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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just came in.
7-1/2 hours straight ops.
Leaves. Pine needles. Pine cones. DIRT. Slugs (not just slug tracks).
Ballast splashed on rails.
RAIN.

Never once had any issues with connectivity.

At $20 for six feet of aluminum track, I cannot imagine brass or stainless.
I have one pair of clamps that are not for bridge removal, rather to hold a 4" chunck in alignment/
With 1500' of track, the cost of rail clamps would kill me off.
No wiring to the rails.
No conductive paste in joiners.

No power supplies nor controllers for same.

The only 110V needed tonight was for the air switches (2) and coffee pot.
And the air charge lasted 7 hours.

No programming tracks.
No cheat sheets to get soaked in the rain.
No computers (if for no other reason than to read the "digitalmentation").

No smoke got released from any components.
Never had any issues with headlights blinking.

NO optical chuff triggers.

Nobody telling me my smoke units wouldn't work because my decoders have a pin cut.
Heck, I yank them stupid things out anyway.

No sign-up sheets for the next Seminar or log-in infor for user groups.

And, search as we might, we just couldn't find any track cleaning cars in the terminal.

Bummer.

I mean, look at all we missed out on by only turning the locos on and running trains for 7-1/2 hours.

I think I should buy 1500' of stainless.
Buy 80+ stainless turnouts.
Enought rail clamps to connect it all.
Lay a thousand feet of cabling.
Buy at least four boosters.
Buy a control station suitable for 20 operators, and current enough that I don't have to "upgrade" for at least a year.
Buy 20 handpieces (for the 20 operators), replace all my throttles and sound systems with sound decoders that only handle an amp.
Buy decoders for all the turnouts, and provide all the necessary bit to make even the air switches function.

Buy a track cleaning car, schedule it into regular wayfreights to keep the tracks clean.

Assign one person per ops session to maintain pickups and wheel cleanliness.
Assign another to deal with turnout connectivity issues of the 80+ turnouts (at least).
Assign one person to assist with re-programming decoders, and adding rectifiers where needed.
Assign another with a laptop to access all the "digitalmentation".

Pretty soon I'll have everyone maintaining, and nobody will run trains.

Maybe we can all just buy TrainSim, sit in the shop with our laptops, and "pretend".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Got live steam.
Two of them, both Asters.

VERY difficult to run wayfreight ops on 4% grades with them.

Downhills can get interesting with a long train.

Unless I "slam it into reverse just like the prototypes".
 

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well, some of your items I would take exception to, like the smoke unit example, so if you don't use them, then why bring up the point? The track power guy can turn it off and you guys are equal.

But let's not dwell on the obvious exceptions, I know you are passionate Dave.

I would answer your question:

You have made a very good case for battery power, and especially in adverse conditions.

So why would you consider anything else:

Well, what if you wanted to run long trains for hours and hours... not all locomotives can hold enough battery for this.
What if you wanted what I often do, leave a long train running for 8 hours?
What if you wanted to run multiple units and have the speed sychronized? And use just one control?
What if you wanted to have sound in every loco, but that left no room for batteries?
What if you had 40 locos and did not want to buy 40 chargers, but want to run them all the time?

There are cases where track power, can make sense for people. It makes more sense for me for the number of locos I run at the same time, and for the lengths of trains (load) and the running time.

Aluminum is certainly cheaper than stainless, and I do have rail clamps on every joint. Yes, I paid a LOT more for my track, but it was my choice and a worthwhile trade for my free time. I also just personally hate charging batteries, and the irritation of things not being available when I want.

I also want more sound functions, but that is really not a battery vs track power issue, technologically.

So it depends on what you want. You have your situation worked out Dave, you have nasty weather, and enough chargers for the locos you run and everything works the way you want it, and with the features you want.

For me, if I lived where you do, and ran trains the way you do, DCC and track power would most likely be a bad choice.

But the way I like to run, and the trains I run dictate track power. Even Dennis Serrine, who spent one million dollars on his layout and locos had to switch from battery to track power during the Phoenix NGRC.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have one fast charger.
One.

Several "normal rate" chargers.

I guarantee you, I can run some of these non-stop for over 8 hours.

Ask Steve Stockham or Barry.

YOU know why on the smoke.

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,7078.0.html

Besides, with the dcc mafia starting the dcc threads, hey, why not?

I never said you shouldn't do what you want.

Just like Dwight.

I do, however, find some statements somewhat amazing.

But, now I need to go fix the Audio-Visual inputs from my rectifiers.

In case you missed it:

http://www.largescalecentral.com/LSCForums/viewtopic.php?id=9967

See what happens when you mail me that case of single-malt scotch?

I gotta open another bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We (all the operators here this evening) were wondering just how the big old raccoon running down the mainline would have disrupted the cross-level if we'd just been floated in loose ballast............

Just wondering.


Dang.
Another bottle gone.
 

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Ha! that was pretty darn funny.... I'm going to radio shack to get AV inputs for my rectifiers. I'm sure they are a stocking item.

The Bachmann smoke unit will not work on DCC? Get Lewis to show Reilly how to build one, his smoke units work just fine on DCC.

DCC mafia? That's why Lewis banned me, you know! You need to go over there, Lewis will embrace you like a long lost friend, the battery mafia will be welcomed with open arms!

Regards, Greg
 

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Posted By Curmudgeon on 11/07/2008 11:20 PM
Got live steam.
Two of them, both Asters.

VERY difficult to run wayfreight ops on 4% grades with them.

Downhills can get interesting with a long train.

Unless I "slam it into reverse just like the prototypes".


OOOooo OOOooo OOOooo, now yer talkin'!


YEEEEEHHHHHHAAAAaaaaa... full throttle and haul back on that reverser lever!


(I'm a baaaaaaaad Engineer! -
- )
 

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G'day Greg.

1. Well, what if you wanted to run long trains for hours and hours... not all locomotives can hold enough battery for this.

No problem. You are not running light engine so use the first car after the loco to carry auxilliary batteries.
They simply plug in, disconnecting the on board batteries and saving them for use running around light engine.

2. What if you wanted what I often do, leave a long train running for 8 hours?

No problem. See # 1 above.

3. What if you wanted to run multiple units and have the speed sychronized? And use just one control?

No problem. RCS can do that with suitably matched locos. As many as you like.

4. What if you wanted to have sound in every loco, but that left no room for batteries?

The Phoenix P5 is tiny. It can run off the traction batteries just nicely.
You might have me there depending on the size of the loco.
However, if the loco can fit in even physically small batteries simply refer to # 1 above.

5. What if you had 40 locos and did not want to buy 40 chargers, but want to run them all the time?

Are you seriously asking me to believe you could actually operate 40 locos simultaneously? All day. 24/7
I will concede that might be a problem.
However a solution is again at hand. See #1 above to avoid using the loco batteries in any train.

6. Even Dennis Serrine, who spent one million dollars on his layout and locos had to switch from battery to track power during the Phoenix NGRC.

Would this be the same gentleman who sent 100 Li-Ion battery packs back to the importer because they failed.
Perhaps he should have stuck to the tried and true NiCd batteries Dave, I and a multitude of our happy customers have been using almost exclusively for the last what, 25 years.
 

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I can not drink enough beer to keep up with these comments!!!!

I think to be totally independent, trains should be solar/battery and no utility power would be needed.

Perhaps the trailing car should be a live steam donkey driving a generator.

Maybe a miniature flathead gas engine to drive a generator.
 

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so how do you fit a battery and radio control in a little rail car ?


how do you work remote switchs that you cannot reach ?


if it has a battery then why do you need rail at all just make a dirt path for the train ?


so what will it cost to make a dump car work remotely with battery and radio control ?


how long will the batterys last if I want to light a string of 13 aristo pass cars and how many batterys do I need ?


how do I trigger the sound effects in my yard and cattle car ?


does that one battery car have to alway be on the loco ?

if I cannot take power from the track how am I to power my lift bridge across the yard ?


sorry cannot run that train right now it has to charge

sorry cannot run the smoke it takes to much power from the battery

sorry cannot make that loco run battery will not hold a charge




I tryed the battery thing with both locolink and TE and did not like it .... even caused me to give up outdoor trains for a few years ..... then I found DCC and everything changed now the indoor trains are gone and I am just having a great time ....

in our club there is 5 of us that run dcc and none have problems .......for me DCC is it and I will never go backwords to battery no matter how much slander is said about dcc.......
 

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I run both, and will have to say I have less trouble with track power than battery. I am not going to put anyone down for running battery for this is our hobby and we can operate anyway we like, if
it is battery, track, dcc, drc are what ever we enjoy than do it! Just run trains.

Owner of K&K the road to nowhere
 

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One point that nobody has mentioned is that in our club, the meets with the lowest attendence are the battery only layouts; because most of our members don't have any battery powered equipment. Our meets with track power draw anywhere from 10 to 20 locomotives; battery power only meets draw more like 3 to 5.

But I guess it depends on your goals. Our objective tends to be "If you bring it, it will run on my layout." If you're more of the "I'm right, you're wrong, get used to it" school, well...
 

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I think the thing is Dave did not post this on public or track power forum, thus its between those who regularly visit batt forum.
I may have , but try NOT to go to track power forum and bring this up unless some one is saying something to miss lead folks on the issue.
The biggest thing is track power advicts forget all the time that many of us came from track power.
And thats all I have to say about that.

Many ,NOT all open houses I have gone to, track power folks can't handle all the visiting trains , unless they are on board RC. Very few are DCC
And MTH folks , again, only visitng batt/RC can play at the same time.

Even me now being (as some call it) halfway live steam run RC batt to control it. The idea of going around a level circle time after time , I'd get board.
 

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OH, sorry Dwight,, LOL ,,,LOL
You know better than to joke with Dave.

Scott has good points on accessories for the RR. most battery folks don't have "toy" train operating things.
A good rule of thumb is never have a swtich that you can't get to , becuase you will have to clean or clear the rail at some point in time.

as for dead battery = dead spot in track, dirty loco wheels, not enough power to run all the lights in the cars.

And yes, they do run on the dirt after a derailment.

Also, we , I don't want any one to leave the hobby. battery or track is great as long as it stays fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Posted By Trains West on 11/08/2008 6:45 AM

so how do you fit a battery and radio control in a little rail car ?

Easy. Done lgb Porters, kit-bashed railtrucks, Delton Doozies (with sound), old Bochman porters, Bochman railtrucks.


how do you work remote switchs that you cannot reach ?

AIR. Whatreya, new?


if it has a battery then why do you need rail at all just make a dirt path for the train ?

You don't. Why do real trains need the rail if they have self-contained on-board power sources?


so what will it cost to make a dump car work remotely with battery and radio control ?

Don't know. Never been asked to do one. That said, like in smaller scales, the dump mechanism is trackside.

how long will the batterys last if I want to light a string of 13 aristo pass cars and how many batterys do I need ?

First, remove excess lights. You don't need to light up the countryside.
Then, determine the voltage you REALLY want.
Put a 4.5AH NiMH pack in the lead car with a switch.
Done it.


how do I trigger the sound effects in my yard and cattle car ?

Ya know, most of those cattle car thingies have motion sensors that set them off. You trying to tell me that while running trains, keeping track of things, you want to manually trigger a "moo"?
What about your yard?


does that one battery car have to alway be on the loco ?

What battery car? I don't use battery cars.

if I cannot take power from the track how am I to power my lift bridge across the yard ?

Air? As in, no corrosion?
Oh, wait! MANUALLY! I recall old Lionel stuff that took power from the tracks....and everything slowed down when you operated an accessory.
Come to think of it, that would be a good contol system. Full power to your trains, slow them by continuously operating numerous trackside accessories!



sorry cannot run that train right now it has to charge

Then you don't know what you're doing.

sorry cannot run the smoke it takes to much power from the battery

Not so, but, outdoors in the wind and rain how much smoke you gonna see?
How about this:

"Gee, sorry, can't run my smoke, gotta go add more oil"
"Gee, sorry, I ran out of oil, can't run my smoke"
"Gee, I ran out of oil, forgot to turn the smoke unit off, and burned it up"

sorry cannot make that loco run battery will not hold a charge

Then you need to take up knitting or some other project/hobby that does not require thought processes to be used to show how to charge, cycle or change batteries.





I tryed the battery thing with both locolink and TE and did not like it .... even caused me to give up outdoor trains for a few years ..... then I found DCC and everything changed now the indoor trains are gone and I am just having a great time ....

Did I mention any of those?

in our club there is 5 of us that run dcc and none have problems .......for me DCC is it and I will never go backwords to battery no matter how much slander is said about dcc.......
 

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Posted By Trains West on 11/08/2008 6:45 AM
so how do you fit a battery and radio control in a little rail car ?


how do you work remote switchs that you cannot reach ?


if it has a battery then why do you need rail at all just make a dirt path for the train ?


so what will it cost to make a dump car work remotely with battery and radio control ?


how long will the batterys last if I want to light a string of 13 aristo pass cars and how many batterys do I need ?


how do I trigger the sound effects in my yard and cattle car ?


does that one battery car have to alway be on the loco ?

if I cannot take power from the track how am I to power my lift bridge across the yard ?


sorry cannot run that train right now it has to charge

sorry cannot run the smoke it takes to much power from the battery

sorry cannot make that loco run battery will not hold a charge




I tryed the battery thing with both locolink and TE and did not like it .... even caused me to give up outdoor trains for a few years ..... then I found DCC and everything changed now the indoor trains are gone and I am just having a great time ....

in our club there is 5 of us that run dcc and none have problems .......for me DCC is it and I will never go backwords to battery no matter how much slander is said about dcc.......




To add to the list:

How do I get the trains to automatically "leap frog?"

How does air switching easily accomplish the automatic turnout operation necessarily associated with these operations?

How does air switching amean itself to sophisticated matrixing and automatic operations for just pennies for diodes?

How do I get the trains to slow and stop at the tower/tipple/fuel tank/station to pick up water/coal/fuel/people while running unattended?

How can I make them run point-to point with intermittent stops without special wiring?

How do I keep the two trains from smacking into each other at the crossing when guests have taken my attention?

How do I keep the NiCads from going flat and not taking a charge after sitting all fall and winter? Why should I be bothered with cycling batteries if I'm not using the railroad and my attention is on other things?

To each his own.
 
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