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Radio Control
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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2007 11:15 am
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W C Greene
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OK guys-the r/c gear will fit into the tenders of the Bachmann locos, the On30 2-8-0 is pretty simple since the tender already has a wiring harness to the loco, the 2-6-0 would have to be modified with a wiring harness. The Shay can be run with a 9 volt alkaline battery in the bunker. To make this fit, the bunker has to be "hogged out" with a moto tool and then the 9 volt and board can be shoehorned in. The 0-4-2t Porter can be r/c also, either by making a simple little "tender" for the stuff or by using a Banta all-weather cab kit to hide the stuff. There are several options for the r/c boards. For r/c cars-check out the nice and available board for the LOSI MICRO T cars, any shop that deals with r/c cars will have this or can get it for you. A smaller board is made by KYOSHO for their MINI Z RACER cars (what I use)-these are hard to find right now and pricey. A knock off of this board is made by IWAVER for their Mini Z hop up parts. And here's something made for model railroads-CREST (Aristo Craft) makes the DC ENGINEER with the transmitter and board available through stores that carry Aristo Craft. While the car boards are made for cars and we have adapted them, the Crest has a more familiar transmitter for railroaders. All of these systems can be run with 9 volt batteries or the Lithium rechargables some of us use. There is so much info to spew about this subject, you would need to get an idea of this yourself. Look at r/c car stuff (small scale, not the big gas cars) and check out what's available. Radio Shack makes an inexpensive little car that has a fair board-what you are looking for here is PROPORTIONAL FORWARD AND REVERSE control. Some of the cheap cars have "sort of" proportional, speed is added or subtracted in steps-useful for railcars or maybe an old class A Climax, but not very good for doing switching for example. I can't tell you just how really simple this all is, you have to convert something once and then you will understand. I do dcc installations at a local hobby shop and I can convert a locomotive to r/c in far less time than it takes to install a dcc decoder and do all the cv's and other programming. I probably spend far more time looking at the locomotive and thinking about that "first cut" than I spend actually doing the "work". I am not an electrical engineer, I am an electrical doofus so if I can do this, so can anybody else, all it takes is imagination and a willingness to butcher up a nice locomotive. But you will be rewarded with a reliable loco that will run anytime, anywhere(even without track!) and on anybody's layout without any problems. I wish Walthers or somebody would run an ad with "LOOK AT THIS-REAL RADIO CONTROL FOR YOUR LOCOMOTIVES!!! but they ain't gonna do that, at least right now. There's the choice, you can do this yourself right now or muddle through and hope somebody offers the stuff in the distant future. Someday, there will be micro size r/c with sound, etc. for any locomotive but not at the moment.

As for a show layout-you don't need any 110 plugs anywhere, you don't need extention cords to get power, you don't need to worry about loose connections or that short circuit that only happens when folks look at your display, you don't need a brite boy to clean track and wheels, you don't need any wiring at all, and if you have lights or other operating featgures, they can be run with batteries also. You can set up your layout in the middle of Death Valley if you want and still run trains and sweat. Think about the possibilities and have fun. Bob has a fine piece at the beginning of this section showing what's involved so check it out and be asssured that this is not the end, only the beginning. The large scale garden guys have been using r/c for years and now small scale guys can have the same fun. More film at 11...

                             Woodie C Greene



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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2007 12:05 pm
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AZnarrowgaugefan
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Thanks Woodie!

I've one of those little Radio Shack cars with a burned out motor.  As far as I know the electronics in it are still good.  Great little toy! Had a blast with it.

 

Steve



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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2007 03:27 pm
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Trebor
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Woodie,

Do you know of a source for thin, flexible wire and small connectors?

Bob



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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2007 04:16 pm
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W C Greene
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Bob-Miniatronics makes small 2, 3, & 4 pin connectors and 30 gauge wire. Scale Shops makes connectors also but need to have the wires soldered on. Also, NWSL makes small wire. The Miniatronics stuff should be available at Hobby Town & Discount Trains. I prefer Miniatronics connectors because they come assembled. The smallest heat shrink I know of is carried by Miniatronics but a large electronics store might have some tiny hs also. Have fun.,

         Woodie



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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2007 04:57 pm
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Willowgully
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All,
      I was just at Radio Shack and bought a little 1:32 scale radio control Lamborghini model car on sale for $9.95 (was $19.95). The guy said it had speed control but didn't know how fine the control might be. The car also has forward and reverse. For under 10 bucks I figure I couldn't go too far wrong.
     After I open the little car I'll have a better idea of its usefulness.
If nothing else it will be fun to race the car around for a while.

I'll keep you all informed...... Larry T.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2007 05:04 pm
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AZnarrowgaugefan
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I've one of them too.  The throttle seems to be fairly responsive.  That being said, I am a model railroader and not an RC modeler, so I've nothing to compare it to.  I'm going to cannabalize mine and try it just to see how it works with a locomotive.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2007 06:47 pm
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W C Greene
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I say go for it! Try to remember that radio control won't make a poor running loco better. If possible, install the gear in a smooth runner and you will be pleased, in a bad loco, you may give up on the plan. The little Radio Shack boards will probably work with 9 volts, the boards are almost bullet proof anyway. If I knew what parts of the board that control the unused steering function were about, I could probably cut the board down by 30% in size but that takes more moxie than I posess. Good luck with the conversion, let us know how it turns out.

               Woodie C Greene 



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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2007 08:15 pm
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Dwayne
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I haven't got a clue about RC applications for our little locos but found these links interesting...

http://www.tinyrc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23445

http://www.mikromodell.de/index_e.html

http://ig.micromotor.org/Tipps/frsmd4_e.html


Last edited on Tue Jun 26th, 2007 08:39 pm by Dwayne



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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2007 10:38 pm
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W C Greene
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DW-the HO front end loader is great! The builder didn't tell about what kind of r/c unit he is using but judging from the model, he may have built it himself! He mentioned IR which is infra-red technology, similar to the TV clicker. What we have been using is "hobby grade" radio control that is different from IR. With r/c, the frequency can be changed by changing the frequency that links the transmitter and receiver. Also, r/c has an effective range of several hundred feet at the least, IR  works when the transmitter is pointed to the receiver-just like the tv clicker. The front end loader is a very cool model and maybe the guy will tell more about it in the future. What you are looking for is PROPORTIONAL SPEED AND DIRECTION CONTROL in as small of a unit you can find. My friends & I have probably became aware of maybe 10% of what's available so there is much more research to do. I am trying to explain what I have done, not promoting some product, and I am having too much fun running and building my layout to really devote the time it would take to "surfing the net" for everything that can be used. I have been using r/c in my On30 and lately 3/8n20 locos for probably 4 or 5 years and have had no problems with any of the equipment I have. I am also fortunate to have a good friend who builds r/c planes and he has given me much help and advice along the way. I have been building model railroads for about 50 years and really never had the fun I am having now with the added dimension of radio control. This one thing has freed me from having to build my layout with concerns about wiring, dirty track, and other problems. Since I have no electrical concerns now, if someone connected a power pack up to my layout, the rails would glow red and the power pack would go up in smoke but my locomotives would still run with no hassles! Real railroads don't have wires connected to the rails nor do they run off track power.....so why should my railroad be any different? Whew, I'm up on the soapbox again, but I feel that I can actually say these things on a site devoted to r/c trains.

If you have a Bachmann On30 2-6-0 or 2-8-0, get a TEAM LOSI MICRO-T CAR receiver(about 30 bucks), an inexpensive FUTABA 2 stick car radio(about 45 bucks), an alkaline 9 volt battery (maybe one buck), a battery clip for that battery (also about a buck), and a receiver crystal that matches the Futaba unit's frequency, or a set for another frequency(about 8-12 bucks) and get to work wiring it up. Just isolate the motor like you would do for dcc, and hook it up to the motor output wires on the LOSI board which now resides in the tender along with the 9 volt battery. Put batteries in the transmitter, turn it on and then turn on the loco's board and get to running wireless. That's all there is to it! After the first job, you will be an r/c expert and can do other locos and amaze your friends. Some of them will think it's all craziness, others will be unimpressed, but your friends who are open minded will want to join you and use their power packs as boat anchors. Welcome to the dork side!

          Woodie C Greene 



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 Posted: Tue Jun 26th, 2007 10:39 pm
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W C Greene
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DW-the HO front end loader is great! The builder didn't tell about what kind of r/c unit he is using but judging from the model, he may have built it himself! He mentioned IR which is infra-red technology, similar to the TV clicker. What we have been using is "hobby grade" radio control that is different from IR. With r/c, the frequency can be changed by changing the frequency that links the transmitter and receiver. Also, r/c has an effective range of several hundred feet at the least, IR  works when the transmitter is pointed to the receiver-just like the tv clicker. The front end loader is a very cool model and maybe the guy will tell more about it in the future. What you are looking for is PROPORTIONAL SPEED AND DIRECTION CONTROL in as small of a unit you can find. My friends & I have probably became aware of maybe 10% of what's available so there is much more research to do. I am trying to explain what I have done, not promoting some product, and I am having too much fun running and building my layout to really devote the time it would take to "surfing the net" for everything that can be used. I have been using r/c in my On30 and lately 3/8n20 locos for probably 4 or 5 years and have had no problems with any of the equipment I have. I am also fortunate to have a good friend who builds r/c planes and he has given me much help and advice along the way. I have been building model railroads for about 50 years and really never had the fun I am having now with the added dimension of radio control. This one thing has freed me from having to build my layout with concerns about wiring, dirty track, and other problems. Since I have no electrical concerns now, if someone connected a power pack up to my layout, the rails would glow red and the power pack would go up in smoke but my locomotives would still run with no hassles! Real railroads don't have wires connected to the rails nor do they run off track power.....so why should my railroad be any different? Whew, I'm up on the soapbox again, but I feel that I can actually say these things on a site devoted to r/c trains.

If you have a Bachmann On30 2-6-0 or 2-8-0, get a TEAM LOSI MICRO-T CAR receiver(about 30 bucks), an inexpensive FUTABA 2 stick car radio(about 45 bucks), an alkaline 9 volt battery (maybe one buck), a battery clip for that battery (also about a buck), and a receiver crystal that matches the Futaba unit's frequency, or a set for another frequency(about 8-12 bucks) and get to work wiring it up. Just isolate the motor like you would do for dcc, and hook it up to the motor output wires on the LOSI board which now resides in the tender along with the 9 volt battery. Put batteries in the transmitter, turn it on and then turn on the loco's board and get to running wireless. That's all there is to it! After the first job, you will be an r/c expert and can do other locos and amaze your friends. Some of them will think it's all craziness, others will be unimpressed, but your friends who are open minded will want to join you and use their power packs as boat anchors. Welcome to the dork side!

          Woodie C Greene 



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