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  • Topic: Installing battery R/C into the USAT GP-9

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    • January 1, 2006 4:52 AM EST

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      USA Train locos are arguably the easiest in which to install battery R/C. They are well made and have plenty of room up inside the hood for an effective antenna. I usually achieve at least 200'. Here is how I have gone about installing my RCS battery R/C inside a GP-9. The techniques are straightforward and can be adapted to other brands of R/C as well. The same ideas can be applied to most USAT diesel locos, including the bigger 3 axle models. There are basically two ways of going about it depending on how you want to set up the loco. The simplest method only involves disconnecting the track pick-up wiring from the trucks and re-connecting the wires to the output of the motor Driver pcb. The result is much the same as running on track power. The lights will work exactly the same way and go out when the loco is stopped. I prefer to have the lights on constantly even when stopped. This involves a little bit more wiring and the addition of a RELAY so that the coloured marker lamps will change colour correctly with direction change. The most difficult part of the installation is dismantling the loco. You will need a very long Phillips head screwdriver that will reach down into the holes where the screws are buried. Some screws are also under the fuel tank so it needs to be removed as well. If the screwdriver is long enough you may be able to wriggle it down between the truck wheels to access the holes. If not, you may need to remove the trucks to get at the holes. Once the body is off the chassis I remove the smoke units and all attendant wiring. They draw a lot of power and will reduce run times dramatically. I leave all the lighting wiring and the switch pcb in place. The track pick-up wiring is also removed from the trucks. These are plugs with FOUR wires attached. Leave the motor wiring in place. I have always found 14.4 volts is sufficient for a realistic top speed. In my early installations I used two 1800 mah 7.2 volt Sub C Ni-Cad packs. These provided a reasonable run time but are bulky compared to AA size NiMh batteries now available. Of course you can use a greater voltage but if you run at a realistic speed you will waste the battery capacity by burning it off in the form of heat. To make room for the Sub-C packs I had to remove two stanchions.

      The Sub-C packs were tied together with cable ties and then mounted in place using a clear silicone adhesive. I use Selleys Roof & Gutter Sealant.

      This method allows the RCS Motor Driver pcb to be mounted on the batteries with the Dallee sound mounted on the rear lead weight. With later installations I now use custom made 14.4 packs of 2,500 mah AA size NiMh batteries.

      These give adequate run times for most situations. I don't like jamming huge batteries into the narrow bodies as it usually requires a lot of modification to make them fit. Extra long run times can be easily achieved by utilising the rear mounted external charge jack as a port for plugging in auxiliary batteries carried in a trail car. Be extra careful not to get any glue in the jack itself.

      With this particular installation I mounted the RF-RX radio receiver in the nose and connected the antenna to the track. This provided reasonable range.

      Nowadays I prefer to mount the RF-RX part up under the top of the body shell right behind the cab. I shorten the RCS antenna and connect an AZARR 27 Mhz antenna from E Cubed R/C and stretch it out in a straight line as high as possible. I now achieve at least 200' range when proper motor "noise" suppression is added to the motor circuits. Sometimes more. The rear lead weight made a great heatsink for the RCS Motor Driver IC I was using up until recently.

      Here is an early BIK-U installation kit mounted in the fuel tank. This enables a hidden switch that is still accessible.

      A later version of the same switch kit.

      I mounted the Dallee sound in the fuel tank too. Two holes had been drilled underneath to gain access to the volume controls.

      For Sierra type sound I fit the BIK-U+VC which has an inbuilt volume control.

      Here is how the plugs and sockets are re-arranged for the simplified installation.

      For the constant lighting version this shows how to do it.

      I trust the above is of help to LS'ers. Please feel free to contact me with any specific enquiries.
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • January 1, 2006 11:25 AM EST
      • Floe Ice, Antarctica
         
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      Except you show two totally different battery packs.....
    • January 1, 2006 2:26 PM EST

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      Davy me lad.
      With respect, read the text as well as look at the pictures.
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • January 1, 2006 4:48 PM EST
      • Floe Ice, Antarctica
         
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      True, but if yer gonna show pix, be consistent.

      Geez.

      Next thing we know you'll show a GP-7/9 install with all the radio gear in a Connie tender......


      Actually ran a Climax once with an F3-B unit battery car......
    • January 1, 2006 6:19 PM EST

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      Two ways of doing it = two pix.
      Bit hard to fit both types of batteries in one pic.
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • January 1, 2006 10:44 PM EST
      • Floe Ice, Antarctica
         
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      Ah, but you'll figure it out.

      One thing that I feel is important:

      Properly abandon the screwholes in places the studs are removed.
      This prevents some one at a later date from jamming a screwdriver up into the hole and possibly doing damage.
      I often put a piece of black tape along the visible side, fill the backside with hot glue, and when cool, peel off the tape.

      Certainly can't hurt.

      TOC
    • January 2, 2006 12:20 AM EST

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      Very good tip Dave.

      I will recommend that in future.

      However, what has that got to do with you not understanding why I showed both types of batteries?
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • January 2, 2006 12:37 AM EST
      • Floe Ice, Antarctica
         
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      I wouldn't have shown two different types in a photo montage of an installation.
      Of course, that's just me.....too confusing.

      TOC.
    • January 9, 2006 6:17 PM EST

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      Curmudgeon said:
      I wouldn't have shown two different types in a photo montage of an installation. Of course, that's just me.....too confusing. TOC.
      If the three of us exchange messages here will there be a distrubance in the balance from down under? If I post some photos eveyone will get another battery style to see.
    • January 9, 2006 6:34 PM EST
      • Your Host in Littleton, MA
         
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      Don Sweet said:
      Curmudgeon said:
      I wouldn't have shown two different types in a photo montage of an installation. Of course, that's just me.....too confusing. TOC.
      If the three of us exchange messages here will there be a distrubance in the balance from down under? If I post some photos eveyone will get another battery style to see.
      Post away, Don!
      ____________________________________

      Bob, your Site Host and Benevolent Dictator.

    • January 9, 2006 7:09 PM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Don Sweet said:
      Curmudgeon said:
      I wouldn't have shown two different types in a photo montage of an installation. Of course, that's just me.....too confusing. TOC.
      If the three of us exchange messages here will there be a distrubance in the balance from down under? If I post some photos eveyone will get another battery style to see.
      We could use a disturbance in the balance from down under...........weird blokes them Aussies.......;)
      ____________________________________

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

    • January 9, 2006 8:49 PM EST

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      'cept I am not an Aussie.

      I AM A BRIT!!!
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • January 9, 2006 9:05 PM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      TonyWalsham said:
      'cept I am not an Aussie. I AM A BRIT!!!
      see that.....the balance has been disturbed.......;)
      ____________________________________

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

    • January 9, 2006 9:27 PM EST
      • Floe Ice, Antarctica
         
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      I feel a disturbance in the Force......
    • January 10, 2006 12:03 AM EST

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      May the force be with you.
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • January 10, 2006 12:15 AM EST
      • Floe Ice, Antarctica
         
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      as long as it's battery-powered force
    • January 10, 2006 7:55 AM EST
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Did you notice, that nobody got upset about you guys talking about your products and how to install them? How strange, but I like it. I probably learned something, though I tried not to. Thanks guys, thanks Bob and big thanks to those that stay in other places and don't frequent this site to tell us how upset they are because we don't follow the path they think we should.
    • January 10, 2006 9:23 AM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Ric Golding said:
      Did you notice, that nobody got upset about you guys talking about your products and how to install them? How strange, but I like it. I probably learned something, though I tried not to. Thanks guys, thanks Bob and big thanks to those that stay in other places and don't frequent this site to tell us how upset they are because we don't follow the path they think we should.
      It's always better getting it straight from the horses mouth than second or third hand. Not very many anal retentives residing here........;)
      ____________________________________

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

    • January 10, 2006 4:27 PM EST
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Ken, when you said - "Not very many anal retentives residing here"
      I guess the proper response to your reply is - So you mean no excrement? ;-)
    • January 10, 2006 6:06 PM EST
      • Large Curmudgeon, Ft Gay, WV
         
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      Funny we seeme to be the people that got banned from everywhere else! HEHEHEHEHEH
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