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radio control for 00 gauge

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Hi,   I am a retired electronics engineer and I have just finished the design of a radio control for 00 gauge,  using a Li-Ion battery I am getting good results, my test track is not powered so that there is no problem with dirty tracks. 

The  charging can be done externally or via the wheel pickups, the loco can be run onto an isolated powered siding.

The electronics are very simple, utilises 433Mhz       four control button keyfob   to select forwards, reverse, accelerate and decelerate.    Multiple locos can be run on the same track and reverse loops are a piece of cake.   At present

the battery+receiver will only fit into diesel locos (mine are class 31 and 35)  running time is about 1 hour depending on speed.   Forwards and reverse lighting is included .

I have other non battery variants of this for indoor powered track.

hope this might be of some interest,   

regards to all

Steve Soar





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4 hours ago, stevesoar said:

As I said I am retired so this is only a hobby for me which I thought might be of interest.  The protocab looks good, thanks for the link.

The most important thing about any hobby is that it is something to be enjoyed. I hope you continue to do so.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,   just been experimenting with a few ideas on battery charging.  I have decided that a powered siding (12V dc) and pick up through the rails suits me best, an onboard buck charger output 8.4 volts to

charge an EBL PP3  2cell li-ion battery, a boost circuit raises the voltage to 12v for loco control.  

I have replaced the loco on/off switch with a small latching relay   TQ2-L-5V   this is wired to isolate the battery if the rails supply is reversed, a blocking diode protects the buck charger circuit.

So the loco is run onto the powered siding and starts to charge, I turn off loco lights to save energy,  the loco is still powered up and can pull out of the siding and onto the dead track  at any time.

When fully charged a trackside led changes from red to green.  Now if the track voltage is reversed the onboard relay latches off and the loco battery is isolated.

To turn everything back on again the siding is powered up and polarity selected to set the onboard relay. Loco is now active and can be driven out of the siding and onto dead track.

So loco can be run, recharge and switched on and off without having to fiddle with a switch on the loco or having to remember where the magnet is.   All this can be done without going anywhere near the loco.

If required the siding can be long enough to accommodate more than one loco. 

I don't know if this has been done before, perhaps it has?     I can send more details if anyone is interested.




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Hi,      Thanks for the interest,  it's going to be difficult to explain it without a diagram so I will create one and a description.  In the meantime I attach a photo of my proto.

The pale,  rectangular block on the rhs is the latching relay which selects the run/charging mode. Also on top is my receiver, and on the side the charger circuit and boost circuit to take battery voltage  up to running voltage.

the orange and black leads on rhs  go to the short section of powered track  it is these leads connected to a 12V supply via a changeover switch,  selects  on (charging) or off . The red and black leads on the LHS go to the motor.

The whole lot sits on a PP3 li-ion battery  (you can see the terminals just below the relay).

Hope I have not caused too much confusion,





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Hi, having run an "OO" garden line on and off since the 90's using Analogue, DCC and even Hornby Live steam, the biggest problems for me have always been; keeping the power on and keeping the track clean. A train hasn't run since about 2017 and that was only on a limited section of the track.

I'm liking the sound of RC because it could potentially remove my 2 biggest bug bears and allow me to run trains more often with minimum effort, (just a light rub down and a quick vacuum of the track). To this end, I'd be interested in a parts list and instructions in how to fit. You never know, it might be possible to RC the Hornby live steam, after all it's only a heater and a Servo to power.🙂


Just seen your post, how long will a PP3 power a loco?



Edited by stray
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Hi, as promised here is a rough diagram of my on/off switching circuit.  The li-ion charger is a cheap 2 cell (8.4V output)  the DPDT switch feeds onto the rails and

can switch the polarity, when the top rail (on diagram) is positive then the relay is set and the battery is connected and charges via The schottky diode , The receiver is also powered and active.

If the switch is flipped to reverse the polarity, the relay is unset and the battery disconnected, the diode protects the receiver.   The loco is now off and no drain on the battery.

The relay is a single coil latching type and only requires a pulse to set or reset, hence the capacitor feeding the coil.  

hope this makes sense.




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  • 2 months later...

Hi,  I have made some "improvements" to the track charging circuit,  it now has a centre off DPDT switch   the circuit is shown in the RUN position, the loco can be driven off the charging track,  the DPDT switch is switched to the centre off position

when the loco is ready for a charge it is driven back onto the powered siding and switch is set to charge position, this flicks the relay contacts to charge and isolates the electronics, when charged the switch set to off and as  the loco is also off it will retain the charge and can be  stored with a full battery. It can be switched on again by switching to the  Run position.

The Poover battery gives about 3 hours run time,  it has inbuilt protection for overcharge, undercharge, overtemperature, and cell charge balance.

I have two locos with this system and they can be charged at the same time on the track.    The running track must be "dead"  

hope this all makes sense.

Best wishes to all



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