Radio control OO .

Basic electrical and electronics, such as DC/Analog control.
Johnmay
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Radio control OO .

Postby Johnmay » Thu Dec 16, 2021 5:32 pm

This will have you technical experts shaking your heads I expect.
I have a 12 x 8 layout that I have had spent many happy hours working on over the years, the thing is I’m absolutely useless with the more technical side of model railways. I’ve given up trying to solder , or understand wiring etc so I decided a couple of years ago just to do what I enjoy and work on track / scenery etc and look at radio control in the future.
The time has come that I’d like to have a few of my locomotives converted to radio control and actually have some activity on the layout.
Ideally I’d like to find someone with the skills to carry out the conversation as I wouldn’t have the confidence to give it a try myself.
Your advice would be welcomed.
Regards John

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Flashbang
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby Flashbang » Fri Dec 17, 2021 9:28 am

Battery powered locos or still use the rails/wheels etc for power collection?

IMO Batteries are going to be the problem if they are to power the locos motors. Ok in Steam outline with a tender or in multiple units - EMUs/DMUS or diesel outline locos where there is often room, but in smaller steam locos this will probably mean the batteries being located inside a truck or carriage and connected to the loco.

With rail power you're little better off than conventional DC or DCC control, as you rely on the rails and wheels being kept clean and still need rail power feeds :o
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Bigmet
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby Bigmet » Fri Dec 17, 2021 10:37 am

Johnmay wrote:...I’m absolutely useless with the more technical side of model railways. I’ve given up trying to solder , or understand wiring etc so I decided a couple of years ago just to do what I enjoy and work on track / scenery etc and look at radio control in the future.
The time has come that I’d like to have a few of my locomotives converted to radio control and actually have some activity on the layout...

I read this as 'dead track', all power required for operation on locos, wireless control signal to on board receiver and processor. I believe there are two alternatives, conventional 'RC' or 'Bluetooth wifi'. Just run a search on these terms with 'OO model railway' attached.

My honest opinion, both are way more complex than regular DC operation, and way, way more expensive, especially for the size of layout you have. My best suggestion, ask around your local model shops if they can do the track wiring for you, or can recommend someone for the job; and with a gaugemaster controller you'll be all set.

b308
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby b308 » Fri Dec 17, 2021 11:07 am

Flashbang wrote:IMO Batteries are going to be the problem if they are to power the locos motors. Ok in Steam outline with a tender or in multiple units - EMUs/DMUS or diesel outline locos where there is often room, but in smaller steam locos this will probably mean the batteries being located inside a truck or carriage and connected to the loco.


There are several people who use RC in 009 with the battery in the loco and they are a lot smaller than any 00 loco! There are a few threads on NGRM-Online (you have to join to see them) about RC and I think some on RMWeb. The issue is more the motor, 009 locos tend to draw less power so smaller batteries can be used so it depends on the 00 loco and the type of motor. If you search it you'll find some useful pointers.

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Mountain
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby Mountain » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:13 pm

Radio control has come down in size a lot and so have the batteries that run them. They can now be used in N gauge though one does need an N gauge loco with a bit of body space to fit the receiver and the battery and a switch, a charging socket and a fuse etc.
The issue with battery voltage and motor voltage can e overcome in three ways. The first is to just have a slower running loco (E.g. a 12v loco running on 7.2 or 3.7 volt lipo battery as an example).
The second solution is to change the motor so it matches the battery voltage.
The third solution is to step up the voltage inside the loco and I have seen one business which sells little circuits to do this and also sels radio control etc.

I have not tried radio control myself but it does look rather interesting and promising.

The main challenge is to get everything to fit in ones loco. It is worth looking online and also looking at Youtube for information.

Radio control has come forward in leaps and bounds in the last decade.

The only other negative is the availbility of the micro recievers as often these can be in short supply so before one buys a transmitter, make sure one can get hold of a suitable reciever.

Johnmay
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby Johnmay » Fri Dec 17, 2021 10:22 pm

Superb advice and observations, all very much appreciated.
I will certainly follow up on the suggested potential sources of radio control info. If anyone fancies a challenge of fitting RC to OO locomotive please msg me .
Many thanks guys.

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Mountain
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby Mountain » Sat Dec 18, 2021 3:12 am

I have spent a little time in recent months browsing the internet to look at the possibilities of radio control because in narrow gauge, one only really needs a few locos so it is more suitable for this then it would be if I was modelling a standard gauge railway.
The big advantage is that one does not need to clean the track.
The downsides are cost, limited run times, time to recharge and limited allocations of locos. (I think the limit is 12).


Here are three suppliers I have been looking at lately.

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

http://www.rctrains.co.uk

http://www.deltang.co.uk


I have been a bit hesitant to try to convert a loco because it is a case where I have tried DCC and been there. Done that. Is a good system but at the end of the day I missed the simplicity of DC, and I am thinking that radio control would be similar to me in that it adds an extra complication in a similar way that DCC did, so I am undecided. I have actually had thoughts of a simple on and off switch going directly from an AAA battery (Or two) to a little 1.5 volt or 3 volt motor on the loco and just watch the trains go by! No radio control. Just battery power. Some G scale and SM32 locos are like that. They just trundle along happily until someone stops them and turns them off.

Bigmet
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby Bigmet » Sat Dec 18, 2021 11:10 am

Johnmay wrote:...I will certainly follow up on the suggested potential sources of radio control info....

Do update with your progress, it's always interesting and often useful to read 'the journey'.

Mountain wrote:...The downsides... limited run times, time to recharge and limited allocations of locos. (I think the limit is 12)...

All this is because RC systems are typically 'borrowed technique' from other 'drive a single unconstrained vehicle' hobby sectors, rather than specifically designed around the 'guided vehicle' on a private metal railed system with typically multiple models simultaneously moving under control, scenario. A private model railway has no problems of vehicles going out of range, or receiving commands from another controller, and provides means for simple 'hands free' recharging by an assortment of methods, so doesn't need the dated clunkfest of typical hobby RC. (Any system of control that is a backward step from what is presently enjoyed: walk into layout room, switch on, and all the locos can be set into motion as fast as commands can be entered with no preparation required; is never going to win significant market share. To sell it must offer all around progress, and no regression!)

The better bet ISTM is wifi technique, using addressed packets to send commands to receivers in vehicles; similar in concept to the DCC system's addressed commands conducted via the track to decoders in locos. But DCC works so well, that such a competitor faces a mighty obstacle to acceptance.

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Mountain
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby Mountain » Sat Dec 18, 2021 12:22 pm

There is a way around this in regards to only 12 loco allocations on the transmitters in that one binds each reciever to the transmitter which is quite an easy process and relitively quick to do as well, so one could have 100 locos or more and run them all on radio control but only run 12 at a time if that makes sense, but it is not quite the same as having DCC where one allocates a DCC address using the locomotives number or most of the locomotives number. (Though this can certainly easily be done if one has 12 or less locos where one can use the locos number (1 to 12) as a loco number as well).
But in theory, with radio control, through the binding process one could go well beyond the 9999 loco allocations that DCC has to offer using the four figure address system, as binding a loco with radio control only takes a few seconds. The same few seconds that it takes to call up a locos address on DCC, and selecting a loco out of the 1 to 12 that have already been bound is actually easier then it is on DCC as it is one single rotary knob on the transmitter.
The other good thing with radio control is that one can set one loco going, and then switch to control a second or third (And so on) loco in motion much the same way one can do it with DCC.

The cost of DCC comparisson when compared to radio control varies. If one only wants to use basic motor control, then DCC is cheaper but if one wants DCC sound along with the independent control of lights and couplings, then radio control may actually be of a similar price or it could be cheaper as if one wants to add DCC "Stay alive" and go the full amount possible in both systems, then in theory there should not be much of a price difference between them... Or if there is it won't be a lot.
DCC will have a few more sounds accessable but overall I do not see much difference apart fromn radio control having a full on "Stay alive" feature.

This short film on youtube shows what radio control can do.

https://youtu.be/dvPks5HAfpQ

It is on a larger scale but the same sort of features can be used in the smaller scales subject to one finding the space available... Much in the same way as one would do with DCC, except though the recievers can match the smaller DCC decoder sizes, one does need toom for a little battery (E.g. lipo).

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Flashbang
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby Flashbang » Sat Dec 18, 2021 4:46 pm

b308 wrote:There are several people who use RC in 009 with the battery in the loco and they are a lot smaller than any 00 loco! There are a few threads on NGRM-Online (you have to join to see them) about RC and I think some on RMWeb. The issue is more the motor, 009 locos tend to draw less power so smaller batteries can be used so it depends on the 00 loco and the type of motor. If you search it you'll find some useful pointers.

Hmm possibly there is? But many struggle to find room to get a DCC decoder into a loco, yet alone a battery pack, the charging circuitry, charging socket and the RC receiver etc :o

Johnmay wrote: <SNIP> the thing is I’m absolutely useless with the more technical side of model railways. I’ve given up trying to solder , or understand wiring etc
So for someone who says they don't like wiring (track power etc) then my comments are very valid!
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b308
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby b308 » Sun Dec 19, 2021 8:53 am

Flashbang wrote:
b308 wrote:There are several people who use RC in 009 with the battery in the loco and they are a lot smaller than any 00 loco! There are a few threads on NGRM-Online (you have to join to see them) about RC and I think some on RMWeb. The issue is more the motor, 009 locos tend to draw less power so smaller batteries can be used so it depends on the 00 loco and the type of motor. If you search it you'll find some useful pointers.

Hmm possibly there is? But many struggle to find room to get a DCC decoder into a loco, yet alone a battery pack, the charging circuitry, charging socket and the RC receiver etc :o


I don't understand your scepticism, have you tried doing a Google search? Here's an H0e (smaller than 009) one...

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/668080925966358193/
Last edited by b308 on Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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End2end
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby End2end » Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:13 am

Paying for someone to fit RC control in your loco's I would imagine would cost more than DCC-ing a loco, just for it's complexity alone when you could do it yourself.
You really ought to learn how to solder. This is one of the hobbies where it comes into it's own.

DON'T use lead free solder, it's crap.
And a decent HOT soldering iron.

and with that I'll just mention an idea if you COULD solder....
One of those new cheap Hornby remote control sets could be cannibalised for the rc parts. That will give you RC for one train and an RC controller for it.
Just an idea. ;)
Thanks
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End2end
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby End2end » Sun Dec 19, 2021 9:50 am

"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
Welcome‎
Planning
Building
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

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Mountain
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby Mountain » Sun Dec 19, 2021 1:42 pm

It is more then possible to wire ones layout entirely without soldering as one can rely on block connectors, track power clips and buy switches that have screw terminals.
But soldering does make things easier in the long run.

Soldering or not soldering, one needs to start with the track plan and go from there but that is for track power. Going back to the origional subject, I see that...

One of the radio control links I gave was a business which makes its own "Plug and play" wiring looms to fit inside locos so all one has to do is buy the wiring loom that fits the components one wants to use, and wire it up which may not (For some locos) need any soldering at all!

Johnmay
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Re: Radio control OO .

Postby Johnmay » Sat Dec 25, 2021 11:19 am

Woo Hoo, RC trains are on the case on my behalf. Hopefully make progress early in 22.
Many thanks for all your comments and advice.


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