DC remote control system. Very useful for a GR!

Discussion on OO, and O gauge garden model railway design and construction. (scenery, track laying, electronics)
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PeterH
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DC remote control system. Very useful for a GR!

Postby PeterH » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:09 pm

Well I've been given the go ahead to start building one, and have most of the wood needed to build the baseboards, however there is one thing which puzzles me at the moment which I'd like to know.

How do I get around the problem of controlling the locos? Normal controllers won't do as I'll have to move around a lot, so what to do?

Many thanks in advance.
Last edited by PeterH on Fri May 07, 2010 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Andy316
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby Andy316 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:32 pm

I'm looking at DCC with a long lead.

I bought the Bachmann Dynamis but as a few of us have found out, they don't work in sunlight :cry:

You can use DC or DCC, but you'll probably need either a good position where you can see everything, or a hand-held controller with a long lead.
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby slackbladder » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:41 pm

I got the Prodigy Advanced and was disgusted by the tiny 1 mtr or so of lead they supply with it. I kept hauling the control unit off the shelf. I noticed the lead was exactly the same design as an ethernet computer lead and after checking that the wiring took the same route through both the leads I bunged a long ethernet lead in and it works fine. (sorry should have mentioned my son and I have a few ethernet leads spare)
However, I had already ordered a couple of the extension plates with the two sockets in each but never mind they will still get used.

So thats how I get around the layout with the hand held.

sb
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby PeterH » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:39 pm

Probably should have mentioned that the layout is going to be run on DC (DCC far too expensive for me!). I believe that the honourable gentleman's suggestions are both DCC controllers?

The railway will eventually go around a corner, where vision will be obstructed by a hedge. The length of the railway to start off with will be about 200ft long. Ideal would be wireless controller, which will have good range over 500ft, if that is possible.
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Andy316
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby Andy316 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:56 am

Hi Peter,

I know there is a wireless DCC controller coming out soon although that doesn't help you.
I'm assuming there is a wireless DC system available, you could drop a question in to the electronics forum here.

For the outdoors, you can't rely on normal rail joiners, you have to solder small jumper wires across each joint.
Then you should add 'droppers' to the rails at regular intervals which are connected to your main + and - connections.

I soldered my 1st section in situ which was difficult. I then read that the easiest way is to solder a short piece of plain copper wire to each end of the rails.
When you put that section of track in place, twist the wires together and solder, much easier.

(I don't think I explained that very well).
You can see diagrams and lots of info in this book.
Image

This is useful as well.

Image

Andy.
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thomas the plank engine
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby thomas the plank engine » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:35 pm

Andy316 wrote:Hi Peter,

I know there is a wireless DCC controller coming out soon although that doesn't help you.
I'm assuming there is a wireless DC system available, you could drop a question in to the electronics forum here.

For the outdoors, you can't rely on normal rail joiners, you have to solder small jumper wires across each joint.
Then you should add 'droppers' to the rails at regular intervals which are connected to your main + and - connections.

I soldered my 1st section in situ which was difficult. I then read that the easiest way is to solder a short piece of plain copper wire to each end of the rails.
When you put that section of track in place, twist the wires together and solder, much easier.

(I don't think I explained that very well).
You can see diagrams and lots of info in this book.
Image

This is useful as well.

Image

Andy.


Added my droppers ever second rail join just to make life easier for replacement as required.

Ian

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PeterH
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby PeterH » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:17 pm

So I connect every other bit of track to one another via a wire, and have power boosters every so often?

The question of what to use as a controller still vexes me though...
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby thomas the plank engine » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:34 pm

I was originally using a guagemaster transformer but as this was sadly lacking in power I switched to Duettet's. This has the advantage that you have a dual voltage switch. One is set on the standard 12v supply (low) and when you switch it to (high) you get about 16/17v, which allows for voltage drop as you get further away from the power source. I might have got the high/low the wrong way around but you get the general idea anyway.
Unfortunately Duettes are no available new anymore and most secondhand ones that I have seen on Ebay and the like have been selling for around the £70 mark.

Ian

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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby PeterH » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:59 pm

Well I see that Gaugemaster do the Prodigy Advance 2, which is a DCC wireless controller. It retails at around £220, which is a bit pricey, but managable. I need to find out now whether or not it would be suitable for a Garden Railway, and if it has got good range.
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby 87 101 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:03 pm

Hi Peter have you considered radio control ?? What you need is a standard radio control set as used in a model car. Use an electronic speed controler instead of the usual servo set up connected between your track and power controler. This should give you conventional DC control without the wires. I will be experementing with this methord of control on the heatherburns branch line at some point and will post a how to at some point. :wink:

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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby PeterH » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:15 pm

I have considered it, but space limitation within the actual loco has put me off slightly; as well as having to cut open locos to fit the system. I am not sure what the cost would be for the radio controlled systems.
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby 87 101 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:33 pm

Hi Peter with a DC set up all you are actualy doing is controlling the voltage that is fed to the track so the radio gear is connected between the power supply and the track with no modifications to the locos needed.

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PeterH
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby PeterH » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:48 pm

I see, sounds very jazzy. Tell me how you get on, it sounds to be a solution to my problem!
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby PeterH » Fri May 07, 2010 9:05 pm

Hello all,
I have just found a DC remote control system for model railways! It is an Aussie company who make varies types of RC systems for model railways, this one is trackside based and controls the power going into the track.

http://www.rcs-rc.com/index.php?page_id ... k59577bbcy
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Re: Help needed in planning my future GR!

Postby Essex2Visuvesi » Sat May 08, 2010 8:03 am

87 101 wrote:Hi Peter have you considered radio control ?? What you need is a standard radio control set as used in a model car. Use an electronic speed controler instead of the usual servo set up connected between your track and power controler. This should give you conventional DC control without the wires. I will be experementing with this methord of control on the heatherburns branch line at some point and will post a how to at some point. :wink:


You would be better looking at model boat speed controllers as they are more able to handle the higher voltages as car ones max out aroun 9.6V
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