MRC Tech II Railpower 1400 Power Pack & Walk-Around Control?

Kisatchie May 9, 2022

  1. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    I have an MRC Tech II Railpower 1400 power pack that I'll be using for my still unbuilt layout (9' x 10'). Is there any way I can use a walk-around control with it so I can follow my trains around the layout?

    I'm an electricity-impaired person, so I definitely won't be able to build it myself.

    Thanks for any info.
     
  2. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    I'm only aware of one option for you. aristocraft controller - Bing images And you'll have to search high and low to find one. Our club uses these for non-DCC use and they work quite well. But you'll probably spend several times more for one than you did for the MRC Tech2. Using this, your MRC becomes the power source for the remote, so you would probably just set the MRC to max and all control on the layout would be by remote. I'm sure there are plans out there that would let you build something, but you said that isn't an option.
    You've probably already heard this, but if you are just starting out, unless you already have a bunch of equipment, it would probably be cheaper to go DCC. If you went DCC, most manufacturers have an option (usually Wifi) to run remote and still keep the base unit active. I have an MRC system (actually 2.....an Elite that's on my home layout and a cheap starter set that I take to train shows and such) and MRC sells a Wifi adapter that just plugs into one of the controller ports on the base (no complicated wiring). You download an App onto a device (I use a couple of old tablets) and you can run the trains off the device. I have mine set so I can run 2 different trains with each device. I also like it because when friends come over, they can just run trains with their phone (yes I'm mean and made them all download the app to their phone if they want to run trains, but it's a free app so noone has complained). Saved me from having to buy a bunch of Remotes for the DCC system (at $250 a pop).

    Just saw this Aristo-Craft ART-5480 Basic Train-Engineer Controller & Receiver for G-Gauge | eBay It's a cheaper version of the one I posted above. I have no experience with it, but it IS from the same company. Don't let the Gscale designation fool you......it's power is limited to whatever power supply you hook it to........The G scale designation just lets you know it will handle the higher power demands of a G scale loco.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
  3. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, Dave.

    DCC is out of the question for me! I have 10 older Atlas locos, so I'm not even sure there's enough room in them to fit a decoder. Also, I absolutely hate having to do anything that even remotely resembles programming. I know just enough to use my home computer to do the stuff I want to do. I'm 71 years old, and I never caught on to modern technology. My loss, I know... :LOL:
     
  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    This old Troller is a good bet if you can find one. It's what I use. It dates from the 1980s, connects to AC.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    I vaguely remember the troller (or something similar) Isn't it tethered ? I remember on one version you could unplug the controllers and move to a new location without disturbing the operating trains. This might work if you put a long enough tether on it to reach around a 9 X 10 layout.
     
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  6. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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  7. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    Do you have a smartphone or tablet? The Kato Smart Controller connects to either one through Bluetooth to give you DC walkaround control. I'm probably going to get one for my DC test layout.
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Back in the era of that Troller walkaround, (I had one), and up into the early years of the N magazines, there were many articles on building (tethered) throttles. I still have one and the power supply built as well. That hand held had one flaw, heat.

    I cannot think of their name, but isn't there still an outfit in Canada(?) which offers DC walkaround kits?
     
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  9. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    No, I live in the technological stone ages :ROFLMAO:
     
  10. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    I still have a tethered throttle floating around some place......I think I had it set up to run off the wallwart from a Bachmann controller. It only had a throttle dial and direction control as I remember. I'd be glad to part with it if I can find it.
     
  11. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, you're right -- it is tethered. I neglected to think about @Kisatchie 's layout size.
     
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  12. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Here's one I found you can get in kit form or finished for 45 bucks. Connects to the AC output of your 1400 and then to track. It's 8' tethered but if located strategically, may work with a 9' x 10' layout or maybe the cable could be lengthened.

    http://www3.sympatico.ca/kstapleton3/851.HTM

    Doug
     
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  13. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, Doug! It looks like just what I need.
     
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  14. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Found mine........it's the same unit as Doug linked to. No instructions though. I have it connected to a 4 pin phono mic plug. I'm sure it's 2 wires in and 2 wires out. Did the mic plug because it has a screw collar for solid connection, and having it on the plug let me move it to the opposite side of the layout. Had to shut everything down to move it, but if you wanted to stop a train on the far side, then move, you had the controller on the other side to do switching.
     
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  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    This is the one I was trying to remember. (y)(y)(y)
     
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  16. Soppy

    Soppy New Member

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    Take a look at LocoFi . It uses wifi with an android phone or tablet for control and a wifi module in the locomotive. It will work with a DC system. Al that is required is an app for your phone and the installation of their module inside your locomotive. The modules are quite small and should fit in most locomotives.
    As for a wireless remote for your present controller , I'm not aware of anything commercially available.
     
  17. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Is it possible to convert the android phone if it's not connected to the poor service. I use a simple flip phone.
     
  18. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    It depends on the vintage of your flip phone. My last flip phone would allow me to download apps........it was next to impossible to use them, but you could get them onto the phone. When that phone started having problems, I found you could still get flip phones, but they were twice as much as a nice smartphone.
    Soppy's suggestion sounds like it would work, but Kitsatchie already said he didn't want to attempt installing DCC in his older locos, so he probably wouldn't want to install Wifi modules either. I hadn't heard about that option before, so thanks for pointing it out.
     
  19. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I won't use the flip phone. Just the Smart A phone that I gave up on. It did connect to WiFi and BlueTooth.
    Both take lousy pictures and the desk top computer will not accept them.
     
  20. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure about the system Soppy is talking about, but I have a DCC system that uses Wifi.......there's actually a server that plugs in to the DCC base, and the phones/tablets/laptop/desktop talk to that. It doesn't use the house Wifi at all. So if it works the same way, your phone should talk to it even if it isn't activated. I'll have to dig out an old phone and see for sure.......I've been using a couple of old tablets (they're about the size of a large phone).
     

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