Dear Potential OO R/C ers,
I have been interested to read the various posts regarding OO gauge radio control. It really is very easy to do as someone else has already done all the difficult technical stuff. I`m surprised there hasn`t been more interest/take up.
I run my OO models in a garden workshop and find the constant cleaning of the track to get good electrical contact a real chore. I have been a fan of Radio Controlled models for many years so looked into the R/C solution. Using an Antenna Models of Troon LC302 speed controller and Acoms 2.4GHZ radio I converted a Lima Type 52 Western Model about two years ago.
It has been very successful. The control is superb and of course is totally unaffected by dirty track. In fact the more rust and tarnish the better as it grips better!
I now use track power on two running loops for my track powered locos (when I can be bothered to clean the track). I have an electrically dead track marshalling yard area where the radio control comes into its own. Shunting with points changes and tension lock couplings is a lot of fun as it is so easy. No wiring / switches etc The best of both worlds!
I reckon the hardest part is selecting the batteries to fit the space available in the loco and connecting it all up , which can be a bit of a fiddle. Don`t be put off- you can do it! You need a loco with space for the batteries, ten cells needed ideally to get 12v and the biggest capacity you can fit. This is now a lot easier with modern NiMh cells. I have found that a cheap way to buy NiMh cells is to buy welded up battery packs and modify them as necessary. Beware advice on not short circuiting them as there is a lot of energy in a small package!
I am doing a Warship (Lima again) conversion at present as the Western works so well.(smaller space, so more thought needed on cell size) . I also have full brake support coach fitted with radio which can be used to control a Steam outline loco (with not enough room in it for R/C) via jumper leads.
My total track loop length is about 40 feet and batteries will last long enough for an operating session if you charge beforehand (they last longer than me) . If you have a longer length of track than me R/C would be OK but of course with shorter operating time unless you use the support coach option with large battery capacity. R/C suits my needs very well, but your needs may be different.
I hope my contribution is useful.
Look for another post which I did a couple of years ago when I did the first conversion. (UK Train Sim forum site) its a bit more technically detailed.
Search OO Radio control (or maybe you did that already!)