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Steve P

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  1. Hi, It's been quite a while since I visited... I have been detailing my progress on the Dead Rails/Free Rails site as my efforts are primarily on the deadrail aspect of the hobby. For those interested I have 3 threads going there: My control car/battery car design/build project: http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=8145&forum_id=45 My track design/build project: http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=8181&forum_id=52 A home brew signals, switch control, RFID project: http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=8252&forum_id=54 As winter around here shuts down outside play, current activity is on design of G-scale signal lights with 3-watt LEDs, switch control with RC servos, and RFID identification of rolling stock. I went with the 3-watt LEDs (those suckers are BRIGHT) as I can clearly see them from several hundred feet, important with the size of my setup. Everything is based around arduino clones for computer control. As with my engines, I am using WiFi for the data link. I hope to make them LCC compatible in the long run. Steve
  2. I just worked thru post delivery of my Big Boy #4023 G scale engine from Ray's ... what great service, worth every penny! This is a dead rail system. The DCS TIU and WIU are in the 1st boxcar, the 2nd holds batteries and voltage regulators. Steve
  3. Hi, Got the TIU and WIU installed into a boxcar, pics attached. The power wires currently are routed out thru the back boxcar door. Its wired to my HO Big Boy track and running! I have a 5-30v to 5v USB dongle on the way, will wire that into the boxcar to run the WIU from the main battery. So, the questions of the day are: What gauge wire should I use from the battery to the control car (ie TIU) and the control boxcar to the engine? I'm thinking fine stranded (for flexibility) speaker wire in 16 gauge... but perhaps thats way too big considering the run is only about 2', would 18/20 gauge be better? What connectors should I use between cars? I plan to keep them minimal in number, each one is a failure point. Probably fixed wire out of battery car terminated with plug than goes into socket on rear of control boxcar. Fixed wire from engine, running under/thru tender, terminated with plug that goes into socket on front of control boxcar.
  4. Blid, Thanx for the hard numbers, confirms my earlier impressions. I could go to a 22000mA battery but at added weight, think I'll stick with the 16000. The "Horseshoe curve" or Tehachapi Loop mentioned earlier looks interesting. I found a wiki on the concept of "track transition curve". Does anyone out there go to the trouble of banking curves, or calculation of a transition? I hope to have the TIU board mounted by end of the day and operational again. I'll post pictures in a few days. Thanx to everyone for the ideas.
  5. Joe, Its almost a straight shot up the "canyon" from my patio to the picnic area at the top of the property. This is my "ideal" path. It goes thru the orchard, along a scenic hillside, beside the pond, thru a large aspen meadow, then finally to the picnic area. Going the entire path is more important than the number of cars I pull (but the Big Boy screams "I should be pulling a LOT of cars"). There is a hillside half way that I could do 2-3 switchbacks, adding 100' or more each pass. The patio is the proper area for the main terminal, and the picnic area the proper area for the terminus. I'm adding a raspberry pi3 to the control boxcar, hopefully allowing the ability to stream live video back to the main terminal (patio). The setup will be strictly command mode, using fixed input 1 for the battery feed, and fixed output 1 directly to the Big Boy. I will be sticking to MTH cars for the most part, to keep scale uniform. The one boxcar I have for the TIU/WIU build seems fairly light, with nice metal wheels. I also am considering the necessity of going with ball-bearing wheels to handle more cars. The numbers are preliminary, using a handheld GPS device. A friend is coming over in a few weeks and we will do a proper survey with a transit. I understand the ambition of my plans, and fully expect it to take 4-5 years (or more) to complete.
  6. Joe, So something like this: https://www.maxamps.com/lipo-16000-5s-18-5v-battery-pack should give me 4-5 hours of runtime? Sounds like grade is going to be an issue. I have 55' of rise in 1000', which if I understand the math, is 5.5% grade. I've read several articles that state 3% grade is ok (but not specific to the BigBoy). I can keep it down to 3% with several switch backs (and a lot more track!) if I plan ahead. I would like to pull 30-40 cars. Maybe a pusher is in my future...
  7. I am building a G scale outdoor railway using an MTH One Gauge Big Boy. Does anyone know the stall current and/or "max effort", "average", etc currents for this engine? I need the info for planning the battery setup. Any insight as to maximum grade I can use when installing track would also be helpful...

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