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DavidT
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Hi. My name is David Theunissen. I make miniature 2.4GHz receivers. Dan has drawn your attention to them and I thought I should introduce myself.

I live in the UK. I have worked in IT and my main hobby has been RC planes. I converted from internal combustion to electric powered models many years ago and have made many of my own brushless motors. I used nicads and lithium cells from laptops before lipos become common for hobby use.

When 2.4GHz hobby radios first appeared I was a fairly early adopter and found them so much nicer than the FM systems we were using. One thing led to another and I made a couple of miniature 2.4GHz receivers for my own use.

Surface vehicles and trains in particular are new for me. So I will be happy to explain how I approach radio control if anyone wants to know. I also welcome inquiries and suggestions.
Regards, David.

Last edited on Mon Oct 1st, 2012 04:22 pm by DavidT

mwiz64
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David,

Did I see a micro receiver with a brushed motor ESC on your website or are the ESCs an item one would have to supply themselves?

Mike

DavidT
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Hi Mike,
'Rx41d-v5' has an on-board forward/reverse brushed ESC suitable for most trains. The standard configuration is to use 'full stick' travel for motor control. The motor is off when the Tx stick is pulled fully back. Mid-stick is half throttle and you get full speed with the stick fully forward. The stick with a ratchet is normally used (Ch1) so the throttle stays where you leave it. A separate channel on the Tx is used to toggle direction (forward/reverse).

'Rx43d-1-v5' and 'Rx43d-2-v5' also have on-board forward/reverse brushed ESCs. Their default setup uses one stick for forward and reverse. The throttle is off at mid-stick. It is usually used with a spring-loaded stick (Ch2).

The ESCs on my 'servo' receivers are 1-way. You would need an external ESC for 2-way control.

For trains the most obvious constraint is that my integrated 2-way ESCs can only be used with 3-6v. So 1S lipo and 4 Nicads/NiMHs are the most obvious power sources. An external ESC can be used with a higher voltage rating.
Regards, David.

mwiz64
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Those look great for smaller trains, David. Any plans to make some that are more suitable for larger trains? I think 2 cell lipo power seems to be good for up to O scale and I think the G scalers would like to run 3 cell.

Mike

DavidT
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Hi Mike
I would like to cater for higher voltages such as you mention but I need more feedback from folk. I think DCC has taken trains down an integrated ESC route. This makes them easier to install but may take up more space and probaby limits choice.

I think 'traditional RC' (planes, cars, boats) will take people down the path of separate ESCs and Rx's. I expect this to be true especially in the larger scales. This is because an 'Orange 6ch' type receiver is the cheapest on the planet and having a separate ESC allows people to chose whatever voltage/current/efficiency/PWM/BEMF etc stuff they want.

I have loads of small receivers, China has loads of cheap ones and Spektrum/Futaba/Hitec etc have loads of high quality gear. I think brushed ESCs have become quite rare. So is that the gap to fill or does it have to be receivers with integrated ESCs?
Regards, David.

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David

Do all 2.4Mh receivers work with all the different brand transmitters now? I think in the past that you had to stick with one brand---but I might be wrong about that (and a lot of other things----)

Herb 

DavidT
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Hi Herb,
Most 2.4 receivers will only work with one brand. Only a few manufacturers make receivers that are compatible with other brands. This will normally be made obvious. If they do not claim compatibility it is not.

It's probably worth mentioning 'binding'. Receivers will only work with one brand of transmitter and they will only work with the one to which they are bound. This is very different from FM and AM receivers which will try to obey anything they pick up on their frequency. 2.4 systems normally have strong validation which gives them their strong locked on feel.
Regards, David.

mwiz64
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David,

I think if you offered an ESC that was compatible with your gear in three favors, micro (1s), mid (2s) and large (3s) you'd have it covered pretty well.

Of course, these would need to be for brushed motors and have a reverse to be useful for train guys. The tiny RX that you offer are great. The little TX you were using was cool too. If people want more elaborate stuff that controls DCC sound or cabs that can control more than one engine, those systems are available but what you are doing is excellent for a small and simple option that seems to have been overlooked by most of the bigger outfits.

Mike

Last edited on Mon Oct 1st, 2012 06:04 pm by mwiz64

DavidT
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Thanks. I also wondered if people might want track power. I suspect that gets trickier due to poor pickup. Also, the cheap system I have has gives off much higher voltages than its nominal 12v (more like 20v when not under load).
dt.

mwiz64
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I use to think I wanted track power just for charging but Woodie cured me of that desire. Plain old RC control is what I want, no wireing the layout, no cleaning of track and no pickups.... Perfect!

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VIVA LA BATTERIES!

Woodie

Bernd
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David,

I'm very interested in your minuature recievers. Here's the reason why. I have a thread going on motorizing a crane and it would be great if I could R/C the next one that I want to motorize.

The nice thing about a crane is that it has a crane tender car with it and one could hide the batteries in that to make it function without needing any kind of track power.

Still have to take some time to peruse your web site.

Bernd

DavidT
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Hi Bernd,
Nice build thread and some great engineering. Yes, my Rx43d-x-v5 receivers are intended for that kind of thing. They can have up to 3 integrated forward/reverse ESCs and a 4th external one. They can drive servos as well if those are more appropriate. And if you have spare channels on your transmitter (up to 7) you can switch lights on and off, have a flashing light, etc.

To do this kind of stuff the outputs have to be configured the right way. They all have a default that hopefully suits some people. But they are also intended to be customised. You can do that yourself or I can set up for you.
Regards, David.

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David--I was going to ask how much amperage those little boards will handle--doesn't look like there is enough there to dissipate much heat--but then I realized that you designed them for aircraft where the motors aren't bashful about how much current they consume.

Do you have gnats attached that cool things by flapping their wings?

Herb 

mwiz64
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Aircraft generally have lots of cooling provided by the prop so they can get away with a little more heat generated in the power system. That said, the current trend is to up the voltage and lower the current draw to get the same wattage to the drive shaft. That provides two benefits. One, everything runs cooler. Two, the whole system is more efficient thereby increasing run times. Of course, the down side is more cells in the battery pack. The trick is to strike a balance whereby the increased voltage allows the use of smaller (lower capacity) cells and still have the desired battery duration in a package that fits in the model.

There is another downside to higher voltage power systems in models and that's the threat of electrocution. I don't believe we'll be running any over 40 volt DC power systems in our little model trains. I did have a 3Kw power system in a helicopter that utilized a 10S lipo battery. Ive since sold the heli but not because of the power system. When that thing spooled up the sound of the rotor blades came close to the sound of the real thing. That was intimidating. And you should have seen and heard the spark the arming plug created... Yowza!

Mike

Last edited on Tue Oct 2nd, 2012 03:35 pm by mwiz64

DavidT
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Herb,
The gnats were retired after early tests :-) I've had almost no hardware failures over the past two years. My emphasis on surface vehicles is new but I've been using the 2-way motor driver chips for driving actuators in planes all that time.

Heat comes from current and resistance so from testing with a few trains of my own, reading about battery life on this forum and asking a few customers, I don't think trains normally draw high currents. So I'm not expecting heat issues. I've been told that 1:87 RC scale modellers use very small lipos that last a long time so again they seem to be a low average current application.

One of my test vehicles is a tank. This has 2 track motors and the traction to drive over obstacles/work hard. It also has a rotating turret. I found the receiver got a little warm while using up the whole capacity of the battery in energetic sessions. No concern from my side.

Technically the 2-way ESCs in my receivers are rated between 400mA and 800mA. So they should be used in appropriate vehicles. They have thermal protection so in extreme cases they will shut down. But I'd be very surprised if people experience this. But good question!
Regards, dt.

Bernd
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Thanks for the compliments David.

What I'm looking at is 3 motors, possibly 4 to operate the crane. Those motors all work in the 4.8 volt range and miliamps for current. I was thinking of using a crane tender car to carry the battery and wire it to the crane.

You say that the Rx43d-x-v5 reciver will do all that I want?

It'll give me speed control and forward/reverse of all 3 or 4 motors independentley?

 If that's the case, great. I'll have to look into purchasing a reciever and play around with it. I'll be intouch via PM on this later.

Bernd

DavidT
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Bernd,
You have two choices but Rx43d-4-v5 is the easiest way to control 4 motors. This has 3 separate on-board 2-way ESCs. It comes with an 'addon board' to create the 4th.

4 nicads or 1 lipo are the main battery options.

You will need a DSM2 transmitter. I can suggest some obvious options if you don't have one.

Feel free to ask if you have more questions.
Regards, David.

DavidT
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A single lipo in case you don't know is nominally 3.7v but is charged to 4.2v. Voltage falls under load and as capacity is used. The receiver will cut power to the motors when it falls to 3v.

4 nicads or nimhs are nominally 4.8v but can be around 6v hot off charge and are very flat at around 3.6v. My receivers only have the 3v sensing but nicads and nimhs are usually OK with being discharged quite deeply.

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Hi Guys

am a professional model builder who recently started using David's RC system in our 1:35 scale locomotives. I am delighted to say that these receiver/transmitters work very well with efficient motor/gearhead combinations (mostly 6 or 3v) and single cell LiPo's

simple installation with a built-in battery charge terminal on the underside of the model allows recharge without battery removal. this requires a simple isolation switch on the battery to motor connection to isolate the motor & receiver circuit whilst charging.

a single 380mAh LiPo provides in excess of 60minutes running time using a efficient can motor with 160:1 gearhead.

the installation meets our key criteria e.g. simple, fully concealed installation, basic control system without gimmicks, operation on rough track as is characteristic for narrow gauge industrial lines, all at a very low cost.

No connection with David's company except as a very satisfied customer.

have fun & stay cool
BernardS

Herb Kephart
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Thanks for that report, Bernard.

Too many people get hung up on the "model railroading is 12 volts" thing.

There are a lot of little, low voltage motors available in discarded cell phones--the vibrators, also in the little R/C cars that sell for under $10 at Wallyworld. When geared way down, their whiz-bang RPM becomes sufficient power for a critter.

Three volts would make track pickup that much more problematic but with on board batteries--


Herb 

DavidT
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Thanks Bernard. Good to hear you've had success.

Servos are another source for low voltage motors. The smallest below about 5g often have the coreless pager motors. Heavier servos start having more robust can motors.
dt.

DavidT
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The first example I have is a simple HO Piko loco. It goes so fast at full speed with the standard mains controller that it comes off the tracks on curves. Trains like these are ideal for a single lipo. Even full throttle with a 1S lipo is much more than I need.

I removed the ballast (shown on the right) to make space for a single 330mAh lipo (bottom left). Rx41d-v5 is shown in the middle at the bottom. I prefer to plug everything together so I have soldered on small sockets and battery lead. Inside the black body you can see wires from the switch. One white plug goes to the battery and the other goes to the receiver.

Last edited on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 06:34 pm by DavidT

DavidT
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Here you can see where the Rx and lipo are placed. The rx is not insulated so I have some masking tape on the motor can. The outer shell is plastic so no risk of shorts from that. I have removed all the track pickups.


DavidT
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And finally, there was a square ventilation hatch or similar on the top of the cab. I cut that off and installed a switch inside. The 'switch' is actually 3 magnets which when orientated correctly allow the battery to feed the Rx. A slide switch would probably have been simpler. Magnets or a socket could have been installed for charging but the shell on this train is easy to remove and charging is infrequent so I did not bother. Rx41d is again shown for scale roughly above where it sits inside.
Regards, David.


DavidT
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Here is a metal N gauge Minitrix. It was orginally 0-6-0 but I've made it 0-4-0 to handle 103mm Tomix track. At the bottom of the photo is my smallest receiver Rx45 along with the lipo that powers it. The lipo is cylindrical and has 80mAh capacity. The boiler was solid metal so I had to bore that out for the lipo. A hollow body would be much easier.


Last edited on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 03:00 pm by DavidT

DavidT
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The white square leaning against the motor contains the receiver. It is wrapped in some thin spongy foam to insulate and protect it from vibration. Another way would have been to mount it on the chassis with double-sided foam tape or velcro. Between the two axles is a tiny switch. It is glued into a existing recess in the chassis and can be moved on/off from the outside with a small screwdriver.


DavidT
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I have again used plugs between all the main components. Even in a tiny model like this I've been able to find a gaps behind the motor and under the lipo. The plugs have a 0.05" pitch (1.27mm). It would take up less space if some of the things were just wired direct.


DavidT
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The original motor was faulty so I replaced it with one of similar size from an old servo. I thought I needed a fast motor due to the low 1S lipo voltage so I chose the fastest I had. However, this train does not have much gearing with only a worm drive and it ran too fast for its scale and the tight Tomix track. To give better speed range I reduce the volts applied to the motor with diodes mounted on a board on the side of the motor.



If you look back over the photos you will see one gold magnet at the front and two at the back. These are on both the chassis and body. These hold the top and bottom together quite securely but allow easy access for charging the battery.

Although small, this conversion is not ridiculously difficult and I think it makes a very practical RC model.
Regards, David.

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I have found plugs to be worth the space that they take up, although the smaller ones pose a problem attaching to the wires.

And a round LiPo!  A new one on me. What is the world coming to?

Herb 

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David,

Since I haven't got around to buying a decoder yet I've decided on an engineering change. I'd like to go R/C with the crane.

So what I need will be a Rx43d-x-v5, DSM2 Tx and a Lipo battery, correct? The motors are rated for between 4.8 for the winch motors and 6 for the swing motor on the turret. Waht size Lipo would you recomend?

Check your PM. More questions.

Bernd

 

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Bernd,
I'd go with 500mAh or more depending on space and whether you can swop it out. Sven in Germany has made something similar using Rx43d-3. Judging by proportions relative to the receiver in a photo in post 39 of this thread http://78514.homepagemodules.de/t3226f8-Liebherr-MAX-Wild-quot-Abbruch-quot.html it looks like he's using a 300mAh or thereabouts. I doubt if he 'drives' as much as as a train might. So if you are also intending to power the loco I'd add on a bit more. There is no exact answer because we don't know how much current you will draw.

Lipos usually have a 'C' rating. A 10C 500mAh lipo can deliver a theoretical 5A but half that is more reasonable. Clearly you don't need high C ratings so I'd buy the cheapest you can find.

It's normal to charge at 1C. So thats 500mA for a 500mAh lipo. You want a charger that allows you to change the charge current usually in 0.1A steps. Charging at 1C normally takes about 90 minutes because the charge current reduces as the cell fills up. Most chargers run off 12v. Some have mains power as well.
Regards, David.

Last edited on Thu Oct 4th, 2012 07:04 pm by DavidT

Bernd
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David,

all sounds very good. I'm going to go ahead and R/C the crane. Won't need more than 3 channels for now.

I'll check on the current draw of the motors I'm using currently.

Many thanks for answering my many questions.

Bernd

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Bernard,
Hi all,

I have been following this thread with interest. I model in HOn30 and the issue of power pick-up is exacerbated the physical size of components in the smaller scales.

I have wondered if anyone has some success with tiny locos using ESC's?

DavidT
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Rod. Here's a video of my N gauge Minitrix on 103mm Tomix track. I think most proportional ESCs should work fine if you can fit them in.
http://youtu.be/Vfs-oEVMjek

Last edited on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 03:00 pm by DavidT

Herb Kephart
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Excellent!

Shows how EVEN N scale locos can be made to creep along without worrying about track pickup.

And both Woodie and I abhor systems that require push buttons to control things--sticks (or slide "switches") are the only way to go.


I'm Herb, and I approved this message! 


mwiz64
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That's wonderful stuff, there David. That sir, is the future of model railroading, in my humble opinion. Why anyone would want to do all that wireing in this day and age, is beyond me. Next step, get an RC system like that to operate sound.

One question, how long will that little guy run before having to recharge?

Mike

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Oh, in my opinion the best little connectors are Deans Micro connectors.

http://www.amainhobbies.com/product_info.php/cPath/1389_226/products_id/3592/n/Deans-Micro-Plug-2R-Red-Polarized-Connector

JST connectors are good too and they require no soldering, just crimp on the pins. At Hanson Hobbies they sell them unassembled and they sell the crimp tool too... They even have a nice video about how to properly crimp on their home page.

http://www.hansenhobbies.com/products/connectors/miscconnectors/

Mike

Last edited on Sun Oct 7th, 2012 05:50 pm by mwiz64

Bernd
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David,

Back from 3 days away from the computer. I had a chance to do at bit more thinking on this. I'm really starting to like this idea of R/C battery powered trains and am going to pursue some ideas.

Now I have another question. Can one transmitter control more that one receiver? The American modeler likes to consist his engines, in other words run two or more powered engines on his train. Could one receiver control the speed of say a 3 engine lash-up? Or can you only control one engine (motor) at a time? You'll have to remember also that the typical modeler will want to use different engines at times also. So each engine would need it's own receiver.


I also did a little research on the Lipo batteries. I'm a little scared with what can happen to them. Until I feel more comfortable using them I'd like to use the Nicad's. Which gave me another idea. Since these will need charging from time to time. I think one could have a constant 12 volt source on the track and then have an on-board charger to keep the batteries charged up. What do you think?

Bernd

DavidT
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Thanks Herb and Mike. I was pleased with how it came together. I'll do a run time test for you Mike.

I agree that the micro Deans are very high quality but they are a little difficult to use in confined spaces. I use the red JST connectors a lot in applications drawing up to about 8A. Small lipos often come with them fitted so they are very popular.

For lower currents the connector that has become ubiquitous for planes using 1S lipos is the 1.25mm Molex Picoblade http://www.hansenhobbies.com/products/connectors/125mm/125mm_1x2/ Lots of small 1S packs come with them firmly attached. HK have compatible extension leads which I cut in half; much easier than soldering my own! http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__9727__Mini_Plug_Extention_for_Micro_Battery_10cm_5pcs_bag_.html

Regards, David.

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Hi Bernd,
Yes, you can control any number of receivers with one transmitter although they have to be of the same 'type'. For example, they have to all be 1024 accuracy, 22m frame timing and no more than 7 channel. You cannot mix those with 2048 accuracy, 11m frame timing or greater than 7 channels. All of my receivers (and most other DSM2 compatibles) have the same characteristics (1024/22/7).

Why do people use a consist? Improved traction?

Lipos have risks but every camera, cell phone, PDA and almost every cheap modern toy has one. So it's good understand and respect them but also reasonable to reflect on how the rest of the world accepts and uses them. With my receivers, 4 nicads are a good fit and quite a bit more volts for motors that benefit from that.

I think the convenience of track charging would be great but I wonder if a "constant 12v" is real and reliable. The effectiveness probably lies in how the charger handles an eratic supply. I believe a few traditional train suppliers have developed solutions like what you suggest. It's not something I've looked into in any depth.
Regards, David.

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I had once thought a charge track would be good but then Woodie reminded me that I'd still need pickups, and clean wheels and clean track for it to work well and I decided that it wasnt worth it. That's the stuff we're trying to get away from here. FWIW, if using a 3 cell pack made up of A123 cells, one can charge them off a 12V battery without any charger at all. Just connect them for several minutes and let them find their balance. Caveat: I've never used A123s but I've seen a few people at airplane events just connecting their packs to a car battery with some zip cord. If you are going to go this route, do some more research to be sure your doing it right.

Anytime you are going to try running more than one loco from the same transmitter you'd best be sure they run about the same speed at the same stick position. There will be no individual throttle trimming between locos.. or is there, David? In fact, that raises a good question. Can you bind more than one receiver to the same transmitter at the same time?

Mike

Last edited on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 12:07 am by mwiz64

Bernd
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Hi David,

The real or prototype use any were from 2 up to 6 engines to pull a train. It depends on how much tonnage they need to pull and what the grades are along the route. Not so much for improved traction as much more horse power to pull a long train. Our trains over here easily consist of 100 cars or more. Our trains are a lot longer than in Britain.

@ Mike, David answer that question when her replied to me. You can control more than one receiver but as you said they all need to run at the same speed at one setting. I missed that one. And your right putting power to the track. Why would you want to if your running on batteries. I figured that you could charge the batteries at full voltage while running. The batteries just help get over the rough spots plus there would be hardly any complicated wiring.

One thing to remember though is that if you put in a signaling system you will run into complicated wiring. Kind of a catch 22 if you ask me.

Bernd

Last edited on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 12:52 am by Bernd

mwiz64
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I would imagine if a person wanted to it might be possible to run two separate throttles from two separate sticks by assigning one stick to say channel #1 and having one receiver operate the ESC with channel #1 and then assign the other stick to channel #2 and have the other receiver operate it's ESC from channel #2. Of course, that only two locos but 2 is better than one. Maybe that's too confusing to operate... What do you think David?

Mike

P.S. I'm glad I like little industrial railroads where running one loco at a time will be just about right. I couldn't imagine having several of those little transmitters laying around everywhere and trying to make sure they were all charged and keeping straight which loco each one went to. FWIW, my Airtronics 10 channel TX can be bound to 50 different receivers and I can select 50 different models but I can't control more than one at one time.... But if I could switch from one to the next to the next with just one TX that would be an improvement from having several transmitters to keep track of and keep charged. Could I use something like a Spektrum DX8 and bind it to several different locos where I could shut one off and turn another on?

Mike

Last edited on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 01:57 am by mwiz64

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Mike,
The Spektrum bind protocol requires a response from the receiver. So trying to bind more than one receiver simultaneuously may work but is more likely to complicate things.

The transmitter assumes it is only communicating with the last receiver it bound to. That's why they all have to be the same type. So they will all get the same throttle position.

Bernd, thanks for your explanation of the consist. I had not realised there was the horsepower requirement. I see traction supplementing that, particularly in overcoming stiction which I think is the greatest challenge in controlling train motors. Rod made the point that smaller wheel sizes make it harder to pick power of the track and to put power down. For me these have the same challenges.

PWM-based motor controllers (like mine) pulse power on and off. The longer the ON duration relative to the OFF period, the higher the average voltage applied to the motor. When trying to overcome stiction I found that the PWM frequency had a big effect when used with little gearing. I think high gearing like Bernard recommends reduces this challenge.

A low frequency has longer ON pulses than a higher frequency. Longer pulses 'try harder' to make the wheels turn because they apply full power for longer. This has the effect of increasing torque. But if the frequency is too slow, the ON pulses become too long and the wheels tend to slip so there is an optimum for each setup. There will be people who understand this much better than I but I found it very interesting exploring some of these dynamics.

I mention this because my N gauge was made to perform better by trying different PWM frequencies. In a consist of multiple engines, I'd expect the wheels to need to turn at the same speed. So I'd expect the same throttle setting to be appropriate. Again I would experiment with PWM settings in engines to see the effect. I'm not sure if they should all be the same or if there would be advantage in some being different.

Do engines need to be 'driven' to join the consist or does big man from above pick them up and put them where they need to be? This affects how we approach controlling multiple engines separately and binding implications, etc.

For track charging the train would probably need a bridge rectifier so that reversed polarities don't cause problems. After that you need to have the appropriate voltage range for your charging system (neither too high nor too low). And you need to be able to handle eratic behaviour. So several issues to think through but fine as a concept. From a safety perspective, continuous charge would be appropriate for nicads but less so for lipos.

Interesting stuff; thanks.
dt.

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mwiz64 wrote: That's wonderful stuff, there David. That sir, is the future of model railroading, in my humble opinion. Why anyone would want to do all that wireing in this day and age, is beyond me. Next step, get an RC system like that to operate sound.

One question, how long will that little guy run before having to recharge?

Mike

Mike,
It ran for an hour and 15 minutes today on a small 103mm radius oval. I started at half throttle and gradually nudged it up to max as the battery went down. So with an 80mAh lipo it drew an average of 64mA. About 14 of that will be the Rx so the motor draws around 50mA.

You can get sound generators for boats that take a servo signal to vary the noise with speed. They do diesels but not sure if they have steam. Main challenges will be speaker size and power consumption.
dt.

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One other thing about PWM-

If the frequency is too low--and I have no idea what that Hz that is--there is an annoying sound--something between a buzz, and a hum--at low speed.

My hearing is poor, but this occurs at a range that my hearing is less impaired. This was with Losi boards and was particularly bad with one of my locos. Tried to hide this with capacitance across the brushes, but this only helped slightly.

I must say, that others using Losi boards say that they don't notice this so it must be amplified by certain mechanisms.

Herb 

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Wow... Over an hour on a charge for a little battery like that is great! It's amazing how little power these trains use. I'm thinking any railroad I'm going to build would only use 2 locos at one time at the most. I can deal with two transmitters. I'm sort of surprised that MRC or one of the big companies doesn't latch on to this idea and run with it. I suppose that's good for you, David.

Cheers,
Mike

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MRC probably spent a bundle of money developing and selling the DCC idea, and wants to milk as much money out of that cow as they can.

Herb  

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I always thought the noise was coming from the ESC itself. You can definitely hear it on most of my planes at low throttle (some more than others) but once you advance the throttle the prop noise drowns out any other sound. I never knew if the ESC was still emitting the noise or not. I didn't notice any sound like that in David's video of the N scale engine.

Mike

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Lead, follow or get out of the way, says I. Somebody is going to jump on this at some point. Maybe David should be approaching one of the heavy weights to see if they are interested. I bet Spektrum might be. They are a bit of a new comer in the radio business even though they hold the majority of the market here in the US. They have that majority because they were the first to bring spread spectrum technology to the R/C hobby industry. If I were David, I might be giving Horizon Hobby a call.

Mike

Herb Kephart wrote: MRC probably spent a bundle of money developing and selling the DCC idea, and wants to milk as much money out of that cow as they can.

Herb  

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Herb,
I've not measured Losi but I have measured several other receivers with embedded ESCs. It seems common for the PWM frequency to be around 1kHz. This has a bit of a whine. My receivers go up to 700Hz. I found a web site by a train enthusiast and electronics guru who listed many commercial mains controllers for trains and they used low frequencies around 100Hz. So I have 60 and 130Hz which are probably the best for trains, 300Hz just in case and 12hz which makes a 'pop pop' sound in my little boat.

The 60 and 130Hz settings make a 'gravel crunching' sound and I think the 300hz is fine too.

Capacitors can help reduce whiny ESCs. I got the impression from my tests that you need somewhere between 1uF and 100uF. This is easiest done with two tantalum or electrolytic caps. Since these are polarised you need two. The negatives of both need to be connected together and each positive goes to the motor terminals. Caps change the startup characteristics and the low frequncies I now have make a nicer sound so I've not pursued caps further.
dt.

Last edited on Mon Oct 8th, 2012 02:27 pm by DavidT

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I believe HH own Losi and Atherne. Losi have a Spektrum version. So it would not surprise me if radio control trains were just around the bend. Spektrum have not struggled with being innovative up to now.

For people that don't know, the more advanced Spektrum transitters have model memories. Each of these have a unique ID and have to be bound to separately. It's called ModelMatch. All Spektrum and compatible receivers can only be bound to one model memory at a time. However, it's not difficult to make my receivers bind with two memories. I have this on a prototype.

If implemented for trains, each train could be bound to two Tx memories. One could be unique and used only for that train. It would be used for driving the train on its own and perhaps bringing it up to a consist arrangement. The other could be used for controlling the consist. In that case all the trains bound to the consist memory would work together when that memory is selected on the Tx. Only one transmitter memory can be active at one time so the trains will either obey their individual commands or act as a consist.

It does not make the receivers much more complex because each time you bind it just replaces the 'oldest' one. It then accepts signals from both so whenever you select either model memory it just works as normal. But I'd need to know if it has a use.
dt.

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HH does own those brands. They would be a natural to develop a product like this. I the meantime, I need to get a good receiver/ESC for a 5V system for my Bachmann On30 Porter. Which one of your systems do you recommend, David?

Mike

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I'll PM you Mike.

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Hi David

in response to your comments regarding diesel sound chips I suggest you take a look at http://www.35rctank.com and listen to their various diesel sounds.

they recently modified the Leopard chip for me to a Deutz single diesel, which sounds superb with a 25x12mm speaker.

I have also used their standard Leopard chip in a RC controlled / battery operated 1:35 scale "Ferry" together with their dual motor controller. again the sound quality is excellent using a 25mm round (quality) speaker.

Have fun & stay cool
Bernard

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Interesting stuff. Thanks. David.

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Hi David,

Thank you for pointing me to the video. Is it possible to see a photo of the installation?
Otherwise a description of the install.

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Hi Rod. Posts 28 to 31 in this thread cover my N gauge in the video. OK?
David.

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Hi David,
Found after I sent the post. This is all new to me.a Can you review my shopping list.

Receiver
Battery
Transmitter
Charger for battery?

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List looks fine. Do you need suggestions?

Extra items... You may need connectors between components depending on how pluggable you want to make it. You may need a charging socket although I prefer to charge out of the train. Even that will need a charge lead.

It's nice to have an on/off switch and even nicer if that is accessible from the top without having to remove the train from the track.
Regards, David.

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David,
I am not sure I understand how to set up the transmitter. Do I require a transmitter and joystick thingy and some how join them up?

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Rod,
The Tx I have used in the video is the E-flite MLP4DSM. It's also branded as the Parkzone PKZ3341. It may have other names locally. It's the simplest and smallest for DSM2. It requires no modifications. Try local model shops or ebay. The Dx4e and Dx5e are the next sizes up.

Transmitters like these have two joysticks which operate 4 channels. 3 sticks are self-centering (spring-loaded) and 1 is not. My Rx41d-v5 is set up to use the stick that is not self-centering for power level and another stick is used to select forward/reverse as shown in the video. I call this 'full stick' throttle control.

Is this clearer?
David.

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You get lots of different levels of sophistication. Here are some examples. The DX8, DX6i, DX4e, MLP4DSM and my little Tx1-J. Many others exist of the Spektrum range. The MLP4DSM is the least intimidating and with 4 channels has some scope for experimenting with lights etc later.
dt.


Last edited on Thu Oct 11th, 2012 10:45 am by DavidT

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HI David

I think your last response may create further confusion and does not answer the original question insofar that it is not clear that your joystick transmitter serves the same function (albeit more limited) as the 4 other commercial transmitters in the photo.

I will send you a PM regarding some thoughts on the transmitter in commercial terms.

have fun
Bernard

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Thanks Bernard. I confirm that I was only using the standard MLP4DSM transmitter in the video I posted. The N gauge shown uses an Rx45-v5 but it will work as shown with the slightly larger Rx41d-v5 without any mods or changes.

My joystick transmitter that Bernard refers to is what I call Tx1-J. I included it in the photo above for scale. It is a standard-sized receiver which I convert into a miniature standalone transmitter. I add a 5-way navigation switch which acts as a joystick to control 2 channels of any DSM2 receiver. It does not have any visual indication of channel position. It also does not have an integrated battery. So it's a bit DIY but it has enough to control a train by radio in a very compact size.
Regards, David.

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The DX8 and above are radios that have a lot of airplane and helicopter flying programing that a train would never use. Unless you fly I wouldn't buy anything above the smallest TX David has shown.

Mike

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Mike,

When you say the smallest shown do you mean the E-flite MLP4DSM or the Tx1-J?

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Yes, Rod. That's the one I intend to get. I already have one of David's receivers on order. I've seen where you can pick up one of those transmitters for about $25 on EBay.

Mike

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STICKS! Remember that real locomotives are run by levers (sticks), no push buttons anywhere in a steam loco's cab!
Good show!

Woodie

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I received my DelTang 2.4 RX with integrated ESC today. Holy flippin' smokes is that thing small! It makes a standard postage stamp look big. I saw the photos on the web site but I guess I didn't really visualize it properly. Now, I'm worried about my soldering skills and my eye sight... No worries, I'll just place it under a magnifying lamp and I'll have to get a smaller soldering tip. Might even pop for a good quality soldering station. I've been wanting one for awhile now and now I have an excuse.

<edit> I noticed that he offers the same with some wires attached for train guys. I'd go for that one unless you have the desire to operate it in a different way than just simple powering of a loco. These little things seem to be quite customizable.

David, if for some reason I decided I needed to go up to 7.4v could this little guy handle it?

Mike

Last edited on Thu Oct 18th, 2012 02:44 pm by mwiz64

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Smallest tip you can find helps as does the thinnest solder to avoid swamping the pads.

Bernard suggested a version with wires would help people so I now have that available. Happy to swop if you need to.

6v is the 'absolute max' rating of the motor control chip. If you can feed the volts from 2 and 3 AA cells onto your track with all other electronics disconnected you should get an idea of speed range from one lipo.
Regards, David.

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Let me take another look at it, David. I just might take you up on the offer to swap.

Mike

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I got my Rx43d-4-v5 last Saturday. Only took one week. That must have been one scared pigeon David strapped that package to.:shocked:

Your right Mike, they are small.

I'm working on the crane to try and get it to the point of installing the Rx. Still need to get a Tx. That could happen next week.

I see a lot of other projects that could benifit from this little device.:!:

Again thanks to David T for producing such a small reciever.

Bernd

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I'm still wondering how one of these tiny receiver/ESC's would handle a 2 motor Garratt or 1 2-4-4-2 hauling 6 oaded ore cars and coach up a 10% grade! What's the current rating???

Woodie

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Hi Woodie,
I don't know what current those would need but the chip used for the ESC is rated by the manufacturer at 500mA. I have a mains controller which is only rated at 450mA. I have receivers with 2 and 3 integrated ESCs which would probably be better for multiple engines.

ON resistance is also important. It is around O.7 ohms. This is identical to the resistance through shorted out test leads on a Fluke multimeter. Yards of wire, track joins and wheel pickups are not going to come anywhere close to that.

Does this help?
Regards, David.

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David-thanks but ON resistance?? Fluke multimeter???? I was just asking a question, I am very happy with my old timey 27MHZ r/c car receiver/ESC's. They have been giving me fine control/performance for over 10 years now. Most all my locos are converted Bachmann On30 locos with Bhueler motors. Wire to the rails? Not me!

Woodie

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David,

Just a suggestion but for larger models, "O scale" and such, you might consider offering a model that can utilize a 2 cell lipo and handle a little more current.

Mike

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Yes, I agree. I've started with small stuff and need to 'grow'. I'm doing a gadget now that will probably help me with that in due course.
dt.

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I just love being able to have a discussion with a MFG of products I use and know that I'm being listened to... even if you don't end up using my suggestion it at least indicates that there is a strong desire to insure customer satisfaction.

Thanks, David.

Mike

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Mike, Bernd, & David,

I've been following this thread--exciting stuff.

I looked at the DelTang site and checked the Rx's. Very Impressive, David!

However, when I clicked on the "Buy" button on the DT Receivers page I was referred to either of two sites: BSD Micro RC and DW Foamies. The BSD listings did not include the "train" Rx's and the Foamies site never opened. Any idea what's happening?

Thanks. No hurry, I won't be purchasing for 4-6 weeks, but I was exploring RC options.

Tom

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Hi Tom, I'll PM you direct.
Regards, David.

Last edited on Fri Oct 19th, 2012 03:36 pm by DavidT

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David,
I have been watching this topic since it started and am really impressed with what you are doing. I am fairly new to RC and have a question.

If I have two locomotives with your receivers installed and I want to switch from running one to the other using the same transmitter, what is the procedure needed to accomplish this with a 2.4gHz system?

John Adams

Last edited on Sat Oct 20th, 2012 02:20 pm by quincy

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Hi David - I too am very impressed with your products and just what I was looking for - almost. I would dearly like to keep the 12v motors in my OO locos and wondered whether the Add2 add-on board and a 2s lipo would allow the motor to give a good performance hauling a 10 coach train - Or even 3s lipo?

Thanks .. Andy

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Hi John,
Thanks. The cheapest 2.4 transmitters have one identity. You would bind the receivers in all your trains to this. Whichever is on would obey the signal. If both are on, both will move. So to change train you switch one on and the other off. Same as 27MHz.

On higher-end transmitters you get 'model memories' and what Spektrum call 'ModelMatch'. The DX6i has 10 memories. Each memory has a unique identity. Only one can be active. With a radio like this you either bind all your trains to one memory (like the cheaper radios) or each train to a different memory. If you use different memories for each train, you could have both trains switched on. You would then select which is active from the Tx by your choice of model memory.

Another option would be to take advantage of the many channels that hobby Tx's have. Transmitters with 2 joysticks can normally control at least 4 channels. 2 are 'forward/backward' orientated stick movements using Ch1 and Ch3. So you could put motor control of one train on Ch1 and the other on Ch3. You could use all 4 if you don't mind moving the sticks side to side for 2 of them. With this approach, up to 4 could be on and ready to move depending on which stick you stir.

There's always a lot to take in with any new topic. I probably answered your question in the first paragraph which would be where tradional FM systems end. But 2.4 is where all the non-train hobby develpment is so hopefully describing extra options helps more people appreciate them and mould how this stuff evolves. Early days I think. Feel free to ask more questions and help guys like me understand what you want.
David.

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The technology is out there to have a very nice 2.4 train transmitter if only someone would adapt one. What do I mean? Well for one my Airtronics SD-10G has model quick select. What's that? I can switch between the first 3 models of my 50 saved with the simple push of a button. Of course, for safety, you have to switch the TX on and off. The receivers however have fail safe built in. What does that mean? it means that they will go to a preset condition when the signal is lost. One preset is hold the last known position.

Even without a train specific programming set for that radio system, you could run one train and quick switch to another with the push of a button and the first one would continue at the speed you left it at or it could just stop in place. You could quickly juggle three locos like this without a single hardware modification to what is available now.

Airtronics makes some pretty small 4 channel receivers. They are too big for the small stuff but if you can fit a little bigger stuff then away you go. Or, if David made his stuff compatiable with Airtronics then maybe even the small stuff could take advantage of that. Dave, would it be difficult to put fail safe programming like I mentioned above into your receivers?
... Would it be difficult to make your stuff Airtronics compatiable?

Maybe you can get those features on some Spektrum transmitters. I don't know. I do know the higher end Spektrum transmitters are more costly than the SD-10G

Mike

Last edited on Sat Oct 20th, 2012 05:04 pm by mwiz64

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Mike,
My receivers will stop the motor on loss of signal. To keep them going while adjusting another we need them all the use the 'same' signal. We could associate each receiver with a position on a spare channel. This could be used to select each when needed. But if they are at different power levels then it might be tricky syncing things when changing trains. I suspect that separate channels for each train will be the easiest approach.
dt.

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Hi Andy,
You don't live far from me!

ADD2 was intended to boost current capability but can be used with 2S lipos. I've not been putting it forward as an option because it would be a bit fiddly to use.

ADD2 can handle 2S but the Rx only 1S. You could do this from the same 2S lipo if you have a balance connector on the lipo. The Rx must be powered with the 'bottom' cell and it would stop driving the motor when it reaches 3v.

The disadvantage of this approach is that it will make cells go out of balance. So it would only be wise to do it if you have a charger that can balance them again.

I can prepare a wiring diagram if you are interested in seeing how to hook it up.
Regards, David.

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Thanks David - Perhaps if I tell you what I am aiming for you can guide me ... I would like to RC modify Hornby pacific locos such as the Britannia and West Country class retaining the 12v motors, which would be capable of pulling up to 10 coaches. I think 1s lipo would struggle so at least 2s and possibly 3s may be required .. Am I asking for the moon? 

 I think there could be a huge market for such an RC system  ..

 

 

Cheers ..Andy

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Andy,
I don't currently have a receiver with integrated ESC for 2S or 3S. Losi make 2S; does anyone else make 3S? I need to make one soon!

I think the "up to 10 coaches" requirement is more about Current rating than Voltage. Voltage mainly affects top end speed.

To meet the 3S requirement now I think you have to use separate Rx and ESC. The ESC would need to have a BEC. I and others can provide links to those we know of if you wish. If you are familiar with microprocessors you can convert a small 1-way brushless ESC to 2-way brushed.

For a DSM2 receiver you would use an AR6300, 4 or 6ch Orange or one of my servo receivers if size is a constraint. If you like the 'full stick' and separate 'direction channel' approach then I can provide that in a small receiver.
dt.

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David-the KYOSHO MINI Z RACER boards handle 3 cell, 11.1 volts. I have some in my locos but run with 7.4 volts. My friend has a Kyosho board powered by a 3 cell 11.1 volt in his Athearn HO lashup. It is used for industrial switching and is capable of hauling 10-12 modern 80 foot cars up a 2% grade and requires recharging after about 6 hours. Kyosho does not sell the 27 MHZ boards any more but the cars may be found on the net. They now have 2.4 GHZ and the boards can handle the voltage/amperage. And yes, it is a receiver/ESC board about the suze of a normal DCC board.By the way, that Athearn loco is a "70's" loco with old style motor. The LOSI boards I use now (they are available for less than $40 USD) run with 7.4 volts and a coupe of friends use rechargable 9 volt batteries with them in On30 locos. Why do I run 7.4 volts? When I was running DC, I never ran my locos over about 6 volts so the voltage is just right for my r/c locos. How long does a Losi board last? My 2 original locos have their original boards-over 10 years.
Just my experience with "off the shelf" products.
Woodie

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Good to know.
Thanks, David.

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I knew I was in the right place - Great information there Woodie - So I could probably get away with 2S Lipo - 7.4v or even 9v PP9 nimh, which I had not thought of .. That just leaves the receiver power and I think running this from 1 cell of the 2S Lipo is not ideal so David, Is there a micro BEC module which could be used or could this be incorporated into the ESC?  

I am also interested in your Tx modules - I have installed 2.4 Frsky 'hack' modules in several 40mhz wheel transmitters for cars and there were only 3 connections; ground, supply and ppm signal. I also have several 35mh stick transmitters with model memories, so if I sorted the supply for the receiver would this be a fairly straight forward mod?

Sorry for all the questions but this is getting very interesting .. :brill:

Thanks .. Andy

 

 

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Andy-you may be confusing the receiver/ESC which is in the loco with the transmitter which controls the receiver. At least it reads that way. My transmitters (old 2 stick and r/c car) run on 12 volts-either rechargable NICADs or plain old AA alkalines. I did convert one transmitter to use a 3 cell 11.1 volt L-Poly battery but got less charge time than I did with the locos so it was back to "regular" batteries. The older AM freqs are different in the US, the "surface" freqs are 27 MHZ AM (old style) and new stuff is 2.4 GHZ which bind the receiver and transmitter as David has explained.
David is to be applauded for venturing into this cutting edge (for model trains) technology. I hope more modelers will see the "light", radio control is indeed the future of this hobby. (Uh oh, I hear the mad townspeople with torches and pitchforks coming down the street!)
Ask questions and try the products, sitting around and waiting for everybody to "catch up" before jumping in could be like "Waiting for Godot"...he won't be here today, or tomorrow either.

Woodie

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Just a thought but in RC circles the word transmitter is abbreviated as TX and receiver is abbreviated as RX. It can make typing go faster if nothing else.

Mike

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Sorry Woodie - What I meant to post was "I also have several 35mhz stick transmitters with model memories, so if I sorted the supply for the  Tx1-M module (not receiver) would this be a fairly straight forward mod?"

I have raced RC cars for nearly 40 years so am quite familiar with the technology and terminology - Just my enthusiasm taking over my typing and articulation  ... :thumb:

I share your enthusiam for RC in railway modelling, especially the smaller gauges and I agree it has to be the future - Having said that there are still many modellers who run traditional DC and have not moved to DCC so it will be a long haul ... But fun along the way .. :)


 

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Andy,
You can power ADD2 with a 2S lipo, a 9v PP3 or 7 nicads. You can power Rx41d from that if you use a 3.3 or 5v linear regulator or commercial UBEC. My Rx would not help you with low voltage protection in this scenario.

If I develop a higher voltage Rx with integrated ESC (not started yet) I would be hoping to make it suitable for use with something like 3-16v and would handle higher currents than I presently provide. It would not need external components and would protect the battery from being over-discharged.

Tx1-M is perfect for converting other transmitters into DSM2. If your host FM Tx has 8 nicads you probably need a 5v regulator or UBEC to power Tx1. An LM7805 comes to mind with appropriate caps. If you are making this then you need the same for the Rx in the train. The PPM signal to Tx1 must not exceed 3.6v. This is easily done with the 3.3v zener and 1k resistor as shown on my site. Maplin should have all the components.

In case you are interested, I'm making a 'Tx2' product. This will look identical to Tx1-M but will have the capability of connecting up to 7 potentiometers direct (no host Tx needed).
Regards, David.

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"If I develop a higher voltage Rx with integrated ESC (not started yet) I would be hoping to make it suitable for use with something like 3-16v and would handle higher currents than I presently provide. It would not need external components and would protect the battery from being over-discharged"

And measure 9mm x 9mm x 1mm - ;)

Seriously David that sounds exactly what I am looking for - Put me on the list ... As well as for the Tx2 (Any idea on timescale?) I have just bought an Eflite mlp4dsm Tx to play around with so just working out my complete shopping list

 

Its a good Monday today ..

Thanks ..Andy 

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Andy,
A 3S Rx will be a little bigger. I can use a combo MCU and RF chip for 1S lipos but higher voltages need separate components which will take up more space.

I have a working prototype of Tx2 with 1 pot. I'm scaling that up to more channels now. It's mainly just a softare challenge now so timing depends on how smoothly that goes and whether other stuff jumps the queue. It will probably take another two to three weeks.
dt.

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Well, a small world it is - I jump on a US forum and find one of the contributors, David T lives a 10 minute walk away .....

One more question David - Is it possible to program the speed control to simulate the acceleration and braking of a 90ton loco?

Cheers .. Andy

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Yes, small world.

It can be done. I'd expect to need a 'ramp speed' setting which would be easiest if set using a spare channel. This would be separate from the primary motor control channel. Does this sound appropriate?

We'd also have to decide whether this feature lives in the Rx or Tx. A DX18 Tx can probably do this now but at a very high price. It may also be feasible to build it into an experimental product such as my Tx2.

BEMF-based ESCs will be more effective than plain PWM in converting the commands to smooth movement. However, I think this is the same whether we are talking about manual or automated ramp up and down.
dt.

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I would be very surprised if the DX18 could do that. The closest you could come to that are the ESCs used to fly helicopters where they run in what's called governor mode. They spool up the heli rotor in stages. Particularly, the larger helis cant just leap up to speed without breaking something. Now you can flip a switch on the TX to tell the esc to go up from idle to the next throttle setting but its the esc that handles the smooth transition.

That said, if you can work the programming, I believe Turnigy has a 9 channel TX that has open source coding that people have been modifying to suit their needs. Don't know if a throttle ramp up is possible, however.

Mike

Last edited on Mon Oct 22nd, 2012 11:14 pm by mwiz64

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I'm a bit excited. I went to a LHS and purchased a Tx today.

Here's a few self explanatory pictures.

All the elctronics laid out and labeled.



 The Transmitter




All of it together.



Next, hook it all together and figure out how it all works and is set up.

David, I may need your help on this.

Bernd

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Looking great. I love the cable system. Feel free to ask.
dt.

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Frankin-crane Lives. :rah: :rah: :rah: :rah::shocked:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEltlyGHz0A&feature=plcp

I'll fill in the details on my crane thread soon.

Bernd

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Too cool!

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What Ray wrote! Way, way cool.

Woodie

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Outstanding Bernd. It's great seeing it doing something useful. I like the way you have mounted and deliver power to the Rx.

I would find it more intuitive with the swivel on the left/right stick and the speed a bit slower. If you want to experiment with less responsiveness you can press in the right Tx stick once powered up. The led on the Tx should flash and you will have invoked 'low rates' on the Tx.

I think low rates reduces the speed of all motors. To 'permanently' reduce the speed of 1 motor such as the swivel, you can put diodes in the wires to the motor. Each diode such as a IN4148 will drop about 0.6v. You need at least two, in parallel with opposite polarities, to preserve two-direction control.
Regards, David.

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David,

I had trouble getting it to work. I just hooked the mototrs to the Rx and hoped for the best. I still don't quite understand how the binding is done. As I said it just happened to work. On the back of the Tx is instructions for binding. It also said that it would not be nesscary since it was already done at the factory. So I was a bit confused.

Can I change the stick functions around on the Rx/Tx somehow or do I need to unsolder the motors leads and change them around?

As far as speed is concerned I really don't want to add more electronics to the Rx. Being able to adjust speed by the amount of stick movement is good enough. I'll give your suggestion a try on pushing the stick down on the Tx. I knew that the left stick does that sine that is part of the binding instructions on the back of the Tx.

I am looking at doing 3 more cranes like this. I've learned a lot on this project and hope to make improvements on the next three cranes.

When I had heard railroad modelers talk about battery power and R/C control I was very skepitcal. I thought to myslef, "learn how to wire a layout guys". But now that I've actually built a R/C battery powered HO scale model I'm sold.

I need to let some of this soak into the brain and also need to play with it somemore. My biggest fear was when soldering the wires to the Rx that I get a solder bridge or heat the board to much, but my many years of doing circuit board soldering saw me through with flying colors.

So David I plan on getting at least three more Rx's from you in the future. Now I need to finish the crane up and start my next project, a mechanical indexing turntable. Oh yeh, I also need to do some work on my HOn30 limestone quarry layout.

Bernd

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Bernd,
Your Tx is normally sold with a plane. So the reference to already being bound is in that context. Since you have my Rx43d working, you should not need to rebind that again.

Rx100-T that I sent you should be used to build up some confidence with RC. It would be worth getting a cheap servo if you don't have one. The servo and the 3 green leds on the bottom of Rx100 will give you things to experiment with. I can explain more when you are ready.

To bind Rx100 (and any other DSM2 Rx), the Rx needs to be in bind mode before the Tx (with my Rx's, switch on and wait 20s). If the left Tx stick is being pressed when the Tx is switched on, the Tx will then execute the bind. The orange/red leds on both with flash if happy and then go solid when done.


When space is not critical I fit small sockets (S1.27) to the Rx. This allows you to swop and reverse motors very easily. I can also supply it with wires now.

For now, the easiest and lowest risk will be to cut the wires and rejoin them, but see below too.

The outputs can also be re-assigned electronically. This is easy once you get your mind around it but it is not intuitive. To consider this you should first experiment with 'programming' the Rx100-T once you have that working normally.
Regards, David

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Ok, thanks David.

I guess I need some time to see how all this works. Right now I need a rest from this exhustive hobby work. :P

Can you recomend some common cheap servo's. I've seen some in my searches of the net. I remember them having a blue see through case.

And a note to the general forum who may be reading this. I'm hoping this disscusion is of help to those wishing to try this method of train control. The end result I'd like to get out of this is a running HO scale steam engine or two using battery power.

So are we having fun yet?

Bernd

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Bernd,
I understand. You have done well. If you have a local hobby shop then whatever their cheapest is. '9g servo' on ebay start at a couple of dollars which will be fine.
dt.

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Bernd-E FLIGHT markets the tiny "see through" blue servos. Also GWS (Grand Wing Servo) makes tiny servos. If you want REALLY tiny servos, look for those made for mini helicopters & indoor planes, HobbyZone (Horizon) and Great Planes has things like that. It's really a big help if you have an r/c shop nearby where you can visit & look at the products.

Woodie

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@David,

I went surfing after I wrote that post. Found what I was looking for. Does it matter if they are digital or not?

@Woodie

As I said above. Thanks though for the info.

Ok, guys here's what I want to try. First I want to play around with David's Rx100-T with some servos. I'd like make make the servos rotate continuously. I believe that is accomplished by removing the feed back pot, right?

Next I was eyeing my Bachman 2-6-0 for installing a servo or perhaps one of the 6 volt gear motors I'm using to drive the engine. Using the Rx100-T. I could install the linear servos I saw for remote uncoupling. That's just a thought right now.

A couple of other thoughts to. I might start out with using 12 to 14 constant voltage to the track, then run it through a rectifier diode so I get same polarity. Then go through a voltage regulator that will reduce the voltage to 4.8, 7.6 or 11.1 volts. Then when I'm ready I can easily switch to Lipo battery power. Like I said just a thought for now. It might change with time.

Bernd

Last edited on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 06:48 pm by Bernd

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Bernd,
What happened to "I need a rest" :-)

They do not have to be digital.

6v would be fine but please be aware that not many servos are rated for 2S lipo which charge to 8.4v. Hobby King and others have some 'HV' high voltage versions which will probably be better for 2S.

To make a servo rotate continuously you either need to remove the pot but keep it connected, or replace the pot with two resistors, each half the value of the pot. You also need to remove any physical stops that prevent 360' rotation.

And once you have done that you have a cheap fwd/rev ESC using just the servo amp board.
I can see you're having fun!
dt.

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David,

I did take a rest. You must have missed it. Trouble is once the brain gets to thinking of how to use these wonderful little divices it just can't stop. My problem is that I have an interest in way to many different subjects.

Ok, so what if I remove the servo board and use it to drive a regular 6V motor? (see there I go again, brain in gear, new ideas flow). Just a thought, but your input is highly valued .

Was also thinking of staying with the Nicads for now. So to keep the voltage within range of the servo's.

Bernd

Last edited on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 11:23 pm by Bernd

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Bernd,
Cat nap will do :-)

Yes, you can control your regular 6v motor. The response may not be linear because there may be some cleverness in the program. But let us know...

Rx100 is for experimenting. So its Pin1 should give you 'full stick' control with separate direction channel (2 stick control on the Tx like in my videos). Pin2 should give you normal 'center off' fwd/rev control with one Tx stick. If brave you can then try to change Rx100 to use different channels for these.
dt.

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David,

Will do. I now have to reread my posts to see what i wanted to do next. ;)

Bernd

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Hi,
I've made a prototype high voltage ESC and have turned that into a new receiver design. The layout is shown in the attachment. The new 'Rx60' will have an integrated reversable ESC rated at around 1.5A. It will operate off anything between 3-20v DC. It will have silent high speed PWM of 15kHz. It will have over-current and under-voltage protection. It will be 18.5 x 10mm. Does this sound useful?

Battery and Motor connections will be quite large and have 2.5mm spacing (0.1"). It will also have 3 smaller outputs (marked in Orange). I've not made my mind up about these but they could be used to drive an external sound generator with a throttle servo signal and two lights.

Let me know what you think.
Thanks, David.


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David-heck yes it sounds useful! That's the kind of board that would fit into an existing loco with enough voltage to get along nicely. Excellent!

Woodie

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Brilliant David - :)  That is what I have been waiting for - When can I have one ... ?

 

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Great. I'll probably order the PCB's in a few days. Best case will be a month or two before available.
dt.

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David,

Sounds great. I would use the three extra outpus as 1 for engine head light on/off, 1 for maker lamps on/off and the 1 for uncoupling.

This one receiver sounds more like what I would use on a train oriented project. Makes me wonder if I should continue with the receiver I have now. The Tx2 will work with your new Rx60, right?

Guess I'll keep experimenting with the Rx41d-v5 then untill next spring. I'm excited about Rx60 receiver. I'll be ordering one next year then.

Bernd

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Bernd, How will uncoupling work? Servo?
dt.

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David,

Great product line! I look forward to experimenting soon.

One probably naive question: Human hearing is usually said to cover the range 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Could the 15 kHz PWM possibly be audible via the drive mechanism?

Tom

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Tom,
15,625Hz is technically a convenient setting which I think is why it is quite common. People who say they have a slient ESC is often that setting from what I've seen. It's the 1k ESCs that people find most annoying. Are there any popular DCC systems that we can see their PWM speed?
Regards, David.

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Thanks.
I was just curious. I'm not experienced at all so I have no knowledge of the frequencies of the DCC providers.
Tom

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OK. I can change it if we need to. Welcome to the forum by the way.
Regards, David.

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DavidT wrote: Bernd, How will uncoupling work? Servo?
dt.


That is my thought. Using a servo. I've done a little preliminary work on a passenger car. The one problem would be in freight cars such as a flat car.

On the MRH forum a discussion was started about remote uncoupling. There was a video that showed a person demoing the idea at a train show. I'll go look for it and get you the link. They used DCC. The thing is each car needs to be equipped with a decoder or in the RC case a receiver and the mechanics to make it function. That gets to be quite an expansive proposition. But the point was made that passenger cars could benefit from this idea better, since you have less cars. One idea was using a laser pointer. No codes to punch into the DCC system. It also got down to whether batteries or track power would be used. Again using RC to do this would work great, but how would you tie, say, 10 or 15 cars together on one receiver so you could uncouple. At present I don't see that as possible. Now on a locomotive it would work great since you can use one of the channels to do that. This is something that I'm looking at developing in the future. Right now I want to get a system up and running based on your Tx2 and the up coming Rx60. I think that's going to be a great combination for the model railroading hobby.

So as soon as I get the replacement Rx I'll get back to this project and put something together. Just need to get over the steep learning curve.

I have more ideas on the back burner. I need to finish cooking the first idea. :bg:

Bernd

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Bernd,
I'd like to see the video if you find it. A servo may be feasible with Rx60. 3v is accessible on the edge of the PCB. It's not designed for powering a servo but may be OK for light loads/infrequent use. Otherwise a separate UBEC/regulator.

For the cars I would have thought cheap 'Orange' receivers would fit and be suitable. Replace the big cap and chop off the connector if you need a thinner version. Again power supply needs thinking through.
dt.

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Bernd, while I applaud the efforts of r/c uncoupling, I still believe that the "good old fashioned" KD magnetic uncoupling system is the easiest and best. Consider this-each car, freight or passenger, would need some kind of board to control the function. If you had a train of say 10 cars, then you have 10 receivers, and so on. Also, with track power, the wheels would need to be kept spotless for power pick up. If onboard batteries, then a battery for each car? We operate with both DC and r/c and use KD couplers and never have any issues. Uncoupling? If you want to use their magnets or electro magnets then they can be put anywhere the uncoupling needs to happen, sidings, yards, etc. If not magnets, then a 10 cent BBQ skewer will accomplish uncoupling. We operate this way on a rather large HO layout and everyone I know does the same. I know that it would be nice to have "magic" uncoupling capabilities but the logistics befuddle me. Of course you could be using link & pin couplers, then all the r/c in the world wouldn't be of use to you. Just some things to think about.
Woodie

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Found the video.



If you have the time you can read the 9 pages or so post. Including my comments. It does get heated a bit. Benny gets a bit verbose, so you may want to skip his comments.

http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/8799

Then I started a thread on the same thought of remotely uncoupling. The work on it sort of died, but the idea is still alive and I plan on reviving it at a later date.

http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/8980#

So I think I've got it all here on the remote uncoupling.

Sorry moderators for linking to another forum. I plan on bringing it here when I restart the project. Seems to be more appreciated here when a person has ideas they want to try out.

Regards,

Bernd

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Ok, so what happened to the video. I used the U-tube icon in the reply box. It showed up in the reply box but didn't show up in the post?

So here's the link then: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzsB7n9_-rA&feature=player_embedded

Bernd

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No problem with the link, information is OK no matter where it is located.

Woodie

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W C Greene wrote: Bernd, while I applaud the efforts of r/c uncoupling, I still believe that the "good old fashioned" KD magnetic uncoupling system is the easiest and best. Consider this-each car, freight or passenger, would need some kind of board to control the function. If you had a train of say 10 cars, then you have 10 receivers, and so on. Also, with track power, the wheels would need to be kept spotless for power pick up. If onboard batteries, then a battery for each car? We operate with both DC and r/c and use KD couplers and never have any issues. Uncoupling? If you want to use their magnets or electro magnets then they can be put anywhere the uncoupling needs to happen, sidings, yards, etc. If not magnets, then a 10 cent BBQ skewer will accomplish uncoupling. We operate this way on a rather large HO layout and everyone I know does the same. I know that it would be nice to have "magic" uncoupling capabilities but the logistics befuddle me. Of course you could be using link & pin couplers, then all the r/c in the world wouldn't be of use to you. Just some things to think about.
Woodie


Woodie,

That was one of my argument points on MRH. I got flamed. The idea for passengers cars makes sense though. It's hard to get inbetween the cars if they have the diaphrams on them with a skewer, plus you can't get the slack needed with the diaphrams to use a magnetic ramp. My concept was to use the track power plus a circuit activated by a laser pointer. You can follow my post at MRH about what I proposed.

It is an idea that I'd like to persue sometime in the future.

And those that use link and pin probably have no use for modern devices such as RC, remote uncoupling or any other modern electronic devices. :P Just kidding.

Bernd

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Thanks for the links Bernd. Complex topic.
dt.

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David,

Thank you so much, that you have applied the effort to develop this new board.

A few questions.

two proportional channels and two on/off would be fine. Will it be programmable, which channel on the transmitter I use for them?

The under voltage protection - Will it be variable for different numbers of Lipo cells?


I have tested different esc's with different PWM frequency and 15 kHz PWM is absolute ok for my ears. I have one esc with 16 kHz and I perceive this as absolute silent.

Juergen

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Thanks Juergen,
My 15k and your 16k are likely to be the same 15625Hz. This gives 256 step resolution in both directions (512 total).

My current thinking on voltages is to 'auto-detect' at startup. 9-20v will have a 9v cutoff, 6-9v a 6v cutoff, 4.3-6v a 4v cutoff, and 3-4.3v a 3v cutoff. Any questions or concerns about those levels, let me know.

As we start to think about how Rx60 will work, it's worth mentioning that Rx60 will have a miniture potentiometer on it. It is shown in the layout as a component with a + in the middle. The pot sets the startup voltage when you open the throttle. Motors normally need say 20% power before they start turning. The mains-powered controller I have has a similar feature underneath it. So this can be set for each receiver to match it's needs. This just needs a small screwdriver to use; no programming.

I expect to have 3 versions of Rx60 using different channels (1/2/6) to match a 3-train controller using my Tx2. These may default to 'center off'; not sure yet.

I might then do another that uses Ch1 for Power and Ch3 for Direction. I think this is best for simple 'stick' based transmitters. You probably need something different so the outputs will all be user-changeable.

I've not decided about the smaller ones yet. Two switched for leds or something else???
dt.

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Bernd-you're right, I have no use for radio control. Nope. No way. Not ever....Well, I am gonna go and run a train, outside, with magic radio waves...
On another website, I got thoroughly shot down for even writing about r/c. The moderator deleted the link to this forum and several fellows told me that "it will never work" and "why not use DCC?". I still lurk there and occasionally poke them with a pointed stick. Some fun!

Woodie

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Woodie,

Believe it or not I was against it at first to. But David here has made it easy to do. I now see may posiblities for RC.

One must try it before opening mouth and inserting foot. :doh:

Onward with more experimenting.:glad:

Bernd

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David,

so you have covered all the things that have always been little stones in my RC shoes. Great work, these boards will be really avant-garde.

So I'm looking forward to order some, as soon as design is finished and you are able to offer them.


Juergen

Last edited on Sun Nov 25th, 2012 11:09 am by Toeffelholm

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Hi David:
I just dropped in and reviewed the last few posts. Unfortunately I haven't seen examples of your receivers yet but with model trains the smaller the better. Many locos, especially older ones are designed to receive power and control from a source outside the loco shell and delivered through the track. Moving a power supply and radio control circuit on board creates challenges. Most tenders on steam models are basically empty and large enough to contain the components, diesels have an area below the frame and between the trucks which on the models is usually used for weight. If this part of the frame (Usually metal) was removed and replaced with a thin plastic shell molded to model the fuel tank it would probably create enough room for the battery and receiver. The drawback is it's a lot of work. I have just completed 2 installs in Bachmann On30 locos. one 2-6-0 and one porter 0-4-0. The porter needed the addition of a tender which I kitbashed. Both jobs required over 12 hours of work. Most of that time was needed to make the locos DCC ready. They were older engines made for DC operation. IMHO what is most needed now is a "plug and play" setup which could be installed in a DCC ready loco or even better a ready to run engine. I dream of the day when I can buy a battery powered, radio controlled engine, take it out of the box, charge the battery and then put it on my layout and run it.
A few features unique to model rail operation which I haven't heard discussed at any length are MU operation where 2 or more engines are controlled with the same throttle, on board sound systems and on board battery charging capability. The only system which has all this is the Stanton Cab-1. It works well but is not an easy install. It also requires a dealer only modification of the DCC decoder used with the system.
Another unique aspect is very precise low-speed control. Some DCC systems have 128 speed control settings. This is important when coupling and uncoupling cars. If the engine is "twitchy" this can be frustrating.
I admire (envy) your ability to construct radio control circuits. I offer these thoughts in the hope that they would be helpful in the case you choose to design components tailored to the model railroad hobby.
Cheers, Ed

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Hi Ed, thanks for the feedback. I make controllers as small as I can for DSM2 transmitters. Is 10*18mm OK for you? I also currently have 128 step resolution although will increase that to 512 with my new version.

Any number of engines can be controlled simultaneously with the same throttle. I can control up to 7 at the same time with separate throttles from one transmitter. I've not done sound yet but really see that being a separate module controlled via an output on my receiver.

Fitting a 10mm wide Rx into my HO conversion was easy because it had a modern hollow plastic shell. The conversion of my N gauge was difficult but mainly because it had a solid metal shell that I had to bore out. I have 2 other N gauges that have plastic shells so are much easier.

I've seen a 'toy' grade 'insert battery and run' type system but not something better aimed at enthusiasts. Perhaps the 2.4GHz technologies will make this more feasible.
All the best, David.

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Here's another view of the AMD-103 power chassis and an example of the type of shell it will go in.  A Phase IV Amtrak shell will ultimately be used rather than the Phase II shell shown.







My original RC parts are being used on a Hobbytown E7 chassis. Additional batteries will be used in a B Unit.  I'll need to decide if the B Unit also gets its own motor/Rx/ESC or if I just connect the batteries in parallel with the A Unit batteries.




Lighting is next. Sound will follow. Controlling switches from the engine later on. Everything still looking feasible and practical for running trains via RC.

Hope everyone enjoys the Holidays and my best wishes for a Happy New Year.

Dan      

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Nice work Dan. Any chance of getting a close up and clearer picture of you RC board set up. Looks nice and net.

Bernd

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Bernd, my DT board is part of the testing I'm doing on the drive chassis to obtain data on current draw, speed ranges and related. Only the wiring for this purpose has been installed. The plan is to install the voltmeter/ammeter I have on the engine to obtain data while running and pulling a pre-determined load.  I'll then be able to size future components more accurately.   

This week I'm attaching additional wires and experimenting with lighting effects. I may use a separate lighting module which allows you to program ditch lights, Mars lights and other effects. To conserve mah, I will use fiber optics with one LED rather than multiple LEDS, so this also has to be worked out.  A parallel project involves using Li-ion cells and a new high efficiency step-down converter to increase energy density in battery areas.  This should allow enough energy for two sound systems I have in mind, while still providing motive power and lighting.

Ed brought up some items I'd like to comment on. Yes, the fuel tank area is the obvious place to mount batteries and this will be done in future models.  For now, proving RC is a practical way to go, not only with small engines, but road diesels and steam engines, needs to be more widely demonstrated, especially amongst the non-believers.

There have been discussions on different forums and related threads about MUing.  As you know, one Tx can control any number of engines so long as they are basically the same.  I don't see running a 4-6-4 Hudson in unison with an SD40-2 like they do with DCC at this time, but it should be possible in the future with telemetry feedback and control or some other method.  I think we'll need to walk before we learn to run, but that's OK with me because I'm already having fun running basic RC and knowing I'll soon be beyond basic.

I'm working with several manufacturers trying to get basic sounds. I'm also trying to develop a system for controling a diesel horn or steam whistle so each operator can be recognized by his unique sound. 

Likewise, for charging on-board batteries without removing them or using power through the rails, there is a way to do it wirelessly, and this project gets very active next year. 

Results obtained with center-off forward-reverse stick control gave me very good results for switching operations. I'm using a high gear ratio and a flywheel on the motor to get smooth forward and reverse motion.  I believe the DT board can be reset for full stick forward and reverse motion, probably a good idea with large road diesels or steam engines.  I think this also doubles the number of speed steps in each direction.

The above thoughts and opinions are my own, so no one should be offended if they are not in line with your thinking.  This hobby is big enough to support different ideas, and IMHO if you enjoy doing it, you should. 

Happy Holidays to all!

Dan      

                   

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I ordered PCB for 3 designs today. I attach the layout for Rx61.

ESC1: 11x19mm ESC + 1A BEC
Rx60: 11x21mm Rx + ESC + 3 small P outputs
Rx61: 13x22mm Rx + ESC + 150mA BEC + 7 P outputs

Sizes are approx but hopefully over-stated slightly.

ESC1 is for use with any normal receiver with servo type outputs. Its BEC will provide 5v to power the Rx. The BEC limits operating voltage to 3-18v, perhaps less.

I intend the BEC output on Rx61 to be 4v which should be enough for a normal servo or a very small one which are sometimes only rated for 1S lipo. I can do a 5v BEC. The servo would be connected to the adjacent black/red/blue pads along the bottom. The BEC limits operating voltage to 3-16v, perhaps less.

The P outputs are for leds, servos and other on/off and 'logic' type actions. 5 P outputs (shown in blue) have 2.5mm (0.1") spacing as do the main battery and motor connections on the left. The orange P outputs are easier to solder on the other side of the board.

I expect to receive the PCB in 3 weeks. The ESC1 program is mostly done because I have a prototype. The Rx programs need a lot of work but I expect to have them ready. However, it then takes as long as it takes to get them working correctly once installed!
Regards, David.

Last edited on Mon Dec 3rd, 2012 12:24 pm by DavidT

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David,

That's great news. What will the output voltage and amperage be for the Rx60? I'm hoping for something in the 12 to 16 volt range and a max of 2 amps stall current. This is approximatley equal to what current DCC systems are rated at.

Rgards,

Bernd

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The component with the lowest voltage rating in Rx60 is 20v. But we probably need to de-rate that slightly. My intention is 3S lipo (12.6v) with some safety margin.

I think I'm starting with good Fets but until I've built and tested it I don't know what the board can sustain. Similar sized brushless ESCs have a higher rating than you mention.
Regards, David.

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DavidT wrote: The component with the lowest voltage rating in Rx60 is 20v. But we probably need to de-rate that slightly. My intention is 3S lipo (12.6v) with some safety margin.

12.6 volts would be good enough for model railroad use.


I think I'm starting with good Fets but until I've built and tested it I don't know what the board can sustain. Similar sized brushless ESCs have a higher rating than you mention.
Regards, David.


With the can motors used in the model engine products of today 2 amps would be plenty, but there's has to be a factor for a possible short circuit. I don't now how one would go about designing a safety circuit for that situation.

This looks like a very exciting product to be able to experiment with. Looking forward to getting an Rx60 when you have them ready for market.


Regards,

Bernd
 

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I have a soft-start in my ESC1 software so power is applied progressively. I then measure current as often as I can and hopefully catch things before they become destructive. I thought of building in a resettable fuse but they add resistance (=heat) and take 0.5s to react. My software is assessing current 8000 times a second.
dt.

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Thanks David,

8000 times a sec. WOW fast.

Once the all the electrical work is done and the wires are stuffed into the engine there should really be no reason for a short. The only thing I foresee is the motor stalling and drawing lots of current, but if you source your motor correctly then that should be no problem. But this is something that is hard to do with a purchased locomotive. They come with motors. But as I said the newer ones draw much less current than the old open frame motors once used to run the engines.

So we are actually talking a miniature computer or micro-processor running your engine. How unique.

Bernd

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Bernd: Dave Allen (nickplate) and I are booked in to the RIT Tiger Tracks train show in Rochester this weekend (Dec 8-9) We will be operating a small (4x8) On30 layout showcasing TOTAL battery power and radio control and featuring the Stanton Cab-1 and the Tam Valley Depot DRS-1 BP/RC operating systems.
All forum members who can make it, please come so we can meet you and compare notes.
The show is at the Gordon Field House on the RIT campus. Sat 10-5, Sun 10-4. $5 adm Seniors $3 under 12 free.
Ed

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Ed,

I'll be there on Saturday. Looking forward to seeing some of them products you mentioned.

Bernd

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Ed, Dave, & Dick.

Was a pleasure meeting you guys at the RIT train show and swap meet.

Ed, & Dave -  To bad you couldn't demo your "Dead Rail" layout you had with you because of radio wave interference with other guys in that large arena. Hope you get it straightened out.

Even though I had a mechanical problem with the crane picking up power through the two sliding pickup points, there wasn't any radio interference. I think your on the right track with switching to Davids boards.

Bernd

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Hi Bernd: Was great to talk on Saturday with you,Ed and Dave. I too am sorry that the "dead rail layout" was dead but I saw what was one of the problems with using the lower frequencies and I too am looking seriously at 2.4. Your crane is fabulous and the work needs to be seen to be appreciated. I have started a conversation with Dave at Datang about using his receivers with sound and the possibility of triggering with pushbuttons on a transmitter. Don't know if it will work but he said that the tank and boat people have used sounds triggered off a servo output on the receiver. Will keep in touch.
Talk soon
Dick w (ashtrain)

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Here's one generator that changes with power level/speed. It uses a servo type control signal http://www.technobotsonline.com/combo-engine-sound-unit.html They have sample sounds to listen to.

I should be able to create most kinds of control signals for addon sound generators. Do you get any addon units for DCC? I'd prefer those that change with speed if anyone has more examples.
dt.

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I ran my locomotive on the Mohegan Pequot layout at the Willimantic CT train show yesterday and it was very well received.  I let as many club members as possible operate the engine so they could get a feel for speed control with a Tx toggle.  They seemed to really like it, and especially being able to go from very low crawl speeds to maximum speed smoothly and effortlessly.

I got a real joy being able to ride through a crossover switch area without hesitation while three club members were furiously trying to find the reason for sparking at a switch connecting a siding with the main line.  

I've added lighting to my engine, which is on-off controllable from a toggle on my transmitter...no dimming problems at any speeds.  They have invited me to do a clinic next year for their membership and I have accepted.  I'm doing my best to spread the word.

Happy Holidays to all!

Dan     

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David: Thanks - nice steam sound. I was thinking along the lines of the Soundtraxx Tsunami with a total sound (steam exhaust, bells,whistles ect). Whether this would be possible or not, I think it might. The large scale guys have that capability with RCS, Aristo amongst others that can trigger different sounds from the sound decoders. Again thank you.
Talk soon
Dick w

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Hi. My new Rx6x PCB's are with the courier and due for delivery on Monday. The software for them is taking shape but I don't know how long it will take to actually get it working properly.

I'm told that on larger layouts there could be a desire to hand over control of a loco to another operator with a different transmitter. I personally like to switch between various Tx's, mainly for testing, but there may be other reasons. So I intend providing an option for each Rx to be used with up to 3 Tx's and here's how I intend this to work. Please let me know what you think.


By default, the new Rx will only obey the 1 Tx to which it is bound. 2.4 Tx's can control any number of Rx's bound to it, but 2.4 Rx's normally only obey the Tx to which they were most recently bound and that's how mine will work by default.



To make my Rx6x hold binding info for more than 1 Tx, the Rx will have to be specifically enabled for 2 or 3 Tx's. Those Tx's will then each have to be bound once to the Rx to be used. This guarantees that the Rx has 'agreed' to be controlled by other specific Tx's.

On startup, the Rx will look first for signals from the Tx that was previously in control. If not detected in about 10s, it will try to find the next Tx. Only bound Tx's can gain control, but whichever achieves this on startup then becomes the active Tx.

To pass control to another Tx, there will have to be a trigger that instructs the Rx to do this. This guarantees that other Tx's cannot 'seize control'. The trigger can be via a spare channel on the Tx (eg: move left stick left to allow 2nd Tx to take control or right to allow 3rd Tx).

I could make the trigger be from a pulse on a pad on the Rx. This could come from a sensor on the train. A simple example would be a reed switch with magnets on the track. Control would toggle to the next Tx each time the train passes over the magnets.

Having instructed the Rx to listen for another Tx, if its signal is not detected within a few seconds the train will slow then stop. This will be normal failsafe behaviour for no signal.

If the signal from the new Tx is detected quickly, the throttle will transition to the speed set on the new Tx. Eg: if the speed setting on both Tx's are roughly the same, the train will just continue in motion with immediate change in control.

Let me know if you can think of any problems with this approach or can suggest improvements.
Thanks, David.

Last edited on Fri Dec 28th, 2012 12:13 pm by DavidT

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Very clever David.:thumb:

Thinking about this, I found that this feature will make it so much easier to play with my friends locos and vice versa on our common layout, without the need of re-binding.

I think for our needs I would chose the solution with the trigger in the loco. It is easier if we have several locos switched on and only want to change one of it.


Juergen

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Hi David,

 I'm told that on larger layouts there could be a desire to hand over control of a loco to another operator with a different transmitter.

 

The way the prototype does it is they have a "crew exchange" location. Were one crew hands the train over to the next crew.

Here's how I would do it. I would bring the train into the crew exchange location. I'd have that track on a on/off switch, I'm assuming track power, the way I plan on using your system, stop the train turn off the power to the track. The next operator would turn on the track power switch and bind his Tx to that engines Rx. This of course assuming constant track voltage. With battery power I'd use a reed switch in the engine to turn of battery power. The next operator would then need to turn on power and bind to the Rx.

That's how I'd do it. I don't mind binding to a new Rx. It's very easy to do.

Glad to here the newer boards are in the system. Can't wait to get my hands on one of the new ones, maybe even two.

Bernd

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Thanks for the ideas and feedback, guys. It will be able to work as you describe Bernd. In 'Standard' mode each loco will only respond to the commands from the Tx to which it was most recently bound. 1 Loco 1 Operator.

In 'Multi' mode I'd like to be able to flick a switch on the Tx to either give Loco-1 to another operator or make it go out of service without being touched or switched off. I will use the new switch position to select Loco-2 or Loco-3. Later, you can park Loco-2/3 and reselect Loco-1 if you wish. How does that sound?

To make the change with the Tx I will require a switch or stick to be toggled several times and then left in a low, mid or high position to indicate a choice. This should avoid unintended changes and allow the channel to be used for other things like Direction or Lights. I've not decided how to invoke suspend mode yet. Ideas?

If a change initiated from one Tx results in control passing to a new Tx, the new operator will have to repeat the selection from his Tx to accept control when he is ready. The loco will stay suspended until he accepts control.

To do the same with a push-button on the loco I will require it to be pressed for several seconds to indicate you wish to make a change. And then pushed 1-4 times to make a choice. '4' will be suspend mode. I think it needs the initial long press to avoid unintended changes especially if used with a reed switch. Agree? Would there need to be a repeated confirmation step?
dt.

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Regarding passing control of an engine or consist to another operator at the far end of a layout, why not use a trainer cord, which would give that operator total control of the engine using his transmitter?

Dan 

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Dan, Thanks. That will tie up both Tx's but will work. A wireless trainer connection is feasible too.
Regards, David.

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David,

I bought a used Specktrum DX7s for use with my RC helicopter and was thinking it would also fill in for use with the receiver I bought from you. Am I right in that regard?

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Yes, it will be perfect.
Regards, David.

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I believe the trainer cord is a standard 1/8" shielded monaural audio cable for many Tx's. Several cables could be strung under a layout from the main control panel to other operator locations (yards, passenger terminal, industrial complex, etc.) for temporary local operator control of "your" engine using their Tx, all without them re-binding.

And Tx's like the Spektrum DX7 have a pushbutton trainer switch for simple transfer of control to a slave Tx, and vice-versa, if desired. My DX5 trainer switch is a toggle switch with spring return; not too convenient. Spektrum tells me this can be replaced with a DPDT switch. 

Sorry, not pushing Spektrum products, just happen to own this brand. 

Dan     

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Need some help...

Does anyone know the difference between the power signal from say a Digitrax DCC decoder vs the power signal from an ESC like DelTang's, both for powering a DC motor?

I think both are Pulse Width Modulated with the decoder using a fixed voltage, but not sure about whether either varies the voltage level or just the duration.

I've got some appointments set up for the Big E train show in Springfield later this month, and knowing this would be helpful. Thanks.

Dan  

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Dan,
If a guess is of any use to you I would expect DCC decoders to be using PWM. The frequency of operation may differ. Depending on where your interest lies, you may need to consider whether they use BEMF. Also how many speed steps they support. It may also be relevant that DCC supplies power to the track with a 50% duty cycle. Let me know if you want me to go into any aspect in more detail.
Regards, dt.

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David, the bottom line question is whether or not an Rx/ESC like your new higher voltage ones coming out are able to drive a model railroad DCC decoder which in turn drives the locomotive motor, and if so, are there any type motors which can not/should not be used.  Thanks.

Dan

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Dan,
Your question raises several issues. I've looked at the NMRA protocol and I believe from a technical perspective I can make my new Rx6x receivers drive NMRA compliant decoders. My Rx will feed the decoder's track pickup and act as a Command Station. NMRA have told me there are no licencing concerns. However, I'll need to get my hands on a suitable decoder and try to get it working. It would not surprise me if each had a few special requirements.

I've not looked at the Digitrax technical requirements yet but did notice that they have a licencing requirement. So I don't know about them or others yet. Each protocol will have to be checked out. I'll need to know which decoders people want.

Why would we do this? For sound I assume?

I think the most suitable motors will mostly depend on what the decoders are intended for. And I'd guess that is mainly about operating voltage. Bear in mind that the NMRA DCC only supplies power at a 50% duty cycle so I'd say a 14v system is really intended for no more than 7v motors. However, the PWM pulses would be 14v so there may be more to DCC motor science than I know.

A major challenge with all these clever things is finding a way for customers to tell my Rx what to do! Hobby transmitters are not designed for that. So I intend making a 'programming card' which I suspect will be needed to enable the DCC stuff. I intend making this device as soon as I get the basic Rx working. It will be a board with 6 rows of 10-way DIP switches. This will allow me to publish photos showing the settings you need to do different things.
dt.

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An update on my 'Multi' mode. My latest thinking is to start off assuming you want to control up to 3 of your own locos using one Tx. I think this is a more likely scenario. Each time you 'select' a loco it will swop between active and inactive. This will allow us to use the same mechanism to bring locos into and out of service very easily without touching them.

The other scenario is you want to give control of a loco to a different Tx. I think we need to put all locos we are controlling out of service so we can use another stick/switch on the Tx. The Throttle stick is the easiest to use in this scenario. So we just position that other channel (eg: Throttle) at it's max position and 'select' the loco you want to release. The Rx will immediately seek out the other Tx which has to select it to operate it.

I think this feasible with Tx controls but less so with pushbuttons. So I'll start with the Tx and see if it settles into a workable system.
dt.

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David,

I'm having trouble fitting everything into my current project. It's based on a Bachmann Davenport. My question is; can I remove all of the electronics and just connect the battery directly to the ESC/receiver and then connect directly to the motor without plugging into the circuit board on the engine?

DavidT
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Mike, I don't know what electronics you have. But I think the answer is yes. The Rx is intended to be powered direct from the battery and connected direct to the motor.

The motor usually has noise suppression capacitors. They are normally kept. I think they are less critical with 2.4 than lower frequencies.

Just check carefully for shorts/stray strands before powering it up.
dt.

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Perfect! I thought you would answer that way but I wanted to be sure. What electronics are in there? Well, I unplugged the DCC thingy from a circut board that had wires in from the pickups and out to the lights. Maybe that's all it did... switch lights on and off based on direction and function as a plug in port for the DCC device. I just cut off all the wires and removed it. I want to put the RX in that spot.

You can see it in the Scratch Building forum under the title 1:35 Scale Brookville Project.

Thanks!

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Nice. I hope the dude looks where he's going from time to time :-)
dt.

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David,

Now that I have two steam engines running I've run across an oddity. When both engines face in one direction, in other words two steamers with the boiler facing in the same direction, both engines will run in unison. Now if I take one engine and rotate it 180° each engine will run in opposite directions. Easier way of saying it is they either run away from each other or run toward each other.

Dan mentioned that the use of a second channel to toggle a DPDT switch of the second engine could be done. This defeats the purpose of using smaller components to run even smaller engines. Is there a way this can be done with the receiver? Or would that entail a complete redesign of the system?

By the way I've finally ordered my project boxes to fit your transmitter in. I should have something together by the end of the month.

Bernd

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Bernd,
Hi. On face value, they should do what you describe if you are using 1 transmitter to control both trains. I guess this is working towards a consist arrangement and you want to be able to hitch them up pointing in either direction? With real locos I assume one would pull in a 'forward' gear and the other would push 'reversed'. Yes?
Regards, David.

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Bernd,
If I have understood the issue correctly, with the Rx you have currently you could use two Direction channels, 1 for each loco. Each time you want to change direction you would have to use both sticks in the appropriate direction. If you use Ch2 and Ch3 respectively they should be on the same stick (right). This would allow you to move the stick diagonally to operate both together. The 'normal/reverse direction' of each stick can be changed to make it more intuitive. You change the channel which controls Direction by programming H1. I think only 1 Rx needs changing as both should currently be using Ch3. OK?
dt.

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I haven't played around enough to understand the programing aspect of the Rx's. Now that you have answered that question it's time to learn how to program the Rx. I feel more confident now that I've had them functioning. So time to experiment with programing. I may have a few more questions on programing as I try this.

BTW how is the Rx6x coming along? I'd like to be put on the list of getting one as soon as you have them ready.

Bernd

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I understand. Programming is easier than it looks but still tricky to grasp. I think the programming card will make it easy to do and to understand. But good too that you have trains working without programming; we just need them going the right way next :-)

If the motor goes the wrong way in a normal build it can be a hastle to swop the wires round. A push/pull consist would need an ability to change motor direction fairly easily. So in the new Rx I've made it swop motor direction if you switch the Rx on with the Throttle at max (the motor only arms once you close the Throttle). It will also be changeable via the programming card when that exists. Sound OK? There's a little risk that people change direction by mistake but its also easy to recognise and fix.

Things have gel'd in my head following some of our recent posts. So I'm now unpicking loads of different things that I started building into the new program but did not feel right. I want the core program structure to cater for several new things so its a big job. I have the PCB but I've not built any yet. I'll let you know when I get to that.
Regards, dt.

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Sounds excellent David. I believe this will take care of consisting of engines. Can't wait to test it out.

Bernd

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Hi to all and forgive me if this is outside of the forum protocols, to latch onto this thread. I recently discovered Freerails and I am enjoying the R/C threads immensely.

I am a long time Aircraft R/C'r, circa 1970's-up and oddly enough and unbeknownst to me; apparently I am a very early pioneer in R/C railroading, building my first R/C locos back in 78'

Frankly, I never understood why this aspect of model RR operation never took off with the advent of cheap micro R/C components. I suspect an unwillingness to negotiate intellectual property rights, among the various patent holders and manufactures might be a key issue with this, but knowing what I know, there is no good reason for these control systems to remain dormant, at least to DIY’ types and for us, do we really care what the big companies are going to decide as far as the hobby goes, OK a little I guess, but hobbies are supposed to be fun and possibly consumer driven…I think? Yes/No?

It all most seems too obvious to me that model railroaders highly vested in other control systems could still benefit greatly, from at least one switching loco converted to independent R/C control; if for no other reason than to pull a track cleaning car over bad sections of track. I guess we few, are the only ones to ever experience table thumping, stalling/poor connectivity on our locos?? I’ve known a handful of individuals who actually left the hobby because of table thumping and track cleaning issues!

I truly believe R/C systems are more than price competitive with DCC in the long run and for me personally, were a much cheaper/easier solution over DCC and way more satisfying.

Right now I have a few of my own projects on the work bench that may be of some interest to others building R/C locos. I am constructing a purpose built transmitter for train control, which can be configured to control (2) locomotives simultaneously. The unit has sub-trims for speed-matching of different locomotives and exponential adjustments to change the throttle curve. The transmitter is configured with throttle knobs instead of joysticks for speed adjustment. I am using brushed ESC’s with 1024 resolution and DPDT reversing switches, which kills me to do, since it takes up a channel on the transmitter which could be used for the lights and couplers. It would be easy enough to build or use a transmitter with more channels, but I would be more interested in a purpose built, high resolution ESC with a reversing function.

David T, it is obvious from your posts, that you have an excellent grasp on this whole process. I apologize if this has been asked before, but why even bother with DCC integration if you are using an R/C system? I will make the assumption that it would be preferable for larger fleets of multi function locos, but It would seem to me, that it would be much cheaper and easier to equip multiple locos with Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum receivers(FHSS) rather than Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) and let the systems sort things out on large fleets?

If needed, one could separate multiple locos by channels on the receiver: for instance loco #1 is using channels 1&2 loco #2 is using channels 3&4 and so on. This is a handy way to run multiple units from one transmitter and how my current system was operating. I am using a multi-position switch hooked to a micro servo for now, controlling multiple lighting functions on one locomotive and other than the coupler function, I could see someone using a channel for sound. A purpose built 14 channel transmitter with the right setup could feasibly run dozens of basic locomotives if one really had the desire to do so.

After playing with these systems for a long time, I can’t say for sure what’s best for every individual, but as with most things usually the simpler the better and from where I stand, I see DCC as being an unnecessary component to combine with R/C control, packed into an overly very tight space. Can you guys explain to me what I am missing with the RC/DCC system, I’m just not grasping it?

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Hi Craig,
Greetings to you and thanks for introducing yourself and your projects.

The only reason I know for wanting to control a DCC decoder with a hobby radio is 'sound'. DCC sound systems seem to be more relevant and sophisticated than 'RC' (servo signal based) at this time. RC is easy for me. DCC will be an option if I can do it.

I make Spektrum compatible receivers because they are the most popular. They don't occupy much bandwidth so I'm not expecting congestion problems any time soon. They do the 'sort themselves out' magic and don't need frequency channel control. I don't think we are anywhere near *needing* more than 1 frequency but I agree that more is better and is the right way to go.
Regards, David.

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Howdy Craig, you have found the place. I have wondered why this hobby hasn't progressed as have r/c air and cars but I guess railroaders still love to clean track & wheels and whack on the layout to make a balky loco run. I have done plenty of DCC installs for others and am amazed at the "learning curve" just to run a silly toy train, a 28 page book on programming is NOT what I want to read.
We are glad to have you aboard, don't be a lurker...we love to hear from other r/c'ers.

Woodie

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David,
Sorry to gate-crash and deviate!
I have built a 7mm radio controlled truck, using a Micro Tiny receiver/esc on 27mHz, and I'm now making a second lorry - but this time I should very much like to try out one of your minuscule 2.4GHz versions. So far as I can see, they come as plain boards without wires - but there is no way I can see we'll enough to solder up that small any more. Is it possible to buy the units pre-wired, or is there another solution. (I only need reversing motor and steering servo). It's no disaster if not, as I have another Micro Tiny in stock, it's just these seem so good!

All the best,

Giles

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Hi Giles,
I can add connectors. I'll PM you.
Regards, David.

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David and Woody, thanks for the clarification. I guess I’m thinking down the road a bit too far.

Woody, you have proven that an R/C system needn’t be expensive with your low buck solution. I am curious about the throttle resolution with your system. Most of the car ESC’s I’ve encountered don’t have a lot of throttle steps, I would think that it would make speed control an all or nothing affair. I guess the work around is low speed and low gearing?

Presently there are at least a couple of brushed ESC’s on the market that offer resolution greater than 1000, which sell for under $15.00 U.S. These are very small controllers (12 X 18mm) and narrow enough to fit inside even the most narrow diesel locomotive shells. I’ve stumbled across more than a few multi-channel receivers with similar dimensions for about the same money. Throw in some micro heli batteries in series and a cheap transmitter and you have a viable system for under $70.00, which is kind of the route I chose. Having camera issues at the moment, I’ll post pics of my set-up as soon as I get the photo issues ironed out.

David, what kind of details can you tell us about your locomotive receiver/ESC? Are you planning on a small production run of these?

On another topic, I am now experimenting with different types of track surfaces to run on, including wood and plastic track sections. How bout’ running your trains through liquids I’ve now run on grooves cut in wood, plaster and plastic and through puddles of mud colored distilled water! Try that with your DCC. Yes, model locomotives do leave a wake. I need to video this, it is really something to see and yes, real trains most certainly do operate in the water.





Last edited on Mon Jan 7th, 2013 06:25 am by Craig W

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Craig, My receivers pay my rent. I will make as many as people have locos to put them into :-)

There can be a trade-off between number of steps and the 'hum' the motor makes. The NMRA DCC standard caters for 14, 28 or 128 step resolution in each direction. I use 64 each way now and will use 256 each way in my new Rx6x receivers.
Regards, David.

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OK I see, took a close look at the DT product page finally. You're definitely going in the right direction. So David, are all throttle functions combined into 1 channel or are you using one channel for reversing on your new Rx6x receivers? The DT Tx1 Transmitter module also caught my eye as I am contemplating a switch over of several older FM transmitters I have for rail control.

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Craig,
I use 2 sticks for motor control because hobby Tx's often have less than 90° sick movements. So even with 64 steps each way I find it helpful to use the whole stick movement for the power setting. Tx1 is good for converting FM radios. Tx2 will allow you to make a controller with a 300° rotary or long linear pot to get the most from your 1024 resolution. The other obvious choice is a 'Blade' Tx because they are cheap, light and compact.

Rx6x will also allow 1-stick (center off) motor control and all outputs/functions can be associated with any channel.
Regards, Dabid.

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Craig-the equipment I use is "hobby grade", not the toy grade stuff which has no speed control. My locos can creep or run-whatever speed I want. I don't like sound effects so I am very satisfied with the operation of "low cost" r/c. By cost, I mean about $40 for the board, whatever the battery costs, and the old 27MHZ 2 channel transmitters were given to me by r/c car runners and flyers. It pays to be friends with those guys and also visit hobby shops that specialize in r/c. Ask about this at the local train store and see what answers you get!

Woodie

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“I use 2 sticks for motor control because hobby Tx's often have less than 90° sick movements.”



Yes I agree, It seems that we've all come to the same conclusions. I have much better control using a dedicated channel. Currently I'm using 270° pots on my transmitter. Tuning with the exponential function really helps if your doing any kind of switching or low speed operations.

David, the more I look at your products, the more I like them. I have found it relatively easy to control multiple functions with a single multi-function servo controlled switch. It seems to me that one could add sound using other methods as well, completely eliminating the need for DCC.

The rough illustration below shows the method I'm currently using, where a long brass contact slides along activating additional features as it slides. by changing the length of the contact, certain functions can be turned off as others are activated.



Very clever Woodie, I know what R/C surplus looks like after a few decades of collecting debris..er I mean flying model planes.[code][/code][img][/img][url][/url]

Last edited on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 12:33 am by Craig W

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Your Tx mod sounds good.
I can do multifunction switching in software; just need the sound generating part.
dt.

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Just a quick note to say that having ordered a receiver/esc from David 36 hours ago - it's arrived already!!

Amazing service, but it will take me longer to make my bit, I'm afraid!

Thank you very much indeed, David.

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It's a pleasure Giles. Thanks for taking one to try.
Regards, David.

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David,

Do the new DSMx transmitters also work with your receivers?

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Mike. All DSMX and DSM2 Tx's work with all my Rx's because DSMX Tx's can do both. My current receivers can only do DSM2 but subject to testing, Rx6x will do both.
Regards, dt.

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OK. I just bought a DX7s and I suddenly became worried...

Thanks.

Mike

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Spektrum Tx's have always supported the latest 2 protocols. DSMX is their latest and DSM2 is their previous version. So I only expect DSM2 to become threatened when there is successor to DSMX. DSMX has only been out for a year so both should be around a long time.
dt.

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And the difference between the two is that DSM2 alternates between 2 frequencies chosen randomly from 80 when the Tx is switched on. DSMX scrolls through 23 out of the 80 frequencies in a repeating but irregular pattern. Every Tx uses 1 of 4 billion different 23 / pattern combinations.
dt.

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So does DSMX frequency hop on those 23 when in use?

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Yes, DSMX hops between 23. Although the 2 DSM2 frequencies are 'random', the Tx does try to use frequencies that are not in use. And to put this into context, Spektrum's DSM2 'car' Tx's only use 1 frequency.

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http://www.horizonhobby.co.uk/aeroonline/e6spektrum/e6overview/e6_dsmx_about.html

Mike, I don't know if you have seen this video(link above), but it gives a basic explanation of how the DSMX protocol compares to earlier versions, it may not be a revelation to you, so let me apologize if it’s not what you were inquiring about.

On the topic, I must admit that my experience with Spekturm, has been less than stellar and I really hate to say that, especially since they took big market risks to bring something new and needed to hobbyists. I was an early user of the Spektrum DX6 and Futaba Faast systems. I should have waited. As a new user of 2.4 GHz equipment, I was very excited at the prospect of going to any field and not worrying about a radio failure, but after suffering numerous suspicious aircraft losses, I went searching for answers.

Paul Beard personally took a look at my planes and my Spekturm equipment. I don't like to speak ill of anyone, so I'll just state this; in my personnel dealings with Spektrum, I was dealt a bad hand and received less than satisfactory results from my encounters, despite my positive and patient attitude. According to Paul Beard, my radio equipment was fine and I was dumb enough to listen to him and lose one more very nice aircraft before I realized what was going on. The total damage was 7 very nice airplanes, thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of construction time. Afterwards, I got rid of all of my 2.4GHz equipment and remarkably, never had another radio issue using 72 MHz. Not one.

It has taken Spektrum a long time to fix their systems and a lot of customers have paid for Spektrum’s field testing the hard way. I nearly killed someone with one signal loss issue.

Sorry for bouncing off the topic, I’m wondering if anyone else had a similar experience?

Last edited on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 12:10 am by Craig W

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Mike,

So what was going on? Inquiring minds want to know.

Bernd

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Mike as in me.... ? Right now I'm in a holding pattern. I have my transmitter and receiver. I don't have an appropriate battery just yet so I haven't taken on the subject of installing the equipment on my Brookville. I've moved on to other things, like building the rest of the diorama. Ill be sure to post my results when I get to that point.

mwiz64
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Craig,

I too was an early adopter of Spektrum . I bought the first DX6. If you recall, it was only to be used with park flyers. I also bought the first full range system from them the DX7. I never had a single issue with the equipment though I have heard many instances where people had. Was I just lucky? I tend to think not. I'm not a lucky guy as a general rule.

That said, I do think Spektrum quality has been spotty, particularly in the beginning. Today, I think they are on par with the best of them.

Also, we are not running our gear on these trains at anything like the ranges used for aircraft nor is the mission as critical. I think Spektrum is fine for what we do with our trains.

mwiz64
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Craig,

I too was an early adopter of Spektrum . I bought the first DX6. If you recall, it was only to be used with park flyers. I also bought the first full range system from them the DX7. I never had a single issue with the equipment though I have heard many instances where people had. Was I just lucky? I tend to think not. I'm not a lucky guy as a general rule.

That said, I do think Spektrum quality has been spotty, particularly in the beginning. Today, I think they are on par with the best of them.

Also, we are not running our gear on these trains at anything like the ranges used for aircraft nor is the mission as critical. I think Spektrum is fine for what we do with our trains.

Bernd
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mwiz64 wrote: Mike as in me.... ?

Oops, wrong guy. Sorry about that Mike.:doh:

I meant Craig.

Bernd

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Hey Mike, I also “had” 2 versions of the DX7, which is the system I lost most of my airplanes to. How well does your radio work on the trains? I have no issues running FM or AM with chopped receiver antennas, but I’m running plastic bodied diesels, receivers mounted high in the locomotive at the rear. I never range checked the locos? Think I’ll set up a test rack outside. (Diagram below)

David, FYI, I ran some back to back tests yesterday between a lower 256 and higher 1024 resolution ESC’s. Noise seems dependent on motor type not resolution. I can only hear noise at motor stall, which isn't part of normal operation. The lower resolution ESC isn't too bad, but on one of my locomotives, there is a pronounced jump in speed, which can't be overcome by trims or exponential adjustments.
BTW do any of you fine folks have videos of your R/C trains?

Last edited on Fri Jan 11th, 2013 08:14 pm by Craig W

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Right now I have a DX7s that has yet torun a train but if it can't handle that, I'd be very surprised.

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Mike, I am positive your transmitter will work. For me, running a high resolution ESC with 3S 160-250 MAh micro heli batteries works very well. It allows for placement of components in just about any locomotive. The nice thing about your DX7, is that you have fairly precise pots in the Tx, along with a sub-trim for throttle and exponential features. Smooth sailing.

One of David ESC’s and a micro 3 channel Rx and some batteries, some minimal soldering and your off and running. SOoo much more fun than regular train control. People thought I was crazy for taking my trains outside( it’s a new thing for me), but I can’t wait for the spring to come, so I can relax in the back yard and run some trains.

Last edited on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 07:10 am by Craig W

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These small batteries can fit in the fuel tank area of many locomotives, with a little help from a cutting device/ devices. I found that lashing these together in series to make 3s packs, provides IMO the best compromise of power and space for an HO scale locomotive.


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Craig,
Thanks for the illustration. Nice to see the servo coupling. Interesting to know that the motor type plays a role in noise. I have some videos of my simple test machines on my Video page.
Regards, David.

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Hi,
as Mike already said, the demands on signal transfer safety concerning our short-distance model train control is not at all comparable to aviation modelling.

I use Spektrum for my trains four years now and to my experiences it has proofed to be absolutely reliable. Together with my friends locos I equipped 8 locos now. It doesn't matter at all where I put the receiver or antenna, It simply works.

I had a Dx6 in the beginning and have now Dx6i and Dx5. Actually I'm building a Tx with Davids Tx2.

Juergen

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Gentlemen,

Speaking of having problems with RC. Has anybody experienced difficulty of running their engines through long tunnels or under the layout in hidden trackage and lost control of their train?

Reason I ask is that an old form of making scenery was to use "chicken wire", a form of fencing, to support the plaster landscape. Also the wiring, how about the wiring under the layout? Since I don't have a layout yet I was wondering if this could be a possibility.

Bernd

 

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Interesting question and it will be good to hear if anyone else has tried it. I just did a test with my Rx41d and it seems fine with Tx21. I was able to test it up to a few meters away in the room I tested this in. I only had a fine wire mesh; the coarse should be fine too. I did not have enough for a long tunnel so used carbon fibre to seal the ends and tunnel under. Video also show one-hand control with rotary pot for Herb :-)
http://youtu.be/9PHoL9VD1HM
dt

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Ah David, so nice of you to think of me!

To answer Bernd's question-

I have a scratch built brass truss bridge on the layout-



I started out with 27Mhz and Losi boards--like Woodie -- and had control at almost 40 foot range (as far away as i could get--the layout is in an old 40' over the road refer trailer). However, when the locos got to the bridge, I had to get within a foot or so for the signal to get through--this was with chopped antennas- abt 12".

I changed over to Neil Stanton's 600Mhz gear, and have had no problems since. Of course, Neil's Rx is only active when a change is sent, but as an experiment, I can send a command when the loco is in the bridge, from 20 feet away (again- as far away as I can get) with no problems. This is with the little antenna chip that is part of Neil's RX board.

Not pertainable to Davids gear, I know, but the question was asked.

Herb 

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David,

Ok, so apparently it seems to work.

As far as the carbon fiber is concerned I wouldn't think it would block a signal. We have some cell phone towers here that are made to like farm silos. The top is made of fiber glass, a close cousin of carbon fiber. Or am I mistaken? But nice test anyway.

Bernd

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Herb Kephart wrote: Ah David, so nice of you to think of me!

To answer Bernd's question-

I have a scratch built brass truss bridge on the layout-



I started out with 27Mhz and Losi boards--like Woodie -- and had control at almost 40 foot range (as far away as i could get--the layout is in an old 40' over the road refer trailer). However, when the locos got to the bridge, I had to get within a foot or so for the signal to get through--this was with chopped antennas- abt 12".

I changed over to Neil Stanton's 600Mhz gear, and have had no problems since. Of course, Neil's Rx is only active when a change is sent, but as an experiment, I can send a command when the loco is in the bridge, from 20 feet away (again- as far away as I can get) with no problems. This is with the little antenna chip that is part of Neil's RX board.

Not pertainable to Davids gear, I know, but the question was asked.

Herb 


That shows the higher the frequency the better control. Less bouncing around of the magnetic waves.  Nice test Herb.

I don't think hardly anybody is using plaster soaked paper over chicken wire that much any more, but then you never know.

Bernd

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Bernd, David,

I can confirm running without problems under the conditions mentioned. I ran both my engines again last Sunday on the Silk City Model Railroad, a sprawling 30' x 120' layout with several multi-layered track sections. One loop goes through a steel reinforced wall, and back again, which is about 110' from where I positioned my DX5e transmitter.

My original Rx (Spektrum AR500) is now part of my E7 power chassis and performed perfectly. The receiver is a full range sports receiver with a long antenna. David's Rx43-d2-v5 receiver is on my AMD-103 power chassis, and also worked flawlessly. I did purposely kink the antenna slightly before taping it to the battery holder to help improve reception at different angles. Both took several turns around the entire layout. 

I took some video which I'll try to post shortly.

Dan  

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Hey Dan,

That's great news. Glad it works. :glad:

Bernd

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Hi all,

I've been watching your RC comments on this and related forums and I have a DT transmitter question. This discussion is on DT receivers, so it seems the obvious place.

Would there be any point, or is there any interest, in a DT transmitter that had PUSH BUTTONS built into the control box? Is anyone really comfortable with the current DT interface for lights, horns, couplers, etc? I'm suggesting that separate push buttons that access the P1, P2, ... terminals on the DT receivers might make the DT option much more attractive. How hard could it be to add the interface components that allow a button press to activate channel 3 for >2 seconds?

If you are not familiar with what I'm talking about, David has a video on his site that shows an RC car. It shows how four channels control speed, direction, turn signals, headlights, flashers and more. I love the demo but the interface brings back DOS nightmares!

Any thoughts?

Tom

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Hi,

don't know If I understand it right. What transmitter are you talking about?

The Tx2 is a DIY Tx anyway. So if you like pushbuttons, you use pushbuttons.
I like toggle switches.

My design (using a Dx5e board recently)


Juergen

Last edited on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 03:55 pm by Toeffelholm

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Ahhh, Das STEAMPUNK. Wunderbar.

Woodrow

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Juergen,

I like that design. A steam punk version for steam power. Now a oil punk for deisel engines would be great.

Bernd

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Oilpunk Tx's leave big black spots on the floor when no one is looking.


 Herb  

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Juergen, the clock adds a nice touch to your Tx. The device makes me think of Jules Verne, but also has a nautical look to it, nicely done.

On a different topic, I have been working on an inertia/ momentum function for my latest Tx build. Any thoughts or suggestions, demo vids etc?

Bernd
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Ahhh.... The Harley syndrome. :P :moose::moose:

Bernd

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Hi Tom,
If you are letting it be known you think model railway should have appropriate and fit for purpose radio-based control systems, then that is good to say. It's a multi-person, multi-year understaking.

If you just want more sensible buttons and things to use with traditional hobby radios then propose some layouts and we can discuss how you'd like things to work.

You also allude to the challenge of making changes in receivers using hobby transmitters that are not design for that. There are not many radio manufacturers who take on this challenge I can describe what I know about how they do it you like.
Regards, David.

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David and all:
Sorry for being so ambiguous! And I love Juergen's controller. I think my question applies generally to many situations, but let me provide a relatively specific example.
1) Let's say I want to use the Rx45-v5 RECEIVER in a loco. The 'H' outputs go to a medium-sized (0.5 amp) brushed drive motor. I have 6 'P' outputs to control low current things like lights. I have 2 'F' outputs that can control heavier current items--maybe coupler coils. This sounds practical and quite flexible to me.
2) Now I need a TRANSMITTER. Either a Tx21 or the Tx23 look logical to me. Say I choose the Tx21 kit--I now have a transmitter with two variable knobs and one direction switch. HERE'S WHERE MY QUESTION APPLIES. I don't like the gyrations I need to go through to actuate the different 'P' outputs (and I'll certainly never remember the combinations.*) I want 6 pushbuttons, each controlling a 'P' output. I am fairly confident I could come up with hardware circuitry to connect 6 buttons to the transmitter with appropriate >2 second delays where necessary.

So here's my question: If most users would prefer separate buttons for the separate 'P' outputs, would it be more efficient for you, David, to build this capability into your transmitter design than for large numbers of users to individually and variously solve this same identical problem? Moreover, would this additional capability make your transmitter/receiver solutions more valuable to the users?
I hope this adds more clarity to my question.
And please note that I'm not being critical, just inquisitive. I'm just in the design stage, but at this point it appears that these DT transmitters and receivers, coupled with the NWSL power supplies might be the most practical way to go for me.
Tom
*Look at the programming page for the Rx45-v5. Near the bottom of the green section it explains how to access the 'P' outputs. Some of the activation procedures require >2 second pulses, for instance.
Also, click on the VIDEOs button at the bottom of the receivers page and check out the demo of the Rx45-v5. Watch the control sequences on the transmitter.

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Tom,
Thanks for the feedback and clarifications. The car video shows how you can operate 9 or so functions with the cheapest commercial 4-ch Tx. But I think Tx2 and other options in the Rx give you want you want...

If you don't need the Inertia function, then Tx2 in its 'Mode 4' can control 7 channels. You could use Ch1 for motor (center off) and Ch2-7 for 6 individual switch actions. You (or me) would set each output on the Rx to respond to a different channel perhaps using the '9 flash' option on the programming page. If used with a toggle switch, this option is on one way and off the other. With a push-button it would be on while pressed ('momentary' action). The '8 flash' programming option is a 'latching' action.

If you like the Inertia function, you would use Tx2 'Mode 3'. Ch1 is still motor (center off), Pin4 is reserved for the Inertia control, leaving 5 channels. Ch2,3,6 can be used with six pushbuttons. If you want Inertia and Direction control, then Mode 3 can still give you up to 8 switch actions using 4 channels. I can draw wiring diagrams for you when you've decided what to do.

In all cases, the Bind button can be made to switch something on while held. Or with the 2s latching option, to toggle 2 leds on/off.

Rx6x will have a new feature called (brace yourself) 'Toggle Mode'. This is a mode that will allow you to control several locos individually with one Tx. You will be able to have several locos switched on and bring each into and out of service without touching them. It will also allow the transfer to another Tx. I mention this because although people can use any channel(s) for the feature, people may prefer to dedicate one 3-position switch (or stick on a joystick Tx) to this function. Again some gyrations are required but once we've all used it a bit we can decide if we like the feature and how to improve it.

My experience so far is that people often want different things. I can cater for most but it's difficult communicating all the choices. As we get more experience with this I think some common trends will emerge and I can jiggle things more into the shape people want.
Regards, David.

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Hi Craig. Here's a video of my inertia function in action. The led on the Tx flickers while a speed transition is in progress. http://youtu.be/8ROkUqR_K70
Regards, David.

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Thanks so much. I've been trying to absorb more of the info from the DT product site. I think I need to experiment with these. I need to set up a test track and get a loco going. I've got an old blue box from the 70's to get into condition. That will keep me busy for a few weeks, I'd guess. Then I'll be ready to explore control alternatives.

Tom

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Hey David, thanks for the link. That is pretty nice. You mentioned in another post, about using extra channels to enable the inertia/momentum function. How are the additional channels used for this function?

Tom, I highly recommend the R/C conversion, it really adds a new dimension to operations and exposes the shortcomings or attributes of your locomotives drive mechanisms.

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One thing that I have advised for years about r/c conversions-use a great running locomotive. All r/c will do for a lousy runner is to make it run lousy without track wiring. Some things can't be fixed by going wireless.

Woodie

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Craig,
My inertia function is all in Tx2. It manipulates the Throttle setting before transmission. Tx2 has 4 modes of operation. In Modes 2 and 4 Tx2's pin4 is used for Ch4 and has no Inertia function. In Modes 1 and 3 pin4 is used for Inertia and Ch4 is not available. OK?

Tom,
I'll be happy to answer more questions. I need to do a page covering more basic stuff and try to describe features in a more relevant way for model rail.
dt.

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Woodie, you hit that right on the head. What has always baffled me, is locomotive gear ratios. If our goal for model railroading is to try and emulate scale operation, then why are so many locomotives geared like slot cars? 14:1 is just ridiculous for low speed operation. I've been re-gearing my locomotives for years. It takes a bit of time, but for me the results are well worth the effort.

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Craig,

Kind of getting off topic here, but where do you get your gearing from?

Bernd

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Bernd, I’ve yet to find a reliable source for re-gearing kits, so I have been doing my own conversions, which really stinks, because it’s a pain in the *#! to hack out the parts, just to do something that the factory should have all ready done from the start.

Usually, anything above a 20:1 ratio works wonders for speed control at any range and still provides excess scale top speeds. 23-25:1 is pure magic. No jerking or stumbling, rock steady prototypical operation with R/C and no filtering or pulsing required. I know Earnst used to sell gear sets for Athearn chassis, but those have long since dried up and were notorious for making a lot of noise.

If your pockets are lined with $$ Northwest short line has a few options as far as power trucks, although I’m not sure of their ratios.

I am adding secondary gear reductions to the motor shafts of my locos using GWS (Grand Wing Servo) pinion gears, made for aircraft gear boxes. A 12 tooth gear on the motor output shaft, driving a 18 tooth gear on the drive shaft end, gives a 1.5:1 reduction, coupled with the factory 14:1 ratio that most diesel locomotives use, will give you an overall ratio of 20:1. A couple of pieces of drill rod and a simple mount plate with a couple of holes in it to hold the shafts is all that’s required, but is easier said than done.

When I fix my camera (cell phone does do close up’s) I will post some pictures.

Last edited on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 07:06 am by Craig W

DavidT
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http://www.didel.com/News.html sell some gears.
dt.

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Craig,

I have one of the Earnst gear sets. You're right, noisy. Don't need a sound unit in the engine. I've found another way to reduce speed. Nigel Lawton uses a friction drive. I've tried that on an On30 critter I started. Works great. Here's the video I made of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv_yZgRFfsc

Bernd

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Wow-using GWS aircraft parts! That's what I have been jabbering about for years, using stuff that AIN'T made for model trains. Many of the model railroaders I know have never been in an r/c shop and when I worked in a store that carried r/c, the train guys never knew there was anything for sale except trains! Think "out of the box" and anything is possible. Just my dos centavos...

Woodie

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And a very worthwhile Doze Centacos it is!

I've used rattle can paint, extracted from the can, for brush and airbrush painting for years.

Actually for painting models--my brushes and airbrush have plenty of paint crusted on already


Herb 

Sorry--


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Hi. My software is about as ready as it can be without testing so I'm ready to start that. I built a couple of Rx61's today. I'm able to make the led flash and the device transmit so I seem to have appropriate control over the MCU and RF chips which is a good start. Rx61 is the larger of the two receivers and is 12.3 x 21.6 x 4.1mm as you see it.

Rx61 is the version with 1 motor output and 7 individual pads for other things like lights. 5 are along the long edge between the 1 and 2cm markes on the ruler. The other 2 are much smaller on the aerial end. Rx61 also has a 4v BEC to drive a small servo eg: for a coupling or some other animation. I had intended there to be a pot to set start power level but the pot I intended using turned out to be too small/poor quality so that's been dropped.
dt.


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David,

Excellent. Are there any pads to be able to connect a pot to or did you eliminate those pads all together. I still won't mind having a spot to solder a pot to for start up voltage.

Bernd

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The pads are there in the middle. Startup volts still exists but it's currently only in the software. I think it will be much nicer to just change a setting on the external programing tool and push a button on that to transmit the new setting to the Rx. Same for top speed to match locos for a consist and several other settings.

If we want an external pot it will be easier to use a pad on the edge although we can still consider using the one in the middle. My priority is to get the basics working and then we can decide what needs improving.
dt.

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David,

Ok, sounds good. Can't wait to get my hands on two when your done.

Bernd

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Hey David, what communication protocols will the RX61 support, e.g DSSS, FHSS, etc. Interesting developments by the way. I find it most useful on my transmitter to use sub trims to tune locomotive speeds between multiple units. It gives the operator the instant ability to change settings without thought. Perhaps I'm unusual in the way that I actually don't mind using my concentration while operating trains. Others I suppose just like to sit back and watch maybe?

Bernd, thankfully I don't have any noise issues with my gear reduction units, since they don't affect the truck gearing at all. I am using .005" lash between the 2 brass pinions; seems to work.

I have never seen the friction drive you mentioned(like it) but I have been experimenting with some centrifugal clutches, which hold promise if they can be balanced and aligned properly.

Last edited on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 05:18 pm by Craig W

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I hope Rx6x will support DSM2 and DSMX with Air (joystick) transmitters and DSM2 and DSMR with Surface (steering wheel) transmitters.

If you have a Tx with adjustable throws and sub-trims then they can be useful. But I try to cater for the cheapest which don't have those features.
dt.

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"Wow-using GWS aircraft parts! That's what I have been jabbering about for years, using stuff that AIN'T made for model trains...snip

Woodie"


You are right about getting out into other hobby sections and more!  There are many parts that we can use from other "worlds".  My N scale RC monorail uses parts from indoor airplanes, HO slot cars, model railroads, and McMaster/Carr!  ;)

Last edited on Tue Jan 29th, 2013 12:47 am by bobquincy

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Hi, A little update from me. My Rx6x development up to now has been on the bench with the Rx connected to the PC to get things working as intended. It's taken a while because it has some complexitites but it has gone well. I have it working well with DSM2 up to 9ch Tx's and it should handle 10. DSMX is not working so I won't pursue that until later.

I've run out of excuses and today I installed the Fets and started driving some motors and test loads. I've started this at low voltage (4.3v) and had Rx61 holding 2.3A with perhaps a hint of it starting to warm up. It's hit my current limiting at 4A a few times when I've made a mistake in testing without it becoming crispy so things are looking good. Next steps are to raise the voltage and see how things progress. So it's getting close to being ready for others to try. Things always take longer than expected but I'm guessing it will be ready for early adopters towards the end of the month. I'll let you know how high voltage tests go.
Regards, David.

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Great news David. Glad things are working out.

As far as voltage goes and since I will use track voltage I'd say 14 to 16 volts max. I usally run 12 volts or so.

One of the things I'm looking at, is running the Rx's on DCC powered track using a bridge rectifier. This would allow you to run R/C on somebodys DCC powered railroad. I believe that DCC uses 16 volts AC. It's kind of a messy signal if you laook at it on the ocillascope. I've run your Tx2 on DCC powered track using a 5 volt regulator and it works fine. The amperage sounds fine to at over 2 Amps.

Looking forward to being one of the first to let the magic smoke out. :glad: :bg:

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Here's a temperature log with Rx61 at 16v driving a continuous load at 1A. Measurements were taken every 2s giving over 8 minutes recording. Temperature rises by 6°C over 3 minutes and then stabilises. I'll do some higher current tests to see how it behaves.
dt.
edit: deleted chart because appears below

Last edited on Fri Feb 8th, 2013 05:34 pm by DavidT

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David,

Had to convert the 29°C to 84.2°F. Doesn't seem to hot. That's about Miami, Florida weather in spring.

I'd shoot for a max of 2 amps for HO. I don't know what the larger scales run.

Bernd

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Hi,
This is what you get when you turn up the volume. The chart shows measurements between 1A and 2.7A. Again measurements are 2s apart and vertical lines are every 1 minute. The tests around 1.25-1.6A cluster so my instinct is that's a comfortable operating zone. I think I'm also happy with a 10°C rise above ambient.
dt.

Robert Comerford
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Hi David, just read through the whole thread.
Your products are certainly innovative.
The rx60? mentioned in post 121 sounds interesting to me. I currently am using my 1100mAH 4S LiFe packs from my planes with an ESC and an Orange rx. Works nice with my O gauge locos. The only issue I have is the esc is designed for centre off... not something I like to use.
I prefer separate throttle and reverse functions.

Look forward to more news on the development of this style of rx.

regards
Bob Comerford

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Hi Bob,
Thanks. The 4 Life's will be fine. I'm just tidying up some loose ends currently. I hope to have a simple ESC ('ESC1') as well for use with normal receivers. I will probably offer that in 2 versions, one with 1 servo lead and center off motor control, and the other with 2 servo leads to use separate channels for power (low off) and direction. Rx60/61 will be available first though.

As a general update I've had to go with low PWM speeds on Rx60, Rx61 and ESC1. I have 62Hz and 250Hz which are in the region of normal main-powered controllers and my Rx41d-v5. I was planning on using 16kHz but high speeds generate more heat. I chose a compact way of controlling the Fets which is not conducive for high speeds at the power levels we want.
Regards, David.

Robert Comerford
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Thanks David. it would be good if you can overcome the heat issues and use a much higher pulse rate. The locos run much quieter and the gear trains and motors last a lot longer. Much longer run out of a battery at partial throttle too.
regards
 Bob Comerford

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At 16kHz the current design can handle 0.4A with up to 2 lipos without a heatsink. Current can be doubled with a heatsink. The heatsink I used was just a flat sheet of aluminium 0.3 x 9 x 18mm. Many ESC's for planes have these with their label printed on them. Since we will be experimenting with several things perhaps I should include the 16k option for people who have low current needs.

I don't really want to use heatsinks so without one at 60/250Hz they are fine with up 1.5A up to 16v. Rx60 may have a higher voltage rating because it does not have a BEC for a servo.

I have prototyped some changes that address the worst heat issues but this requires more components. So speed improvements have a size penalty. I may do new board designs in due course but I'd prefer to experiment some more. For people who are OK with traditional PWM speeds it will give us an opportunity to see how they run and feed that back into future changes.
dt.

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David what do you anticipate the capacity of the rx60 to be in volts and mAh.
Steve Sherrill

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Steve,
I've only built and tested Rx61 so far. Rx60 is almost identical to Rx61 so I'm not expecting any issue when I check it out. I've been testing to 16v and intend rating Rx61 at 1.5A.

Rx61 has a 4v BEC to power a servo. This has a 16v limit. Rx60 does not have the BEC and in theory it can go to 20v but I've not tested above 16v yet. At higher voltages the current rating will need to be reduced.

I've assumed you mean Amps. There will be no mAh limit per se. My rating are intended to be for continuous running in a confined space with no cooling.
Regards, David.

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David,you left my knowledge curve at 1.5 amp. How many volts, I am using 7.4 Lipo.Thank you
Steve S

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Sorry. The voltage range is 3-16v. Your 7.4v lipos will be fine with Rx60 and Rx61.
Regards, David.

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David when can I order the tx21 built and the rx61 wired?
Steve S

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Next week I hope.
Regards, David.

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Hi,
I've put Rx60, Rx61 and PROG1 on my site. Both are fine for just motor control. The pads on the larger Rx61 are much easier to access if you want to control other things.

The Rx6x-1 variant comes with separate Throttle and Direction controls. This is suitable for any joystick Tx and my Tx21.

The Rx6x-2 variant comes with 'center off' motor control. I prefer this with my Tx21 because the knob has a 'click' at center and its 300° rotation gives enough control.

For most people you just need to hook up power, motor and bind. I'll put some wiring diagrams up over the coming days; I've not done the Instructions pages yet. For a full list of features please look at the 'features' page.

I'll be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
Regards, David.

wv railbaron
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David, I don't see the combo or the rx60 listed at micron. I want the tx21 and one rx60. The built and wired versions are ready to connect. , there will be no resistors for led if you don't have headlights right. I just help ordering.
Steve Sherrill

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Steve, They are not in shops yet. Resistors are not needed. I will send you a PM.
Regards, David.

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David thank you for your help. I will be looking forward to receipt of the order.
Steve Sherrill

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We at FreeRails are all for promoting radio control, but all pricing, ordering, and selling must be done offline, via PM's or Emails.


David is trying to comply with this--please help him to do so. Thanks, DT!


Herb


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OK guys-don't let Herbie freak you out! You can still discuss this subject, just stay away from outright "salesman & customer" comments. All will be forgiven. Please put a dollar in the "poor box" on the way out.
Thanks,
Woodie

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Hi all,
I've read through this thread with great interest. It looks like it is the unofficial Deltang forum :)

It seems to me if I had one of the TX2 transmitters I could control it from a computer by using digital potentiomenters in place of twirly-knob versions. Is this correct?

I have a small PC program (written in Ruby as a web app) that can control my n-gauge trains via a Hornby Elite controller but I think a radio control/battery system would allow much better slow speed control.

The reason for computer control is four-fold. It provides an easy way to match the speeds of different locos - eg they all run at the same speed at each speed step. And I think it may be possible to have a modest level of end-to-end automatic operation with a few train detection points. I like programming as much as model trains. And soldering myself is much cheaper than using ready-made detection equipment.

Incidentally because it's a web app I can control the trains with the browser on my phone without any extra code.

...R

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Hello Robin,
Welcome to the forum. Tx2 measures voltages on 7 pins, one per channel. Tx1-M accepts up to 7 timed 'logic' pulses on one input to represent channel positions. Tx1-K1 accepts a 16 byte RS-232 feed containing data for up to 7 channels. I think the Tx1 options are normally easier. Let me know if you have more specific questions.
Regards, David.

Robin2
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Thanks for the quick reply David.

You didn't actually say whether my idea of using digital potentiometers would or would not work?

I have looked at the instructions for the Tx1-m but I don't understand how I would use that with a PC. I envisage generating an 8bit value that represents the speed step, giving 256 options. Though I think I will step across it coarsely with perhaps 16 or 32 actual steps.

If I have an 8bit speed value how do I send that to TX1-m?

How do I deal with direction?

Also, it seems that TX2 will drive three trains but it's not clear how many TX1-m can drive?

Thanks again

...R

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Robin,
The concept of a digital pot sounds fine but I have no experience with them. If you are willing to feed it with a digital 8bit value then it seems easier to me to just feed Tx1-K1 with the same type of signal direct.

To understand Tx1-M better you need to research 'PPM'. It's the standard for communicating between host transmitters and plug-in RF modules. It is also used for connecting 2 hobby Tx's together for 'trainer' or 'buddy box' control. People have implemented PPM on PC's but I have not so can't tell you how. Let me know if you can't find any information on the topic. Serial outputs from PCs are very common but again are not something I do.

Hobby receivers like mine transfer information in 'channels'. Tx1 and Tx2 always transmit 7 channels. They always transfer channel positions with 10bit (1024) resolution. Tx2 converts 0-1.55v to 0-1023 or 171-852 (150 vs 100% throws). Tx1-M converts a 0.9-2.1ms pulse to 0-1023. Tx1-K1 is provided with 10bit numeric values for each channel so it requires no conversion.

7 channels can be used to control 7 trains using one channel each ('center off') or 3 trains using 2 channels per train (low off + direction channel). Tx1-x and Tx2 can both achieve the same thing because they all simply send 7 10bit values to the Rx. The Rx needs some cleverness to decide what to do with the data.

The Direction channel is normally used to give more sensitivity with a throttle stick that has a small physical movement. I'd have thought it has little benefit to what you want to do. So I'd expect the 'center off' approach to make more sence and also frees up channels for other features.

Center off means values over 511 make the train go forward and values under 511 make it go backwards. Throttle is only controlled with values between 220-804. Position '658' is 50% throttle forward and '366' is 50% reverse. Obviously you can make the step sizes as coarse as you wish. To use 8bit control over a 10k digital pot with Tx2 you need to send it '127' to stop and 127-255 to go forward and 0-126 to go back. 0 and 255 will be full speed respectively.

OK?
Regards, David.

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Robin,

an easier method might be to control a  DT TX2 with a computer by using D/A converters to apply a voltage to pins 1 to 4.  From looking at the diagram the voltage should vary from 0 to 1.55 V to get the full range.  Many inexpensive microcontroller development boards (such as the $5 MSP430) include D/A converters onboard.

boB

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Its entirely possible that I am misunderstanding something very simple - so simple that it doesn't occur to you to explain it.

So let me try to explain how things look to me ...

PPM seems to require the PC to generate a series of timed pulses to convey a byte of data. I think it would be next to impossible to do that with a program written in Ruby and I also think there would be problems maintaining a timed stream of data through a simple USB interface because USB imposes its own scheduling system.

Your instructions say that the RS232 input must be at 115200 baud and I doubt I could generate at that rate with code written in Ruby. In any case the "interference" of the USB system would also have to be dealt with.

Its not clear with either of these systems if I would need to transmit a train of pulses continuously or only when I need to change a setting.

A further important issue is that debugging a system that relies on finely controlled timing would be very difficult.

The device I have (an FTDI UM245R) has 8 i/o pins that can be set and read by the PC and which could be used to manage a digital pot. If I have a few data latches I can have a value in each one that represents the present setting for a particular loco and the PC could select one and change its value from time to time.

By the way I haven't used a digital pot myself, but they seem pretty straightforward.

Your idea about centre-off sounds good.

Finally, just to be sure, can the TX2 (or TX1) send separate commands to three (or 7) separate receivers so that each loco is quite independent of the others? Or, in other words, is the channel 1 data sent to receiver 1, channel 2 data to receiver 2 etc?

Thanks

...R

Last edited on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 09:42 pm by Robin2

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Robin,
It is common for PCs to be connected to microprocessors using a serial interface but I think you would have other components managing the transfer. Tx1 expects a signal every 22ms. Tx2 measures the pot every 22ms. Tx2 is more conducive to infrequent changes.

I have no problem with you wanting to use the digital pot. But do you need one of the devices mentioned + a digital pot for each train?

Tx1 and Tx2 have 7 channels so both can control 7 trains. The motor output in all of my Rx4x-v5 and Rx6x receivers can be associated with any channel number. 7 trains can be controlled independantly.
Regards, David.

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Thanks again, David

The advantage I see for the digital pot is that, as far as the TX2 is concerned there is a continuous voltage that can be sampled as often as the TX2 wishes without any need for action by the PC whereas the PC would need to be active all the time to send data every 22ms. The PC will need to be doing other stuff besides generating pulses.

I'm not sure what you mean by your question "do you need one of the devices mentioned + a digital pot for each train?" - in particular what do mean by "one of the devices mentioned". My plan is to have a separate digital pot for each loco that is to be controlled.

May I also say in the kindest and gentlest way that you have a knack of not directly answering my questions - presumably because you assume (incorrectly) that I have a good background understanding of the technology.

In this case, you haven't explained how the TX2 relates to several receivers.

Are you saying that all of the receivers receive all of the data but that each receiver is programmed to deal with the information differently? (I conceive of this as similar to old-fashioned receivers all listening on the same frequency).

Or is the TX2 routing separate output to each receiver? (This would be like a transmitter sending on a different frequency for each receiver).

If the receivers need to be programmed can that be done using the TX2 or would I need to have a proper joystick transmitter - which would add to the cost?

Thanks for your patience

...R

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        Robin,
        Sorry I was not clear. 2.4-based systems requires receivers to be paired with the Tx. We call this binding. Binding creates charateristics in transmissions that effectively make each Tx unique. When the Rx is switched on it searches for signals from the Tx to which it is bound. Once the Rx has found that Tx it locks onto it's transmissions. I can explain what I mean by this in more detail if necessary. You would bind all 7 receivers to one Tx.

        Tx1/2 always transmits the position of 7 channels. It does this in bursts containing all 7 in each transmission. Each bust comprises 16 bytes. 2 bytes contain binding info and the remaining 14 bytes are 2 per channel. DSM2 uses 2 frequenceies. The position of all 7 channels is transmitted on both frequencies once every 22ms. The transmissions have a 4ms and 18ms gap between them.

        All receivers that have been bound to the Tx will receive and accept the values for those 7 channels twice every 22ms. To operate 7 trains individually, each receiver needs to use a different channel to control its motor. By contrast in a Consist, each Rx would typically use the same channel so they act as one.

        In a conventional Rx without an integrated ESC (Electronic Speed Control), each Rx would have one output per channel. A 4ch Rx would allow you to use ch1-4. To use ch7 you would need a 7ch Rx. To operate 7 trains independantly you would put one rx and one ESC in each train. The ESC would be plugged into separate outputs in each train.

        For N gauge you need small receivers preferably with integrated ESC's. I have several. The software in my Rx4x-v5 and Rx6x receivers allows the integrated ESC to be associated with any channel 1-7. So each Rx has to be configured to use a different channel for each train. You can set this up yourself using a technique called 'programming' or I can do it for you. You typically need a standard 4 ch joystick Tx to do programming yourself. Or for Rx6x receivers I have a special tool called PROG1.


        Regarding the digital pots with Tx2, each channel will need it's own pot. Will each pot also need it's own FTDI UM245R to control it? So to control 7 trains would you need 7 digital pots, 7 UM245R's and 7 USB ports on your PC?
        Regards, David.

        Last edited on Thu Mar 14th, 2013 11:02 am by DavidT

        Robin2
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        Thanks David, That has cleared things up nicely.

        At the moment I am trying to figure out a system and all the pieces I would need. I am thinking of using 2 or 3 bits of the 8 in the UM245r to select the relevant loco and using the remaining 6 or 5 bits to control speed and direction - hence my mentioning "coarse" steps. I am thinking that the low bits of the pot inputs would be hardwired at 0.

        If you have any comments on this they would be very welcome.

        I am hoping that it will be possible to adjust the PC program so that two locos with their motors controlled from separate channels will move at the same speed so they could work as a consist. That way the locos can also work separately - for example to join a consist.

        As far as I can see your system would be perfect for the radio control part of the project. I now need to consider how to accommodate a battery (and how to charge it) and I am wondering if it may also be useful to replace the standard motor and gearing with a smaller motor and much bigger step-down ratio.

        Accommodating the battery should be easy enough in a tender-loco or a DMU but I do want to use a tank engine and that will be the focus of my investigations.

        I have not had much success identifying a supplier of small li-po batteries. Maybe you have some suggestions.

        Many thanks for your assistance

        ...R

        Last edited on Thu Mar 14th, 2013 11:55 am by Robin2

        DavidT
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        Whether your proposal will work is likely to depend on the requirements of the digital pots. I think you need to prepare a circuit diagram showing your intended connections to the pot you choose.

        Many of the people who carry my receivers also have small lipos as do Hobby King. HK also sell cylindrical lipos. I have one in the boiler in my N gauge. We all have various small connector systems. Turned pin SIL IC sockets are nice too. People like Digikey/Farnell/Mouser have many small switches. HK have the thinnest multi-strand wire (0.25mm) and BSD in the US and KKProdukcja in Poland have a nice next size up (0.6mm).
        Regards, dt.

        Robin2
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        Thanks David,

        I have built a few digital electronic circuits so I am confident I can get things to work as far as the digital pots and, from what you say, things should also work from that point onwards.

        If I do build the project I will be happy to share my design.

        I will follow up the references you have given.

        ...R

        Last edited on Thu Mar 14th, 2013 06:25 pm by Robin2

        Robin2
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        Hi David (and any other readers)
        Back with another question ...

        Have you any suggestions for a source of micro motors that will run on 3.7v?

        I thought the motors sold by Nigel Lawton might be suitable but he thinks they need a higher voltage.

        What about buying a micro servo and taking the motor out of it? Some of the servos are only 8mm wide so should have a suitable motor.

        Thanks

        ...R

        Bernd
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        Robin,

        Don't know what country your in, but e-bay has micro motors.

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/6mm-x-14mm-2-Wire-Magnetic-Micro-Coreless-Motor-3VDC-60-70mA-18000RPM-/310569958298?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item484f697b9a

        I think your either going to have to go with a 3 volt or 6 volt motor I don't believe they exactly 3.7 volt motors.

        If I were you I'd use a 6 volt micro motor. Just google and you'll get thousands of hits.

        Bernd

        DavidT
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        Servos should be a good source but you won;t know what's inside until you buy them. The coreless pager motors that the smallest use are usually high reving. I needed to remotor my N loco which only had a worm drive so I needed a slower turning more conventional motor which came out of a servo that probably falls into the 9-16g category. I had several old servos to strip and 1 lipo was still too fast for the slowest I had. I use diodes to reduce the volts. High speed is better than slow if you have the gearing but you will need to experiment.
        dt.

        bobquincy
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        This place
        http://www.gizmoszone.com
        has motors down to 6mm diameter and with gearheads from 5:1 to 700:1!  Most of them run on 3 V.  I use the 612 series 25:1 motors with a single LiPo for my N scale monorails.  Randgust has some notes and videos on his site about using the tiny gearhead motors in N scale trains for more realistic speeds and improved slow speed operation.

        tebee
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        I'm think of trying this too.

        Anyone know a good source of very small LiPo batteries that would fit in an 009 (HOn30) Loco?

        Tom

        johnhu
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        tebee wrote:
        I'm think of trying this too.

        Anyone know a good source of very small LiPo batteries that would fit in an 009 (HOn30) Loco?

        Tom


        Tom,

        That's going to depend on the actual model (how much space). Some HOn30/009 models could be large tender engines (with room) whilst others could be tiny simplex rail tractors (with no room).

        Any hints on what locos you have in mind, and/or the space you have inside the model. This could be inside a side tank, in the bunker, in the cab roof or filling up the cab itself (if that's asthetically ok to you) ?

        Some that come to mind are:
        Turnigy nano-tech (260 mAh) 32x20x7mm
        Turnigy nano-tech (130 mAh) 39x12x7mm
        eFlight EFLB1201S (120 mAh) 33x12x6mm
        eFlight EFLB0701S (70 mAh) 33x12x3mm
        All sizes approx.

        Obviously the bigger the better for running time (and I've assumed 1S batteries - 3.7v).

        John

        tebee
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        Small tank locos I'm afraid, probably tram locos based on the Kato 11-103 chassis, so loco about 22mm wide x 50 long

        Tom

        Robin2
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        If this website is correct it is easy to build a safe charger for LiPo cells. http://shdesigns.dyndns.org/lionchg.html

        That suggests that it would be very easy to have charging locations on a layout - perhaps for locos in a fiddle yard or waiting in a station. And if there is a ready top-up supply it should be possible to get by with a small battery.

        ...R

        DavidT
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        Tom,
        The 009 is a difficult subject for on-board batteries. Here are some examples of small lipos with sizes:
        UK http://www.micronradiocontrol.co.uk/lipo_fullriver.html
        USA http://microflierradio.com/Batteries.html
        France http://www.aether-sciences.com/index.htm
        Regards, David.

        tebee
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        Yes, I realize this 009 does not give you a lot of room to play with, but it has the advantage of having the very cheap and good running Kato chassis available. 3.7v give you a slow, but decent speed with these.

        The alternative I was thinking of first, was a On16.5 layout, with home-built chassis powered by low voltage motors, but I reckon if I can find some batteries to fit 009 is an easier and cheaper option.

        Thanks for the links, the British one has some interesting batteries, but don't ship overseas now :sad:

        Tom

        Robin2
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        Yet another question for DavidT

        I have bought an Arduino Uno board as a possible interface between my PC and a Deltang transmitter. As far as I can see the Arduino can be programmed to generate PPM pulses and I may be able use it to provide input to a Tx1 - which would free up the other Arduino I/O pins for other purposes such as train detection.

        The problem is that I have no idea what sort of PPM pulses the TX1 needs or an RC transmitter produces. Can you point me to some resources from which I could learn what pulses the Arduino will need to be able to produce to make the Tx1 work?

        (I hope this makes sense!)

        Thanks

        ...R

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        Hi Robin,
        The voltage applied to the Tx1 inputs should not exceed 3.6v and 3.3v is common voltage to use. My Tx1-M instructions has an example of how to reduce a voltage with a zener diode.

        If you search ebay for CP2102 you should find some cheap USB to UART interfaces which should be able to create a signal suitable for Tx1-K1. SiLabs have an example of how to control that on the PC.

        To go the Tx1-M / PPM route, the PPM signal idles high and has low trigger pulses to demarcate each pulse. A new sequence starts with a low pulse of about 0.3ms in duration. Pulses then typically range from 1-2ms in duration. Each pulse spends most of its time high and the end is signalled with a 0.3ms low pulse again. So a 1.5ms pulse would be high for 1.2ms and low for 0.3ms. Seven pulses need 8 trigger pulses. I'll send you a link with an example.
        Regards, David.

        Robin2
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        Thanks David,

        I have looked at the link you sent me.

        I think I need a description of how the PPM is used. I understand (roughly) what PPM is, but I don't know how it is used by the TX1.

        Suppose, for example, that I am controlling three locos. LocoA is moving forward at half speed, LocoB is moving backwards at 1/8th speed and LocoC is stopped.

        What would need to be sent to the Tx1 to make that happen? I'm not asking for a millisec by millisec explanation, rather a high level explanation is what I want.

        For example (and my example may be rubbish) "there needs to be a single start pulse followed by a group of 8 pulses for each loco (each group representing an 8-bit value for the speed setting) and then 4 more groups of 8 pulses to represent the 4 unused channels ending with a single stop pulse"

        Thanks again

        ...R

        DavidT
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        Tx1-M converts the duration of one pulse into a value for one channel. Each pulse is converted a different channel number in the order received. Tx1-M expects 2-7 pulses concatenated together followed by a pause. This controls 2-7 channels. Tx1-M transmits one value for each channel to the Rx on a regular cycle.

        Each Rx in each Loco needs to be associated with a different channel number if you want them to operate independantly.

        So to achieve what you described and assuming 'center off' motor control, if Pulse 3 is for Loco C (stopped) it needs to be of 'middle' duration. If Pulse 2 is for Loco B (reverse) it needs to be a shorter duration than Pulse 3. If Pulse 1 is for Loco A (forward) it need to be a longer duration than Pulse 3.

        Easier to understand with millisecond values if you want those.
        Regards, David.

        Robin2
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        Thanks David,

        I had made the mistake of assuming the pulses conveyed digital data (like an RS232 system) whereas it seems that each pulse is treated as an analogue concept where its width matters.

        I found this document that explains it http://www.omegaco.demon.co.uk/mectnpdf/mectn004.pdf

        Now I need to figure out if the Arduino can generate accurate pulses reliably while also doing other things such as communicating with the PC and reading and writing the other pins. I think it should be possible.

        ...R

        bobquincy
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        Some of the outputs of the Arduino Uno can be configured for PWM.  "All" you have to do then is to set up the proper pulse frequency, width, and number of pulses followed by the pause and you are good to go!  Me, I took the easy way out and built a Tx-21 kit!  ;)

        Robin2
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        Me again,

        I have drawn a diagram of how I think the PPM pulses should be.


        The 0.9msec pulse = full reverse
        The 2.1msec pulse = full forward
        The 1.5msec pulse = stopped
        The 10.0msec pulse is the marker between repeats

        (A) is this correct?
        (B) for the maths is full reverse = 0.9 or 1.2 and is stopped = 1.5 or 1.8?
        (C) is there a minimum period between repeats?
        (D) What scope is there for variation in the 0.3msec time?
        (E) Am I correct to assume that the maximum time from the start of one repeat to the start of the next is 22msecs/

        Thanks

        ...R

        Last edited on Sat Mar 30th, 2013 04:37 pm by Robin2

        DavidT
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        0.9 - 2.1ms represents -150% to +150% throws. My receivers use -100% to +100%. So:

        0.9-1.1 = full reverse
        1.1-1.5 = variable reverse
        1.5 = stopped
        1.5-1.9 = variable forward
        1.9-2.1 = full forward

        Tx1-M needs a gap of at least 2.2ms and no more than about 21ms. The current version can handle up to 12 consecutive pulses but only transmits the 1st 7. The timing of transmissions is not linked to the timing of your gap.

        I am deliberately a bit vague on timing and thresholds because every microprocessor in the chain of conversions has it's own tollerances . Tx1-M is not calibrated. So the host controller (your PC) normally need a trim capability to match the duration of the pulse when meant to be off with the 'center off deadband' in the Rx. It's much easier with a pure digital framework where values are absolute and not subject to analogue variations.
        dt.

        DavidT
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        Ah, a new question. The duration of 0.3ms trigger pulse is not important per se but they must be all the same.
        dt.

        Robin2
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        Thanks David for your fast response.

        I take it then that I should have pulses from 1.1 to 1.9 msecs with 1.5msecs as the centre point.
        (I took the 0.9 and 2.1 figures from the link you sent me).

        When you say "a gap of at least 2.2msecs and not more than 21msecs" do you mean that the total cycle time could be as long as the duration of 7 pulses + 7 x 0.3msec gaps + 21msecs?

        And you didn't deal with my question B - about the maths. If i am to calculate (say) 50% fwd speed I think it makes a difference whether it is (1.1 + 1.5)/2 or (1.1 + 0.3 + 1.5 + 0.3)/2

        When you talk of each microprocessor having its own tolerances do you mean that there might be variations from one operating session to another?
        Or do you mean that I may have to fiddle with my system but once it is set it will stay that way?

        Thanks again

        ...R

        W C Greene
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        HOLY COW! I am glad that I don't have to worry about all that! This seems to be bordering on the "complexities" of DCC. My routine is "switch on and run"...

        Have fun guys... Woodie

        DavidT
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        The main purpose for drawing attention to the vagueness of timing is that all durations given are approximate. Your system should be stable once set up. So yes, pulses from 1.1 to 1.9ms should give you full control. But you may need to experiment a little.

        Math: Each pulse needs to have one high portion and one low portion. The 1.1 - 1.9ms durations are the sum of both. The variable portions I mention are proportional (linear). So 1.2ms is 75% reverse. 1.6ms is 25% forward. OK?

        Pulses need to be between 0.9-2.1ms to be accepted. I said you can have up to 12 of those but it may work with an infinite number. The cycle time will indeed be the sum of all pulses plus one 2.2-21ms gap.
        dt.

        Robin2
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        Thanks David,

        You'll be glad to know that's all for now.

        I think the Arduino can produce these pulses with timer interrupts that require very few code cycles so there should be plenty of time for it to do other stuff - like rotating a fiddle-yard turntable!

        In response to WOODIE ... this is more fun than running trains :)

        In response to BOBQUINCY ... I want to use my PC to drive the trains so the Tx21 is not a solution for me.

        ...R

        Last edited on Sat Mar 30th, 2013 06:40 pm by Robin2

        Herb Kephart
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        I just took my pulse--if that helps--


        Herb

        W C Greene
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        Hmmmm...More fun than running trains?
        I will leave it with you. I have trains to run.

        Woodie-ignorance is indeed bliss

        bobquincy
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        To get back to the topic of DT receivers, I got brave and programmed my Rx43-d2-v5 to change it from center off speed control to full range with reversing switch.  Can't say it was fun (at least not until it was done) but it shows how configurable these receivers are.
        The next time will be much easier, the process takes some getting used to.
        Next is to add a switch to the Tx-21 to control some lights.

        Robin2
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        I hope I can make this point without in any way criticizing Bobquincy (or anyone else). I just want to use his experience as an illustration of the benefits of using a PC program to control trains.

        If the transmitter is controlled from a PC the changes Bob describes could be achieved entirely within the PC code with no need to fiddle with the receiver settings.

        I do realize that many people like physical knobs and switches rather than virtual ones but they miss out on the convenience and flexibitiy that a PC program offers.

        ...R

        OhioMike
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        Has anyone thought that this thread with a lot of technical speak is getting a little over everybodys elses head? An esc/rx (2.4ghz is fine) that also allows a servo/electronic switch or 2 connected for other features small enough to fit into a Bachmann Porter or its tender and still allow room for the battery that wont cost me more than the locomotive and decoder if i decide to stay the usual path! Secondly, if i have to program it with a PC and some special software, how do you rate my chances without a technical background?

        bobquincy
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        Mike,

        as far as I know David can program the receiver for whatever options we want before he ships it.  I opted for one setup (which David and I discussed) and then changed my mind after running it for awhile so I took it upon myself to do some programming. 

        Most (all?) of the DT receivers have a few outputs that can be used for lights, etc.  Programming the receiver or transmitter is more about following instructions to the letter (which I am not good at) than technical knowledge.


        boB

        Last edited on Tue Apr 2nd, 2013 01:25 pm by bobquincy

        tebee
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        I'm quite happy to have both the technical gore and the practical advice.

        I'm thinking of going down this way to the nirvana of R/C, so am absorbing all like a sponge in the hope that enough will seep back out of my brain when I actually take the plunge.

        Also I'm a former assembler programmer in real life, which firstly helps me understand some of the underling constructs and secondly has imbued in me a life-long curiosity as to how the underling hardware works when I'm working with something.

        Tom

        bobquincy
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        Robin2 wrote: I hope I can make this point without in any way criticizing Bobquincy (or anyone else). I just want to use his experience as an illustration of the benefits of using a PC program to control trains.

        If the transmitter is controlled from a PC the changes Bob describes could be achieved entirely within the PC code with no need to fiddle with the receiver settings.

         No criticism or offense taken, as an engineer I find your ideas interesting.  In order to get a real feel for what it takes to program a transmitter/receiver there is no substitute for programming one.  After doing that I believe you will find that programming a PC and designing the necessary interfaces will take far, far more time than actually programming the receiver.

        My first time took about 20-30 minutes including setup, mistakes, and figuring out what I did wrong.  The next time should only take 5 minutes.  A PC program can not take the place of a properly programmed receiver, the I/O has to be set up for what we wish to control.  After reading the pages on programming the devices I think you will agree.

        boB

        Last edited on Tue Apr 2nd, 2013 02:43 pm by bobquincy

        Robin2
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        Thanks Bob,

        I'm as curious as the next person and I wouldn't be surprised to find myself doing what you did just to learn how.

        However ... it is easy to get a device like one of those receivers or a dcc chip into some strange state with little or no debugging assistance available. There is no risk of doing that with a PC program because, ultimately, it's just a text file that you can edit.

        In the particular example you gave I would have been inclined to mimic a separate fwd/rev switch in software while leaving the receiver working in the background as centre-off. The only downside may be that reprogramming the receiver would give you more steps between on and off - but I suspect 128 (or so) is plenty.

        And it would be trivial to return to the previous arrangement if I didn't like the change - just use the previous version of the PC program.

        If you have several receivers changing the PC program would be a lot less effort.


        ...R

        bobquincy wrote:
        In order to get a real feel for what it takes to program a transmitter/receiver there is no substitute for programming one. 

        Robin2
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        Hi Mike,

        I have no technical background (perhaps that's all too obvious! - just enough curiosity to teach myself. Jump in. The water's not nearly as deep as it looks while you stand on the riverbank. :)

        ...R

        OhioMike wrote:
        if i have to program it with a PC and some special software, how do you rate my chances without a technical background?

        tebee
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        I'm still trying to decide what layout to build to try out this stuff.

        As 009 looks like it will be hard to get batteries to fit I'm thinking about reverting to my original plan and use 16.5mm gauge, though I'm not sure what bodies will be on top yet.

        I've got a chassis design that uses a 10x12mm 12v micro motor, this has a 1 mm shaft and the chassis has a 1:45 overall reduction ratio. If I wanted to use a a single cell Lipo battery to run one of these what voltage motor would you suggest instead of the 12v one to give me a decent speed range ?

        The chassis is 3-d printed, so changes to the design to accommodate a different motor are simple.

        Tom

        bobquincy
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        Mike,

        I use 3 V motors for my 1 cell trains, as long as we don't run them at full speed for  long periods they seem to work ok.

        Maybe we need threads for micro-motors and 3D printing, I would like to compare notes on 3D printed train chassis and techniques.

        boB

        fallen
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        Tom,

        I have just put together an 009 Peco GVT tram loco kit and fitted it with David's radio control.

        The body is on a Kato 11-104 tram chassis instead of the bulky mechanism it was designed for, and this gives enough room for a single cell LiPo battery (nominal voltage 3.7V) on top of the chassis.

        It runs very smoothly and the battery should last at least 3 hours - I have not managed to run it down yet!

        Here is a video of the loco running round a train on my "developing" layout (really just track so far):

        http://youtu.be/EcuNpjhJ7JQ


        and here is a closer look at the loco uncoupling:


        http://youtu.be/0gAhnJqODNI


        It runs very smoothly. It's not awfully fast (the video shows it at full speed) but it's fast enough to by prototypical I think. It has really good slow speed control, like DCC, and of course it does not hesitate at points nor refuse to start without a nudge or a prod. I think this is the most impressive part, you turn the knob on the controller and it just starts off!

        In the uncoupling video for instance it's very easy to position the train over the uncoupler (I'm using Greenwich couplings with under track magnets).


        Frank

        tebee
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        Which Lipo did you use for that? It's quite a big loco as 009 tank locos go, but I'm sure it must be possible in some sightly smaller ones too.

        Just going to have to get rid of some of my surplus stuff so I can afford a Tx/Rx and a charger.

        Tom

        Herb Kephart
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        Check this out----   https://www.sparkfun.com/products/731

        110Mah, and has over and under voltage protection built in.

        I just bought 4

        Herb

        W C Greene
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        I will buy some also. Thanks for the link ol' buddy.

        Woodrow

        fallen
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        Hi Tom,

        I used the 180mAh Hyperion G3 CX 25C LiPo from Micron - the same supplier as the radio gear. It's flat and about as wide as the inside of the tram loco body so fits in nicely on top of the chassis. It comes with just tags - no connector so I used a JST jumper wire from Hobby Electronics which I soldered on and put heat shrink round as the one thing you don't want is a short on the LiPo.

        The charger was a USB charger from Hobby Electronics, £7.20 I think, plugs into a USB socket and charges at half an amp so will charge this LiPo in under half an hour.

        There are lots of LiPos though, different shapes and sizes, it depends on the space you want to fit it into.

        Frank

        35er
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        Hi Guys

        letting you know that as a result of David's excellent efforts The Model Works Australia has been able to go into full production of 1:35 models pre-fitted with the DelTang transmitter/receiver combo's

        Using 180mah 3.7v Li-Po (40x20x4mm) batteries and 3v gearhead motors operating at scale speed we were able to get over 7 (seven) hours continuous running at the recent Narrow Gauge Convention at we launched the system.

        we can now supply complete installations and fully recommend David's format.

        regards
        BernardS

        Last edited on Wed Apr 10th, 2013 04:49 am by 35er

        wv railbaron
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        Bernard, seven hours run off that battery is 3 times I have ever gotten off the same battery here in West Virginia. What is your secret. Today I will fully charged one of those batteries and see how long it runs a losing micro motor without a load. I operate a large dead rail layout and have used various sizes of batteries. Last Saturday I used a 7.4 volt 2400mah Lipo and it ran for 6 hours start,stop pulling at least 3 be-man log or 18' gons. The most asked questions I get is how long will it run. Most people want to have the battery last for a complete operating session. Congratulations on taking on this new endeavor. Could you post your Web address.
        Steve Sherrill

        johnhu
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        Steve, I was at the Aust NG Convention, and saw Bernards locos trundling about (he builds some excellent finescale models).

        I'm sure Bernard will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the long running times come from using 3v gearhead micromotors which have a very low current draw.

        Having such a low current draw, the battery capacity provides more running time than might be expected with the usual motors we find in our models.

        Like you, I usually get about 2+ hours out of a 180mah battery in my On30 Davenport. I'd love to be able to remotor it or build a new chassis using a micro-motors, but that's beyond my skills

        John

        bobquincy
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        I use these gearhead motors in some of my models (6mm diameter, 25:1).  They draw about 40 mA no load, 100 mA medium load, and 150 mA at heavy load.  I didn't try to stall it as this could damage the planetary gears.  Anyway, the motors don't take (or produce) much power but with the gear reduction they can make some decent torque.

        dan3192
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        I'm pleased to post my first video, my battery powered radio controlled AMD-103 running on the Silk City Model Railroad 0n April 4, 2013.

        This was to test the pulling power of the engine. The results were better than expected. The engine pulled six Walthers 85' passenger cars around the entire 30' x 110' layout for nearly two hours. Given the cars are steel weighted to meet NMRA standards and the wheelsets ride in plastic grooves (no real bearings), I'm optimistic I will reach my goal of pulling 6 cars at 60 scale miles per hour for 6 hours.

        We stopped the run only because it was closing time. I used 8 AAA NiMH batteries in a series-parallel arrangement to provide 4.8v and 1,600mah. I will switch to Li-ion batteries once I find the right ones. This should nearly double battery capacity.

        Enjoy!

        Dan

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUwTYucn6u8

        wv railbaron
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        John, I have a couple of those motors but didn't realize they would draw that much less mAh. Was the demonstration ln aloco under a load? Are there any pictures?
        Steve Sherrill

        35er
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        morning Chaps

        I have received a number of queries in connection with the running time on the 180mah Lipo's using DavidT's excellent system. I response to the questions raised the following further comments may assist:

        - firstly (whilst the running times in my original notes are correct and interesting) the emphasis of the debate should not be about running time, naturally assuming that reasonable duration is achieved, but about the operational quality of the locomotive;

        - operational quality and subsequently running time comes from 3 factors, namely quality of the motor; gearing and an accurate chassis. NOT THE BATTERY

        - ultimately the primary factor is torque & gearing. the 2 locomotives operated at the ANGC were fitted with at least 180:1 gearheads driving precision cross helical gears (as is the case in all our custom built precision scale models) these gearheads are linked to low cost motors manufactured for camera lenses. Locomotives powered this way will run at scale prototype speeds and actually coast when power is switched off.

        so in summary:

        - the Deltang system is excellent and (as stated earlier) will now be a standard installation in all our models;

        - battery duration is a function of the efficiency of the complete drive mechanism. don't expect a cheap clunker or 15:1 final drive loco to provide good battery time.

        - we have proven the commercial reality & reliability of on-board battery powered RC systems which hopefully will now lead to better mechanical efficiency in mass produced models to enable this system to become available in a broad range of products.

        Steve, the battery life is based on actual readings and include load testing with a pull exceeding 250gram, which equates to around 20 pieces of HO quality rolling stock.

        BernardS
        :glad:

        Last edited on Thu Apr 11th, 2013 10:37 pm by 35er

        wv railbaron
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        Thanks Bernard for the explanation. I use Deltang and like it alot. How about the link to your Site? I think the length of operation is directly related to interest in switching to batterypower conversions. For those who are using stock commercial locos can you give any ways to increase our efficiency in order to increase operating time.
        Steve Sherrill

        35er
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        Hi Steve

        no, since it is a case of "how long is a piece of string" we do not operate a website. However happy to answer direct any questions your may have.

        conversion of almost all commercial locomotives is a case of "throw out the original motor / gearbox and install a new drive mechanism. If this is done in 1:35 scale models this is quite inexpensive, but gets pricier in the smaller scales due to motor / gearhead prices & availability. In many instances (as I have been preaching) there is no merit in modifying an existing commercial chassis and adapt same to a new model. Generally it far simpler and (usually) far cheaper to custom build the chassis to suit the final model (even if this is done by a custom builder) The new chassis option is even simpler with radio control / on-board batteries since there is no need to insulate the wheels.

        hope this helps.

        BernardS

        Last edited on Fri Apr 12th, 2013 03:22 am by 35er

        1whudson
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        Hi David
        This reply is quite late compared to your posted date, but I hope you are still with this group. My name is William [Bill], I am a 66 year old retired police officer who knows very little about receivers and transmitters when it comes to model railroading. You indicated you have made several 2.4 GHz receivers. Will any transmitter at that frequenzy talk to your receiver or do you make a transmitter expecially designed to work with your receivers? Do you do this for pleasure or are you hoping to commercialize your product? Are this recivers small enough to fit HO? What about N gauge? Are you familiar with any companies that are exploring the model railroad industry for RC products? Any help you might throw my way would be greatly appreciated...

        Bill

        Bernd
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        Here's David's web site. Should answer your questions.

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

        Bernd

        DavidT
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        Hi Bill, Welcome aboard. Thanks Bernd. 2.4GHz has become the most popular frequency band for hobby RC, and 'Spektrum' is the most popular radio supplier. They are owned by Horizon Hobbies who also own Atherne and Losi. This may indicate future potential.

        I specialise in small receivers and a few simple transmitters. It started as a hobby but became full-time when shops asked to sell them. My products are compatible with and only with Spektrum.

        To help you appreciate sizes, the photo below shows my Rx60, Rx41d and Rx45 with 3 N's and an HO. Top center is Tx1-J transmitter and top right Tx21. Single cell lipos are the most practical for these scales so at the bottom I show a cylindrical 80mAh, rectangular 180mAh and the larger 600mAh.

        Most people start with the cheap 'Blade' transmitter (not shown) and some use my Tx21. Most people prefer receivers with wires soldered on as this only requires you to solder 2 wires to the motor and 2 the battery. You need to decide how to charge the cells and make decisions about connectors, switches and the like. Let us know if you have any questions.
        Regards, David.


        Bernd
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        Bill.

        This is the transmitter I use. $29.00 at one of the local hobby shops. I use it to control my Athearn wreck crane.



        You can see the project here on my web page. http://www.kingstonemodelworks.com/crane.html

        Bernd

        nickplate
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        David, do I get this correctly?

        From your catalog, I am seeing that the hand-held controller for 1 train has the Tx2 CPU (computer chip) already inside it. That, plus the buttons, switch, and knob on the hand-held, and a power supply, enables control of speed, direction, inertia (momentum), and lights for a model locomotive. But not sound. The hand-held controller requires 1 standard 9V battery, not included. The outside of control box measures about 1" x 2-1/4" x 3" - very nice palm-of-hand size. Using today's conversion rate of 1.53 pounds to the dollar, the cost for the hand-held controller is about $70.00 if built-up/assembled, or only $32.00 as a kit. I can email to buy direct with Paypal. There is no mention of shipping on your site, so I assume that's included?

        OK, that's it for the transmitter, right?

        Now for the onboard receiver to be mounted in the loco/tender. You show in your picture: Rx60, Rx41d and Rx45. Other than a slight difference in dimensions, all are small enough for O/On30. Then, your page http://www.deltang.co.uk./trains.htm indicates the Rx61-2 is probably what I want. Cost about $44.00 per locomotive. For motor, lights... and coupling - huh? What about the direction and inertia? What is the reference to 3-16v ? You lost me here.

        David, you'd think after reading 339 posts, and belonging to all the forums, I would understand more, but I still don't get:
        -- what a blade transmitter is and how it would be used for model trains,
        -- what binding is and how it would be used on a home layout,
        -- if your system eliminates the need and cost of DCC decoders,
        -- whether I would have to worry about radio interference at a train show,
        -- does the system "tell" you when you have low battery, or the train just stops,
        -- whether the loco power source could be from the track and/or onboard battery,
        -- if this system allows for onboard battery re-charging from track power like NWSL/Stanton-S-Cab,
        -- if I absolutely have to have onboard steam sound loco sounds, then this is not the system for me?
        -- what's this about programming?!

        Thanks so much for your time, intelligence:brill:, patience, and enthusiasm!
        Dave / Nick Plate

        1whudson
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        Bernd
        I currently have "Force RC" transmitter that came with a small helecopter I fly. It is 2.4 Ghz frequency. Will this talk/work to a small receiver like it does for the helecopter it came with OR is it ONLY for that particular chopper? I due get pretty confused at times, so I blame it on my age...........

        Thanks
        Bill

        Bernd
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        1whudson wrote: Bernd
        I currently have "Force RC" transmitter that came with a small helecopter I fly. It is 2.4 Ghz frequency. Will this talk/work to a small receiver like it does for the helecopter it came with OR is it ONLY for that particular chopper? I due get pretty confused at times, so I blame it on my age...........

        Thanks
        Bill


        Bill,

        I don't know if it will. I would assume that it can since it uses a 2.4Ghz frequency. I haven't gotten into this R/C control that much yet to be an expert at it.

        Bernd

        Bernd
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        nickplate wrote:  What is the reference to 3-16v ? You lost me here.

        David, you'd think after reading 339 posts, and belonging to all the forums, I would understand more, but I still don't get:
        -- what a blade transmitter is and how it would be used for model trains,


        Ah Dave. Apparently you didn't read post 340. On page 34, post 340, I showed what a Blade is. It's a brand name of a transmitter. Some times you need to do a little leg work to discover the answers. This isn't a "plug -n- play" system yet.

        The 3-16 volt is what the receiver will work with. If you have a 12 volt motor then the receiver will work on 12 volts. In other words it can work on the vairable voltages up to 16 volts.

        Bernd

        Last edited on Thu Apr 18th, 2013 07:55 am by Bernd

        DavidT
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        Bill,
        2.4 systems are not generally interchangeable. Your Tx will not work with my Rx.
        Regards, David.

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        Hi Dave,
        Blade transmitter... This is the cheapest, simplest, lightest and most compact transmitter available worldwide that can control my receivers. My trains page you linked to has some of the other names that it goes by. Search ebay. My Rx41d-v5 and Rx60-1 receivers use two of its sticks for power and direction and another two for lights etc.

        Tx21... You have described Tx21 correctly. When used with Rx60-2 the Speed knob gives you variable speed in both directions. Rx60-2 is set up to use the Direction switch as an on/off switch for a light. The Bind button can be used to operate another light.

        Binding... 2.4-based radios don't need frequency crystals but instead each Rx has to be 'paired' with a Tx. We call this 'binding'. It only has to be done once. You can only bind compatible 2.4 systems. 'DSM2' is the common glue between my receivers and appropriate transmitters. DSM2 is a proprietary protocol developed by Spektrum which I've taken the liberty of emulating.

        Binding creates a unique relationship between the Tx/Rx that eliminates interferance in the presence of other 2.4-based devices. It is still possible for the airspace to become saturated but model aircraft have mainly found this to be a problem when hundreds are in use. Train controls are likely to have a less immediate need so congestion is less likely to be noticed.

        Tx21 enters Bind mode for a few seconds when switched on *if* the Bind button is being pressed. As mentioned, you only do this once with a new Rx. You normally switch transmitters on without pressing the Bind button. Once Tx21 is on, the Bind button is not needed for that purpose and can be used as a light switch with Rx60-2.

        Rx60-2 is set up for 'center off' control so does not use a separate Direction control. The Speed knob on Tx21 makes the loco go forwards and backwards with variable speed. Rx60-2 uses the position of the Direction switch on Tx21 to switch another light on/off.

        Inertia... Transmitters normally send changes to the Rx every 22ms (ie: immediately). The inertia control built into Tx21 gives the Rx only small incremental changes every 22ms. The Speed knob sets a target and the Inertia knob determnes the step size and the timeframe over which that target is reached. The Rx is not aware of Inertia. It simply receives slightly different speed settings every 22ms and executes those changes. The Inertia knob has no effect when rotated to one extreme (ie: is not active).

        My receivers are self-contained radios, motor controllers, light controllers, etc. You do not also need a decoder.

        Track power... The Rx does not care where the volts comes from. DCC power is a form of AC and my receivers need DC so you need a bridge rectifier to rectify that and a capacitor to buffer interruptions in supply. DC track power has the same requirements because the polarity depends on direction you place the loco on the tracks.

        Low voltage... The loco will stop when the battery becomes flat. The voltage normally recovers slightly and if you close the throttle to acknowledge the warning, there may be enough juice to limp back to your charging area.

        Charging... The Rx knows nothing about charging. So long as it gets at least 3v and no more than the max allowed you can do anything. Most people use lipos. Lipos are charged with a fixed voltage (4.2v per cell). A flat lipo will depress that until it is about 80% full. After that it will stay at the 4.2v per cell until 100% full.

        Sound... I don't have sound. I think I can control a Dallee sound system but have not tried it. It will not be plug and play. I thought I might try controlling a DCC sound decoder with my Rx but have not developed that yet either.

        Programming... The ability to choose whether to use features like center off motor control vs separate Direction switch requires an ability to change the configuration of the Rx. This is done with 'programming'.

        No selling rule... The forum very kindly allows me to describe my products but please try to support their rules by avoiding discussions on price etc with suppliers. I will send you a PM on that.
        Regards, David.

        1whudson
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        David
        As you know, I am a brand new member, but what you don't know is that I am ignorant of most things electrical. But, I can read directions and follow them very well. I tell my friends that I don't have to know how it works, just how to put it together properly! I've heard reference to a catalog of yours. How do I access that? Do you currently have a website I can go to to learn more? I am determined to put together my first RC HO locomotive with the help of you and everyone else on this site. Thanks for any help...........

        DavidT
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        Hi Bill,
        There is a link to my web site in post 338. Are you wanting battery or track power? If battery, do you know what voltage you need for top speed? Eg: is your loco slow or too fast with track power currently?
        Regards, David.

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        Hi all,

        I have now got my old Graham Farish large prairie 2-6-2 tank working with battery power and radio control. You can see a short video on Youtube http://youtu.be/83FlmFimUew. Apologies for the background radio sound and the Loco isn't as noisy as it sounded to the camera.

        I am using a Deltang Rx41d-v5-w receiver, a Deltang Tx1-M transmitter that is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller. I have replaced the Grafar motor with a small motor from a servo. It is all powered by a cylindrical Turnigy Nano 80mah LiPo battery.

        I had to make a new chassis for the Loco so that I could fit the motor and drive the rear axle rather than the centre axle.

        I have included a full-wave rectifier (4 small diodes) so I can recharge from some track sections without worrying which way the Loco is oriented.

        The electronics works very well but I think I need to tinker with the wheel quartering to get it to run smoothly at low speed. It works fine if I omit the centre axle with the motion!

        Thanks to DavidT and the other forum members who have given advice.

        ...R

        DavidT
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        Good to see it working. Well done.
        dt.

        1whudson
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        David I deffinately want battery power. My current N gauge engines run just fine on my DCC layout. I believe the tract voltage to be around 12 - 14. I replied to one of your answers to me a while back showing you some choices I was looking at involving your products. I was wondering about the Rx60-x-w and the Rx41d-v5-w recivers and a couple of differnet transmitters. I have not yet heard back from you and I am wondering if you had got that reply? I am anxious to get your opinion about what to choose for my N gauge engines OR if I should scrap my whole layout and start over with HO. Thanks again for all the information you have given me.

        Bill

        DavidT
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        Bill,
        Please resend your reply. I don't seem to have it.

        If you want the same speed you get from 12-14v you need 2 or 3 lipos. Only Rx6x in my range can handle these voltages. The challenges becomes deciding where to put the lipos. Obviously HO will be much easier.

        If you can change the motor in your loco to run on one lipo, then you can use Rx41d-v5. This is probably what you have to do for N unless you can put the gear in a tender/carriage etc.
        Regards, David.

        1whudson
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        :brill: Now I am just a little confused. I had been looking at the Rx41d-v5-w along with the Tx21 transmitter, but you seem to indicated I need more battery power than the Rx41d can support because of my N gauge loco's motor. Are you saying that the standard N gauge motor requires more than the 1 lipo I was hoping for? Do most folks just change motors to keep in the 1 lipo range or keep the stock motor and just use a different receiver and more battery power? Keeping the same motor, would the Rx60-x-w be a candidate to handle several lipos if required to get the same performance on the voltage I have? Maybe I am wanting too much out of my current N gauge layout... Again, any help is greatly appreciated......

        Bill

        DavidT
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        Bill,
        Speed is proportional to volts. If you want the same top speed as you current have, you need the same volts. If you are willing for it to go slower, then a single cell lipo may be enough. But some motors need most of that just to get started. And some don't. My HO loco falls off the tracks on bends at full speed with the supplied mains controller. So a single lipo for this loco is fine.

        Rx60/61 allows 1, 2 or 3 lipos but is bigger than Rx41d which can only handle 1.

        Can you rig up 3 AA cells or nicads and apply that to a test track with no other electrical contacts and see what speed you get?
        Regards, David.

        Robin2
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        I am using the Rx41d in my N-gauge tank loco together with the motor from a small servo. I had to replace the original Grafar motor and chassis just to get enough space for the battery and there is only room for a 30mm x 7mm diameter battery. I didn't try the Grafar motor with the 3.6v LiPo cell because I had already dismantled the old motor before the batteries arrived. However I would be very surprised if it would have worked on a single cell.

        I am also planning to convert a Crab tender loco and a DMU to radio control. They should have plenty of room for more batteries and I am hoping the 12v motors will work from 2 (preferably) or 3 LiPo cells to save having to change the motors. That will mean I will have to use the Rx60 receiver.

        ...R

        1whudson wrote:
        :brill: Now I am just a little confused. I had been looking at the Rx41d-v5-w along with the Tx21 transmitter,

        Bill

        1whudson
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        That's a great idea David. I'll do it and keep you posted on the results. Is the HO you refer to still with its original engine? If it almost flies off the track with 1 lipo, then clearly my N gauge engine should be close to doing the same with the same power source wouldn't it? Or is there a lot of difference between engines produced for HO & N?

        Bill

        1whudson
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        David and to the whole group, I told you all I was limited in my knowledge of electricity. And of course, that would mean the electrical engines that use such power. SO, it suddenly dawns on me [I think] that all our HO an N gauge locomotives run off 12 volts. So then, is there a conversion chart of some sort that tells one how many volts a given battery produces? For instance;two double A batteries produce 8 volts for 1 hour or something along that line? For idiots like me, it would be tremendously helpful. ALSO, are all electrical motors rated for the voltage required to run them efficiently and is that information stamped on them in some form or another so people know what voltage is required before puchasing one? Sorry for this stupid stuff, but I need to know so as not to be bothering everyone with things I should know prior to asking.

        Thanks gang,
        Bill

        35er
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        hi Guys

        the entire topic of motor voltage and battery choice is becoming an interesting debate. Perhaps it is worthwhile to look at some of the basics, including:

        - if the model has an efficient drive mechanism it will run on 3.7v (e.g a single cell LiPo) but obviously at reduced speed. Perhaps one needs to look at the voltage that you normally operate the loco at before RC was installed. I suspect that you will find that the average voltage/speed will be well below 12v in any case. If most commercial N scale and HO loco's were operated at 12v they would look like "slot trains" due to the over-gearing etc.

        - 12v was selected as the industry norm for reasons that had nothing to do with locomotive power, but rather to overcome the resistance between the rails and loco wheels (which becomes an even greater problem with dirty rails & wheels) With RC installations the pick-up & resistance problem is a thing of the past since there is no power to the rails.

        - a gearhead 3v motor (obtainable in an ever increasing range of gear ratios and at low cost) is super efficient and will allow any loco to perform well on a 3.7v single LiPo battery. As a professional model builder I have yet to see a locomotive that could not be fitted with a 3v motor and maintain excellent pulling power at very low power consumption. Even if the existing gearbox is retained and only the motor is replaced you will generally find a considerable operating improvement on 3.7v LiPo's since you will not have any power loss from the rails/pickups.

        - ultimately if you take the plunge to install RC / on-board battery operation to your locomotives, irrespective of scale, it worthwhile to consider scale speed operation at the same time. This can always be achieved at minimal cost by installing a 3v gearhead motor for maximum efficiency and scale speed operation.

        remember that on-board RC battery operation gives you an enormous benefit by removing the need for wheel to rail contact, 3v motors are highly efficient and single cell LiPo's maximise the space into which you can fit the battery in almost any model.

        as professional model builders we have found that when these basic points are understood and the modification to 3v made almost all model railroaders have switched to RC battery operation.

        hope this helps.
        have a great day
        BernardS

        fallen
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        Hi guys,

        I model in British 009 which is narrow gauge, 4mm scale on 9mm track.

        I have found for example that the Kato 4 wheel n gauge tram chassis runs very well on one cell with DavidT's receiver.

        To test the chassis I temporarily connect a couple of light wires to the motor and run it on a length of unpowered track with the wires connected to the controller or power supply. This takes out the problem of the track contact resistance and simulates the situation with the radio control. It will give you the best indication of how it will work.

        Frank

        Robin2
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        It's a bit difficult to give a useful answer without explaining electrics in more depth. An electrical appliance (including every electric motor) needs a combination of volts and amps to drive it. Volts x Amps = Watts. Power is measured in Watts. For example a motor might use 0.2 amps at 12volts (or 2.4 watts).

        The motor will be designed for a particular voltage. For the same power a 6v motor will need twice as many amps as a 12v motor. The other side of this is that a 12v motor can't develop full power from a 6v supply.

        There is no simple rule that will tell whether a particular 12v motor will work adequately at a lower voltage.

        The chemistry in batteries determines how many volts are produced by a single cell. Normal dry batteries produce 1.5v per cell - so two AA batteries would produce 3v if connected in series (positive to negative). NiCad and Nimh batteries produce 1.2v per cell. LiPo batteries produce 3.6v per cell.

        Battery voltage tell you nothing about how long a battery will last. Generally that depends on the size of the cells. Rechargeable batteries are usually defined by their Amp-hrs capacity (or milli-Amp-hours for small batteries). In theory, then, the 80mAh battery in my N-gauge loco will provide 0.08Amps for an hour at 3.6 volts. This is the same as 288 milli-watt-hours (80 x 3.6). Watt-Hours is how energy is measured. In practice it would be wise to assume a battery will only provide about 50% of its rated capacity.

        So ... if you have a 12v Loco that uses 0.2 amps (at 12v) and uses 0.075 amps at 3.6v it should run for 20 to 30 minutes on an 80mAh LiPo battery.

        I hope someone else reviews my maths.

        ...R

        1whudson wrote:
        So then, is there a conversion chart of some sort that tells one how many volts a given battery produces? For instance;two double A batteries produce 8 volts for 1 hour or something along that line?
        Bill

        Last edited on Thu Apr 25th, 2013 07:42 am by Robin2

        fallen
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        Robin's maths looks OK to me. However, a loco used for shunting around a yard or pulling trains into and out of a terminus will not be running continuously and so the battery will last longer than this calculation shows.

        The other way of looking at it is that very roughly volts is equivalent to speed and amps is torque. So a loco will run on a lower voltage but at a slower speed, and perhaps surprisingly will not take much less amps in the process.

        Since most locos are not run at max speed and also quite a lot of the voltage on the track is lost in the rail/wheel resistance, a lower voltage applied directly to the motor can be quite effective.

        Frank

        Robin2
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        Thanks for checking my maths.

        And, yes, I should have made it clear that I meant 20 - 30 minutes of Loco movement. However bear in mind that the radio receiver uses a small amount of electricity all the time.

        One of the most frustrating parts of converting my N-gauge Loco was figuring out how to make a tiny on-off switch which is not necessary with track power. In the end I settled for two pieces of brass tube with a brass rod inserted to make contact. I haven't been able to find any really small switches on sale.

        ...R

        fallen wrote:
        Robin's maths looks OK to me. However, a loco used for shunting around a yard or pulling trains into and out of a terminus will not be running continuously and so the battery will last longer than this calculation shows.

        Frank

        DavidT
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        I use a slide switch in my N loco which I think I robbed from an old cell phone. The actuator is the white square between the wheels.


        Here's a link to something similar. http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-Components/Miniature-Slide-Switches-6V-123404 Farnell/Digikey/Mouser etc usually have several to choose from.  'smd slide switch' on ebay or aliexpress should fill many more.

        Bill, in summary, one lipo is charged to 4.2v but usually delivers between 3.0 and 3.7v in use. So 3 cells in series are charged to 12.6v but will give you 9.0-11.1v useful range. The AA cells I suggested are usually 1.5v each when fresh and fall to about 1.2v when flat so experiment with different number of cells to see the minimum you need for adequate top speed.

        If you don't have a voltmeter you should buy a cheap 'LCD DVM' on ebay or any local DIY/Electrical shop.
        dt.

        Robin2
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        Thanks David,

        I had looked on RapidOnline but I didn't seem those. They look like they would be small enough, although my diy switch only takes up 2x2x10mm including the "handle" and could be much smaller if I used smaller brass tube.

        ...R

        DavidT wrote:

        Here's a link to something similar. http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-Components/Miniature-Slide-Switches-6V-123404 Farnell/Digikey/Mouser etc usually have several to choose from.  'smd slide switch' on ebay or aliexpress should fill many more.

        DavidT
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        This won't beat what you have but it's another nice small switch with decent solder tabs. Item MMP121 http://www.bitsbox.co.uk/switches.html
        dt.

        Robin2
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        I've now taken my Graham Farish "Crab" loco apart. It has the same motor as the Large Prairie tank. These are at least 15 years old. I would expect newer designs to have smaller more efficient motors.

        The motor wouldn't turn with a single LiPo cell (3.6v) but it seems to run very well with 2 cells (7.2v).

        I can't tell how many amps it will need and whether my 80mAh batteries will have enough capacity. I have enough to double-up for 160mAh.

        ...R

        Last edited on Thu Apr 25th, 2013 04:44 pm by Robin2

        1whudson
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        Hi David
        Thank you for all the rudimentry education you are giving me. So far I've done the following, but am perplext by one result. I taped two AA batteries together and soldered a 16 gauge wire bridge to the positive and negative poles. Now when I put my volt meter to the positive and negative poles at the oposite ends of the batteries where there is no bridge I get 2.9 volts. BUT, when I apply the meter to the appropriate poles that have been bridged with the 16 gauge wire I get 0.00, nothing. Why is this? Little by little I am starting to understand what everyone is talking about and these little experiments just increase my understanding. But, I don't quite understand why I don't get a volt reading at both ends of the combined batteries.

        Thanks again,
        Bill

        DavidT
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        Can you draw or take a picture of what you have done?
        dt.

        Robin2
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        Hi Bill,

        When you have the two poles connected with a wire they will both be at the same voltage - that's as it should be. If you measure the + and - on the same battery you should still see 1.5v.

        Like this

        - Battery1 + wire - Battery2 +
        0v____1.5v____1.5v____3.0v

        ...R

        1whudson wrote:
        Hi David
        Thank you for all the rudimentry education you are giving me. So far I've done the following, but am perplext by one result. I taped two AA batteries together and soldered a 16 gauge wire bridge to the positive and negative poles. Now when I put my volt meter to the positive and negative poles at the oposite ends of the batteries where there is no bridge I get 2.9 volts. BUT, when I apply the meter to the appropriate poles that have been bridged with the 16 gauge wire I get 0.00, nothing. Why is this? Little by little I am starting to understand what everyone is talking about and these little experiments just increase my understanding. But, I don't quite understand why I don't get a volt reading at both ends of the combined batteries.

        Thanks again,
        Bill

        Last edited on Thu Apr 25th, 2013 05:45 pm by Robin2

        Robin2
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        Hi David,

        I have started to think about converting my tender loco to radio control and I thought I would ask questions here in case the answers are of interest to others.

        I am surprised to see how little spare space there is as the batteries will fill the tender. I had assumed I could use an Rx60 receiver but I think it is too large, especially its thickness.

        I see that I could boost the power of an Rx41 receiver using an ADD1 booster but that seems only able to deal with a single LiPo cell.

        Is it possible to use an ADD2 booster with the Rx41 receiver by feeding the ADD2 from 2 cells and the Rx41 from 1 cell?

        If so will that mean that 2 channels must be devoted to controlling speed and direction or will a single channel work as with my existing setup?

        And if you have a better solution please let me know.

        And one more thing. Can you describe the PWM (?) output of the Rx41d so that I could mimic it with my Arduino in order to get a good measure of the current drawn by the tender loco's motor before I decide on a suitable receiver.

        Thanks

        ...R

        Last edited on Thu Apr 25th, 2013 06:55 pm by Robin2

        1whudson
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        Robin
        I know my description probably lacked clarity. SO, I taped two AA batteries together with their poles oposite one an other. That is, a positive and negative pole at the top and the same at the bottom. Hope you can picture what I am trying to say. I then soldered a 16 gauge wire between from the positive and negative poles. That of course leaves two other poles with nothing attached. When I touched by test leads to the poles that did not have the soldered wire I got 2.9 volts. Perfect I thought. But then, I touched to test leads to the two poles that had the wire soldered to them and got nothing 0.00. Why souldn't I have gotten the same reading at all the poles when touched in pairs? It seems that something has happened to the poles that I soldered the wire to. Am I wrong?

        DavidT
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        Robin,
        ADD2 can be powered with 2 lipos while Rx41d is powered with one. Negative must be common to both. The voltage for the Rx can come from the lower cell but the battery will require balancing when you charge because the bottom cell will be depleted more than the top.

        Perhaps Rx60 can become the tender's chassis?

        1 motor control channel with center off will be fine.

        Rx41d pwm is set to 130hz with 64 steps for each direction. If you are wanting to measure max current that needs a stalled motor with whatever battery you will use (no need for pwm).
        dt.

        DavidT
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        Bill. Is this what you have done? The voltage between point A and D should be the 2.9v. You apply that the the track/loco motor. OK?
        Regards, David.

        1whudson
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        Yep. That's exactly what I have done. But why was I not getting a reading between c & b? Does making that attachment do something?

        DavidT
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        A voltmeter measures voltage between its two inputs. The connection between B and C is just a piece of wire. It does not generate volts.
        dt.

        1whudson
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        David, I think I understand, but I am not sure you understood what I was trying to say. I placed my test leads to the two poles that the wire was soldered too not to the wire itself. So,?

        Robin2
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        Bill, once the wire is thick enough (and yours is) the electricity flows so freely through it that the voltage is the same at both ends. Joining the batteries the way you have done (which is correct) wouldn't work if the voltage at the two ends of the wire was different. The wire is exactly the same as touching the two terminals together like they would be in a torch or a radio.

        If this doesn't make sense perhaps you can say why you think it should be different.


        And David -- thanks. A new chassis for the tender might be an option.

        ...R

        1whudson wrote:
        David, I think I understand, but I am not sure you understood what I was trying to say. I placed my test leads to the two poles that the wire was soldered too not to the wire itself. So,?

        Last edited on Thu Apr 25th, 2013 09:11 pm by Robin2

        DavidT
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        All I can add is the individual batteries store the volts. B-C does not have a 'volt store' between them.
        Regards, David.

        1whudson
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        Thank you Daved and Robin2 also. I guess I just don't understand why I am not getting the same voltage at both ends of the battery pack I created. BUT, I've always said I don't need to know why it works. Just that it works! Soon, I will have done the tests David has told me to conduct and try to dertermine just how many volts I can run my N gauge engine on or if a change is in order.

        Again, thanks to all who have spoken up....

        Bill

        35er
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        Morning Guys

        yes, finding a micro switch is quite frustrating.

        after a great deal of work we settled for a semi-home made switch by taking a slice of a DIL switch. these come in strips of 2, 4 or 5 at a very low cost.

        Simply slice a piece from a strip with a jewellers saw and you have a perfect switch that can handle the voltage / amps we use in the RC system.

        this site has suitable DIL switches available

        http://www.rapidonline.com/Electronic-Components/Switches/DIL-Switches/Low-Profile-DIL

        have fun
        BernardS

        35er
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        Hi Guys

        news ! have found single DIP switches at RS Electronics in the UK. the same product is also available from all other RS branches worldwide in packs of 10 at around $A 12.00 per pack

        the following website shows the product for on-line orders

        http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/dip-sip-switches/7651052/

        hope this helps

        by the way if someone can enlighten me on "how to post pictures" on the site I will show photos of how the switch is installed.

        have fun
        Bernard

        Herb Kephart
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        Bernard-

        Go to "General Talk" forum, instructions are in the stickys there.

        Herb

        bobquincy
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        Bernard,

        the DIP switch is small enough but I am concerned about the current rating.  Even at the rating of 100 mA (unswitched) the switch may not last long in anything larger than maybe N scale.  Something like C&K TS series may work but they are only rated for 500 mA and are larger.  I am not having much success finding a good, small switch for my N scale models.

        35er
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        Hi Bob

        our experience with the DIP switches to date has been well over 500 hours on the same specs and around 800 off/on cycles.

        In any event they cost cents and are simple to replace if required.

        we find that in most of our commercial models the switch is located under an opening cover or in the cab. usually tweezers are used to move the contact over.

        have fun
        BernardS

        Robin2
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        Hi Bill,

        I wonder if the confusion is due to your concept of "both ends of the battery pack".

        Where you have a wire joining the batteries is now the middle of the battery pack, not the end. The ends are the two unconnected terminals where you have measured 2.9v.

        ...R

        1whudson wrote:
        I guess I just don't understand why I am not getting the same voltage at both ends of the battery pack I created.

        Bill

        1whudson
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        Robin I don't know why you haven't given up on me. SO, if the ends are the two unconnected terminals what does one call the connected terminals if not the other end? I knew I should have payed more attention in class, but then there were the girls......

        Thanks for the help,
        Bill

        Robin2
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        Hi Bill,

        No problem - and I'm not sure whether you intended a reply to this question ... but here goes.

        I can understand you wondering about "the other end" but that really only exists because of the way you have assembled your batteries - side by side and head to tail. You will often see batteries arranged like this in small radios, for example.

        However if you think about a 2-battery torch / flashlight the batteries are inserted one behind the other and instead of joining them with a wire the head of one touches the bottom of the other. When they are arranged like that there is only a top and bottom to the battery pack and there are no "other ends".

        Electrically your battery pack is exactly the same as the two batteries in the torch.

        I went to an all-boys school :)

        ...R


        1whudson wrote:
        Robin I don't know why you haven't given up on me. SO, if the ends are the two unconnected terminals what does one call the connected terminals if not the other end? I knew I should have payed more attention in class, but then there were the girls......

        Thanks for the help,
        Bill

        Last edited on Fri Apr 26th, 2013 07:08 pm by Robin2

        1whudson
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        Robin
        Finally, I think I understand!! The flashlight [I love the way you folks call them torches] example clicked and the light went on. Thank you to all have been putting up with my lessons..............

        Bill

        bobquincy
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        35er wrote: ...our experience with the DIP switches to date has been well over 500 hours on the same specs and around 800 off/on cycles...
        Bernard,

        I would not have tried these switches based on the specifications but it appears you have had success using them so I am going to try some.
        thanks,

        boB

        Herb Kephart
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        I believe that switches are rated for connections, and for DC---disconnections ---UNDER LOAD. You are probably having luck using them above their rated limit by cycling them under light load, or no load at all. As long as you do not try to conduct too much current through the switch--once it is turned on--and over heat it, the switch life will be determined by mechanical limitations--how many off-on cycles it takes to wear it out. Even so, you are getting remarkable service from something that in the context it was designed for is cycled only a few times in the life of the device that it is installed in.


        Herb

        bobquincy
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        Herb,

        you have it right, the switches are rated for 50 mA "switching" and 100 mA "non-switching".  When we switch the circuit the only thing powered is probably the receiver which is not much current.  The non-switching rating is still pretty light for powering a HO train motor but the switches can apparently handle more. 

        If we power the motor with 200 mA at 50% PWM the average is 100 mA.  Maybe this supplier is conservative in their ratings, I might load one with 200 mA (or more) to see what the margin is.  ;)

        boB

        DavidT
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        I put 1A through some. No heat. Resistance measures 25-30 milli-ohm, normal for switches but likely to worsen quicker than more robust switches. I agree they are normally used in low current applications which require very few cycles but some I was looking at buying were rated for 2000 cycles.
        dt.

        Toeffelholm
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        Hi,

        some news on the DelTang Website.

        It is easier now to control several locos with a multi-way switch built in the Tx.

        David has created a new software version for the Rx60 and Rx61. Now they learn their assigned switch position during the binding process. Programming the Rx is not needed any more for this feature.

        You set the multi-way switch in your Tx to the wished position number, start the binding process and from now the loco will only move if the switch is on this position. For the binding process with the next loco you choose a new switch position and so on.

        Additionally David provides a new Transmitter Kit where a 12-way switch for loco selection is already included, as well as a ready built version.
        http://www.deltang.co.uk/tx22-kit.htm

        I will build one of this 12-way switches into my brass transmitter.


        Juergen

        Last edited on Tue May 7th, 2013 08:22 pm by Toeffelholm

        doctorphantom
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        Juergen,

        Yes, the transmitter looks sweet! I just ordered a built unit (OK, I wussed out--this is my first stab at using RC). It uses what he (Dave) calls "Selecta," and behaves as you have stated.

        Incidentally, when a loco is 'deselected' it will either slow to a stop or continue executing its last-received command, depending on the user's option--pretty slick!

        I am eagerly awaiting the shipment--how many months could it take to send a package across the Atlantic? (-;

        Tom

        DavidT
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        Yes, it's an important improvement. Not everyone wants the 'loco selection' capability but for those that do it's now feasible for everyone. Tx22 has the selector switch mentioned. The feature can be used with unmodified joystick transmitters as well. With those we move the Ch2 trim left or right to select the loco. I've got DSMX working too.
        dt.

        bobquincy
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        While we are discussing DT receivers: going through the menus and programming for my Rx-43d-v5 I found a minor feature that did not function quite as intended. David's support and quick correction of this issue was the best, he really stands behind his products!

        DavidT
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        Thanks Bob.

        I've done a video showing Tx22 with 2 trains, switching bewteen them with the loco selctor switch http://youtu.be/LFp7EKEZgCU
        Regards, David.

        1whudson
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        Hi David
        Just watched your u-tube video demonstrating the new transmitter. Very impressive. Especially the 1s Lipo's being used for both engines. These are not the stock motors that came with the engines are they? I can't imagine a 12v engine running of the one cell lipo. AND I want everyone to know how robust your Rx60-2 transmitters are. I inadvertently touched black to red [causing a short] and smoked the the chip's battery leads down to bare wire. AND it stilled worked like a champ after putting heat shrink over the wires and reattaching the battery!!! I was absolutely amazed after all the smoke. Nothing could withstand that abuse. BUT the Rx60-2 did. Congratulations for devising such a board.

        DavidT
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        Hi Bill,
        I had to replace the N motor. The new one comes from a broken servo I had. If you want to experiment, buy a few cheap different sized servos from Hobby King in the 11-20g range to get a variety to choose from. Servos usually have a 'time' specification (how quickly they rotate). I'd buy ones that are slow.

        The HO motor is standard. I have a simple Piko 57110 starter kit. The chassis and body are just plastic so is easy to cut bits off to modify if necessary. I believe this is the loco on its own http://www.piko-shop.de/index.php?vw_type=artikel&vw_id=35

        Good to hear Rx60 survived. I've plugged mine in the wrong way too. I did build some reverse-polarity protection into it but one never knows if it will be enough.
        Regards, David.

        1whudson
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        David, sometimes I get lost following these pm messages so bear with me. Is the Pinko stock/standard engine a 12v motor? If so, what single cell lipo did you use? I already asked you in another pm if I can buy two more of your Rx60-2-w from you and if you can set up a pay pal account for me to pay you through? Again, I am really interested in the Pinko's engine [12v?] and the one cell lipo you used. Thanks again for all the help you have given me the last couple of weeks.

        Bill

        W C Greene
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        Hey guys, please, PLEASE set up "deals" using a PRIVATE MESSAGE, not here in the forum. David is doing a great job of keeping the "rules", don't jepordize things by talking buying & selling & paypal stuff here. OK?

        Woodie-moderator

        DavidT
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        Bill,
        My HO Piko in my video is a stock/standard/12v loco. I used a rectangular 330mAh lipo in place of the ballast. You have 12x20x32mm available there. However, I'd recommend a cylindrical 900mAh lipo along the length of the boiler. It will run all day with this.
        http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__23318__Turnigy_nano_tech_900mah_1S_15C_Round_Lipo_.html
        Regards, David.

        Robin2
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        Hi David,

        I've been wondering if it would be possible to develop some additional features for your receivers that would be useful for trains.

        A. Would it be possible to have a couple of outputs that could drive head/tail light leds depending on the direction of travel of the motor without needing to use a separate receiver channel?

        B. Would it possible to produce a cheap receiver (say £12) with limited capabilities for people who would like to add directional lights at both ends of a train? Optionally it would respond to the same channel as the full function receiver in the locomotive for permanently coupled trainsets.

        ...R

        DavidT
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        Hi Robin,
        A. This feature has also been requested by JohnH. However, he wanted to be able to switch the feature on/off by radio. I can do both approaches in Rx6x. Rx4x does not have program space so it's a more complex request for them.

        B. See my Rx100-v5.
        dt.

        Robin2
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        Thanks David,

        Oops - I hadn't spotted the Rx100.

        ...R

        Robin2
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        I've been interested in trains planes and automobiles (and boats) all my life - both full size and models. I like making things and fiddling with things. I'm not so good - or so interested - at finishing things, but I love starting. However I have never really been interested in actually driving model trains. And last night I suddenly realized why.

        I have mentioned earlier in these pages that I have converted my Grafar Large Prairie to BPR/C but I had only run it on a 400mm piece of spare track for testing.

        Yesterday I decided I really should try it on my "developing" layout. And IT JUST WORKED. I could run up and down the track or go in and out of sidings without any hesitation. And when one of the loco bogies derailed it just kept going until the whole loco derailed. Just like the real thing.

        Previously with all my track powered locos (both OO and N) I could guarantee that they would get stuck somewhere and need a push start. And that was why "playing trains" was never interesting.

        Hooray for BPR/C.

        ...R

        1whudson
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        Ain't it great Robin?? I just finished converting my Athern SD45. And like you, I run it on a piece of test track. My test track has a turnout in it and I keep finding myself increasing the speed a little as it enters the switch. JUST like I always did with electricity!! EVEN the old habits hang on because the experience is so new. What a feeling this is. RC forever!!

        dtsteam
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        Ok, possibly the silliest R/C question you can ask, but I'll ask it here as David clearly has a grasp of the firmware. I would like more than one Tx to control a train. More precisely, I'd like to set a train in motion, and the next guy along take control of that train. Can I do that with 2.4Ghz equipment ?
        Leaving aside all the fun stuff about torches and fortnights, there is a fundamental difference about how we Brits play model trains. Our guys tend to be signalmen and work stations or blocks of track, as opposed to representing train crew. Operation is usually to timetable, and trains are exchanged by telegraph. Could I replicate that with RC ?
        'Nay lad' was the cry....
        So, I've kept quiet until now, and then I read about Selecta control, and the fact that the receiver continues to obey the last instruction. That set me thinking - Is there any way a receiver could support more than one binding, and some simple rules for switching between them ?

        David

        W C Greene
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        Howdy David...let me assure you that the "torches and townfolk" was no "fun stuff". I was banned from a few websites because I dared to mention anything other than DC or DCC. I have been called unflattering names over the years for my "promotion" of radio control. Now, everybody is "peachy" and nice but there were some times......

        I would assume that an "engineer" could go "off clock" at a station and another take over, it would just take "linking" the next man's Xmitter to the loco while it is stopped. I don't think this can be done while running, but anything is indeed possible.
        Woodie

        Toeffelholm
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        David,

        with the DelTang Rx60/61 it is possible to bind with 2 Tx and to change a loco between this two.

        Have just tested this and it works fine.

        Will report on this when there is interest.


        Juergen

        DavidT
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        Hi David,
        The magic that allows 2.4 systems to be used without frequency control requires that each receiver obeys only one transmitter at any time. Anything other than this requires special cleverness in the receiver.

        As Juergen points out, my Rx60/61 receivers can be associated with two transmitters. One Tx 'owns' the Rx until it pushes it away. The Rx then seeks out the 2nd Tx which has to accept the Rx to gain control. This requires the Rx to stop listenting for the 1st Tx and search for the 2nd. The 2nd is likely to be using different frequencies. So there's a period of no control which will be at least several seconds in duration. So to avoid mishaps I currently force the train to stop to execute this change.

        As people try this feature we can decide how to expand it perhaps. However, it would be much easier to simply have one Tx per train in operation. You would just hand the Tx on to the next operator without any interruption in control. Would this be suitable? I guess people might worry about the cost of transmitters. The cheap DSM2 transmitters I mention often only cost £10-15 in the UK and around $15 with shipping in the US.
        Regards, David.

        Robin2
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        Another easy way to allow different users (signalmen) to control a single train is to control the transmitter with one or more PCs or with a PC and some smartphones.

        ...R

        dan3192
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        Hi David,
        Controlling a train from different points on a layout is possible with RC under certain conditions. For example, if you have two Spektrum transmitters, or a Spektrum and a JR transmitter, you can make one the master radio and the other the slave radio, connect them via a trainer cord, and alternatively operate the same train. This is frequently done with aircraft.
        For trains, several cords can be extended around a layout from the master control station, depending on the number of remote control stations you want to have. In general, to accomplish this, transmitters should be from the same manufacturer or have compatible trainer ports. I have the procedure and set of conditions, if anyone wants it, or if there is further interest.
        I realize this may not interest everyone out there, but it is a relatively simple way for multiple operators to gain control of a consist on a layout to work their assigned sections or blocks.
        I'm also wondering if DavidT's Rx60/61 dual binding capable receivers could somehow mesh with this scenario. It could possibly give us something spectacular.
        Dan

        dtsteam
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        Wow Guys ! Thank you for your response. I need to digest all of this and have a think. To summarise (for my benefit) :
        WG : re-bind/double bind
        J : double bind
        DT : double bind/hand on Tx
        R2 : Control central PC
        D2 [!] : trainer ports
        At the moment I'm leaning towards the double bind - I hadn't realised the 60 series did that.

        Robin2
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        I think there is an added value to a PC solution. (I haven't tried this out yet as I have only one R/C loco - number 2 is in course of conversion).

        It seems to me that different locos are likely to run at different speeds for a given controller setting but it is necessary for locos to run at the same speed if they are on the same train.

        It would be easy with PC software to arrange things so that, for example, at speed step 6 all locos actually move at the same speed. (Step 6 on the PC screen could mean a different thing for each loco).

        ...R

        1whudson
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        Speaking about the Rx60/61 receivers, I just read on their site that the Rx60/61 receivers shut themselves off after 1 hour of inactivity. Would this not be a defacto on/off switch? To test this line of reasoning, I left my 1 cell lipo connected to the receiver overnight. When I started the engine in the morning it seemed to have the same amount of power it did the previous evening. So, with the Rx60/61 is there any good reason to unplug them from the battery after a session when the receiver is going to shut off anyway in an hour? Any thoughts??

        Bill

        DavidT
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        Bill,
        Overnight is fine but the receiver continues to consume a little current so it is not suitable to replace an on/off switch. I'll think about how we can use it as you would like.
        dt.

        DavidT
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        I can make a electronic switch that is switched on with a magnet and switched off with the sleep timer. Would this be of interest?

        It can be smaller but I think I would make it about 9.5 x 12mm (3/8 x 1/2"). It would be less than 3mm (1/8") thick. The circuit is fairly simple so people can make their own as well. It would need to be mounted where an activating magnet can get quite close. It can be behind plastic. Mine would probably be similar in price to my ADD2 product. I would include a magnet but you would typically have to glue that to something.

        See drawing for connections required. I will have to change my program to do the on/off stuff so it would not work with existing rceeivers unless returned to me for the new program. Your views?
        dt.

        Last edited on Tue May 21st, 2013 11:05 am by DavidT

        Robin2
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        Hi David,

        This is an interesting idea - but it is rather large for N Gauge. Am I correct to assume that there would be a small electromagnet to keep the reed switch on?

        Would it be possible to make one that needed an external magnet to turn it off as well as on - thus needing no sleep connection; no change to the program and would work with the Rx4x receivers?

        Thanks

        ...R

        DavidT
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        Robin, It can be much smaller. The main width constraint relates to pad sizes and soldering skills. A nice layout needs 4 pads on the one side. The main length constraint is the reed switch. For N you probably need the reed switch separate from the board with switching components.

        This design uses the magnet to switch the electronic switch on long enough for the receiver to boot up. The receiver then keeps it on. The sleep timer is a simple way to switch it off. But I could also make it respond to a channel movement from the Tx to switch it off.

        Bipolar reed relays are available but they will be much bigger. Reference is make to bipolar reed switches as well but I did not find any available for purchase. Also, most reed switches can only hande very low currents. If you can find one that does the job then let us know...
        dt.

        doctorphantom
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        DavidT,

        I assume that you are describing a new line of PC boards which adds the reed switch to the Rx4 receiver, along with the sleep timer modification. I would guess that a similar size increase would apply to the Rx60 line.

        I would whole-heartedly support such an addition! It eliminates the mounting and connecting issues associated with incorporating a switch.

        The only disadvantage is the additional size. (The fact that it needs to be located so that it can be magnetically actuated is it's advantage, not disadvantage--one could always use a mechanical switch if a magnetic option location is not practical.)

        1whudson
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        David
        To me, an internal on/off solution would be greatly appreciated by all of us [I think}. There's been much talk about charging through the tracks, not having the real RC experience by charging with tracks, using external on/off switches etc. a simple solution added to the final product would be great! I was thinking of a simple reed switch that would always be off [open] and need only an external wan [magnet] passed over it to turn things on [closed]. AND would remain closed [on] until a second pass with the wan to open [off] the circuit again and shut off power. Do they even make such a switch? I was also thinking of something smaller in diminsions if praticable. AND lastly, is there not a way to put the on/off circuitry in the chip/board itself rather than adding a separate switch?

        Robin2
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        Thanks David. As usual I had jumped to the wrong conclusion and assumed that the reed switch in your drawing was the only (or principal) component on your circuit board.

        I will continue with my brass tube switch.

        ...R

        DavidT wrote:

        This design uses the magnet to switch the electronic switch on long enough for the receiver to boot up. The receiver then keeps it on.

        dan3192
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        Pololu makes a 10A pushbutton power switch (LV Model: 2.5-7V, SV Model: 4.5-20V) than can be used with a reed switch for latched on and off. See the direct link at:

        http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/750

        The wiring arrangement is shown on the Tam Valley website via the link below:

        (Scroll down to the "Magnetic Reed Switch for Easier On-Off" section.

        http://www.tamvalleyrr.com/wirelessdcc.html

        Hope this helps the discussion.

        Dan  

        DavidT
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        Thanks Dan. Mine would be simpler and smaller because it has my receiver to control it. But it gives people an idea of what's involved. People can use that one now with any RC installation.


        The motor's magnets can activate a reed and the wand's magnet probably needs to get within 1/2" to be reliable. So building it into the Rx has some disadvantages. Receiver size would also increase.

        Magnet On + Sleep Off only requires one controlling wire so is feasible as a separate switch. I'll probably build in the capability.

        Magnet On + Magnet Off requires at least two controlling wires so is more suitable to be built into the Rx. I'll look at what that does to size. My emphasis is on keeping things small so no commitments yet.


        Tom,
        I'm only considering this for Rx6x. In addition to handling higher voltages, Rx6x has more program memory. Rx4x does not have space for more features unless I remove others.

        Thanks for the feedback.
        David.

        1whudson
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        David
        I read your posting this morning half asleep and answered it with what now appears to be pretty stupid thoughts. But after re-reading and understanding what you were saying, I say yes to the idea. Magnet to turn on, sleep timer to turn off. If this is something you will persue please let us know when existing Rx60/61 can be sent back for the revisions.

        Bill

        Toeffelholm
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        http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=3558&forum_id=45&highlight=magic+switch

        Juergen

        DavidT
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        No problem Bill. It's good to explore options. Thanks Juergen. A nice simple option.

        I've had a look at integrating magnet On/Off control. It adds about 4mm (5/32") to the width. It would look like the drawing. The big lump at the top is the reed switch. If I added it to Rx60 it would become 14 x 21.5mm.

        To compare, Rx61 without reed switch is 12.3 x 21.5mm and I intend doing a new Rx62 which also without reed switch will be 9.6 x 17.3mm. Views?
        dt.

        railbaron of MD
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        Good afternoon all,
         I come in here once in a while and just quick scan all of the interesting chatter.  I am not sure if I can hold my own intellectually with this group but I think I can add personal experience to this discussion.  Wow, that was long winded!  Anyway, I am a new consumer of Davids products and I work in On30 and O standard gauge and have r/c'ed three locos.  I have done a Bachman 4-4-0, old Model Power 0-4-0 gas mechanical, and a converted to two rail K-Line 0-4-0 Plymouth gas mechanical. In all three locos I have added a spst mini toggle to turn off the receiver/battery connection and I have added a 3/32 female stereo jack for charging the batteries, so that I don't have to take apart the locos.  So far everything has worked very well, beyond my wildest imagination and I have brought two other guys who want to do this to the table, so to speak.
        Even though I would maybe prefer generic sound I have found I can live without it, besides I can always activate the dcc sound equipped locos if need be.  I think this is a really great system, in fact my entire O standard gauge portion of the railroad and a future On30 logging branch is completely dead rail. Can you say On30 pole road trackage, we can.
        Thanks for all of you discussion, don't understand everything but certainly getting the idea.
        Steve Fisher
        O Dark Thirty

        W C Greene
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        Steve, I know what you mean! Even though this discussion is way over my old head, I am so very glad that it is taking place. It can only get better. Shouldn't that be "dead pole road" ??

        Woodie

        35er
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        Hi Guys,

        correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that it is imperative that the receiver be isolated from the charge circuit when the battery is charged in-situ. If that is correct it is also important to have a visual confirmation that the receiver board is in fact off.

        the inherent problem with a reed switch, particularly when it forms part of the IC board is that it cannot visually be confirmed that the board is isolated.

        furthermore there is a chance that the loco is parked for long periods after an operating session with the system "live", resulting in a dead battery at the next session.

        for these reasons I would urge care in selecting the on/off switch. TrainworxOz will continue to install manual switches on its RC installations for these reasons.

        have fun
        Bernard

        Bernd
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        I don't think you need to worry on David's receivers. There is an LED that tells you if it's on or not. A piece of fiber optic to some place visual would help to tell you if the receiver is on or off.

        Bernd

        railbaron of MD
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        Woodie,
         you are so right, now if I can just engineer a single point switch out of wood I will have it.  The guys in my operating group won't let me touch the hand laid track, I can wire and paint it but no further, I wonder if that applies to 1/8" squared lumber rails? 
        More confused the ever,
        Steve
        O Dark 30

        1whudson
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        Hi David
        What's the chance of adding that 4mm to the length rather than width? The width is critical for N gauge locomotives...

        Bill

        DavidT
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        Is 11.5 x 20mm with integrated on/off reed switch any good?
        dt.

        dan3192
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        How about a surface mount insulated type reed switch for durability?

        https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10601 

        Dan 

        dan3192
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        Hi Bernd,

        There are a set of pads on my Rx43x, that when connected to an LED, mimics the board's LED for binding or status information, if you can't see the Rx directly. I'm not sure if the Rx60/61's also have this capability.

        Dan

          

        johnhu
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        dan3192 wrote:
        Hi Bernd,

        There are a set of pads on my Rx43x, that when connected to an LED, mimics the board's LED for binding or status information, if you can't see the Rx directly. I'm not sure if the Rx60/61's also have this capability.

        Dan

          


        The Rx60's do have the same capability.

        John

        Robin2
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        My extra Deltang receivers have now arrived and I have all three of my locos working by BPR/C - Hooray.

        David had set the channels for me and all I had to do was bind the receivers to the transmitter and wire them up.

        I haven't tried to run all 3 at the same time - I will need to change my Arduino software for that - but I see no reason why they won't. There will probably be a horrible collision!.

        Of course I now have to tidy away all the wires and batteries so that locos 2 and 3 look normal.

        Thanks very much David.

        ...R

        Last edited on Wed May 29th, 2013 07:28 pm by Robin2

        DavidT
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        Good to hear. Thanks.
        dt.

        dan3192
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        Bernd,

        I saw your crane at the NE Prototype Meet this weekend. Very nicely done, with several folks taking pictures and video while it was operating. Definitely turned a lot of heads. Nice work.

        Dan 

        Bernd
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        Dan,

        Thank you very much. Jim told me you said "Hi". One of these years I'll have to go with him to that show.

        I do have to say it wasn't my best effort. All I did was the drives. I don't know if Jim did any extra detail work on it.

        I'm trying to come up with a turret drive with gearing to slow it way down using those tiny motors I use for the boom and hook. What you saw was MKII. I'll be working on MKIII when I get my other two projects done.

        Bernd

        gmortensen63
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        DavidT,

        As you know from our e-mails, I'm a newbie to this. I've also just joined this forum, as suggested by my local R/C "mentors".

        Some time back, when you were first discussing the Rx60/Rx61 receivers, you mentioned the possibility of having a receiver be able to bind to as many as three transmitters. Did the three-transmitter capability make it to production? I couldn't quite tell from the Selecta documentation on the web site.

        Here's a scenario where I believe that would be very handy:

        The train is made up in a yard at one end of the railroad by a yard man using a Tx22. The train is the released to the person who will be running the train over the railroad using the Tx21 that is normally associated with the locomotive. At the other end of the railroad, the train is handed off to the yard man there, who picks the locomotive up using a second Tx22.

        I realize that the single, Tx21 could just as easily be passed around amongst the operators, but the three-way operation has a certain "very cool" factor to it...

        DavidT wrote:
        Hi David,
        The magic that allows 2.4 systems to be used without frequency control requires that each receiver obeys only one transmitter at any time. Anything other than this requires special cleverness in the receiver.

        As Juergen points out, my Rx60/61 receivers can be associated with two transmitters. One Tx 'owns' the Rx until it pushes it away. The Rx then seeks out the 2nd Tx which has to accept the Rx to gain control. This requires the Rx to stop listenting for the 1st Tx and search for the 2nd. The 2nd is likely to be using different frequencies. So there's a period of no control which will be at least several seconds in duration. So to avoid mishaps I currently force the train to stop to execute this change.

        As people try this feature we can decide how to expand it perhaps. However, it would be much easier to simply have one Tx per train in operation. You would just hand the Tx on to the next operator without any interruption in control. Would this be suitable? I guess people might worry about the cost of transmitters. The cheap DSM2 transmitters I mention often only cost £10-15 in the UK and around $15 with shipping in the US.
        Regards, David.

            gmortensen63
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            And we question whether or not we should let you wire...

            railbaron of MD wrote:
            Woodie,
             you are so right, now if I can just engineer a single point switch out of wood I will have it.  The guys in my operating group won't let me touch the hand laid track, I can wire and paint it but no further, I wonder if that applies to 1/8" squared lumber rails? 
            More confused the ever,
            Steve
            O Dark 30

            DavidT
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            Hi Geren,
            A few people have asked about this. I think there are two ways of doing it. The options are easier to understand if people know that 2.4 transmitters have a unique identity called the GUID (Globally Unique ID). Receivers can normally only be associated (bound) with one GUID at a time and will then only obey the Tx with that GUID.

            The first approach that I have implemented in Rx6x is to build into the Rx the ability to remember two GUID's. The Rx latches onto one Tx and that Tx has to tell the Rx to 'let go' to make it seek out the other Tx. It needs a good understanding of programming my receivers, how binding works and the led flashes on the Rx to set it up. So it's not intuitive, it's slow to change Tx and I don't think more than two Tx are practical.

            The other approach is to have several Tx's with the same GUID. The Rx then would not know or care which Tx was controlling it. No cleverness would be needed in the Rx but instead would be needed in the Tx. One Tx would act as Master to which Slave Tx's and all necessary Rx's would have to be bound to pick up the Master's GUID. The Tx's would then take turns to transmit so that only one is transmitting at a time. Transmitters normally transmit every 22ms. If we have up to four Tx, they would each transmit every 88ms (11 times a second).

            Each Tx would have a Selecta knob to select which loco it is controlling. If each Tx selects a different loco all will go well. If Operator 2 selects a loco before Operator 1 is finished, the loco will get conflicting data. So you would need clear communication/procedures to avoid mishaps.

            We can discuss this some more if it sounds feasible.
            Regards, David.

            gmortensen63
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            DavidT,

            Thanks. That all actually makes perfect sense (my background in IT actually helps with the concept of the GUID, and binding addresses to unique ids).

            There's an added advantage to this scheme -- I wouldn't need a dedicated Tx21 for each locomotive on the roster (there will only be 10 or 11), only enough Tx22s for the number of trains that would be in operation.

            I'll have to think more on this, but it sounds like it's possibly a good way to go, at least for me. The trick would be that I know I couldn't afford to buy everything at once, so we'd need a way to keep track of the GUID of the transmitters I buy, and also keep track of the basic programming in each of the receivers I buy going forward.

            Thanks!

            DavidT wrote:
            Hi Geren,
            A few people have asked about this. I think there are two ways of doing it. The options are easier to understand if people know that 2.4 transmitters have a unique identity called the GUID (Globally Unique ID). Receivers can normally only be associated (bound) with one GUID at a time and will then only obey the Tx with that GUID.

            The first approach that I have implemented in Rx6x is to build into the Rx the ability to remember two GUID's. The Rx latches onto one Tx and that Tx has to tell the Rx to 'let go' to make it seek out the other Tx. It needs a good understanding of programming my receivers, how binding works and the led flashes on the Rx to set it up. So it's not intuitive, it's slow to change Tx and I don't think more than two Tx are practical.

            The other approach is to have several Tx's with the same GUID. The Rx then would not know or care which Tx was controlling it. No cleverness would be needed in the Rx but instead would be needed in the Tx. One Tx would act as Master to which Slave Tx's and all necessary Rx's would have to be bound to pick up the Master's GUID. The Tx's would then take turns to transmit so that only one is transmitting at a time. Transmitters normally transmit every 22ms. If we have up to four Tx, they would each transmit every 88ms (11 times a second).

            Each Tx would have a Selecta knob to select which loco it is controlling. If each Tx selects a different loco all will go well. If Operator 2 selects a loco before Operator 1 is finished, the loco will get conflicting data. So you would need clear communication/procedures to avoid mishaps.

            We can discuss this some more if it sounds feasible.
            Regards, David.

            DavidT
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            Yes, you would need to keep a record of which locos are bound to which Tx, and to which Switch position.

            For this to work well we also need to think through how the trains will be used at home, sometimes with a Tx that is not one of the four used at the group meet.
            dt.

            Robin2
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            If you use a PC as an interface to the wireless system then there would be no need to reassign the receivers and transmitters. The hand-over of control between operators could be managed at the PC level.

            For example if a PC acted as a web server (presenting the controls on a simple web page) operators could use another PC or a smart phone or tablet to control whichever loco they wanted.

            To my mind this would be a lot more versatile and less complicated than making changes at the receiver/transmitter level.

            ...R

            gmortensen63
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            For the "at home" use, the tracking would be relatively easy -- there won't be more than 11 engines/receivers, so all of the engines could be on all of the transmitters, and each one would be bound to the same switch position on each transmitter.

            Generally speaking, when Steve Sherrill has carried his engines to Steve Fisher's layout, he has brought his own transmitters along. We have not, as yet, had any difficulties with conflicts. I'm guessing that if we each carry our own transmitters with our engines, we shouldn't have any problem, right?

            DavidT wrote:
            Yes, you would need to keep a record of which locos are bound to which Tx, and to which Switch position.

            For this to work well we also need to think through how the trains will be used at home, sometimes with a Tx that is not one of the four used at the group meet.
            dt.

            gmortensen63
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            LOL! I'm trying reduce complexity and reliance on a PC in the railroad room.

            Robin2 wrote:
            If you use a PC as an interface to the wireless system then there would be no need to reassign the receivers and transmitters. The hand-over of control between operators could be managed at the PC level.

            For example if a PC acted as a web server (presenting the controls on a simple web page) operators could use another PC or a smart phone or tablet to control whichever loco they wanted.

            To my mind this would be a lot more versatile and less complicated than making changes at the receiver/transmitter level.

            ...R

            DavidT
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            How many operators and transmitters do we want this to scale to?

            Robin, yes, that would be another approach.
            dt.

            gmortensen63
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            David, I'm thinking about this wrong. If each receiver can bind to two GUIDs, then in the scenario I'm thinking of, only two throttles should be Tx22s -- those used by the yard operators. So, only two would need to be "in sync". Each loco would bind to the pair of Tx22s on one GUID, and also to its own Tx21 on whatever GUID it happens to be. I was trying to make it two complicated, I think, with a half dozen Tx22s all sharing a single GUID.

            DavidT
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            Thanks. By default, I would expect the new Tx to operate as a standalone Tx so anyone can buy and use it on their own or with others. It would only sync up if a selector switch was in the appropriate position, it had been bound to the Master Tx and it picks up signals with that GUID.

            The receivers' ability to remember two GUIDs will be helpful for use with another Tx. I'd probably need to create a new variant of the receivers with the Tx_Change feature enabled. Then it just needs a little more patience and dilligence when binding to get it working correctly.
            dt.

            gmortensen63
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            One of the joys of 2.4GHz systems is the simplicity. Will adding this ability break that? Are you getting you chips preprogrammed from you distributor, or are you loading the code yourself? If no, maybe make the dual-binding feature a special order? Just a couple thoughts.

            DavidT wrote:
            Thanks. By default, I would expect the new Tx to operate as a standalone Tx so anyone can buy and use it on their own or with others. It would only sync up if a selector switch was in the appropriate position, it had been bound to the Master Tx and it picks up signals with that GUID.

            The receivers' ability to remember two GUIDs will be helpful for use with another Tx. I'd probably need to create a new variant of the receivers with the Tx_Change feature enabled. Then it just needs a little more patience and dilligence when binding to get it working correctly.
            dt.

            DavidT
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            My Selecta feature has evolved to require no special setup and hopefully we can make changing Tx fairly easy. I have different versions because not everyone wants the same thing. I do this myself.

            We discussed reed switches recently. I have just ordered some new boards that will include a reed on/off switch. I have the sizes on my site. I expect the boards in July so they should be available in August.
            dt.

            Rod Hutchinson
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            Hi David T,

            I have been following this thread with great interest.  I was on the committee of the 11th Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Convention held last Easter and was able to view your equipment first hand.  Bernard Snoodyk had a couple of your TX21 transmitters with receivers in Fn32/35 locos.  Mike Ogden visited from the UK and was in cahoots with Bernard at some level.  I didn't realize at the time they were your units but the penny eventually dropped.

            I would presume that TX21 units would be good choice for multiple operators in a 'running' session whilst TX22 and TX23 would be useful for a single operator controlling multiple locos in a 'mucking about' session.  My railroad is not designed for operation but a point to point diorama style.

            I model in HOn30 and am taking tentative steps to O-16.5 (7mm).

            I was wondering what the best path might be to make an initial commitment to your gear for both HOn30 and 0-16.5?

            I presume I would source batteries and battery charges locally from R/C car/plane retailers?

            DavidT
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            Hi Rod,
            Bernard has been a great supporter. I have visited your site before and love what you have done. I think your assessment of my gear makes sence although some people like the small size and simplicity of Tx21 even for mucking about.

            In terms of receivers, Rx41d-v5 appeals to people who need its small size but it is most suitable for a single lipo. If you have space for Rx60 it has more flexibility in terms of voltage and has Selecta and other features. Tx22 with Rx60-22 is a great combination.

            Micron Wings have a good range of small lipos. http://www.micronwings.com/Products/SectionBatteryAndAccessory/index.shtml Local model shops probably have the next size up. Hobby King have a huge range. And Bernard might have useful sizes too.
            Regards, David.

            Rod Hutchinson
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            To David T,
            I think I have your TX and RX figured out. Can you give me an idea about batteries?
            What kind of running times would you get with say 250, 500, 1000 mAh. Size is my limiting factor so what for example would be an optimum mAh for HOn30 and O scales. I don't need accuracy just what orders of magnitude I need to look at.

            35er
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            Rod

            battery size and running time are a function of several issues, such as gearing, running efficiency of your model, load being pulled and most importantly the motor characteristics. for example a cheap 3v toy motor will not give anywhere the same running time as a Faulhaber coreless motor.

            if you will send me a PM with an outline of the installation you intend to use I will provide you with all the empirical data we have developed over the last 12 months under actual usage conditions.

            as a guideline; using a 380Mah 20x40mm LiPo powering a 3v 180:1 gearhead motor in an 0-4-0 we are able to get 6.5 hours running time. similarly 200 minutes are possible with a 22x18 180Mah LiPo using the same installation.

            let me know the available space and I will with pleasure provide you with a pro-forma suggestion.

            also keep in mind that as an Australian dealer of Deltang RC products we keep a full range on stock.

            have fun
            BernardS

            DavidT
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            Rod,
            Adding to what Bernard says, run time depends on current consumed which people don't normally measure. You always want the greatest capacity that you can fit in to maximise run time and reduce the need for charging. Lipos have a 'C' rating. This is not normally relevant to trains.
            Regards, David.

            Rod Hutchinson
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            Hi Bernard,

            I was trying to get my head around the appropriate size in mAh. I note the larger mAh mean larger batteries. I just wanted to be sure that a 350 or 500mAh is a "suitable" choice where as a 100mAh might be just too small.

            Are you stocking rx45, rx 60 & tx23 units?

            Rod Hutchinson
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            Hi David,

            I understand that bigger the better, but was trying to understand if a 350mAh would not be a disappointmet.

            My layout is a diorama so running times a not lengthy. All this is quite new to me so my starting base is quite low.

            Robin2
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            My inclination would be to use the biggest (most mAh) batteries that will fit. And be quite content to use small ones if that's all there is room for.

            If must use small batteries and your trains spend time in a fiddle yard it should be relatively easy to set up a system to top up the charge while they are sitting idle.

            ...R

            Rod Hutchinson
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            Hi Robin,

            Thanks for that. Are you suggesting that small mAh units are still quite useful even though they have short discharge times?

            Last edited on Fri Jun 14th, 2013 10:36 am by Rod Hutchinson

            Helmut
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            May I throw in my two cents' also...
            LiPos don't like being mistreated. Deep-discharging them, besides overvoltage when charged, will kill them quickly. That means, even in a space restricted model, a LiPo-saver circuit is necessary. These come in very small sizes for their current-handling capacity, every cellular phone's accu contains one.  Those accus you can buy at the RC-outlets do not. So the 'primitve' buffering/charge circuits known from NiMH are not applicable.
            You may have a look here: http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=1221&forum_id=45&jump_to=57971#p57971.
            This loco runs from track power also and as this is DCC (in that special case), a stepdown converter for the motor circuitry is also needed.
            The goal must be to reduce the additional components' number.
            In your case I would suggest to run your models off filtered 6VDC on the tracks, have a rectifier and a schottky-diode decoupler for this, and the LiPo in the loco. The resulting supply voltage is ~4.2V from track and ~3.5V from the LiPo. You need only the LiPo-saver plus the rectifier/diodes together with the R/C RX in your loco. With this arrangement, the accu is only needed when track contact fails, giving you a long-lasting operating cycle between charges. Now even a low mAh-accu may be considered. To charge the LiPo, use an appropriate charger and take the loco off the track.

            Last edited on Fri Jun 14th, 2013 12:30 pm by Helmut

            W C Greene
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            As I understand it, the way you described needs track power to keep the battery charged. Why not just stick with DC or DCC? The very idea of using onboard batteries and r/c is to not have wired track and all the issues connected with it.
            Great discussion however, I am glad there is such interest in the subject of r/c.

            Woodie

            fallen
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            Rod,

            I model in 009 which runs on n gauge track, so the current consumption will be less than you units. However I have a 180 mAh battery giving a theoretical 3 hr life in continuous use, more in intermittent use. In practice I have never had it run down on me and charge every few days of use to keep it happy.

            I'd say 350 mAh for your units would be well worth trying.

            If you can measure the current they take you can easily work out an expected life in continuous usage: take the mAh and divide by the current in mA to give the expected life in hours.

            Hope this helps.

            Frank

            Last edited on Fri Jun 14th, 2013 03:59 pm by fallen

            fallen
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            Duplicate post.

            Frank

            Last edited on Fri Jun 14th, 2013 03:57 pm by fallen

            Helmut
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            @Woodie
            as the 'Pretenders' say: Don't get me wrong...
            Of course the ultimate fun is to do away with all that wiring of the tracks. I said in the thread I mentioned, that this particular loco operates up to 6 hrs. at a 150mAh LiPo, depending on its load. But if people run H0n30 or the like, the accus become small in size and low in capacity. Their big advantage, however, is that erratic operation due to contact problems ever so 'popular' with the smaller scales, can be overcome by the method I sketched. The cell is not 'trickle-charged' during operation, because that cannot be done with LiPos. The LiPo just jumps in when track contact fails, and remains in standby when there's enough juice coming over the rails.

            Last edited on Fri Jun 14th, 2013 05:14 pm by Helmut

            Robin2
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            Rod, I think you will have gained a sense from what others are saying that small cells may indeed provide enough energy.

            I think what I was really trying to say is that it is worth trying a conversion even if you only have room / can make room for a small cell.

            I am only a beginner with LiPos but my understanding is that there are two main problem areas - over discharging and over charging. From what I can see overcharging is easily eliminated by using a low charger voltage. Of course that also means slow charging. But fast charging (and deep discharging) is really only of interest to the airplane and car fraternity.

            I found a simple circuit on the web which limits the charge current and allows you to set the charge voltage and it seems to "trickle charge" just fine.

            Of course I wouldn't leave it on charge when I am not there to supervise.

            I think I posted a link to the charger circuit diagram earlier in this topic.

            ...R

            35er
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            Gents,

            I see the "urban myths" surrounding LiPo's are rearing their ugly head in the debate. Having undertaken considerable research to get an understanding of the facts, rather than perceptions I have found very little evidence than there is a high risk situation with the format of installations the subject or our topic, i.e. model trains operating with small motors at 12v or lower capacity. There is some evidence (but far less than could be expected from the "panic messages") in racing car, large capacity brushless motors installations.

            the rules on using LiPo's in our installations are in fact quite simple:

            - use a dedicated mains voltage charger that has a built-in over-charge protection circuit, instead of a home-made charger using whatever old phone charger and the like that happens to be in a drawers somewhere. Correct chargers can be bought on-line at a number of sources for under $A10.

            - during wiring up of the system and when working on the battery, of whatever size or number of cells, take absolute car that you do not create a short circuit.

            if you follow these simple rules no problems will be experienced with LiPo's

            the secret to using the Deltang system is to keep it simple, which means don't overcomplicate the installation by conjuring up all track charging systems etc, when a simple dedicated charging plug linked to the correct charger is safe & easy. In the same context Deltang Tx-21 is best for users who want to run single locomotives or have a dedicated controller for each locomotive. The Tx-22 Selecta is great value at a slightly increased cost since it allows up to 12 loco's on a single controller with individual selection on the controller.

            Personally I believe that the Tx-21 still gives the optimum usage since it allows multiple locomotives to be operated by individual drivers each using a controller dedicated to a specific locomotive.

            have fun
            BernardS

            Rod Hutchinson
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            Hi all,

            Thank you all for you contributions. Robin thanks for the clarity on small mAh batteries.

            I will Follow Bernard's advice and keep initial setups simple. Bernard demonstrated the Deltang TX21 and a small RX at the Australian Narrow Gauge Railway Covention at Easter 2013 which charmed me completely.

            For those who don't know Bernard he is one of tehe finest loco builders in Australia.

            W C Greene
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            I have been teling everyone that Li Po batteries are OK for some years now. I am glad to have some support. Unless you are racing locomotives and own only one battery which needs a fast charge then you are pretty safe. Carry on.

            Woodie

            OhioMike
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            "Personally I believe that the Tx-21 still gives the optimum usage since it allows multiple locomotives to be operated by individual drivers each using a controller dedicated to a specific locomotive."

            Well...what is the recommended rx/esc for the tx-21, for lets say the Bachmann On30 2-6-0 with a 2 cell lipo? I have been to the deltang web site and the USA mirror site i guess it is and theres not a lot of info there. lipos i understand from boat and airplane experience.
            Mike

            Last edited on Fri Jun 14th, 2013 11:28 pm by OhioMike

            gmortensen63
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            I like a full-range throttle control with a separate direction switch, as opposed to the center-stop speed control, so I chose the Rx60-1-N. I might suggest getting the Rx60-1-W, as it comes with the four basic wires already attached.

            If you'd rather have the center-off throttle action, then the Rx60-2-N or -W would be a good choice.

            OhioMike wrote:
            Well...what is the recommended rx/esc for the tx-21, for lets say the Bachmann On30 2-6-0 with a 2 cell lipo? I have been to the deltang web site and the USA mirror site i guess it is and theres not a lot of info there. lipos i understand from boat and airplane experience.
            Mike

            Rod Hutchinson
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            Hi all,

            Thanks Woodie for contributing; Bernard's views are similar to yours. To everyone else there appears to be lot's of possibilities but I will use the KISS principle in my initial start

            I have had a very informative telephone conversation with Bernard this morning. He has provide substantial clarity on a number of points, not dissimilar to Woodie's comments on this and other forums.

            I have decided on the Deltang TX22 and RX45; I will be ordering those through Bernard shortly. Battery selection will be based on available space.

            Rod in Oz

            DavidT
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            Rod, It's probably not obvious but Rx45 does not have the 'Selecta' feature to use with the loco selector knob on Tx22. Only receivers with the '-22' in their names are set up to use that switch (Rx60-22/Rx61-22). Rx45 is also my smallest receiver; most people find my big receivers to be smaller than they expected!
            Regards, David.

            DavidT
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            Mike,
            I recommend Rx60-22-W with Tx21 or Tx22. I have some in the mail to BSD.
            You then need the highest capacity lipo that will fit. Sorry I can't be more precise.
            Regards, David.

            Rod Hutchinson
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            David, I have sent you a PM. Rod.

            OhioMike
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            David...the Rx60-22-w, does it include an ESC feature or will i need a separate ESC? Secondly, is this item like a basic stamp where i will also need to program it from a PC?
            Thanks
            Mike

            DavidT
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            Mike,
            Rx60-22-W does have an integrated forward/reverse ESC. It has 4 wires. 2 go the the motor. 2 go to the battery usually via a switch. You may need to bind the Rx to the Tx but other than that no programming is needed.
            Regards, David.

            OhioMike
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            Outstanding David....thank you.
            Mike

            johnlewis
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            Hi David, I just joined this forum because I cannot find anything similar in the UK and for some reason I am currently unable to input your email address into claws-mailL:

            I am interested in the possibility of using one of your TX/RX combinations to control a ScaleFour 0-6-0 Saddle Tank. I know what Mashima 12 volt motor/gearbox combo I can use but I haven't seen anything in this forum to suggest a suitable 3 volt motor/gear box combo I can use.

            At the moment I am thinking only of a static diorama based on a long closed station on a GWR Branch line in Dorset and building my Gibson kit of a class 850 ST without any motor but it would be nice to have a loco that could move if needed.

            I have no intention of supplying power via the rails so battery power would be the answer.

            John

            Last edited on Sat Jun 15th, 2013 02:17 pm by johnlewis

            DavidT
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            Hi John,
            Welcome to the forum. Check for blank spaces in the email address if you did a copy and paste from my web site. Otherwise try a PM from this forum.

            I'm no train expert but Bernard achieves outstanding results and he has a description of a motor in post 459. Ebay and some of the shops catering for 1/87 scale modelling in continental Europe have similar perhaps. See the Germany/Poland links on my 'buy' page for some of these guys.
            Regards, David.

            johnlewis
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            Thank David

            I appreciate your real interest is in aircraft but I needed to start somewhere and since this seems, as someone said recently, to have become a deltang forum you were the obvious person to start off with.

            I have checked out all the sites listed on your 'buy' page but there doesn't seem to be anything model railway related.

            So if anyone on this forum has built a model based on a UK small loco type and has sorted out what motor/gearbox combinations work, please let me know what you did.

            I am very new to railway modeling despite having gone past my '3 score and ten' some time ago

            John

            Last edited on Sat Jun 15th, 2013 02:54 pm by johnlewis

            DavidT
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            They don't need to be. Trains are mostly 12v based. 1:87 scale road vehicles are mostly single cell lipo based. Single cell lipos are much easier to implement than 2 or 3 cells. So people who sell 'car' stuff are probably more useful than people who sell 12v stuff. That's where I'm coming from.
            Regards, dt.

            johnlewis
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            DavidT wrote:
            They don't need to be. Trains are mostly 12v based. 1:87 scale road vehicles are mostly single cell lipo based. Single cell lipos are much easier to implement than 2 or 3 cells. So people who sell 'car' stuff are probably more useful than people who sell 12v stuff. That's where I'm coming from.
            Regards, dt.


            The fact that model trains traditionally use "12 volt" power supply is the problem. Railway modelers seem to bury their heads in the sand if anyone suggests otherwise and nobody on ScaleForum really wants to know.

            I did notice the 'car' type motors but they seem to use very thin axles (1mm) as the final drive from the gearbox. I need to drive 1/8" dia axles so need to know what gear box can be adapted to that size.

            So it would be a big help if someone who has already sorted this out could make contact, privately if they prefer.

            Last edited on Sat Jun 15th, 2013 03:08 pm by johnlewis

            fallen
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            John,

            I model in 009 which uses n gauge mechanisms so it may not read directly across but I find a 1S cell (3.7v nominal) is fine for these. I suggest if you can you check the voltage you need to get the speed you want. Check the voltage at the motor if possible by putting a couple of temporary wires on the motor terminals.

            Frank

            Robin2
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            John, There are several examples, some with pictures, earlier in this topic. I know it's long but it has a huge amount of useful information. I mentioned my own NGauge conversion in post #349.

            I have found model airplane servos to be a good (and cheap) source of low voltage motors of various sizes - some very small. The servo also contains gears which may be useful.

            The motor in one servo was a direct replacement for the 12v factory fitted Graham Farish motor in a dmu.

            ...R

            Robin2
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            If everyone already knows this please accept my apologies but I only discovered it and I think it will be very useful to me. (I discovered it as a result of a search for one of my entries in this topic.)

            The web address for this page is
            http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=4451&forum_id=45&jump_to=58332#p58332

            and the interesting thing is that if you change to last bit so it reads

            http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=4451&forum_id=45&highlight=and

            when you load the page it will have all the posts for the topic in a single page that you can search easily in your browser.

            ...R

            bobquincy
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            Gizmoszone has small gearhead motors that run on 3 V. The 25:1 and 130:1 types may be best for trains.

            johnlewis
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            the only problem is that gizmoszone is in the USA and I really need a supplier in the UK that I can easily contact, preferably by voice

            Last edited on Sun Jun 16th, 2013 02:33 pm by johnlewis

            Helmut
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            In this and many other cases google is your friend. Tell it to search for 'robotics shops UK' and e. g. this one turns up:
            http://robotbits.co.uk/motors-gearboxes/cat_2.html

            Last edited on Mon Jun 17th, 2013 12:40 pm by Helmut

            johnlewis
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            thanks Helmut, I didn't even consider looking in robotics

            John

            Last edited on Mon Jun 17th, 2013 02:22 pm by johnlewis

            dan3192
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            I have purchased several small gearmotors on eBay at very low cost. They are all 6v with outputs ranging from 60-300 rpm.  An example can be seen at:

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/12V-300RPM-Torque-Gear-Box-Motor-New/360677042424?_trksid=p2047675.m2109&_trkparms=aid%3D555012%26algo%3DPW.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D16098%26meid%3D8442626753577856092%26pid%3D100010%26prg%3D7683%26rk%3D5%26sd%3D181102863845%26#ht_6641wt_938

            I will use one to convert an Athearn Hustler diesel to battery/rc using David's Rx43d-2-v5 receiver with Eflite 3.7v 500mAh LiPo for power.

            Dan

             

             

            johnlewis
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            I have ordered the 3v 5rpm motor from the same seller on a 'buy now' basis. Total cost just over 6 UK pounds.
            I'll see how that works.

            Thanks for the tip

            John

            Last edited on Mon Jun 17th, 2013 10:07 pm by johnlewis

            bobquincy
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            Actually Gizmoszone is in Hong Kong so I usually have to go to the airport (customs) to pick up my package.  Still, no one else seems to have the small gearhead motors that they do.

            fallen
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            Does anyone know why the font size is so small on this last page? Or is it just my iPad playing up?

            Frank

            dan3192
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            Wierd! I've got the same problem!

            Dan

            DavidT
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            Hi,
            Following the short discussion on position sensing that Robin started in another thread, the most practical way of doing that seems to be with an infra-red led. IR is common in home appliance remote controls but has a special way of flickering the led which I can make my receivers do. So there will be an option to make an output drive an IR led for that. I have two options for position sensing which I call IR2 and IR3.

            This got me thinking about other uses for IR so I will have a simple manual trigger signal. You would press a button on the Tx to trigger things in the layout like points/turnouts. I call this option IR1. It's only on when you press the button.

            IR4 is a fourth option to give the loco's battery voltage. Voltage falls as capacity is used up so this will help people assess how much run time they have left or how close they are to needing to charge. Providing information like this is often called 'telemetry'.

            With all of these, the loco will need an IR led and resistor. To detect the led and do something with it will require suitable sensing electronics in the layout. These probably don't exist yet. Anyone who knows microprocessors can make suitable sensing devices but clearly this is a specialised skill. I would hope to make a 3-digit display in due course to see the battery voltage (in tenths).

            So, building blocks for the future. I throw this out in case anyone has any comments. Anything else you might like the loco to 'tell you' through this mechanism?
            Regards, David.

            bobquincy
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            Lego Power Functions uses IR, the $24 receiver can decode 2 devices and has 4 channels. The protocol is available on the internet and might be a good one to use since there are readily available inexpensive receivers.

            DavidT
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            Thanks Bob. I found it. Their protocol is too slow for position sensing but it is good to see how they did it.
            Regards David.

            Helmut
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            David,
            some 15 years ago I made the "IR-control" remote control system then marketed by Uhlenbrock Electronics in Germany. The first prototypes were based on a 455kHz carrier system with very short bursts, later the same coding was applied to a 56kHz carrier, due to range considerations ( 50' vs. 150' ). I used the standard RC-5 code for this and would now recommend RC-6 for it, because of address and payload space. I still think a 455 kHz carrier would be the choice for it, as there are very short distances to be bridged. Vishay still have the appropriate devices for this purpose and f. i. B&O use it for their Hi-End HiFi. The devices come in rather small packages to the advantage of the space restricted models we may want to put them in.
            Correction: Just found out V. has discontinued the TSOP5700, so there doesn't remain a reasonably-priced receiver. But when using the RC-6 and 56kHz, you end up with a telegram length in the 55..60msec range. Looks short enough to be useful to me.
            2nd postscript:
            it may also be useful to look into IrDA standards and devices - high data rates and noise rejection level.

            Last edited on Tue Jun 25th, 2013 05:22 pm by Helmut

            DavidT
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            Thanks Helmut, I have not found anyone selling 455k ir receivers. Am I looking in the wrong places?
            Regards, David.

            Bernd
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            Radio Shack makes a 38K IR receiver module.

            http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2049727

            Bernd

            DavidT
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            Thanks Bernd. I'd like to use the fastest frequency that is reasonably common. The higher the frequency the quicker it is to transmit information. This allows smaller apertures between sleepers to pick up signals, higher train speeds and smaller distance between IR led and sensor to reduce IR led power (current). I've found a couple of 56k ir receivers I like at Mouser, Farnell and Pololu. 455k seems more specialised and I've not found that yet.
            Regards, David.

            Helmut
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            @David
            455kHz seems to be dead, absolutely. I've calculated the needed transmission time for RC-6 @56kHz using the Vishay TSOP 59456: http://www.vishay.com/ppg?82461
            RC-6 uses a bit length of 16/fo = 285µsec and the whole telegram takes 58bits = 16,57msec.  The receiver costs peanuts and is a ready-to-use block where the serial output is TTL-level. No sweat there. Only the transmitter is tricky, as you have to generate both carrier and bit stream. The necessary hardware is an IR-diode, driver mosfet, and current limiting resistor.

            DavidT
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            Thanks for that info. TSOP34156 and some alternatives allow shorter bursts so I'll do some testing with those. 16ms is longer than I would like for position sensing. My plan is transmissions that take 1.6ms and repeat every 11ms.
            Regards, David.

            Helmut
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            So that makes 7bits in Manchester Code for Tpi=6/fo. Take away the start bit and there's 64 locos you can identify at  a minimum telegram redundancy of 2.

            DavidT
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            8 'plain' bits, not Manchester with timing gaps. So just 1 or 0 bits 0.2ms each. 1 start bit, 1 end bit, 6 data bits so yes, 64 addresses. Addresses can either be 0-63 set up manually or automatically/dynamically use the 12 Selecta switch positions.

            For battery voltage I use 7 bits so MCU can differentiate between address (8) and voltage (7). 1 start, 1=high/0=low indicator, 4 bits for high/low nibble and 1 end bit. Voltage needs 2 transmissions for 8bit voltage (255=25.5v).

            Two types of trigger for switches, One is 0.2ms, the other is 0.4ms.

            Each of the above can work on their own transmitting every 11ms. But another option is the battery voltage can alternate with address or switch trigger. So then you only get 1 address every 22ms and battery requires 44ms to catch both nibbles.

            Sound OK?
            Regards, David.

            Robin2
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            Could you have a system in which the battery voltage is only transmitted (say) once per minute - which would be more than sufficient and would free up slots for other purposes?

            ...R

            DavidT
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            Good idea. On reflection I think there are two main scenarios for using these IR signals. The first is with a 'system' of connected sensors. This approach is likely to have the most need for a loco identifier so the address should be broadcast as often as possible (every 11ms). If a button is pressed to activate a switch in the layout, this creates a 0.2 or 0.4ms pulse while the button is pressed. I think this should alternate with the address while the button is pressed. Battery voltage can then be broadcast less often such as every 1 minute as you suggest because any sensor can pick it up and send it to the visual display.

            The other scenario is standalone sensors. There would be one for each switch. There would be a separate one to pick up battery voltage. In this context I think generating the battery voltage every 11ms is most appropriate to allow a fresh reading every time you pass the sensor. I would expect the display to only show the voltage for a few seconds. So one battery display can be used on a standalone basis with any number of locos and has no need for an address.
            dt.

            Helmut
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            @David
            When thinking about incorporating a datalogger, I would choose the following approach:
            Have one PWM-channel to transmit say, 10 different pushbutton signals. 100µsec difference in duration can easily be distinguished these days. A separate datalogger-cum-IR-TX is triggered by these pulses and relays the appropriate information. By this approach you retain a small receiver footprint and make the 'control freaks' happy, too. One could even go that far and place a trackside IR-transmitter at some distance away from the trackside IR-sensor to trigger a specific information to be sent for a certain time duration. Actually, that has not much to do with R/C or has it?

            DavidT
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            Robin,
            After more reflection I think sending out battery voltage by IR only every minute will probably require you to stop over a sensor to guarantee a reading. That may still be useful but less so than sending it out every 44ms.

            Helmut,
            I'm not clear on how your idea will be used. Can you explain some more please?
            Thanks, David,

            Robin2
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            David,

            I was thinking much the same thing - but with a different conclusion.

            It would be very prototypical to have to take a loco to a particular "servicing" location to check its fuel status.

            ...R

            Helmut
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            @David
            in a nutshell -
            what I've done is to take one channel ADC input and use a row of fixed resistors as a voltage divider ladder. The center voltage ( half the max. voltage) is permanently connected to the ADC input, giving the idle pulse of 1.5 msec. A set of pushbuttons allows to apply voltages from Zero to Umax in 1/10Umax increments, avoiding the 0.5Umax of course. One servo output of the receiver is connected to a pulse-length decoder I made. This one can be taught the corresponding pulselengths for each function, and whether this output is momentary or toggling.
            So this approach may be used to manually transfer ten different data sets via IR. But not necessarily all at a time.
            The second, and better idea in my eyes is, to trigger the data transfer by code emitted by said IR Tx, let it cycle for a second or so, while passing an IR receiver in the meantime. So you can be sure to get exactly the data you want. Even a full set readout seems to be feasible.

            DavidT
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            OK thanks Helmut and Robin.
            dt.

            alfsboy
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            I have been lurking on this forum for a while and though I can solder OK and understand a bit of wiring I am a bit of a novice when It comes to RC .my daughter did buy me a small foam helicopter and I ve ripped out the guts to try it on a loco .I used a Bachmann Underground Ernie 1 running gear chopped down to make single power truck and intend to install it into a Brass Wisbech and Upwell tram loco.It worked OK with in its limits and trundles through all track work albeit with no reverse.I  taped the RC receiver and battery onto a goods truck and it dragged it around OK though with little control due to equipment limitation  .
            I have taken the plunge and bought a Deltang system this morning and then will get a 7.5 volt or even more battery set up and charger.I may also do some other locos and possibly look at installing a Santa Fe GP60M lash up with one  dummy loco stuffed full of RC and batteries permanently MU'd.
            It all seems elegant though the battery situation I am not to sure about ,charging and balancing etc .Anyway ...off we go
            Martin

            Last edited on Thu Jun 27th, 2013 11:12 am by alfsboy

            Robin2
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            Welcome Martin, and have fun.

            If you are only operating small locos you should get by very well with single cells at 3.6v. That would simplify charging and should allow everything to be shoe-horned inside a loco.

            ...R

            Robin2
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            I started another Topic a short while ago about the possibility of using a new Arduino compatible device called a Moteino to provide radio control for model trains. I hadn't realized at the time that the Deltang Rx6x modules use Atmel328 microprocessors and can be programmed to be compatible with the Arduino system.

            I bought two Rx6xs and got a lot of advice from DavidT and I have now succeeded in converting them so they can be programmed like Arduino devices and can transmit and receive data wirelessly.

            Using them in this way I reckon one of them could be used as a transmitter in conjunction with a PC to enable control of a large number of locos and could also receive data from the locos if required.

            An Rx6x in a loco could be programmed to operate lights and sound and do everything a DCC chip can do. It could probably be programmed to produce the codes necessary to operate a DCC chip - although I'm not sure that offers any advantage.

            I will follow this up in more detail in the other Topic so as not to confuse things here. http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=5284&forum_id=45&jump_to=58669#p58669. I have also written about this on the Arduino forum http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=174358.0

            ...R

            DavidT
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            Martin, welcome from me too and thanks for your investment. Let us know how it goes.

            Robin, Your writeup is great. They are going to need a 'DelTino' type name aren't they?
            dt.

            Robin2
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            Thanks David,

            Great name.

            Can you TradeMark that? and grab the domain name?

            ...R

            DavidT
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            Done.
            dt.

            alfsboy
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            Thanks for the welcome .I will try my"full river" 3.7 lipo which is only 50mah first and see what happens .The actual speed the real tram loco was limited to 12mph down to 4 on road crossings so speed is not a worry.It managed as a pure very light power truck with about 4 wagons but didnt like the hornby coach much.I am running finescale 00 track that still needs some tweaking so some back tobacks and flangeways may still be tight . 3.7 wouldnt turn my Spectrum 0-6-0 full stop though it was onlya quick experiment .its going to be fun and I see this as the future .its easy to envisage sophisticated built in charging sockets and shaped batteries .Anything with a tender is going to be a doddle (I hope).
            Martin

            Tramcar Trev
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            All very interesting.... So much simpler than having a pocket full of key fob controllers....

            alfsboy
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            Just to say I have my transmitter and receiver up and running a few minutes ago .At present installed in a White metal J69 .The gubbins are at present in a Thomas the tank engine terrible truck being towed behind.Its on a smallish 7.4 lipo which may well be enough for shunting and a few coaches on a plank .The motor is a 12Volt mashima .i didnt have any problems making the transmitter but I think better instructions would be helpful for wiring the pins up .I worked it out oK from the wiring diag but a picture may have made it bit more straightforward .I know little about actual wiring and electronics though can solder up OK .
            any way all systems go so far .

            DavidT
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            Thanks for the feedback. I've added another photo to the Tx21/22 kit pages. It numbers each Tx2 pin connection.
            Regards, David.

            alfsboy
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            Just a few notes about my experiments so far. The white metal J69 with /mashima /highlevel gearbox has proved a little to short of power and could do with a higher voltage battery which is tricky as most if not all 11.1 V lipos I can get seem too big or  maybe a coreless 6Volt will help so maybe Nigel Lawton to the rescue .The Bachmann 0n30 Davenport proved similar and either a coreless motor or similar will have to be fitted  .The revelation is the Athearn CF7,a non Genesis model .Fitted at great cost with a Kato motor(customs screwed me for 16 quid ),a direct fit.It works splendidly on a 7.4 lipo with a lot of power and speed .As this is one of my prime projects its away all boats and maybe a bigger 7.4 lipo and some fancy switching .The fan housings just slip out and provide 4 access ports so a switch and a power access point for recharging can be fitted .I may just put a link across two sets of female connectors as a switch .All interesting stuff and I could even lay track while the loco was moving ala Wallace and Grommit and the toy train chase .It didnt even need any fish plates.Didnt actually need any rail:glad:
            Martin

            Last edited on Fri Jul 26th, 2013 07:51 pm by alfsboy

            Robin2
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            I hadn't noticed that smiley before - but it says all there is to say about BPR/C

            :glad:

            ...R

            Horny Dublo
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            Finally made it to the local club to test my Hornby loco modified with the excellent Deltang micro 2.4 Ghz Receiver/ESC and TX2 transmitter module. Electrical pickups have been removed from the loco and tender wheels and the power is supplied to the loco motor via the tender to loco pickup wires and connection. The track had power applied just to light the Pullman coaches. Battery power is supplied by 3 x 3.7v Lithium Ion cells of approx 300mah in series giving a nominal 11.1v. I initially tested the loco with 6 heavy Pullman coaches but suffered severe wheel slip on the gradients.
            The Transmitter is in a test box and has 2 independent speed controls, 2 direction switches and an inertia/brake slider.

            The purpose of using RC is to eventually build an OO garden railway and having power and control onboard, means no worries about electrical connections being affected by the weather

            Thanks to the Bracknell Railway Society for allowing me the use of their excellent facilities (I have yet to build my own OO garden railway) ..

            Thanks for watching

            Horny Dublo


            Robin2
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            Wonderful keep it up.

            ...R

            fallen
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            Excellent - keep us posted on your progress.

            Maybe the wheelslip is because the power is constant whereas with track power the power will likely drop if the wheels lose grip.

            Just like the real thing!

            Frank

            alfsboy
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            A great way to show RC at its best ,on a "proper" layout .

            Horny Dublo
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            Thanks for the comments guys - I am now eagerly awaiting Davids new RX6x receivers to convert a Hornby Rebuilt Merchant Navy loco, a 5Bel and a Bachmann CEP ..

            When 'Torrington' was struggling on the inclines, another club member sent his DCC West Country loco to assist from the rear and slowly dropped back when on the level - Very prototypical ..;)

            DavidT
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            Hi. I've updated Rx60 and Rx61. Motor control has some technical improvements but I have derated them to be more conservative. I recommend you strap on a small heat shink if you use the Rx near maximum current and voltage. More details on my product pages.

            I am not installing the 4v BEC on Rx61 any more because the current rating was probably too low and I think it contributed to some problems with servos. I'll try to do a higher current BEC on a future Rx.

            I have a new Rx63 which is smaller than Rx60.

            My latest receivers all have an 'L' pad which can be used to monitor a single cell lipo when used with a voltage booster. This was possible before but needed external resistors. These are now installed on the Rx. The L pad will auto-detect when used so no setup is required.

            I've added directional lights which also just work automatically if you hook up leds.

            Selecta now freezes the throttle immediately a loco is deselected and the time to select a loco is quicker (1s instead of 2s) and adjustable.

            I have some Infrared options including voltage telemetry.


            I made a receiver with reed switch. Although it works it is too fiddly to switch on and off so I will not release it. I'm doing a new design that should be more practical. Many people need higher currents so I also intend trying to do that. The reed switch and higher currents versions will hopefully start filtering through in a couple of months.

            Thanks for your support. Feel free to suggest future enhancements.
            Regards, David.

            W C Greene
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            David, I am so happy to see your progress. If it weren't for you and your work, we would still be in the "dark ages" of r/c. While I am at a loss to understand much of what is written, I know that it is what everyone needs to know. You have not only jumped out of the box but have set it on fire! Keep working, you will be recognized as a true pioneer in what is the future of model railroading. Thank you so very much.

            Woodie

            Bernd
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            David,

            Nice to see more improvements. I echo Woodies words, except I know a bit more about the electronics than the gold old Woodie. :cool:

            I never got around to piggy backing a second set of motor drivers to the Rx60 that I have. Do you think this would work as far as increasing the amps without blowing the drivers? Remember I did a current check on an Atlas Trainman GP-39-2 and with the wheels slipping it drew close 5 amps and I blew the drivers on the board?

            Looking forward to getting back to using R/C in my models. I've got a really big project I'm going to start in the future that will require using R/C for controlling the functions of the models so I'm pleased to see you continuing to improve your product. I keep pushing in other forums on the use of R/C. It's an up hill battle at times. Seems when you mention R/C, modelers automatically think battery power. Some just have a mind set that can't be changed.

            Bernd

            DavidT
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            Thanks Woodie.

            Bernd, the sense resistor, via sizes and probably more will limit higher currents. I don't think 5A is feasible even with more fets in my current designs.

            I hope to send in a new design this week which includes double the fets and other changes to reduce heat. That will hopefully come closer to what you need. It's 13.2 x 31mm.
            Regards, David.

            Rod Hutchinson
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            David T,

            I received a TX22 and 3 x RX60-22 from Bernard Snoodyk last week. All seem to be working OK. I have one RX60 hooked up to a 9V battery and another to a 12V battery and the motors function OK. The Selecta features seems to work fine.

            One question. When running 1 RX60 the green LED stays on continuously. When running the other two RX60s the green LED runs continuously when the Selecta switch is correctly aligned, but the green led starts flashing when the motor runs.

            So what I have with motors running is:
            All RX60s display a steady green LED when Selacta is chosen
            Two RX60s green leds begin to flash when motor is running
            1 x RX60s green LED glows steady when motor is running

            Are the RX60s behaving correctly?.

            DavidT
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            Hi Rod, Thanks for trying them. Does the flashing have a pattern? Might it be a repeating 5-flash? And which power source is used with those that flash/don't.
            Regards, David.

            Rod Hutchinson
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            Hi David,
            6v motor running on 9v battery has solid LED
            12v motor running on 12v battery (10.75v measured) has LED flashing 5 times and changes to 2 flashes when deselected.

            DavidT
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            The Rx measures the voltage. The highest value measured is used to set a low voltage threshold. >9v measured uses a 9v low threshold. If the voltage falls to that low threshold the Rx cuts power to the motor if LVC is enabled (which it is by default) and makes the led 5-flash. If you close the throttle the motor can be made to run again until the battery drops to 9v again. The 5-flash clears when you switch the Rx off and back on again.

            What chemistry is your 12v battery?
            Regards, David.

            Rod Hutchinson
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            Hi David T,

            When I 1st tested battery last night LED powered by 12V battery stayed steady. It began to 5-flash on 2nd trial run.

            If I read your comments correctly; The low battery threshold is some voltage below Max Voltage, and the battery may drop to that level when running motor causing 5-flash??

            I plan to place the RX60-22 inside a loco and I won't see LED. If the voltage drops below threshold how will I know as motor continues to run??

            12V battery is an EverReady Energiser A23
            9V battery is a Duracell 6LR61

            PS: 9V battery is old and pre-used
            12V battery measure 10.75V no-load.

            I plan to use 3.7V AAA LIPO's which Bernard will send me.
            Most motors I'll use are 6V Maximum.

            such as

            http://www.craft-s.com/locomotive/narrow_gauge/hon2.html
            or
            http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-DC-6V-540RPM-Small-Micro-Geared-Box-Electric-Motor-/300837244813

            DavidT
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            Rod, Thanks for the info. The motor should stop when the voltage falls to the low voltage threshold. I'll have to take a look if this is not happening.
            Regards, David.

            Rod Hutchinson
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            David T,
            I'll do some testing over the weekend.

            Rod Hutchinson
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            David T,
            Motor remains turning during 5-flash. Control of motor is normal. 5-flash can only be removed by removing power to RX60-22.

            Suspect that battery still dribbling a charge.

            DavidT
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            OK, thanks and sorry Rod. I can see there's a problem. I'll come back to you when I've fixed it.
            Regards, David.

            Horny Dublo
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            I have now installed the new Rx60 in a Hornby Clan Line Pacific loco (or rather tender) and thought I would share this.





            I wanted to make the installation relatively Plug and play so have installed a 4 pin socket for power and motor connection, made from SIL turned pin miniature sockets (Turned Pin sockets ) and have made the plugs from the same pins removed from the plastic casing, soldered and shrink tubed to the wires.



            Rx60 - Rx61 and Turned pin SIL socket strip







            SIL pins soldered to wires which were connected to the tender wheels power pickups


            The tender pickups originally transfered track power to the loco via a live connecting pin - This now transfers power from the Rx60 to the loco



            The completed installation .... Quit neat even if I say so myself   :cool:


            The batteries are Li-Ion 3.7v protected cells - They have a small circular protection circuit  board which limits charge voltage and cuts power when low voltage limit is reached. I have yet to fully test these by charge cycling but the protection PCB can be removed if necessary ...

            This conversion was my second, so only took about 1 hour .... Will update after testing

            Thanks .. Andy

            OhioMike
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            Im not sure if this has been asked? I didnt feel like going thru 55 pages to find out. I know from my RC boat/ships days there was at least one manufacturer doing a add on/piggy back to transmitters for on/off electronic switches working thru a 4-6 channel rx. some one told me it was possible to piggyback this onto a 2 ch. system. I believe RAM does this with their set ups and i believe MCD in canada once did or does? What im looking to do is run a loco/speed obviously but also have a on/off function thru electronic switching for lights and steam whistle. This would get us to the DCC boys and render that argument mute! Any ideas with that and could it be possible with the Deltang devices. Remember, to advance this BPRC thing with trains we have to also be economically competitive as well! Right now were at parity with the DCC boys pricing and have less function!
            Mike

            Last edited on Thu Sep 5th, 2013 03:34 pm by OhioMike

            Robin2
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            Very neat installation Andy.

            Mike you can see the entire thread as a single page if you follow the instructions I posted here http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=4451&forum_id=45&jump_to=58333#p58333 (see post # 490). This makes it easy to search.

            If you use the RX6x modules with the Arduino system then they can be programmed to switch all sorts of things. See this Topic http://freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=5284&forum_id=45&page=1

            ...R

            Horny Dublo
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            Mike - The Deltang Rx61 has 8 'P' outputs for switching, LEDs etc as well as motor control - Not sure if that will suit your needs .. Deltang Rx61 Specs.
            No affiliation to Deltang - Just a very satisfied customer ... :2t:

            fallen
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            The Clan Line installation looks very good. The plug in system is very neat. Would you use this in a "routine" installation or is it just so you can try different configurations?

            How do you charge the batteries? Is the JST connector the battery connector? Do you unplug this to charge?

            Frank

            Horny Dublo
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            Frank - I am pleased with how this has turned out and will use this plug and pin configuration in future conversions.

            Yes the JST is the battery connector to the Rx61.

            For charging, I am working on charging via the metal, spring loaded tender buffers against buffer stops in a siding, which are connected to a variable charger. As the charge voltage is limited by the charger to 12.6v (for a 3S or 3 cell battery) there is no problem in leaving the receiver connected and switched on while charging as this is well below the Rx61 voltage limit.

            I would envisage charging each cell individually every 20 or 30 charges, thus balancing the pack.

            All theory at the moment but I will let you know how it goes ....

            Thanks .. Andy

            DavidT
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            Mike,
            As already mentioned, my DelTang receivers can drive Leds direct. Leds just need current limiting resistors. Rx61 is slightly larger than the others but has pads that are more accessible.

            I do not have any ability to generate sounds. But the outputs can be used to trigger an external circuit. That would need a little technical understanding to make sure it is appropriate.
            Regards, David.

            DavidT
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            Andy, The sockets look neat. Did the legs reach the holes?
            dt.

            OhioMike
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            David..I think your almost to the outfield fence here! One little extra and its a home run and makes DCC irrelavent! BPRC is an option that the big boys wont be able to ignore, once you have the option of sound thus makeing Tsunami decoders rail bound dinosaurs! I especially like the rx-61-2 with the tx-21 but it needs one more button for sound leaving the inertia button off or replaced by the sound button. The link that was left in the most recent link doesnt include priceing. i dont expect you to list priceing here but a link to priceing would be helpfull. If you can offer the same for the same price as a tsunami! (Not includeing speaker or controler since they dont either) You win!!!
            Mike

            Last edited on Fri Sep 6th, 2013 02:23 pm by OhioMike

            Robin2
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            If you use the Rx6x as an Arduino device I reckon it should be able to play sounds from an SD card.

            ...R

            DavidT
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            Mike. Thanks for the feedback. Tx21 can accommodate two extra buttons in place of the Inertia control. Tx22 easily has space for one extra button. I intend doing sound but priority is still motor control.

            I ordered a new PCB for a reed switch Rx62 this week as well as PCB for a slightly larger Rx65 which will hopefully allow higher currents.

            Robin. SD is good but I would want a 44k carrier and as many bits as is feasible. I think this needs more horsepower than an 8mhz clock can provide.
            Regards, David.

            Last edited on Fri Sep 6th, 2013 06:14 pm by DavidT

            Robin2
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            David, by 44k do you mean HiFi? Perhaps stereo?

            Isn't 8k noise good enough? Sheesh - it's gonna sound as pathetic as DCC sound however it's done.

            :)

            ...R

            W C Greene
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            "The best sounds are produced in your mind"...the devil's advocate. Or to make a different point-"sounds? We don't need no stinkin' sounds!". But then I am backwards and ignorant and like my locos quiet. I am used to the DCC boys ignoring me...while they clean their track, wheels, look for short circuits, and generally just don't have any fun. Imagination is a powerful thing.

            However, carry on. I am sooo glad that all this is being discussed. Woodie

            DavidT
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            Woodie. I get both views from people; those that want sound and those who don't.

            Robin, I don't know how I will proceed yet. There are several aspects. A carrier that is not audible would be nice. I think 16k is considered the low end of 'quiet enough'. I believe 44.1k / 16bit is considered CD quality so that's an upper target for me. The frequency part needs CPU horsepower which translates into size and cost. The number of bits affects sound quality and scope for manipulating tone, fading etc. 12bit seems to be what affordable chips support.

            I'd love to have many channels but 1 or 2 are the most likely. For me the benefit of 2 channels is not stereo but being able to separate sounds into logical groupings. One example would be engine noise on one channel and whistle on another. Base/treble another split perhaps with different speakers. Static (in the layout) vs mobile on the train another spilt. Way too early for me to know how important the different aspects are. I'll need to do a few protoypes and experiment.
            dt.

            35er
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            remember guys that like water, you cannot scale down sound. Therefore no matter how good the sound quality it will always be irritating when used on model trains due to this fact and the second fact that our minds cannot reconcile the disparity between what we see and what we hear.

            David's approach is correct, optimum operational control is priority with all the fancy "must have" add-on's introduced only when the operating system is optimised.

            lastly keep in mind that the commercial success to date is due to the fact that this is the first time that we have been able to accommodate a fully integrated RC, on-board battery system in our loco's of almost any size. adding sound will start to impact on battery running times and spatial demands.

            I undertook a commercial poll recently which clearly indicated that the majority (in excess of 85%) of model train operators using sound systems (mostly DCC based, but some using the old PFM system)turned the sound off when there were no visitors. This suggests that the primary reason for sound is to show off to visitors.

            well, that's my 10 cents worth.
            have fun
            BernardS

            Robin2
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            I'm not surprised - but then that's the reason people by Ferraris and Porsches.

            I like computer programming and model trains but very few seem to be impressed by that. :)

            ...R

            35er wrote:

            I undertook a commercial poll recently which clearly indicated that the majority (in excess of 85%) of model train operators using sound systems (mostly DCC based, but some using the old PFM system)turned the sound off when there were no visitors. This suggests that the primary reason for sound is to show off to visitors.
            BernardS

            Last edited on Sat Sep 7th, 2013 05:36 am by Robin2

            Horny Dublo
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            Having heard many onboard sound equipped locos, I am not impressed and can see how it can even be annoying - For the cost of a couple of sound modules I am sure a reasonable off board system with speakers around the layout and a simple sensor triggering system could be configured

            Andy, The sockets look neat. Did the legs reach the holes?

            Yes David - They just passed through by angling the sockets slightly ..

            Andy

            OhioMike
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            Telling folks they dont need sound or dont want it may not be a good sales tool...but they might start believeing it if you say it enough? Either way, i dont need it, i can just go wooo wooo each time i roll up to a modeled road crossing like i do now. Im simply makeing the comparisons between to 2 products. 2 ultimatly competeting products right? Perfecting the basic elements of a given product before comeing out with the 2.0 i can understand fully. Im more than satisfied with whats being offered on the marker today and i assume it can just get better. The priceing i sometimes question but the market will settle that with demand and either tsunami and dave will sell many..or they wont. My personal feelings are that, just like in the early days with reed/actuator R/C like Kraft, etc., and and MRCs sounds systems, basically a stereo under the layout, were still going to be putting together systems from parts meant for other intended purposes in R/C, settling for less than DCC offers for some time. I can live with that too! I have been in R/C for some time with boats/ships/planes, the train thing with R/C is new! At least to me. I hope dave and others can do one thing before makeing 2.0s and 2.1s, and that is improve distribution! One distributer in the US, clearly and realistically the biggest market based on train sales alone is insuffiecient. It also leads to priceing issues. Just my 2 cents worth!
            Mike

            Last edited on Sat Sep 7th, 2013 05:15 pm by OhioMike

            W C Greene
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            On the sound issue with r/c...since the worms are crawling out of the can and cat herding is so frustrating, sounds will need to be part of the radio control future. It will happen. Just because I don't care for chugs and toots doesn't mean everyone is that way and I understand. Today with DCC being the "thing" and sound effects being demanded for optimum play value, the only course (as I see it) is to include sounds even if it limits battery life. Future batteries will be smaller and more capable of handling all this, it just is a matter of time. Locomotive operation should be the first concern but sound needs to be included just because the buying public wants...demands it.
            How many of you know modelers who stick to DC operation? I hang out with dinosaurs who wouldn't use DCC for love or money but they have embraced r/c even if their layouts are wired and they seem to be very happy with "silent running" and have big imaginations. Most all of my buddies will stay with the plan that has existed since the beginnings of model railroading but they understand what the market "demands".
            Where am I going with all this? Sound is with us now and won't disappear but more and more the compexities of programming a DCC board and understanding computer speak will perhaps limit most from embracing this hobby. It HAS to be simple...plug & play...
            As old Joe Friday said "just the facts, lady".
            We are looking at the future and I am still wondering why it has taken so very long to give up Brite Boys and thumping the table when the loco stops.

            Woodie

            wv railbaron
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            I have removed all motive powered sound,dcc equipped from my layout. It is not missed because operation is more important than the noise. Sound now is from cd from different prototype railroads. The lack of sound has allowed me communication with visitors. I use Deltang so I can't comment on Stanton or Tam valley as to bprc operation.
            Steve S

            Kev1340
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            As a staunch DC operator, I'm quite happy without sound. It seems like a great idea for about ten seconds, then it just annoys me. Now that I'm starting a garden railway, R/C is the way I'm heading, but I still don't need sound!

            Just my view, I dare say plenty will want it.

            Cheers,

            Kev

            wv railbaron
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            David, the green flashing bind light is sometimes located where it is not seen. Is there a way to connect this to a headlight and get the clear flashing light in the headlight, then when the bind is complete the light goes solid?
            Steve S

            johnhu
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            wv railbaron wrote:
            David, the green flashing bind light is sometimes located where it is not seen. Is there a way to connect this to a headlight and get the clear flashing light in the headlight, then when the bind is complete the light goes solid?
            Steve S


            Hi Steve,

            I'm not David, but I hope the following helps.

            It's my understanding that the Rx60 receivers (and probably others) have a feature where another LED can be connected to one of the output pads on the receiver and can duplicate the built in led signal (up until the time the receiver is 'armed'. Which I presume means locked to it's transmitter).

            See: http://www.deltang.co.uk/rx603-features.htm#led2

            I've tried this out on an On30 Davenport (using the headlight/led and it seemed to work ok).

            You do of course need to change the programming on the receiver to initiate this. It's in the receiver programming instructions. http://www.deltang.co.uk/rx60b-v603-p.htm

            John

            DavidT
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            Steve, As John says the 'Led2' feature is designed for what you want.

            The cheapest way to program the Rx will be to buy a Blade transmitter on ebay or any DSM2 transmitter at your local hobby store. The Blade Tx is sometimes as cheap as $15 with postage. Search for these terms: Blade transmitter / E-flite / Parkzone / HobbyZone / MLP4DSM / EFLH1064 / PKZ3341

            The alternative is to get a 'Prog1' from me but I find the above joystick transmitter easier. I can guide you in making the changes once you have one of these.

            Have you installed an led yet? It needs a current-limiting resistor in series, one connection to a 'P' output on the Rx and one connection to battery negative.
            Regards, David.

            wv railbaron
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            Thank you John and David for the info.I have a DSM2 and will use it for this.
            Steve S

            DavidT
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            Steve,
            Just to help you get your mind around programming, one set of stick movements is needed to invoke programming mode, and another stick movement is needed to make changes. All the settings in one row has to be set at one time.

            You also need to find the correct programming page for the version of software in your rx. The version is normally hand written on the rx. Eg; '03' (perhaps plus a 3rd number) represents v603. Here are links for Rx60:
            v603 http://www.deltang.co.uk/rx60b-v603-p.htm
            v602 http://www.deltang.co.uk/rx60a-v602-p.htm
            v601 http://www.deltang.co.uk/rx60a-v601-p.htm

            Once in programming mode you need to:
            1. v603 make the led flash 5 times for Menu 5 then press UP (V602/601 use Menu 4).
            2. 1 flash for Led2 then UP.
            3. 2 flash to enable Led2 then UP.
            4. Then a number of flashes representing a pad with an led on it, then UP.

            If in doubt, switch the Rx off at any time and start again.

            Let us know if you get stuck.
            David.

            Graham Hickson
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            David,

            Is there a way to do the same thing with the LED on a Prog1? I want to put mine in a case and use a rotary switch to select the menu and two push buttons to increase or decrease the flashes. The switch on the side isn't a problem, but the LED would be inside the case.

            Graham.

            DavidT
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            Graham,
            That sounds a good idea. I'd like to see that when you've done it. Prog1 does not have a remote led feature. The best I can think of is to make a 'light pipe' using a thin drinking straw. I've read about people using fiber optic as well.
            Regards, David.

            DavidT
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            Graham, I should also be able to use Pin7 to drive an external led if you would like that but you'd have to send your prog1 back to me.
            dt.

            Graham Hickson
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            David,

            That would be good if you could do that, otherwise I was going to use a piece of acrylic over the LED and poking out through the case.

            Graham.

            Graham Hickson
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            David,

            I want to run an Rx60 from a 2s Lipo through a 12v booster. The reason being I'm tight for space and a 2s won't be under such a great demand for that kind of voltage. Would I be correct if I connect the L-pad on the receiver to the centre connection on the balance plug of the Lipo to monitor the voltage on one cell. Also would that connection need to be switched to prevent discharge when not in use?

            Regards,

            Graham.

            DavidT
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            Graham,
            You have described the connection correctly. I would switch the L connection. It has 15k35 resistors so from 8.4v will draw about 0.55mA plus any leakage through the MCU. That's 13mAh per day, 92mAh a week, 394mAH a month. This will drain one cell so pull it out of balance if not corrected regularly.
            Regards, David.

            Graham Hickson
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            David,

            Thought so, just wanted to make sure.

            Thanks,

            Graham.

            DavidT
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            Graham,
            You can divide the whole 2S voltage in half with 2 equal resistors in series. One end goes to the switched lipo positive and the other end of the 2 in series goes to ground. The junction between them would be half pack voltage. You would feed that to the L input. This would only require one switch for the whole pack.

            There is a little uncertainty. If you used two 4k7 resistors, that will draw up to 0.9mA when in use which is fine. But it limits the current available to feed the voltage measuring circuit. I think it's supposed to have 10k input impedance, I use 15k to cheat a little and this mod would take it further out of spec. However, I suspect it would make no difference to voltage measurements but I don't have time to check right now.

            If you used lower value resistors this would reduce potential effect but increase current through them when in use. So two 1k resistors would draw 4.2mA from a fresh 2S pack.
            Regards, david.

            Helmut
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            At the cost of component count, you could use two 100k-resistors and a CMOS-OpAmp wired as voltage follower. The TLC072 draws 2.5mA when idle, and could deliver the necessary current to the L-input without any deviation in voltage.
            For really low consumption, use the LT6003. The ideal IC in this case. Uses only 2µA supply current and has such a high input resistance, that the voltage divider can be made of 1M resistors.
            The price is another issue

            Last edited on Sat Oct 19th, 2013 10:25 pm by Helmut

            Graham Hickson
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            David and Helmut,
             
            I did consider the potential divider but all I need to do is swap a single pole switch for a double pole. Keeps it simple.

            Graham.

            DavidT
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            Hi. My Rx62 receiver with reed switch is now available. You need to buy a magnet separately if you do not have one. Rx62 can handle 1.5A at 16kHz over 3-13v. The magnet introduces a degree of vagueness to switching it on. Obviously distance and body shell makes it harder to make the magnet activate the reed. The briefest of connections should switch it on but it helps to be able to see the led so I have enabled 'led2' by default. Switching off is easy using the Bind button over the radio link. Rx62 can be used without the reed switch if you decide you don't like how it works.

            My higher current Rx65 is also available. This is rated at 3A at 16kHz and 3-18v. For trains people normally want the bare board eg: Rx65-22-N. With wires and heatshrink covering it is Rx65-22-W. People who want sockets installed and perhaps a longer aerial to help with shielded compartments can look at the alphabet soup of options.

            Photo below shows Rx65, 62, 61, 60, 63 and Rx41d. Rx41d now has Selecta enabled in a new Rx41d-22 version.
            Regards, David.


            wv railbaron
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            David, what would happen if you connected your rx to Bachman dcc board with the dcc plug removed and utilized the remaining board for the lighting circuit. Would the lights work.
            SteveS

            DavidT
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            Steve, The differences I am aware of that make this tricky are:
            1. I think lights used with DCC decoders are intended to be permanently connected to positive and the decoder provides the negative connection to switch them on. My Rx6x receivers work the other way round.
            2. DDC lights will be intended for 12v I guess. My Rx6x only puts out 3v.
            3. DDC decoders normally have 'buffered' (higher current) function outputs so you'd also need to check what ccurrent the lights draw.
            Regards David.

            davecttr
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            My fitting of the latest Deltang Rx62 receiver to my little class 08 loco has transformed its running capabilities. Nice and smooth over turnouts and no stuttering or assistance from the hand of god to get it moving.




            There was no space to fit anything inside the loco so I but the Rx and battery in a box van. The reed switch on the Rx62 works well and passing a magnet  along the bottom of the van side switches on the receiver. Using the bind button to switch off is an excellent feature.




            With these Deltang Tx/Rx combinations we are getting nearer to plug and play than ever before. Perhaps a module with the RX plugged in and sockets for motor and battery connections built in would be useful although I realise that deciding which connector to fit would be a problem.

            There is one issue with the Rx which needs some thought, 'stiction'. My little loco will happily pull a load at 10% throttle giving a scale 2.5mph with a 1S lipo. Starting however requires 20% throttle with an obvious jerking motion at the start. Any possible solutions for this? I think the Rx62 PWM modulation is set at 16KHz? and maybe trying lower settings would give more torque and help with starting. I see DCC has a couple of solutions to this, 'kick start' and 'dithering', plus all the modern chips have back EMF which may or may not help?

            For me controlling the loco is more important than adding lights or sound. I don't need either but would like loco control that is as good as possible, preferably at least as good as DCC!.

            DavidT
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            Hi Dave,
            Connectors are tricky. Which ones, DCC compatibility, size, etc...

            Low PWM speed improve traction but makes a crunchy sound. 10% minimum power might help. Let us know. I would have thought BEMF would be the solution but I've not tried that yet.
            Regards, David.

            Graham Hickson
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            I would have thought the NMRA 8 pin connector would work. It would be just the same as plugging a DCC decoder in. Then the next question would be what to do with the track connection. Keep it to get power from the track or not keep it so a battery can be used.
            BEMF works quite well with DCC it's something I'd like to see with these receivers.

            Graham.

            DavidT
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            Using any existing connector implies compliance with its standards. People will just plug it in to see if it works. The main issues are voltage ranges. I go down to 3v for 1S lipo use and DCC probably goes down to 6v. But DCC/track power also requires over 20v, polarity 'straightening' (bridge rectifier) and more noise filtering (poor pickups etc.). So I'm not sure which way to go next and invite more views.

            BEMF is mainly a separate issue. It often has parameters which implies more acceptance of or easier 'programming'.
            Regards, David.

            Robin2
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            In my opinion any "standard" Deltang connector should be deliberately different from DCC to avoid confusion.

            The Deltang system is not attempting to be DCC by wireless.

            ...R

            davecttr
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            I agree that using an existing DCC connector would just cause confusion although it is a easy way of getting power to your motor. This is a Dapol Class 66 loco with the 6 pin DCC blanking plug on the right and the JST lighting plug on the left. The circuitry in the middle is for interference suppression that is used here in the Uk.




            Plugging the motor outputs from the Rx into sockets 1 and 2 is all that is needed to get the motor running. I tried connecting up the motor and the lights using sockets 5 and 6 plus 1 and 2 but the lights did not work. The Rx output is differerent from 'ordinary' DC?




            I put the loco on my rolling road and connected pins 3-6 and 4-5. With ordinary DC the lights became visible at 4.5V, better at 5.5V and full brightness at 7V.




            A replacement blanking plug is a possibility but I agree that it would cause confusion with people plugging it in and complaining that the lights don't work. Of course you could have a blanking plug that allowed the lights to work on track DC but why bother with a battery if you did and why bother with a Rx as well. Replacing that lighting board might be a possibility. 

            wv railbaron
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            I have gotten away from using any connectors on installs. It is much more efficient to hard wire and takes much less space. The only time connectors are used is for battery car hookup and now mono charge jacks and slide switches are used. The use of stepup voltage allows 3.7v batteries that save valuable space.
            Steve S

            wv railbaron
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            Dave, I take it you are trying to use the dcc from the factory to adapt bp/rc. If you are I would suggest you completely remove the dcc to create a analog loco. Do not remove the lighting board, that can be connected through the rx and it will be on when power is transmitted to the rx. We have done this on b-man locos.that are without.dcc. I will tell you that the trolley car lights worked fine but drained the battery quickly,so they are being replaced with led that draw less current. I converting a 2-6-0 and that light draws very little current and comes on when engine begins movement. In the future factory light boards will be tried. Remember that track power is unlimited and the battery power use is limited so use small leds that are bright and use little power.
            Steve S

            DavidT
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            I've often wished I could make boards with gold 'fingers' on one end and then plug that into a nice quality female socket with sprung connectors. Anyone know if these exist for 0.8mm or thicker PCB?
            dt.

            davecttr
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            Just to confuse matters I tried the lights on the Farish Class 220 Voyager DEMU dummy end coach and they worked?

            Forward 2 LEDS




            Reverse 1 LED




            This is at 40% throttle on a 2S lipo which is about 3V. I wonder what effect the motor drawing power will have and how do I measure the milliamps those LED's use?

             

            Dave

            davecttr
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            wv railbaron wrote: Dave, I take it you are trying to use the dcc from the factory to adapt bp/rc. If you are I would suggest you completely remove the dcc to create a analog loco. Do not remove the lighting board, that can be connected through the rx and it will be on when power is transmitted to the rx. We have done this on b-man locos.that are without.dcc. I will tell you that the trolley car lights worked fine but drained the battery quickly,so they are being replaced with led that draw less current. I converting a 2-6-0 and that light draws very little current and comes on when engine begins movement. In the future factory light boards will be tried. Remember that track power is unlimited and the battery power use is limited so use small leds that are bright and use little power.
            Steve S



            I was just using the blanking socket to simplify the RX installation and agree that an analog loco is probably the best option. Apparently that interference suppression circuitry can cause problems with DCC chips using Back EMF. What the Voyager test suggests is that it might be possible to get a simple Rx install with working lights by running wire through the coaches to the rear one. With DCC you need two chips for the front and rear coach. With units with centre power cars you need 3 chips!


            Dave
             

            wv railbaron
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            I like the testing that is being tried by the members here. The field tests will only improve future developement in bp/rc.
            Steve S

            Robin2
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            What about using SD Card connectors?

            I suspect all types of connector are too big for the smaller N Gauge locos.

            ...R

            DavidT
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            That's the right concept but ideally needs to have contacts top and bottom and be available in different widths.
            dt.

            DavidT
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            PCI and PC memory card sockets are probably what I'm after...
            dt.

            davecttr
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            An update to my report that the lights on a Dapol class 66 would not work.

            They do!

            What happens is that the power for the front and rear lights uses pins 5 and 6. The common negative return from the LED's if fed from the pcb via pins 3 or 4, the track connection pins.

            Connecting pins 3-6 and 4-5 means functioniong lights which are bright enough at 20% throttle, equivalent to 1.5V

            Dave

            Helmut
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            Hi all,
            some 3months ago I purchased 2 RX60-2 receivers plus TX21 transmitters. I wanted them to work as a replacement for DCC decoders in my locos continueing to work in a DCC environment, as I belong to a group of railroaders that meet at regular intervals to operate rather big layouts made up of modular elements. The scale is TT and the locos' size is comparable to N in some cases. So I needed small footprint receivers to fit in the available space and the ability to work from track power without any cap or battery buffering. I posted some photos of the conversion already in this section.
            I had some e-mail exchange with DavidT and he sent me also an RX65-2 to test, that is able to operate at up to 18V and can be taken to an N/H0 DCC environment without any overvoltage precautions.
            End of last month I took the locos to a meeting for a first test which was disappointing, as all of them ended up 'deaf' after a rather short run. The quick sequence of loss and restoration of current pickup which is typical for model railroads, and small-scale 2-rail operation in particular, quickly sent all of them into an unrecoverable state. I informed DavidT about this and sent them all back for program improvement ( For the initiated: it has to do with status saving and brown-out ).  A week ago, they came back right in time to be reinstalled and taken to yet another meeting last weekend.
            To make a long story short: David has done a fine job in making the firmware railroad-worthy. No hickups, losses of control, and forced stops for link restoration. I daresay now that they can be used without reservation as replacement for all that clumsy ado with DCC I am so accustomed ( and sometimes fed up ) with.
            Hope he can be convinced to make his RX6X's plug-and-play for the 6pin-DCC / PluXsockets found in contemporary models.

            DavidT
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            Thanks for your patience and help, Helmut. I'm pleased the changes worked well. Another small step towards connectors...
            Regards, David.

            davecttr
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            I have completed some tests to see if changing the PWM frequency would improve starting on my little Class 08 N-scale loco. I used a 1S lipo with the Deltang Rx-62-22 receiver. Re-programming the Rx was done with the Deltang Prog3 device which worked well once I had mastered the black art of using it!.

            Testing involved placing the loco on my rolling road and setting inertia to maximum. This gave a time stretching effect which made taking timings with my crude 1 second digital stopwatch easier.  The battery was recharged and loco run for 15 minutes before each test. Each test comprised 5 timed accelerations and 5 timed decelerations.

            Acceleration - turn throttle to maximum and start stopwatch when the loco wheels start turning. Stop watch when the Tx light stops flashing.

            Deceleration - turn throttle to off and start stopwatch when the loco wheels stop turning. Stop watch when the Tx light stops flashing

            Inertia - The Tx light flashed for 62 seconds when set to maximum value.

            The results were:

            Auto (16 KHz).....loco start to max - 51 secs.....loco stop to min - 5 secs

            2 KHz.....loco start to max - 47 secs.....loco stop to min - 11 secs

            250 Hz.....loco start to max - 50.5 secs.....loco stop to min - 9 secs

            60Hz.....loco start to max - 51 secs.....loco stop to min - 9 secs

            The loco was silent on Auto, emitted a high pitched whine at 2 KHz, low pitched whine at 250Hz and low buzz at 60Hz.

            The results were the opposite of what I was expecting. I have read that large PWM frequencies give less torque and was expecting the higher torque of lower frequencies would give better starting performance. It appears that for this loco/Rx/battery combination 16KHz gave the best results.

            Dave

            davecttr
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            This is a little prototype board I made that plugs into the Deltang Rx-62 receiver which DavidT has kindly agreed to supply with turned pin sockets.

            Two single cell lipos plug into one end and the board connects them in series to give 7.4 volts. The motor wires plug into the other end. The Rx will sit below the board

            A question for all you electronics wizards out there. What is the best way to insulate the board? Do I paint it or use tape or is there another way?


            Robin2
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            Looks very good Dave. Will the Rx stand upright or are the sockets at right angles?

            You may be able to save a little height by soldering the pins through the board from the other side and dispensing with the black plastic piece.

            I would just use tape or heatshrink to insulate the board as that allows you to get at it again if necessary.

            ...R

            fallen
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            A neat idea Dave.

            Paint won't be robust enough, if it scratches you will likely get a short circuit. Heatshrink would be best if you have any big enough. Tape will be OK, ordinary electrical insulating tape will work or there is a "self amalgamating" type that sort of melts into itself to give a seamless covering, I think I have seen some in either Aldi or Lidl's, although they don't carry it all the time.

            Frank

            DavidT
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            I've developed a couple of new products. Rx102 is a cheap servo type receiver. I reprogram it to have Selecta and other useful outputs.

            The Rx102-1 variant is intended for use with most transmitters. You need an external ESC for the motor. Two outputs give you automatic directional lights. Throws for servo outputs can be adjusted for live steam.

            The Rx102-1, -2 and -3 variants are intended for my Tx23 which has three throttles.

            Rx102 is also intended to control points/switches with servos. Again the adjustable throws makes them suitable for this. A new Tx27 is a first attempt at a dedicated switch controller.
            Regards, David.



            Arthur P. Bloom
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            I joined a few years ago, and have been lurking and watching this amazing evolution of David's products.

            About 20 years ago, I produced my own "proof of concept" using a K-Line small Diesel switcher (Lionel 3-rail compatible) by ripping out the electronic "E-unit" (reversing circuit, to those not familiar) and putting in a Futaba RX and ESC rated for 30 amps, and a temporary power supply consisting of one 9-volt battery.  The loco moved right along with no difficulties. I put the project away in lieu of marriage, kids, and jobs, and now that retirement is here, I am back thinking about getting rid of that 3rd rail  and all that track wiring.

            I'm about to order a few items from him. The project will be a Weaver O-scale (three-rail) Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 electric locomotive. I will have to use a receiver that accepts an external ESC, due to the current draw of the two motors (estimated at 6 amps, total.)  A 12-volt, 4ah fire-alarm system gel cell will ride along in the baggage car and be followed by a fixed-consist of several heavyweight passenger cars. No switching, just a display train that goes round and round while the other trains are involved in switching and freight movements.  Recharging via the pantographs will be accomplished through a section of live catenary in a station area.

            I am very pleased that David has produced his TX22, and I especially appreciate that it doesn't look like an aeroplane transmitter, but rather looks "industrial."

            The slight downside, of course, in using the TX22 is the fact that I will only be getting one or two (not sure?) additional switched channels for coupler release, horn, bell, turning on a sound board, raising and lowering the pantographs, etc.

            If David would consider adding just two more momentary buttons, I feel that
            the TX22 would be a great universal transmitter.  How difficult would that be, David, and is it something you've considered?  Since your receivers already have the capability of handling more channels that the TX22 transmits, it seems like it would be a useful improvement.

            In the event that buttons can't be added practically, my fall back position will be to use one of these to do my auxiliary switching for each feature:  4-button system

            In any event, kudos to David and to all of you whose input has gotten us this far!

            Regards, Arthur in New York.

            DavidT
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            Hi Arthur,
            Tx22 has 3 function controls using the Bind button and Direction switch. It is designed to have a 4th at the top with an extra pushbutton. More than that may be too crowded? Of course a bigger case and new layout or leaving off the Inertia control are all options to create a new design...
            Regards, David.

            Arthur P. Bloom
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            David:

            I guess I should read the instructions and figure it out.   I expect that once I have the equipment in my hands it will all make sense.

            So, as I understand it, once the BINDING has taken place, the BIND button can be used a standard pushbutton for a function?

            And, if I program the TX throttle knob for center-off, I can use the REVERSE toggle switch for two (?) other functions?  Are they momentary or latching? What two servo outputs on the receiver would they come from?

            Now, about a fourth button. I would like to add one to my TX22 when I order it. Is it something I can do myself, or would you do it?  What servo output (channel) does it use?

            I think that adding a few extra buttons for a momentary horn or bell, or operating a coupler, would be a great addition.

            Cheers, Arthur


            Last edited on Mon Dec 9th, 2013 09:44 pm by Arthur P. Bloom

            DavidT
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            Arthur,
            Yes, once switched on the Bind button makes Ch5 idle 'high' and it goes 'low' when pressed. Tx22 has a 3-position toggle switch controlling Ch3 so it moves between 'high', 'mid' and 'low'. This switch latches on Tx22. On Tx20 it is self-centering.

            Outputs/functions in my receivers are controlled by the position of channels. An output that is ON when the channel is low will be OFF when the channel is mid or high. An output that is ON when the channel is high will be OFF when the channel is mid or low.

            To make the Direction switch on Tx22 control two outputs, both must be associated with Ch3, one to be ON when low, the other to be ON when high.

            It is impossible for me to anticipate everything that people might want to do so I provide mechanisms to change these settings in my receiver, usually known as 'programming'. Over time some things become obvious defaults for receivers and I try to look out for these.

            Tx22 could have 2 extra buttons. One would make Ch4 idle at its mid position and go low when pressed. The other would make Ch7 idle high and go low.

            Tx20 does not have a Selecta switch. So it can have two more buttons than Tx22.

            My hope for my transmitters is that more people make their own. They are all based on a common radio modules 'Tx2' and just need a few pots and resistors to make something unique. A few specialist model railway suppliers are experimenting with different boxes and switch configurations and I am happy to work with them on that.
            Regards, David.

            Bill S
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            Hello, everyone. My name is Bill Seaman, from Tampa, FL. I have been storing an accumulation of On30 stuff for the past 5 years, but have not found the desire to start building my empire until I stumbled upon this thread. Everyone seems so polite. My style. Hobbies should be fun and shared. I am going to sell my Lenz dcc equipment and start with some rc land and air equipment just to get back into the hobby, and of course I have my eye on some of David's equipment. I appreciated his quick response to a PM the other day. I see that building my own turnouts will be much easier using deadrail now. I'm reading the thread for the second time now that I have been inspired. I look forward to posting with questions as I get into my conversions. I hope everyone has a great holiday season.

            Herb Kephart
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            Bill-



            Herb

            W C Greene
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            Howdy Bill, you sure found the right place. Welcome to Freerails, I know that you will find a lot of interesting and valuable information here. Check things out and don't be a stranger...we are polite, except for a couple of fellows.

            Woodie

            quincy
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            :glad:Ok I did it!!! I just finished installing an rx41 in a brass D&RGW #50 and it actually works. I'll get some photos up shortly. But it works and I didn't fry anything with my soldering skills.

            John Adams

            Martin K
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            Hello,

            this is my Shapeways Gmeinder RF-50 B, 1:45, equipped with a Deltang receiver RX-60/22,
            I ride with a Lipo, 3.7 V, 200 mAh.
            The model velocity is 22 km / h
            Equipped is the locomotive with an Austrian Halling chassis.
            The journey time is approximately 2 hours, the engine consumes about 70 mAh under load.
            The clutch is a newly designed case hook-coupling from our 0e forum.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWR4zFFjRaA

            Last edited on Sun Jan 12th, 2014 08:25 pm by Martin K

            fallen
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            Very nice Martin, the loco looks excellent as does the rest of the layout, and the operation is very very smooth. Good slow speed running makes such a difference. It makes the layout seem bigger as the locos do not have to hurry!

            The coupling looks interesting. Could you give more information on this?

            Frank

            Martin K
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            Hello Frank,

            here is a video about our case pintle hook. This make a friend from black polystyrene. They are available with recording shafts for Kadee boxes, NRM shafts and Magic-Train-coupling shafts.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfdc8Zo8SmQ

            Last edited on Mon Jan 13th, 2014 09:29 am by Martin K

            Robin2
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            If there was space in the loco for a little electromagnet controlled by the Deltang receiver you could have hands-free uncoupling for the loco.

            ...R

            Martin K
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            Hello,

            to my understanding of the game with the model train you to adjust turnouts, uncouplers and turntable manually belongs.
            Of course, you could adjust the event hook-clutch also by a servo or solenoid with enough amount of space.

            DavidT
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            Very nice result, Martin. Thanks for the videos.
            Regards, David.

            Martin K
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            Hello,

            These are my DelTang-Transmitters TX-22


            Last edited on Tue Jan 14th, 2014 01:04 pm by Martin K

            Martin K
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            Hello,

            here the latest video from today's meeting on the AHW with two Magic-Train locomotives converted to Deltang R / C system.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl-wIEZZ35A

            Last edited on Tue Jan 14th, 2014 07:34 pm by Martin K

            Martin K
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            Hello,

            I have installed in my Deltang transmitter a two-celled Lipo battery. Now I can load via a 3-pin charging socket.
            At present is still a battery 250 mAh, 7.4 V in use, which will be exchanged or against any of 750 mAh.


            Last edited on Fri Jan 17th, 2014 02:24 pm by Martin K

            John Ewins
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            Hello All

            First post so by way of introduction I live in the UK and model in 7mm scale - scaleseven in fact. Interests mainly LSWR/SR but also early BR.

            I have been using infra red control (red arrow) for a few years but have been impressed by the deltang system and have been experimenting for the last few months.

            I use Nimh PP3 rechargeable batteries rather than Lipo and am interested to know if anyone else is using these?

            Regards

            John

            Martin K
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            Good morning John,

            I use only LiPo cells, since I enjoy the capacity of 9V battery is too low. So I can not say anything further to do so.

            regards

            Martin

            Robin2
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            John Ewins wrote:

            I use Nimh PP3 rechargeable batteries rather than Lipo and am interested to know if anyone else is using these?


            I presume you are just using the PP3 batteries to power the IR receiver and the locomotive motor has a separate power supply?

            I wouldn't expect PP3 batteries to carry enough energy to operate the whole train for more than a few minutes.

            On the other hand the Deltang units draw their power from the motor power supply - so I'm a bit confused.

            ...R

            Helmut
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            Mind you, their capacity is 280mAh and if you believe in the advertisement, they deliver these @9V. So you would expect a contemporary H0/00 motor to operate for roughly 1hr @200mA, which is medium load.

            John Ewins
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            Thank you Martin, Robin and Helmut for replying. I do use PP3 batteries to power the engine and the rx and have done this for some years with infra red control.  I have run in engines on a rolling road for 4 to 5 hours on these batteries before a recharge was needed.  In practice I only have a short 'shunting plank' layout so there is no continous roundy roundy operation.  However the local S7 group do have a large demonstration track and I have not seen any battery powered locos fail on this yet. Probably a lot to do with the efficiency of the motor and gearbox. My reason for posting is that I have been getting some inconsistent results using the Tx22 and Rx22 and David T did suggest that the type of battery might be an issue so I wondered if anyone else was using these.  David did tell me about the LVC issue which I tried to program out with PROG1 but I don't think it worked.  However using fully charged PP3 batteries got round this. I think the Deltang system has huge potential and at this stage I am just disappointed it is not working as consistently as I wanted. Of course in computer engineer parlance it may be a PICNIC problem! John    

            Last edited on Tue Feb 4th, 2014 05:21 pm by John Ewins

            fallen
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            Hi John,

            Only just seen your post here.

            I too am using LiPos so my experience may not be directly relevant. I model in 009 and use single cell Lipos for this. I am just building a loco in O-16.5 and this uses two cells so running at 7.4v. All use DelTang radios.

            What sort of problems are you having?

            Frank

            Rod Hutchinson
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            Frank,

            I model in HOn30. Can you show some pics of how you shoe horn the battery and rceiver?

            Robin2
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            Rod, there are lots of pics in the earlier pages of this thread.

            ...R

            John Ewins
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            Hi Frank

            Thanks for replying and I can't imagine how you fit this 009! 

            I am sending my tx and rx's back to David as he has kindly agreed to check them out as it may well be me...

            Problems have been with one rx which after a first flush of life has stubbornly refused to work.  Rx1 has been ok but occasionally has just not connected with the tx.  Usually if I switch the rx on and off and it re connects and works.  This is not a viable solution if the rx is installed in the loco.

            One other problem is that if you switch the tx off and then back on the rx loses the connection unless the rx is switched off and on.

            Again David is aware of this and hopefully will come up with solutions.

            Regards

            John

            #

             

            Last edited on Thu Feb 6th, 2014 08:09 am by John Ewins

            fallen
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            Hi John,

            Here is a photo of a 009 diesel kit by Narrow Planet on a Kato chassis

            http://i1331.photobucket.com/albums/w582/009photoman/NP%20RNAD%20build/DSC_01132_zpsbc607e9e.jpg

            You can see the battery on top of the chassis under the hood. The radio is in the cab in this shot, it ended up on top of the battery so all the electronics is under the hood.

            Battery duration is a couple of hours continuous use, more if used intermittently.

            Frank

            fallen
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            Hi John,

            I don't know if it applies to you but I have had some issues occasionally with trying to bind the receivers in a strong Wifi signal area. Usually the radio control system is immune to interference from WiFi but it seems to be slightly vulnerable when binding. If you switch the TX off with the RX still on and leave it for long enough it may try to bind to the Wifi and get confused.

            Frank

            Last edited on Wed Feb 5th, 2014 09:46 pm by fallen

            DavidT
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            Welcome to the forum, John. I hope we can get your setup working right.

            Frank, I think the Rx6x receivers handle that better because 'auto-bind' has a timeout. Rx6x receivers also have a 'manual bind' option which eliminates this little challenge,
            Regards, David.

            Rod Hutchinson
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            David T,

            I thought you should know that I finally got my 1st RC operating in a loco. My RX61 & TX22 equipment was supplied by Bernard Snoodyk.

            The loco is on of these: http://www.editionsatlas.fr/collection/minisite/michelines-et-autorails/micheline-type-5.html

            DavidT
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            Great Rod. Unusual subject. Does the model have rubber on the wheels?
            David.

            Last edited on Thu Feb 6th, 2014 08:25 am by DavidT

            Rod Hutchinson
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            DavidT,

            The prototype had rubber tyre wheels, but mine has conventional wheel sets. The models's hubs have been glued on cosmetically.

            The rear wheel drive is a Hollywood Foundry "Mono Ant".
            http://www.hollywoodfoundry.com/MonoAnt.htm?id=89

            Rod Hutchinson
            In Oz

            John Ewins
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            Frank.  Very impressed with that and have just remembered i saw a post on RMweb that you did with something equally small.  The size is what makes Deltang so interesting for me, especially as the aerial is so unobtrusive.

            Understand about Wifi but we are fairly rural and our own Wifi is off mostly so i don't think that is an issue.

            Hopefully DavidT will sort me out.

            John

             

            John Ewins
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            David.  Thank you.  I posted it to you today after the now usual Post Office 3rd degree about the contents! 

            John

             

            Rod Hutchinson
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            David T,

            How do I configure a charger for two 3.7v LiPos which are wired in series to produce 7.4v?

            DavidT
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            Rod, It depends on the charger. If it is one with an LCD screen and 4 buttons then it will have options that allow the number of cells to be changed to 2. Obviously when you need to charge 1 cell you need to remember to change it back to 1.
            Regards, David.

            Helmut
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            @Ron
            Have a look here for some introduction to LiPo charging. Very important is the paragraph about balancing.

            Last edited on Tue Mar 4th, 2014 02:50 pm by Helmut

            Rod Hutchinson
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            Hi Helmut,

            Yes; I think my question was made in ignornance. After I submitted my post I began lookng at 2s & 3s batteries and commensurate chargers. I think I shall go down that path.

            Last edited on Tue Mar 4th, 2014 06:50 pm by Rod Hutchinson

            Robert Comerford
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            Rod, this is a simple charger I and many of my flying group have used for some time.
            Easy to use and can charge a wide range of batteries. Powered by a 12V battery  (such as in a car). Indoors I use a laptop plug pack.

            http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__15042__Turnigy_Accucel_6_50W_6A_Balancer_Charger_w_accessories_AUS_Warehouse_.html

            ----------------------------------


            David T, I note the rx22 series that are configured for the Selecta  do not come with the low off option. Any reason both features can't be implemented?


            regards
             Bob Comerford




            DavidT
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            Hi Bob,
            I was not sure what would be popular when I started so wanted to limit the number of variants available. All variants can be changed but by using 'programming' which is a bit tricky.

            I took a different approach with Rx102. It comes to me as a standard hobby servo receiver which I reprogram it to be more useful for trains. I use jumpers/bind plugs on the servo plugs to allow people to make choices. I have in mind doing a similar thing on Rx6x receivers...

            At the moment there is an undocumented feature to perform a 'hard reset'. From v610-2, if P1 and P2 are connected together and then the Rx is switched on, all the settings (except bind info) will be reset to how it was supplied. This is the same as performing a 'factory reset' using programming. P1 and P2 would typically be shorted together with a paperclip or similar as the connection is only needed for the first second when the receiver is swicthed on.

            Would it be helpful to make more things selectable in this way? For example, P2+P3 could toggle low off/center off motor control. P3+P4 could toggle whether Selecta is enabled or not. P1+P3, P1+P4 and P2+P4 could make three other choices. What do you guys think of this?
            Regards, David.

            dan3192
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            While comments are being contemplated on David's post, I thought I'd share some things I've come across which might be helpful to the cause, or at least something to think about.

            Battery powered r/c operation suggests the use of efficient motors. I picked up a couple from this seller and they are ideal for an upcoming project - conversion of FP-45's to battery r/c.

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/321300993529?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649#ht_603wt_1211

            I found an excellent interactive website on Lipo wiring. I'm using this as a guide to wire up 3 x 18650 Lithium-ion cells in series. Charging will be through balance leads which I'll make up, now that I understand the connections.

            http://scriptasylum.com/rc_speed/lipo.html

            The charger I'm using is a Solo80 from a local hobby shop. I have Lipo packs and cylindrical NiMH and Li-ion cells in various sizes, so this should do it all.

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Racers-Edge-Prime-SOLO80-AC-DC-Multi-Chemistry-NiCd-NiMH-Lipo-Battery-Charger/380853186453?_trksid=p2047675.c100010.m2109&_trkparms=aid%3D555012%26algo%3DPW.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131231084308%26meid%3D5275242342860180655%26pid%3D100010%26prg%3D20131231084308%26rk%3D6%26rkt%3D24%26sd%3D360647123787#ht_3157wt_1144

            And I got a real kick out of watching this video. It shows me exactly what I will never do to run my trains. Before deciding to get involved with battery r/c I studied what percentage of time people watched their trains vs watching their DCC cab controller. R/c won hands down! Wonder how often these guys watch their trains!

            http://mrr.trains.com/videos/layout-visits/2011/08/video-ho-scale-brandywine-valley-rr

            Enjoy!

            Dan

            fallen
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            David,
            I think it would be useful to have it as you describe to easily toggle between centre off and low off as this is a fairly common requirement. Different people simply prefer one or the other. Yes you can program it but not with the standard land TXs and it is not straightforward.
            Other options would be less important perhaps.
            Frank

            Robert Comerford
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            Thanks for the reply David.
            I'm certain having some features that can be easily altered would be a boon to those of us who need a combination not straight out of the box.
            All my throttles consist of a knob and a switch and I would want to keep it that way for consistency sake.

            What do I need to have to alter the rx22?


            ----------------------------------------------------------

            I'll give you my wish list for an ideal throttle.
            Speed knob
            reversing switch
            light switch
            horn/whistle button
            bind button
            bell switch for those who need it
            selecta would be nice too but I could live without it if it meant loosing other functions.

            While the sound functions are not a current option having them there on the throttles for any future sound upgrades makes sense to me.

            The RailLynx system was very close to what I wanted but being IR it would not work outdoors and did not come with a horn/whistle button so I went DCC.

            regards
            Bob Comerford.




            DavidT
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            Bob, It's hard designing for the unknown. I'm a long way from knowing how I will do sound. So I prefer not to add sound triggers to my transmitters yet.

            Excluding sound, I believe Tx22 with Rx61-22 gives you what you want. We would just need to change throttle control to 'low off'. That's easier for me and some of my resellers than for you. We make the change using what I call 'programming'. If I add the bridging of two pads then that will become another option.

            I believe Tony at RCS uses Tx20 with an external sound module.
            Regards, David.

            Helmut
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            Hi all,
            if you brew your own Tx anyway, it's not that difficult to use a 'Center-Off-Throttle' channel in the standard fashion with a reversing switch. Doing so you keep one input channel free for all that addtional functions you like.
            here's the howto:

            Last edited on Thu Mar 6th, 2014 11:19 am by Helmut

            Robert Comerford
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            DavidT wrote: Bob, It's hard designing for the unknown. I'm a long way from knowing how I will do sound. So I prefer not to add sound triggers to my transmitters yet.

            Excluding sound, I believe Tx22 with Rx61-22 gives you what you want. We would just need to change throttle control to 'low off'. That's easier for me and some of my resellers than for you. We make the change using what I call 'programming'. If I add the bridging of two pads then that will become another option.

            I believe Tony at RCS uses Tx20 with an external sound module.
            Regards, David.

            Thanks David, not trying to put pressure on you just stating my ultimate wish list. If it looks like the options on typical DCC road throttles; it is. I like the idea of sending control signals direct to the loco. However I am not adverse to having power on the rails to recharge an onboard battery. I like to just sit and watch trains circulate at times and getting a 'top up' while running reduces the size of the required battery pack. Best of both worlds.
            You are at the forefront of using DSM2 for trains. It is hard to see others not following.
            I have ordered tx and rx kits from Micron. Yours is a far neater solution than chopping up a 29Mhz car tx that I did decades back. :>;)

            OT [One of these days when my list of model railway projects has dropped back to one page I will build "Bubbles" too.]

            regards
            Bob Comerford



            DavidT
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