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I think that, for me, it was being at an exhibition and watching a beautiful 009 layout. The quality of modelling was superb, but it was all let down by the trains jerking and lurching around, seemingly driving faster than believable speeds so they'd be able to 'jump' the dead spots in wheels or tracks. 

I know that with the right maintenance and build standards, brilliant operation is achievable from DC or DCC, but RC allows me to be lazy, never clean the track (or wire it up), and have my little 'Skarloey' crawl around.

 

Actually, come to think of it, I think laziness has driven most of my decisions.
I have little to no interest in electronics (similarly why I can't be bothered with DCC), so I bought nearly everything from Micron to try and get as close to a 'plug and play' system as possible.

Edited by Corbs
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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.

 

 

John,

 

happy to hear that my plodding efforts have led you to what I'm sure will be more imaginative solutions, and I'm grateful for your links to cheaper sources of voltage steppers - I must not wave the credit card around with such abandon!

 

I thought very carefully about using a separate vehicle for the batteries, and the only practical arguments against were the obvious one of space in a small layout, and my inability to find some really small polarised connectors that were robust enough to stand repeated use.

 

The plus side is that the loco doesn't need too much butchering, and quite powerful batteries can fit in even a small van, giving running times well beyond my attention span (!)  As for the "philosophy" of doing this, it's what I meant when I said that R/C could change things significantly.

 

From an observers viewpoint, it doesn't actually matter if the battery is in the loco or not, what is important is that what he or she sees is a convincing display. Taking this a step further, it would be quite possible to run even express trains by installing batteries in say, a Siphon G or a GUV,  and indeed, it would be difficult to tell without close inspection if it was a motorised Siphon G that was  providing the propelling power, and the battery was in the loco !

 

I'm not suggesting that this would be a good thing, or even a sensible thing to do , nor that at least some of it would not be possible with track power, but I use it as an example of what could happen if model railways were freed from the dominance of just a few manufacturers, and we became more like other modelling spheres, such as model aircraft or boats, where there is a far greater range of techniques and scales than in model railways, and a much greater range of specialist suppliers.

 

Sorry if that sounds heretical, but I've long thought that mainstream model railways haven't really progressed very far beyond the toy train set, except that they are much better detailed and run better than Hornby Dublo, but it's still the same old one-size-fits-all mentality, everything must be RTR, and we are all supposed to go gaga when some manufacturer releases a model of a loco no one has even heard of, let alone seen, and expected to buy them up like grateful supplicants, as if there was no tomorrow !

 

Rant over! RMWeb in general, and this forum in particular, are a welcome antidote !!

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Spotlc
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I think that, for me, it was being at an exhibition and watching a beautiful 009 layout. The quality of modelling was superb, but it was all let down by the trains jerking and lurching around, seemingly driving faster than believable speeds so they'd be able to 'jump' the dead spots in wheels or tracks. 

I know that with the right maintenance and build standards, brilliant operation is achievable from DC or DCC, but RC allows me to be lazy, never clean the track (or wire it up), and have my little 'Skarloey' crawl around.

 

Actually, come to think of it, I think laziness has driven most of my decisions.

I have little to no interest in electronics (similarly why I can't be bothered with DCC), so I bought nearly everything from Micron to try and get as close to a 'plug and play' system as possible.

Corbs, how right you are!

 

(1) I know scale speeds have been endlessly discussed elsewhere, but taking a Gronk as an example, they mostly had a top speed of 15mph, which in 1/76 translates to travelling 24 inches in 7 seconds; at a shunter's brisk walking pace, say 5mph, it would take a 1/76 train 21 seconds to travel 24 inches, and at a coupling speed of 1mph, it needs 8 seconds to travel 2 inches.   Compare this to the absurd speeds often seen at exhibitions ! BPRC makes these speeds possible, given a good quality motor and a sensible gear ratio, like nothing else I've found.

 

(2) I don't think you are lazy, your Skarloey conversions are inspirational.

 

(3) I have also found Micron to be extremely helpful and understanding.

 

(4) I've "Thought Pipe" for the best part of sixty years!

 

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I have just returned from holiday - shattered.

 

I converted a Lima Gronk (with outside frames) and can get a nice less than 5mph with a Deltang and a single lipo. About 70 minutes operation with a 130mAh lipo is good.

 

I got a max speed of 126mph with a 9V Pololu but don't tell anyone!.

 

I have a 2-6-4 tank attached to a passenger brake as I could not be bothered to squeeze the stuff into the tanks. I could do it but my hands and eyes get more ancient every day and I had enough trouble with the Jinty.

 

Battery capacity is the key. Some mildly serious increase and everyone will suddenly start to take notice. Hornby might be really happy they kept the Lima moulds and power bogies while Bachmann may be frantically getting rid of all that weight they don't need any more.

 

ps - bullfrog snot is a good alternative to traction tyres.

pps - the sheer joy of no wiring.

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pps - the sheer joy of no wiring.

I'm just starting on a quickie O-16.5 layout. Normally when the track is laid, there's still loads of work to do before anything can run, but on this one I can start playing trains as soon as I've got any track down. As I'm using Peco track, I don't even need to wait until the point servos are installed.

 

Unfortunately, operation will start with a very basic digital wireless system (of the sort well known to kids too young to play with electric trains :) ), as my more sophisticated electronic system isn't working yet. But at least I've got a loco with no motor installed that I can push around the layout, as the 12 volt one went up in smoke, and I'm hoping to fit a 3 or 6 volt one instead!

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My dearest (swmbo) was watching 'bake off' (what a bunch of master baker$......). I started to do a mock commentary about a layout challenge type build atop of the programme. My other half-who quite likes railways-asked what I was doing. I told her that I was making a point. She said:-'....but a programme like that would be boring'. I said:-'.....you mean like bake off, strictly et al?!'

 

I model 7mm, 0-16.5 and SM32, I have bought some RTR over the past few years, when its cost & time effective to do so, as Im a lone modeller. But the main thrust is the joy of creating something, learning etc....

Edited by CME and Bottlewasher
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