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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our garden railway group has encountered a number of third generation lithium-ion battery packs. These are the packs distributed earlier this year that are not compatible with the TE. The red (power) LED on the TE will light up and then fade away when you try to use these battery packs to power it. To date we have four of them: two from a dealer and two from our Canadian Distributor.

Today while bench testing a 75 MHz receiver, I decided to try one of the third generation battery packs to power it.



The motor block and LED headlight (programming light) ran fine with it. I tried the other two third generation battery packs and they worked as well.

So if you are planning to install a 75 MHz on-board receiver, you can use a third generation lithium-ion battery pack. These packs may also work with other on-board receivers.

Our group has also encountered problems with the power switch on new TEs when using them with lithium-ion battery packs. After the switch has been used a while, the red (power) LED will not light and the TE will not function. Or the red (power) LED will light, but the green (signal) LED will flicker and the transmitter and receiver will not link. This is especially true if two lithium-ion packs are used in parallel to power the TE. A large flash (arcing) is evident when the switch is thrown.

We are now encouraging our members to install a toggle switch rated at 5 amps (at 125 volts) between the TE and one lithium-ion battery pack, and use it instead the slide switch on the TE. When two lithium-ion packs are used, a four-pole double-throw switch with diodes should be installed.



We are currently using a standard sized, four-pole double-throw, center-off toggle switch rated for 15 amps (at 125 volts) in our Evans power cars.



The large screw terminals make it easy to install the heavy wiring used on the new TEs and lithium-ion battery packs. The TE and battery pack connectors are replaced with number 6 loop terminals.
 

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But I wonder why it doesn't run a te.. how odd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The consensus seems to be that the large capacitors on the TE create a surge when it is first fired up. Probably the reason a locomotive connected to a power car jumps briefly when power to the TE is engaged. Apparently the protective circuitry in that generation of lithium-ion packs is more sensitive to this initial power surge and shuts the pack down. Some people have found away around it, but I don’t recommend it. Better to return the pack to Aristo-Craft for replacement or use it with another receiver.
 

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And return them now, before the offer to exchange them goes away.... The manufacturer of the IC in the charge circuitry in the pack changed the IC apparently.

It's actually a nice setup, as the IC monitors the voltages of each cell independently...

Regards, Greg
 

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Hi Guys,

For those wanting to make their own Battery Packs, I can recommend the Tenergy Barand of Li-Ion Batteries with a built in PCB protectiuon circuit built directly into each cell. Just Google Tenergy or go to all-battery.com.

I have not tried them in parallel. But at 30 bucks for a 4 cell 14.8 volt pack, I really lovin it. I have not had any problems witrh my 75 mhz TE's using these batteries. and get over 5 1/2 hours run (sound off) time with a Connie pulling 11 cars. I haven't tested with sound on, but always run with sound on and never run out of power during an average 4 hour session. (not continuous running).

I probably will not do further testing to see how long they will go with sound on and continuous running.
 

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Paul, you mentioned third generation packs. I'm familiar with the problems with the packs that shut down when connected to a TE. It was revealed by Lewis that the monitoring IC in the pack was to blame.

But your numbering of "generations" prompted to ask what the differences are between the "first two" generations, if you identify the "problematic" ones as third generation. (Also that causes the newest replacement packs with no problems to be 4th generation!).

Not nit picking, but I have a lot of people ask about this, and I was not aware of the previous generations.

Regards, Greg
 

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Posted By billsharron on 09/29/2008 1:16 PM
Hi Guys,

For those wanting to make their own Battery Packs, I can recommend the Tenergy Barand of Li-Ion Batteries with a built in PCB protectiuon circuit built directly into each cell. Just Google Tenergy or go to all-battery.com.

I have not tried them in parallel. But at 30 bucks for a 4 cell 14.8 volt pack, I really lovin it. I have not had any problems witrh my 75 mhz TE's using these batteries. and get over 5 1/2 hours run (sound off) time with a Connie pulling 11 cars. I haven't tested with sound on, but always run with sound on and never run out of power during an average 4 hour session. (not continuous running).

I probably will not do further testing to see how long they will go with sound on and continuous running.

Bill - What are you using for a charger?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The first generation packs would not charge properly and were exchanged for second generation packs. Everything was fine until this spring when the third generation packs were sold and people found they were incompatible the TE. Rather embarrassing for Aristo-Craft as they had just released their battery car. Also a bad start for the newbies to battery power who bought one and encountered problems right out of the box with the usually bullet proof TE.

Last week I was trying to get a friend’s new TE to link. I was using a 13 volt, filtered power supply; and the TE had the dreaded flickering green (signal) LED. I tried all my usual tricks, but to no avail. I thought this was a new phenomenon only associated with the lithium-ion battery packs, but apparently not. After pulling the fuse and removing the oxide on both sides of its blades, the flicker disappeared. Unfortunately my hopes were dashed as the TE still would not link, but at least I have something new to try to eliminate the dreaded flickering green LED.
 

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Paul, I hope you are ok?

Anyway, I tried to reword my post several times to ask if I did "miss" a generation of batteries, but it might not have come out right!!!!

On my site, I try to keep track of the "generations" of various hardware because to neophytes, it might not be obvious.

Famous example is older Aristo Pacific being totally different than new one, but still NOS out there, or the "generations" of Aristo switches with different flangeways, frogs, wiring.

Regards, Greg
 

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Hi Guys,

I'm going to convert my k27 to r/c battery and sound. Question would a li ion battery pack like Bill used in his connie be strong enough to run the K?? I was wondering could you use two battery packs, one to power the engine and the otherto power the sound??

Thanks Chuck
 

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Smoke does. The Aristo unit is about 1/2 amp.

Wondering if I should get a second charger and third battery for long days at the botanic.
 

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running smoke, sound and the locomotive on a 2 amp power pack isnot very practival. My diesels run 9 AH power packs. I get tired before they run down. I took one of my engines on vacation with me and discovered that my charger was not working. I still got to run it where I wanted and it still isn't dead. If you are using the Aristo Li-ion packs, it would take 4 of them to equal what I have in my engine. You can hook any number in parallel for running and charge them seperatley.
 

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So, (sorry reply is late), there seems to be 4 generations of Aristo li-ion packs. The latest generation has a non-defective charging controller in it, so it is compatible with the TE.

Seems the short circuit protection was too sensitive in the 3rd generation.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That’s correct! There are four generations. I had a pack that would not charge replaced by Aristo-Craft a couple of months back. I have had no trouble with the new pack and a TE in my Evans power car.



I hope Aristo-Craft continues to supply these or something just as small and powerful. It is simpler to wire one pack and charging plug instead of two. They also fit in most fuel tanks.





The Plug and Play wiring also makes battery power conversions easier.
 

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Sorry Paul, actually Aristo is headed in the opposite direction, they are going to offer ni-mh batteries. Don't know the real reason, but this info is from Lewis in his forums.

I think with all the problems they had with the li-ions, they want to go with something less problematic (for them) and cheaper.

There's a thread extolling the virtues of the "new" batteries.

Regards, Greg
 
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