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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last few months I was building a solar powered rail car, freely based on a Billard draisine. It was more an experiment.

The model had to be light and was build from plywood, balsawood and cardboard using a universal gearbox with motor (SOL Expert #40212) and solar panel/LED set (Sol Expert (SOl Expert #40212 “Solarhouse” kit).

The car is powered with a "staggering" 1,5 volts 2500 mAh cell..:eek:
It is not yet finished, some detailing need to be done.


Here two videos on Youtube. In the first you can see it run with a flickering light (due to loose contact) and loosing its sliding door down the way (testruns can be dangerous!).


The second is a night run later that evening. Considering the 1,5 volts I think it runs pretty good :)






 

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You really need to slow that thing down. The first run was so fast "it blew the doors off." ;)

Enjoy
 

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Wonderful.
I had a similar idea to use a scientific kit the I found, but the output was so weak that I gave up.
I had hoped to have some kind of a flywheel to get it through my tunnel, but maybe that was a little too hopeful.
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wonderful.
I had a similar idea to use a scientific kit the I found, but the output was so weak that I gave up.
I had hoped to have some kind of a flywheel to get it through my tunnel, but maybe that was a little too hopeful.
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
If you want to run it directly powered from the solar panel it indeed will be to weak I guess (or perhaps it works when you connect more panels in series).
It is better to let the solar panel charge a battery cell and use the battery cell as power source. That way you also don't need a flywheel to get through the tunnel as it runs on the battery. The lack of sunlight in the tunnel is of no influence than.

If you keep the model light enough it can run on a 1,2 volts battery cell. The cell that came along with the kit I used was 600 mAh. It works but for longer running time I replaced this battery for a 2500 mAh battery. However, that one needs way more time to charge!
The good thing is it can not be over charged ;)

So the idea is to store the model somewhere where it catch daylight to charge. When you want to run it you take the model and put it on the tracks to let it run its rounds. After a while (depending on the battery used) the battery runs flat and it need to be re-charged again.
Charging time depends on the capacity of the battery and how empty it was. Finding a good balance between charging time vs running time is the challenge.

Actually there are more possibilities. Like those cheap solar powered lights with motion detectors (for instance to use at a porch or alley) that uses like a 6,5 volts battery cells. The panel is somewhat bigger but not too big it won't fit on a G scale model. Using one of those you have some more juice and it can even power RC transmitters.

Just give it a try ;-)
Paul
 

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In the past Goldmine Electronics sold a solar panel with a very high torque 6 volt gear motor for IIRC $35.

I bought one and I don't use the panel, but the motor has enough power/torque to run my Rigiduo.

They later had a half-off sale and I bought 3 more for spares. I ended up using a second for the Rigiduo (now 2 motors) but that was more for positioning of the line and to get rid of a drive belt that was slipping.

I checked but they no longer stock them.
 
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