Author Topic: Dead railn  (Read 2753 times)

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peteski

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Re: Dead railn
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2014, 10:49:59 PM »
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Why not leave the track powered only as a constant source of battery trickle charging voltage. Then use that battery to power the locomotive. Call it "almost dead rail".

There have been several threads about battery-powered thread and this was also my view on that - leave the power in the rails for charging whatever device is retaining power in the locomotive. Even with dirty spots on the rail or wheels, there will be enough juice to keep the better powered. We have that now with super-caps (but in H0 and larger scales).  To me that is a perfect compromise.

Rechargeable batteries are far from perfect - some can have memory effect, and they are only good for a limited number of cycles. That means even with a transparent charging method, they will eventually have to be replaced. Plus, they can leak or swell up. Super-caps do not have those limitations.
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eric220

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Re: Dead railn
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2014, 10:59:18 PM »
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I've got keep-alive decoders in a couple of my brass engines. The capacitors provide about 15 seconds of power when fully charged. That's plenty to keep them alive through dirty track or less than perfect electrical connections to the tender. They are awesome!
-Eric

Modeling a transcontinental PRR
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nkalanaga

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Re: Dead railn
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2014, 12:21:27 AM »
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Put the battery in the fuel tank.  Low center of gravity and, in many cases, there's a fair amount of metal below the motor.  In new designs a thinner motor would make it even easier.

As for the antenna, maybe model the Penny's trainphone system?
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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Dead railn
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2014, 01:39:18 AM »
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The only batteries that would work: Li-Io and Lithium Polymer are both every very light.

I just don't see this happening in N until we have engines with motors in the trucks and enough room in the hood for both the battery, the electronics and weight. That is a long ways off.

Funny thing is there is a dead rail train set in N: those awful New Ray battery powered set. Wish I had gotten my hands on the AEM-7 set though.
Dan's Train Company
Forcing grandma to make my trains since 2019.

CodyO

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Re: Dead railn
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2014, 09:55:01 AM »
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I've got keep-alive decoders in a couple of my brass engines. The capacitors provide about 15 seconds of power when fully charged. That's plenty to keep them alive through dirty track or less than perfect electrical connections to the tender. They are awesome!

I`d rather install those then mess with dead rail and modifying my engines.

Modeling the Pennsylvania Middle Division in late 1954
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JoeW

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Re: Dead railn
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2014, 02:44:35 PM »
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OK
keep-alive decoders?
Since the idea of Dead rail appealed to me in order to smooth out the operation of N scale models the mention of Keep alive decoders really caught my attention.  Peteski and CodyO you have apparently over come some of the conductivity issues that plague us small scale enthusiasts.  Since my experience is still invested in the block system primarily because of the attachment to older equipment I am still "getting my feet wet".  However I have started supplementing my knowledge of DCC a few years back with the acquisition of an NCE system.  I have a basic understanding of how the system works and I understand how a capacitor works.  However to install a capacitor in the circuitry of the decoder that is beyond my ability.  It seems there would be more then just adding a capacitor unless the engineer anticipated this before manufacturing the decoder.  And if so then why wouldn't the capacitor be included?  Seems like a good idea for all intents and purposes.  I couldn't find any posts here on this subject (keep-alive decoders? ) but sure would like to learn more about how you are doing this.

peteski

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Re: Dead railn
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2014, 02:56:10 PM »
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OK
keep-alive decoders?
Since the idea of Dead rail appealed to me in order to smooth out the operation of N scale models the mention of Keep alive decoders really caught my attention.  Peteski and CodyO you have apparently over come some of the conductivity issues that plague us small scale enthusiasts.  Since my experience is still invested in the block system primarily because of the attachment to older equipment I am still "getting my feet wet".  However I have started supplementing my knowledge of DCC a few years back with the acquisition of an NCE system.  I have a basic understanding of how the system works and I understand how a capacitor works.  However to install a capacitor in the circuitry of the decoder that is beyond my ability.  It seems there would be more then just adding a capacitor unless the engineer anticipated this before manufacturing the decoder.  And if so then why wouldn't the capacitor be included?  Seems like a good idea for all intents and purposes.  I couldn't find any posts here on this subject (keep-alive decoders? ) but sure would like to learn more about how you are doing this.

No need to modify anything. Manufacturers such as Lenz (which was the 1st do do so, since 2005) and TCS offer these keep-alive modules (which use super-caps inside them) and DCC decoders which are equipped to accept them.

Lenz:
http://www.lenzusa.com/products/decoders/currentdecoders/Gold-jst.htm (look for USP infor on that page)

http://www.tcsdcc.com/Customer_Content/Products/Keep-Alive/Keep-Alive.php

The problem for N scale is with the size of these modules. But that is the same with using on-board rechargeable batteries.  However they can fit in wide-hood diesels and in stem loco tenders.  To me this offers best of both worlds.  Reliable running and maintenance-free design.

--- Peteski de Snarkski
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JoeW

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Re: Dead railn
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2014, 11:12:18 AM »
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I have enjoyed the comments and thoughts on this subject.  Thanks all for pitching in.  It's fun to wonder off the trail and out on the prairie with these ideas once in while.