legotownlinz

Two Powered Up motors for the 60198 cargo train engine

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I've already added a second motor to the passenger train, now I did the same with the cargo train engine. It required a different approach. The passenger train has two engines with two battery boxes, thus changing the polarity of the second motor is sufficient. However, the cargo train engine has a single battery box that I wanted to connect to two motors. Although there are two outputs, the remote control does not allow to control both outputs together, so the buttons of channel A and B would always have to be pressed together, which is not a satisfying solution. I'm using the original remote control, thus an app that controls both channel together wasn't a solution either.

What I did was disabling channel B inside the battery box and internally connect it to channel A with reversed polarity. 

What you need:

  • Torx T6 screwdriver
  • Small soldering iron
  • Very thin wire
  • Sharp knife
  • A Powered Up train motor
  • Some Lego bricks to adapt the second bogie

First of all, open the battery box. I've marked the locations of the four screws with circles in the image below. Then remove the printed circuit board (PCB) by lifting it while pressing with a screwdriver on the spot marked by the arrow.

DSC_5022.jpg

 

The next images shows the bottom side of the PCB. There is an IC labeled LB1836. This is the motor driver IC. Pins IN/OUT 1/2 are used for channel B, pins IN/OUT 3/4 for channel A. To disable channel B, OUT 1 (pin 3) and OUT 2 (pin 5) must be disconnected from the PCB. I used a knife to cut through the pins and the soldering iron to remove the remains of the pins. Then I've connected pins 1 and 2 of the Powered Up connectors together. I recommend to place the wires on the right edge of the PCB. When placed as shown on the image, the battery box cannot be closed properly.

  • Connection between pin 1 - pin 1 and pin 2 - pin 2: Motors move in same direction
  • Connection between pin 1 - pin 2 and pin 2 - pin 1: Motors move in opposite direction (shown in image)

 

DSC_5013.jpg

The Powered Up connector pinout, taken from here:

28765311538_e74bf2117a_m.jpg

Finally, assemble the battery box, modify the second bogie to match the first one and enjoy an engine with double traction.

DSC_5018.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by legotownlinz

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Very interesting solution. How much more can it pull with two motors running off a single PU hub? Assume it’s not quite double?

 

I really need to develop some soldering skills to attempt mods like this and a few other cool things I’ve seen. 

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13 hours ago, ElectroDiva said:

Very interesting solution. How much more can it pull with two motors running off a single PU hub? Assume it’s not quite double?

It should be approximately double. 

6 hours ago, M_slug357 said:

 

@legotownlinz Have you stress tested your setup? How is power output & consumption now that both motors are linked to the same channel? 

Not really. I tested it a few minutes and noticed that the battery box starts blinking at higher speeds. I think that means the batteries are empty, but they are fresh. I have not checked yet if that also occurs with an unmodified box and two motors.

I measured the current drawn by a single motor at highest speed. It is between 0.1 (idle) and 0.5 (motor blocking) A. In practice, the motors never block because there is not enough traction between wheels and rails. Two motors stay below the absolute maximum rating of 1 A and the motor driver IC has overtemperature protection.

Edited by legotownlinz

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23 hours ago, legotownlinz said:

I'm using the original remote control

And >that< is the limitation ...

The LEGO BLE protocol allows to do so many things software-wise. @Cosmik42's software allows you to do so many things without changing hardware! 

Yes, when you want to use the LEGO BLE remote: This is the way to go. Very nice and clean hardware solution.

In case you don't want to knife-in to the hardware: TLG has built it into the LEGO BLE protocol!

Let @Cosmik42 know and I am sure he finds a solution. I have my own BLE Client software (running on VB6, don't laugh:laugh:) and yes it is possible.

All the best
Thorsten

      

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Hi.

I' running VB5! :blush:

Yes. That's all possible.

Normally you pair handheld and Hub.
Now you pair Handheld with xxxx an pair hub with xxxx.

xxxx might be some software on a win 10 PC, an App, or a standlone Rasberry Pi for 10 €.

I tried this with my own python script on a raspberry and The Brick Automation Project by @Cosmik42 on WIN 10, both works fine.

Look here:

 

 

 

Edited by Lok24

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12 hours ago, Lok24 said:

I' running VB5! :blush:

That is making me feel so much better - if QuickBasic would still be around and knowing how to get through to the hardware, I'd use that … and I always thought that I am alone in world of power programmers.

Very nice!!!

Best
Thorsten    

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When I play with my trains, I don't want to setup a server that handles all those things and I want my trains to be compatible with any remote or any app.

I'm not even sure if your suggested solution would work for me because I have a rather large layout, too large to keep the connection without the remote following the train. Would it be possible to setup a BLE mesh with multiple transmitters? Would the handover to another transmitter work seamlessly?

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I saw your post and I grabbed my copy of   60198 and with the removal of a few parts and the addition of a few more I have two motors that travel the same direction.

Yes I have to press two buttons at the same time, but I feel that's a simple solution to keeping the parts unmodified. 

47038571072_daa3f0030e_z.jpgIMG_5865 by Stephen, on Flickr

47038570942_f439465802_z.jpgIMG_5868 by Stephen, on Flickr

40125971603_13149bc696_z.jpgIMG_5867 by Stephen, on Flickr

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8 hours ago, legotownlinz said:

When I play with my trains, I don't want to setup a server that handles all those things and I want my trains to be compatible with any remote or any app.

 

I'm not sure if the response  correspond with my little video.

But of course, everybody his or her own ideas how it should werk, as for me I got neither a layout nor trains :wink:

I just wanted to show how simple it is to connect the components by something that acts as a "server", but might be an very small microcontoller without monitor or keyboard or an App designed for that.

Why? The potential of PoweredUp is much higher than you can  achieve with the Handheld.

And with the first sensor in your arrangement you need such an instance. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi , 

why havent you coupled both inputs , then each motor would have 1A instead of two motors have to share one output of the lb1836

i have done this a few times with the v1 ir receiver , it also has the lb1836

i also remove the ptc from the train motor and the electric fuse in the battery box or rechargeable unit , makes a huge difference in traction power especially at low speeds

the LB1836 has its own internal protection ;) one is more than enough

lego8884.jpg

Edited by T_H_O_M_A_S

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On 5/21/2019 at 12:15 AM, T_H_O_M_A_S said:

why havent you coupled both inputs , then each motor would have 1A instead of two motors have to share one output of the lb1836

Two reason: First, it was easier to do. I just had to cut and remove two pins of the LB1836. When connecting the two inputs as you suggested, you would have to disconnect one from the microcontroller. Second, I originally planned to connect LEDs to the second output (but have not done it yet, mainly because it would require ugly wiring).

My approach has an issue: At high speeds, the LED of the battery box starts blinking. I've not figured out why it happens yet.

I might try your approach for my next engine to, maybe that avoids the issue.

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1 hour ago, legotownlinz said:

My approach has an issue: At high speeds, the LED of the battery box starts blinking. I've not figured out why it happens yet.

I might try your approach for my next engine to, maybe that avoids the issue.

If the light normally only blinks when the batteries are low, it could be that the box is monitoring the battery voltage to use as a sign of when the batteries start running low. A way to confirm this would be to measure the voltage from the batteries while the motors are under load - I'm not sure how you'd go about creating an artificial load, as it seems pretty impractical to measure this directly off a running a train.

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Posted (edited)

either way you have to cut away one in or output .

check out my old brickshelf account for pic and movies on trains , http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?m=T-H-O-M-A-S

the XXL maersk even has a custom pcb driving 6 motors from a 8000Mah lipo :D

the yellow train with octan cars , has coupled in put on both locs

Edited by T_H_O_M_A_S

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On 5/21/2019 at 7:45 AM, T_H_O_M_A_S said:

Hi , 

why havent you coupled both inputs , then each motor would have 1A instead of two motors have to share one output of the lb1836

i have done this a few times with the v1 ir receiver , it also has the lb1836

i also remove the ptc from the train motor and the electric fuse in the battery box or rechargeable unit , makes a huge difference in traction power especially at low speeds

the LB1836 has its own internal protection ;) one is more than enough

 

I was testing this last night. Except I crossed over the input pins. I connected in1 to in4 and in2 to in3. This resulted in the motors turning opposite directions which is exactly what we need for trains with twin motors. It worked great.

Using the 88010 remote if an input was given to both channels with the input pins shorted together in this way, the motors just stopped. There didn't seem to be any negative affect on the system. However this was tested with two 45303 Simple Medium Motors and only for a short time. 

Here is a small data sheet of the motor controller if anyone is interested: https://www.onsemi.com/pub/Collateral/LB1836M-D.PDF

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Posted (edited)

i only whished they had used fets instead of double transistors , less voltage drops and more juice to the motors ;) , you only have 7 to 8 volts available 

to avoid motors stalling , cut the input pins on one side and make it a dedicated train receiver 

Edited by T_H_O_M_A_S

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