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None of the Lionel units we have charge batteries, got the GRJ units for our legacy stuff that looses sound over switches. Maybe someone up graded it or plugged the BCR in error. You would need to see if it has a charging circuit installed. The Lionel manual calls for a 9V battery and doesn't mention charging capabilities.

Last edited by BobbyD

My RailSounds battery is available on the Henning's website, it is the form-factor of a 9V battery and includes the charging circuit with no extra stuff to find room for.  Just connect the single wire to track power, plug the battery clip onto the YLB, and you never have to tinker with the battery again.

YLB - RailSounds Battery Replacement

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Wow john this looks great. Never knew you made these. I run in command all the time. Just opened up the tender of this engine because the rear marker lights were not working. Then noticed the bcr in there. Did not think about it at the time. The next day it dawned on me that these were not made for tmcc/legacy engines. Just wanted to ask here to be sure. 

Since I run in command only would your battery be worth getting? I have never put a nine volt battery ever in a tmcc or legacy engine. Just because I have never seen the need since I dont run in convetional. Just curious. 

The battery is only useful in command stuff for dropouts going across switches and/or dirty track as a rule.  Frequently, the tender with the sound system drops the sound even though the locomotive continues, that's when the battery comes in handy.  If you don't have those issues, you don't need a battery for command only use.  I have some steamers that drop sound regularly, others seem to be fine.  If nothing shows up checking rollers and wiring, I add the battery.  I happen to have lots of them here.

John's battery is so worth it.  I had a Lionel 10 Wheeler that kept dropping sound when going slow over a switch, and it fixed that problem.

As for the BCR in Lionel, unless there is a charging circuit added too, it's not going to do anything.  I have never seen a photo of their charging circuit, so I have no idea how to tell if there is one or not.  A quick test is to leave your locomotive powered up for a couple minutes after starting the sounds and then turn the power off.  Even if you were in a command environment, once power is cut the locomotive will keep playing sounds and then go into shutdown if there is a charged battery installed.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

The battery is only useful in command stuff for dropouts going across switches and/or dirty track as a rule.  Frequently, the tender with the sound system drops the sound even though the locomotive continues, that's when the battery comes in handy.  If you don't have those issues, you don't need a battery for command only use.  I have some steamers that drop sound regularly, others seem to be fine.  If nothing shows up checking rollers and wiring, I add the battery.  I happen to have lots of them here.

John,

All our TMCC engines restart chuffing after a sound drop out over a switch in Command mode. Sadly the new Legacy steamers we have are the ones which required your YLB Battery replacement because they do not restart the sounds after dropping out. I'm sure it is a bad Lionel software revision which causes this, quite a setback of design.

Last edited by BobbyD
Jim Harrington posted:

YLB - So what's in there? Capacitors and rectifier & voltage regulator?

Quite a lot of stuff.   Obviously, there's a supercap, need that to store the energy.  I first use a linear regulator to charge the supercap to 5 volts.  Since the supercap rated at 5.4 volts, and the RailSounds board needs around 7 volts minimum, it's obvious that I can't simply use that voltage to power the battery output directly.  So, there's a second switching boost regulator to generate 8 volts for the output.  There's a good reason for the two regulators.  My boost regulator will continue to supply the 8 volts until the supercap discharges to around 2 volts, so I get to use a majority of the stored energy in the capacitor for power.  If I assume 19 joules of energy when charged to 5V, and 3 joules of energy when charged to 2 volts, I got to use a vast majority of the energy in the cap, 16 joules. If I were to simply charge two supercaps in series and use the voltage directly, I'd only get to use a much smaller fraction of the stored energy as when the two series caps discharged to 7 volts, I'd be done.  That also only allowed me to use about half the stored energy in the capacitors.  That's the way other supercap based backup batteries are configured.  The more efficient use of the stored energy allows me to make a smaller package with only one supercap.  That allows the YLB to easily able to fit into the form factor of a 9V flat battery.  Actually, it's considerably thinner than the flat battery.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn
GHD posted:

John I'm sold. I just ordered one to try. I took all the batteries out of my tmcc engines. Then I discovered the missing sound thing with my challenger. I'm looking forward to trying this. Thanks 

Yep, if you have a TMCC/Legacy locomotive that drops sound occasionally, this is a good option.  I have a few that do that.  OTOH, I have many command locomotives that I've never had a sound drop issue with, and I don't bother with batteries for those. 

Obviously, for conventional users, the YLB is a good option as you'll eliminate the jumps when you change directions, etc.

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