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jimbob

Dead Rail

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So as l live in the dark ages l had not come across this term before and have become very interested in it. It basicly radio control battery powered locos, so no need to power track. Having read through the  radio control subject on here the problem seemed to be battery size. Its been some time since anyone added anything there and the size of batteries has shrunk a lot since then.

Protocab seem to be the main British contender but start up costs around £250 and then not much short of £100 per loco after that. Bluerail uses a bluetooth system operated via a smartphone with startup costs at around £150, cost per loco seems about £80, niether at present will operate DCC. The one that took my eye was from Tam Valley Depot. The initial setup is around £160 with around £70 per loco after that.

So yes it is an expensive idea compared with a bit of time track cleaning, but then some people are paying a fortune to have sound fitted to there locos which sounds like two pieces of sand paper rubbing together (no offence intended) so whats the differance.

Given that l have a small loco fleet and not all DCC this may be what l need to look at.

Any thoughts?

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Posted (edited)

I once dated a girl that called me that. She was mean! har har har

Seems expensive for now. It is interesting though. Another 10 years and it will be CHEEAAAAP! 100 per loco? I can chip a loco for much less than that in DCC these days.

I am still waffling over DC or DCC. he he he 

Edited by traingeekboy

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It does not have to be so expensive.   

If you use electronics from DelTang you can put battery power radio control in a loco for about £40 or so and the transmitter will cost about £60 and controls 12 locos at a time so you probably only need the one.

See   http://www.deltang.co.uk/index.htm

The smallest receivers are about 1cm square so fitting them in small locos is not a problem.

 

Frank

 

 

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For what you get all the systems are expensive. I have tried to look at all the main systems avaliable and they all have good and bad points. 

The initial start up costs seem to be the problem, haveing to buy new controllers seems to be a large chunk of the cost. Why would you pay again when your own DCC system cost you an arm and a leg, also remember that many of these systems wont run DCC locos eithier. 

Anyway sitting on the desk in front of me is a small padded envlope with some expensive Tam Valley dead rail equipment. With duty and vat (it was sent from US) this is about £160 worth of stuff.

The Tam Valley system is slightlly differant to the others in that it operates from your existing DCC controller and instead of your controller being conected to the track its wired into an ariel so is in fact true radio control rather than wifi or blue tooth like some of the others. This also means that you can continue to use your DCC locos as normal and do not have to convert everything whilst using the same controller.

All the systems have there own plus points and l have still to select a loco to convert, Lima 47 looks the easist at the moment for an electics moron like me.

If all goes to plan l will convert more, yes it is expensive, but no more than having sound fitted which has never appealed to me anyway.

Anyway l will update you as things progress or not as the case may be and l will let you know if a fool and his money have been parted or not!

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