Tam Valley DRS line now distributed in North America by Dead Rail Installs
See the Tam Valley and Dead Rail Installs entires on the Dead Rail Suppliers page for details.
BlueRail ships more than 700 Boards, hints big product announcement soon
Dave Rees of BlueRail Trains reports they've sold 700+ bluetooth loco control boards. Dave's press release also hints that he has a new product in the works that's the "best train control technology I can imagine" and will "make a lot of people happy". Stay tuned.
Dead Rail™ Society co-founder Pete Steinmetz installs of TVM, CVP and BlueRail systems in locos with battery power. He sells complete Dead Rail™ kits for self-installers and is also a source of hard-to-find, high quality LiPo battery packs in the right sizes for smaller scales.
Railroad Line Forums has a small bulletin board on Dead Rail™. No direct link, a bit hard to navigate. To find the right forum, go to the link above, then to Model Railroad Forums, then Dead Rail Forum.
BE CAREFUL! Batteries that are charged too quickly or otherwise mishandled can cause fires or even explode. READ UP ON AND FOLLOW PROPER BATTERY AND CHARGING PROCEDURES!
SparkFun is a popular supplier of LiPo batteries with integral protection printed circuit boards.
BatterySpace has a long list of available LiPo batteries and packs.
eBay is another source, although the myriad varieties on sale can be extremely confusing.
The On30 Guy has some good material on LiPo batteries, including: Using and Caring For LiPo Batteries and Making Your Own 2-Cell LiPo Pack.
Battery University has a good technical article entitled How to Prolong Lithium-Based Batteries. Some key points on treating lithium batteries well so that they can provide long service:
- Discharge only to 50% of capacity to double or tirple battery life
- LiPos have no charging 'memory' like NiCads, so partial discharge is fine
- Charge only to 4.1 volts per cell to double or triple battery life
- Remove battery from charger as soon as max voltage is reached
- Keep charging rate to 0.7 or a max of 1.0 times C, the battery's Amp-hour capacity (e.g., 1Amp for a C = 1000mAh battery)
- Charge LiPos often between uses
- Manufacturers recommend storage at 40%+ charge between uses
- Store batteries in a cool place