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NineElmsNigel

Radio Control ?

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fungus said:

Have a look at http://www.protocab.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. They were demonstrating at Scaleforum in Leatherhead last month. Quite impressive!

It's certainly something we will have to keep a close eye on. Must admit that the idea of operating a garden railway without track wiring is becoming increasingly attractive.

The Protocab website refers to a demonstration with O gauge products and I can see that being successful but I'm still not convinced that there's sufficient space in all OO gauge models for the necessary equipment. I wouldn't want to go down the route of having a permanently fitted vehicle next to a loco just to hold a battery bank but perhaps in time there'll be ways to overcome that. If all else fails then I guess we could upgrade to O gauge!

It makes you wonder how such an advancement, if it proved viable, would affect the hobby as a whole. Most of us have large collections of locos already and even the smaller collections would possibly be prohibitively expensive to replace. There are lots of modellers already holding back from going down the DCC route due to the expense of having to fit locos with decoders so imagine the work involved with opting for a radio control option - not to mention the cost.

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mick said:

The Protocab website refers to a demonstration with O gauge products and I can see that being successful but I'm still not convinced that there's sufficient space in all OO gauge models for the necessary equipment. I wouldn't want to go down the route of having a permanently fitted vehicle next to a loco just to hold a battery bank but perhaps in time there'll be ways to overcome that.

The demos I saw were all 00 gauge locos - no tank engines yet though! At the moment it's just on the edge of feasible, but batteries are getting smaller for a given charge capacity every year. Some model aircraft are battery driven now, which would have been unthinkable in the days when lead-acid batteries were the forefront of technology.

The other advantage of this system is that it will run perfectly happily alongside your DC or DCC locos, on the same track. So you only use the new system for new locos, and you don't need to change anything, even when your last DC loco has worn out. Even then, you don't need to change your track, but you can then disconnect the power from it. And if you build a new layout, the wiring is much simpler.

The only disadvantages I can see in the battery-powered radio-controlled loco are that it's not yet commercially available so it's expensive or time-consuming, and not as compact as it could be; there are no agreed standards so everyone will have different interfaces for charging etc (it took mobile phone manufacturers 20 years to agree a standard charging interface); and batteries are not yet compact enough for the smaller locos. All these can be resolved, but it could take 10 years or more before it becomes "the accepted way of doing it".

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I'm a new member here, and this is my first post, so Hi and from what I can see the site looks excellent.

My main hobby is R/C Boats so anyone thinking about using R/C for trains might be interested in some pioneering work Ron Dean (Dean's Marine a well respected Model Boat Kit Manufacturer) has been doing on some of the smaller Airfix plastic model boat kits.

The smallest "craft" Ron has R/C'd is this "SCHWIMMWAGEN". It is tiny.

I would imagine that this model is not that much bigger than one of the larger tank locos.....excellent chance to experiment with full rc control without the need for carrying equipment in coupled trucks or carriages.

Regards

Alan

Incidentally my Model Boat Club also has an active Railway Section :-

http://www.cheddar-steam-club.org.uk/

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Hi,

I'm new here but interested in using radio control for garden railways as I think there would be a lot of advantages in terms of simplicity, not having to worry about track cleaning, not having to worry about electrics out doors, etc.

I saw the comments above but things have moved on a bit it seems to me. I model narrow gauge and have a couple of locos now with radio control and internal batteries in the loco in 009. This uses the DelTang electronics which works really well. So far I have only used it indoors.

There is a video of one here:

And one of it uncoupling here:

Is anyone else trying this out for garden railways? I'm thinking of it in 0-16.5 outdoors, fitting it in a Smallbrook loco as a trial. Any thoughts?

Thanks

Frank

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Finally made it to the local club to test my Hornby loco modified with the excellent Deltang micro 2.4 Ghz Receiver/ESC and TX2 transmitter module. Electrical pickups have been removed from the loco and tender wheels and the power is supplied to the loco motor via the tender to loco pickup wires and connection. The track had power applied just to light the Pullman coaches. Battery power is supplied by 3 x 3.7v Lithium Ion cells of approx 300mah in series giving a nominal 11.1v. I initially tested the loco with 6 heavy Pullman coaches but suffered severe wheel slip on the gradients.

The Transmitter is in a test box and has 2 independent speed controls, 2 direction switches and an inertia/brake slider.

The purpose of using RC is to eventually build an OO garden railway and having power and control onboard, means no worries about electrical connections being affected by the weather

The table top running without rails was for any sceptics ... :-)

Thanks to the Bracknell Railway Society for allowing me the use of their excellent facilities (I have yet to build my own OO garden railway) ..

Thanks for watching

P.S. Apologies for the cheesy choice of music ...

Andy

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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!)

Good luck.

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I have now installed the new DelTang Rx60 Receiver/ESC in a Hornby Clan Line Pacific loco (or rather tender) and thought I would share this.

9665265285_fa5a13f06a_b.jpg

I wanted to make the installation relatively Plug and play so have installed a 4 pin socket for power and motor connection, made from SIL turned pin miniature sockets (Turned Pin sockets ) and have made the plugs from the same pins removed from the plastic casing, soldered and shrink tubed to the wires.

9665320859_89c90732c6_b.jpg

Rx60 - Rx61 and Turned pin SIL socket strip

9668511750_837d391354_b.jpg

SIL pins soldered to wires which were connected to the tender wheels power pickups

9668507056_e1d2677621.jpg9668503870_54e4d6e882.jpg

The tender pickups originally transferred track power to the loco via a live connecting pin - This now transfers power from the Rx60 to the loco

9668500286_3266c9f537_b.jpg

The completed installation .... Quit neat even if I say so myself :cool:

The batteries are Li-Ion 3.7v protected cells - They have a small circular protection circuit board which limits charge voltage and cuts power when low voltage limit is reached. I have yet to fully test these by charge cycling but the protection PCB can be removed if necessary ...

This conversion was my second, so only took about 1 hour .... Will update after testing

Thanks .. Andy

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I have posted some Videos on Youtube of my Radio Control installations in a OO Lima Western locomotive and Triang Big Big Train O gauge Hymek. Also some short demonstrations of them working.

Search youtube for "OO Radio Controlled" and "Triang Big Big Train Hymek".

Its easy to do and works really well.

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Excellent work Andy, very interesting.

Any chance of a list of parts necessary to convert a loco, and suppliers?

How much would you estimate the cost of conversion?

Ian R

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Apologies for the delay Ian – Lots of family birthdays, (including my 65th) in the last 6 weeks or so. List as follows:

RX61 Receiver from DelTang http://www.deltang.co.uk/ - Current price £27

Trustfire Li-Ion 10440 batteries .. 4 for £4.45 - Ebay (free shipping from China – Approx 2 weeks delivery)

Sil socket strip – Turned pin (10) – Ebay - £1.59

Heat Shrink tubing for above – Ebay - £2

DIP switch - 1 way SPST - Ebay - Approx £3.00 for 10

That just about does the Loco receiver wise – You then need a Spektrum DSM2 compatible transmitter or one of Davids TX20 kits - £21 - http://www.deltang.co.uk/tx20a-kit.htm

Also a suitable Li-Ion charger for the batteries – I use an IMAX B6 LiPo charger/discharger only because I had one which is used for the grandsons R/C car racing, again available from Ebay for around £30 or cheaper.

Not sure if you aware of the FreeRails forum at http://www.freerails.com/ but there is a lot of info there regarding RC trains

Hope this helps – BTW, I watch the DVD of the K &WR every so often and it keeps my enthusiasm going to one day build my R/C garden railway .. :D

Thanks .. Andy

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I have blown the dust of this thread just to let everyone know after sitting in the packet for about 3 years in the back of draw l finally plucked up courage and fitted my Tam Valley battery powered receiver to a old Lima class 47. AND IT WORKS !

OK the wireing looks like spaghetti and the soldered joints are massive blobs rather than delicate joints but to my surprise l actually got it to work

No more track cleaning for me, well for one loco anyway !

Pictures and maybe even a video in the next few days, probably. 

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