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Well-Known Member
I know this subject has come up on the forum on several occasions, but I never paid much attention to it, nor do I recall how the subject conversation was titled. .....the idea that we could have battery powered model trains, free from track power.

I was reading my mail today, and this item caught my attention,


To create a battery cell, several layers of this nano-diamond material are stacked up and stored with a tiny integrated circuit board and a small supercapacitor to collect, store and instantly distribute the charge. NDB says it'll conform to any shape or standard, including AA, AAA, 18650, 2170 or all manner of custom sizes.
In a consumer electronics application, NDB's Neel Naicker gives us an example of just how different these devices would be: "Think of it in an iPhone. With the same size battery, it would charge your battery from zero to full, five times an hour. Imagine that. Imagine a world where you wouldn't have to charge your battery at all for the day. Now imagine for the week, for the month… How about for decades? That's what we're able to do with this technology."


Sounds too good to be true. Would our engines glow in the dark? Could they inadvertently explode with a scale mushroom cloud?

Kidding aside, a development like they describe would revolutionize the world once again. What if if the batteries could be large enough to power a car, let alone a model railroad engine.

A development like that with no need to recharge a battery, along with RF control of the locomotive. No track power, no track communication necessary. Wow!

OK, dream over. A little looking around the web indicates this is more a dream than a reality. Such a battery or power device has never been made, only thought about. I'll hang on to my MRC DCC system for now.
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Well-Known Member
Meet the Inventor
found this kind of interesting,..

Looking back thru that 'interview' with the British inventor I didn't see the case where he was overselling the idea like some carnival barker. He had a measured approach, ....even to the point that it just might not work, ....particularly in a commercial sense. And it appeared to me he had some reasonable timetables as to how the tech might evolve.

One thing I am confused about is how this technology now seems to be a product of an American company when it began in a British university. Maybe the snake oil sales approach is a product of American involvement?

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Meet the Inventor
Yeah that is what I thought. When I saw it I immediately thought of the equivalent of a photoelectric (solar) cell with its own encapsulated radiation source. It is another idea that has been kicked around for decades. I remember discussing such things in jr high electricity shop class. The technologies are just now catching up to the ideas (just like most of Mr. Musks stuff aren't really new and revolutionary.). It is the reality of them that is new.

And as someone above said, the last thing I want is another source of radiation in my phone being held next to my head!
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Well-Known Member
Staff member


GNRR Mechanic always fixing stuff
As I said, proof of concept is a long way from a production product. Lots of things have had proof of concept, but didn't work in the long run.


Section Hand
I knew of a fellow back in the early 1970's that created a board out of garbage. It used the organic material mixed with ground glass and an adhesive to form boards that were not affected by water and were semi-fire proof. The materials were bonded using a heat process. The product never sold due its hardness to cut, nail and it didn't hold any type of paint.

It looked like a sheet of Masonite.


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