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  • Topic: Looking for an R/C system

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    • July 8, 2018 9:50 PM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      Looking for an R/C system

      I was ready to get serious about R/C for the FTRR so I could show off switching operations in the new West End yard at my late September Club Open House. Then the Club president called with a special request. The daughter of a local 99 year old model train fan had never seen a garden railroad and wondered if she could bring Pop over on August 24th to see the FTRR. The answer was, of course, yes but being way behind on too many ambitious projects and with the schedule shortened a month, I realized the following:

      1. The West end yard and my beloved, but homely, Hartland 0-4-0 would not be able to show off switching operations through all the switches (turnouts) with track power
      2. I had done some tinkering with some R/C car leftovers but needed something more useable for trains
      3. I dove in and was very impressed with a UK supplier, Deltang - however -
        1. They are not readily available
        2. The transmitters only come as a kit
        3. Getting operational appears to take a lot of electronical tinkering
      4. So, I am looking for an R/C system that is - 
        1. Reasonably priced
        2. Readily available
        3. Has a knob for very precise speed control
        4. Has sound capability
        5. Requires no more than average ability with electronics

      Nothing to it, right? I am desperate to get going so as not to disappoint my guests. Any suggestions, comments or self-help ideas for procrastinators gratefully accepted.

      Thanks!

    • July 8, 2018 10:10 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Very trust worthy and easy to talk to.

      http://www.gscalegraphics.net/store/c1/Featured_Products.html

       

      edit; the name is for his wife's graphics, he does them too, but he does fine r/c

      This post was edited by John Caughey at July 8, 2018 10:11 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • July 8, 2018 10:15 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      No knob but an excellent value and easy to wire up, sound and motor and receiver all on the same board, the Revolution:

      very precise speed control, up to 1,000 steps from stop to full go.

      www.revoelectronics.com

       

      Greg

       

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at July 8, 2018 10:17 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


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    • July 8, 2018 10:25 PM EDT
      • Branchport, NY
         
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      I agree with Greg. I have several locomotives with Revolution installed.

      Tom

       

    • July 8, 2018 10:29 PM EDT

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      Perhaps this pre-built Deltang based system would be suitable.

      Basic handpiece.

      Full details here Budget priced R/C

      Available from Don Sweet.

      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • July 8, 2018 10:34 PM EDT
      • Saint Helena, CALIFORNIA
         
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      I agree with John.  I have 7 engines using the G Scale Graphics RailBoss 4 system.  It does not have a knob for speed control, but and up/down buttons for control that I find really easy to use and precise.  It has been really easy to convert to battery R/C and "tailor" they system.  My last "electronics" education was back in my first year of college about 50 years ago and the owner's (Del) support is beyond excellent.

    • July 8, 2018 10:39 PM EDT
      • Marysville, Kansas
         
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      I use Airwire.   Has a knob and is a very easy system to hook up.  I have also had great customer service from the company in every aspect.  My son has a Revo, I'm not a fan of how the throttle works myself but it is also easy to hook up.  Those are the two I have experience with.

    • July 9, 2018 9:28 AM EDT
      • Holiday Inn Express, School of train repair
         
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      David Palmeter said:
      1. So, I am looking for an R/C system that is - 
        1. Reasonably priced
        2. Readily available
        3. Has a knob for very precise speed control
        4. Has sound capability
        5. Requires no more than average ability with electronics

      David I use Airwire and like it very much. I think all of the systems mentioned so far are pretty close in cost and performance. It is a small market so cost is driven by small production runs.

      Airwire is manufactured by CVP a company that has been in business since the seventies. They are a corporation not a one man show. Not likely to disappear in the short term. They have excellent customer service.

      The system is sold by RLD and Reindeer-pass (both sponsors of LSC) as well as others.

      The throttle does have a knob for speed control but it is only proportional...meaning it has no stops. When you turn it on the speed is at zero and when you turn it off it returns to zero.

      It has no inherit sound build in. It must be hooked to a sound card. Most commonly Phoenix. Instructions for doing this are included with the Airwire manual.

      Boomer is a caveman and can install this system and has done so many times. I consider it to be a one word project. Meaning I only had to invent one new curse word while learning to do it.

       

      A couple of other things.

      Using the G3 decoder board and the T-5000 throttle you can change operating frequencies from the throttle.

      You can do consist operations (linking multi head engines to single control).

      There is a good selection of pre-wired (plug in) decoder boards for the USAT line of locomotives....us steam guys have to make it up as we go.

       

      I am not as familiar with the other systems but I believe many of them have the same features I have mentioned.

       

      Ultimately what might make the choice easier is if you have a train buddy nearby who can help with installation and troubleshooting. Go with whatever they use and get the benefits of their experience.

       

      This post was edited by Boomer K. MOGWAI at July 9, 2018 10:04 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

       

      Boomer

       

      These Bachmann connies are great but you gotta hit'em jusssst rightttt!

       

    • July 9, 2018 9:37 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Del t G scale graphics also carries the LocoSound boards which are priced at $79...

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • July 9, 2018 10:31 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      So, there are lots of good choices.

       

      If the ease of installation is topmost, then I would go with the single board solution.

       

      If cost is the top priority, and you con't mind wiring up a few more wires, the G Scale Graphics is a simple solution with enough features to control your bells and whistles.

       

      If you think some day to expand and have more locos or running 2 locos coupled together, then I would consider the Revolution or the AirWire setup with the Convrtr that let's you use any DCC sound and motor controller.

       

      Basically, you pay more money and you get more features and better sound.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • July 9, 2018 10:55 AM EDT
      • Gig Harbor, WA
         
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      David,

      Are you talking about putting the RC into the Hartland 0-4-0.  Is there room?   Has anyone reading this done that conversion?

      ____________________________________

      Paul Burch

      Sierra Cascade & Pacific RR

    • July 9, 2018 11:25 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Good point Paul, establish the locomotive first!

      Didn't they come with and without a tender?

      Is this the target loco?

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at July 9, 2018 12:16 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • July 9, 2018 12:40 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      My Hartland Jupiter has a 12v motor I believe, thus a smaller battery pack may help, you won't need speed to switch, perhaps a 7.8v pack could suffice (2 cells lith.)

      Of course if you want earth shaking sound, you'd need go in the other direction. I've added a Canteen to my consist to house the batteries. Many railroads added Canteens when good water wasn't available. A canteen is a tender without fuel, plumbed into the water line to the engine. Run out of fuel, fire gets cold, run out of water; fire goes boom.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • July 9, 2018 4:30 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      What do most of the folks in your club use?  

      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • July 9, 2018 9:49 PM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      trains

      mo trains

      Mil and Del

      Thanks to all for the responses. The pix above show the entire eclectic fleet that I would like to convert to R/C eventually (guess which ones Grandma said we needed for the grandkids).

      To answer the last question first, the few R/C members that we have use Revolution. 

      Concerning motive power, I have both an 0-4-0T (the Santa train) and Ol' Number 7 with a slopeback tender - this is my switcher for the show. I have also purchased a full rectangular tender like on the 4-4-0 to replace the slopeback if I need more space. 

      I have considered all the R/C units mentioned except Airwire - that is my next research objective. I am still intrigued by Deltang but they are hard to get. If you look at what they have, it is amazing. They started as an airplane unit so they are very compact, the receiver and motor controller are on one very small board. They also do units for cars that would fit with my plan to have operating, magnetically steered R/C vehicles on my new indoor layout. I seem to have a habit of making things complicated (but, if I get there, rewarding).

      Still looking, more to follow - thanks again.

    • July 10, 2018 1:48 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Is that the layout you will use?

      Do you have any intention to run more than one loco at a time?

       

      If the answers are yes and no respectively, I'd strongly consider track power with a wireless remote, you would save a lot of money, not have to convert the locos, you could run smoke and you could add sound bit by bit. Plus with grandchildren, you never know which loco they want to run and for how long. Keeping all those locos charged is more work than you realize.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • July 10, 2018 10:17 AM EDT

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      I think you will find David always intended converting to battery R/C.  Away from track power!!!

      I gave him contact details for Micron in the UK.  A very reliable Deltang supplier.

      David has placed an order and should receive his goodies before too long.

      No doubt he will report back to LSC as to how well the system is suiting him.

      This post was edited by Tony Walsham at July 10, 2018 10:18 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • July 10, 2018 10:21 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      For the little kids, Del at G Scale Graphics has a critter control that turns on/off with the wave of a magnet near it. Could be better than buttons

       

      Thanks for the update Tony, wished I'd known sooner.

      This post was edited by John Caughey at July 10, 2018 10:23 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • July 10, 2018 2:23 PM EDT
      • Noblesville, Indiana
         
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      "Tony Walsham said:

      I think you will find David always intended converting to battery R/C.  Away from track power!!!

      I gave him contact details for Micron in the UK.  A very reliable Deltang supplier.

      David has placed an order and should receive his goodies before too long.

      No doubt he will report back to LSC as to how well the system is suiting him."

       

      Yep, got up this AM to go meet the old boys gang for coffee and to discuss the state of the union when I noticed an email telling me that my inquiry on a forum in England about Deltang availability had been answered. As noted above, Tony suggested Micron as a supplier and that triggered a response from 'Westcountryman' that Micron had just restocked a component that I needed and, considering the apparent scarcity, I leaped at the chance to order. That's what procrastinators do, we ponder long and hard up front then have to leap when a window opens.

      Also, as Tony mentioned, I was determined to eventually go R/C and that was really enforced yesterday when I did a back breaking cleanup on some track joints and still ended with spotty operation. Plus I am a technology geek (not to be confused with technology expert). Being a TG is certainly a reason I like the Deltang concept. It is a minimalist solution with maximum capability. Very light weight and feature laden.

      So how does that match my priority list? Well, I certainly owe all those who have made suggestions a followup. My original list of wants vs 'gots':

      1. Reasonably priced
      • Would be just plain cheap if bought direct but even from a reseller it is a great value   
      Readily available
      • One man show with a huge inventory of items with incredible variation per item, not a recipe for ready availability
      • Tony and others do have more user friendly versions available
      Has a knob for very precise speed control
      • Yep, even directional or non-directional options
      Has sound capability
      • Yes, but requires a separate board
      Requires no more than average ability with electronics
      • I have an above average ability to find people with answers and I will be doing a lot of that!

      So again, thanks to all. More later......I will leave you with an idea of my early R/C tinkering:

       

      rc2

      Yes, the rubber bands do provide non-proportional speed control! 

      rc

       

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