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The Skarloey Railway with Battery Power/Radio Control (009)


Corbs
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  • RMweb Gold

I've long wanted to do a battery powered/radio control loco project, especially in 009 as I've seen so many lovely looking 009 layouts that have running issues, often it seems down to limited pickups etc.

BUT this thread isn't for debating the merits of BPRC, it's to see if it can be done!

 

I bought a Bachmann 'Skarloey' and removed all the weights inside.

 

Then I bought one of these BPRC cars for £7.49

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/142219241446?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

Then I chopped and soldered some wires.

 

Then this happened.

 

Edited by Corbs
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Will you get all the bits inside the loco? I've got a Coke Can Car, and a bigger one, to experiment with, but haven't got anywhere yet.

 

The loco seemed to be running quite slowly, which is interesting considering the cars are built to run very fast. Presumably due to the 12 volt motor running on a low voltage. The big question for me is lack of speed control, so I'm wondering how it will look on the layout without gradual acceleration and deceleration.

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  • RMweb Gold

Yeah it's just a low cost test, I'll probably fit deltang gear in the end (I have most of it and it'll be easier to squeeze in) but i wanted to see if it could be done.

 

It's just forward and reverse

Edited by Corbs
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That's my kind of title !

 

I am building an Arduino based BPR/C for 00 Gauge locos using an nRF24L01+ transceiver, an Atmega Attiny 1634 microprocessor and Pololu DRV8833 motor driver. Those parts cost about £8.

 

...R

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  • RMweb Gold

Sounds great!

 

Some wire rationalisation later, and a hole drilled roughly where the firehole door should be, and I can fit the body on!

I think in the final iteration, the small deltang transmitter will fit where the saddle tank weights were, and the battery will go in the cab.

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I think in the final iteration, the small deltang transmitter will fit where the saddle tank weights were, and the battery will go in the cab.

If size matters it is hard to beat the deltang devices.

 

...R

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  • RMweb Gold

I may have stumbled upon the solution, found an old John Lewis RC helicopter in the cupboard. The controller has some very dead AA batteries in and it seems I have run out of them so need to buy some before I can test it.

BUT it has speed control, and the battery and circuit board are smaller.

post-898-0-61673900-1503610581.jpg

Edited by Corbs
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  • RMweb Gold

Right. That helicopter post ^ is daft nonsense. Helicopters don't have up and down control. They just have up - gravity takes care of the down!

However, the helicopter yielded a nice small battery.

I thought, 'why not bite the bullet and try the deltang kit you have in the drawer?'

I used the switch and charge socket from the remains of the car, and spliced the helicopter battery in to the deltang Rx using a bit of brass strip for now.

Read the instructions carefully, it switched on! Managed to bind the transmitter and receiver together, and......

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  • RMweb Gold

Mixed news.
Good:
Here's a demo of the inertia control on the deltang controller and receiver.

Bad:
Just tried to charge the battery using the charging ports from the helicopter, connected the leads the wrong way around. Whoops, it's dead now.
I found some more bullets to bite, and have ordered some proper gear from Micron radio control.

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  • RMweb Gold

Since I've now committed to 'doing it properly', I've placed an order with Micron Radio Control for a USB charger, a suitable battery with connectors, and will wire it all up when those arrive. 

 

Once it's working, I'll post up a price list of what I've used so anyone can use it as a reference if you want to convert a 009 loco cheaply.

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http://www.freerails.com/

 

Has lots of info, particularly the Deltang stuff. And the chap who runs Deltang is on there and readily answers queries in a helpful way.

 

I've been following this thread with interest, having already done a 009 Narrow Planet Baguley by copying Frank/Fallen's thread on here using Deltang, and now an SM32 loco, again with Deltang. It's a learning curve, and I found the whole minimum voltages quite confusing. But there are many helpful souls on here who are far higher up the tree to guide. 

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  • RMweb Gold

Thanks! I have signed up for an account.

 

This isn't a huge update, but I am quite pleased with it. I got my new kit from Micron in the post yesterday and soldered something together before I realised I was probably too tired to be doing soldering.

The new receiver can fit in the bunker (with a handy slot I cut in it) and I'm going to mount the switch and charging port into the body. The only thing left is the battery, which will need to go in the cab, but I should be able to hide it with some crew members.

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  • RMweb Gold

Right! Here's what I did...

Drilled hole in styrene strip. Drilled hole in smokebox, filed out to a rectangle. Glued styrene in

post-898-0-47832900-1503610321.jpg

 

Fitted body, crammed the electrics in (REALLY crammed it in)

post-898-0-37747200-1503610334.jpg

 

Here's how it charges! Using my Anker power brick, piped to the plug in the smokebox. The on/off switch is in the cab but needs a permanent fixing. At the moment I'm just so pleased it all fits in.

post-898-0-21485000-1503610344.jpg

 

And it works! Please excuse the galloping in reverse, I think the front axle is loose.

Edited by Corbs
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Out of curiosity, what are the dimensions of the electric motor in the little red loco?

 

I have motors that look similar but are shorter - 10mm across the flats and 12mm across the rounded sides. I got some of my motors from cheap servos and they work very well with a 1S LiPo whereas I have others (same physical size) that need a higher voltage for the same performance. The size seems to be known as N20 based on Mabuchi nomenclature.

 

The motors are very cheap but the problem is trying to find out which winding they have before buying. It is probably safe to assume that a servo will always use the low-voltage version. But servo manufacturers don't say what is inside their devices.

 

...R

Edited by Robin2
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Hmm I can try and measure it tonight.

I would appreciate that. The motors I bought cost £1.50, not $15. Admittedly they don't have a worm gear. The Servo from which I took the motor cost about £4 - and you get lots of free gears with it :)

 

To be honest, I have been wondering if the cheap low-voltage motors would be useful in your loco.

 

...R

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold

I wanted to tidy up the BPRC installation on Skarloey, as well as repaint it.
 
Stripped the chassis back
post-898-0-33164300-1503610399.jpg
 
Much chopping and cutting on the section of chassis under the cab
post-898-0-51140400-1503610408.jpg
 
Here you can see the gap this makes, the switch will go neatly here.
post-898-0-24982700-1503610419.jpg
 
and here we are part way through the repaint. The saddle tank needs rubbing back and handrails added before a top coat.
post-898-0-17727000-1503610431.jpg

Edited by Corbs
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In the interest of having a minimal space "switch" I hit on the idea of sliding in a piece of 5 thou brass to bridge the gap between the battery contact and the power bus. It has the great additional advantage that, if the "switch" is on the shelf the power cannot possibly be switched on :)

 

...R

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  • RMweb Gold

Sounds a good idea!

 

I've managed to fit the Narrow Planet 3D printed smokebox door. I had to grind a bit of material out of the back to clear the charging plug, but it now fits snugly with some black tack holding it in place. The cab is a lot tidier with less wiring now the switch has been relocated.

 

The saddle tank has been repainted and the loco reassembled. I think it looks quite smart now, really pleased so far.

 

post-898-0-47263200-1503610528.jpg

post-898-0-98910000-1503610528.jpg

 

I'm debating putting a TR-style wooden door onto one side of the cab, my intended model is of the Skarloey Railway in the 1940s and 1950s - the 'lean years' - hence the red dome and not a shiny brass one.

Edited by Corbs
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  • RMweb Gold

Here's a little demo/test I did this afternoon to show how the charger plugs in, where the switch is located, and how long it lasts on a charge. It's come a long way since the first post, I think.

 

 

post-898-0-70312700-1503875145.jpg

Edited by Corbs
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