Charging Batteries from BlueRail Trains

Category : Articles

The batteries supplied by BlueRail Trains are high quality commercial cells. These are not RC cells. They come from a factory that makes many batteries for the medical industry.

It is best to charge 250 packs at 100mA(.1 amps), 400 and 450 packs at 200ma(.2 amps), and 850 packs at 400mA(.4 amps). The pack is a 3S or 11.1 volt pack. The charger should be set accordingly.

Only use a charger that is designed for Lithium Polymer batteries.

The recommended battery charger is the HiTec RC X1 AC Plus. User can set the charge rate. They are very reliable. The X1 AC Plus is available at RC shops and on Amazon.

Another good charger we have found is the iMax B6AC Dual Power. I have been told that the IMAX B6AC v2 requires a balance connector to be present by default (our batteries do not have or need balance connectors). This default can be changed in the iMAX system settings (Balance Connector = NO).

Do not charge with the cheap wall plug in chargers. The charge rate is usually 500ma to 1 amp. This is to high a charge rate. The charger is not programmable.

These packs have a small PC board on each cell. This is called a PCM. It keeps the battery from over charge, short circuit, over discharge, and low voltage.

Low voltage is especially important. It cuts off the discharge at 3 volts per cell or 9 volts. Running an unprotected pack until it stops can and will damage the battery.

Packs from the RC world do not have PCMs. The RC packs are designed for high discharge rates. They would trip the PCM, which is set to trip at 3 amps discharge.

After tripping, the PCM will reset after a few minutes.

DeadRail Kit Battery Size Options:

11.1 volt batteries for the DeadRail kit come in a variety of sizes:

Capacity Length Width Height Charge Setting Comment
250mA 33mm 25mm 18mm 100mA Smallest size available
450mA 46mm 23mm 18mm 200mA Medium size
500mA 40mm 27mm 18mm 200mA Medium size
850mA 52mm 31mm 18mm 400mA Large size – good for larger scales

The 450mA and 500mA batteries are comparable in size to a 9-volt battery.

A popular strategy is to use a 250mA battery (which has the smallest profile) and situate the battery in a place where it can be swapped out for recharging.

The number of running hours per charge varies based on the amperage draw of your loco, the number of cars you pull, and inclines on your layout. Some users get 1-3 hours per charge.

Some safety precautions for all lithium batteries:

Charge only at recommended charge rates.

Never leave the batteries unattended while charging.

Charge on a nonflammable surface.

Do not charge near flammable objects.

Don’t get the packs wet.

If the cells start to swell or grow in size, discontinue use.

Do not attempt to disassemble the battery pack.

Do not puncture the cells with sharp objects.

Store at room temperature

Dispose of properly. Not in the trash.

Batteries provided by DeadRail Installs.