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Old 07-25-2020, 10:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can you test a loco using a car battery?

I have an opportunity to buy a used locomotive, but since I'm just getting my layout started I'm not set up to run anything yet. Can I test the loco motor by touching the pickups with leads from a 12 volt car battery? If not, how about something like the transformer that runs my 12-volt Malibu landscape lights? Just long enough to make sure the motor and lights work. Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A car battery without a fuse or circiut breaker is a very dangerous tool!!!!
It will run a largescale loco just fine if it is configured for DC. Some DCC locos have DC shut off. A malibu transformer is AC power but a diode bridge can be used to convert it to DC but the DC will have waves unless a capacitor is installed to filter the pulses.
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Old 07-26-2020, 11:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Dunno about "run a large scale loco just fine".... a 3 axle Aristo diesel will be going really slow... also a geared loco (shay, etc.) will be going slow.


But he asked about testing, and 12 to test is "just fine" for sure, except some smoke units may be pretty weak for testing at that voltage.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I saved the controller from my Bachmann Big Hauler starter set to do just that. Even if it has trouble running my large Spectrum locos at a modest speed it is still good for things like cleaning wheels.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I found the 2 amp LGB panel mount speed control and use a 19 volt Dell laptop supply. Works great at my newest test bench. My other bench still has the 7va LGB controler.
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Old 07-27-2020, 02:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backyardRR View Post
I saved the controller from my Bachmann Big Hauler starter set to do just that. Even if it has trouble running my large Spectrum locos at a modest speed it is still good for things like cleaning wheels.
I bought an old Tyco power pack for my workbench. Cost me $4 - shipping was more!
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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As I said, be careful at lower voltages if you are testing smoke units, the Tyco goes what 12 volts?


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Old 07-28-2020, 02:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As I said, be careful at lower voltages if you are testing smoke units, the Tyco goes what 12 volts?
I don't do smoke units - just live steam with steam oil spewing everywhere.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yep, but this thread is recommending power supplies to the OP, so that is why I responded for the OP's benefit, that your suggestion is not necessarily a good idea if he wants to test smoke units.


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Old 07-29-2020, 09:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'd like to chime in here and suggest something .I own 2 Lionel 4060 transformers. While I've upgraded to a more powerful Bridgewerks 3 amp power supply, the Lionel's are still very useful for testing stationary locomotives.
Lionel 4060 has terminals for DC power to run small G Scale locomotives like my Lionel D&RG 0-6-0,and Hartland 4-4-0's.
They also have separate AC terminals for running lights, and other accessories that require AC power.
Even though I've "retired" them, I still find them useful for various trains things including testing my Large Scale locomotives,LED's,running my H.O., and On30 scale trains.

The Lionel 4060 is often available on Ebay at decent prices, and my 15 years of experience using them has proven that ,while they are not adequate to run many Large Scale locomotives with lighted passenger cars, they are very durable, and long lasting.

The 2 that I own are some 33 years old as of this posting, and are working just fine.
Just a suggestion as you'll have to find what works best for your particular needs.
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