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Wi-Fi & Cellphone Based Loco Radio Control
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 Posted: Wed Oct 7th, 2020 04:19 pm
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Helmut
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Location: Friedberg, Germany
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Hi all,

I came across a WiFi-based system marketed from the UK.

The modules are a completely self-contained unit,
including receiver, motor control and ancillary outputs.

The dimensions are rather moderate
(LxWxH 43x26x10/18/25mm depending upon features)
and the modules operate at a voltage of 3..6V or 6..12V

One uses a cellphone to operate the loco.

The loco forms a unique WLAN access point you log in via WPA2 password.
Then you open the browser and type in the loco name (default  locoremote.co.uk)
An interactive control screen will appear.

No app. or router required.





This is an LGB 'Stainz' I had at hand, to show a possibility of mounting.





The boiler contains the weight and an 3-cell 800mAh Li-Po battery.





I opted for directional light and external sound trigger outputs.

The lamps must be replaced by white LEDs,
the necessary resistors are jumper-selectable on the module.

For control, I used an old iPhone4 lying around.
Android users should use a phone with KitKat or later,
as up to Jellybeans the built-in browser will not display the interface.

Control is by intermittently touching the display to notch up/down in 5% increments.

You can use the preset '1st or 2nd Gear',
to automatically accelerate to 60% or 100% of top speed, at a rate of ~5%/sec.

Although you have 'only' 20 speed steps, the internal resolution is higher,
and can be seen when using the automatic options.

There is a status feedback of battery voltage and achieved speed,
aside from a colour change of the other control tabs,
giving a positive indication of received commands.




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 Posted: Thu Oct 8th, 2020 07:11 am
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davecttr
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Thanks for the information.

This looks interesting,
and I think I will buy one for testing.

It is a bit large for OO scale,
but my diesel locos have lots of space inside.




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Dave
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 Posted: Thu Oct 8th, 2020 03:18 pm
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davecttr
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That was quick,
ordered this morning and in the post this afternoon.

I understand it is designed for large scale garden railways etc,
but as it will fit in one of my OO scale Class 37 diesel locos,
why not try it?

I intend to use a 3-cell Li-Po battery giving up to 12.6 Volts,
and an Android smartphone.

Need to get some of those mini inline fuses though.




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Dave
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 Posted: Fri Oct 9th, 2020 08:39 am
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fallen
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This looks very interesting.

Please let us know how you get on Dave.

Frank


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 Posted: Fri Oct 9th, 2020 03:53 pm
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Helmut
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I think this is a good control system for those who love their cellular,
and IMHO it is suited for scales from '0' upwards.

On their website they also show some nice Gn15 applications, too.

In addition to my writings, here's a photo of the loco
(less gear, was fitted afterwards) complete for operation.

I tested it outside on my terrace on a rainy day,
hiding behind a bush and a wall some 30' distance from it, 
and could only see it on a part of the track.

The connection stayed stable.
 
I got indication of speed and light status,
and was able to check on that short stretch whether it was fake news or not.
It was true.







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 Posted: Sat Oct 10th, 2020 11:16 pm
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Bob Walker
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In the U.S. there is a system called 'LocoFi',

which is Wi-Fi based and uses Android cellphones or tablets.


I have tried it out and it works well.


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 Posted: Sun Oct 11th, 2020 10:48 am
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Helmut
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Of course there are several systems on the market,

each with its own merits ( and drawbacks ).


So have a look at it and decide for yourself:

https://www.wifimodelrailroad.com/




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 Posted: Wed Oct 21st, 2020 04:00 pm
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Bob D
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Pretty slick.


What's the maximum Amp rating of the board?

I don't think any of my O-scale engines are over 2A, maybe 2-1/4A


I know the BlueRail 2A board works,

but I did have 1 engine that would "brown out" if I wasn't careful.




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O-SCALE BPRC
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 Posted: Wed Oct 21st, 2020 07:29 pm
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davecttr
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3 basic versions:

1.6A for 3 - 6V

2A for up to 12V

Also a 2-motor 12V version.


I hoped to run some tests today,

but ended up repairing double glazing instead.




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 Posted: Wed Oct 21st, 2020 07:50 pm
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Bob D
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Thanks Dave.

Most of what I run have motors that pull 1/2 to 3/4 Amp at most,
and I use 9.6v 2000mAh Ni-Mh battery packs in my O-scale engines,
along with a few 12v and 11.1v 2200mAh Li-Pos.

I was surprised that the Williams/Samhongsa brass N&W Class J 4-8-4 weighing in at 14lbs,
hasn't blown/tripped a fuse yet, but it's one of the smoothest, slow running engines I have.

I'm currently using the DelTang Rx65 in all my O-scale engines.


But I have 3 Bluerail boards also.

1 was in a Weaver RS3,
the other was in a Williams E7,
and the 3rd is still in my Bachmann G-scale 4-6-0 Annie.


With the DelTang units impossible to find,
I'm having to reuse the 2 Bluerail boards in 2 new projects I have,
a Williams brass USRA 2-8-2 and a MTH diecast 4-8-4

But I'm always looking for options.




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BobD
O-SCALE BPRC
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