Thanks to 3D printing. and the efforts of Robert Andrews, who detest double-sided tape, which is commonly used for mounting batteries and boards in model trains. He designed and printed different mounts for switches and batteries for different applications.
so, when it came to installing Airwire RCC into his F3’s as well as building a battery car for him, he said that he wanted to print battery holders.
The CVP (Airwire) designed some what are called drop-in decoders, for many USA trains locomotives. These drop-in decoders are simply receivers with a couple of lighting controls and motor drivers they are designed to basically be a plug and play install. they come with complete instructions on how to take the locomotive apart and install the boards. As part of their instructions, they talk about using double-sided foam tape to secure the battery to the rear weight.
for this designed battery holder, the rear weight is completely removed, the voltage regulator for the smoke units moved to the front of the locomotive with a new heatsink.
The 1st couple designs and prints needed some minor updates and tweaks, the final version you simply remove the weight, then using the same screws and mounts replace the weight with the battery platform. then, once everything is set simply run a zip tie through the small hole and strap the battery in place.
here’s a link
USA Trains F3 Battery Platform
These mounts work great, providing a more secure mounting platform while eliminating the possibility the battery coming loose from the tape.
Moving on to the battery car, and the battery mounting bracket.
For this build, a USA Trains 50′ Boxcar was used. with the extended opening doors, making it very easy to install
originally the idea was to provide a secure mounting system for the battery, then install a switch and charging port. after studying it for a while the idea was to create a more modular design, eliminating the need to take the car apart while decrasing the number of modifications, to the actual car.
the mount can be installed in a smaller boxcar through the doors while providing a charging port and switch, this allows you to leave the car connected to the locomotive, and charge the battery. All you need to do is simply open the door, flip the switch to charge then, well plug it into your charger.
This also allows for a clean install, that can be moved do different cars if you so desired.
the final aspect was how to get the power from the battery to the locomotive. for this I ran the leads from the switch through the floor then down the center of the car, I then soldered the battery connecter to the end
then with a little hot glue I secured the wires in place. the only thing I removed temporarily was the trucks.
here’s what the car looks like with the doors open but the complete install
then finally, here’s the link to the design.
Battery Car Mount with charging port.
with this, I’ve been inspired, using Tinkercad to design some specialty mounts for speakers, decoders and so on, and for those without access to a 3d printer. you can use places such as Shapeways to have the prints done for you.