

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Nickel Metal Hydrides. (is the spelling even close?) They're 14 volts. I was told not to exceed 18 volts so I figured I'd stay a wee bit below that.
 

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Couple of things. Its the MAH rating of the battery plus the load that will determine run time. Higher battery voltage gives you the capability of higher speeds. USA GP's have a high current draw in the lighting circuits,that is why taking out one motor didn't make much difference. What is the MAH rating of your battery?
 

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I ran my GP-9 with two, 9.6-volt, NiMH battery packs with a trailing power car.



They usually provided 3 1/2 hours of run time without smoke or sound.

As Paul Burch has mentioned, the lighting boards in USAT Diesels are real power hogs. Each lighting board in the GP-9 will draw almost 1/2 an amp. For that reason I made mine own using LEDs for the headlights and number board lights.





These boards draw about 20 milliamps. I did not bother with the red/green, marker/classification lights.
 

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I thought u could exceed 18v with the airwire as long as u moved that jumper?
At any rate, the big thing is the Mah like what was said above, USA's draw a lot of power so you would have to take that into consideration.
Terry
 

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I have 14.4 volt NiMH batteries in my GP-9. Their capacity is 9 amp/hours. It will pull 12 cars on a layout with 3% max grade non-stop for 5 hours. My engine draws about 1.5 amp when running on level track at about 1/2 throttle.

I have converted my lights to LEDs. My lights draw about 40ma, total.

Your battery amp/hour capacity is the big secret.
 

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I run 2 4.5 A/H packs. They are 4/3A-FAUX cells. Here is an example of the batteries, an AirWire receiver and a P5 sound system in a GP-38.
 

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Well that makes sence. My GP-38 has a single 4500mah 14.4 battery with the airwire and phoenix p5 (ripped out the smoke unit and factory light boards). So I guess I should get 2.5 hours--though my packs are designed to be removed thru the hatch in the top of the hood to charge up, and swap out. So I guess with 2 packs I get 5 hours of fun. I guess I better work on the layout faster to find out.

Thanks

Matt
 

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Matt,

There are (NiMH) 10Ah 'D' cells out there.

Also (NiMH) 5Ah 'C' cells.

I have both. I got mine from 'batteryspace.com'.

A 10Ah battery car will last you all day. I use it as a back-up to my onboard batteries (4.4Ah sub'C' cells) on my GP7.

I have only 12 volts onboard the engine which I like when switching (mostly indoors). Once I have a train assembled and want to take her outside on the open road for a while - then I'll cut in the battery car (14.4V) and use that as my power source. It gives a little more top speed (maybe a scale 45-50mph) than the 12 volts will.
My engine has provisions for both power sources.

And as stated above.....remove the smoke unit and replace the incandesent bulbs with LEDs

Brian B.
DT&I 1980ish
 

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On the A/W boards, I think the early ones like I have says not to exceed 18 volt but the later ones you can go up to 28 volts.
Where does one go to see how you make new lighting boards?
 

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Posted By Trains on 05/01/2008 4:23 PM
On the A/W boards, I think the early ones like I have says not to exceed 18 volt but the later ones you can go up to 28 volts.
Where does one go to see how you make new lighting boards?




I have brand new AW boards from CVP and it states firmly:
Do not exceed 18 volts to the decoder.

jb
 

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Well it doesnt make sense! On page 3 they say single battery 18 volts, but page 4 says split battery up to 28 volts. What the difference if you use one or two batteries. The only thing is you have to remove the jumper.
 

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Posted By Trains on 05/01/2008 4:23 PM

Where does one go to see how you make new lighting boards?





Have a look at the following article Lighting Circuits on our club web site. The GP-9 LED board is shown at the bottom of the article along with three pictures and a wiring diagram.

There is also a good tutorial on Ngineering entitled LED Lighting Circuits and LED Calculators to obtain the proper size of resistors.
 

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When you remove the jumper on the AirWire board, you must provide a separate power source for the electronics on the board. That is where the split power supply comes in. The electronics portion is limitad to 18 volts always. The other battery can be put in series to provide the motor voltage. The total of the 2 batteries can be up to 28 volts.
 

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You can run the entire thing from 12 volts. You just leave the jumper on the receiver. I thought the question was about running over 18 volts.
 
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