I checked the archives to see if there was anything on this topic, as I figured there would be. Best I could find was this
, but it didn't get very detailed.
What I'd like to do is convert my USA rotary plow to battery power. Since it doesn't appear to be too complicated a conversion I figured I might try it on my own. I also know this rotary can't plow much snow, so this is really more of a display unit, or to be used for special occasions.
Here are 2 options I could go with:
Easy and Cheap
The rotary has sound already, so I could continue to use the existing USA. The simplest conversion would be to cut the track wires (power pickups) and install a battery for power keeping the same old on off switch too. I would have to install some form of a battery charging jack though. So if I turn it on the blade spins, smoke is on, light is on, and sound is on. I might also install an extra on-off switch for the smoke generator since this drains battery power quickly. I did this for both of my professionally converted battery powered LGB moguls.
I'd need to know where to get a battery or batteries for this, and how to wire up a charging jack and where to find the charging jack components?
More Complicated and Expensive
We use Airwire as our main control system. So I suppose I could go all out and install an Airwire decoder, and Phoenix Sound for the rotary. Instead of the usual motor control, this motor control would just spin the blade. Other functions could control sound, lights, and even the smoke unit. This is definitely going to be a lot more expensive though, and may not be worth it since the plow typically just sits next to the roundhouse. Another concern is it is not covered and rain could definitely be an issue for the sensitive Airwire decoder. And I'm not sure if the investment is worth it since the only thing it will do is spin the blade, make sound, light up, and maybe smoke. I would still need a loco or two to move it.
So my question is, has anyone converted a USA rotary plow to work off a battery? And if so, how complicated did you get? Also how powerful (volts, amps) and what type of battery was used?
If anyone has any diagrams, tips, etc... they would be willing to share but don't want to post it here, please feel free to email me at [email protected]