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Riddles

Wireless Battery Power

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Acc+Ess Protocab have just announced that production units should be available from the end of June. The price of a basic controller is £128 and chargers and various connectors add about another £24. Each loco then needs a battery, control unit, etc. totaling £110. There are big discounts for pre-orders before 31st May and if you have an iPad charger, this could save you £10.

Imagine not having to worry about bonding track, track cleaning, dirty pickups, etc.! The cost per loco is about the same as adding a decent DCC sound decoder but there will not be enough space in every loco for the battery and control unit. They are working on smaller devices though.

Full details at http://www.protocab.com/welcome

I don't have any personal connection with the company.

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Although I think there is great potential in this technology, those prices seem extremely steep! The missing factor still seems to be an incompatibility with dcc......I am certain that for wireless control to take off there needs to be a system that can merely replace the power transmission aspect of dcc but allows the existing and often expensive infrastructure that existing modellers have invested in to remain useful.

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garethep said:

The missing factor still seems to be an incompatibility with dcc......I am certain that for wireless control to take off there needs to be a system that can merely replace the power transmission aspect of dcc but allows the existing and often expensive infrastructure that existing modellers have invested in to remain useful.

There is nothing to prevent both systems running together. I could envisage a Protocab loco dragging a track cleaner around, if DCC operation is not possible due to dirt on the track.

They also mention that they are looking at making a controller which will operate both types of control as well as an app for tablets or smartphones.

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Hi Riddles, that will be great if you can do that and a video if possible, the big question is how much running time do you get out of a battery and how long will it take to recharge and how many locos per controller, be a lot of fun.

Happy modelling form down under, Tony

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See that these people are now dispatching initial orders.

In principal this seems a great idea for garden railways, the basic set up costs no more than a good fixed DCC set up, but the battery cost per loco puts it well out of my price range. Does anyone know if a cheaper alternitive is available.

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I have been considering Radio control but using this system (scroll down to Land RX) http://www.micronradiocontrol.co.uk/rx_dt.html

I wonder whether it might be possible to have a constant 12v regulated on the track which a miniature charger inside a carriage /wagon behind the loco might charge the battery when ever it might find power.

The main reason against using RC is that I'm planning that part of the indoor section of the line may be taken to Exhibitions and that would require a large selection of Locos / or spare batteries ( at more expense) to keep something moving for 8 hours!!

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Did a bit of net searching and there are a few companys doing RC conversions in the UK with various systems but price wise they all come out the same at £100 to £150 a loco. There also seems to be problems with shoehorning a battery in steam locos.

Much more popular in the US with massive out door layouts and much more space avaliable for fitting in the locos as well.

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There has been a tantalising announcement by Hornby today http://www.lse.co.uk/AllNews.asp?code=4r6z7i04&headline=Hornby_To_Launch_3D_Printing_And_Other_New_Products_To_Revive_Fortunes about them planning to introduce battery powered trains. There is no comment about whether this means battery-to-the-track or battery-on-board, or even whether it is 00 gauge.

If it is 00 gauge "battery on board", using new technology, the future could be looking good.

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I've just found the official Hornby announcement and I think that I got excited over nothing! It says that the target for the battery-operated trains is children aged 5-8. Ah well, it did seem to good to be true. It just looks like it's Acc+Ess Procab in the market.

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