Converting track power to battery power

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Ballhog24

Woody
Good morning everyone!

I currently have two Bachmann 4-6-0 engines, one is a Christmas set, one is the steam engine and tender, unpainted and unlettered.

I need some advice or assistance in converting these trains from track power to battery power. We're going to add approximately 125 feet of track in the next couple weeks, get the layout setup in the front yard for Christmas season, and I'd like to have battery powered loco's running these shows.
 

Lady_Railfan

House Mother, Cheerleader
I took the easy way out and had someone from the LHS install mine for me, even though the cost was quite a bit more than if I had done it myself. But it was worth every penny. I spent a LOT of time being frustrated when I had to rely on track integrity to make things work. I'm also planning a layout expansion, but I wouldn't even consider it if I had to rely on track power. I have only about 75 feet of track now, but plan to more than double that in phase 2.

I use the AirWire 900 controller --- excellent features, and easy to use. We use a rechargeable battery pack, and get about three hours' run time between charges.

I can't wait to see pictures of your Christmas layout!
 

westernbound

New Member
Ballhog24 said:
Good morning everyone!

I currently have two Bachmann 4-6-0 engines, one is a Christmas set, one is the steam engine and tender, unpainted and unlettered.

I need some advice or assistance in converting these trains from track power to battery power. We're going to add approximately 125 feet of track in the next couple weeks, get the layout setup in the front yard for Christmas season, and I'd like to have battery powered loco's running these shows.
Hello, its hard to tell you how to do it in words. Ill try and see if I can find an old 4-6-0 bachmann laying around and ill take some digital photos of me doing it and post it on here. Its fairly easy. You got a soldering gun or iron and all the necessary tools for wiring? ahaha. Ill work on looking. I dont feel like taking apart my Anniversary 4-6-0 cause everything on thats metal and in good conditon. So ill look for one of those old 4-6-0's I got laying around.
 

Ballhog24

Woody
westernbound said:
Hello, its hard to tell you how to do it in words. Ill try and see if I can find an old 4-6-0 bachmann laying around and ill take some digital photos of me doing it and post it on here. Its fairly easy. You got a soldering gun or iron and all the necessary tools for wiring? ahaha. Ill work on looking. I dont feel like taking apart my Anniversary 4-6-0 cause everything on thats metal and in good conditon. So ill look for one of those old 4-6-0's I got laying around.
I do have a soldering iron and quite a selection of wiring tools and materials.

I'll tell you now I'm very green, but I'm a quick study...as with you said, it's difficult for me to follow along with words, but I wouldn't want you to go through the trouble of tearing apart one of your loco's. Maybe there is a site handy that has something like that already?

Lady Railfan, tell me more about your controller? Did you have to install much into the loco for the controller to work? I figure it's more than just a plug and play...
I'm leaning towards that controller, even at the $140 price tag...OUCH.

Thanks to any advice you folks can give me...and yes I'll have LOTS of pictures before, during, and after...and possibly some video up too...
 

Ballhog24

Woody
Lady_Railfan said:
I took the easy way out and had someone from the LHS install mine for me, even though the cost was quite a bit more than if I had done it myself. But it was worth every penny. I spent a LOT of time being frustrated when I had to rely on track integrity to make things work. I'm also planning a layout expansion, but I wouldn't even consider it if I had to rely on track power. I have only about 75 feet of track now, but plan to more than double that in phase 2.

I use the AirWire 900 controller --- excellent features, and easy to use. We use a rechargeable battery pack, and get about three hours' run time between charges.

I can't wait to see pictures of your Christmas layout!

LHS?

Local Hardware store?
Local hobby shop?
 

Lady_Railfan

House Mother, Cheerleader
Ballhog24 said:
LHS?

Local Hardware store?
Local hobby shop?
:eek: My bad! Could be either one. I was thinking Local Hobby Shop.

What's worse is that I don't know the answer to your questions about the setup. My friend brought the loco back and showed me how to charge the battery in the loco. I had played with the controller at our local Garden RR club meeting and was impressed with its capabilities.Since everything works, I haven't even looked inside the manuals (or the loco).
 

Ballhog24

Woody
Well I'm hoping I can get with some people in the area who might have done the conversion, plus leaning on the veterans here and a couple other sites, to help me get through this...

This weekend is getting the track plan setup, then ordering the track, (Oh, and there's an airshow at the base here this weekend, so that will take a few hours out of it...lol) and then the Mrs. is going to help in drawing, measuring, and painting the scratch buildings (the Christmas village) and we hope to have this ALL done (not to mention the other "chores" that go along with putting up the lights display) so we can turn the lights on the Saturday after Thanksgiving!!!
 

oleirish

Member
Ballhog24 said:
Well I'm hoping I can get with some people in the area who might have done the conversion, plus leaning on the veterans here and a couple other sites, to help me get through this...

This weekend is getting the track plan setup, then ordering the track, (Oh, and there's an airshow at the base here this weekend, so that will take a few hours out of it...lol) and then the Mrs. is going to help in drawing, measuring, and painting the scratch buildings (the Christmas village) and we hope to have this ALL done (not to mention the other "chores" that go along with putting up the lights display) so we can turn the lights on the Saturday after Thanksgiving!!!
I sure would like to see your xmas set up pictures please?!
JIM:) :D
 




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