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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Bachmann ANNIE has the distinction of being the easiest loco to convert to battery R/C and one of the most difficult, depending on which version.
I will leave the elaborate way until a later date. The main difficulty with that is reassembling the loco. The upgraded ANNIE's have all sorts of piping added which make reassembly more than a touch difficult.
I have reasoned that most people with an ANNIE they want to convert to battery R/C will be quite happy with lights that follow direction and brightness just as they would on track power but oh so more reliably.
So the easy ways it will be.
It has taken me a long time but at last I can put up the pics of the easy way and really easy way of converting a Bachmann ANNIE to battery R/C.
If the ANNIE has a back up light you can do it the really easy way. The motor drive connection is made in the tender by tapping into the rear light wire in a suitable place.
If no back up light, then you will have to run a 2 wire cable through to the loco. No sweat really as you will not have to dismantle the body, just remove the base plate and disconnect the track pick up wires.
We will start with the really easy method first. Remove the chassis base plate. You will see this:

Then gently grasp the two little plugs and remove them from the wiper contacts, insulate them and tuck them up out of the way inside the chassis:

It is not necessary to do so, but we also remove all the actual wiring and wipers from the base plate before reattaching the plate to the chassis. The loco mods are done. Easy eh?
The rear light socket will carry the motor power into the loco.

You can use whatever sorts of batteries you like. As the ANNIE will only draw around 1 amp with a regular load of 5 - 6 cars I normally choose 12 x 2,000 mah ENELOOP AA hybrid Alkaline - NiMh cells for a total of 14.4 volts.
This installation had two 6 cell twin stick battery packs. In the future I will be using 3 x 4.8 volts packs of the same batteries normally used for R/C RX's, as they are much less expensive than getting packs custom made.

The output wires of the motor driver ESC are spliced into the rear light wiring as shown above and in the diagram later on.

The next pic shows where I mounted the switches,charge jack and programming pushbutton under the removable coal load. If you wanted to use the charge jack as a port for auxiliary batteries in a trail car you can mount it on the back of the tender.

The Bachmann plug marked LIGHT simply plugs into the correct socket on the back of the loco and the installation is complete. If the loco runs backwards just reverse the two wires at M-M on the ESC.
If your ANNIE does NOT have a reversing light. The loco may have the light socket but, if the tender does not have a rear light, the connector on the back of the loco cab will NOT be wired in. So you cannot use it. You will need to run a two wire connector cable from the tender through to the loco to make the loco go.
You start this the same way as above. Remove the base plate and pull out the two little plugs. Instead of insulating them attach them to the two wire cable you have installed from the back of the cab. We drilled small hole for the wires and then fed them through the chassis to where the pick up wires are located. Once attached securely (we solder the wires) make sure they are insulated and replace the base plate. Loco is finished.

The tender wiring is similar except we drilled a small hole in the front beam of the tender for the two wire cable which is then connected to M-M on the ESC.

The new cable looks like this.

Here is how I wired up the two versions.

If your ANNIE has a rear light and you want constant brightness directional lighting that is easily done using a small relay (RCS # RELAY-1) to change the polarity of the battery voltage. I will show how to do that soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Stan.
If only Bachmann actually wired in the rear light socket on each loco even if they didn't have a rear light in the tender.
The wiring inside the loco body shell is actually quite straightforward. The older simplified Big Hauler 4-6-0's were reasonably easy to get apart and put back together again. Not so the ANNIE'S with all the extra pipes and rubber tubing on them.
Because the ANNIE is so easy to convert to battery power I don't get that many through here. Most people can handle it. Nevertheless many operators would like to have the lights working constantly and change direction. My goal is to show how to do that easily. The stumbling block is dismantling the loco and putting it back together again.
 

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Nice job there Tony. Looking at your pictures reminded me of something I've been wondering about for a while: when you put something like a sound board/decoder etc. on top of a speaker magnet, is there any chance the strong field from the magnet will affect the memory or other functioning of the circuit boards? I know I've done it a few times with decoders and haven't noticed anything but I'm curious if there is any longer term effect? Have you ever seen anything like that?

Keith
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good question Keith.
I guess someone could come up with a theory that says don't do it, probably for quite valid reasons. However, like you I have done it often and never noticed any ill effects.
Although if I poke around in that dim dark Grey area known as my memory, I seem to remember finding a strong magnet affected the range of my old 27 MHz RX's. No problems with 2.4 GHz though.
It might be worth starting a different thread on the subject.
 

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Thanks Tony. When you think of how little magnetism it seems to take to nuc a credit card or other magnetic strip card, you would sure think it would affect our model electronics, but maybe it's different somehow.

Keith
 

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Nice job Tony,

I wish I had a little of this advice when I did my first Bachmann Annie.....I went to a great deal of effort to completely understand the wiring inside the entire engine. Took it completely apart and yes, it was tricky to put it back together. I'm sure Stan was laughing in Dewey as I bombarded him with questions and photos of my progress. A two-three hour project took me three and a half days to complete. I like the space allowed inside the tender, but wish there were sometimes more configuration options with the lithium ion battery packs. Would be nice if someone came up with a modular system that would allow you to plug components together and still end up with a viable battery. Needs to be cost effective as well...LOL (I know, I'm dreaming). Thanks for posting your progressive steps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just wish I could get Li-Ion battery packs fitted with low voltage cut offs which are the norm in the USA. I cannot get them, so I cannot use them, except for a few customers who I know will not let them run down too low.
Importing them into Autralia is not an option.
One lives in hope my battery supplier will eventually see the light. So to speak.
 
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