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Batteries and charging them


Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 40

Replies: 152

Posted: Thu 2nd Feb 2017, 9:24pm
Batteries and charging them

I will soon be the owner of a battery powered Loco. My only experience relates to batteries for engine starting and domestic duties in boats. What's different in powering of a Loco? I believe that the 'Semi Traction' battery is the favourite? What about charging? In Marine charging applications we always proffered a quality charger by a Dutch Company 'VICTRON' which made chargers highly programmable as to charge voltage and battery temperature etc. Is this level of sophistication necessary as there are very many budget price chargers on the market.

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Joined: 1-01-97

Topics: 0

Replies: 24

Posted: Fri 3rd Feb 2017, 12:01pm

Our first call when it comes to batteries and charging is to Multicell, a regular advertiser in the News. The MD is Tony Whitehorn who owns and runs several battery locos. They have considerable expertise and years of experience. Their website is Definitely worth a look and maybe a phone call and a chat.


Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 1

Replies: 1

Posted: Sat 4th Feb 2017, 11:22pm

I've had great success over the last two years with AGM deep cycle batteries - as used in golf buggies etc. For 24v, fit an isolation switch between the two batteries, you need that for safety in any case. Then I use two CTEK 12v chargers, the polarized connectors make it easy - my grandson could make the connections when he was 5. I leave the batteries on permanent charge as the chargers switch into maintenance mode and so everything is ready when you need to start.
I've tried to a photo of my setup but there must be a file size limit.


Joined: 1-01-89

Topics: 10

Replies: 199

Posted: Sun 5th Feb 2017, 8:34am

Sorry to have to contradict a member's views on a topic, but you do not need to separate batteries or have more than one charger. My Rio Grande 'U Boat' built in 2005 has eight x 6 volt traction batteries and one charger.

George Coles

Joined: 4-08-09

Topics: 31

Replies: 188

Posted: Sun 5th Feb 2017, 10:31am

Hello, This subject has been explored in the thread CHARGING BATTERIES IN SITU which was started on 29th December 2016. You may find some of the thoughts there useful.
It's interesting that the same (or very similar) topics crop up more than once.
Hope this helps
George C


Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 40

Replies: 152

Posted: Sun 5th Feb 2017, 7:59pm

Thanks all that have replied and George I don't know how I could have missed that so recent thread, Here at my Bristol home we have a company similar to multicell that supplies my own company with it's battery requirements. Their MD whom I know from the past apparently deals with the special applications re both batteries and chargers. IN will be speaking with him next week. The loco I'm getting is powered by 4 No 24 volt 750 watt motors. Is there any preference for multiples of 6 volt or 12 volt batteries?


Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 40

Replies: 152

Posted: Mon 6th Feb 2017, 1:13pm

Got advice from out local specialist battery supplier, they suggest 4 No 6 volt 435 AH batteries connected in series, For more extensive running they recommended a second similar set of batteries to switch to if the first set were running low. For the extent of my running this won't be necessary.

A single 24 volt 40 amp charger with a float facility is recommended that can be left permanently connected when the loco
is left to ensure long battery life and so the loco is always ready for service. I have experience of VICTRON chargers which come highly recommended.
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