DCC Battery Powered DCC

Discussion in 'Techniques' started by richard carr, 22 December 2015.

  1. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer


    Yes I must remember to put the screws back in !

  2. FH47331

    FH47331 Member

    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for that, sorry for the delayed reply. I agree about the main advantage being the lack of need to power the track, but my thought was that constant handling was more likely to cause damage, especially to a detailed loco. So as you commented, something like a dedicated charging road that is electrically isolated from the rest of the layout, seems to be the best of both worlds - charges the batteries, gives freedom without constant handling, and avoids all the messy wiring up of pointwork!

    Can I ask where the battery charging circuit that your using came from - is it a home creation or an off the shelf option?

  3. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    Hi Richie

    I use a battery charger, an HT RC 100 AC/DC, you can get them on Amazon for about £60, they will charge LIPO, NiMH, Lead Acid batteries etc.

    They are intended for charging Lipo batteries for radio control cars, but they do the NiMH ones that I use really well, you can set the charge to current yourself, I typically use 0.5 Amps and it takes about 2 hours to fully charge AAA batteries.

    There are lots of similar alternative chargers on Amazon.

  4. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Richard , what ix the reason that you use the ADAPLU , is this just to boost the power ?
    Cheers Paul
  5. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer


    Yes and no, in this instance it is just a really neat way to wire everything up, there is no need for extra power with a 6W maxon motor, it isn't ever going to draw more than half an amp. The other thing with battery power is that it really helps to make it very easy to remove the decoder as you can't easily program except by removing it.

    I am about to try the ADAPLU in a Heljan 33 to see how that works, the extra power may just be enough.

    TheSnapper likes this.
  6. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    The next step in developing my battery power installation is replacing the mechanical on/off switch with a reed switch as in the Tam Valley and S-Cab installations; neither business list the reed switch as a separate item so I obtained something suitable from RS.

    This installation had 'interesting' properties. The normal state is off and bringing the magnet up to the reed switched started the DCC boot up sequence. From then on things were a bit of a lottery. Some times it shut down straight away, some times it ran for 30 seconds and then shut down and sometimes it ran until I commanded a forward movement, whereupon it shut dwon! Once it just ran and wouldn't shut down when the magnet was placed by the switch. I have moved the switch away fron the area of the loud speaker coils.

    Everything is well within the capacity of the reed switch, I've tried an alternate with no improvement and the batteries are fully charged.
    Any thoughts? Should I be using a latching reed switch, although I cannot find such a thing in RS of Farnell.

    Puzzled of Powys
  7. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer


    No idea why you are having those problems, I did try one a few years back but it wasn't reliable enough either.

    I'm happy with a hidden mechanical switch.

  8. Aeromole

    Aeromole Member

    Does anyone know what is happening at DeadRail/Tam Valley? I ordered a BlueRail board from them several weeks ago (and paid for priority delivery) but it has all gone very quiet, no delivery, no response to emails. I even tried phoning!
  9. Aeromole

    Aeromole Member

    Ah, they've been updating firmware and testing. Board now appears to be on its way. Should be interesting! Pete
  10. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Pete , will you be letting us know how the Blue rail board goes . I will be interested as i have my name down for an android version .
    Cheers Paul