Author Topic: best batteries?  (Read 2638 times)

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Offline hornbeam

best batteries?
« on: Jun 05 2012 18:47 »
Good evening all,

Im currently finishing off a GRS class 08, and will be building their Peckett and 1F in the future. I've looked on here on what people use to power their engines, but as the 08 has so much space what should I use battery? At the other end the little Peckett has less space. Mark- I know you built one what did you use in yours? ( im worried i'll have the same cylinder issue you had as well) Has anyone fitted smoke units too? I may go down the DCC track power route on the two steam locos (have the kit and some decoders) but really  not sure I want to bod all the track as I lay it and clean it.


Offline keith Bristol

Re: best batteries?
« Reply #1 on: Jun 05 2012 19:16 »

My 08 has ....actually mark could you have a look please? I think its 12 C cells and adds loads of weight.
The Peckett is adaptable.. IF you use black drain pipe you can extend the firebox back into the cab. I have had 16 AA, a Mach 5 and a smoke unit in my pecket.
I woudl run with 16 AA cells in the 08 and 14 in the peckett if they were mine..



Offline John Candy

Re: best batteries?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 05 2012 19:16 »
I have been using NiMh packs from "Strikalite" (composed of AA size 1.2V cells with soldered tags) which can be layered in "stacks" to suit the available space.

If you have space in the 08 you could try a small lead/acid cell (Ralph/cabbage uses those and will no doubt advise).

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline AllWight

Re: best batteries?
« Reply #3 on: Jun 05 2012 23:03 »

The 08 has 12 C batteries. 8 are laying lengthways above the motor itself on a bracket and the others are upright infront of the 8. Infront of that is a speaker for the sound and the smoke generator as well as the reciever. The Mac 5 is under the floor between the front and middle axle. The charge sockert and switch has been placed right behind the rear bufferbeam either side of the hook.

My saddletank, "Invincible" is fitted with 12 AA batteries. Consist is 4 packs of 3AA, the Mac5 and reciever are all in the firebox and the shortened saddle tank. The charge socket is in the forward coal bunker and the switch is located under the smokebox saddle. I personally would say 12 AA batteries is enough and I know that John Witts has his tram on 6 AA for controlled shunting. The LGB motors are very free running and rated at 22v. There is also a lot of spare space between the frames front and rear. If you want Hornbeam you are welcome to have a closer look at the engine some time. Feel free to make contact. Sometimes its easier to see rather than describe.


Offline Moonraker

Re: best batteries?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 06 2012 02:18 »
I built a GRS Pannier about five years ago and installed 12 NiCad C cells, radio control and a MyLocoSound sound card. Function buttons control the whistle and the "fire box doors" (a flashing red LED). The front and back lights changeover according to direction. A photo is attached.

I suggest that you look at the Aristocraft Revolution radio control. It has all the functionality of DCC, long range, easy install and modest price without the need to keep your tracks clean for DCC. The MacFive is a relaible unit but is not very functional and is starting to show its age.

My next project is to try and implement a radio controller uncoupler on the Pannier to make shunting easier.

There is the a short video of the loco in action on my railway at

Peter Lucas
Peter Lucas

Offline cabbage

Re: best batteries?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 06 2012 07:44 »
As stated above -I do use Sealed Lead Acid Gel Cell Batteries (SLA). There are good points and bad points to using them. The good points are: They are heavy and come in nice easily fixable rectangular shapes. The bad points are: that they have limited charge density compared to modern batteries and need to be charged in an upright position. An SLA will give 45% of its Ah rating in the first hour of discharge and the curve of discharge is easy and very predictable thereafter.

They don't suffer from NiCd "memory" -but modern chargers can pulse charge at very high ratings and my SLAs can be charged in under 30 minutes. My normal SLA "brick" is  a 6V 4.5Ah one. Because they are bricks I can design my compartments to take them and wire them in series or cascade for my 12V motors.

The Maplin on-line catalogue lists a few....



Offline hornbeam

Re: best batteries?
« Reply #6 on: Jun 07 2012 15:13 »
Thanks guys. I may take you up on that offer Mark. Never thought about the Aristo contol will look into it.

Offline keith Bristol

Re: best batteries?
« Reply #7 on: Jun 07 2012 19:47 »
The aristo control is excellent.... At an exhibion I was shunting and able to do scale 'ease up' on waggons.