click our logo to return to our main page

Battery Survey
We asked our visitors to "Tell us about your battery system?"  We had 77 responses.

The Average Guy
The average person spends $240 for an entire set of batteries for their electric locomotive.  The average person uses 2 or 4 "deep cycle" batteries that last an average of 4.2 running seasons. 

For more details and comments, see below...

Suggestions for maintaining batteries

slow charging not fast

watch electrolytes levels closely and make sure the batteries are fully charged when not used in the off season.

trickle charger - one for each battery

yes, I use a small battery charger to maintain charge .

My plain old wet cell batteries have never failed. I've never run out or even gotten low on power, even after 3 full days and nights of hard running at Train Mountain.

store charged and setting on a 3/4 ply board to keep from discharge. I charge night before a run.

Never store batteries on ground or concrete. I also use a Soneil 24 V 4 amp constant current charger. It is designed especially for gel cell batteries & has computer controlled charging stages. Has a "soft start" and 4 stages. 1st is deep discharge and removes loose sulphation. 2nd is constant current, 3rd is constant voltage and last is standby (can be left on indefinitely without battery damage.

This is my 1st season, so life is unknown. I never store batteries directly on the ground or cement. I use a Soneil 24 V 4 Amp constant current charger Has soft starts and is designed for gel/AGM deep cycle batteries. Four charging cycles: 1st is pulse mode to remove loose sulphation. 2nd is constant 4 Amp current, 3rd is constant voltage and last is standby voltage mode. Charger can be left on battery indefinitely without damage. Only 4 months of storage and 6 cold weather operating hours so far.

regular maint. fully automatic charging system

Use an on-board 3 state charger (Guest 2611A)

no standard charge once monthly or when needed

prayer and keep them charged up

do not run batteries down completely and store on a trickle charger for long term storage [winter]

Keep them fully charged when not in use is all I do.


just keeping it charged -- I have an industrial 24 VDC charger which automatically shuts down when it has batteries fully charged

Charge as soon as possible after use. Off season storage charge monthly.

Check electrolyte level every 2 running days, keep charged up.

Check electrolyte levels every 2 running sessions, keep charged up

Charge once or twice during winter (off season)
Batteries in parallel for run time longevity - 8 hours on track...

charged, stored in house.

don't let then get hot. completely drain like a ni-cad. Recharge and store with a full charge.

Yes Battery saver

always keep them charged up fully to help prevent
sulphate build up.

Keep charged.

Maintain charge and water level

I use a ProMariner ProTournament 150 charger that can charge and condition each battery individually.

Bring them inside during the winter; now using trickle charger (0.8 amp)

Buy MK only. You get what you pay for.

Hi-tech Battery Charger

Charge at least once monthly, use a reflectometer to check S.G., maintain liquid level all the same, clean battery tops and terminals monthly. I have 3 electric locomotives and this is my eighteen year with them. You get what you pay for in battery quality. The car type / deep cycle they can not be true deep cycle and starting batteries at the same time.

Keep them charged and remove over winter

Check the cell very often to see if it needs more distilled water.

recharge after each use

Trickle Charger, conditioner

Battery Cycler

Charge them every time you use them. Use a high tech charger that won't over charge the batteries.

check electrolytes and top off cells with distilled water every season

Charger charges and maintains full charge of each battery independently.

keep charged, except once a year, fully discharge.

charge often, don't drain completely and spend the money on interstate or some name brand deep-cycle. They last multiple seasons.

charging them every four to six weeks during the off season

deep cycle store fully charged

I use a Battery minder.



Here are some of the controllers used (most common at the top of the list)

4QD (either 150 amp or Pro-120 or 200 amp)

Curtis Controller (PMC-1302 12 volt or Curtis 1204A 24-36 volt)

Home design or improvised.

Diverse Electronics


MCIPC-50A Controller.

Plum Cove Studios

IPC pace setter



Kelly PM24201



see other survey results