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Author Topic: Radio controlled locos ... The Final Frontier ?  (Read 19973 times)
shropshire lad
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« on: April 16, 2013, 03:42:55 PM »

For the last two years Bernard has been, with the help of a clever chap in England , developing a radio control system that can be fitted into very small locos . Now , we all know r/c has been around for some time but has tended to be used by the garden railway boys who have dirty great big locos to put all of the electronics into , but to manage to shoe horn a workable system into locos less than 3" long is not so common .

   I haven't a clue if this has been done by anyone else , but it is all new to me , and it would seem to be the future of model railways . I can now build a layout reasonable secure in the knowledge that the trains have a good chance of running because I don't have to waste time doing loads of wiring . Even my turnout are easy as they will be battery operated . So the only mains power required will be for lighting ( and to charge the loco battery ) .

  The technical side of the system is a complete mystery to me , so I will refer you to this website  http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=4451&forum_id=45&page=33  where Bernard ( as 35er) explains what is involved .

   I will just post some photos of the two locos that he has built so far . Both are German . The first (yellow)  is an LKM Ns2f , scratch built by Bernard the second , in primer , is an adapted kit  http://www.heskethscalemodels.com/ of an O&K MD2 . The chassis was made by Bernard to replace the missing one in my kit .

   Nick


* Melbourne 2013 101.JPG (56.72 KB, 300x225 - viewed 1998 times.)

* Melbourne 2013 102.JPG (58.12 KB, 300x225 - viewed 1866 times.)
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shropshire lad
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 03:46:28 PM »

The other loco


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* P1020085.JPG (53.3 KB, 350x262 - viewed 1674 times.)

* P1020091.JPG (53.2 KB, 300x224 - viewed 1787 times.)

* Melbourne 2013 123.JPG (46.18 KB, 300x225 - viewed 1757 times.)
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Gordon Ferguson
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 04:18:03 PM »

Sorry Nick , should have checked before I posted my drivel
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Gordon
danpickard
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 04:23:49 AM »

After having some time to check out this little RC system at the Oz NGC a few weeks back, it was slightly frustrating that I got back into modelling when I did. 

I unfortunately have a fairly well invested interest in Victorian Railways NG stuff in 1:48, and my modelling budget doesn't particularly allow for a bit of rubber gauge work in a 1:35 industrial railway setting (probably my next prefered railway subject...I just think that that scale, those locos and that subject are a great representation of NG rail usage).  Not to mention, a recent investment into DCC, so regretably changing now to RC doesn't work for me.  If I had only re-entered modelling say 12 months ago, I'd be more confident that modelling 1:35, and going RC might be the better option.  The RC setup of Bernards ran superbly at the Oz NGC, with a good interested gathering around the table most of the weekend.  Rough overgrown track looks great with one of these little locos crawling over the terrain.  The small hand set has a very familiar feel to those who would have previously used similar looking basic DC hand throttles.  The control seems simple enough, although the RC barge was a bit of a trippy thing Smiley  Lack of sound wasn't a big issue to me, especially in an exhibition setting (I don't feel DCC sound locos on exhibition have enough guts anyway to beat out ambient crowd noise), where I prefer to run a soundscape for the scene rather than from the loco itself.  Wish I had seen the 45 degree slope test for a laugh!

I personally don't believe it will overcome current trends in DCC & sound, since the novelty of trains that whistle and chuff and what else can we get a decoder to do are very strong, and only getting more and more control options to play with.  I say that in a general commercial model railway sense.  But for the more focussed finescale modeller (as found around here, and isn't as worried so much about what everyone else is driving their trains with) they will find this control option a dream to play with.

I look forward to seeing and hearing more about this work Bernard & Nick.  Bernard, does TMWA have a website up and going again, or coming soon?

Cheers,
Dan
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finescalerr
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 12:54:33 PM »

Some friends on the east coast have been working very successfully with R/C in Bachmann On30 locos. I don't think they've put it in a Porter yet but certainly Shays, Climaxes, and other rod locos. I will ask about sound since that seems to be important to some of you. -- Russ
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jacq01
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 09:26:30 PM »


 Radio controle in Europe is mainly used with track power instead of battery power.
 It is very popular with a group of 1:87 truck and car modelers. They have been able to cram rc control, decoders and batteries into the smallest places.
 A good friend from the modelclub in Leverkusen has built a fire engine with all possible driving and light functions.

 Jacq
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finescalerr
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 02:06:42 AM »

About sound: My pal, Bill Miller in Maryland (Miller Models), says he and his friend haven't fooled around with sound yet but apparently somebody (in New York?) has adapted Soundtraxx to R/C. That's all I could find out today. -- Russ
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mad gerald
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 02:53:11 AM »

G'day all,

IMHO sound is overrated, because there's a lack of a large variety of (matching) sounds and the available sounds are lacking of sustain - most of 'em are not convincing.

Imagine a diesel loco, preferably finescale, running on a layout not making any sound - or having a not matching sound and/or poor quality and additional a lack of sustain ...  Roll Eyes

So I was going to refuse building diesel critters and focussed on battery storage locomotives/vehicles ... so missing sound using r/c seems not to be a disadvantage to me!

Just my 2 cents ...

Cheers
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 03:54:14 AM by mad gerald » Logged
Franck Tavernier
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2013, 11:30:17 AM »

Gerald, you're right, R / C is fantastic for batteries mine locos, the sound is not necessary, like in reality! Except perhaps for the sound of the wheels on the rails... too often overlooked elsewhere. .. the only one who built this criteria is Otto Schouwstra, with the choice between rolling noise of cars in wood or metal on the track!

I fear, however, that this system is limited up to certain models ... even 1:35 scale. But this system definitely brings more from the point of view of current pick-up problems, and that is always a problem on small locos, with a short wheelbase, not to mention the dirt wheels and rails... Wink

Franck
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finescalerr
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2013, 02:06:23 PM »

Apparently R/C works very well for most 1:48 scale locomotives, at least from small geared locos and larger. My friends on the east coast have had great success. But nobody has tried to fit a receiver into a small Porter. I would guess the components are too large for HO scale. -- Russ
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Franck Tavernier
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2013, 03:52:55 PM »

And LiPo batteries, Russ... Angry Angry

Franck
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PBurr47
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 01:21:36 PM »

Ring Engineering has a system called Rail Pro, which is DCC based, track power supply, but in which the commands and responses are sent by radio to the module in the loco (and from the loco module to the controller!) instead of through the track. Apparently, locos in a consist can "talk" to each other and will automatically adjust their speed to that of the lead engine! Furthermore, the handheld unit is a much more intuitive touch screen device. It's listed in the 2013 Walthers book on page 815, and there was an interview with the company owner and inventor Tim Ring by Paul Gillette et al podcast by MRH on Dec 13, 2011 which you can find on I-Tunes. It's a fascinating talk. Also see the podcast from Nov 22, 2011 where Gary Paulino of Traintek, LLC discusses the system.
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Peter Burr
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2013, 06:24:03 AM »

I wish someone doing this in the larger scales would chime in.
All I have seen is "Air-wire".
I keep thinking; why reinvent the wheel?
The r/c car, boat, plane guys have been doing this for years!
I am going to try that in my 1/16th loco.

There are some very tiny & lightweight receivers used in gliders and indoor airplanes.
Look at the tiny helicopters.
-Mj
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finescalerr
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2013, 01:39:46 PM »

Marty, the outdoor train guys have been using R/C forever. Phone me or send an e-mail and I'll hook you up with the more sophisticated people I know. -- Russ
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Ray Dunakin
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2013, 07:35:08 PM »

Woodie Green over on the FreeRails forum uses small Losi brand r/c car electronics and li-po batteries for his outdoor, 1/32 scale layout. On his advice, I used the same equipment for my 1/24th scale rail bus and am very happy with it.

For my locos, I use Aristocraft's Revolution r/c. Currently power is supplied through the rails but I may switch to battery power at some point.




« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 07:49:30 PM by Ray Dunakin » Logged

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