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  • Topic: Installing battery power and Controll system in Bachmann C-19?

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    • April 9, 2021 8:20 PM EDT
      • Durango, CO
         
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      Installing battery power and Control system in Bachmann C-19?

      Some of you may have seen my post a while back about buying a used F scale Bachmann C-19 or loco chassis, well I'm happy to report I managed to grab a whole one in good condition. Since then I've installed a Soundtraxx Tsunami2 TSU-4400 and done a few other things so far and it's worked wonderfully. However, the world of battery power operations and RC control is somewhat of a mystery to me and while I'd like to get those set up for my C-19 I really don't know where to start. What kind of batteries should I look into, What control system should I invest in, how do I make it work/coexist with the DCC decoder I've installed, etc. is what I'm mostly curious about at the moment.

      Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

      This post was edited by Joe Weigman at April 9, 2021 8:20 PM EDT
    • April 9, 2021 8:49 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Hi Joe.   Unfortunately, there is no "right" answer to your question.  There are at least half a dozen good radio control systems on the market, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. It's really a personal choice.

       

      Choosing a battery is a little easier.  Most folks go with Lithium Ion due to the size/weight advantage.  If you are overly concerned about battery safety, Nickle Metal Hydride is also a good choice.  The C-19 will run at a reasonable speed using 14.8 volt batteries. Depending on your operating style, a 4 cell 3 Ah pack might do, or for extended run-time a 6 Ah LiIon pack will fit in the tender.

       

      I have written up my conversions of my C-19's. #8 was done twice, and #345 once.  I'll try and find them and post links here.

       

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    • April 9, 2021 9:10 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      My first conversion kept the stock electronics and added a RailBoss and Phoenix sound board. Write up here: https://largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/26817/full-control-r-c-in-bachmann-c-19

       

      Later on I removed all of the factory electronics in the tender and and wired direct to the tender plugs. That is documented on the second page of the thread linked above.

       

      Recently, I retired my RailBoss system in favor of RailPro. My first RailPro install was in my second C-19 using another salvaged speaker enclosure. #345's install is documented here: https://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/31109/rail-pro-install-in-bachmann-c-19

       

      I was happy enough with the new RailPro system in 345 that I also re-did #8 again, upgrading it to RailPro. That conversion is near the end of the thread linked above.  One of the things I like about RailPro is the simplicity. Everything is on one module.

       

      EDITED to change the links to go to top of thread, not the post I found while searching.

      This post was edited by Jon Radder at April 10, 2021 5:12 PM EDT
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    • April 10, 2021 7:18 AM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      I studied several systems and eventfully went with the RailPro, glad I did, very limited space required for the install and the sound is great, correct speaker is needed here. There control system is very easy to operate and the setup on different engines was easily to figure out. I would say to watch videos on YouTube on the different systems available will help you to decide. I would recommend that you give RCS of New England a call and talk with Don Sweet, he will walk you through the whole system and will always answer you questions. I also looked a AirWire, but the cost per engine for installs was much higher them the RailPro system, an easy $150 more per engine and takes up more space on the install. The RailPro hand controller is so easy to use and you are mostly dealing with icons pictured and not numbers like DCC, good luck and there are plenty of video's on YouTube to answer your questions. 

       

      There is a RailPro install, by Don Sweet, it's in a diesel, but installs are all pretty much the same for the electronics,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFyuK7r7w-k

       

      trainman 

      This post was edited by John Lenheiser at April 10, 2021 4:49 PM EDT
    • April 10, 2021 4:26 PM EDT
      • Durango, CO
         
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      The Airwire catalog I found shows products called "Convrtrs" that would work with a DCC Decoder like the one I have, But is there a Railpro equivalent to that? As far as I can tell Railpro is trying to be an all in 1 product, with their own DCC sound system.

    • April 10, 2021 4:43 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      RailPro is a proprietary all-in-one system. A locomotive module contains a two-way radio; speed control, light/accessory control and sound system all in one fairly small package.  It is DCC complaint only to the point that most functions can be controlled by a DCC system.  Programming and/or full function control requires their Hand Controller which features a touch screen and a large throttle dial.

      I'm not familiar with the Tsunami. Is it strictly a sound card, or is it also a DCC speed/light controller? If it is also a DCC speed control, then RailPro would probably not be your least expensive option as it would duplicate most of the functions of what you have..

       

      RailPro can use an external sound systems should you so desire, but their sound is great and getting better all the time, so in my case, I got rid of all my sound cards which makes the installation very straight forward.

       

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      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • April 10, 2021 4:53 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      John Lenheiser said:

      I studied several systems and eventfully went with the RailPro, glad I did, very limited space required for the install and the sound is great, correct speaker is needed here. There control system is very easy to operate and the setup on different engines was easily to figure out. I would say to watch videos on YouTube on the different systems available will help you to decide. I would recommend that you give RCS of New England a call and talk with Don Sweet, he will walk you through the whole system and will always answer you questions. I also looked a AirWire, but the cost per engine for installs was much higher them the RailPro system, an easy $150 more per engine and takes up more space on the install. The RailPro hand controller is so easy to use and you are mostly dealing with icons pictured and not numbers like DCC, good luck and there are plenty of video's on YouTube to answer your questions. 

       

      There is a RailPro install, by Don Sweet, it's in a diesel, but installs are all pretty much the same for the electronics,  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFyuK7r7w-k

       

      trainman 

      IF you can, I find it best to talk with folks that have used the system you are interested in.  A lot do NOT like to discuss the negatives on line, fearing they will be "attacked".   Sheesh.   If there were ever a clear winner, we would ALL sing its praises.  Plus, we all have our own personal preferences.

      Having said all that, it seems like you found a winner for YOU!  Excellent.   (I echo your praises of Don - he seems to be interested in what YOU want!)

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      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • April 10, 2021 5:16 PM EDT
      • Durango, CO
         
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      Yeah the Tsunami2 is also DCC speed and light controller, has some pretty nice accessories to those I'd not be looking forward to losing if I treated the decoder as a sound card only.

    • April 10, 2021 5:58 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Should you decide to eliminate the factory electronics in the tender, I have documented the function of each wire that extends from plugs at the front of the tender. One column is where they connect on a RailPro install, but you should be able to use the PDF to determine where to connect various DCC functions as well.

       

      C-19 Tender Pin Out PDF: https://lsc.cvsry.com/Post2020/C-19Tender_Plugs.pdf

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    • April 11, 2021 7:37 AM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      I understand not wanting to get rid of the electronic that you have and try to make use of them, let's face it we all tied up good money in our trains and to just discard some of it is hard to do at times. Now for the practical side, I have a box full of old electronics that were all removed from loco's and the new system installed, I did go with RailPro because it was the best for me and for all that RailPro offers, no need going on about it. I want all my loco's running the same system, not a mix of systems, so spending the bucks was a choice I made and glad I did. I can tell you that spending your dollars on ways to make what you have work, may not be the best solution in the long run, you just end up with a larger box of used electronics.

       

      trainman

    • April 11, 2021 11:45 PM EDT
      • Durango, CO
         
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      Alright, thanks for the info. I'll be looking into railpro further, but now I'm more curious about batteries. I'm familiar with electronics to an extent but never really educated myself much about more heavy-duty hobby-related battery packs. Any preferred brand names, specific voltages/kinds of batteries, etc. I should be looking into? While I might be removing the factory board, it has two "battery terminals" labeled with 6v and 18v.

    • April 12, 2021 1:20 AM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      Joe Weigman said:

      Alright, thanks for the info. I'll be looking into railpro further, but now I'm more curious about batteries. I'm familiar with electronics to an extent but never really educated myself much about more heavy-duty hobby-related battery packs. Any preferred brand names, specific voltages/kinds of batteries, etc. I should be looking into? While I might be removing the factory board, it has two "battery terminals" labeled with 6v and 18v.

      As far as a name brand battery pack I have no idea as I use the ones sold by RCS of New England. There battery packs are constructed with top Lithium-ion batteries made by LG, Samsung, and other top battery manufactures. It it important that the correct charger be use with the correct batteries for both safety when recharging and for battery life. There are several horror stories out there when using inferior batteries and chargers, so buy from those who sell and service what they sell.  My loco's run these batteries sold here,   https://rcsofne.com/

       

      trainman

    • April 12, 2021 4:27 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      I believe when I was talking with Don about those batteries, that he noted that they make those batteries for the military also.

      But don't quote me on that.

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • April 12, 2021 10:04 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      What impressed me about the MTO batteries I've purchased from Don is their nearly bullet proof short circuit protection.  I've purchased 4 packs from him so far. One is close to 4 years old now and all of them perform great.  I previously was buying packs from Tenergy and over the course of 4 or 5 years I killed all of them :(

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    • April 13, 2021 9:33 AM EDT
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      Our lithium ion batteries are assembled by MTO Battery of York, PA. Working exclusively with MTO has many benefits. We can shape the packs to fit inside most engines. Currently there are 51 different packs available. The cells used are chosen from the leading Manufacturers; Samsung, Panasonic, LG Chemical and Sony. MTO finds the best match for our trains and costs.  Each pack requires the latest Battery Protection System or PCM. This is the circuit board included inside each pack. The lithium cell that is selected offers a smooth discharge rate to best match the current draw of our engines. This provides longer run-times rather than high discharge rate like a drill battery.  MTO battery builds packs for the US Navy.

       

      As others have stated, safety, reliability and value is what we try to offer.

       

      Joe, inside all Bachmann locos with the "socket" have two sets of green screw terminals. Your primary battery is connected to the 18V terminal to power all the electronics. You do not use the 6V input. 

       

      Don

      This post was edited by Don Sweet at April 14, 2021 4:53 PM EDT
    • April 13, 2021 9:42 AM EDT
      • Your Host in Littleton, MA
         
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      Jon Radder said:

      What impressed me about the MTO batteries I've purchased from Don is their nearly bullet proof short circuit protection.  I've purchased 4 packs from him so far. One is close to 4 years old now and all of them perform great.  I previously was buying packs from Tenergy and over the course of 4 or 5 years I killed all of them :(

      Yea, I have two Tenergy packs, both maybe 4 years old, and they're dead-dead.  Don't take a charge, no voltage at all registering.

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