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  • Topic: E8 + RCS + Sierra

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    • July 1, 2007 1:04 AM EDT

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      I have recently finished a battery R/C conversion + Sierra sound on the new AC E8. This a very nice loco that is very easy to work on. Getting it apart is much simpler than getting USAT locos apart. Seven screws all clearly marked with arrows. The body seems to be voluminous but in reality it isn't. The steel backbone chassis takes up about 1" of vertical space. Various components hanging down from the top of the roof also take up space. I thought of using the fuel tank to hold the batteries like I did with the SD-45 that also belongs to the owner of this E8. I could not figure out how to remove the fuel tank without damaging the various glued on tank detail parts that very neatly cover the four screws. Fortunately my customer didn't want smoke units so I didn't have to explore removing the fuel tank. I could fit the batteries on the chassis rail. Whilst in theory I could simply throw the track - battery switch on the loco to isolate it from the track, I have discovered over the years that AC often get the switch wiring wrong. So, not wanting to take the risk I firstly I removed each truck to get at the truck wiring in order to cut away the track pick up wires. The pix are generally self explanatory. My apologies for the focus on the first two pix. I forgot to turn on the Macro feature on my new Cannon camera.

      The 2 x 8.4 volt 7 cell 2,400 mah Sub C NiCd battery packs are glued to the chassis rail with silicone roof and gutter sealant. To date I have never had that sealant let go. Even during shipping. This gives adequate running time but can easily be extended by plugging in auxiliary batteries carried in a trail car. See last pic below. Some of the installation components are attached to the sides of the battery packs.

      The RCS # RF-CHK pcb's are mounted on styrene sheet attached to the chassis rail with silicone. One at each end. They go inbetween the # BASIC-6 and the motors and provide excellent motor noise suppression to maximise the range. I mounted the RCS BASIC-6 just behind the battery packs.

      The # RELAY pcb is wired into the old AC loom. I removed the original AC battery leads from both ends and fed the traction battery voltage through the # RELAY to where the AC battery leads connected to the AC loom. The # RELAY provides a fused constant voltage for the AC electronics. Polarity is reversed by using the rear light function on the BASIC-6 to control the relay coil. This saves a whole lot of time compared to rewiring all the lights.

      I always use my own battery installation kits to save time when installing equipment. They make life much easier than soldering wires to switches as they are wired in with screw terminals. Here the # BIK-U6 is mounted on the rear of the body shell with the charge jack. The charge jack also doubles as a port for auxiliary batteries as described above.

      Not shown is the RCS receiver and AZARR 27 Mhz Lite antenna mounted up in the roof. Although I have not range tested the loco yet I have achieved well over 200' with simliar installations. The E8 will sometimes be run Mu'ed with the SD-45. I will report back when more testing has been done.
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

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

    • July 1, 2007 1:08 PM EDT
      • Silver Spring, Maryland
         
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      Hi Tony,

      Nice tutorial. I know Don Sweet just got an E-8 and I'm sure he'll be converting his soon. I'm not sure if I'm willing to give up on the smoke though. I do have a question. Why did you use NiCd batteries rather than NiMH in this install?

      -Brian
    • July 1, 2007 2:34 PM EDT

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      Very nice. How much does it cost to have these things installed?
    • July 1, 2007 7:41 PM EDT

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      brian donovan said:
      Hi Tony, Nice tutorial. I know Don Sweet just got an E-8 and I'm sure he'll be converting his soon. I'm not sure if I'm willing to give up on the smoke though. I do have a question. Why did you use NiCd batteries rather than NiMH in this install? -Brian
      The owner is quite happy without smoke. I could have put the battery packs in the fuel tank and left the smoke units in place but I didn't want to possibly destroy the fuel tank details trying to remove the fuel tank and the weights inside from the chassis. Brian I only use NiCd batteries when I can fit Sub C size cells. They last twice as long in the terms of the number of recharges. 1,000 for NiCd - v - 500 for NiMh. They are less critical on charging in that NiCd's can take a 10% trickle charge for longer than NiMh can do without overheating and damaging the cells. Contrary to popular legend they do not develop the dreaded memory provided they are not rapid charged when not fully discharged. The 10% standard charge rate for 14 hours works just fine. In Australia they are significantly less expensive. If AA size cells are the best option I use Sanyo ENELOOP cells which are a mixture of NiMh and Alkaline chemistry. Unlike regular NiMh cells which self discharge quickly, ENELOOP are guaranteed to hold 85% charge for 12 months In the USA please contact either Don Sweet or Dave Goodson for a quote. In Australia please call me direct.
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

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

    • July 1, 2007 11:41 PM EDT
      • Silver Spring, Maryland
         
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      Ray Dunakin said:
      Very nice. How much does it cost to have these things installed?
      Hey Ray, I would email Don Sweet of RCS of NE ( [email protected] ) or Dave Goodson (aka Curmudgeon, [email protected] ) for install prices. -Brian
    • July 2, 2007 1:53 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Tony,

      Is heat buildup a problem during charging when the batteries are stacked that way?
      ____________________________________

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    • July 2, 2007 6:40 PM EDT

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      Steve Featherkile said:
      Tony, Is heat buildup a problem during charging when the batteries are stacked that way?
      Steve, As long as you use a controlled current charger and charge at no more than the standard 10% rate for 14 hours max, the answer is, not as far as I know. Heat build up is usually because the cells are being rapid charged. Even with a (so called) smart charger heat build could occur. It likely will be less destructive to the cells than charging by a high current non smart charger. Some sub C cells can handle quite high charge currents. However, that depends on the cells in question. SC means Sub C. SCR means Sub C Rapid Charge. Speaking from the experience of having to replace under warranty packs made with AA cells, I would be loath to try charging AA cells at any more than 500 ma. Even with a smart charger.
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

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

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