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Author Topic: #7 Santa Fe Battery Op Loco  (Read 2937 times)
RkyGriz


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« on: March 17, 2016, 08:41:35 PM »

Ok guys. I bought a Santa Fe #7 battery powered loco. It's in very good condition but doesn't come with the remote, which I'm not too concerned about for now. The price was $22.50 including shipping so I believe that I got a decent deal. Here's a direct link to the auction that I won:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BACHMANN-BIG-HAULERS-4-6-0-TEN-WHEELER-R-C-BATTERY-STEAM-LOCO-TENDER-G-SCALE-/281961502995?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&nma=true&si=TcBA%252BRlfEVTFODdh%252FtPb1ZKJINM%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc
Here's my question: I have a 7.2 volt rechargeable battery pack and I found a plug to adapt it to the loco. Now, I believe that this loco takes 6 D-cell (9 volts total) batteries, correct? So is a 7.2 volt battery enough to power the loco , or do I need to buy a more powerful rechargeable battery and, if so,  what voltage and mAh rating would you guys recommend for it?
Thanks !
Andrew
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 08:47:24 PM by RkyGriz » Logged

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Chuck N

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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 09:27:53 PM »

Andrew


If my memory is correct, that is the first big hauler engine.  It has plastic wheels.  Battery is the only option.  It is version 1.  We are now at version 5 or higher.  Mine is a shelf queen.

Chuck
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RkyGriz


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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2016, 10:06:51 PM »

Hi, Chuck. Interesting. I was under the impression that this was the case, but there is this conversion plug available on Ebay :
http://www.ebay.com/itm/182005924526?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
...that gives the impression that it can  go either way.
I'm waiting to receive the loco and tender within the next week or so to see if this is possible. I bought it to kitbash anyway, with an eye towards turning it eventually into my new Rio GRande Loco and trying to sell the tender on Ebay for whatever I can get for it.
Thanks for the reply Chuck!
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Chuck N

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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2016, 10:14:46 PM »

Andrew it has been years since I did anything with it other than look at it on a shelf.  The plastic drivers on mine have no way to send electrons to the motor.

You might be able to use it as a dummy, non powered unit in a double headed consist.  You might have to disconnect the motor to permit it to free wheel in a train.

Chuck
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2016, 10:17:49 PM »

Rky,

The first Battery powered 4-6-0 Big Hauler (Version 1) did come with an adapter to allow use of the NMIH 7.2volt rechargeable battery packs.  I would suggest using the highest mAh you can afford.  These things ran thru standard D cells very quickly. the 7.2 volt works fine as I recall, but with lower top speed and seemed to have lasted longer than the D cells.    

If you decide to find a transmitter you will want the 27 MHZ version.  The original Big Hauler 4-6-0's came in two frequencies 27 MHZ and 49 Mhz.  Locomotives with a 7 in the cab number were 27 MHZ and locomotives with a 9 in the cab number used the 49 MHZ transmitter.

Have fun,

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
RkyGriz


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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 10:24:48 PM »

Hi Bill.
The battery I have is 7.2v 3300mAh. Should give it a good run, albeit slowly as compared to transformer powered units, if what you say is correct.  I'm not too concerned with getting a transmitter due to heavy interference with 27mhz R/C devices where I live( I have a Sears 27MHZ buggy made in 1993-1995 and it gets a lot of interference in the room where I operate my trains. Not so much outside, but inside it's terrible!).Who knows? I may decide to buy a cheap powered chassis for it some day as there are a lot of donor units on Ebay (with the earlier and later chassis) since this one is in such nice overall shape.
Later!
Andrew
PS: Do you think that this thing could handle a 14.8v Li-ion battery? I'm thinking that  a batter at that voltage would make it literally fly! Or would I be better off with what I currently have or maybe split the difference and buy a 9.6v battery instead?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 11:24:52 PM by RkyGriz » Logged

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on30gn15


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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 06:22:59 AM »

PS: Do you think that this thing could handle a 14.8v Li-ion battery? I'm thinking that  a batter at that voltage would make it literally fly! Or would I be better off with what I currently have or maybe split the difference and buy a 9.6v battery instead?
Question is, what voltage level are the motor windings built to handle? Next question is how fast will motor heat up at higher voltages? Third question; what speeds, meaning loads and forces, is the transmission build to handle?
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Screw the Rivets, I'm building for Atmosphere!
later, Forrest
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2016, 09:32:28 AM »

Andrew,

To be clear, when I said slower, I meant that it would still run as a reasonable prototypical speed, and 3300mAh is just fine.  Either the 9.6 or the 14.8 will work, but at full speed would most likely fly off the track on curves.  Nonetheless run at normal prototypical speeds(meaning at lower voltage levels) it should be fine.  Having said all of that, if you were to pull a long string of cars the amp draw on the motor would keep getting higher and possibly to the point of failure.  I might be fun to try and see what happens.

The original R/C Big Haulers were never meant to pull much more than what came with the set. They were sold at toy stores rather than Hobby Shops and at the time they were made Bachmann had no idea about the immense success the Big Hauler was going to be.  Guys like me were hungry for any kind of American prototype locomotive they could get and nothing else was reasonably available.  They failed pretty quickly, but looked great when painted black and relettered.  After failure I used mine near the engine house or on a siding, just for the look.   When Bachmann came out with the Version 2 chassis DC model, I just loved it.  I never tried to modify the R/C to run on DC, but some did.  The cost of conversion was high and the reliability was low, so it was bet in the long run just to buy a new DC version. Over the years the constant improvements in the 4-6-0 made it the best selling Large scale locomotive ever produced. The Bachmann Version 5 Big Hauler 4-6-0 and the Version 5 and Version 6 Anniversary 4-6-0 are the most trouble free smooth running and reliable ever made. The level  of detail is so improved the difference is very visible when the early ones are compared side by side with the version 5's.   Today I only recommend them and recommend that buyers stay away from the earlier versions.  My version 5's bought 16 years ago are still running strong and I have yet to have a failure. I keep them lubed and don't abuse them, running long trains of up to 20 cars with no problems.

Have fun,

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
RkyGriz


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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2016, 06:36:46 AM »

Hi all. I received the loco and tender yesterday. The good news is that the loco runs smoothly. The bad news is that there is so much radio interference that it runs forward for about 2 seconds and then goes into reverse ! I don't think that it's a malfunction as my frame buggy ( a Sears Super Lobo III made for Sears by Nikko  in about 1993-1994)which runs on 49 mhz,  also has interference problems, especially  if I turn it on  inside the house without turning on the transmitter first. The buggy runs very well outside , but it still gets interference , which often limits its' range of operation to less than 75 feet. Very annoying but there's nothing that I can do about it. I also have a helicopter that runs on 2.4GHZ. It never receives interference so it's obvious that the radio interference around here is in the lower, older bands. I'm thinking about maybe buying a transmitter for the loco on Ebay as they're not hard to find and are cheap, but I'm not convinced that it will solve the interference problem, even at close range. I may rip out the electronics on this thing and directly wire the battery compartment to the motor, which would mean that it would be forever stuck in forward gear, but I wouldn't have to spend any more money on it and doing that would definitely solve the interference problem!We'll see.
 The tender is another story. It's in nearly perfect condition, so much so that I decided on the spot to repaint it satin black and re-letter it as Rio Grande as a replacement for my other tender, which has the two rear screw mounts broken off on the inside of the body. It means more time and expense to redo it, but hey, it gives me a new project and I'm happy. It was worth it at the price I paid for this thing for the tender alone!
Anyway, I'll talk to you guys later.
Happy railroading!
Andrew
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Chuck N

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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2016, 09:44:42 AM »

Andrew

If you want to run both forward and reverse, you could put a DPDT (double pole double throw) toggle switch between the battery and the motor.  If the battery is in the tender, you could put the switch in the bottom of the tender.

Years ago I made a battery car with a DPDT switch and a old rheostat from my HO control panel.  The knob sticks out the end of the car, but it works. 

G-Scale graphics has some inexpensive remote (RC) controlers.  I don't have any of his controllers, but I have heard good things about them.  They are simple: on/off, speed, direction.

Chuck
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on30gn15


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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2016, 08:13:23 AM »

Apparently a number of things use parts of the 49mhz band, playing in Google found this mentioning both the military and baby monitors, early cordless phones, and of course, toys. http://forums.radioreference.com/general-scanning-discussion/228637-there-anything-worth-listening-49-mhz.html
And apparently as feed for remote audio systems http://www.part15.us/blogs/carl-blare/49-mhz-new-life
When it comes to this kind of thing, everything I know is only what things I found.
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When all esle fials, go run trains
Screw the Rivets, I'm building for Atmosphere!
later, Forrest
RkyGriz


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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2016, 03:52:33 PM »

I think I know what's interfering with my R/C toys that work on the 49mhz and 27mhz frequencies. There's a major power line corridor within 1/4 mile of where I currently live. I finally remembered earlier today that power lines can create interference with lower frequency radio devices. I did a little internet search and found results that seem to back up my theory. These R/C toys all have a sticker on the transmitters that say that that the FCC mandates that they accept all interference from all other devices that may result in undesired operation. Unfortunately, that also seems to include power lines since none of my other R/C devices has ever had a problem in my small town of Fernley, Nevada where there were no lines like the power lines here that were close enough to cause this interference problem. Now I live close to a major power transmission corridor in Modesto, Ca. and my devices are not working as well as they did back home in Fernley,which is temporary and I hope to return to Reno or Fernley permanently within the next few months.
Thanks for the reply!
Andrew
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RkyGriz


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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2016, 12:28:06 AM »

Hi all. I finally was able to get this thing up and running on my 7.2 volt 3800 mAh battery earlier today. It ran for about 5 minutes before coming to a stop and smoke began to pour out of the smoke stack and body! I had noticed in my earlier experiments with it last week that the electronics board was getting a little warm but I didn't think that it was a problem. Flash forward to today and, well... you already know what happened! Anyway I spent about 4 hours tinkering with it and ripping out the electronics , and finally wiring the motor and headlight (upgraded to a 5 mm warm white LED while I had the thing apart) directly to the battery plug receptacle ,and now it's been running for more than an hour on the 7.2 volt battery with no problems. I kind of like it! As usual, I made a video of it running and that video can be found to this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZpPzWS8OJI&feature=youtu.be
 To Loco Bill:
As always you called it right with your advice about the battery voltage. More than this 7.2 volt battery and it would be flying off the tracks!
Thank you for your help
Anyway,enjoy the video!
Later,
Andrew
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 12:30:41 AM by RkyGriz » Logged

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