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Tam Valley no longer in deadrail.
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 Posted: Thu Oct 26th, 2017 05:16 am
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bobquincy
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@Woodie

I have built HO and N scale models with 27 and 75 MHz radios, my only problem with those frequencies is there is not enough space to allow an efficient antenna. With a 1/4 wave antenna they worked great, especially at the distance we require.
Antenna length is the reason I started using 900 MHz and later 2.4 GHz. There is always room for a 31 mm antenna! ;)

boB



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 Posted: Sun Oct 29th, 2017 02:07 pm
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davecttr
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From the Tam Valley site third party(s) are interested in continuing the deadrail stuff



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 Posted: Sun Oct 29th, 2017 05:32 pm
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Bob D
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OK,
For those of us already singing in the choir, it’s a no-brainer.  But for folks who read our musings and want to try it, where do they start if they want to go with off-the-shelf equipment???
We need to publish the requirements for each component of a BPRC system, not just that you need a Tx, Rx, and battery...that tells them nothing they don’t already know.
Keeping in mind the different scales (space and weight of each scale), what does each component need in order to work.
Motors, brushed or brushless.
Rx and ESC, number of channels, brushed/brushless, reverse, amperage.  It’s my understanding the voltage and current requirements of the ESC have to meet the requirements of the motor, the Rx doesn’t.  My 14lb Williams 4-8-4 requires more amperage than an HO version of the same engine.
Add to this battery size, lighting, and charging requirements then we may be able to get more converts willing to give it a go.



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 Posted: Sun Oct 29th, 2017 10:18 pm
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jtrain
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That's a great idea Bob!

The primer would need to have:

>Comparison between many manufacturer's systems in an objective manner.  Not "x is better than y because I said so".  Unless a system really is garbage, there's no need for subjective rhetoric.
>Detailed directions on installation and specifications for each system.
>An easy to understand article about batteries and their different requirements.
>Articles detailing how different throttles operate including R/C car and R/C airplane transmitters as they relate to trains.
>An article about electricity requirements including the motor, lights, sound and other "functions" like those found in DCC systems.

The only problem is that no one person will be able to make such a primer unless they devote themselves a couple of years labor.  I would do it, but aside from the electrical jargon, I don't know enough yet to make informative articles on the subject. That and budget.  It's expensive to buy the basic components of every system, it's far cheaper to find one and stick to it.

--James

Last edited on Sun Oct 29th, 2017 10:20 pm by jtrain



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 Posted: Sun Oct 29th, 2017 10:51 pm
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bobquincy
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I have looked at using DCC decoders with a wireless transmission system. One sticky point is the DCC decoder specification requires a minimum of +/- 7 volts so the system in the train would require at least that voltage and we would have to boost the receiver output (from a typical 0-3.7 ?) to the higher voltage bipolar signal.

The DRS book shows how to do this but it sure would be easier if a DCC decoder worked at 3.7 V so we could run the trains with a single cell. :)

To that end, there are some articles on how to make a DCC decoder using a PIC...

Last edited on Sun Oct 29th, 2017 10:53 pm by bobquincy



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 Posted: Sun Oct 29th, 2017 11:36 pm
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Bernd
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Hi guys. I haven't been on Freerails in quite some time. When I saw that Tam Valley was going to stop selling their "Dead Rails" equipment on another site I thought I'd stop by and see what's going on here since this site has more discussion on R/C.One thing I've observed from the discussions on other sites about R/C is the lack of knowledge on how they work. I started with the Deltang system back in Oct 2012 when I asked David about his R/C system.

 LINK:http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=4451&forum_id=45&page=2 Post #12

 I went and looked for my thread on building the crane here on Freerails. I had a slight problem with my ISP and never got to finish updating the pictures. That's why many aren't showing up. Hopefully I can remedy that soon. I do have a web page up on building the crane using a Deltan R/C system. That also needs to be updated. To many pictures to load all at once. It takes a bit of time for the pages to load.

 LINK: http://www.kingstonemodelworks.com/crane.html 

Anyway, on to the threads topic. How many know what the frequency is that's being used by Tam Valley? Reason I ask is that it never comes up in the discussion about any R/C system that are out there now. Both Ring Engineering, Stanton, and CVP use the high end MHz band width. Ring Engineering can not be sold in Canada, at least as of last check. Tam Valley uses 869MHz and 916MHz. I believe they do not need FCC certification to use these frequencies, but can not sell them outside the US because they are not certified. The 4.2 and 5 GHz frequencies are a world wide use for Bluetooth and WiFi. So any new equipment that will interface with DCC should use one of those two frequencies. 

Bernd 

Last edited on Mon Oct 30th, 2017 12:17 am by Bernd

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 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2017 06:11 am
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bobquincy
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@Bernd,

As far as I can tell all of Region 2 (North and South America) is ok with ISM radio on 916 MHz and 2.4 GHz.  Microflight/Plantraco sell their 900 MHz system in Canada ( it may help that they are based in Canada) and 868 MHz in Europe.

I agree that 5.4 GHz would be the way to go although the 2.4 GHz band may end up being less crowded if there is a mass shift to 5.4 GHz.  Our systems don't need the extra bandwidth.

boB

Last edited on Mon Oct 30th, 2017 06:12 am by bobquincy



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 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2017 05:43 pm
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Bob D
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jtrain wrote: That's a great idea Bob!

The primer would need to have:

>Comparison between many manufacturer's systems in an objective manner.  Not "x is better than y because I said so".  Unless a system really is garbage, there's no need for subjective rhetoric.
>Detailed directions on installation and specifications for each system.
>An easy to understand article about batteries and their different requirements.
>Articles detailing how different throttles operate including R/C car and R/C airplane transmitters as they relate to trains.
>An article about electricity requirements including the motor, lights, sound and other "functions" like those found in DCC systems.

The only problem is that no one person will be able to make such a primer unless they devote themselves a couple of years labor.  I would do it, but aside from the electrical jargon, I don't know enough yet to make informative articles on the subject. That and budget.  It's expensive to buy the basic components of every system, it's far cheaper to find one and stick to it.

--James

James, I hear ya :Salute:

All the answers are probably right here on this forum, but extracting them out of the weeds can be hard work :bang:

There's going to be different levels of "know how" in this too.  For someone who wants to build their drive system from the ground up, they have to know motor specs, gear ratios, etc.  Those wanting to convert from a conventionally powered engine (older Athearn or Lionel) need to know what will fit and how to be a machinist.

All my conversions have been in O scale, either old E-unit or more modern TMCC, and PS2 systems, most involved reusing the existing cables/connectors on the rear of the steam boiler and trying to find a spot to place the on/off switch and charging jack.  A few I had to Dremel out a spot to mount the connector, on diesels it's not an issue unless you're running multiple engines lashed together (which I don't).  While you don't have to know how a Tx or Rx works internally, you do have to know what connections do what and how to solder.

Most will probably want a RTR engine where they don't have to do anything but put it on the tracks.  We can't help those, only the manufacturers can.  Until one of them offers the general public a RTR BPRC engine this will stay on the sidelines and not become mainstream.  Hopefully that will soon change.

  As with anything, there will always be those that will have issues and blame the system instead of trying to understand what it is they're doing.  Some will keep tinkering until they manage to break it, when they should have just left it alone.

LEDs by themselves can kick people's butts if they don't take the time to understand them.  I actually have a 3.6v lithium battery I use to determine the polarity of LEDs before I connect them (mainly because my eyesight isn't the best in the world).

What I see is folks who have a load of engines currently equipped with the latest command control system saying how expensive it would be to convert.  Thing is if they even want to try all they have to do is convert a single engine, which can be run along side their existing setup.  When I started my conversions I started by converting older, conventionally equipped engines, then once I made the decision to go whole hog I converted the engines that had command control systems.

The one spoiler is SOUND.  The sound systems in these modern engines are really nice, sounds specific to an engine are the name of the game.  For a lot of folks, if it doesn't have sound (and smoke) they aren't buying.  The first manufacturer that offers BPRC with onboard sound will get the ball rolling.  Conductive recharging between (not thru) the rails (think refueling track) and the batteries (like in a cordless toothbrush) will also help push BPRC into the mainstream.



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 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2017 09:12 pm
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jtrain
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Batteries still need to get smaller and better though, they just take up too much space in HO scale to share room with all the circuitry, sound speakers, weights, and drive mechanism for a unit to be completely self contained.

And sure, primers could also be made for the scratch builder, but generally I think what's needed is an easy to read article or articles about installing R/C systems into analog and DCC equipped locomotives.

--James



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 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2017 10:37 pm
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Bob D
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I might have to convert one of my older Athearn HO Geeps just to see what it will take. All I'd need is motor and directional, constant lighting. As I recall there isn't a lot of room inside.



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