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PenrithBeacon

Adventures In Radio Control

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 When I bought the components from Micron I made a choice that I would buy with wires already attached thinking that would make life easier. I think it has, but I didn't think about the other ends and how I'd connect them together!

I have now decided, after a good of thought, that I'll do the conventional thing of soldering them together and cover with a heat shrink sleeve. Job done.

One other matter arises, that of the fixed plug/ socket for recharging the battery. The Molex picoblade connector is small and delicate and has a tiny latch moulded into it making the assembled connector difficult to undo. A part of the solution may be to remove the latch with a scalpel blade but I was thinking that a slight, very slight, smear of silicon grease would help assembly/ disassembly which, by its nature, is going to happen every few hours or so. Has anybody tried this, does it work?

Cheers

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It may not be much use to you (sorry) but I use the ‘UM’ 2 pin plugs from Micron (just buy the extension leads and cut them in half). It’s an interference fit which can be made easier by trimming down the ‘wings’ on the side of the plug.

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I think the UM plugs/sockets and Molex picoblade are the same. They seem to have several monikers or do they?

Cheers

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A couple of my vehicles have these for charging, and yes, as already stated, reduce the size of the latch with a scalpel and secure solidly with epoxy or similar. Works fine......

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I know this is taking ages but I'm determined to thoroughly understand each step before I go further. I'm a bear of little brain.

The diagram is an amended version of Corbs showing the colours that Micron use for the wiring and where I need to physically connect by soldering.

The colour code:

R = Red

BK = Black

OR = Orange

GN = Green

BN = Brown

Y = Yellow.

The black blobs are soldered connections.

More later

Cheers

IMG_20200107_144317.jpg

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David's diagram immediately above looks OK to me.   Only comment I'd make is standardise the wiring colours, so black from Battery Negative to SPDT switch, and black from there onwards to the negative on the RX.  Perhaps use Black+Colour (striped) wire for negative on charge socket.    Then Red for Positive wires (as shown). 

 

Nigel

 

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I think standardisation of colours is desirable but the colours shown are the colours Micron use, I don't know why. It might help if in future I buy SPST switches unwired, that would also reduce the number of soldered connections.

Cheers

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Purely as a semantics issue, I'm not sure why this topic is called Adventures in Radio Control.  It seems to be about Battery Power.

 

Radio Control doesn't need battery power, but battery power needs some form of wired or wireless control. 

 

I think there is a false assumption that radio control and battery power are somehow joined at the hip, where in fact they are different separate technologies with quite different set of of pro's and cons for a typical model railway. Automatically combining them mixes up the advantages and disadvantages and can obscure the benefits (or otherwise) of using one technology and not both in a particular situation.

 

I think modellers should be aware of all their options.

 

Andy

 

 

 

 

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or call it 'Adventures in Battery Power & Radio Control' since it's about both? Otherwise you have the same issue in the opposite direction.

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I see this topic as PenrithBeacons personal adventures in radio control which should clarify matters. I just find it interesting and learn some stuff along the way

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52 minutes ago, wasdavetheroad said:

I see this topic as PenrithBeacons personal adventures in radio control which should clarify matters. I just find it interesting and learn some stuff along the way

I'm glad you find it interesting, so do I!

As to the relationship between batteries and RC I think they're pretty much symbiotic.

Cheers

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53 minutes ago, PenrithBeacon said:

As to the relationship between batteries and RC I think they're pretty much symbiotic.

Agreed. If power is arriving through wires or rails it is hard to see the need for wireless control.

 

...R

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You might have a hybrid situation, where current is delivered via the rails, but not in a continuous manner, for example only on plain track where engines regularly stand: MPDs, platform roads, yard headshunts, etc. This requires some form of energy storage, which could be in the form of cells or very superduper capacitors, but the control signals are delivered wirelessly.

This way, layout wiring is simplified and much smaller power cells can be used, even a single LiPo with a step up converter to power DCC or 12V motors.

 

Somewhere about the place, I have a couple of Triang “BigBig” Rustons. They are battery powered. They have just 4 wires used in them. They are controlled wirelessly. But not by radio. Nor by WiFi. Just digitally, mostly with a flick of my index finger....

 

The applies to my old Triang HO clockwork loco from Christmas 1969: that’s wireless, too...

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I don't want to hijack this thread, so expect this subject to come up separately later. But I am slowly getting around to putting real time video driving view into the cabs of my EMU's and streetcars.  Basically they transmit video, rather than receive control signals. But are powered via the track and OHLE. I may use the (free) receive side of the transceivers to take commands. Not sure yet.

 

Andy

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Fascinating subject. I'm surprised a manufacturer hasn't investigated simplifying diesel loco motors to use just one powered bogie as in days of old, thus creating space for batteries and receivers. Body shells could be highly detailed as now but the extra space could allow more features and lower cost.

With steam tenders it is even easier. 

I think there is a real gap in the market.

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10 minutes ago, Railpassion said:

Fascinating subject. I'm surprised a manufacturer hasn't investigated simplifying diesel loco motors to use just one powered bogie as in days of old, thus creating space for batteries and receivers. Body shells could be highly detailed as now but the extra space could allow more features and lower cost.

With steam tenders it is even easier. 

I think there is a real gap in the market.

Actually you can have 2 powered bogies and lots of room for electronics and batteries. I have converted a number of Lima Diesels and when you take the top off apart from the space above the bogie what you have is almost empty space. there is a rectangular block of steel so I replaced that with new weights made from lead flashing. Difficulties may arise with small prototypes.

 

the main manufacturers are unlikely to invest in re engineering their locos for the simple reason they can't see a return on their investment

 

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Also, if you were designing an RC loco from scratch, you would likely use lower voltage motors and avoid the complexity of higher voltage battery requirements.

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10 hours ago, Railpassion said:

 Body shells could be highly detailed as now but the extra space could allow more features and lower cost.

With steam tenders it is even easier. 

I converted an N Gauge Graham Farish Large Prairie to BPRC using a Deltang receiver,  a new DIY chassis and small motor.

 

Quote

I think there is a real gap in the market

The gap seems to be on the demand side. There are a few suppliers providing wireless conversion systems but there seems to be little interest. Buyers appear to be in thrall to DCC sound which does not impress me at all. One problem is at the club level where members want to be able to run their trains on a shared layout - that means the shared layout must be either DC or DCC (or convertible). And having gone to the trouble of building a complex layout with powered track it is harder to justify spending extra to convert locos for non-powered track. There is also the psychological resistance to abandoning the acquired skills to install cab-control or DCC.

 

One of the reasons I like BPRC is because I am too lazy to clean the track and I am not all that interested in actually running trains so the track does not get used regularly. On the other hand, I want to be able to run a train "now" rather than 30 minutes later after I have cleaned the track. 

 

Having said that I am impressed by how reliably trains run on many exhibition layouts - they seem to be so reliable that it is hard to see BPRC adding any improvement.

 

...R

Edited by Robin2

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