Trams - Battery powered and radio controlled.
I have an unpowered track in my garden on which I operate various trams, some with trailers attached. Liliput G scale trams are designed and supplied to run on a live track and the interior lights operate when the tram is moving.
To quote my mother, "he takes everything to pieces to see how it works”.
So I started to by removing the complete motor assembly by undoing the four screws in the lower flange holding the motor and wheel assembly in place.
This photo shows two of the four screws that need to be removed. The assembly could be carefully removed by springing back the mouldings of the axle boxes the lower guard rails. When I had the motor assemble in my hand I found two wires that were leading from the assembly to a contact strips of the interior lights. I soldered a length of wire to each of the interior light strips and replaced the motor back into the tram assembly.
I intended to use an existing hand held Planet 5 transmitter and selected the following items to achieve battery power and radio control.
2 off 9V PP3 batteries and snap on connectors with 10 cm tails Planet 6 channel receiver.
Turnigy 30A 12v Brushed ESC speed controller.
An on/of switch to isolate the battery when not in use.
A number of small connecting blocks.
I had to remove two bosses moulded into chassis to help locate the batteries, speed control and receiver all underneath the tram.
The speed controller and the receiver are located at one end.
The batteries and on/off switch are located at the other
The wires from the battery are fed through a space under the motor to the input side of the speed controller and the output terminals from the controller are connected to the two wires previously soldered to the interior light strips. The red/white lead is connected to the Planet receiver.
At first it was under powered so I wired the two batteries in series to give 18v being concerned that it might over cook the speed controller but it has not been a problem.
So there you have it. A battery powered radio controlled tram which will also run on a powered track as the manufacturer originally intended.
The completed installation.
Following the success with the Liliput Tram, my attention was drawn to a pre owned LGB Tram & Trailer that I purchased some years ago for no other reason that I liked the look of it. This tram and trailer is of high quality sold to run from overhead live wire or track. To radio control this tram would mean making changes to the tram that would reduce its resale value.
Following the success of using the lighting circuit on the Liliput Tram it occurred to me that it might be possible to do same with the LGB tram. The lights to the trailer are connected by two plug in leads.
I did what my mother said I would do, turned the trailer over to reveal two screws and by undoing the screws it allowed the removal of the base plate and wheel assembly.
This revealed an empty space suitable to fit into the various components used on the Liliput tram. Also available to use were two brass contact strips for the trailer lights.
Having soldered two wires to the brass strips, it became obvious that there was very little room available for the batteries, speed controller, receiver and a couple of connectors. It would also be necessary from time to time to remove the batteries for replacement or recharge.
Eventually all the components were fitted into the available space and the batteries could be removed or replaced.
The baseplate was re fitted, the trailer connected up to the tram and the trial run on my garden track proved very successful.
The LGB tram and trailer has now had successful outings at Castle Caereinion village hall and Dave Dowlings garden railway.
Here it is runing on my own railway.