Heljan O Gauge Western with ESU XL DCC

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Richard08
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Re: Heljan O Gauge Western with ESU XL DCC

Postby Richard08 » Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:32 pm

Mountain wrote:That is also the fun of clockwork... Off they go, and go and go... Who needs track? :D

Ordinary DCC decoders without sound can operate lights. It is rare to find DCC decoders that do not have an extra function or two, as even most of the older ones from 20 years ago have two or three function outputs for adding lights.


Yes, but my motivation is to just try the technology.

Bigmet
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Heljan O Gauge Western with ESU XL DCC

Postby Bigmet » Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:28 am

Richard08 wrote:... Pity really, I still really like the radio control idea. Mostly so I don't have to clean track (and can have 'rusty rails' in sidings etc)...

That's a myth for small scale model railway if operation is intensive. In small scale model railway - OO and smaller - reduced track cleaning is what you get, not its elimination. The dirt still collects, it is mechanical in origin, and soon enough wheelsets are eccentric and eventually something fouls up on a point crossing and there's derailment.

I too would appreciate a model railway oriented r/c system, for precisely the same reason of being able to run a loco or two on the rusted over rails of a very infrequently used industrial siding. The option for transmitting the DCC signal independent of the rails is what I want, so the DCC controller talks to all locos whether on track signal or radio signal. In the r/c controlled loco a small battery which is continuously recharging where track power is available, with enough 'off-power' endurance for a couple of minutes running. This is necessary because the locos that will benefit most from this system are typically small, and it's a struggle to get all the kit concealed inside, so a physically small battery is required.

Secondarily models get damaged when handled, so having to physically 'do something' for recharging the battery is undesireable. Since we have to lay a pair of wires very carefully for the trains to run on, it is so obvious to use these for keeping batteries charged, essentially a super size 'stay alive'.

Richard08
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:39 pm
Contact:

Re: Heljan O Gauge Western with ESU XL DCC

Postby Richard08 » Sat Oct 23, 2021 11:12 am

Bigmet wrote:I too would appreciate a model railway oriented r/c system, for precisely the same reason of being able to run a loco or two on the rusted over rails of a very infrequently used industrial siding. The option for transmitting the DCC signal independent of the rails is what I want, so the DCC controller talks to all locos whether on track signal or radio signal. In the r/c controlled loco a small battery which is continuously recharging where track power is available, with enough 'off-power' endurance for a couple of minutes running. This is necessary because the locos that will benefit most from this system are typically small, and it's a struggle to get all the kit concealed inside, so a physically small battery is required.

Secondarily models get damaged when handled, so having to physically 'do something' for recharging the battery is undesireable. Since we have to lay a pair of wires very carefully for the trains to run on, it is so obvious to use these for keeping batteries charged, essentially a super size 'stay alive'.


Modern battery technology allows for quite some running time (in O gauge, which this thread is about) so that's not such a huge issue. If you compare a battery pack from not so long ago to what's available now the difference is amazing - battery drills are an example of how battery size and capacity has been transformed. The solution for avoiding handling is to have a section of track for charging - electronics are available that auto-detect an external current (through the wheels) for charging - so in some way it adds realism to operating by requiring engines to 'go to the depot for fuel'. Electro magnets at strategic points also allows engines to be switched off as required (power saving or shutting down at the end of the session) thus removing the need for an on/off switch. Again, as it's O gauge, the track would have to get seriously dirty to cause problems - the battery operated garden railway fraternity don't appear to a problem with this (significant portions of trees on the track perhaps is a problem though ;-) ) . Someone, I didn't bookmark the link unfortunately, is working in implementing DCC protocols over radio (not R/C) but I've no idea how it's going - but I'd be first in line if they get it working (for all I know they already have) - assuming external antenna for metal bodied engines can be made unobtrusive. Interesting times.


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