Batteries...I will just stick with my ancient Li Pos since they are installed in my equally old locomotives. I have only had one problem with a Li Po and that was when I stuck one with a screwdriver. Man, I ripped that lokie open so quick and threw the battery into the back yard...I never have moved that fast! But it just puffed up and laid there! Wheew!
I agree with Pete, whatever works in flashlights, cellphones, and space shuttles may not be what we want or need. I listened to guys who have been flying r/c planes and racing r/c cars for many years and they guided me to what I have now. Since I am a dinosaur, I never searched the net or pondered the merits of converters, circuits, or found truth in internet mumbo jumbo. I know, I know...I am operating what is basically "On30 on steroids" and would rather have a bit of battery in the cab instead of intricate detail (but ALL my lokies have crews in the cabs) and be able to run my trains anytime, anywhere, on anybody's layout provided it is 16.5MM gauge.
Am I ranting? Hell yes...I am ranting about something that I feel strongly about-radio controlled model trains. Now I will slide back into my cave and do some switching at the smelter.
Please note that no batteries were abused during the above tirade...
____________________ It doesn't matter if you win or lose, its' how you rig the game.
LiPo's CAN be made to explode, youtube is full of videos attesting to this. In reality they usually just puff up and emit clouds of smoke and sometimes flames if they are deliberately abused. Unprovoked "explosions" are quite rare. Get things into proportion you are far more likely to be blown up by an exploding LPG cylinder than a LiPo battery venting its spleen...
____________________ There once was a man who said Damn!!
I perceive with regret that I am
A creature that moves
in predestinate groves
I'm not a Bus, I'm a tram
Re connecting NiMH cells together in a pack is challenging and NiMH cells with solder tabs is the preferred method of building packs, I disagree. I buy pre-wired battery holders and use ordinary batteries without tabs. No soldering is needed.
It's easy putting together NiMH cells. My Amtrak diesel uses 4 Eneloop AAA cells in a Radio Shack battery holder which gives me 4.8V and 800mAh. A second battery holder was placed behind the first and the wires were run to the front of the first battery holder and connected together, red to red, black to black. Done! I get 4.8V and 1600mAh. Perfect for what I'm doing.
And re I don't recommend series parallel battery configurations - It makes everything much more complicated - It is not really needed for train guys, I also disagree. What I described above is a series parallel arrangement which I've used for several years with great success. I'm posting this photo again to show this. It's not complicated and the arrangement was ideal for getting the voltage and current capacity I wanted.
I'm not going to address all the rhetoric you've thrown out as they skirt the real issues and are not constructive. I don't care about a battery's intended use. If it has the volts, amps and quality I want, and I don't abuse charge and discharge ratings, it will be of interest to me.