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 Posted: Thu Jul 20th, 2017 09:28 pm
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Michael M
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Even in 1/35 scale space can become a problem!  There are always trade-offs between cost, space, and ease of use.  Modeling small locos makes space a bigger issue.  But, large engines would look out of place on my pike.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 21st, 2017 03:29 am
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W C Greene
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Well guys, I sort of get the idea that because I'm using the less expensive r/c car ESC/receivers, my efforts are sub standard! Contrary to that, I will operate any of my old lokies side by side with those controlled by the "high priced" equipment (done that already) and see no difference in control. Maybe I am lucky, maybe the locos themselves have quality mechanisms (Bachmann???), or maybe I just managed to buy the right stuff to begin with. Once again, the locos that I have all operate THE SAME as if on DC or DCC except they can do that without even being on rails! Now I know that if I was using $6 toy car boards then operation would be pretty funky but what I use isn't that much more expensive than the "cheap stuff". I have been using the same equipment for almost 20 years now and that includes most of the LiPoly batteries installed in the locos.
I got into r/c because I hate to wire a layout, clean track & wheels, and all the other "traditional" things that pertain to operating a model railroad.
Yes, I am an old coot but I enjoy my trains far more than ever...even with my old timey controls.

Woodie

Ancient r/c equipment that still works, an old JR transmitter and an old Shay with more antiques to make her run.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 21st, 2017 04:53 am
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Michael M
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Works for me, Woodie.

Especially if you have a pike in the great outdoors you really have to go RC unless you really like cleaning track.  Though I comprised a little by putting my pike out in a covered patio.  It's more comfortable in the shade rather than standing in the hot sun.

My son is working on a G scale layout in his backyard and I'm trying to convince him to go RC (and to join Freerails).



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 Posted: Fri Jul 21st, 2017 01:59 pm
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Helmut
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@Woody
There is no difference in operation between today's 2.4G and the old 27M AM equipment. It is all about interference between transmitter, receiver, and environment. The old equipment, when operated outdoors, is subject to the 'rusty-bolt-effect', that is parasitic emission hampering the signal to go through sometimes. AM is by nature sensitive to all sorts of commutation sparks in the loco, and sometimes with the older open-frame motors IF suppression was a battle you couldn't win. And last but not least, when several people get together, they have to agree upon which channel they use and have to have equipment ( and the necessary spare crystals ) allowing for a quick channel change. As long as you operate for your own pleasure only and stay close to your equipment, all these potential drawbacks normally do not show up.
What I would like to know is how you tucked away all that stuff in your locos -I understand you use 2S LiPos, so you must have a BEC, either separate or an ESC providing that, an ESC, and a receiver. Did you strip down the housings and do away with the plugs?

Last edited on Fri Jul 21st, 2017 02:01 pm by Helmut



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 Posted: Tue Jul 25th, 2017 12:46 am
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bobquincy
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@Helmut,

it is interesting that (as far as I know) although the transmission method for RC has changed significantly the protocol and signals have not changed since maybe the 1970's.  I wonder if this is to allow using legacy devices (servos and such) or just because it worked well enough and did not need improvement?

I recall an early RC HO diesel that used tone selective devices to select Fwd, Rev, Horn, etc, transmitting over 27 MHz but that was probably before digital proportional systems would fit inside an HO shell.  We have come far!

boB



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 Posted: Tue Jul 25th, 2017 01:23 pm
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Helmut
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@boB
one has to state that the PWM pulse train repeated in a 10..30msec time frame is the most successful method of RC control. It started in the 1960's and is still going strong. The actual data transmission algorithms, especially in the 2.4G field, are much more sophisticated and allow for error detection, telemetry etc., but the control output signal is still the 'old' PWM. Even that old NE544 and its clones are still active in the analog servos, so it is highly unlikely that there will be a change in the near future.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 25th, 2017 02:01 pm
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davecttr
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'If it ain't broke don't fix it'
IMO there could be too much fixing it going on. Take bi-directional comms, is it really essential? My Deltangs work without it and the only talk back I need is when the battery saving cut off works, which of course is optical technology, I see the loco stopping.
There is Protocab over here using 2.4Ghz and bi-directional but it is propriety, expensive and has a potentially fatal flaw. You can have 9 locos 'bound' to the transmitter but as far as I can establish you can only have ONE loco moving at a time - Oops! not so good when you have 3 continuous circuits like me. I am surprised they are still in business.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 25th, 2017 05:38 pm
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Helmut
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@davecttr
please don't mistake me as a ProtoCab suporter, but from what I read about the system, it is WLAN-based and I take it that you can preset each one of the possible 9 locos assigned to a controller, to any speed and direction and release it. Then it will continue until you call it again by the controller. BTW, it is no good idea to have more than one battery-powered loco run unattended - sometimes you just aren't quick enough in changing the settings to regain control, and crash. I don't know whether they have implemented an emergency stop ( technically possible without difficulty ) for all assigned locos, however.



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 Posted: Tue Jul 25th, 2017 07:04 pm
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bobquincy
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Helmut wrote: @boB Even that old NE544 and its clones are still active in the analog servos, so it is highly unlikely that there will be a change in the near future.

@Helmut
I was going through a bin of old analog ICs a few weeks ago and sure enough there are some NE544s in there!



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 Posted: Tue Jul 25th, 2017 07:53 pm
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davecttr
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Helmut wrote: @davecttr
please don't mistake me as a ProtoCab suporter, but from what I read about the system, it is WLAN-based and I take it that you can preset each one of the possible 9 locos assigned to a controller, to any speed and direction and release it. Then it will continue until you call it again by the controller. BTW, it is no good idea to have more than one battery-powered loco run unattended - sometimes you just aren't quick enough in changing the settings to regain control, and crash. I don't know whether they have implemented an emergency stop ( technically possible without difficulty ) for all assigned locos, however.
Works fine for me so far. I can have a passenger train on the Up Main and a freight on the Down Main both doing multiple laps and can play around with a 3rd loco in the freight yard. Switching off the Tx stops all the locos.
As for releasing a loco with Protocab it was confirmed by a user that only one loco can move, switch to another loco and the first one stops. Surely he must be wrong.



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