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A new idea for Radio Control from Australia - Maybe
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 Posted: Mon Aug 24th, 2009 03:40 am
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Bill Fornshell
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This was sent to me at Trackside Modeler. I have sent for a subscription to the magazine and will post more information as I have it.

============================================

Hi Bill,
I have just read an article by Neil Stanton in the August edition of the Australian equivalent of MRR, (Australian model railway magazine), and in it is the start of a 4 series piece on a conversion from a bulky motorized  model of a "Tulloch" car into a model that has a... wait for it...... "a battery powered radio controlled dcc decoder" in it,  for its power and control.
the interesting thing is that the battery is a small single cell polymer lithium ion battery (3.7 v), but here is the kicker.... he is also going to install a step-up converter so as to boost it to 12 volts for decoder and bogie motor operation. ( the original bogies are replaced with motorized ones of course )
The battery looks the size of a decoder but maybe a bit slimmer.
The power management circuit board is about the size of a dc board ie long and thin.

The radio receiver and antenna are 11/2 inches long and as flat as a circuit board.

And he will convert the DCC decoder to work with the power from the battery and a connection for DCC input from the radio receiver.
He has a piece of powered rail which he can leave the train on to recharge the battery!!!

And all this fits below eye/window level of a normal looking rail coach. (The radio receiver and DCC decoder were fitted to the ceiling of the coach)

Here are the objectives he sets out to achieve:
-replace existing motor with under-floor powered bogie
-equip with battery power and radio communication
-Use NMRA DCC communications protocol
-Add KD couplers, operating headlights, interior lights and inter-car cables (whatever that is)


So in the next 4 issues he is going to explain how he:
1 replaced the motor
2 installed the battery and battery charger
3 installed the radio and radio receiver...and..
4 converted the DCC decoder to work with battery power and radio communications.

If you can understand what I'm trying to say, they could be interesting articles for you to read.


http://www.australianmodelrailways.com

Jack 

===============================================

We talked about this during Chat this Sunday night. What we think we know,
A "Tulloch Car" is a type of traction unit. See picture in link:

http://www.pjv101.net/cd/pages/c407m.htm

I (we) will have to wait till (I or someone) gets a copy of part one and see where this is going. It sounds very interesting so far.

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 Posted: Mon Aug 24th, 2009 06:36 pm
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ytter_man
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:Hmm:I dont think anyone has done both RC and DCC, this is a new one. I'm really curious about the battery. That Tulloch car looks like a shortened Budd RDC.

Nice find! :thumb:

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 Posted: Mon Aug 24th, 2009 08:55 pm
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W C Greene
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I don't know anything about what this fellow is doing but I do know that a single cell 3.7 volt li-poly (not Li-Ion) battery as small as he says it is has barely enough power to run the model for more than 15-20 minutes. Add sound to that, maybe 5 minutes. Add some sort of "power converter" for raising the voltage, then he may be lucky to get a couple of minutes run time. The fact that he will use a wired and dedicated piece of track to recharge the battery makes any layout built the same as any other wired layout. For this to "work", the wheels on the power unit will have to be really, REALLY clean to be able to recharge and as I have been told from r/c guys with far more battery charging experience than I have, tiny wheels on skinny rails are not a suitable way to handle current in a charging situation. I do wish him luck in this venture, maybe he will "suprise" me with a youtube video of the thing running for a couple of hours. The "wired" part is what I am not enamored with but that's only my hang-up. I have several of the small batteries he talks about and while they are sure tiny, they have an output of maybe 50MAH, one or two maybe a bit more but not enough to run a train for any real length of time. The batteries I use have a capacity of 850 to 1500 MAH, even the little guy in my Model T has 350 MAH. Is any of this stuff on the "net" anywhere? I would sure like to see what it's all about.

Herb made me write all this, he is the fellow behind the curtrain who operates the Great Wizzard of OZ.           Woodie



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 Posted: Mon Aug 24th, 2009 10:35 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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Hi,

I ordered a subscription to the magazine on 21 August over the internet. They say they ship all over-sea's magazines by Air Mail so I might get the current copy in a week or so.

I hope it doesn't turn out to be a wire-less (RC ??) DCC controller of some sort and something less that what we think of as Radio Control.

Don or someone in Australia might have some luck getting in touch with him and see if he would start a thread here about what he is doing.

Until then I wait for my copy of the magazine.

Time goes by fast when I am asleep so maybe I should take a long nap.

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 Posted: Mon Aug 24th, 2009 11:19 pm
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Rod Hutchinson
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Hi all,

I have a copy of the article in front of me.  Is there anything you may like to know I'll see if it is in the article.  In the meantime an NMRA colleague, Bob Backway, has been experimenting with wireless controll of DCC.  He has an article on the internet.

http://www.geocities.com/OzDCC/DWiDCC/DWiDCC.htm

In regard to the battery power, the author makes the following observation. 

"The battery is charged from the DCC track power, and operation is improved by using battery backup power to eliminate problems caused by intermittent contact between wheel and rail."

 



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 Posted: Mon Aug 24th, 2009 11:39 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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Hi Rod,

Thanks for the information.

It seems he may be talking about a way to improve his DCC and not running his trains by Radio Control like we are. He seems to be using the battery power to get his DCC trains across dead spots in his track. True Radio Control does that for you and a lot more.

It will still be interesting to see what all he has come up with.

Thanks for the link to that article.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 27th, 2009 07:25 pm
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skyking20
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So for all the hoopla its still just DCC with all of the wiring, work and other issues. Right? All you are adding is another layer of complexity without gaining any thing meaningful especially if the earilier post that says tiny wheels and rails doe not make a great recharger are true.

Lance

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 Posted: Thu Aug 27th, 2009 10:44 pm
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W C Greene
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Many times, the term "radio control" means a wireless handheld throttle and has nothing to do with real radio control using onboard batteries.  The mainstream model rr press uses "radio control" to make readers and future buyers think that what they are getting is "cutting edge" and high technology. Most model railroaders have never been exposed to r/c unless it is one of their kid's toys from Wal Mart which uses batteries and no wires. Guess what-that kid's toy is more technically advanced than dad's dcc brouhaha. Model railroaders tend to only look at what's available at the local train store where r/c is not spoken. The "r/c" idea sounds like a stop-gap dcc plan to enable the loco to run over dirty track or open circuits without stalling but it still relys on track power. I would like to think that what is being discussed is real r/c, but until I have seen the results, I will have to reserve my opinion. (Right!)

So, what else is new?               Woodie


PS-the wheels & rails for a charging circuit is TRUE. This cannot carry enough steady current to recharge a decent battery and with higher output batteries, it could cause the wheels to become "welded" to the rails.

Last edited on Thu Aug 27th, 2009 10:47 pm by W C Greene



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 Posted: Fri Aug 28th, 2009 01:17 am
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Sullivan
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Actually, it all sounds similar to what the DCC boys already have available. I think it's called back EMF er sum'pn. I know there are Lenz decoders that can do this quite well, and have for several years. The guys on the Maine Sn2 Modular group had'm about 4 years ago.

Of course, I know someone out there will say I'm wrong. Suits me!

Gotta go work on my loco...or go loco.



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 Posted: Fri Sep 4th, 2009 01:20 am
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Burra
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G'day everyone,
 I have just registered after reading this thread. Hello everyone :-)
 I work for Berg's Hobbies, the producer of the Tulloch models Neil Stanton has been working with. I have met Neil and seen his RC models.
 To start with, in this instance, a 'Tulloch' is a standard gauge single deck suburban electric train from the Sydney metropolitan system. They usually operated as 4, 6 or 8 car trains. Here is a photo of some of our models:
http://i418.photobucket.com/albums/pp269/Burra2a/random/IMG_6622.jpg
 The models are HO scale. Neil's conversion uses a Black Beetle (or NWSL alternative) spud for power. All circuitry/drivetrain is contained in the one, powered carriage.
 I admit to not having the article in front of me and I haven't read it since before it was in the mag :-)

 It is a while since Neil visited (he doesn't live in Australia), but at the time he was indeed using battery RC as his article illustrates. He demonstrated with the popular method of running a train across a table without rails.
 When Neil says "The battery is charged from the DCC track power, and operation is improved by using battery backup power to eliminate problems caused by intermittent contact between wheel and rail." I believe it could be construed as easily to mean that having the majority of or the entire model railway track energized as well as using batteries is a good way to ensure faultless running.

 This is not a glorified wireless DCC system, but a standalone system with an important link to NMRA standard DCC. The following is how I understand it to work:

 The base motor/lights/sound decoder indeed could be your off the shelf DCC decoder (I say could be as I think Neil made his own to NMRA standard). However, signals are not picked up through the rails, they are transmitted from the handset to the loco's receiver on board, hence RC. The receiver 'speaks DCC' to the decoder so the decoder has all its usual functions as one would hope for and expect. That means sound, back EMF, ditch lights, valve gear, couplers and anything else DCC can do, can be done here (Well, I don't know how many functions Neil has incorporated into his handset controller yet or how the batteries will cope with the extra load from sound). I have not messed with DCC functions such as sound, I understand it takes a lot more power than base level DCC so the battery life may not be enough with sound to not have energized tracks all around.
 As designed and demonstrated, the batteries power the train, not simply making up for dirty track. The powered tracks used for charging can be in station areas or similar where there is dwell time for the train, or a reasonable section of mainline if preferred. The powered carriage has 8 wheel pick-up, and with the currents used in contemporary railway modelling, I am surprised that people have experienced the small contact area of the wheel and rail influencing things negatively. In theory, 30 years ago HO trains used to pull well over an amp on a bad day using brass track and wheels, we aren't charging at anywhere near an amp of current and using much more effective and clean conducters to boot. As I understand it, charging currents don't need to be high for LiPos if you aren't trying to pull high currents from them as the RC car guys do.

 I'm afraid thats about as much as I know, and chances are I will forget to drop back in to your fine forum.
 I do have a few Kyosho boards put away for my O scale std gauge and wish someone would design a bluetooth receiving DCC decoder so I could play trains from my mobile phone!
 Good luck and keep at it paving the way forward in the world of model railway control!
Cheers,
 Mark K
 



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Modelling Tasmanian 2' gauge at the speed of continental drift.
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