A PBM can be added to a HO model train locomotive so that if the model train wheels loose connection from the track because of dirty track or other problems, the Power Backup Module will supply power to the Locomotive Module for up to many seconds to keep operating properly without sounds, lights, or even motor stopping!
What is special about the RaiPro PBM is that the PBM is an active power backup not a passive one like many other power backups. Many others are basically just super capacitors that the voltage drops exponentially as soon as the power is removed. With other backups, lights continually dim and module performance is effected. Our PBM has onboard microcontroller and other electronics that will output a fixed voltage similar to a good power supply output so lights stay constant while PBM is active and locomotives perform better.
|Dimensions:||1.27 x 0.66 x 0.32 in|
|DCC Track Voltage:||12.6V – 16V|
Approximate Run time lights only: ~18 Seconds
Approximate Run time lights and sounds: ~14 Seconds
Approximate Run time lights, sounds, and pulling a train:
Varies greatly depending on locomotive, speed, load etc.
PBM Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the most important aspect of a power backup module?
In our opinion, the most important aspect of a PBM is its ability to power a locomotive pulling a train across dead track. Our PBM works so well that one of our locomotives pulled twelve cars across thirty inches of dead track without stopping while the lights and sounds were on! We tested some other super capacitor only power backup products that only covered a small fraction of the distance and were as large as our PBM!
- If the most important aspect is powering the locomotive pulling a train, why is there so many others that show or talk about the time the lights stay on?
Powering a train can take many times the power then to just have light and/or sounds on because the motor can use much more power than powering the lights and/or sounds. We have seen super capacitor only designs that have real long light on time but when you try to pull a train the results were very poor. One product we tested had many seconds of light and/or sound on time but when pulling a train it died in less than 0.2 seconds! This is why we think many talk about or show light on time because it makes their products look better than they may perform when actually pulling a train.
- Do I have to use a PBM in all my locomotives for them to run well?
NO. If your layout is powered by a RailPro power supply, you have quality locomotives, your layout is properly wired, and you do a reasonable job of keeping your track and locomotive wheels clean, you can have a good running layout without PBMs.
- So who does Ring Engineering sell PBMs for if some RailPro customers do not really need them?
There are many RailPro customers that run on other peoples layouts (like at train clubs) and they cannot control how clean or maintained the track is. There are some RailPro customers that do clean their track regularly but just want extra insurance to be sure they get the best operation possible.
- Is it ok to use other companies power backup like devices with RailPro locomotive modules?
No. Ring Engineering products should only be used as described in their user manuals. The LM user manuals do not say it is ok to connect super capacitors. Using our products in a way not in compliance with our user manuals will void the warranty of the Ring Engineering product and may cause serious problems. There is no public specification on how to design power backup units so there is no guarantee of compatibility. We believe that some regular super capacitor designs have been used with RailPro LM modules and damaged the RailPro modules. If you want power backup you should only use a Ring Engineering PBM with your RailPro locomotive modules.
- If a power backup has more Farads of super capacitors is it better?
Not necessarily. The amount of capacitance (Farads) is only one factor and may not be a real good one when trying to compare one power backup to another. There are other important features to consider besides capacitance. For example a one Farad device can be a lot better than a two farad device. The two farad device may allow lights to run longer but not be able to power a moving train well. There is simply a lot more to it then simply comparing how much capacitance a backup device has built into it.
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