radio control of Gn locos

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michael
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radio control of Gn locos

Postby michael » Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:10 pm

Because I saw in the Trade section the thread about this I thought it appropriate to put it here.

I know this might sound strange But I picked up a cheap RC model car for one of my sons many years ago and after it was discarded by him, I converted the little RC unit to run in an Loco in the garden. Basically only the receiver and switching forward and reverse were used, no speed control (it was very slow anyway.)

I might just use the old unit for a Macton loco now.

Personally I think RC for a single or even a couple of locos is not a bad Idea. In many respects it is a bit more prototypical that electricity from a two rail system. Ie independent power than from the rails, with only two rails.
I have seen RC choppers for as little as $25 and cars for even less. The components are small these days.

Not that I know much about RC but I think there is a lot of potential there, Pun intended :)
Regards Michael
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:14 pm

Biggest problem with cheap radio control is speed and torque. If the RC vehicle runs slowly then OK, there is a chance. A RC controlled tracked vehicle might be best.
Another problem, is limited frequencies, so potential of interference at exhibitions. We found that one of the RC control units as used at Rainhill for the APA layout, did not seem to work very well. Put it down to something in the building. Otherwise I think it an excellent idea, especially with sound added.
Playmobil introduced their RC system a few years ago. Speed control could be better, but it had a chipped system so several locos could be controlled in same area. Similar idea is used in some battle tank models(toys?)
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(Simon D.),
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Postby Artizen » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:04 pm

You mean this sort of thing?

http://www.nitrorcx.com/txforrcca.html
http://www.amazon.com/Maisto-Rock-Crawl ... B003ML36HI

Or watch the RC lorry on the end of the line layout by Giles.
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Postby michael » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:43 pm

Regards Michael

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Postby Toeffelholm » Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:17 am

Hi,

As I already wrote somewhere here, I operate my locos with 2,4 Ghz RC (Spektrum). No interferences, no disturbances, no problems with other RC users.

Here's my actual loco project

http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=4770&forum_id=17

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Postby KEG » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:04 am




Great idea, my hamster always wanted a flying Gn15 loco.


Have Fun

Juergen

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Postby KEG » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:07 pm

Another problem, is limited frequencies, so potential of interference at exhibitions


That was a problem sometimes with the old 29 and 40 Mhz transmitters.
You had only a limited number of channels.

On exibitions there was a central clipboard with the channel numbers. So when you wanted to run something, you picked up the clip with the number and mounted it to the antenna of your transmitter.

Today most people use 2,4 Ghz technology for RC. You have an infinite number of channels. Transmitter and receiver choose a free channel via binding. So interference is almost impossible.

It does not make too much sense anymore, to take apart cheap Chinese junk toys. Most of the time the electronic parts will be too large to fit into a Gn15 loco anyway.

So if you want something reliable and long lasting, get the parts which fit your motors and needs. It will save you lot of frustration and time.

Have Fun

Juergen

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Postby KEG » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:16 pm

Toeffelholm Juergen is working on a new transmitter case:

http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=5092&forum_id=45

Some might remember his first design: http://www.die-feldbahnsinnigen.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=708&sid=c6793bdd10a42f3e0cdbe6f17954b642

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Postby Adrian » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:55 am

G'day All
Today most people use 2,4 Ghz technology for RC. You have an infinite number of channels. Transmitter and receiver choose a free channel via binding. So interference is almost impossible.

I have always had trouble believing this so I did some research on the 'net and found that at least one manufacturer recommends that no more than 15 units be operated in close proximity at one time.
This makes sense as too many radio waves filling the air must interfere with each other in some way.
All in all though, a lot better than when I first started to play with RC and there was just a single on/off channel between a valve transmitter and a valve receiver and only one radio channel available, total :shock:
I do realise that a single Gn15 layout is unlikely to have a dozen or more locos, although it is possible, but I build my layouts for exhibition use and I have been to exhibitions that have had RC boats, planes, cars and trains all working in the same hall all at the same time. Plus gas powered cars just outside. ( I would have loved to be able to visualise the radio waves floating around there at that time :? :? )
That being said I do have a garden railway, which is, to say the least, not portable and the loco's for that will have radio on 27MHz (taken from a RC car, maybe using the steering channel to change the speed) and 433MHz using modules from a local electronics supplier. (The transmitter is half built at this time.)
But for my exhibition layouts I shall stick to hard-wiring with the possibility of infra red as a remote control.
So it is, as always, a case of different horses for different courses.

By the way Juergen I really like your transmitter cases ..... especially the steam punk one.

Cheers
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Postby KEG » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:01 am

This makes sense as too many radio waves filling the air must interfere with each other in some way.


Wireless PCs, Cell Phones, remote garage and car doors seem not to interfere with each other.

20 years ago, when I ran my garden railroad with a Aristocraft 27 Mhz Train Engineer, it sometimes happened, that a loco started to move, when a kid in the the neighbourhood was playing with his RC racing car.

Today we are talking about 2,4 Ghz technology, meanwhile used by a few million modellers around this globe.

The main advantage with Battery / RC in model locomotives is, you don´t have to polish or wire your track. And you can programm the electronioc parts to get optimal (slow) running features.

By the way Juergen I really like your transmitter cases ..... especially the steam punk one.


Thanks, but I did not design or built those transmitters. It was Toeffelholm Juergen, a friend of mine.

Have fun

Juergen

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Postby Adrian » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:15 am

G'day Juergen,
Wireless PCs, Cell Phones, remote garage and car doors seem not to interfere with each other.

I have actually seen three cars unlock themselves at the same time when a guy pressed his key-ring 'thingy'.
Also, in the majority of cases, most of those radio 'things' are not operating in tight groups.
I normally operate my layouts, at exhibitions, in close proximity to up to fifty other layouts.
The chances of interaction in that case would be a lot higher :shock: Assuming, of course, that all the layouts use radio :!:
It has been well documented in the Digitrax forum that although a number of large radio Digitrax layouts can happily operate together if a NCE layout starts up chaos ensues :shock:
And if two NCE layouts are operating nobody plays trains :!:

I do realize that 2.4 GHz is a lot more forgiving but I think that even that might be prone to interference if enough units are close together.
If I was not planning to attend exhibitions I would gladly use it as a preferred form of control.
In fact I don't expect to need to wire up my garden railway at all.

I also realize, as you say, that the big advantage of RC (or infra red control) and batteries is the lack of track cleaning and the slow speed performance.

Thanks, but I did not design or built those transmitters. It was Toeffelholm Juergen, a friend of mine.

It really doesn't matter who actually built those controllers ..... they really do look cool. I really like them.

Have a good day
Adrian Hoad

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Postby KEG » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:26 am

Also, in the majority of cases, most of those radio 'things' are not operating in tight groups.


I spend a lot of time inside public transport. It seems, almost everybody has plugs in the ears and is polishing little flat tablets. And even there, my stoneage cell phone seems to work.

It is difficult to exchange informations with someone who does not use RC
and people which actual favour and use RC systems for years. IR did not work too reliable for us on our larger exibition layouts.

There might by systems out there, which disturb each other. I know of Massoth and Train Line 45 which used to have the same frequenzies. G-45 I am referring to.

For my 240 x 60 cm desktop layout I do not need battery / RC. But reliable controllers which allow me to do some slow shunting with cheap toytrain drives.
But the Toeffelholm / KEG Layout will be approx 8 Metres long. Too long or a single operator nailed to a stationary controller.

Have Fun

Juergen

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Postby Adrian » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:10 am

G'day Juergen
From the guidelines of the MODEL AERONAUTICAL ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA.... 2.4 GHz equipment policy.
http://www.maaa.asn.au/maaa/mop/policy/ ... IPMENT.pdf

Quote...... In response to a specific question one manufacturer with mature products has advised “there are no restrictions but we recommend a maximum 15 units in operation simultaneously”.
This should be seen as a commentary on the effects of the increasing noise floor with multiple transmitters rather than offering a comparison between different products......end of quote


Admittedly this is in regard to controlling flying machines some capable of high speed that can inflict considerable damage if control is lost ..... but there must be SOME reason that the manufacturer has chosen to issue that statement.

With a model railway the only damage expected would be either to one's ego or maybe a few scratches on the rolling stock so I can see that maybe more transmitters could be used in an exhibition environment as there would be little danger to human life.
However I expect that there may be some level of interference of one sort or another, especially since 2.4GHz is not a frequency devoted exclusively to radio control.

So for a 'lone' user I can see that radio, in any of its wide range of options, is a suitable control mechanism I still believe that 2.4GHz radio, IN AN EXHIBITION ENVIRONMENT, could be problematical :shock:

But only time and experience will tell.

Cheers
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Radio Control

Postby Catweasel » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:16 am

http://www.micronradiocontrol.co.uk/index.html

These are the people to see I think. I've used them in 16 mm scale,which may seem strange,but some loco's are small even in that scale. Think of O&K's,Planets etc. There's not a lot of space to conceal batteries,let alone radio gear. Gn15 is even more of a challenge to conceal. Conventional radio gear works well on the bigger stuff though.
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Postby KEG » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:22 pm

In the UK I´d have a look here: http://www.deltang.co.uk/

The parts are very small. I like the small transmitter. I customized the look of mine slightly:


Image


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Juergen

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Postby Artizen » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:31 pm

I have just placed an order for a complete system from Bernard of The Model Works Australia for RC to do some of my 1:24 (Gn15) layout and also fix the problems with my battery operated 1:13.7 loco. Unfortunately he does not have a website (I met him at the recent NG Convention in Melbourne) but if anyone is interested, the complete system is $155 AUS which is everything except the chassis to get you going. As I already have too many chassis for the 1:24 layout, I have also purchased two receiver packs so I can finally build my aerocar and steam powered tram.

If anyone from this end of the planet wants more info, you can email him at themodelworks@ozemail.com.au. Bernard built the two diesels for Nick Ogden (on Finescale forum) and is active on there.
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Postby KEG » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:32 am

Bernard built the two diesels for Nick Ogden (on Finescale forum) and is active on there.


A link or a few pictures might be helpful.

Have Fun

Juergen

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Postby gfadvance » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:53 am

Here is the link to the thread, including some pics, bare in mind these are 1/35 scale.

http://www.finescalerr.com/smf/index.php?topic=2109.0

This is the company who ,along with Bernard , developed and supplied the R/c bits

http://www.deltang.co.uk/

And my own thread giving some idea of the size of the units

http://www.finescalerr.com/smf/index.php?topic=2110.0
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Postby Artizen » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:00 pm

I'm a registered subscriber to finescale forum and haven't seen either of those threads! Thanks for posting. Even though my main interest at the moment in 1:24, the Bachmann Davenports will remain DCC and the Katie has already been chipped and simply doesn't have the room for RC so a couple of new playthings will be built hopefully using a chassis I have asked Bernard to build so I can top it off.

And yes, Juergen, if I could post photos, I would!
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Postby david colley jnr » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:49 am

Glad to see the interest in RC. I saw the potential last year after seeing one of the deltang Rx's on a finger nail.
If you're looking for Lipo's or chargers try Hobbyking. Dirt cheap, think I paid about £2 each for some 350mah 1s and the chargers are also fairly cheap. They will also sell all the fancy connectors in the component section.
Just be careful to choose your local warehouse and make sure there is stock otherwise you will be waiting forever to either get it shipped from china(?) or for it to be made. I'm now 4 month into a wait for some propellers!
Check out the website,

www.sherwoodforestrailway.com

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Postby KEG » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:44 am

Dirt cheap, think I paid about £2 each for some 350mah


You won´t get very far with 350 mAh in a Gn15 loco.
Did you ever actually try it?

Have Fun

Juergen

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Postby david colley jnr » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:43 am

I've been too tied up in the world of 1:1 modelling... :roll:
The lipo I mentioned was just an example of one I bought and used.
Looking at the forum Gordon mentioned found this
Using the 300mah batteries we have regularly achieved 7 hours of use.

So I guess it wasn't capacity, more the physical size you was worried about, so a quick search found http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=37550 which is an 80mah at a whopping 30mm long by 7mm dia - £0.78
or http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=37310 which is a 270mah at 56mm long by 8mm dia. Same price. 78 pence.
Thought it may help someone.

David
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