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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wanting to start a new layout in my backyard and i have no idea where to get started. I want to run my trains on battery power but i have no idea on what i need for them to run and how to operate. I'm only going to have around two trains and my backyard isn't that big. If you know what i need please tell me!
 

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1. What brand, type locomotives do you like and want?
2. Do you want to use a trailing battery car or have the battery located in the locomotive?
3. How important will the sound quality need to be?
4. Do you plan to run more than one train at a time?

Give us some idea of the above and we can start to help you better.
 

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He mentions ...not a big back yard...
....Steel...just how big is not too big...
Wisdom would dictate choosing locos that "fit in your space"....
This will help you answer the other questions allready presented here....

I'm guessing you would be happy running small diesels or small to medium steam engines set in an older time period...

A track plan would help...
Where will your layout go in the backyard...?
Do you forsee elevation - grade issues - changes that might become a design challenge. Or nitemare to build in your space?

Choose wisely our new Engineer...and welcome to a new family of train nuts...

Dirk - DMS Ry.
 

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I have 2 trains and like G Scale Graphics Railboss. his newer units are smaller one handed devices. 14-18v batteries are usually good for smaller engines.
How fancy? All the bells and whistles? (Gee where did that term come from)..... or a simple round and round, just like to watch 'em run kind of operation?


John
 

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Futhermore, if you don't have a track plan in mind yet, grab a couple garden hoses. Lay them where track might best fit. Try to visualize with the hoses where you can develope the track..
How much room will this give you for curves and switches (turnouts)...

The curves you choose..or are limited to by space..will create your basis to choose trains and locos that will work reliably and give you the greatest enjoyment and least amount of trouble running.

Dirk
 

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Before you buy anything!

Try to visit a few and see what they're using, or at least, look at postings here. Then you have some information to help pick the one you like.

Of course, you could do what I did: I had an Aristo "Trackside" TE, so I got a battery and charger and stuffed the works in a tender. Perhaps not a good way, but I still use it
 

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As others have said determine what size you can spare. Then the cavet is the largest radius that you can use. Also what type of trains interest you?

When I lived in a townhome and had a really tiny patio yard (and I mean tiny - 8ft by 20ft), I went with narrow gauge. I got an LGB train (Swiss narrow guage) to run in it. More or less a simple loop with one siding.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sd90 I've been a train nut just in British oo scale, I want the sound, light, smoke quality very well. I believe my Backyard is around 2435 sqft. I would like the battery to be inside the engine (I'm probably going to get either a SD70, GP-38, or a GP-40.
 

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Ok your helping here Steel...
But...we are all asking what size curves will fit in your yard...??
This is the...key...to your success and enjoyment of LS trains..
Where do you live?
Others in your area may be more helpfull by being near you...

Dirk
 

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Sd70 probably wants at least 8' diameter..
GP 38 should run a bit smaller...
GP40..well a few are around..but Aristo Craft is not anymore...may not be a good choice..harder to have repairs or get parts...

Dirk
 

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I run a Dash 9 on 8 foot diameter curve layout. The Dash 9 is very similar to the SD70. So, you'll have a lot of overhand on 8 foot diameter curves. Don't even consider running the SD70 on any curve less than 8ft dia. So, if this is what you end up using, you will have to have a longer frt car hooked to the SD70. This longer frt car will need truck mounted couplers otherwise the swing of the SD70 will pull the frt car right off the track. If you have room to use 12 or 15 ft dia curves, do it. I started out thinking the biggest loco I'd want was an RS3. So I figured 8 ft dia curves would be plenty good. But then I bought the Dash 9. So while the 8 ft diameter curves on the mainline work fine, the 4 ft switches in the frt yard didn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I can figure out how to make the plans for the track layout, I just want to know what i need to operate battery powered trains and what batteries and chargers i need.
 

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I suggest you draw and plan your railroad in detail before turning a single shovel of earth. Measure everything in your backyard, twice just to be sure, then figure out what will fit. Then, just set up a basic loop of track on the ground if you can and see if it works in the space allowed. I prefer brass track because I like to solder jumper wires to carry the current reliably. My locomotives are track powered at a constant 18vdc from a power supply but have on-board Rail Boss 4 wireless control and phoenix sound systems. Rail Boss inexpensive, has excellent range and response, is very easy to install, and simple enough to operate that my wife has taken command as the engineer most days we are running. I tried battery power but I like having grades which drains them quickly so I went to back to track power. Once properly prepared and wired, track power is very reliable and easy to maintain but it does take extra preparation. Cleaning the track only takes a couple of minutes at a time with a drywall sander and I have had no problem with continuity and I don't have to worry about low battery issues or eventual replacement with in my opinion can be quite expensive.
 

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If the SD70 is like the Dash 9, it will have two motors in each truck. That is four (4) motors pulling power from the battery. I twice, made a big mistake buying a battery that was not high enough voltage. Make sure you get a 22.5 volt battery. I originally bought a 14.8 volt battery and it would stall out trying to pull a string of cars up a steep grade. Then I bought an 18 volt battery. Still the Dash 9 bogs down and doesn't have enough power to brake the wheels loose.

Also, you said you wanted the battery inside the loco. I also wanted the battery inside my Dash 9. So, on the Dash 9, there is a cover that comes off so you can get to the switches. I removed the switch panel and after trimming the inside panels, my battery fits inside the body of the Dash 9. Now, as for charging, I take the battery out to charge it. I do not leave it in the loco.
 

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Just for correct info...
Randy needs to add a SD70mac to his roster..
They have one motor per power truck...unless you get your hands on one of my custom sd70 siamesed motor blocks with dual motors for a sd90..which I do not sell...

Everyone has a bad habit of stating their preferences for or against on board batteries...but usually neglect to state the Amp Hour capacity...or the grades run on...
Not very easy to make a decision this way....wide open interpretations are all that can be worked with here....

I run with 18 volt/4.5 A.Hr. lead acid batteries..pulling excessively long trains ..compared to most here. ...and have done so excedding 2.5% grades..running for half a day...

As you share your desire to run USA Trains locos...I would suggest the simplest method would be the various P.N.P decoders for each loco that Air Wire sells..along with the T5000 transmitter..
Use batteries they will reccommend..match the voltages...and try for the largest Amp hour capacity you can stuff in the room left over...

Dirk
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the info, How many volt does the SD-70 have to have to run good? Also I don't mind if the battery was in another car i would just prefer it to be in the loco. Is the T5000 want i need to just control it?
 

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My 70 has been running on 18V. battery packs...ran well and pulled many cars. ..
I'm currently changing the internal package...and will now be running 24V. packs..

There is plenty of room inside...be creative!!

A T5000 is a small hand held controller...one hand can do most chores with it....
...controls throttle, direction, loco choices, sound control functions..some others.lights..

Dirk
 
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