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Not radio control?
 Moderated by: W C Greene Page:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  
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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2018 02:55 pm
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davecttr
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In January's edition of Railway Modeller here in the UK they have the first of a 2 part article on INFRA RED control for battery powered locos. I just can't see the logic of buying an inferior system!!

The company is Red Arrow - http://www.A1micromotive.co.uk



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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2018 04:51 pm
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W C Greene
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Well, as long as the engineer is willing to POINT THE STINKIN' TRANSMITTER AT THE LOCO to control it, I suppose it's OK. But it is akin to the "TV clicker" or garage door opener rather than a "proper" r/c system.

Different strokes for different folks...
Woodie



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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2018 05:14 pm
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Helmut
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Some 20+ yrs. ago I developed such a system to be used in F(G) scale trains and it was marketed by Uhlenbrock for some time. It allowed for 32 different addresses, had speed&direction memory and a total of four auxiliary functions, that could be either momentary or toggling. The modulation frequency was such that there was no interference with TV or garage remotes. You could use it outside, but had to be in the vicinity of your loco in bright sunshine ( not altogether senseless because it was intended as a walkaround system ), and by coarsely aiming to your loco, you could operate it from some 20+ mtrs. distance when trees were giving some shadow or at dawn or dusk. Indoors, it wasn't necessary at all to aim at the loco, because the reflections from the room walls were always sufficient to be picked up. Tunnels were covered by repeaters placed at the mouth of them, but normally you left the train running on its own until it reappeared. The drawback is only that when several people are operating at the same time, you may encounter transmission collisions, as there naturally are no different optical frequencies available. So the telegrams have to be very short (~2..5% duty cyle ) thus reducing the collision probability. An IR system can use very small optical receivers compared to what is needed for RF.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2018 08:25 pm
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davecttr
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That is an impressive CV you have there Helmut.

The Red Arrow site makes interesting reading, they also make full size remote loco control systems. I can see why they would market their model based stuff as the development costs are minimised. Maybe in a similar way that DavidT's products are firmly based on the RC aircraft development he had already undertaken. Contrast this with Protocab here in the UK who are developing a system from scratch, using commercial products of course. As a result they are still trailing Deltang in usability and are expensive.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2018 08:31 pm
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Rod Hutchinson
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Am I correct in assuming that infrared control requires pointing a transmitter to receiver as a 'line of sight' requirement'?



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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2018 08:41 pm
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Helmut
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It is all laid out in #3. Indoors, you don't need LOS, outdoors,  you do.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2018 10:02 pm
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bobquincy
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Some of my models are IR, based on Disney's system for their Disneyland Mark VII monorail model. Even with this inexpensive system the reception is good indoors, no need to point the transmitter at anything in particular.

Lego Power Functions also uses IR for speed and direction control. Didel's RADIR is (was?) an interesting IR system with an array of transmitting LEDs. Need more range for outdoors? Add more transmitters! The 16 LED version was impressive.

Koichi Tanaka built and sold a number of tiny IR systems for indoor flight, ultra lightweight.   http://indoor-airplane-world.com/

Last edited on Fri Jan 5th, 2018 10:14 pm by bobquincy



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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2018 10:34 pm
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jtrain
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I don't think Infrared is a bad idea provided a layout is built to maximize it's potential.  However, 2.4Ghz (and for that matter, 916Mhz) are more reliable systems.

You do have to have line of sight, but that's not a problem for walk around layouts, since most people will follow their train anyways.

The biggest issue, as with all radio systems, is potential signal interference.  Even then, it's not the fault of the system, it's the fault of the environment the layout is located in.  But if the environment can't be controlled (such as outdoors), it would make sense to use the most reliable system possible.

Just $0.02 from someone doing a lot of reading.

--James



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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2018 11:58 pm
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Tony Walsham
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In the late 1980's early 90's I did a lot of experimentation with IR.
Neil Dyson is a friend and he designed and built the first commercially available IR for controlling trackside voltage.
Bachmann eventually bought the design rights and very soon after scrapped it.
In that developmental work Neil and I experimented with loco mounted IR Rx/ESC's. They worked well indoors and at night. We could easily get 300' at nightfall. During the day, about 1 x meter if we were lucky.

Last edited on Sat Jan 6th, 2018 12:59 pm by Tony Walsham



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 Posted: Sat Jan 6th, 2018 01:09 pm
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Bob D
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A few years ago Mike's Train House (MTH) came out with their Digital Command System (DCS) Remote Commander Set:

DCS REMOTE COMMANDER SET

For 3-rail DCS engines, but it was infrared.

It worked well, but I found you could bounce the beam off a wall and control the train behind you, that is if the room was small (say 12x12).

I think the range/distance of control is limited.

I like David's Deltang gear better, just wish it was easy to get here in the states.  I tried to order a couple of RX65b receivers from RCTrains yesterday and got the message that they were SOLD OUT :bang:

Hmmm, I just went there to check and I can order 2 with no problem, but if I try ordering 3 it says SOLD OUT?!?!?!



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