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Newbie Battery Questions

1284 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  c nelson
Hi Guys and I for one enjoy reading on many topics and gaining on my experience from them. Well, I have a simple "Dogbone" layout tied in with a oval along the perimeter (layout is 13'x10'). Not very big and will not be expanding for a couple of years. My kids/boys are 4 & 6 and love to run our AC 0-4-0 loco and freight cars. I do plan on adding a GP 40 Locomotive with sound but that would be it. I want to run Battery power and to increase my kids enjoyment of running the trains and me being as involved in the maintenance of cleaning the track. Given that I want to add sound and a wireless system to both locomotives. As with everything, costs is an issue and being that will mainly be used by my kids, I just need something simple where my kids can throttle and push buttons to produce sounds. I was thinking of a QSI "Magnum" system but I am kindly asking for some advice.

Again, I thank you for your kind advice and knowledge you guys are willing to share.
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My first sound and battery powered engine I looked for the cheapest also, but still had quality, my thinking was if you are 50 ft away from maybe Pheonix or Dallee sound system, would my 6 year old tell the difference, I went with RCS battery install and the Dallee sound system, the RCS has a couple buttons on it, and small enough for my sons hands, the Dallee sound system fit my budget for first time sound. I am sure other people will let you know whta they did, but my advice is always read and research a lot before purchasing.

tom h
Preface: Do your Homework on this, it's worth the effort!

I too decided the RCS Brand of Control, but began with their EVO Throttles....the EVO's operate with a simple 2 stick radio (like an RC Car) and can trigger sound and directional lighting if you want. I recently purchased a few of the "Specials" close-outs from Tony, and dug up a few radios too...minus the Battery/Charger one can be into RC Control for less than $100...now that is pretty cost effective!

Looking over the Slope tender I have here, it appears to me that everything "might" go into the shell which would allow operation w/o a trail car. Not that a trail car is bad (how I started) but it is another option.

My boys (5 & 4) can operate the RCS TX-24 (deck card sized) remote with ease as well! It has been and continues to be a great choice for control of our trains.

I have one loco fitted with Dallee sound, an LGB switcher, it works for the kids...even if a little "rough" for me...I've not heard their steam sounds so I can't comment. I use(d) Sierra for my Steamers.

Here is a link to the EVO Page :


and the RCS for comparison:


for further info you could give this guy a call, he has been Very Helpful to us! He is my RCS/EVO Rep.

Dave Goodson 425-823-3507

Good Luck, and if I can be of any help, please don't hesitate to ask!

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Thanks for the information, I have thought about the RCS alternative and am actually leaning that way. I think that since my sons play with the trains 4-8 hours a weekend, I would like to use a trail car with a long lasting battery. I have read of using for example a 14.4volt Dewalt cordless drill battery. Is it possible to attach the trail car behind the tender and my kids love the tender? I also like the TX-24 controller for them as their are sounds buttons.

Thanks again for the continued help.
Yes, you can do Trail car thru the tender....

actually you could do tender with batt and a trail car with batt....double the pleasure/double the fun!....(sorry got carried away!)

with my 14.4v consisting of (2) 7.2v Nicad packs (as supplied by Dave) I get 3-5 hours with my Bachmann Annie...that of course will vary upon amount of track and total cars in tow....

here is a link of my first ever install...It consisted of a 18v drill pack in an AMS Stock car with an EVO throttle running to a Bachmann 45 tonner controlled by a Futaba radio:


A trail car set up with an RCS Elite/Basic Throttle would be nearly identical...

Tony of RCS makes all sorts of oddities to aid in the install, esp with a trail car!

The horn and bell buttons do get the most use on my TX-24 when the boys are operating!

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I think that for my kids, the RCS TX-24 with the Elite-3 package will work best for my layout. You said you added sound with the Dalle System. Any recommendations on a dealer. I will be utilizing a trail car and I do not think the slope tender will provide much space for all the electronics needed.

Thanks again.
Sound Dealer:
You can buy direct from Dallas of Dallee and I would...


Dallee Electronics, Inc. [[email protected]]

He does not have sounds avail online, but he can play them for you if you give him a call.

though you may find an Aristo-Craft Dallee card say from Ridgeroad for about $86. Those particular cards are not programmed the same as the "Steam Locomotive Sound Sustems" avail from Dallas...How do I know? I have one (see above) and you can't just blow the horn...it has a series of random horn/whistle blast avail and it cycles thru to the next in line each time you trigger it with the TX- it's described as "Auto-Horn / Whistle play patterns". Now Dallas will re-program it for you, for $35...which gets you close to his price of $109 for the "SLSS" that needs no programming.

Again, I'd just buy direct from Dallas, he seems to be a fair guy, and has been responsive to email and tele calls. Now some will prob jump in and toss Dallee out with the bath water (it is a mono card---chuff stops when whistle sounds-you're kids will never notice), but it appears to me that you are looking for a reasonably priced sound card to keep the kids interested that will operate with the RCS brand of control? if so, Dallee may fit the bill?

There is another I like: http://www.smallscalerailway.com/ but unlike Dallee the bell and whistle are not TX trigger-able, all those sounds are played according to the voltage being applied to the card...ie: faster you go, whistle plays different sound, slow down the bell begins...See their website for further...Again, this chap seems to be a nice fellow and there are a few here that aren't interested in triggers and have praised this little card!

RCS Dealer:
Dave Goodson of NWRCS...number listed above


Since Sierra Soundtraxx quit the LS Market, the only other real alternative for me and my RCS are Phoenix (more cash, of which I am not privy to).
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