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 Bachmann Porter Dead Rail Conversion

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
shadow50 Posted - 06/05/2014 : 8:36:09 PM
Hi all!

Just thought I would share in this thread my little Porter project.

I am in process of converting an older Bachmann Porter to Dead Rail! So far the project has been going well, all items seem to be flowing smoothly. I will post visuals soon.

First to start. After a lot of thought and a great answer from another post, I decided to use Tam Valley's DRS1 receiver, it is connected with a Digitrax DZ123 decoder. I found at Hobby Kings the perfect ready made 11.1 volt lipo battery pack.

For wireless control I decided on the Airwire T5000 transmitter. (thanks to the kind soul that informed me you can switch frequencies to match the DRS1.)

So follow along I hope the information helps.


15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
shadow50 Posted - 03/14/2019 : 1:07:56 PM

This charger has a very small jack that fits nicely under our Porters.

It is a simple removal from the circuit board and then super glued to the underside of the loco.

shadow50 Posted - 03/14/2019 : 12:55:17 PM
[quote]Originally posted by shadow50

Second Loco didn't get quite the full treatment before our test run.

It is a challenge to remove battery packs and replace them. Those tiny wires have a habit of breaking at the solder points if they are moved too much.

A better solution is a charge jack.

When looking at the local electronics store, (Fry's in my local area) they don't have the small jack I need.

The above picture is one way around the problem.

I happened to have a couple of these phone chargers laying around. (Why do I keep so much stuff?)

Sorry gang, not sure why my images keep turning 90 degrees to the left.
shadow50 Posted - 03/13/2019 : 1:12:27 PM
Thank you once again John! I appreciate the invite. I was so good to get together once again.

Thanks for clarifying the length of the grade, I'm sure that helps inform us how we made the little loco's lug their way up!
kewlbrew Posted - 03/13/2019 : 01:15:10 AM
Mark's loco were really fun to watch climbing the grade through terra-foam scenery (aka rough cut, stacked pink foam). Next time around we'll need to put some 18ft shorties behind one and perhaps a combine behind the other to see how much pulling car weight up an eight foot 4% grade impacts battery performance.
shadow50 Posted - 03/12/2019 : 5:35:38 PM
Update: I was able to meet up with John aka Kewlbrew, last Saturday and we were able to give the little Porters a run!

"Porters" plural? "Yes," is my answer.

While anticipating a good time to get a time run in, I got interested in wiring my other Porter too.
I had spare batteries due to the fact that when I ordered the 10 from ebay it turned out I received 11 batteries.
Since the first pack was a 6 cell bundle, I decided to make the next pack from the spares.

It took me a week to receive the second receiver, I ordered from www.micronradiocontrol.co.uk.

I would have use stateside On30 guy, but he has a couple of receivers on back order for me as of now.
I thought I would try these guys and see if I could get the receiver sooner and it happened! Perhaps they had the receiver in stock.
It arrived in about 9 days.

The results were interesting.

On the 5 cell Porter, the engine ran non-stop for approximately 30 minutes. We didn't do any maneuvering or freight hauling.
Since I started the 6 cell Porter first and didn't start the timer right away I suspect I got a good 35 minutes from it.

Performance differed slightly from the 5cell and 6cell but as we were simply running a constant speed it didnít really matter.

John's layout, Fever Creek is coming along nicely. It is a nice continuous loop with a challenging 4% grade!
I set the locos at a leisurely scale pace and let them go.

I must say I am very happy with the Del Tang Rc set up. It seems to be reliable and has been no issues so far.
Once in a while a loco may need a little shove to get going, but I have seen that with other systems. Even DCC track power.
I wonder if breaking in a motor properly will help?

Del tang, like others also has settings for starting power, perhaps I will play with that.

Next will be hiding the electronics within the cab. I'm thinking of downloaded cab pictures placed in the window and the back to simulate life within.
A couple of coats of paint and I believe we will be ready to run!

I have a Bachmann Climax that is waiting for the receiver from On30 guy.
I will be sure to post too.

shadow50 Posted - 02/19/2019 : 1:04:43 PM
Latest on battery life.

So far I haven't had the time to truly run a charge from full to empty. I do believe on my first try I have logged at least 30 minutes on my new 6 cell pack.
Rough calculations seem to indicate I should get about 35-45 minutes on a charge. Does anyone know how much this little Porter engine draws? I figure .5 amp or less.

I will give it a "real" try very soon.
shadow50 Posted - 02/06/2019 : 11:48:25 AM
John, that would be great!

Please contact me when you have some availability, we do need another beer/train meet.
kewlbrew Posted - 02/06/2019 : 12:04:17 AM
Mark -

I know of a test track not far from you. :D

shadow50 Posted - 01/31/2019 : 3:53:54 PM
Bernd, I haven't given it the test to see how long of a run it can go. I will work on that in the near future. Perhaps set up a loop and let it go.

Maybe I will have to visit my old shed where the beginnings of my layout is and just run a train! I will let you know.
Bernd Posted - 01/30/2019 : 7:24:12 PM
Excellent Mark. Any idea how long the engine will run?

shadow50 Posted - 01/29/2019 : 2:42:20 PM
The space available for the batteries lent itself to go a bit larger. I was able to change from 5 cells at 6 volts to 6 cells at 7.2 volts.

Perhaps a little more oompf on the starting side. Or as Tim Taylor would say, "more power!"

Also here's a little video. "Going off the rails."

shadow50 Posted - 01/25/2019 : 4:11:13 PM
Here's a comparison picture of a AAA cell next to this 1/2 AAA.

shadow50 Posted - 01/25/2019 : 3:45:11 PM
The batteries arrived. I will create a 5 cell pack tonight.
This should give me 6 volts to run the loco.

shadow50 Posted - 01/22/2019 : 4:43:41 PM
Latest news.

After a short learning period of programming the Del Tang receiver, the loco seems to be running great! My only difficulty has been the batteries.
I feel for this loco the lipo's are just too temperamental.

I have tried numerous configurations, wiring with balance connections, but the batteries don't seem to like it.

Rather than risk my little loco to the fire gods, I have found some nimh batteries that I hope will do the trick.

It turns out that there are AAA batteries that are smaller than usual! They are called 1/2 and 1/3rd AAA batteries. It seems they are 1/2 and 1/3rd the length of a standard AAA battery. So here's hoping they will fit in the space available. The AAA's are rated at 3oo mah, compared to my lipo's of 180 mah, I hope to see a bit more run time too.

I am also expecting the stability of a nickle metal battery to be less worry some and more reliable.
Ideally I would like to leave all electronics and batteries untouched inside the loco and simply recharge via small plug or as we discussed in previous posts above, wireless charging.

When the batteries arrive I will post some pictures and perhaps a video to share too!
brucet Posted - 01/13/2019 : 6:01:48 PM
At the Denver convention I had the money in my pocket to buy into dead rail. Nothing seem to be convincing, at that time, so I'll wait. I think it's the future but not just now for me.


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