Lots of videos show battery power installed on smaller narrow-gauge lokies, even HO scale, but here’s how I do it in standard gauge O 2R on The Ironbound RR. I’ve been using it for seven years. I’m electronics disinclined, so if I can do it, anybody can do it! You can even keep your current thru-the-rails system at the same time!

Incidentally, the music track is “3:30 BLUES” by DUANE EDDY.

Apologies... I can’t seem to alter the picture size ratio so some of the instructional

titles (legends at the bottom of the frame)  may be cropped out of the frame.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all : )

~Andy Romano

Take a video ride on the Ironbound RR

My first model train was a string of milk cartons that I dragged around the floor when I was three years old. Much as I love trains today, it was never more fun than that!


Videos (1)
Original Post

Just hosted another visiting battery powered R/C loco.  It is totally indiscriminate as to how well or not any track is powered, it just does it's own  thing as you nudge it along with the up and down buttons.  It creeps along at less than scale walking speed or can run up grade with a string of passenger cars.  I already have one of the early  27.145  Aussie systems  as demoed above and it is nice but this more recent 2.4Ghz Piko system has much  more distant range of control.   After all it is designed for back yard operations which are larger than most basements.

The non sound system is just a tad over $200 including battery and charger plus the do dads to make an install.  Subsequent installs are less the charger expense.  One of the reasons I went 2 rail was for quiet operation.   So I would opt for the non sound.  My assortment of Proto Sound units are loud enough.

This is just what the doctor ordered for me.  My eyes were bigger than my stomach and I got this way too big for my lifestyle layout that is languishing for completion with  several yards and a branch line still unpowered and needing yet to install scores of toggle switches. 

It was just too tempting not to look inside this visitor so a couple of screws later revealed a very basic, very neat, simple & clean install.  After checking around I found these systems are very available.  They use MTO batteries made right here in Pennsylvania and have internal circuitry preventing overcharging and overheating.  Plus the battery charger is safely tailored to the battery, slick set up.  Batteries are available in a variety of shapes and ratings plus I was told custom configured battery packs are an option.

When you add up the TOTAL cost of transformers, power packs, wire, toggles, terminals, terminal boards, and the most expensive item, TIME; battery can be an equal or much less expensive endeavor.  Check the birth date on your drivers license.  Scarie ain't it.

Trust me,  just a light sampling of this equipment will cause one to rethink battery powered locomotives.  Gun Runner John set my mind in this direction, so blame him.


Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

This 2.4Ghz system works well inside a diecast tender with just a 1 1/4"  long 22 AWG antenna inside the tender shell.  I was told it has the same communication capability as recent cell phones.  I was told no TMCC type of insulated hand rail antenna needed.  Control range is 30 meters.  The longest distance in my basement is 70' through two drywall partitions with complete train control.

One of the most favorable things is the very slow speed shifting.  I can finally shift my yards with out banging cars and run around passenger trains  spin on the  TT then recouple with out spilling the soup bowls.  Half of my TTs are not wired yet so this drive on drive off is a super plus.  Very easy control.

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

why not use a regular RC system with transmitter/receiver/speed control/battery.
The Main battery can power the loco and the receiver (most receivers have the battery eliminator). 
This could fit in a tender or a box/passenger car run behind.

Could be the same set-up as running a scale boat.
You could always add sound modules, just google Ram Sound Modules and there may be something there for you.

A battery set up for a O gauge out door layout would be nice as long as you have a DC motor.



Don't Junk it, Make it Work!


eddiem posted:

Question: I noticed the radio module frequency 27.145

What keeps the next door neighbor's kid with their new remote-controlled toy from interfering with your controls?

Good Question: I would you a Transmitter receiver that operates on 2.4 GHz and it auto changes when powered on id f something else is on that channel to another. See comment under RonH above


Don't Junk it, Make it Work!


From what I understand, the 27.145 Mhz is an earlier rendition, most contemporary systems are 2.4 Ghz.  I received my first 27.145 Mhz R/C battery system years ago mounted in a Lionel gas electric car.  Did not like the traditional sized car but liked the R/C concept.  The old system is still working today after GRJ transplanted the  27.145 R/C system  into a Weaver RS-11.  Gunner can make anything better.  I am sure he can install a 2.4 system into anything you want to run on dead rails.

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

When I was in outdoor large scale we used several systems and had no issues with unauthorized signals taking over trains. One show had many people running the same systems in same room and had no issues with pirated engines

RCS ,Airwire Piko and Aristocraft systems all worked exceptionally well their features and costs varied greatly

I liked Airwire as it followed DCC standards and was made for model RR hobby and you could use many different sound systems

We were getting very long run times with the new lithium battery technologies

The cost to build your own using RC plane and car motor speed controlers was cheapest way to go but less plug and play then other systems

some day I may just build one...

If you haven’t already seen my brief YouTube video about installation of on-board battery power with radio control for O scale, you might find it very informative and easy to understand...(not a commercial for any battery, just info) Check it out:



Take a video ride on the Ironbound RR

My first model train was a string of milk cartons that I dragged around the floor when I was three years old. Much as I love trains today, it was never more fun than that!

BPRC is probably the only way to go for us that model (or want to model) railroads that are mostly rusty, weed-grown small rail branches.

BPRC surely makes it possible. 

Rob M. ARHS # 3846 PRRT&HS # 8141 EPTC "Life Is Like A Mountain Railway, With An Engineer That's Brave..."

Stephen Bloy posted:

https://youtu.be/FCZLToxtEtA          The Scale Craft NYC Hudson is running battery power. The truth is if your a tinkerer, and have the time, you could do battery power for say $10 - $30 using smart tech      cTr.......( Choose the Right )

very nice!

I like sound and smoke, but I can appreciate this. I might try it outside during the winter months with a loco or two. I keep saying it and never try to do it.

I don't know if it's from laziness or fear of frying something that already works. I may try with a loco that is still stock DC first.

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

We can all agree that battery power for O and G size engines is a technical reality. The choice of wireless loco control system is secondary to battery choice as all available control systems seem to perform well. My cadre of battery powered O size locos includes a 49MHZ system I designed in 2011, a BlueRail bluetooth control system, a LionChiefPlus and a recent WiFi based system. All perform flawlessly and all operating features are intact. I have used NiMH and LiPO batteries. The LiPOs are smaller and work better in limited space applications. Typical run life with a fully charged battery is close to 2 hours.

eddiem posted:

Question: I noticed the radio module frequency 27.145

What keeps the next door neighbor's kid with their new remote-controlled toy from interfering with your controls?

You tube, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, etc! 


TCA Member

NYCHS Member


It saddens me to read some of these posts (as I type with a broken arm), you guys must not have been reading about my endeavors into BPRC the past 4-5 years

20 engines and counting of just about all common brands.  Just do a search on BPRC.

It makes me happy to see a lot more of you are interested in BPRC.  While I still have no sound/smoke I have ZERO failures in 4-5 years, can't say that about the years I ran TMCC and DCS and I don't need to read 500+ pages of manual to make them run.

Word is that the maker (Deltang) of the receivers I use can't make them fast enough, I guess that's a good sign.


4+ years and STILL Having A Blast Running BPRC

I don't know about DC versions of BPRC, but if one has DCC already the following might be of some use: Last year I made a test rig with a DCC operated Overland MP15AC chassis that had sound, but there's more room in a steamer to add the smoke unit as well.  

Bob, I'm not sure it's allowed to post links and prices here of non-advertisers but here's the basic info:

The first step was to replace the Pittman motor with a Maxon RE25 coreless motor (used or surplus). That dropped the typical current draw in normal use from about 2-3A to under 0.5A with similar torque, allowing longer battery life or a smaller/cheaper battery. It also enables the use of a Stanton BPS-v4 battery manager.

The BPS-v4 is a neat device imho that steps up the Voltage to 11V which is fine for the coreless motor. It allows the loco to run on dead rail and also to re-charge on DCC or DC powered track automatically. As well it takes care of the safe management of the Li-Po batteries and lets you turn the whole shebang on and off from outside the shell with a magnet wand. The battery pack is a Stanton BPS 2P 850mAh. 

The corless motor needs only a "HO-sized" decoder with a current capacity of around 1-1.2A. In my case a Loksound Select (now  LS5DCC).  Any brand of sound decoder of similar spec would work fine of course.

There's a Tam Valley DRS1 wireless receiver in the loco and Tam Valley transmitter at the command station. These are now DeadRail Installs products I think. That sends the same DCC signal as would normally be in the track wirelessly to the decoder in the loco.

The speaker is a Tang Band 1925s.  In an O scale steamer one could add a larger speaker or two.

As well there'd be room for a Loksound dual-fan smoke unit that would allow separate synchronized chuffs from one fan, and manual or speed-related smoke emissions from the blow down valves (not sure if that's the the proper name), and when the whistle's blown etc. This would require require a higher-current capacity decoder such LS 5DCC "L" or "XL" as used in O or G scale locos which would also provide power to the smoke unit. Plus such decoders have servo-drive outpuits for couplers etc.  You would need a larger battery no doubt but such is life, and at least there's more space available.   

Here's my jury-rigged first test of the MP15AC chassis. Eveything shown does fit in the shell and fuel tank without giving up the cab interior, just...

The starting off got a lot smoother once I tuned it. As well the background hiss is from my stupid phone camera not the loco. 



Pete M

Frying decoders since 1994

Dave Zucal posted:

I will hold off a little while longer and hope while I'm waiting smoke and sound becomes possible. The smoke from a steamer has always ranked number one for thrills for me in this hobby.

That whistle sounds like the one on The Petticoat Junction TV show. Yes, I'm that old.


Sounds great, Bob!  From what others said, you don’t have sound or automatic couplers in BPRC, then did you figure out sound and couplers yourself?

 I don’t run smoke because it messes with my wife’s asthma, but I have been sold on sound since I first got DCS.  I do like automatic couplers too

Yes couplers, smoke and excellent prototypical sound are available with  Battery R/C   Battery R/C  also can use DCC features.  This thread is not the only resource.  Search Dead Rails, check out Tam Valley for DCC Battery R/C,  Phoenix Sound supports automatic couplers, MTO makes batteries in many shapes and sizes limited only by your imagination.

Your thinking is the driving force.  If you believe you cannot get'er done then you absolutely cannot get'er done.  If you believe you WILL make it happen, then you will make it happen. 

If you wish to work with a very capable R/C installer with a high degree of business ethics consider Robert Buck of York PA,  robert@gscaleinstallations.com.  He has his own 0 scale 2 rail  indoor RR and a large outdoor G scale RR plus he works in three rail R/C.  His home based shop is close to the York fair grounds.

He has done some neat and clean work for my clients and friends and is very reasonable priced.  Robert can set you up with a basic install or all the bells, whistles, etc etc.

Eternity is a long time to have been wrong.

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