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 An Experiment in Wireless Charging

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Bernd Posted - 07/10/2018 : 2:29:44 PM
I'm going to experiment with wireless charging of battery operated HO scale locomotives.

I received my order for wireless charging boards from the Robot Store today. My hope is to see what can be done in this area of using battery power to run engines.

I'll post more in the next post in the next day or so. Hopefully DanT can coach me along in this project.

15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Bernd Posted - 12/25/2018 : 3:52:47 PM
Originally posted by DanT

...and Merry Christmas to all and have a Happy New Year!


And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too.

DanT Posted - 12/25/2018 : 2:38:38 PM
...and Merry Christmas to all and have a Happy New Year!

DanT Posted - 12/20/2018 : 01:06:30 AM
Thanks for helping to keep everyone updated. It's much appreciated.

I didn't forget to post. My illness has reached Stage IV and visits to doctors and for treatment eat a lot of your spare time.

And I have to admit I've not found the knack of posting photos on this forum. It seems a lot more cumbersome than Freerails or MRH mag.

I have posted my progress, with photos, here:


It's pretty straightforward. The coil has to be installed on my GP35 engine, then I can begin some testing and gather up some data.

At this point, I see so reason why it won't work since it worked under static conditions. The only reason would be excessive distance between coils.

For that, there's another approach that will work better, but it's more expensive. I don't have the parts to try this anyway, so first things first.


Bernd Posted - 12/18/2018 : 10:19:29 AM
For those following this conversation may not be following this on another forum. DanT posted with this subject line: "Dead Rail Makes Top 20 List". Apparently the January 2019 issue of Model Railroader Magazine wrote about the top 20 innovations. If you are interested in the whole conversation plus some controversy on R/C and battery powered engines you can read about it here. It starts with Dan's post. Third post down.


Dan may just have forgotten to post it here.

Bernd Posted - 11/25/2018 : 5:29:50 PM
Good to see your back at it again Dan. Glad to see you're doing better.

Looking forward to your finished engine.

DanT Posted - 11/25/2018 : 2:14:35 PM
My 1, 2 and 3 watt charging tracks are all wired. The transmitter board, power supply and controller for setting voltage and current are all delivered.

Engine rewiring is about half complete, but receiver coil and protection board need to be mounted and wired into the system. I've added a 9V regulator and plan on adding some lighting so I know when the engine is on.

Bernd Posted - 11/06/2018 : 08:41:01 AM
Sorry to hear about your medical condition. I hope it turns to the better.

DanT Posted - 11/05/2018 : 10:41:46 PM
My work on wireless charging has been frustratingly slow.

Reason is, after a series of tests, we received mostly negative news today about my medical condition. I will be re-focusing on other matters, so wireless charging, and a lot of other BPRC projects, are on the back burner for the immediate future.

I regret disappointing some of you, but hope you understand. If I get some time, I'll post information on any progress I've made.


Bernd Posted - 10/20/2018 : 10:13:56 PM
Welcome aboard Neil.

neiler Posted - 10/20/2018 : 8:26:03 PM

Thanks for the link to this forum and glad to find the interest high here as well. This thread has peaked my interest (again) so I hope to jump in with both feet.

NeilEr aka S&NE garden lines and the On30Umauma Railway, Hawaii
DanT Posted - 10/07/2018 : 7:19:54 PM

The loco in the video uses 8 AAA NiMH batteries (4.8V, 1,600mAh), a DelTang Rx43D-2-v5 Rx/ESC and a Swiss 6V, 9-pole coreless brushed motor. Can hardly believe I've been operating this engine for over 5 years. Happy to say it has never failed to perform.


BTW, I didn't use a voltage regulator for 2 reasons; Eneloops have a pretty flat output from full charge to depletion, and a voltage regulator would require a higher input voltage and use extra battery power.

The engine is being modified to include 2 Panasonic 18650 or 18500 Li-ion batteries. I'd like more power to pull 8 or more passenger cars. And, of course, it will have 2S wireless charging.

BurleyJim Posted - 10/07/2018 : 11:33:20 AM
Those Eneloop batteries also have a great 'shelf life'. I use them in my flash equipment and they may be stored for months and never seem to lose their charge. Like 'em a lot.

My thought on the rail sandwich wasn't worrying about spurious signals transmitted, as much as 'absorption' of energy.

Bernd Posted - 10/07/2018 : 09:03:37 AM
Originally posted by DanT

Bernd, don't give up on Ni-MH. They're not expensive, they have a flat performance curve, and Eneloop types have low self-discharge and are rated for 2,100 cycles. I bought some AA Twi-cell batteries last year rated at 1.2V and 2,500mAh. That's 3Wh per cell! So two in an "A" unit and two in a "B" unit, I would guess, gives you plenty of power and a good voltage (4.8V) for your regulator.



You just gave me some new food for thought here. Never occurred to me to use four 1.2V batteries and a six volt motor with a 5 volt Deltang Rx. Might have something here.

DanT Posted - 10/06/2018 : 4:37:22 PM

Bernd, don't give up on Ni-MH. They're not expensive, they have a flat performance curve, and Eneloop types have low self-discharge and are rated for 2,100 cycles. I bought some AA Twi-cell batteries last year rated at 1.2V and 2,500mAh. That's 3Wh per cell! So two in an "A" unit and two in a "B" unit, I would guess, gives you plenty of power and a good voltage (4.8V) for your regulator.

Jim, I don't know the effect, but when I start testing, I'll check it out. My gut feel was steel rails might have a small effect, and nickel-silver less so. My primary goal is to see if, in principle, wireless charging is practical. I suppose silver colored plastic rail could be used in the future, or plastic rail joiners now, if there was a negative influence from a charging track.

Bernd Posted - 10/06/2018 : 3:40:46 PM
Originally posted by BurleyJim
Any thought on whether the rails between the coils will deflect/diffuse some of the power transferring capability?

Will the length of the rails act as antennas to broadcast that signal around the layout? Maybe an old transistor AM radio would work to guess where that signal is going. That was an old way of listening to automotive ignition leaks.

You guys are having too much fun.


Hey this is model railroading, you're supposed to have fun.

Good question. I'm going to say it has no effect on the rails acting as antennas. I believe the output is to small to send it around on the rails. Do they still make AM transistor radios? I get the idea though.


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