Battery run locos

MarkInLA Aug 8, 2010

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    R/C can be track wired, or battery. I have operated on both.

    The key to this is use of the word "all" in a question applied to the hobby as a whole.

    As with any new or different concept, to bring it about, the idea must be sold to the masses. Convince them it's worth their investing in converting. Show them it's practical, cost effective, easy to install and maintain. Just as DCC took a while to get rolling, so would this idea. Plenty of folks are aware of battery/remote control. It's been around a while. Will it go beyond this point? We have no way of knowing.

    I have operated on track powered R/C and battery powered R/C. They worked fine. Right now I am quite happy with what I have in the way of old fashioned track powered analog DC. We will each do as we wish.

    Boxcab E50
     
  2. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    My biggest concern with R/C isn't the R/C itself, or the power to move trains, but the power to run all the latest features that DCC offers. In particular sound.
    A sound system can easily double the amount of power required to run the loco and the speaker will fight for the same space as the battery.
    You can say "well I don't want or need sound" and that's fine, but the other side is the people that say "I want sound more than I want R/C."
    Since the thrust of this discussion is "can/will R/C be the standard?" the sound issue will become important.

    And that ties into previous discussions about Wireless DCC and all those other issues.
     
  3. MOPMAN

    MOPMAN TrainBoard Member

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    Amen Boxcab. All of my engines work with analog DC with the exception of the one r/c switcher set (pictured earlier in this thread). I do plan to build one more (at least) switcher set in r/c as those engines will power the two turns that originate in Van Buren. Since I will never have DCC on my layout, this allows me to add a "cab" without having to run the additional wiring. What got me started was operating on Woodie's layout where ALL engines are r/c control.

    I do feel that when battery technology allows for smaller batteries with at least 850ma and 11+ volt output, then this control option will be viable to more hobbyist.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Could it become 'standard' some day? Yes. Certainly possible.

    Will everyone switch? No. Even with the popularity of DCC and it's capabilities, analog DC has a good number of modelers still firmly entrenched, very happily. There are even some amongst us still are building outside rail pickup and enjoying every minute of it. I can remember a couple of fellows, when I was a boy, using car batteries and rheostats. They later updated to power supplies, but kept their rheostats.

    I think of my childhood Lionel, and would certainly miss those sights and sounds of arcs when a pickup rolls along their middle rail. It's part of the mystique.

    Boxcab E50
     
  5. mogollon

    mogollon TrainBoard Member

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    Everybody has their own way. I promote radio control because I know how it works and how to use it. No, I don't care for sound effects or any of the other concerns that others have...consisting, light effects, throwing turnouts, signaling..after all, I am a narrow gauge operator and have no need for that. If I still was "traditional", I would be using dc and be happy, except that I wouldn't be able to have a layout like I have now. I can read all the pro & con views and not really get bothered by it all unless I read something that I know is not right. When I began using r/c years ago, I was blasted and cursed at by otherwise soft spoken model railroaders. "You must be crazy", "that's unnatural", "get back to trains instead of techno mumbo jumbo", and some comments that are not fit to relate. As I have stated, I love what I am doing now and if I was the only person using r/c, I could live with it. I do feel that it is the future however. Many years ago, a young fellow named Keith Guterriez was promoting his vision of model railroad control..he called it Digital Command Control..and Keith heard all that "unnatural", mumbo jumbo" jazz and otherwise good modelers put him down for not going with "tradition". Keith stayed with it and now has one of the oldest and most respected dcc companies around-CVP Products. And yes, Keith is now looking at r/c for small scales..he has it for garden scales already. Do what you want, I will still be here running on batteries and wireless and having a ball.
    Woodie
     
  6. sharriso

    sharriso TrainBoard Member

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    Good discussion. The RC aircraft guys had these same conversations several years ago. Now, small batteries and motors can do the job glow-plug engines used to. Some of us audiophiles remember reel-to-reel tape decks, 8-track, and cassettes. In both cases it was electric motor technology that advanced to the point where it fit the need and consumers adopted it. There are some small motors but they are not quite ready. Yet.
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Remember what came pre- 8-track? Four track.... Didn't last that long though.

    Boxcab E50
     
  8. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

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    ..Mogollon, I have the original RMC Mag with the whole story of Kieth G's original command control ..He looks like the actor Jack Black in the old black and white photos..!! To rephrase my initial thread starter, all I merely was asking is ' Don't ya all think it would be so nice if all the scales could successfully become battery ? The thought of it just makes so much sense as far as being closest to the the prototype in behavior..truly dead rails and frogs...that's all I was getting at..Thanks to all who did chime in...I asked for pros and cons and I sure got em' ..
     
  9. Schraddel

    Schraddel TrainBoard Member

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    Hello Folks!

    You want an RC controlled battery powered loco?
    At first let's see what we have now here.
    Take a common Diesel model loco e.g. one of this GP types.
    What you have here is an electric powered model loco which gets juice from outside, just like the real prototype electric locos from an overhead catenary.
    An prototype Diesel loco is still an electric powered loco, but has to store and carry all its power independent on the loco itself. In this case the energy carrier is Diesel fuel which is converted by burning in an motor and transformed into electric energy which then feeds the traction motors.
    That is the prototype.

    In H0 real Diesel engines are not yet possible, so you have substitute it by an extern energy carrier. The conventional H0 drive train is just like the drive train of an 1:1 electric loco. A concept to receive energy from outside which is in fact done by the rails.

    So, you want an independent powered loco with integrated energy carrier.
    Now you have an problem, better said some problems:
    - conventional drives are relatively big
    - they take much juice
    - sometimes they are really energy guzzlers
    All this features are never mind ones as long as you feed the power for your loco from outside.
    But...

    Yes you have to develop an complete new drivetrain:
    - small
    - high energy efficient
    - low current by higher gear ratios

    What is on the market now?
    The stanton drive is an example how an high efficiency drivetrain may look:
    http://www.nwsl.com/motors-power-drives/stanton-drive

    But for really efficiency you have to develop it further:
    - coreless coil motors
    - this coreless coil motors have to turn 12000 - 16000 rpm for their best efficiency
    - resulting in gear ratios to adapt to prototypical speed ranges
    - resulting in precisely meshed gears
    - resulting in precisely machined low friction bearings
    (- resulting also in $$$/€€€s)

    Now you have banned the traction motors into the trucks. The space under the hood is free to receive the energy pack.

    Want sound blasting?
    O.K. the speaker takes room, the PCB for sound also. So reduce the power pack to make room. Also reduce operating time as getto blasting sound needs energy too and not to few of it.
    But there is an big deal: Before you going deaf the battery flattens out...

    Want lightshow?
    O.K. LEDs are stringend, better low current LEDs.

    That are some thoughts of me for battery powered H0 locos.
    Gentlemen your opinion please.

    Greetings Lutz
     
  10. homertrain

    homertrain New Member

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    I am in the do it club......club layout that I am a member of has spent and continues to spend a large of amount of cash to keep up a dc and dcc system...cleaning track never stops, wiring problems over the years as the club room heats up and cools down, yes, some of it is poor soilder joints....
    my son has a race care that can go out of sight with battery....we can't go 75 ft???
     
  11. Stonewall

    Stonewall TrainBoard Member

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    I wish something like that were possible in HO, but NOT for the reasons you might think. If the tracks were not powered, then the layout could be built OUTSIDE. No more space restrictions. Whatta concept.
     
  12. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Why is that a restriction on building outside? G scale has in the past and sometimes is now track powered.
     
  13. Stonewall

    Stonewall TrainBoard Member

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    thats true, YoHo. But by having to go to larger scale, you are again putting on SIZE restrictions on the layout. Bigger trains, smaller area to run them. No different than inside the house, smaller trains, smaller rooms, still not room to model something elaborate.. I guess there is NEVER enough room.
     
  14. mogollon

    mogollon TrainBoard Member

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    You could go outside with HO powered by onboard batteries & radio control. My HO friends who have r/c locos can run on my outdoors layout, their nice locos might not like my wavy and curvy track, but they would run. Making an HO layout with r/c is not a really big deal, it is making scenery, structures, details that can stand up to being outside. You HO steam guys may like to know that r/c can be installed in Spectrum's 2-8-0(and others), Mantua's 2-6-2 and other locos, Athearn diesels (with dummy trailer loco carrying the equipment), and many other locos and with the ultra tiny li poly's and little r/c boards, an HO railcar might be possible. Imagination and willingness to experiment is all it takes. This can be discussed to death, but life is too short for discussion, work needs to be done. Have fun and run a train today.
    HAPPY LABOR DAY
    Woodie
     
  15. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    But, why do you have to go to larger scales?
    Just put some noalox or Oxguard on the track and go outside?
    The only reason not to go outside is because HO wouldn't look as good in a garden setting, because you can't do the bonsai small enough. Battery operation won't fix that.
     
  16. mogollon

    mogollon TrainBoard Member

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    YoHo-I have a sectional layout in the yard, not a "garden layout" running through the flower bed. As for scale? Well, I love 2 foot gauge and in my scale, 16.5MM gauge works out to be...2 foot gauge. Just because I am in a larger scale doesn't mean that HO can't be done with r/c-outside. To each his/her own.
    Woodie
     
  17. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oh sure, I agree it could be done, I just don't see why you NEED R/C battery. Track power could work, this should not be limitation for going outside.


    I'm not saying R/C is bad, just that that's not a limitation.
     

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