Rob Lee

Powering PF motors without batteries?

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Posted (edited)

Hi all

 

Back in January I was looking at getting a Lego train set, and creating my own, very small layout (on my living room floor which has spare space of about (but no more than) 5ft by 5ft).

I still haven't achieved that goal yet but I'm looking at doing so again and I'm wondering, given the existence of the old 12v and 9v train sets, is it possible to power the PF trains without using batteries?

If so is it an expensive way of doing things?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Rob Lee

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Your best best bet would be to do this.

This tutorial would be helpful for one who wants to turn a PF train motor into a 9V train motor. Otherwise, you would want a electrified third rail which would stud onto the center of your train track and then have a device that would attach underneath your train which would pickup the current from the third rail. You would then simply plug the train motor into the device that contacts the third rail and voilà! That is... I assume it would work. :grin:

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You could swap the motorized wheel section with a 9V version, use 9V track and power controller (you don't necessarily have to do electrical mods like above). The track and 9V components are all rather expensive. For example this kit would get you started: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lego-9v-Train-Controller-and-Track-2867-and-2865-/162593042317

I think a decent rechargeable battery solution like Panasonic Eneloop makes more sense. You can get a good kit with more than enough AA batteries for one engine and a charger for about $35. 

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Yes, you can power PF trains without batteries.  You would have to make some sort of power pickup from metal tracks and/or overhead catenary.  It would be more expensive since you don't already have 9V or 12V tracks and parts and starting from scratch.

 

 

 

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Besides the fact that 9V or 12V tracks are expensive, how hard would it be to pick up the 9V off the track (NO CONTROLLER) and then route it to an internal Arduino controller say which uses 433Mhz RF reciever to get signals from a master Arduino controller???

THIS IS MY FANTASY!! (I HATE BATTERIES THEY SUCK!)

sPy from Oz

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28 minutes ago, spy1101001 said:

Besides the fact that 9V or 12V tracks are expensive, how hard would it be to pick up the 9V off the track (NO CONTROLLER) and then route it to an internal Arduino controller say which uses 433Mhz RF reciever to get signals from a master Arduino controller???

THIS IS MY FANTASY!! (I HATE BATTERIES THEY SUCK!)

sPy from Oz

It is not hard to pick up constant power from the metal train tracks. Instead of 433MHz RF, I think a something like an ESP8266 WIFI board might be simpler to implement.  You can communicate with it using almost anything--computer, phone, tablet, arduino/Raspberry PI with WIFI board, another ESP8266, etc.  You would need voltage converters and motor driver circuits to handle the power requirements.

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