Having never ventured in to battery power or remote control (R/C), I bought a used and damaged LGB Stainz. Then had discussions with a retailer about my requirements, it was decided that the battery would be a 3s LiPo at 11.1 volts and to fit it in the cab (Photo 1), with a molex balanced charging point fitted under the cab (Photo 2).
During this time the missing/damaged spare parts were sourced, and luckily a second-hand cab (at a reasonable price) became available, which included sound, and on receipt it was found to contain all the electronics though for an earlier model (Photo 3), when bench tested it all worked, so, I decided that I would utilise these parts.
Always part of the plan, was for the lights to be changed to LEDs, so, LEDs, resistors and heat-shrink was sourced, and after some research, a bridge rectifier would be required to ensure the cab light worked in both directions.
Due to my low skill rating in electronics I decided to make the system modular, so that the whole system could be built and bench tested, (Photo 4) dismantled and reassembled in the loco. Happy with the bench test the loco was reassembled (Photo 5) and track tested. The loco ran well, but I was so disappointed with the early LGB sound – rethink.
So, I stripped all the electrics (except to the rear light) out of the loco, leaving the battery and charging point which I had just fitted, and fit a proprietary sound card, and replaced the speaker, the sound card to be run in its automated configuration with no input from the RC transmitter. With the lead weight and main board removed, the lead weight was taped over to prevent accidental shorting, and a piece of Veroboard was cut and fixed to the weight (Photo 6); note: the screws would be isolated from the board and the fixed end of the board to be isolated from the rest of the board, (the centre hole is to facilitate re-fixing the weight).
As previously mentioned, my electronics skills are poor and I like modular design, so JST-XH connections were used, 3 pin for the battery power and warning LED, 2 pin for the motor power and 2 pin for the speaker (Photo 7), with fly leads attached to the board for the sound card connections.
The sound card would just fit in the space vacated by the main board, with board fly leads connected to the sound card it was fixed to the weight using double sided Velcro (to make removal easier) (Photo 8); note: the front LED is twin warm white / red, and plugs into the motor connection on the board which allows switching of the LED colours, with reversal of the power.
The modified weight was refitted in the boiler, and the boiler base refitted, the modules JST-XH connections were connected to the board (Photo 9) for a quick bench test, which proved all was working.
Everything was disconnected, and the new speaker fitted where the original speaker was (in the cab roof), the boiler was then fitted to the cab (Photo 10), then the connectors connected to the board, leaving the connections for battery and motor drive disconnected (Photo 11).
The battery and motor connections were connected and the loco was reassembled. The battery and power connection are shown in situ (Photo 12), the receiver was Velcroed upright in the cab, just in front of the driver (Photo 13). Using the sound card remote the sound card was programmed to my requirements (profile and automatic running), and now I am very content with my battery powered Stainz.
The battery is 850 mAh and so far, I have only run it for 2 – 3 hours at a time, followed by charging, but each time has come back with a residual of 10.6 – 11.2 volts, which suggests I should get at least 4 hours from a fully charged battery.
Three suppliers were used for the components:
- RC Trains
- Micron Radio Control
- Garden Rail Outlet
- JST-XH connectors and Veroboard via eBay
Components used were:
- Deltang Rx65c receiver
- Deltang Tx 22X transmitter
- Nano-Tech 850 mHa 25C 3S LiPo battery
- Toggle switch/charge module (Micron own)
- MyLocoSound Steam sound card
- Massoth 8241020 speaker