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As a fairly new follower of this forum, I hesitate to contribute to what are clearly extremely well informed threads, but it seems to me that the true impact of 2.4gHz radio control for model railways has in some ways been overshadowed by the means of it's implementation.

For example, much has been discussed about various types of batteries, integration of sound cards, compatability with DCC, and so on, but not so much about the way in which the absence of the need for power from the track might affect things in the future, and it seems to me that this feature is the most notable departure from present practice, and the one most likely to bring about significant change.

At this point I should be honest, and say that I have no interest in large layouts or operating full size timetabling with twelve coach expresses, nor do I feel the need for a large number of varied locomotives and rolling stock - model railways are all things to all men (or boys!), and I understand that my own preference for what may best be described as "scenic shunting puzzles" is not to everyone's taste. However, it's in this area that my admittedly limited experience lies, so what follows is based on that.

Of course, the fact that the train is now carrying it's own power quite independently of the track it runs on, brings it enormously closer to the real thing, but it also obviates the need for shiny, conductive rails, insulated wheels with electrical wipers, and the conductive switching of points. Little used branch lines, dockyard sidings, industrial yards etc, can now be portrayed in all their rusted glory .

Rails could be made from mild steel extrusions,  turned steel wheels running in bronze bearings - or carbon fibre wheels in ceramic bearings, for the speed merchants(!) The possibilities are considerable, once freed from the electric track, and I think that R/C has the potential to completely alter the present technical concepts of a model railway.

As for functionality beyond loco control, point and signal operation can be easily handled by R/C, including signal arm bounce, and servo operated level crossings or barriers complete with light signals are as easy, or easier than DCC. Many recievers also have an output from an infra red emitter built in, so position detection within a layout seems to be reasonably straightforward, and following on from this is the possibility of "moving sound" using decent speakers triggered by IR detectors, making authentic sound a possibility at last.

Another possible route to more realistic sound might be a second receiver, bound to the same transmitter channel as the loco but mounted externally, driving a separate sound system and responding in exactly the same way as the loco receiver to load and speed.

Lastly, it's possible to get a simple system up and running without a huge outlay, and I attach a photo which appears to show a pannier tank pushing a couple of 12 ton vans in the yard, but in fact the loco has no motor or drive train - one van is propelled by a little Mashima motor driving a High Level gearbox, controlled by a Deltang receiver,  the other one has a rechargeable 9V Ni-mh PP3 battery and charging circuit.

The defunct loco was bought for a song, and as for the motive power, the battery came from Lidl, the motor & gearbox out of the spares box; the unpainted vans were a fiver each, complete with Kadees, and all together cost just a whisker over fifty quid. Not as cheap as some of the pioneering work described elsewhere in this forum, but a lot of fun, no shiny rails to be tamed - and when not coupled to the loco, the motor vans can do a bit of loose shunting as well.
 

post-28779-0-42426900-1504683308.jpg

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I agree. There's vast potential for new and imaginative ideas. I haven't got anything working yet, but already I can see many interesting possibilities.

 

I'm working on an Arduino based system, which gives me a huge amount of flexibility to use "conventional" RC for locos, and also for operating the layout, plus the potential for full or partial automation. A complete "Intranet of Railway and Non Railway Things" is possible, with trains, track, sound, animation and anything else on a layout working together, with a mix of operator and automated control.

 

I like your wagons pushing a dead loco idea. I'm wondering how to squeeze the electronics into a working Bachmann Pannier. It will be running on a Timesaver shunting puzzle, so in theory there's not room for it to be permanently coupled to a wagon, although it may be a short term solution I can investigate. There would be plenty of room for everything in a brake van, with just two wires to the loco.

 

With very small wireless video cameras available, another idea is real "cab control", where the operator could drive a loco from a screen on the wireless handheld control panel, displaying a real driver's eye view of the layout. It would be a great way to operate my layouts in winter, as my office/modelling room is easy to heat, but the layout room isn't, so I could sit in comfort operating a layout!

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I agree with Spotic's comments.

 

We tend to talk about the details of how to implement radio control because that is where we are with its development, but that is not the real point.

 

For me, the big thing about radio control is that it allows locos to be driven using their on board power, without relying on track power at all.

 

This means that, just like the real thing, you turn on the power and the loco moves off. No iffs, no buts, no hesitation, no need to prod the loco or tap the baseboard to get it moving, it just moves. This gives a completely different driving experience, not just a confidence boost but a different perspective, you just think about where the loco is going. It also allows the loco to be driven at realistic slow speeds without worrying about it stalling on a dodgy bit of track.

 

This is why when I demonstrate radio control at shows I like to get people to try driving the locos for themselves, because that is where the real difference lies.

 

Then there are the new possibilities of weathered track, or wooden track, and of being able to design track layouts unconstrained by the need to avoid short circuits in things like triangle layouts.

 

Not to mention the fact that you will not need to clean the track!

 

Frank

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It also allows the loco to be driven at realistic slow speeds without worrying about it stalling on a dodgy bit of track.

I wonder how many people know what a realistic speed is? I'm hoping to put a driving wheel speed sensor on my RC locos, and as two way communication is possible with the nRF24L01 transceivers I'm using, send the data back to the controller. I should also be able to set the required speed on the controller, and the loco will maintain it.

 

That does raise the issue of "scale" speed though. I think scale speed is correctly calculated by multiplying wheel circumference by the number of wheel rotations per hour, and dividing by 1 mile divided by the scale ratio (43.5 or 76.2 for me). In consistent units of course! But as we compress distance on our layouts, that means that if it takes, say, a minute for a loco to run the length of a real run round loop, it may only take our model loco running at the scale speed 30 seconds. If we make our model take a minute, it will be running at half the scale speed. So either the move takes half the realistic time, or the loco runs at half the speed it should.

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I wonder how many people know what a realistic speed is? I'm hoping to put a driving wheel speed sensor on my RC locos, and as two way communication is possible with the nRF24L01 transceivers I'm using, send the data back to the controller. I should also be able to set the required speed on the controller, and the loco will maintain it.

 

That does raise the issue of "scale" speed though. I think scale speed is correctly calculated by multiplying wheel circumference by the number of wheel rotations per hour, and dividing by 1 mile divided by the scale ratio (43.5 or 76.2 for me). In consistent units of course! But as we compress distance on our layouts, that means that if it takes, say, a minute for a loco to run the length of a real run round loop, it may only take our model loco running at the scale speed 30 seconds. If we make our model take a minute, it will be running at half the scale speed. So either the move takes half the realistic time, or the loco runs at half the speed it should.

John,

 

A useful little speed calculator is here: http://www.modelbuildings.org/free-scale-speed-calculator.html

 

This has always been an issue for me - real life train speeds, except on main lines, even now, are often far less than we imagine, and in earlier eras even slower. An un-fitted goods train rarely exceeded 25mph, and even though marked XP, vacuum fitted 10ft vans often became unstable at more than 50mph, and in the 1960's BR introduced a blanket 40mph restriction on them to curtail accidents.

 

In a yard or loco shed environment, often little more than a brisk walking pace, say 5mph, and most Gronks (08's) were governed to 15mph max, although there were a few that had a 25mph top speed. In my view, nothing spoils a well built model railway as much as seeing the trains tearing round impossibly tight curves at speeds approaching Mach I !

 

Same with starting and stopping, - if there were actually passengers in a lot of model trains, they would be constantly picking themselves up from the floor, due to the violent acceleration and braking !  A great thing about R/C is that it is easy to avoid this sort of thing.

 

Mike

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Rails could be made from mild steel extrusions,  turned steel wheels running in bronze bearings - or carbon fibre wheels in ceramic bearings, for the speed merchants(!) The possibilities are considerable, once freed from the electric track, and I think that R/C has the potential to completely alter the present technical concepts of a model railway.

 

 

Whilst being fully aware that RC removes the need to be tied to conductive rails; your well made point leads me to realise that the opportunities extend much further into the depths of unusual railway prototypes. The one that springs to my mind is for a 'pole railroad', for which the prototypical novelty is huge. 

 

Im1886V61-p214.jpg

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The big issue in BPRC is the issue of standards, NMRA effectively made DCC the standard, because of its reach .  The same type of " clout " is needed in BPRC 

Is it? I can see the need for standardisation to commercialise it, but doesn't that also risk stifling innovation? I was originally going to buy a Deltang system just for my O gauge layout, as it's too expensive (for me) to use on my other layouts as well. Discovering how a low cost system can be creating using Arduinos has made a huge difference to my ideas and ambitions, that are now only limited by my abilities, rather than my bank balance and what's available commercially.

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Is it? I can see the need for standardisation to commercialise it, but doesn't that also risk stifling innovation? I was originally going to buy a Deltang system just for my O gauge layout, as it's too expensive (for me) to use on my other layouts as well. Discovering how a low cost system can be creating using Arduinos has made a huge difference to my ideas and ambitions, that are now only limited by my abilities, rather than my bank balance and what's available commercially.

 

I cant agree, standards mean commercial producers can be sure that they arnt re-inventing the wheel and protects users from dead-end products. while right now, DIY is fine , for any sort of non-niche uptake, we need standards from a body with certain clout 

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I cant agree, standards mean commercial producers can be sure that they arnt re-inventing the wheel and protects users from dead-end products. while right now, DIY is fine , for any sort of non-niche uptake, we need standards from a body with certain clout 

With track power I can see the need, but is it necessary for rigid standards when locos are independent? I could run my DIY equipped locos alongside your Deltang equipment, as long as I have my own Tx and charger, and we make sure we're on different frequencies. I can see a need for a basic standard used by all RTR manufacturers, so beginners and non technical users can mix locos and controllers, but there's still room for specialist systems at all levels of sophistication, from very simple and basic, to highly complex. Plus any number of DIY and minority systems.

 

Dead end products shouldn't be as dead end as, say, an obsolete DCC system, as one owner can have several different systems in use on one layout. Just because it's not made any more doesn't make it useless.

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Most industry standards result from one of three methods.

1) Someone comes up with a brilliant idea, dominates the market, such that when competitive products come along, they are made compatible

2) Lots of people solve the same problem in different ways, and either by cost, superiority, convenience or luck; one eventually becomes dominant

3) Several organisations get together to create or back one standard so that they can together dominate a market - popular with technology companies.

 

I would say that Radio control (not railways specifically, but modern digital radio control) is heading a bit down route 2.

Deltang uses the DSM2 and DSMX standards, common to some other RC suppliers (I think its Spectrum's)

The allocation of channels to specific functions is already reasonably defined for road vehicles.

servos use only a couple of standard connectors,

and the micro drone / helicopter industry has pretty much standardised on a connector for charging the Lipo's (in fact the charge management chip inside the chargers come from only a couple of suppliers as far as I can see too.)

 

Therefore, what is left for the model railway industry / hobby, is to define the standards that are specific to our needs.

e.g. standard channels for regulator, direction, brake, uncoupling, sound selection etc.

Since there are few players in the market at this time, and little competitive advantage to doing things differently, there is a reasonable chance this could happen relatively quickly.

especially if everyone 'dabbling in the art' tries to implement a common standard, when programming allows.

 

So says the man who has deliberately broken away from the RC allocation of channels for road vehicles, but never mind.

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Some interesting comments here, - I like otherplanet's pole loco, I hope it is intended to run on "standard gauge" logs !

I think that standards for R/C trains are only important if you hope to be able to buy one RTR out of the box, as I am certain will happen in the future, but I am also certain that the arrival of R/C for miniature railways will come to be seen as the defining moment, when the many annoying compromises needed by track power, either DC or DCC, were finally conquered.

Meanwhile, I am happy to play around with ideas, and here are some more pictures of "Romulus and Remus", the fly shunting vans shown in the pic above.  (I first thought of calling them "Castor and Pollux", but my wife pointed out that careless pronunciation might lead to some confusion !)

This is the power unit, which is driven by the motor and gearbox from an abandoned  High Level L&Y Pug conversion kit. It has a 1:108 ratio so is ideal for shunting and precise slow speed operations. The motor/ gearbox is located by the axle, which was turned up from silicon bronze, and is rubber mounted  between the aluminium top plate and the cast lead baseplate.  The top plate carries the little Deltang Rx 63 receiver, here just stuck down with double sided tape, but this has since been mounted in a proper housing.

Initial tests confirmed that despite the massive lead baseplate, it couldn't pull more than a couple of vans without the wheels slipping, so I machined a groove in both drive wheels and fitted  rubber traction tyres and it can now pull or push a dozen quite heavy trucks without wheelspin, though it's never going to need to pull that many on a shunting layout.

post-28779-0-68267200-1505038095.jpg

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Look what you've started! After seeing your first post, it suddenly dawned on me that the quickest way to get a few RC locos running, would be to stick the batteries and electronics in a van, and just attach two wires and a connector to each loco, so I can couple the van to whichever loco I want to run. Then I can do the loco conversions gradually.

 

Just to make life difficult, I'm too tight to buy Deltang stuff, and want to get the electronics sorted before I start messing around with Lipo batteries. Trying to squeeze four AAA batteries, an Arduino Pro Mini, nRF24L01 transceiver, and a motor driver into a OO van is a bit challenging, but doable. Adding the connector (when it arrives), an on/off switch (when I find a suitable one), and a 9 volt step up converter (when it arrives from China), makes it even more interesting :). A smaller motor driver would help, but I'm saving those for the locos!

 

This is the progress so far. Next step is to unsolder the header pins from the transceiver, so I can fit it next to the Arduino. Then I need to start soldering, and when it works, replace the Blu Tac with something more permanent.

post-7091-0-77044300-1505039562.jpg

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Look what you've started! After seeing your first post, it suddenly dawned on me that the quickest way to get a few RC locos running, would be to stick the batteries and electronics in a van, and just attach two wires and a connector to each loco, so I can couple the van to whichever loco I want to run. Then I can do the loco conversions gradually.

 

Bravo, John! This is a quick way to get things moving, especially with tank engines where there really isn't enough room for a decent battery pack, drive unit and an Rx. I built this as a test bed for ideas, and it's by no means finished. My knowledge of electronics is pretty primitive, else I would go down the road of real home building, but fortunately the drone/robot world has produced some remarkable devices, and as long as someone tells me where to solder the wires, I'm OK!

 

This is the original set up of the battery van, a cheap 9V Ni-mh battery, with a very crude arrangement for switching and charging - I wasn't sure how well this project was going to work, so didn't spend too much time or money on it, and it has since been refined a bit. I built this as a test bed for ideas, and at the moment it's hard wired, but I plan to fit a tiny polarised plug and socket at the next stage of development

 

Cheers, Mike

post-28779-0-92035500-1505043796.jpg

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Bravo, John! This is a quick way to get things moving, especially with tank engines where there really isn't enough room for a decent battery pack, drive unit and an Rx. I built this as a test bed for ideas, and it's by no means finished. My knowledge of electronics is pretty primitive, else I would go down the road of real home building, but fortunately the drone/robot world has produced some remarkable devices, and as long as someone tells me where to solder the wires, I'm OK!

The two OO locos I want to convert are a Bachmann pannier and a Mainline 56xx. The Bachmann may need a new chassis or a major rebuild, but there seems to be plenty of room in the 56xx. My first conversion will probably be a Lima GWR Railcar, that has a fair bit of space. Then there are the O gauge Terriers, that I haven't looked inside yet. The big unknown is the O-16.5 locos I haven't built. My only O-16.5 loco is whitemetal, and I think I can do it, but I'm not sure yet. As I'm building a variety of small layouts, I don't think long battery life is essential.

 

I only discovered Arduinos in April, and have become a bit hooked on them since! The devious part of this plan is that I can make another body for it for O-16.5, and it will fit inside an O gauge wagon, hidden by a crate or tarpaulin! I thought of using a 9v battery, but whatever voltage I use needs to be stepped up or down somewhere. The Arduino is 3.3v, and can be powered by a higher voltage, but the Rx needs 3.3v. Most of my locos are old, and I'm quite happy to fit low voltage motors to them, and it's useful to see if any of the current 12v motors are usable on 4 or 5 volts. I'm not changing the motors on my O gauge Dapol Terriers though, and I suspect that 9v or so will be needed for them. The maximum input of the motor drivers is 10v. When the 9v converter arrives, I may fit a switch, so I can select battery voltage, or 9v (if it will fit!).

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I thought of using a 9v battery, but whatever voltage I use needs to be stepped up or down somewhere.

You are much more ambitious than me! I only have a single 00 gauge shunting layout, lamentably incomplete, which started out as DCC, but one of the neighbours kids managed to terminate the controller, and since I was fairly underwhelmed by the whole DCC thing, and the cost of a new controller was prohibitive, it remained untouched for many months, until I stumbled across the DT site.

I bought a receiver and transmitter from Micron last year, and haven't looked back since! You might like to have a look at the next photo about battery vehicles   ;-)

Here is the present version of the battery van, this time with a clever 9V Lithium - poly battery, which has a charging port for a micro USB lead, built in under-voltage and charge protection, LED capacity lights, and best of all, a claimed capacity of 800 mAh, compared to 280mAh of the Ni-mh, although to be honest, I haven't tested the true capacity. All the clutter on the top has gone, and I fitted a little slide switch to isolate the receiver.

These are nice batteries if you can live with 9V, not expensive - about £12 for two, delivered from Hong Kong, and they can be safely charged from any 5V USB device - lap top, phone charger, or mains adapter, and I imagine a similar arrangement could be useful in a loco and tender  set up.  I suppose if 12V (or any other) is essential, a little Pololu voltage stepper is only around £6, and about the size of a postage stamp, and will also eliminate voltage decline with discharge.

Also, how do you make these selective quotes from other peoples comments?

Cheers, Mike
 

post-28779-0-06907900-1505059071.jpg

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Here is the present version of the battery van, this time with a clever 9V Lithium - ion battery, which has a charging port for a micro USB lead, built in under-voltage and charge protection, LED capacity lights, and best of all, a claimed capacity of 800 mAh, compared to 280mAh of the Ni-mh, although to be honest, I haven't tested the true capacity. All the clutter on the top has gone, and I fitted a little slide switch to isolate the receiver.

 

These are nice batteries if you can live with 9V, not expensive - about £12 for two, delivered from Hong Kong, and they can be safely charged from any 5V USB device - lap top, phone charger, or mains adapter, and I imagine a similar arrangement could be useful in a loco and tender  set up.  I suppose if 12V (or any other) is essential, a little Pololu voltage stepper is only around £6, and about the size of a postage stamp, and will also eliminate voltage decline with discharge.

I went for AAA as they should be easier to remove for charging, and the holder can have the electronics attached. I didn't realise you could get USB 9 volt ones, so I could have it permanently installed. The space saved would have made it much easier to get all the bits in. Maybe next time!

 

Have you got a link for the batteries? I found various ones on AliExpress, but not the one you have.

 

12 volts is too much, as the motor drivers have a maximum of 10 volts. I found the Pololu 9 volt step ups, but then found Chinese ones for half the price!

 

 

Also, how do you make these selective quotes from other peoples comments?

Click "Reply quoting this post" at the bottom of the message you want to reply to.

You can edit out the parts of the quote you want to exclude.

Or click on the switch in the top left corner of the editor toolbar, and you can edit the code, which is what I did to split it into two quotes.

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Click "Reply quoting this post" at the bottom of the message you want to reply to.

You can edit out the parts of the quote you want to exclude.

Or click on the switch in the top left corner of the editor toolbar, and you can edit the code, which is what I did to split it into two quotes.

 

Brilliant! Many thanks. This is the link to the eBay seller of OKCells:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2Pcs-OKcell-9V-800mAh-USB-Rechargeable-Lipo-Battery-For-RC-Helicopter-Microphone/311905487080?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

The Pololus I use are adjustable output via a tiny potentiometer, up to 9.25V out from anything between 1.5 to 16V in, max current 2A, from this supplier:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/POLOLU-791-Pololu-Adjustable-Boost-Regulator-2-5-9-5V-uk/192163553891?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

Hope this is useful,

Mike

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Click "Reply quoting this post" at the bottom of the message you want to reply to.

You can edit out the parts of the quote you want to exclude.

Or click on the switch in the top left corner of the editor toolbar, and you can edit the code, which is what I did to split it into two quotes.

 

Brilliant! Many thanks. This is the link to the eBay seller of OKCells:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2Pcs-OKcell-9V-800mAh-USB-Rechargeable-Lipo-Battery-For-RC-Helicopter-Microphone/311905487080?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

The Pololus I use are adjustable output via a tiny potentiometer, up to 9.25V out from anything between 1.5 to 16V in, max current 2A, from this supplier:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/POLOLU-791-Pololu-Adjustable-Boost-Regulator-2-5-9-5V-uk/192163553891?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

Hope this is useful,

Mike

 Ok, I 've got it now! ;-(

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Thanks. I've added it to my Watch List for future use.

 

The Pololus I use are adjustable output via a tiny potentiometer, up to 9.25V out from anything between 1.5 to 16V in, max current 2A, from this supplier:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/POLOLU-791-Pololu-Adjustable-Boost-Regulator-2-5-9-5V-uk/192163553891?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

 

Hope this is useful,

Mike

Ouch! This is what I've just ordered from China. Slight cheaper!

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1A-high-efficiency-DC-DC-Boost-Step-up-Converter-2-9V-to-9V-Power-Supply-Module/32741222813.html

 

I was trying to fit a cheap Chinese MT3608 adjustable one, as I have one, but it was too big.

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I seem to have missed this interesting Thread.

 

One of the things I like about BPR/C now is that it is anti-establishment. DCC is yesterday's story.

 

The problem with standards is that they are great if everyone chooses my standard :)

 

Already it feels to me like the Deltang system is becoming a bit of a standard - and it is a little too closed for my liking. For example it is not easy to integrate it with a PC based control system. Of course the small size of the devices is wonderful. And it is possible, with a bit of effort, to adapt many of them to be programmed by the Arduino system.

 

One thing that seems to me to hold back development of BPR/C is the very small number of people with an interest in programming and electronics as well as model railways.

 

I find it strange that people praise the authenticity of a model train carrying its own fuel and are then prepared to put the power unit and/or the fuel in wagons or carriages.

 

I visited the Midland Railway Centre about a month ago and they were moving a train of old wagons around with an 08 diesel shunter. I had not realized it was possible for it to move that slowly. I nearly fell asleep waiting for one revolution of a wheel. That said, I am not at all convinced that a model railway should operate at such slow speeds (or at high express-train speeds either). I think we need to take a leaf from film directors and speed up some activities and slow down others.

 

Another thing that draws me to BPR/C is the possibility it gives for relatively low cost railway modelling - and this is another point against Deltang and in favour of DIY in my mind. However I am not suggesting that I could make the equivalent of the Deltang products on a commercial basis at a lower price than Deltang charges. And this cost issue is part of wider "complaint" that I have. The hobby seems to have changed from railway modelling to railway buying.

 

What first got me interested in BPR/C was my complete inability to get N-gauge locos to run without the hand of god. But I must acknowledge that other people get really reliable running with track power. And if you have reliable running I can understand why people may have little interest in BPR/C.

 

...R

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The hobby seems to have changed from railway modelling to railway buying.

 

Absolutely agree !   Sadly, this is part of a much wider commercialisation of peoples enthusiasms - it also happens in many other fields of interest - photography, sport, even cooking!

However, like you, I also take heart in the idea that BPRC is for now anti- establishment, but no doubt the accountants have an eye on things, and I'm sure it will be commercialised at some point.

I don't have your knowledge or skills with electronics, so I am happy to shell out for materially functioning devices that I can put together to get a working model, but I do understand that further developments rely on innovators having a restless attitude towards what is possible.

As for putting batteries in a goods van, I can see why it would rankle, but apart from taking up a little extra space on a small layout,  it also means that the huge benefits of trackless power can be enjoyed even with small locos which are hard to make autonomous, for all but the highly dedicated. All model railways involve some degree of illusion, and provided the vehicles are appropriate to the setting, I'm not sure that it's too much of a problem.

I think that scale speed is only an issue for large layouts depicting a main line setting, - for anything like a station or loco depot, shunting puzzle or shelf layout, slow speed and precise control are far more important, and I became hooked by the fact that BPRC provided exactly this in a way that I had never seen before.

As I said in an earlier post, I think these early days of R/C trains will come to be seen as the point where model railways changed dramatically from what has gone before. Exciting times !!

Mike






 

 

 

 

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I got into DIY RC after being inspired by Robin's "standards", but what I'm creating is incompatible with what he's doing, I'm pleased to say :). I'm not ready to program ATtiny chips yet, so am using Arduinos, and I'm writing the software to do what I want, not what someone else might think I want, or impose on me that doesn't really suit. I agree that it needs an interest, and some skill, in writing software, and soldering small components according to information found via Google (electronics knowledge/skill is going a bit far!) to do your own thing. However, a lot of people seem to manage to wire up very complicated looking DCC systems, when it's possible to use BPRC without even a single piece of wire being attached to the layout. Some open source software, and straightforward instructions written in plain English, should be enough for anyone who can wire a DCC or DC layout to get basic DIY RC working.

 

I must admit that Mike inspired me to build a van to carry the battery and electronics, but only as a way to get started, so that I can plug a variety of unconverted DC locos into it. It's not a permanent solution, or one I really like the idea of. I think there will be situations where it is the best solution though, for locos that are just too small, and perhaps also for trains that run in fixed rakes with the same loco.

 

Even DIY systems involve a fair bit of buying, but it's much more like buying components for scratchbuilding, so probably less consumer orientated than even kit building is, although I can see that recommending a kit of parts to go with open source software and instructions would be helpful in getting more people doing it. They could be bought at Chinese prices and put together and sold at something like UK prices for the individual components, and still be fairly low cost, or the builder could be given a shopping list to buy the bits themselves.

 

I suppose it's inevitable that business will jump on the bandwagon eventually, but that doesn't mean that we can't carry on doing our own thing, as dead rail insulates the loco from everything around it, except radio waves.

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The hobby seems to have changed from railway modelling to railway buying.

 

Absolutely agree !  .....   even cooking!

You got me there. I'm not sufficiently interested in food to go to the trouble of buying and stocking ingredients :)

 

Whereas I have lots of electronic components etc - many probably never to be used :) At least they don't have a use-by date.

 

...R

 

PS. I do wish they would replace all those food items on Radio and TV with items on model railways or programming. And the population would probably be healthier. :)

Edited by Robin2
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