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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
this opens lots of possibilities, you can run your layout with full control with no AC power at all, the controller gives you full speed control of the locomotive and allows you to use the E unit for forward / neutral / reverse. works with both lionel and marx E units. the controller is $ 10 with free shipping, its small, simple 4 wire connection and it WORKS !!!




https://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-24V-48...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2648
 

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uh, unless i'm reading it wrong, it only allows you to do one train unit ??
and you still need an additional car battery ??
 

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okay .. here the controller is 9.59 [us] plus 7.99 shipping, a total of $17.58...
add in a marine battery, say for $100 ?? and a charger, say $50 ..


What's an ordinary transformer worth?
shouldn't it be quite a bit less, plus no battery fumes or leaking acid to boot ??
so what's the advantage ??
 

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Discussion Starter #5
the controller is 10 bucks with free shipping, the advantage is YOU DONT NEED AC POWER TO RUN THE TRAIN ! it was an INTERESTING EXPERIMENT.
 

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Nice video and thanks for taking the time to demonstrate.
Your right the e-unit seems very quiet when you went thru its full cycle and curious as to why. is it because of the type of voltage being applied perhaps.
 

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Early Lionel trains would use dry cell batteries as a fair number of houses were yet to have electricity. Thus the Lionel Rheostat to control voltage. And early AC transformers came with an adapter plug to use a ceiling light socket for power - houses with electric didn't have the plethora of plugs that modern houses have.

Plug.png
 

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Very interesting experiment Ben. Running ones trains off of a car battery when ac power is not available is a neat idea. All the trains you ran seemed to me that they ran smoother & quieter. Low speed operation was great as well. To further your experiment using a DC power source. I was wondering if the DC controller would work directly with the Battery Charger you use to charge the car battery? I am fairly sure that a car battery charger produces a voltage range of about 14.3-14.6 vdc. to overcome the car battery's static 12.6 vdc. Does any of the engines you tried have an electronic reverser board? Some of my Lionel & K-Line have a electronic reverser. These reverser boards have a built in bridge rectifier that converts the ac to dc then powers a can motor on each truck. I do not know if the reverser board would work with a dc input vs the normal ac input. I would be careful as to what engines I would put on a DC powered only track. I would be sure if an engine I have is DC compatible or not before trying it on any DC powered track.

LATER
 

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... Low speed operation was great as well.
LATER
That because the controller manages the duty cycle (on-off) of the DC supply (battery). When the controller electronics are "on", full voltage is applied and 0 V when "off". By managing the ratio of on-to-off, you get various speeds. That ratio is managed by the potentiometer on the controller. The motor responds better to full voltage for a short time than low voltage for a long time.

Years ago in HO's DC powered world, the mfg.'s called it "Pulse Power" for superior low speed operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just curious why???
the obvious answer is your not constrained to using AC transformers. what if you wanted to put on a display where there was no power available, do you use a generator to power your AC transformers, OR would it be a simple expedient to power the layout with a BATTERY ? its not expensive or difficult, the controller was 10 bucks with free shipping.

i have NEVER seen anyone do this before, i really doubt you have either, there was no one to ask so a bit of empirical experimentation needed to be done. look at it this way, if your power goes out tomorrow for a week you can sit and look at your trains, i can run mine. with multiple controllers a single battery can power my entire layout.
 

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There was a guy on here years ago that ran a layout off a battery bank. It was in his camper. So he didnt have electrical hook ups but wanted to run trains. Also would be good in a zombie apocalypse for some to get there train fix! Lol.
 

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There was a guy on here years ago that ran a layout off a battery bank. It was in his camper. So he didnt have electrical hook ups but wanted to run trains. Also would be good in a zombie apocalypse for some to get there train fix! Lol.
Hi Chief. :)

Or bring it to the beach to impress the woman. :p
 

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If my power goes out for a week the first thing on my mind isn’t ok now I can run my trains off my car battery in the dark, it’s let’s fire up the generator so we have heat, water, and don’t lose everything in the refrigerators then I’ll run my trains the same way I do every other day with electricity. It’s a cool experiment but don’t really see it’s practical use. The other concern is the gasses that come out of the vents of a battery are extremely explosive and the acid vapors are very corrosive. This doesn’t seem like a good thing to do in the house. Just my option.
 

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i have NEVER seen anyone do this before, i really doubt you have either, there was no one to ask

actually I ran off a auto battery ten years ago or so ... waiting for my MRC controller to come in .. no fancy controller though, they weren't available that cheaply, just a large variable resistor ...
it's fine for just an experiment, but i didn't want acid in the train room, plus AC is quite a bit neater, :)
didn't most of the real old stuff run off battery in the first place ?? before household AC became real common ??
 
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