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A new idea for Radio Control from Australia - Maybe
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 Posted: Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 06:34 pm
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Stanton
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Hi Dwayne,

My viewpoint is similar to yours. In a burst of enthusiasm (now abated) I set up a Web site http://www.semimanmade.com that you may visit to see what I was doing. Last major update was 2008 and the link was broken for a few days; but is now repaired.

It still reflects my current philosophy and I'm finding some manufacturers that are supportive of "model bashing" as you call it. We need manufacturers, they need a mass-market to survive. There are a few companies that will listen to modelers with unique requirements, but they can't afford to be distracted form their core business.

As you say, self-reliance is a virtue.

Good luck with your model-bashing.

Neil.

 

 



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 Posted: Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 07:31 pm
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Dwayne
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Neil, I think many of us on this forum have this approach... of hovering over readily available products like vultures seeking components to use to build our own models, be they engines, buildings or whatnot.

With regards to the entire RC issue I find it amusing that so many are waiting on a ready made product. As Woodie has been saying for sometime... the products already exist, just do it by gathering up the seperate components and cramming them into a lokie. It may not look pretty at first, but part of the fun is to go back and refine until an acceptable result occurs.

Granted that RC in the smaller scales is much more of a challenge than for me working in 1:17 scale. But as Woodie has shown, it can be done if a modeler is willing to look beyond the box of model railroad manufacturers.

My biggest challenge is sourcing material for my creations while driving a Kenworth around the countryside. I'm severely limited to places I can access because of size contraints. But even more so by time constraints. I wish I had the luxury of going to my local hobby shop and buying what I need. I simply don't have the time. My 'hobby shops' for my 1:17 scale modeling efforts are big box hardware stores and Wally World... as well as the truckstops I spend time in.

Then of course I have constraints on my workshop, which is nothing more than an aluminum briefcase style toolbox available at the same big box stores mentioned.

In my world, everything has to be compact enough to fit inside this truck. My 'computer' is my iPhone. Typing takes a bit longer (especially long posts like this one)... but where there's a will there's a way. :)



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 Posted: Tue Jun 29th, 2010 03:44 pm
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W C Greene
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I know of only one company (besides All-Trol) which has any plans for radio control in smaller scales. CVP Products here in Dallas is one of the pioneers in dcc, the owner-Keith Guiterrez-was building dcc systems when others in the hobby thought he was crazy.."it will never replace dc!" But now who's laughing? Well, CVP has a large scale r/c system (Airwire) and is trying to do small stuff. The problem is that the large boards for big trains can be made by little old ladies and a production line but the tiny stuff needs to be done with robotics...lots and lots of money and possibility of making money off guys who now say "it will never replace dcc!". Companies like Bachmann, etc. have not answered any questions about radio control and whatever happened to Crest (Aristo Craft) and their "r/c system" which was touted and promoted back a couple of years ago? That has all seemed to have sunk in the quagmire. Most model railroaders feel that "wireless" is here now...wireless throttles to run their dc or dcc trains on layouts that HAVE to be wired and most of those throttles are using infra-red transmission so when you adjust the speed of the loco, your TV might change channels also. There's a difference between wireless and radio control. And of course, there's the Bluetooth, PC, cellphone throttles that are talked about now. I will not run my trains with a cellphone and I still think Bluetooth is something that the dentist takes care of. Still, we (everybody else) wait for that new thing, some have blasted me for using r/c car stuff (on another website), I should be waiting also...life is too damn short to wait for something as trival as a way to control toy trains. To those who wait, tomorrow may never come...do it today!

The above comments do not reflect the views of the big guns here, but at least they allow me to go crazy once in a while.

                            Woodie



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 Posted: Tue Jun 29th, 2010 09:19 pm
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Stanton
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I agree Woodie, the radio scene (excluding wireless throttles) does not attract much vendor attention.

All-Trol's web site does not say much about their product. I suspect the radio communication protocol (message format) is proprietary. Bill (Gardenville) can you help me with this. Am I right or wrong?

Aristocraft seems to have departed the radio scene. Their focus was G-scale where space is not a problem.

GWire (http://www.qsisolutions.com) and Airwire (http://www.cvpusa.com) use similar technology from Linx Technologies (http://www.linxtechnologies.com) and I believe they use NMRA DCC message protocol, ie: an open standard that is essential for broad market appeal.  NCE (http://www.ncedcc.com) cooperated on the GWire product by adapting their ProCab for direct radio transmission. It does not appear in NCE's catalog, but is available by special request.

The core of these products is Linx Technologies HP3 Series transmitters and receivers. These are excellent products, but expensive and bulky when engineering a decoder to compete with non-radio products where the street price is less than $20. It's not so bad in the CAB where prices are $150 and higher.

Why choose such an expensive radio? Answer: It provides a choice of 100 different radio frequencies.

Why is this important? Answer: Two radios transmitting on the same frequency will interfere with each other. IE; the communication will fail.

Now, this is a big deal for club layouts with 15 operators using 15 CABs. It's of no consequence for 1 or 2 operators. Why? first point: It's downright rude to use a radio that transmits continuously. (No one would do that would they?). So, being good citizens, our radios only transmit long enough to send a DCC message, which is less than 0.01 seconds. Actually, it's a good idea to repeat the messge several times for reliability. So let's say 0.05 (1/20th) second of transmission time.

Conclusion: 2 or 3 operators are unlikely to interfere with each other except on rare occasions, in which case they retransmit (but not at the same time!).

The punch line:

Most of us don't need a choice of 100 frequencies. Happily, Linx Tech has their ES Series; same technology, single message frequency, smaller and less expensive.

I've been using ES series for 3 years as the basis of my radio control, which is described in a forthcoming issue of AMRM. (By the way, this idea started in Seattle, It just happened to be published in Australia.)

As far as I can determine, GWire, AirWire and Stanton feed DCC to a Linx Tech radio (instead of the track) and pick it up (from the air) using a Linx receiver in the loco.

Neil.

 

 

 

 



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 Posted: Mon Jul 18th, 2011 11:11 am
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Radio-Rob
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Hi all just a quick hello from a new user who is also working very hard at bringing radio to loco control.

I am based in the UK and have carried out plenty of development work on a radio control system for model railways.

By trade I am a RF designer so have designed my own radio transceiver for the loco and handset.

I would be delighted to see if there is sufficient interest from you guys in the work I am doing?


I am working to 4mm scale (oo).

 

Rob

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 Posted: Mon Jul 18th, 2011 12:58 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Rob-

There are a handful here of R/C'ers who actually use radio

But there seems to be a lot of interest- look at the number of "hits" on the R/C threads

So, I would say that if you are looking for a spot to describe what you are doing, and have accomplished--this is it.

So have at it Mate!

Herb



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 Posted: Mon Jul 18th, 2011 01:07 pm
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Radio-Rob
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Hi Herb,

Thanks for the warm welcome :) I have designed a module that plugs into a DCC socket and it contains a radio chip plus a microcontroller. I should add this is not an off the shelf radio design it is my own custom design. The module also contains the circuit to drive a motor of up to 1 Amp.

The module measures 29mm x 29mm x 3mm.

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 Posted: Mon Jul 18th, 2011 01:20 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Rob-

Woodie and some of his friends use 27 MHz R/C car equipment--I started with this also.

Bill Fornshell has experimented with a number of different systems

I am using Niel Stanton's- a poster here- setup.

But I think that I can speak for all in saying that anything that promotes R/C control is very much of interest.

Eventually, any radio gear will have to become small enough to fit inside a N scale loco--but that will come--when enough people see the advantage of radio.

Right now, batteries are the limiting thing, space-wise.


Herb 



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 Posted: Mon Jul 18th, 2011 02:43 pm
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Radio-Rob
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Herb,

I have done some work on N scale and yes its a challenge but its not impossible just needs much smaller components which when designing radio is actually a bonus!

Rob

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 Posted: Mon Jul 18th, 2011 03:05 pm
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W C Greene
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Howdy Rob, welcome to Freerails. Keep working, I would like to hear about new developments and anything that can fit into N scale would work in larger "critters". A good friend of mine did stuff r/c into an N scale A B A F-unit lashup pulling 10 passenger cars. When he took it to his club, nobody..NOBODY was even the slightest bit interested. My friend was so upset that he took out the r/c stuff and installed it in an On30 loco. Now, the local On30 group has "growing" interest in r/c, quite diferent than what they thought about 8 years ago when I showed them my r/c On30 locos. Somebody muttered "get a rope"...
Woodie



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