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Experiments with Faller Car System


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  • RMweb Gold

Hi everyone,

 

For some time there's been a very basic Faller roadway on my layout – nothing more than a test track loop really.

 

I've finally bitten the bullet and started a re-build to try to make it do something more useful by adding alternative routes and other features.

 

 

The intention is to automate it with DCC control using the DCCar system linked to the RR&co +street module. Has anyone else done this?

 

The first bits are now taking shape, such as this bus stop. Turnouts and vehicle detection are working OK so far.

 

A road works with traffic control and a level crossing are also in the experimental stages.

 

Alan

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  • RMweb Gold

The DCCar system permits you to use a DCC system to drive your road vehicles just as you would your trains.

 

You can drive manually with a DCC handset, or you can automate in various ways.

The vehicles are fitted with infrared emitters on the back and corresponding detectors on the front, and this enables them to maintain their own separation. If a vehicle stops, others will queue behind it. When the first vehicle moves off, the others will follow.

 

There are lots of videos on you tube of this in action - just search for DCCar.

 

Back to the story so far on the layout – here's the basic tool kit for laying the guide wire

 

The special Faller groove cutter is expensive, but well worth it for the hassle and time it saves. I got mine second hand on Ebay, so it was not quite so much...

 

I run the screwdriver blade through the groove, then smear a touch of glue into it before laying the wire and pressing firmly into place with the roller.

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A very timely post Alan as I was thinking only today about the Faller Car System - and in particular whether rails embedded in the road (in your case a level crossing) would interfere with vehicles following the concealed direction wire. So I'll look out for updates on that one.

 

Another aspect I'm interested in (which you may or may not be investigating) - is how smooth the road surface needs to be. In this case I'm thinking about whether the system would still work on a cobbled road surface.

 

Either way - I'll be following progress and good luck :)

Edited by Southernboy
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  • RMweb Gold

A very timely post Alan as I was thinking only today about the Faller Car System - and in particular whether rails embedded in the road (in your case a level crossing) would interfere with vehicles following the concealed direction wire. So I'll look out for updates on that one.

 

Another aspect I'm interested in (which you may or may not be investigating) - is how smooth the road surface needs to be. In this case I'm thinking about whether the system would still work on a cobbled road surface.

 

 

Rails embedded in the road can be done, the Faller guide wire needs to cross the track at or close to a right angle for best results, and obviously, steel rails are to be avoided!

 

Many people have successfully done level crossings, the attached pic shows mine, which is still very much a work in progress. Test runs have shown that once in a while the guide magnet can get displaced from the wire by the slight bump that results as the vehicle crosses the flangeway. I've added the V shaped catch wires to pick up any wandering vehicles and ease them back onto the true path.

 

I'm not planning any cobbled road, but whether it would work would depend on the type of vehicles you want to use and how you intend to model the surface.

 

In my experience, larger vehicles such as trucks and buses tend to be much more tolerant of uneven surfaces than small lightweight cars or vans.

 

After reading your post, I did do a quick test with a sheet of stone sett embossed plastikard laid on the roadway. The surface was no problem to the vehicles, but the guide magnet could not follow the wire reliably enough through the thickness of the plastikard.

 

One approach that might be worth a try would be to use the scribed modelling clay method of producing the cobbles, with the guide wire embedded just below the surface of the clay.

 

Alan

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  • RMweb Gold

I'd be interested to hear how you have matched chassis from Faller to UK prototype model vehicles. I'm assuming Faller didn't start selling vintage buses all of a sudden :no:

 

No Faller don't sell them, they are all home bodge jobs.

 

The 2 RT double deckers were the original proof of concept test vehicles I did a long time ago when the Faller system first became available. They are plastic kits - Kiel Kraft I think.

 

The Guy GS bus is EFE and the post office van is another plastic kit.

 

The Pickfords Bedford TK is another EFE model and is my only conversion so far to have the DCCar gubbins fitted, so it has working head, tail and brake lights, working indicators, infra red distance control and and dcc operation.

 

The German tanker artic was a second hand Ebay purchase that is destined to donate its innards to the EFE BRS artic in the pic.

 

I'm still getting the hang of this RM webbery lark and have not yet worked out how to put pics in the body of a post (hints welcome). Once I have got to grips with that I'll post some howidunnits on the vehicles.

 

Alan

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Great to see this on here!. I've had a UK bus layout for many years with 7 working buses mostly using Faller Chassis. I've worked out how lay the wire, stop and start them, change the route, but stopping them running into the back of each other has always relied on my operating the stops in a timely manner. It's like trying to herd mice!

I'll be following this thread with interest!

Jon F.

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I'm really interested in this, particularly how you converted models of British vehicles to run on the system. My layout will have a good long stretch of road which I'd love to fit with a simple single-track (or should that be single-wire?) circuit, but unfortunately it is both cobbled and on a gradient... not sure if these would be ideal conditions for smooth operation! I've also considered the vehicles being cable-hauled via a discrete slot in the road, as the lower portions of the vehicles will be mostly hidden my a roadside wall. This might be smoother but it won't look great. Looking forward to seeing more photos of your work when you get used to the forum.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

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Guest Moria

Hmmm I would be interested to see how big the DCCar stuff is (means I have to go hunting on t'net as for N gauge use, I'm not sure that theres just enough room as yet. Certainly at this stage I feel it could only suit busses and large vehicles right now..

 

Ho hum, off to hunt on t'net :)

 

Regards

 

Graham

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I'm really interested in this, particularly how you converted models of British vehicles to run on the system. My layout will have a good long stretch of road which I'd love to fit with a simple single-track (or should that be single-wire?) circuit, but unfortunately it is both cobbled and on a gradient... not sure if these would be ideal conditions for smooth operation! I've also considered the vehicles being cable-hauled via a discrete slot in the road, as the lower portions of the vehicles will be mostly hidden my a roadside wall. This might be smoother but it won't look great. Looking forward to seeing more photos of your work when you get used to the forum.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

 

With the advent of strong neodynium magnets, I wonder if it would be possible to do a cable hauled system with one magnet on the cable just under a thin road surface and one on the vehicle? No slot, and if the magnet on the vehicle is very close to, but not touching, the road surface you will not get that polished line appearing after a little use.

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  • RMweb Gold

I'm really interested in this, particularly how you converted models of British vehicles to run on the system. My layout will have a good long stretch of road which I'd love to fit with a simple single-track (or should that be single-wire?) circuit, but unfortunately it is both cobbled and on a gradient... not sure if these would be ideal conditions for smooth operation! I've also considered the vehicles being cable-hauled via a discrete slot in the road, as the lower portions of the vehicles will be mostly hidden my a roadside wall. This might be smoother but it won't look great. Looking forward to seeing more photos of your work when you get used to the forum.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

 

Gradients are not a problem, within reason. They will reduce the running time per charge, and you do have to consider the weight of the model. Heavy die cast double deckers might struggle.

 

There are a number of layouts on the exhibition circuit with Faller based vehicles running up and down hills - Dewsbury Midland and Liverpool Lime Street spring to mind. I also recall seeing a layout based on the Isle of Man that had road vehicles climbing a mountain road alongside the electric railcars.

 

I'll put up some pics of vehicle conversions as soon as I worked out how to do so....

 

Alan

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Thanks for your comments Titan and Alan! Food for thought, but I want to avoid a heavy die-cast bus rapidly decelerating and accelerating when going over a hump-backed bridge. I might be asking too much!

 

Apologies for taking over the thread briefly.

 

Cheers,

 

Will

Edited by CWJ
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Tower models have produced several plastic bus kits in 'OO', besides the RT they made a Leyland National and Olympic double decker. A company called CMC did make two bus models, a front entrance East Lancs bus with a choice of about 5 bonnet/radiators and a Bristol Lowdecka as well as 3 plastic model van kits. Concept Models made a plastic model of an RF and a Leyland Lynx. All of these models have been out of production for some time but come up on e-bay quite frequently. They can all be motorised to run on the Faller system.

Edited by PhilJ W
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  • RMweb Gold

Here's a bit on one of my vehicles, the EFE Pickfords Bedford TK.

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As a dumb Faller vehicle, without the DCCar add ons, this conversion is about as easy as it gets.

 

The Faller donor vehicle is the standard box van as available from time to time in starter sets. The wheelbase and wheel diameters are a good match for the EFE model, so no surgery is required on the chassis.

 

These starter sets are a good way to acquire vehicles as the set price is pretty much the same as buying the vehicle separately, but you get a charger, guide wire and some other goodies included.

 

Remove the Faller cab and van body and you are left with something like this

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The front axle would still be attached, but this one has already been attacked with a razor saw for another job.

 

Remove the van body from the EFE chassis, drill out the rivet holding the cab in place.

 

The EFE cab and van body are a direct fit to the Faller chassis, with little, if any, fettling needed. All it takes is to make up some shims from offcuts of plastic or brass to level the components. The cab is glued in place, but the van body just sits on ledges glued inside, so it is removable for maintenance.

 

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The rat's nest of wiring would not be there on a basic conversion - this model has additionally been fitted for the DCCar system. The decoder is indicated with an arrow.

 

Here is a DCCar decoder alongside a normal Lenz Standard+ for comparison. It is pretty small, there are several different types and sizes available.

 

Wiring it in is pretty much the same as hard wiring a loco decoder. All those very fine wires are the lighting harness and are colour coded for identification. Each pair of wires has a tiny LED on the end. There are LEDs for head and tail lights, brake lights, indicators, and emitters and detectors for the infra red distance control system and DCC control reception.

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Here, in cruel close up, are the IR detectors mounted under the front bumper. The 2 emitters are mounted under the rear of the van body.

 

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And finally, the TK on the test bench, running under DCC control from a Lenz set 100, headlights and hazard flashers operating. The small circuit board on the bench drives the IR LED that is transmitting the DCC commands to the vehicle.

 

post-16170-0-19172300-1343408538.png

 

I'll put up details of some of the other conversions in due course if there's interest.

 

Alan

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  • RMweb Gold

Thanks for taking the trouble to post such a comprehensive description. I have been thinking about this for a while now and wondering how to match up uk model vehicles with the most appropriate faller chassis in terms of wheelbase and width. This one looks straightforward and therfore quite reassuring!

 

Thanks again

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  • RMweb Gold

Hazard flashers on a pre-suffix Bedford TK??!!

 

An astute observation, and a valid point, well put.

 

Suitably chastised, I've made a note NOT to test this function on my next model. :nono:

 

Alan

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  • RMweb Gold

An astute observation, and a valid point, well put.

 

Suitably chastised, I've made a note NOT to test this function on my next model. :nono:

 

Alan

 

On such a vehicle the indicators all flashing at once would be an earthing fault - as would one headlight going out when the brake lights come on, brake lights flashing instead of indicators, etc. etc. - worth modelling!!!!!

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