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Thread: Battery powered locos?

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    Default Battery powered locos?

    Saw this on youtube:

    https://youtu.be/b8sS113DghI

    Ugly but just a proof of concept. I've been wondering if this had been attempted yet with ever better LiOn batteries. Maybe I'm wrong but battery power seems like it would make life a lot easier, avoiding most of the wiring headaches that come with layouts. Also gives your train some weight!

    What do you guys think? Is this the future?
    "I apologize for the crudity of this model. It's not to scale..." -- Dr. Emmett Brown

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    What do you guys think? Is this the future?
    Yes, it's the future certainly, but it will be a decade or more before a self-contained N scale locomotive becomes a commercial reality. Self-contained as in a suitable battery with enough amp-hours (or really milliamp hours) for 90-minutes of operation with sound and lights. And self-contained with some form of command control, be it through the rails or wifi.

    In sum, we're on the cusp of so-called "dead rail" being viable in N scale; just not there yet. It has yet to walk and run in HO.

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    So many things will become possible (or made easier) as batteries get smaller and more powerful. Efficiently powering my sister's camp in the Maine woods is one thing to look forward to, but dead rail running in N Scale is at the top of the list!!

    Inconsistent track power keeps me away from my layout.

    -Paul

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    I was intrigued by the idea of mounting the batteries in your rolling stock. But I imagine making the connections between cars in a way that doesn't ruin the aesthetics would be challenging. If only there was a way to pass power from battery car to loco through the wheels without electrifying the whole track.
    "I apologize for the crudity of this model. It's not to scale..." -- Dr. Emmett Brown

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    And, when they push the technology before it's ready, we will have realistic, spontaneous fires in our locomotives.

    Doug
    Atlas First Generation Motive Power and Treble-O-Lectric. Click on the link:
    www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/

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    My buddies and I were talking about the novelty of dead rail. We were thinking it would be neat to have the engine service facilities actually charge (service) your engine in between uses. After you run your engine for a while, pull it into the modeled fueling area or roundhouse for it to charge while you bring another engine into service.

    Like it has been commented above, we are a ways away before that reaches us in N scale.
    Bo D.
    B&O Keyridge Subdivision
    I'm not allowed to run the train, the whistle I can't blow. I'm not allowed to say how fast the Railroad Train can go.
    I'm not allowed to shoot off steam, nor even clang the bell. But let the damned Train jump the track, and see who catches hell!


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    Battery powered + Bluetooth = FUN!

    Someday, the tech will be small enough for both at the same time. I'm looking forward to it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yIhcD3jIgk
    N-joy!
    Tred - (USN-Ret.)
    Kansas City, KS
    (Sent using @ 1000Mbps)
    "No matter where you go, there you are!"

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    Saw an article a while back (don't remember where) that was about being able to make the frame of the loco be the battery. So you wouldn't need to find room for the battery, it would just replace the frame, and the room you currently have for control boards and such wouldn't change. The article didn't address how the battery frame would compare to the current frames as far as weight goes, so that could be an issue, but I would think it would be doable with current technology, although possibly not cost effective. The article also mentioned the charging option that RailKing mentioned........which is also available with current technology.....where the charging pad would be hidden under the fuel rack/coaling tower of the layout and the locos would be pulled in to "fuel up". I think the technology is available, but it would take a big commitment to put it into production....how many of us would switch over? And the cost, especially initially, would likely be more than most of us would want to pay.

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    Sound like a great idea. But being the battery the frame of locomotive or not, this technology have a big glitch. TIME. If loco is not use for a period and the Li-Po cell fall under the safety of 3v/cell, bye-bye, ti's gone. I don't want to mention the great risk of fire of Li-Po batteries. Do not ask how catch fire 2 helicopters and burn completely. Lucky me, was outside. But, with time and the technology, who know where will arrive with this hobby.

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    Battery technology has plateaued. There are small improvements to be made,but energy density has reached close to their theoretical limit. Next Gen tech such as sodium or solid state batteries are a long ways off. There is also a limit to how small you can make the mechanical components. Flywheels can't be made smaller. Gears and worms would be prohibitively expensive to assemble if they were smaller.

    I could see some wireless control being incorporated along with capacitors to keep things alive in dirty track but I think DCC is so entrenched that it won't go away.

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    I’d settle right now for smaller keep alives built into all DCC decoders. That would solve 90% of my frustration with live rail DCC.

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