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A New Battery Powered Loco For The EM&BHR

by Author Steve Fuller


Last week we went on our holidays to the Forest of Dean, I know this part is a bit off subject, but it's another thing that we enjoy. We went to the Millennium Stadium for the British round of the Speedway Grand Prix. It one magnificent place to watch a sporting occasion.

But I digress, as we were staying on the Welsh borders, a trip to Mary's favorite G Scale retailer, Jeremy at Dragon G Scale. Whilst there this little battery powered loco was seen on the shelf. Well, it had buy me written all over it, and as Mary liked it so much, it was duly bought for her. The air filter on top of the loco doubles up as the speed controller. The speed is controllable from very slow to a reasonable speed, about half speed is about right.


It is a nice plain engine, well modelled and robust. The running gear and the motor are more than ample for this machine as it pulls quite well, or though saying that, I haven't overloaded it as it looks quite nice with just 3 wagons in tow. Seen here on it first run at Mel's with 3 wagons


Here's the motor block and gearbox. At the bottom left of the picture, you can see a switch, this is for reversing the direction of travel. The charging jack is mounted on the side of the loco. Not to sure how long a full charge takes. But running is a very impressive 2 1/2 + hrs. as you can see the gear box is all brass.

And the side rods.
All in all, we're very impressed with this loco, and 2 others are being sort after from Dragon G Scale as well. It's nice to be able to grab a loco, stick it on the track and let it run, especially after a long day at work. Here's a video of the loco at work http://www.youtube.com/user/bigjackmark2#p/a/u/0/mYar3GwDPPY
 We are now up to three battery loco's. Two were bought, but the third was converted today. The converted loco is a Stainz, it runs off of 8 X 2500mAh rechargeable batteries. It is wired direct to the motor at the moment, but I'm going to have the loco completely to pieces, remove the chip from it and then try running the loco through the connector plug at the back of the engine. The loco runs for at least 4 hrs as it is, so, it'll be interesting to see how it runs when I turn the lights on. When this conversion takes place, I'll make sure that pictures are taken of the process. The next task to tackle is some sort of speed controller, this will be looked into over the next week or so.
For the fist time in 2 weeks I managed to get home at a reasonable time, so I decided to have a go at converting the second Stainz to battery power. Now both of these Stainz have been converted to digital, so I decided that the chips should be removed. This was quite a task on it's own as the who;e loco had to come to apart as the chip is installed in the boiler,  this is how the conversion was done.
One of the first jobs to be done was remove the driver, then motor block needed removing, but before I did that I decided to do some preparatory work on the motor. I removed the bottom of the the motor and removed the skates, pickup rods and bullets as indecated. The reason for the removal of these parts was because the loco would not be track powered again. The cover was then replaced and the motor block removed.
When you remove the plug from the motor block, you can see where the pickup rods come through the block. This also shows where you can wire the batteries to to enable power to run through the curcuit board to enable sound and lights to operate.
These brackets must be removed before removing the base
 Remove the smoke stack and all screws from the base.
 Once the base is removed, you can then separate the boiler from the cab. Once the boiler has been removed from the cab, you can then unclip the bottom of the boiler, this allows you access to the weight, this is held in place with 2 screws, on top of the weight is where the chip is installed on the motherboard, the chip just lifts of the board.
Before putting the loco back together, reset all of the dip switches, they need to be in the opposite direction to the present setting. Put the loco back together, but at this point leave the motor disconnected as you have to start wiring the battery leads. At this point I removed the 2 central wires from the plug (these wires were originally the track power wires) and connected the battery leads to them. These wires were soldered in place and sleeved with shrink wrap. I checked that all was working at this point, the plug was connected to the motor block and the to the battery. As luck would have it, the motor ran in the correct direction. A hole was made in the back of the loco for the wires to go through, then the motor was reinstalled.
Where the wires emerge from the loco a plug was fitted, this is to enable the loco to be uncoupled from the wagon that will house the batteries. At the moment, I'm awaiting the delivery of the speed controller, it's not radio control, its on of these  http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/DelTapparo/Simple_Critter.htm . Once this arrives, I'll show the instalation of it.
The batteries are installed in a wagon at present to allow the loco to be test run. Here's a short video of the loco being tested on a rolling road http://www.youtube.com/user/bigjackmark2#p/a/u/0/w6xLRnVxwQo