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Old 01-03-2019, 04:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default bike power

With snow and ice covering my garden railway as well as local roads, I found a way to combine my two hobbies of bicycling and trains: a bike powered indoor layout!

To do this, I purchased a traditional bike generator for $20 which attaches to the bike frame and rubs on the back wheel, which is propped up off the ground on a wind trainer. This dynamo produces 12v AC. I wired in a small inverter that kicks out 12V DC with 3 amps max which I then connected to my tracks. Once I start peddaling, the train takes off and the faster I go, the faster the train goes. It's a nice way to get a little exercise and play with the trains!

For added fun, I attached an Iphone to the front of the loco and then mirrored its video feed through my apple tv so that as I rode the bike, I could see what the engineer was seeing as he drove the train.

I'd be glad to add pics if anyone is interested.

Mike in snowy Flagstaff
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Mike,
That's really cool.
Instead of being on the bike for 15 minutes, you can ride for 20 laps, or whatever it works out to, which will make the time seem to go faster
Road or mountain?
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Both! But the train power is being supplied by my custom road bike. I'm 6'9" tall so custom bikes work out better. If you're into bikes, check out my 36er at the bike builder's page:


http://rideamoustache.blogspot.com/2...sors-36er.html
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I love it! My bike is battery powered so I don't have to work so hard. I'm 80 years old so I need a little help now and then. Pictures would be nice.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Mike,
That is a big bike!
Our son just came back to visit for Christmas while riding in the Sedona area, left his camper and bike down there to go back soon.
He knows of Moustache bikes.
How hard do you pedal to get a decent speed from the train?
Can you just 'cruise' along, or do you have to work at it?
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That is great Mike thanks for sharing your story. I would enjoy seeing pictures too.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll work on some pix today and post them later. In the meantime, I hardly have to pedal at all to get the train going. I'm in the lowest gear ratios just to get a decent rpm on the bike and not have the train speeding along too fast. If I go to the biggest chain ring I quickly highball the loco. In fact, I've engaged the wind trainer at times to provide more resistance so that I can pedal harder and not highball the loco too much. I've also increased the train size to even out the pedaling/power ratio. Right now, I have a small LGB porter pulling 2 HLW gondolas and a piko small gondola plus a LGB caboose and that's providing a nice ride at a good train speed. It's actually kind of odd sensation when you realize that as you speed up or slow down on the bike, the loco does it well. It really feels like you are pedaling the train...

I've been thinking about gettting a steam loco with sound and talked to a guy at Piko who suggested that I put a Piko throttle into the wiring to "filter" the waves to ensure a safer electrical flow and not screw up the sound stuff. I'm not sure what that means--can someone please explain? How would I measure what I have?

thanks for taking a look

Mike
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Bike power video

Attached are pix of the set up plus closeups of the dynamo and the inverter. Also, I've posted a video on youtube here:


Attached Images
File Type: jpg bike with trainer for web.jpg (190.2 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg dynamo for web.jpg (149.1 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg inverter for web.jpg (143.9 KB, 14 views)
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amich35 View Post
I've been thinking about gettting a steam loco with sound and talked to a guy at Piko who suggested that I put a Piko throttle into the wiring to "filter" the waves to ensure a safer electrical flow and not screw up the sound stuff. I'm not sure what that means--can someone please explain? How would I measure what I have?

thanks for taking a look

Mike

This is very cool, Mike - well done! As to the "filter" the Piko fellow probably feels that the generator that you are using puts out inconsistent (sometimes called Dirty) power - this can be cleaned up by inserting an electrolytic capacitor in parallel with the power leads from the generator. Just be sure to follow polarity (positive to positive and negative to negative) - any 1000 to 10,000 uf capacitor should work - make sure its voltage rating is at least 25 volts, preferably higher.


Something like this selection from Amazon should be OK


https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tic+35v+&ajr=0


enjoy!


dave
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That is cool. Thanks for posting the pictures. Be aware that you may get some dark stuff from the train on the light colored carpet. I think it comes from the wheel flanges rubbing against the rail. I am careful now when I put rail on the carpet and make sure to have some sort of cloth under the track and on top of the carpet.
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