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'Battery Powered Radio Control' - Components & Size Info.
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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2012 08:15 pm
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dan3192
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Woodie - If it works for you, that's all that counts.  Just read an interesting Eneloop claim...using 286,807 of their batteries equals 1,086,138,109 "use & toss" batteries!

Mr. Greene, we're going green!

Dan

"Why is there never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over?"  - Unknown

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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2012 05:16 pm
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dan3192
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Gentlemen (Ladies too, if you're reading this):

I posted the following comment on the mrhmag.com forum...



Open Architecture - One More Time!
Sat, 2012-05-05 21:10 — dan3192

I'd like to address some recent comments, which I feel are misleading. 

The RC experts advise me that running two or three engines together is accomplished by binding the receivers in the two or three engines to the same transmitter. This requires using the same type engines and electronics, i.e., an F7A + two F7B's, an E8A + E8B, three GP9's, etc, etc.  I have absolutely no problem running this way. BTW, telemetry is just being introduced, for real-time monitoring of engine performance.  

The fact that the Railpro system deals with this scenario is a real plus for DCC fans, and I would not hesitate to recommend their cab control to anyone looking to upgrade their system. The Tam Valley and NWSL/Stanton cab control systems are also worthy enhancements for DCC operation. Please understand, my position on radio control is based on not having invested in DCC, which gives me the freedom to choose what I think is best for me. 

But isn't DCC, in of itself, a system with a closed architecture, and much like the 800 pound gorilla mentioned previously? Is it possible to concede that operating without power or signals in your track has advantages? Or that using only one stick to move your engine forwards or backwards and operate switches also has some merits? A study I made about a year ago showed that those that operate with a radio transmitter watch their trains almost 100% of the time compared to those using conventional DC or DCC controls.  

I believe radio control for model trains is in its infancy, and we are presently only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Trust me when I say the radio control guys, who race cars and fly airplanes, are 10-15 years ahead of us model railroaders in controlling our models. With thousands of suppliers and sub-suppliers, here and around the world, radio control is a highly universal system, with much compatibility, using technology we are yet to borrow to run our trains.

...and got the following response...


Closed? system...
Sat, 2012-05-05 23:25 — Benny

But isn't DCC, in of itself, a system with a closed architecture, and much like the 800 pound gorilla mentioned previously?
Well, lets see...if i want to build a decoder, all I need to do is design it following the communication protocol already in effect and build it. My decoder will work on a Lenz system, a Digitrax system, an MRC system, and a Soundtrax system.  Hmm.  I think maybe you and I have a different Idea what constitutes "closed" system.

Now there is a company who has tried to make the DCC world Convert to it's way - DCS.  And now you see the result: MTH now produces products that are more compliant with DCC than they ever were before.  I guess you could say MTH has learned it's lesson, and now listens tot he market, rather than trying to force the market into their cube.

The RC experts advise me that running two or three engines together is accomplished by binding the receivers in the two or three engines to the same transmitter. This requires using the same type engines and electronics, i.e., an F7A + two F7B's, an E8A + E8B, three GP9's, etc, etc.
And in Model Railroading, this way of thinking is unacceptable.  We run an F7, an E8, and a GP9 all in the same train.  The first unit is made by Athearn, the second unit is made by Walthers, and the third unit, Atlas.  The electronics in the first are Digitrax, the second, Tsunami, and the latter, an old MRC relic.  And yet somehow they all run together, and well, I might add, compared to anything from our past.  This is how the model railroad community thinks!!

Any Serious newcomer to the market will need to recognize this given in the model railroad community: to be readily accepted, their products need to work well with what is already the status quo.  Their decoders will need to be able to work with the old protocol - and their system will need to be able to communicate with the old decoders.  Due to the nature of DCC, this is not difficult if this compatibility it taken into account from step one - it's a dirt simple protocol.

I fully believe Railpro has the potential to become a very real player in the model railroad market, but they are going to have to acknowledge and accept the place present DCC already has here, and work to it's strengths.  Instead of selling systems, they will need to become comfortable with selling Components.  The LM-1 has great speed matching ability; if it was done perfectly, then the LM-1 equipped locomotive would have no issues slaving itself to the standard DCC units in the consist.  Such a product would then be a no brainer; all new units on the layout would be getting LM-1s!!  Otherwise, the LM-1 is just like a DCS decoder.

We'll see where things go...

...Comments? ...Anyone?

 

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 Posted: Tue May 8th, 2012 06:02 pm
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W C Greene
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Comments? No track wiring. No wheel/track cleaning. No fiddly contacts on wheels.

I read the technical and philosophical verbage tossed forth by others, few of whom have actually built anything that approaches true wireless operation, and realize that nothing will change. DCC interface, DCC compatable, DCC acceptable, on and on. Some fellows have embraced the idea, most will still whack the plywood table when the train stops. To each his/her own. It is nice to see discussions on the use of Radio Control with onboard batteries but I fear that it will remain just that-discussions. Of course, I am an old fashioned fogie who doesn't know $%^& about consisting, speed matching, cv's, and programming issues. I will have to be content with running my trains as I have for years, free from techno-speak...just turn the equipment on and become the engineer rather than a fellow who pushes the right buttons.

The above is my opinion...for what it is worth.

Woodie



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 Posted: Tue May 8th, 2012 06:09 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Comments?---OK

As far as I am concerned, I am willing to put up with the unfixable (by me) electronics that radio control with onboard batteries entail, to get rid of the bane of model trains, dirty track.

Other than that, and throw away calculators, there is too much whiz-bang electronics in my life already--and I will not intentionally add any more than I have to- I would be very happy if a lot of it went away. TV? don't watch it. 'puter? each time something happens to the damn thing, I threaten to not replace it. Vehicle electronics? The worst of the bunch--once I get the "61 Willys station wagon done the %~##}@* Honda is going to find a new owner.

Call me a Luddite--I don't care.

Two things, more to the point of your post--

DCC still needs wheel/rail contact

In O scale, I have run (on straight DC) unbelievable lash ups of different performing power units with no problems AT ALL.  Suspect that G scale is the same. No fiddling to get all the units to run the same speed, start at the same voltage, yada, yada.

Not for me.

Herb 



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 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 03:39 am
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tomsullivan
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Comment....ok

In the 80's I ran Mamod live steam engines with RC throttles driving servos for speed control and direction......it was fantastic and a whole lot of fun "running" the engine and looking our for what I was doing track/turnout wise.
In the 90's I went back to HO and ran DCC diesels and no sound.....fantastic and a whole lot of fun running the engine etc......but cleaning track was a constant bummer.
Since 2000 I've been running DCC with sound in On30.....fantastic....etc....but you gotta the track clean or the darn sound system cuts out or recycles and that "kills" the fun......then I started using the newer decoders with capacitors and clean track was less of a problem....but sound is still an issue for now.
Now people start "slinging" RC and batteries into On30 (and smaller) engines and you can now "paint" the track and run your engine...well "like and engineer would". This is really FANTASTIC and has me pretty jazzed.
So, I'm ready to start playing with an RC/battery loco or two an have a ton of fun and I'll wager the techie guys will figure out how to did it easier and easier each year. Guys who have a ton of engines, (I don't as I model narrow gauge) and use DCC will probably stay put because of the investment...just like happened when DCC began and a lot of guys had too many engines to put in decoders...that's what they said at the time anyway....I'll wager the vast majority of them are now DCC users.
RC/battery is the new thing...it has tremendous possibilities for guys like me in narrow gauge....track can look like "narrow gauge" track full of ups and downs and wiggles....in and out of shallow streams like they were doing in WV logging lines......I'm sold.
tom sullivan

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 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 07:17 pm
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Sullivan
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tomsullivan wrote:  ...it has tremendous possibilities for guys like me in narrow gauge....track can look like "narrow gauge" track full of ups and downs and wiggles....in and out of shallow streams like they were doing in WV logging lines...

Interesting you mention running through streams. There was a time...way back when...that I was asking the same question using conventional DC. How could we simulate that sight? Cutting grooves through the fake water came to mind but never seemed particularly correct; still needed contact with the rails.

Even RC seems to raise the same concern. I have no plans to use real water on a section of the railroad. Granted, it would definitely work and be cool to see in action. Water just doesn't miniaterize very well and would still have the full-size properties.

Food for thought, though perhaps more than a tiny bit off-topic.

Back to the regularly scheduled program...



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 Posted: Thu May 10th, 2012 09:10 pm
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W C Greene
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James-OFF TOPIC HERE-I thought about a real water crossing using an r/c loco and yes, it could be done. HOWEVER, real water gets real nasty quickly and for some reason, casting resin, etc. looks more realistic than the real stuff. Go figure. Now, back to R/C COMPONENT SIZES...

Woodrow-glad that my track isn't wiggly and funky, I just don't know how that would ever work.



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 Posted: Fri May 11th, 2012 01:09 am
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Herb Kephart
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Without the "bow wave" from the wheels pushing the water aside, it would look as real as a 3 dollar bill--just like waves in larger bodies of water do, when modeled.


Herb 


topic---what topic?



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 Posted: Tue May 22nd, 2012 05:49 pm
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dan3192
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Juergen,

You mentioned sound systems and coming up with something for your layout. The following link may be of interest. If not, you might enjoy the artwork.

Dan

http://www.fantasonics.com/store/railroadies/roadies1.html

 

 

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 Posted: Tue May 22nd, 2012 06:09 pm
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W C Greene
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That's a great link and the company could probably supply sound effects for an r/c layout. A device that wouldn't be dependent upon the loco's batteries would be nice. While I am not interested in the sounds, it would be a "game changer" for those who sit on the fence about r/c and want the sound without draining the battery.

Woodie



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