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Electric Loco Land!
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   Electric Loco Land!
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moose_the_caboose
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Electric Loco Land!
  pictures_from_november_26_per_thanksgiving_2003_004.jpg - 131058 Bytes
« on: Mar 31st, 2007, 8:48pm »
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hi all,
 
we're getting enough interest in electron-powered equipment that it's about time to start a thread devoted to it alone.  this thread isn't about a single locomotive, but a collective spot for posting about all electrics.  i personally have built 2 electron locos and will start this conversation by show pictures of them as i can find them.   my occupational specialty has been in signal electronics, so it was natural for me to tackle the control systems for the electrics.  between myself and the other 'tron chasers out there, we'll try to answer, follow, advise, and at times be a royal pain so that those who want to build an electric can do so without lettin' the smoke out.  all electrical and electronic systems run on smoke, if you let it out, it don't work no more.
 
so here goes...pictured below is the running chassis of an engineering model developed for a mass transit concept for an under-slung monorail system.  the chassis runs in a bridge system with the passenger car suspended below with the ability to pivot with the centrifical forces (heavens i can't spill anything tonight).  part of the specs were that off-the-self components be used.  our hobby is closer to real world than the smaller gauges, so commercially available components were used.
 
enough about the concept, the model is powered by 2 12vdc motors in parallel for a 24 vdc system.  if memory serves, the controller is a curtis instruments model 1228 mobility aid motor controller that is programmable and versatile.  once programmed, this machine moves!  it also features regenerative braking as well as air brakes for emergency and station stops.
 
more about this later, for now, enjoy!
 
moose the caboose


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« Last Edit: Jul 25th, 2009, 1:11pm by moose_the_caboose » Logged

pockets
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #1 on: Mar 31st, 2007, 9:35pm »
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OMG  I thought you took the pledge AND the cure.....
 
Greg B.


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Mechanical engineers build weapons, whereas civil engineers build targets.

When the man at the door said," Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms", I, naturally assumed it was a delivery!
anthonyd_SRR
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #2 on: Mar 31st, 2007, 9:49pm »
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Great idea for a topic
 
Moose- that looks like a lot of work went into the high Tec piece
 
Anthony


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dgmarklin
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #3 on: Apr 1st, 2007, 4:12pm »
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Moose, whats the drive system setup, chain, gear?  Bruce had told me about toll-o-matics for my electric GE 44 I am building.  Another post will hold all the information I got so far on mine.

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Dean
moose_the_caboose
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #4 on: Apr 1st, 2007, 7:14pm »
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hi all,
 
dg: in order to keep similar topics together, go ahead and make your electric loco posts here if you please.  at times, we get rambucious and start a new thread for everything under the sun.  for those that join us mid-conversation, having all the info about a particular methodology in one thread is helpful.  to try and glean info about the same type of things from different threads is maddening.
 
all:  about the drive system, this loco uses twin motor-axle units from cannonball.  cannonball's drive is fairly unique in that it is enclosed and runs in an oil bath (chain & sprocket).  there have been units like these that used gears in an oil bath, but they were expensive.  
 
the tol-o-matics mentioned to dg by bruce are a great tool from translating motor torque-rpm in to motion.  there are caveats to using them...you have to physically support them, you can't abuse them beyond their design capability, and you have to keep them lubed just like the rear-end in a car.  some of them even come sealed for maintenance-free operation.  other than that, they'll give years and years of trouble-free service.  
 
moose the caboose
 
on Apr 1st, 2007, 4:12pm, dgmarklin wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Moose, whats the drive system setup, chain, gear?  Bruce had told me about toll-o-matics for my electric GE 44 I am building.  Another post will hold all the information I got so far on mine.



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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
  electric_loco_4-1-07_008.jpg - 120466 Bytes
« Reply #5 on: Apr 1st, 2007, 7:31pm »
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hi all,
 
btw, here's a look under the hood of the blue electric welder.  this is the mechanical end, the electronics are located in a service car.
 
moose the caboose
 


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dgmarklin
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #6 on: Apr 1st, 2007, 8:55pm »
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moose:  I aint that big of a spammer( I hope), I said post, not topic, lol!  Thanks for the information on those wheels trucks and systems, I need all the help I can get.  
 
Anyways...
 
These are my calculations and figures and information that I hope my train will have:
 
-GE 44 TONNER
-FLYING EAGLE RAIL LINE
-#423
 
-Steel Frame
-500WATT 24VDC MOTOR
-3:1 GEAR RATIO
-2.0 HP AT WHEELS
-8 MPH TOP SPEED
-DYNAMIC BRAKEING
-APPROX. 3.5 HOURS OF FULL THROTTLE MOTOR RUN TIME OFF ONBOARD -BATTERIES
-VARIBLE FWD AND REV CONTROLS
-ABLE TO PULL 10-14 ADULTS UP 3% GRADE
-4 CAST IRON AXLES, AT LEAST 2 POWERED, OTHER 2 READY FOR MOTOR FOR FUTURE ADDTION
-150 WATT SOUND SYSTEM (HORN, BRAKES, BELL, MP3 PLAYER JACK[FOR LUNCH BREAKS], ETC)
-35 WATT HEADLIGHT
-2 DITCH LIGHTS (NOT ON REAL GE 44 BUT THEY'LL LOOK COOL ANYWAYS)
-CAB LIGHT
-CONTROL LIGHTS
-OPERATIONAL DOORS AND LOCKS
-KEY SWITCH
-DECORATION MU HOSES(FUTURE)
-LASER CUT FIBERGLASSED SHELL
-ONE 16 YEAR (22 DAYS TILL 17) OPERATIONAL ENGINEER (FOOD FOR HIM NOT INCLUDED  )
-24VDC TO 120VAC INVERTER FOR TOOL CHARGERS OR CELL PHONE CHARGERS, ETC.
 
 
Most of the above parts are cut, on order, or are here.  The only thing that isnt is the chains or toll-o-matics.
 
I have drawn the entire train in autocad along with detailed parts for the shell.
 
The trucks are pivoting but is there anyway to avoid toll-o-matic, just wanna know.  Since the trucks dont piviot to far, can I chain drive in the center to the axle or will it throw it off the tracks or break the chain.  Chain drive sounds simple and cheap.  Maybe I could use toll-o-matics in a couple of years.  Just wondering.  Yes, yes, do it right the first time, I know I know...
 
Dean G.


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Dean
ErieAtlantic7597
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #7 on: Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:42am »
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   Dean,  
 
   After reading your description of what yoyu have already done, I'd say your really moveing along. I would, however, make a suggestion. don't start to skimp on what you already have planned. It sounds like a solid design.  
 
   If you want a testimony on the toll-o-matics, look through these threads and find  
the "Galivanting Goose #2". Just take a look at how many tracks it ran at. Plus it pulled passengers for five years solid at Largo. Each and every month, 12 hours per dedicated week end. All done with a single toll-o-matic on the rear power truck.
 
   I did use chain to drive a "jack shaft". But I used #40 chain. The Goose still has the original chains since 1992. And the same Eaton #6 hydrostatic transmission.
 
   Dean, I know you want to save a few bucks. I don't blame you for that. The only thing is, some times, we all think we are saveing in the short run, but in reality, we do the same job twice or three times and use more parts and spend more money in the long run, than if we had done the job in good form in the first place.  
 
   This is just my opinion based on many many years of being a mechanic, working on other peoples equipment.
 
   Take care,  
 
   Bruce


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Super_foamer
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
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« Reply #8 on: Apr 2nd, 2007, 1:37pm »
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Well it's modeled after an Alco RS3 but this baby runs on batteries!  This is my father's 1 inch scale (4 3/4 inch gauge.  My dad is a huge fan of the B&O and he has his entire train done in B&O most of everything has an exact prototype except our RS3.  The B&O never had RS3s so we took the number of a real RS1 and my dad created the scheme for it.  I don't have pictures of his train but I did get these shots of the 9185 hangin out in our garage before my camera died!
 
~Casey


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"I totally just splooged my pants." ~ rail pacer while he was working on a passenger car.


Super_foamer
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 2nd, 2007, 1:43pm »
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another veiw

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Super_foamer
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« Reply #10 on: Apr 2nd, 2007, 1:45pm »
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And a side veiw.  I forget the gentleman's name who built this for my father but there are others like it at PLS and they all have MU capability as well as dynamic braking.  If you have any questions about it I can always give my father a call and ask him.  I have had some fun with it, for a little machine it has quite a bit of power!
 
~Casey


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"I totally just splooged my pants." ~ rail pacer while he was working on a passenger car.


anthonyd_SRR
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #11 on: Apr 2nd, 2007, 2:09pm »
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Really really nice Engine Casey. your lucky to have her  
 
Anthony


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ErieAtlantic7597
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #12 on: Apr 2nd, 2007, 3:50pm »
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   Folks,
 
   I know George T. won't say this himself, so I will. His "English tank engine" runs rather well. I've seen it running for hours with little to no problems. Oh, yea, side rods need to be oiled, the chain needs lubed once in a while, but thats about it. Of course, the batteries need to be charged. And, he built the major part of it himself.
 
   I do believe that George started this thread with the direct intension to spur a few of you guys that drift through here to try to build a piece of equipment yourself. And,
hopefully, a couple of us "older" guys can help with some of our varied expierience
in this hobby. It sure would be nice to see some of the handywork of some of you fellas. Hopefully, some pics too.
 
   Take care,  
 
   Bruce
 
 
     
 


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dgmarklin
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #13 on: Apr 2nd, 2007, 3:54pm »
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Ya, I should do it right the first time.
 
Thats a nice blue electric loco you got there.  
 
About how much is a toll-o-matic?


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Dean
moose_the_caboose
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
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« Reply #14 on: Apr 2nd, 2007, 10:55pm »
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hi all,
 
bruce is right about me, it ain't about the brag, it's about hooking up to a train and pulling it.  my little welder says more than my voice ever could, that's what i want your equipment to do.  forget the ne'er-do-wells, actions speak volumes.  bruce may remember the time we were testing the little thing when we asked him to be a 'hood ornament' to give us more weight for traction.   i'd tried to pull a train (slowly) up the grade of our outer loop, but was slipping badly.  bruce hopped on to the chassis just as you see it in one of the photos above.  i opened the throttle (on grade) and drove him and the train to level grade.   the then 250lb loco and the addition of bruce's weight did the trick!  bruce got off, i opened the throttle again and never looked back.  well, maybe i did to see the rest of them kidding him about 'driving' on my engine!
 
dg:  some comments about my little 0-6-0.  it uses a 36vdc golf cart motor (2 1/2 hp) geared 3 1/2 to 1 powering 6 1/2" wheels.  it will do better than 15 mph real speed (wwwwaaaayyyy tttttttoooooo fffffffaaaaassssstttttt).  in the yard, it pulled 18 cars without a problem and managed a one-time pull of 21 cars out of the yard upgrade (bruce knows what i'm talking about) and was witnessed by pockets during one of our card order operating sessions.  the yard service took 3 hours to complete, it was still moving but wouldn't activate the air brake solenoid due to low voltage.  no brakes...big problem in yard service.  someone else had to move the last cut of cars into position.
 
it would pull 10 to 12 people (adults and children) for an average of 3 1/2 hours solid(over 1.2 miles per lap, 4 to 5 laps per hour) before voltage dropped to the cutoff point during our public runs.  with just me, a few others, and a display train, it would run all day on one charge.
 
the initial mechanical design was championed by one of the live steam pioneers, mr enis yoder.  his contributions were the mechanical suspension (no springs, but pivots) design, turning the wheels, turning the axles, and quartering the wheel assemblies.  when i brought the rolling chassis to the track, more than a few people thought it wouldn't stay on the track without a sprung suspension.  bruce knows the only time it has ever derailed badly...we were visiting another track at the time.  just like the erie atlantic, this loco will show you every baubble in the trackwork.  it got caught on a vehicle crossing and knocked the center axle loose.  one of the members of that particular club and i put it in the dead-cochroach position and re-squared the axles.  not something i want to do in the woods again!   the second pioneer to assist with the loco was none other than our own ben s.  ben made the side-rods for it with both himself and bruce encouraging me to continue to build a mechanically sound loco.  with regular maintenance, it is still a solid running engine.
 
with this experience behind me, dg, here are my thoughts about your project:
 
i like the fact that you've taken time to think things through and have organized a 'wish' list.  
 
1.  without knowing what the number of batteries are, your power consumption needs to go on a diet.  there's too much battery drain!  you are asking a lot from your batteries.   deep cycle batteries won't take a quick charge like auto batteries.  the rule of thumb is 1 1/2 hours of charge time for every hour of use.  the batteries should be re-charged as a 24 vdc package, not individually on 12 vdc.  electrons are always seeking equilibrium.  for any drop in voltage, amperage must increase (ohm's law...ya can't cheat here).  most devices are both voltage and amperage sensitive.  too much of dis', too little of dat', and the smoke comes out!  in those immortal words, "it's dead, jim, dead!"
 
2.  the 500 watt motor is okay for moving 1 to 3 people for the amount of time you want to run, but 10 to 14 adults on any grade for more than a few minutes at a time is risking motor overheating.  yes, you can and will try it (i know you will), but it's risky.  optimum motor amperage should be 40/60 to the controller capacity.  most people opt for 60/40 and hope never to exceed controller capacity.  it's all about keeping the motor cool and happy.  keeping voltage high and amperage low (amps equals heat).
 
3.  with only 2 out of 4 axles powered, you will have less than half to the tractive force you think you'll have.  yes, you'll still move along nicely, but draw-bar pull and traction are compromised.
 
4.  about the sound system, it all goes back to battery capacity.  150 watts is alot to have connected to deep cycle batteries.  sound systems make an engine sound great, but imho it pulls no freight.  hmmm, that dang near sounds like part of a poem.  er,  especially if you are crunched for battery  space and capacity.  as to the inverter for ac devices, same comments apply.  better to build a service car for that kind of use.  my advice, separate the engine power supply from the non-essential devices.  you'll still need operating lights, a horn, electrical/mechanical brake activation, and an air compressor if you're going in that direction.  dynamic brakes aren't emergency or station holding brakes.  an auto horn (cadillac 4-horns of the appocalypse) will use more power than you expect(be sure to use a horn solenoid), so make sure that's in your equation.
 
5.  now about that headlight!  35 watt high intensity lighting is way too much for oncoming locos to encounter!  you're going to blind someone and cause an accident.  better to use a low watt traditional 6 or 12 vdc lamp than the high intensity.  you might even try one of the new led white lights with a straw(light yellow) colored filter in front of it, would save your batteries too.
 
6.  something you haven't mentioned, a fire extingisher rated for electrical fires.  yes, things do happen even when every precaution and contingency has been taken.   in the photo below, is the 275 amp motor controller that suddenly gave up the ghost after giving many years of service.  there was no wiring fault, no action by others or myself to cause it.  a couple of internal capacitors exploded and caused a short on the battery supply side.  you can clearly see what your batteries are capable of for a split second of time.  with 3 12 vdc batteries in series, you could weld with the available power.   treat every battery system with respect!
 
to all:  i said that i would be a pain, it's because safety demands it.  i want everybody to not only be proud of their project, but to build to the highest standards of safety that they can.  i also want you to be able ride your project on any track you want and have it make a statement without you saying a word.  by your craftsmenship you should be known, not by brag.  that is the lesson that i continue to learn.  that is the lesson i share with you.  home-built equipment that is well built, well maintained, and operates nicely is one that will be respected and welcomed where ever you go.  
 
more later!
 
enjoy,
 
moose the caboose
 
 
 
 
on Apr 1st, 2007, 8:55pm, dgmarklin wrote:       (Click here for original message)

These are my calculations and figures and information that I hope my train will have:
 
-GE 44 TONNER
-FLYING EAGLE RAIL LINE
-#423
 
-Steel Frame
-500WATT 24VDC MOTOR
-3:1 GEAR RATIO
-2.0 HP AT WHEELS
-8 MPH TOP SPEED
-DYNAMIC BRAKEING
-APPROX. 3.5 HOURS OF FULL THROTTLE MOTOR RUN TIME OFF ONBOARD -BATTERIES
-VARIBLE FWD AND REV CONTROLS
-ABLE TO PULL 10-14 ADULTS UP 3% GRADE
-4 CAST IRON AXLES, AT LEAST 2 POWERED, OTHER 2 READY FOR MOTOR FOR FUTURE ADDTION
-150 WATT SOUND SYSTEM (HORN, BRAKES, BELL, MP3 PLAYER JACK[FOR LUNCH BREAKS], ETC)
-35 WATT HEADLIGHT
-2 DITCH LIGHTS (NOT ON REAL GE 44 BUT THEY'LL LOOK COOL ANYWAYS)
-CAB LIGHT
-CONTROL LIGHTS
-OPERATIONAL DOORS AND LOCKS
-KEY SWITCH
-DECORATION MU HOSES(FUTURE)
-LASER CUT FIBERGLASSED SHELL
-ONE 16 YEAR (22 DAYS TILL 17) OPERATIONAL ENGINEER (FOOD FOR HIM NOT INCLUDED  )
-24VDC TO 120VAC INVERTER FOR TOOL CHARGERS OR CELL PHONE CHARGERS, ETC.
 
Dean G.



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dgmarklin
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #15 on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 3:08pm »
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Thanks Moose, I will take the lessons you learned and use them.  Thanks for the information and idea's.  Maybe 150 Watt sound is a little overkill, I will look into something smaller and and 24VDC on board charger.  I have seen those new LED lights and guess I will go get one.  The 10-14 was just what I got out of my calculations, I hope I never see a 3% grade with a load like that. At least, I hope I am up and over it fast, way before the motor heats up.  I do believe my motor has a temperature cut off number too.  The controller for the motor was built for the motor.  The max wattage is around 1500 I think, continous 500Watts.  
 
I now am planing space for the fire extenguisher in a door.


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Dean
moose_the_caboose
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #16 on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 8:06pm »
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hi all,
 
dg:  you've got a good start.  you asked if there was another way to transmit power other than tol-o-matics....yes, there's always a way, but for your application (space - the lack of it), tol-o-matics are your first-best choice.  if you google them, yes they'll seem expensive, but you'll spend more time and money trying to figure a way around them, than budgeting for them.  remember, you said you were going to build one side of the power-train first, then the other.  though it may not look like it, you're building a very compact loco...moving real estate that comes very dear!
 
don't rush it!  if it takes a little longer to build, so be it.  my first loco took 1 year from start to finish out of junk parts.  the blue welder took almost 2 years and some change before it was ready for testing.  bruce will tell you, i spent a lot of time doing test runs just to make sure everything worked and nothing had been left to chance.
 
to all:  the urge to get it done and on the track is strong.  remember, building equipment is part of the hobby too!  take your time to not only get it right, but to enjoy the process.  to do something halfway is to fight aggrevations for the entire time you own it.  everybody breaks down once in a while, but keep your eye on the guys who run more than 98% of the time without a major problem.  this is what we've been telling all of you out there, they've done something right!  you'll also find that they aren't talking...they're out on the track.  the ones who talk either own a roundhouse queen or nuthin' at all.
 
 
moose the caboose
 
 
on Apr 3rd, 2007, 3:08pm, dgmarklin wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Thanks Moose, I will take the lessons you learned and use them.  Thanks for the information and idea's.  Maybe 150 Watt sound is a little overkill, I will look into something smaller and and 24VDC on board charger.  I have seen those new LED lights and guess I will go get one.  The 10-14 was just what I got out of my calculations, I hope I never see a 3% grade with a load like that. At least, I hope I am up and over it fast, way before the motor heats up.  I do believe my motor has a temperature cut off number too.  The controller for the motor was built for the motor.  The max wattage is around 1500 I think, continous 500Watts.  
 
I now am planing space for the fire extenguisher in a door.



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moose_the_caboose
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #17 on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 8:16pm »
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hi casey!
 
sorry i haven't acknowledged your contributions 'til now.  that's a great lookin' loco ya got there!  when ya gonna post some pics of it out on the track?!
 
tell your dad on behalf of all of us here, that he's a lucky man to have that great looking equipment!
 
moose the caboose


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dgmarklin
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #18 on: Apr 3rd, 2007, 8:41pm »
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Should my weight be more centered on the powered axles for traction and how much..(3:1)I am looking about about 200 lbs of weight so should it be 100:100 or 50:150 or 25:175  
 
I just need to know before I plan where things are going.


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Dean
dgmarklin
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Re: Electric Loco Land!
 
« Reply #19 on: Apr 4th, 2007, 5:24pm »
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I thought I would just show you what our laser is like.  I am using my schools Epilog Laser to cut out the wood shell, which I will Fiberglass.  This isn't ours but it shows you the accuracy and precision.
 
http://youtube.com/watch?v=0W3RbXrayi4&mode=user&search=
 
I thought of this because I took the laser apart to fix it today, it was skipping about 15 inchs of the bed and going to the other side.  I cleaned all the contacts and mag. strips.  PRESTO!  so tomarrow I will cut some stairs, take some photos and let ya guys know what I've got done.


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Dean
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