Battery powered throttle?

termite Dec 18, 2013

  1. termite

    termite TrainBoard Member

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    I'm trying to come up with a small, handheld, throttle for use with a desk top layout at work. I have everything figured out, EXCEPT what to use for actual speed control. Any ideas?


    Alan
     
  2. mudbugntx

    mudbugntx New Member

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    If it's DCC you can use your cell phone.
     
  3. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    What scale?
    Many out there...and this is electronics and dcc forum, so are you dcc or dc?
    Dave
     
  4. termite

    termite TrainBoard Member

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    this is going to be a small DC layout at my workplace, the big problem is that, because of all the computers, I can't plug into the power grid. the entire layout (just a small loop of track) has to be battery powered


    edit: should have put the part about only using battery power in the original post

    Alan
     
  5. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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    Just make one. A small Radio Shack box, a 9 volt battery a reversing switch and a pot. Shouldn't cost more than 20 bucks.....Mike
     
  6. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Scale. Still the question. Size does matter, can't really recommend a unit to you unless I know. If I recommended a 10 Amp unit that works in #1 gauge, a bit overkill (and oversized) for Half 0.
     
  7. termite

    termite TrainBoard Member

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    thanks Mike, that's what I thought I was going to have to do, just hoped there was a commercially made one out there.

    Alan
     
  8. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

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    Not sure if this pertains : About 20 years ago I visited a guy's N scale DC home layout. It was huge and took up his entire living room in an apartment in LaHabra, Ca. south of L.A. It ran on (can't remember) 1 or 2, maybe 3,4 car batteries in parallel circuit. Also can't remember how he recharged them. Also, why not buy an old MRC Tech II. DC power pack with early momentum switch. They must go for peanuts now...
     
  9. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

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    How does a 9v Battery run 12-14v trains ? Maybe 2 in series might work. But they are going to go dead in no time.
     
  10. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Easy. Run your train on analog at a "normal" speed. Whilst running, place a voltmeter across the rails. Unless you engage in "slot trains", it best be much less than 12.
     
  11. Geep_fan

    Geep_fan TrainBoard Member

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    We used 9V batteries at the shop to test engines before they went out on the display cabinet. As ScaleCraft said, unless you plan on slot car racing them, 9V is more than sufficient. In N scale you could run a train for a really long time off the 9V and HO would get a decent amount of run time. I do recall that some toy manufacturer did an HO toy train set about 10-15 years ago that had an on board 9V battery and an on off switch on the roof, I had one for a while and it would run for hours on that battery.

    One cool thing to consider here if this is N scale, how about a USB throttle? all the computers in there must have a few spare ports. That's a continuous 5V supply. Should be more than enough for N scale and maybe even HO, just make sure the engines you run don't pull a significant amount of Amps.

    On a side note, I have seen battery throttles on the market before, but as I recall they never sold well as the guys with big, permanent layouts could not use them.
     
  12. Stickboy

    Stickboy TrainBoard Member

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    I was thinking about incorporating something like this into the Z scale table top layouts I've been building. What would be a suitable value of potentiometer?

    Or would something like one of these work with a 9v battery?

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/310820211891?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/190974301872?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2013
  13. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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  14. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

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    I think I would use a 3 cell Lithium Polymer battery rated at about 5000 mAh with a potentiometer to control speed. You will have to calculate the max time it can run so the battery is not discharged to less than 9.5 volts so as not to destroy it.
    I don't believe any of our advertisers sell LIPO batteries so here is a source:

    http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=15006

    Be very careful with LIPO batteries. They can be very dangerous if not handled properly.
    They also require a special charger intended for LIPO's.

    Harold
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2013
  15. DrMb

    DrMb TrainBoard Member

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    One minor point to keep in mind with batteries is that their output voltage drops as they are depleted. So you may want to look into adding a switching regulator to your throttle to get around that.
     
  16. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Ah. Some do, some don't. NiCads and NiMH drop the surface charge off fairly rapidly, hold the base voltage for a long time, right up to the end. Lead-acid technology drops and drops....crank your car when it's not starting and you'll know.
    Lithiums are another kettle of fried fish. As in 787, with sub group Tesla.
    My big railroad is 100% radio battery, has been for over 20 years, and I won't touch Lithiums.
     
  17. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2013
  18. sharriso

    sharriso TrainBoard Member

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    We are building a shelf layout based on M.C. Fujiwara's Alameda-Belt-in-a-Box. All DC, no blocks, and 9V battery throttle.

    I have been searching for the "e-Z throttle" by Stonebridge Models. Their website says "New Product Coming Soon", and that's about all I can find. The last thread about it here was in 2011. Any news?
     
  19. 4-4-0

    4-4-0 TrainBoard Member

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  20. mfm_37

    mfm_37 TrainBoard Member

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    I've used an automotive "jump box" to run my trains when power was not available. Combine it with a simple home built throttle and it works like a charm. Most jump boxes have a cigar lighter type adapter to tap the supply.

    Martin Myers
     

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