SICX 100

We're venturing into the "dark side" of powering units -- batteries!! I have a spare 2 amp Aristo Train Engineer unit, so the thought is that I can install it and a set of batteries in a box car to make a power car. Some of the locomotives will end up with a three-position selector switch so I can choose from battery, overhead or rail power.

BatterySource had a pretty good price on 7.2 volt, 1700mah cells and chargers. They have good service, as I found out when an incorrect part had been shipped but promptly replaced.

The project also gave me a chance to add another private road name to the fleet. As it turns out, back in the 1900s, a relative owned a company here in Pittsburgh that sold ink, glue, binding supplies, etc. throughout the East Coast. And as luck would have it, my sister found an envelope, postmarked 1911, from the J.C. Swearingen Ink Co. When scanned that gave me a nice logo, which Stan made into decals for me. J.C. and the family moved to Ohio when the company folded during the Depression. And the family location there is what eventually led me to Pomeroy and the trolley line. As the #2 step-daughter observed "Preserving family history -- one car at a time."

So, taking the basic car:

I used a couple of pieces of copper stock, epoxied them to the roof then ran pieces of wire between them to use as an antenna for the TE. Blue wire at top left will go into the antenna lead of the TE. The experts tell me this antenna won't work.


Inside the car, two pieces of wood were added to use for mounting the board that holds the battery connectors, an on-off switch and a pilot light. The leads to the TE output fuse come up through the car floor.



The fuse holder is under the floor, and when painted black will look like another air tank or some such underbody junk



Batteries, left, are mounted using velcro tape. The blue/red wires to the left run down through the floor to the plug which will connect to the motive power. The TE is velcroed on the other end of the car.  The plug/switch board has been mounted just inside the door.

The battery connectors are at left. The red jumper puts the batteries into series so that I get 14 volts, more or less into the TE. When the batteries need to be recharged, the jumper is removed and each battery gets plugged into the charger. I thought I'd just keep both of the car doors open to help to diminish any heat from the recharging. When the door is closed none of this is visible.

Pilot light reminds me that I've left the batteries on. We're awaiting Stan's decals at this point. Some preliminary testing in the basement shows I get about 10 feet range with the home-made antenna. I expect this to improve when outside and away from the normal house electronics.

Decals applied. Product finished except for an overcoating. Star to top right denotes connector end of the car.