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    • January 8, 2020 2:17 PM EST
    • I use Airwire on my locomotives.   It was pretty simple to hook up and isn't to hard at all to run, easily controls my loco's sound system.   I've also had very good luck with Airwire's customer service.   I have no experience with RailPro so I can't give you a comparison. 

       

      I would highly recommend you try and find local people who use RC and ask them to run their trains to get some idea of how each system is to operate.

    • January 8, 2020 12:38 PM EST
    • I have a small collection of Aristocraft locos (3 steam and 4 diesels).  I am wanting to convert them to battery / remote control. I have been looking at Airwire and RailPro. I would like to know peoples thoughts on these or other platforms of R/C control.. 

      The following parameters are under consideration

      Automation in not an issue.

      Don't want cost to be priority over function.

      Ease of installation

      Compatibility with Aristocraft locos (steam and diesel)

      Reliability

      Responsiveness to controller

      Thank you for your time and consideration of my issue.

    • January 8, 2020 8:56 AM EST
    • Michael,

      Take a typical USAT 4 axle locomotive. Say 3 amps at 3 hours. I'm just curious as well because my Nicad and Nimd batteries in my locomotives need to be replaced as they have been used in probably 10 plus years, and I've thought about replacing with LiOn.

    • January 8, 2020 4:32 AM EST
    • This discussion seems to be going round in circles with all the differing opinions and has no most likely confused the hell out of most people.

       

      This I think explains most things, if you can get past the science bits.

      https://batteryuniversity.com/index.php/learn/article/charging_lithium_ion_batteries

      I will now look at the charging regime of my Li chemistry batteries (Li-ion/Li-po) and adjust it accordingly.

      I personally think it is time to put this baby to bed and move on, others will probably disagree but there you go.

    • January 8, 2020 2:01 AM EST
    • Craig Townsend said:

      So if one wants to have charging happen at 80% of discharge, does that mean one should buy a battery that is 180% of expected run time?

       

      Example: I want to run 3 hours no stop. Do I need/want to buy a battery that is 3 m.amp hours x 180 to determine the size of my battery?

       

      Craig,

       

      The 80% figures represent a best-case scenario for long service life, the info has been gleaned from Lab testing. In general, I suspect most batteries never see this kind of use. Best case and real world don’t always overlap.

       

      Battery capacity equated as run time is not an easy calculation, there are many variables. I’ll use LG’s 3350mA cell specifications to hazard a guess.

       

      The Constant Current discharge rating for one hour at rated voltage of the 3350 cell is 0.65A to 2.5V cut-off.

       

      How much power can be garnered from the battery at 80% SoC?

       

      You mention 3.0 hour run time is desired. We need to know how much power your engine will consume in 3.0 hours. Factor this number with 20% of battery capacity sounds right.

       

      Michael

    • January 8, 2020 1:40 AM EST
    • Richard Mynderup said:

      I'm trying to understand the charging at 80%.  Back a few years ago when TOC was around he recommended I set up a charger I currently have to 80% for the charging of my NiMh...is this the same as you are talking about?

      I also did some investigation on Amazon and found this particular charger that will do multiple chemistry's. 

      Tenergy TB6-B Balance Charger Discharger 1S-6S Digital Battery Pack Charger for NiMH/NiCD/Li-PO/Li-Fe Packs w/ LCD Display Hobby Battery Charger w/ Tamiya/JST/EC3/HiTec/Deans Connectors + Power Supply

      Would this be sufficient to charge the 6700 mAh batteries??

      Richard

       

      Excellent choice Richard... Michael

    • January 8, 2020 1:39 AM EST
    • Michael K,

       

      “Frivolous posts” was in regard to a few posts from you and the bird toward the bottom on page one.

       

      I suspect all the information you conveyed and or posted is real to all involved. Yet none of them answered the real question at hand.

       

      “does the TLP-3000, 1.5A charger meet the OEMs specification for charging your 3400mAh Sanyo/Panasonic cells in 4S2P configuration?” The OEM spec for your 4S2P 6800 mA battery equals a charge rate of 3.25A.

       

      I tend to follow instructions when provided by OEM’s, it’s my belief they are all knowing of their products.

       

      Michael

       

    • January 8, 2020 12:12 AM EST
    • After reading and re reading this I think best course of action is buy all your batteries and chargers from one person , that way they will be complimentary products and if there is a problem they should now what and how to remedy it. Good wuestion Richard , answers all o Er the map , like my dad used to say , “ clear as mud now”!!!

    • January 8, 2020 12:12 AM EST
    • After reading and re reading this I think best course of action is buy all your batteries and chargers from one person , that way they will be complimentary products and if there is a problem they should now what and how to remedy it. Good wuestion Richard , answers all o Er the map , like my dad used to say , “ clear as mud now”!!!

    • January 7, 2020 10:58 PM EST
    • My head is now spinning...I'm going to have another martini...

    • January 7, 2020 10:48 PM EST
    • Please turn your heads now as this may be another "frivolous post".

       

      Late last year, I read Michael Glavin's statement on another thread: “These 1.5A charge rates I'm noting are NOT correct for larger batteries and or cells in series-parallel battery configuration, such as 5400/6800mAh batteries. The manufacturer recommended charge rate for ONE cell is 1.625 for the 3400mAh Sanyo/Panasonics @ maximum time interval of 4 hours. The Tenergy TLP3000 as mentioned above is adequate for a 4-cell battery only." I then contacted the following reputable dealers, manufacturer, installer, and another very knowledgable gentleman on this board (who will remain nameless). These people have all been in business for a long time, and I asked them the same question regarding compatibility between my battery packs and my charger.  

       

      RLD Hobbies – Robbie Dascotte, owner

      Me: I have a Tenergy 1.5 Amp Universal Smart Charger. It charges 14.8V Li-ion battery packs. Will that work OK charging your 14.8V HJE Li-ion batteries? Are the HJE batteries as good of quality as the CVP-recommended (Sanyo/Panasonic/LG) battery packs?

      Robbie: Your charger will be fine. I sell a lot of them. My HJE batteries are the exact same as AirWire batteries. They are made by the same company.

      https://www.rldhobbies.com/hje-4sc.aspx

       

      Reindeer Pass Railroad - Mike Kidman, owner

      Me: I would like to know your opinion on the preferable charger for charging battery packs. I just bought this battery pack from you: 

      http://www.reindeerpass.com/airwire-14-8v-6800-mah-liion-battery.aspx

      Mike: When selecting a charger you need to match the battery chemistry(Li-Ion), battery voltage (14.8V), match the polarity correctly, and charge at a low rate. 1 -1.5 amps.  We sell hundreds of the two we have listed on our site, Tenergy $32.99 and HJE $26.99, and have had almost no problems with them.

      http://www.reindeerpass.com/tenergy-smart-charger-for-li-ion.aspx

       

      CVP Products (Airwire) - Keith Gutierrez, owner

      Me: Just to clarify, can I use the Tenergy TLP3000 1.5A charger to charge my new Airwire 14.8V 6800 MaH battery packs without damaging the batteries? Specification/description in quotes as follows: “Intelligent charger designed for all types of 14.8V (4 cells) Li-Ion Battery packs including Polymer Li-Ion and Cylindrical Li-Ion”.

      Keith: The internet comments to the contrary are incorrect. The TLP3000 is a smart charger rated at 1.5A and can charge 14.8V lithium ion batteries. Click on the link below to go to the charger manufacturer's website and read about this charger.

      http://www.tenergy.com/01206-01

       

      Garden Railroad Supply Company – Bob Ferguson, owner (15+ years doing train battery conversions, mostly for BAGRS club members).

      Me: I’m having second thoughts about whether I purchased the correct charger from you when I asked you to do my first battery installation.

      Bob: The CVP (Airwire) battery charger is the same Tenergy battery charger that I provide. Keith Guiterrez, the owner of CVP, is also the electronics designer and engineer who determined the correct charger to use with their battery packs. This is the charger that Tenergy recommended when I attended my original sales meeting at Tenergy to set up the proper products that I offer on my website. Your battery pack has 8 cells. It is actually two 4-cell packs wired in parallel to create the amperage advertised.  Each 4-cell pack is wired in series to add the voltage of each cell (3.7v) together to arrive at 14.8 volts and 3400mAh. Adding the two 4-cell packs together in parallel gives you the 6800 mAh rating. The battery charger sees the battery pack as a 4-cell pack rated at 6800 mAh.  You have the correct charger.

      http://www.gardenrrsupply.com/charger-battery-li-ion-tlp-3000/

       

    • January 7, 2020 10:40 PM EST
    • Michael Glavin said:

      GAP,

       

      Thanks for sharing your set-up.

       

      I note your working with a hybrid Li-Po in hard plastic case, i.e. Turnigy Graphene battery. I have several hard case 5000mAh Li-Po's I use with trains, planes and cars, great choice IMO. That said the aforementioned battery is a world apart from our 18650 Li-Ion batteries. Of note is the ability monitor/control each cell individually typical of “Balance Charging”.

       

      The charge rate your employing is WELL below industry “standards” for Li-Po’s @ 0.1C or 0.5A for said 5000mA battery. What drives you to slow charge your battery?

       

      Michael

      Hard case is from talking to offroad racers and plane users so a bit more robust in case of a crash (crashworthy?).

      The charge rate is roughly what the aircraft battery guys charge theirs at, so I figure if its good enough for the USN then its good enough for me.

      So far, over the past 10 years I have had no issues, this may not be the correct way but I am working on "if the ain't broke don't fix it".

      After I run my trains then they go into the "Service Centre" for turn around servicing or deeper maintenance if required, Turn around involves Li battery top up,  Deeper Maintenance involves NiMH charging but I do not top up them after each excursion but let them run down a bit. I monitor their performance and charge accordingly.

       

      On another note; I am watching with interest any news of the new Li Sulphur technology batteries that are on the horizon to see how they perform.

      Scientists claim commercial production is possible within the next 2 to 4 years, a few teething problems but which new technology does not have them..

      Evidently using Sulphur instead of heavy metals, cobalt etc that are becoming harder to get, is more economical due to its ease of obtaining.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-08/lithium-sulfur-battery-greener-cheaper-and-more-efficient/11849590

    • January 7, 2020 10:18 PM EST
    • I'm trying to understand the charging at 80%.  Back a few years ago when TOC was around he recommended I set up a charger I currently have to 80% for the charging of my NiMh...is this the same as you are talking about?

      I also did some investigation on Amazon and found this particular charger that will do multiple chemistry's. 

      Tenergy TB6-B Balance Charger Discharger 1S-6S Digital Battery Pack Charger for NiMH/NiCD/Li-PO/Li-Fe Packs w/ LCD Display Hobby Battery Charger w/ Tamiya/JST/EC3/HiTec/Deans Connectors + Power Supply

      Would this be sufficient to charge the 6700 mAh batteries??

      Richard

    • January 7, 2020 9:54 PM EST
    • So if one wants to have charging happen at 80% of discharge, does that mean one should buy a battery that is 180% of expected run time?

       

      Example: I want to run 3 hours no stop. Do I need/want to buy a battery that is 3 m.amp hours x 180 to determine the size of my battery?

    • January 7, 2020 9:54 PM EST
    • So if one wants to have charging happen at 80% of discharge, does that mean one should buy a battery that is 180% of expected run time?

       

      Example: I want to run 3 hours no stop. Do I need/want to buy a battery that is 3 m.amp hours x 180 to determine the size of my battery?

    • January 7, 2020 9:29 PM EST
    • The 80% comments are accurate for charge and discharge. I see how as posted the info could easily be misconstrued.

       

      Its well documented the life cycle of Li-Ion is greatly enhanced if charged to constant current voltage threshold and eliminating the saturation charge (approximately 80% or so).

       

      Its also well documented the life cycle of Li-Ion is greatly enhanced if discharged 3.0V or so.

       

      Discharging the battery until such time the onboard PCB opens the circuit at its voltage cut-out specification is UNDESIRABLE. This is a safety feature, nothing more.

       

      Charge your Lithium cells often and discharge moderately for a long life cycle.

       

      Michael

    • January 7, 2020 7:14 PM EST
    • GAP,

       

      Thanks for sharing your set-up.

       

      I note your working with a hybrid Li-Po in hard plastic case, i.e. Turnigy Graphene battery. I have several hard case 5000mAh Li-Po's I use with trains, planes and cars, great choice IMO. That said the aforementioned battery is a world apart from our 18650 Li-Ion batteries. Of note is the ability monitor/control each cell individually typical of “Balance Charging”.

       

      The charge rate your employing is WELL below industry “standards” for Li-Po’s @ 0.1C or 0.5A for said 5000mA battery. What drives you to slow charge your battery?

       

      Michael

    • January 7, 2020 7:10 PM EST
    • David Marconi,FOGCH said:

      Now I need to ask what advice do I follow on this 

      and please excuse my lack of knowledge in quoting two different postings in my one post

      Do I charge the batteries when they are 80% depleted as Jon stated and Mike recommends or do I

      follow Greg's statement and only charge to 80% of capacity ?

      you guys agreeing to different understandings of the same words confuses the hell out of people

       

       

      Yes! You beat me to it. And did I read somewhere (or dream it) the recommendation to let the batteries fully discharge (loco completely stops) and a different recommendation to let the batteries discharge 80% before recharging? Which is it?

       

       

    • January 7, 2020 6:48 PM EST
    • Richard,

       

      What sort of life span have you realized of your NiMh batteries?

       

      Standardizing battery voltage is a start for simplifying your charging needs. The next consideration is standardizing cell type and capacity, as the mA rating together with OEM charge specification effects the charge amperage in play.

       

      A 4S1P battery for your lighter needs of the same cell type of your 6700mAH battery would eliminate any need to jump around to meet charge amperage required of other cell brands/type. Furthermore if the typical 4 cell battery configuration flat or stacked won’t work dimensionally, PM me I can help.

       

      I performed a cursory search for a simple charger. i.e, Lithium charge algorithm(s), 14.5V @ 2.0 Amps charge rate (2.0-3.25A is acceptable but the lower number is best), no joy, I’ll keep looking. Are you akin to interacting with a Smart charger?

       

      Michael