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Discussion Boards => Large => Topic started by: lrparks on July 19, 2007, 09:01:55 AM



Title: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: lrparks on July 19, 2007, 09:01:55 AM
I'm putting together a simple track layout and working on purchasing one of the Annie 4-6 locos. At most i will be adding 2 passenger cars and a caboose. I will only be running one loco and would like to be able to control speed, lights, and sound. Can you suggest a RCS RX TX combo that suits my simple needs? I like the ~14V ~3.5A battery setup altterrain has since it seems it will provide plenty of power for me. I'm planning on installing the RX on the tender. I just don't think I need the TX24.


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: altterrain on July 19, 2007, 11:01:37 AM
The Elite 3 is the system you want. I'm not sure what extra do-dads or  battery pack you'll need.

-Brian


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: Curmudgeon on July 19, 2007, 12:30:50 PM
Well, I hate trail cars.
I consider those to NOT be on-board, rather off-board.
How much run time you need?
2AH NiCads give about 3.5 to 4 hours on a 4-6-0.
I've done several BBT 2-8-0 Anniversary conversions with 4.5AH NiMH, and at 9 hours they are still going strong.

3.3-3.5 AH NiMH in sub "C" will also fit.
NiCads are cheaper and last longer.
The engineering manual states that NiMH have half the recharge cycles of NiCads, and I have definitely proven that in service!


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: calenelson on July 19, 2007, 01:12:08 PM
Dave helps me with all my RCS stuff, I did an Annie with all in the Tender (a sort of trailcar) and it works great!

It was a pretty easy conversion (w/ Daves' Help!)

I used the Elite 3 and the TX 24 (I began with the EVO and a 2 stick RC) would reccommend going ahead with the TX 24 and Elite to save funds in the long run!

cale


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: altterrain on July 19, 2007, 01:17:07 PM
Well, I hate trail cars.
I consider those to NOT be on-board, rather off-board.
How much run time you need?
2AH NiCads give about 3.5 to 4 hours on a 4-6-0.
I've done several BBT 2-8-0 Anniversary conversions with 4.5AH NiMH, and at 9 hours they are still going strong.

3.3-3.5 AH NiMH in sub "C" will also fit.
NiCads are cheaper and last longer.
The engineering manual states that NiMH have half the recharge cycles of NiCads, and I have definitely proven that in service!

Well, you don't like much, Dave  ;). I think he wants to stick it in his tender.

LR,

BBT is Barry's Big Trains. Barry manufactures 4-6-0 and 2-8-0 heavy duty drivetrain conversions for the ten wheeler body. Right now, the stock ten wheeler will pull maybe 4 cars with grades and 6 on flats. The BBT drives will pull many more.

-Brian


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: lrparks on July 19, 2007, 01:17:36 PM
Thanks for the info everyone.

I'm pretty much sold on the RCS system, but has anyone had experience with the Aristocraft Train Engineer system?


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: new G on July 19, 2007, 04:10:56 PM
lrparks
As I mentioned in a previous quote I am new to G scale RR, but I am planning on fabricating my own R/X and T/X to operate my locos, etc and I believe that by running the proper resistor in line from the track voltage to the R/X that I will not have to depend on any battery power for the R/X no matter what the track voltage is the proper resistor will decrese the track voltage only to the R/X, the loco's and another accessories requiring the full track voltage will still receive the full track voltage for opperation and I will not have to add weight with 11 or 12 nicad or nimh batteries and the only batteries that I will have to worry about are the T/X batteries and I am planning on using lithiom Ion batteries for power in the T/X, these should give me approx. 8 to 12 hours of operating time.
However this aspect is still in the research and planning stage, but I believe that this set up will work.


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: lrparks on July 19, 2007, 04:17:04 PM
That all sounds good new G, but  trying to get away from track power is one of my primary reasons for my switch to battery power. If need to run for extended periods of time I will invest in two battery packs and alternate charges.


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: calenelson on July 19, 2007, 04:27:20 PM
Lr, I have played with the AC unit, but to me, it's like apples and oranges!

I have been well pleased with the RCS and I say that here and elsewhere, every-time I'm asked.

In my Annie, with some pretty steep grades, I can run for a min of 4 hours (sound and light)...I assume I could run longer but that is about all the time I care to (currently) spend outside playing with trains.

(http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/calenelson/Battery/finishedtender.jpg)

I have also installed in a BMann Railtruck, and 45 tonner.  I am working on a Saddle Tanker and LGB SV Diesel Switcher.....All RCS, All on 2 TX 24's!

the pocket remote and cruise control are just two great benefits of the TX24 not to mentions real-time sound activation!

RCS just fit me the best! (my now 4 yr old son can use it like a breeze)...

New G, no offense please sir, but Aristo already makes a unit very similar to what you are intending to build (the original TE), why not save the time and expense?  In addition, RCS makes track voltage controllers too!


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: lrparks on July 19, 2007, 04:53:48 PM
Thanks for all the info. I am now trying to soak all this in and make a good decision ???. Looking like the Elite 3 TX24. Anyone have a good source for batteries. It sounds like NiCd or NiMh are good choices. I just need to decide what Ah I need. 2 Ah will get me, but I migh be greedy and get the higher Ah. The steepest grade I have is 3% while pulling the two passenger cars and caboose with my Annie. Anyone have a good source for batteries?


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: altterrain on July 19, 2007, 04:57:33 PM
all-battery.com has all types, sizes of singles, packs and chargers.
http://www.all-battery.com/ (http://www.all-battery.com/)
I should add to get 14.4 volts most use two 7.2v packs in series.

-Brian


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: new G on July 19, 2007, 05:06:53 PM
lrparks
I take no offense to any comments made on this forum, for it is a learning experience for me.
However the Aristo TE is a $182.00 item and I will be able to fabricate what I believe is a much better setup for less that half that price, the most expensive item in my set up will be the lithium ion batteries, at approx. $20 to $40 and requiring only 1 battery and the recharge time will be approx. 30 to 45 min., however I have not actually built this yet!, however I am confident that it will work as well if not better than Aristo's TE, quite possibly as well or better than anything on the market today.


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: altterrain on July 19, 2007, 05:41:31 PM
however I have not actually built this yet!, however I am confident that it will work as well if not better than Aristo's TE, quite possibly as well or better than anything on the market today.
and I have a nice bridge to sell you in Brooklyn!

(http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/wonder/structure/images/brooklyn2_bridge_1.jpg)

Seriously, Polk Hobbies/Aristo and RCS have been in the RC business for decades. I appreciate confidence but let's not make any wild claims until something has been built. Then let us know how much it costs and how many hours of work went in it.

-Brian


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: new G on July 19, 2007, 05:57:55 PM
allterrain
With all due respect to you and Polk, Aristo and RCS they are only in the business of selling and marketing not engineering and design, they leave this aspect up to the Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
I don't claim to be an electronics expert or engineer, but I do have some experience in fabricating R/C components for model R/C aircraft as that was my first love, however if my idea turns out to be a complete failure everyone on this forum will have my appology.


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: Tony Walsham on July 19, 2007, 06:40:34 PM
allterrain
With all due respect to you and Polk, Aristo and RCS they are only in the business of selling and marketing not engineering and design, they leave this aspect up to the Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
SNIP

Sorry to demur, but, with respect to RCS, that is simply not true.
The TX-24 and RX-8 are both made in Fiji by Elsema Pty Ltd. The TX-24 to my specifications.
Everything else in the RCS range is made right here in Australia by me.  Personally.
Research and design is also done in Australia by a couple of paid consultants and myself.


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: Tony Walsham on July 19, 2007, 06:44:38 PM
I'm putting together a simple track layout and working on purchasing one of the Annie 4-6 locos. At most i will be adding 2 passenger cars and a caboose. I will only be running one loco and would like to be able to control speed, lights, and sound. Can you suggest a RCS RX TX combo that suits my simple needs? I like the ~14V ~3.5A battery setup altterrain has since it seems it will provide plenty of power for me. I'm planning on installing the RX on the tender. I just don't think I need the TX24.

Thank you for considering RCS.

This is a Bachmann forum and whilst I certainly appreciate Bachmann permitting discussion of non Bachmann products here, it would be courteous of us to take specifics off the forum.
Please contact me offline and I will steer you in the right direction.


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: JerryB on July 19, 2007, 06:57:49 PM
new G:

Since you probably have a degree in RF and remote control engineering and design, I would suggest you review the use of resistors in power dropping circuits. They are not very desirable solutions for modern circuitry, as they consume large amounts of power, produce heat and (most important) do not provide a 'fixed' voltage for varying input voltages. Perhaps modern voltage regulators were not available when you got your training, but they are much more desirable for providing the fixed voltage from a variable or higher voltage source that an R/C receiver would require.

Your profile doesn't say, but I assume you are in the U.S.A. What frequency band do you intend to use? I think that will not only be of legal concern, but will also relate to power and range. Will you be seeking FCC approval? Will you also design a new electronic speed controller for this application? Just few minor points to consider.

Seeing your "new G", make certain you aren't working on solving a non-existent problem. Many frustrations folks experience with track power come from the inability to get consistent power through the rails (due to rail joint connections and distance), through the moving power pickups (rail sliders are non-prototypical visual items and catch on stuff like crossing and switches, while sliding wheel contacts are relatively fragile and unreliable). Add the fact that the rails frequently need cleaning. In order to supply consistent power to the on-board Rx and the locomotive motors, you will still need to overcome these problems.

A solution that many LS outdoor RRers have found is to completely replace track power with batteries. The batteries in my engines power the motor(s), R/C receiver, electronic speed control, sound system and lighting. They easily last through a long operating session.

As to transmitter batteries, my RCS hand pieces use a single 9V battery that typically lasts more than a year in actual service. Hard to beat just changing it for new in ~30 seconds. Why use an expensive and difficult battery technology to replace something as mundane as a 9V transmitter battery?

I'm not trying to dampen your enthusiasm, but IMHO, the system you are working on has several serious negatives that are already solved by the R/C controls many of us have installed. Do keep us informed as something new is always interesting.

BTW, your blast at RCS is totally unwarranted. Tony Walsham is the owner of RCS. He is in Australia and does the R&D as well as a goodly amount of the manufacturing himself. He does employ outside consultants and manufacturers for some of the specialized stuff, but he is both the designer and manufacturer of his RCS products.

lrparks:

The RCS charging jack can be used to alternately accept input power from the locomotive internal batteries and a battery equipped trail car. In operation, the batteries internal to the locomotive are the source of power when there is nothing in the plug, but if you discharge them, a trail car with batteries can be plugged in and operations can continue. TOC has batteries inside the logs on a log car and uses it if the guys are still on their feet after several hours of running his logging branch. Ask him, or look on the RCS site for the schematic of this setup.

Happy RRing,

Jerry


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: Curmudgeon on July 19, 2007, 07:33:56 PM
allterrain
With all due respect to you and Polk, Aristo and RCS they are only in the business of selling and marketing not engineering and design, they leave this aspect up to the Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
I don't claim to be an electronics expert or engineer, but I do have some experience in fabricating R/C components for model R/C aircraft as that was my first love, however if my idea turns out to be a complete failure everyone on this forum will have my appology.

I have a real problem with this statement.
And I mean a real problem.

One of the reasons I chose this for my railroad almost 16 years ago was because it was hand-made and tested by a native English speaker.
I also like through-hole components, rather than the mass-produced PRC and Taiwan stuff that's surface-mount.
I had a customer who did his own install, and two years later decided to drill a hole in his tender.
Right into the board.
Master Walsham said I'd never fix it.
Gawd, I love it when people tell me that.
He got it back two weeks later (had to get two parts from Walsham) and it works fine to this day, been 3 years.

I was talked into running a small biz selling and installing the line a little over a year after I started using the brand.
Walsham continually innovates, develops, has the product field tested by many (not only me) BEFORE it goes into production.

ALL units are usable with our first transmitter, latest, or any in between.

I also only use MADE IN THE USA LLAGAS CREEK TRACK.

When I can make a choice like that, I do, every time.

I am not sure what your hang-up is with people into this for the money.
I saw your post on the GR forum.

We concentrate on one product, various versions thereof, instead of multiple lines.

And, I do not ever have to treat my radio gear like a Brit motorcycle.





Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: lrparks on July 19, 2007, 08:54:42 PM
It seems much of this has gone to far, but I guess that's what forums are for. I started this thread trying to get a simple answer, but there aren't many simple answers to opinion based questions particularly when they are technical question. I am an engineer, but not electrical. Using my limited knowledge of electronics and many of the answers here I believe I can make a well informed decision that is best for me. Thanks again to everyone and I'm ending my part of this thread here. I normally talk Bachmann on this forum, but I have so many other questions since I am fairly new to this so thought I would draw from the knowledge that so many seem to have here. Thanks again.

P.S.
I may be talking to you soon Tony in another fashion.


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: Curmudgeon on July 19, 2007, 09:02:41 PM
Now that we're back to a reasonable discussion, be advised, many have thought items can be built cheaper.
If you pace a dollar value on your time of $0, yes.
To design, produce, sell and support is a different kettle of fish.

I have seen folks use the old two-step mechanical R/C car speed controllers and a servo.
Their trains are stop, hang on, and ohmygawd.

Have fun!

I personally, when starting and now, want something I know has functioned well, been tested, and I can go to a meet with a locomotive and KNOW it will function flalessly, and not have to worry if there are already 8 others using said control system.
I've had 20 trains at once on my railroad, never a conflict.
If freq and address are, you change an address code, and it's done.

The late Herb Chaudiere (CRANIS Garden Railway.....wrote dozens of articles in GR and others), designed and built his own radio control and sound.
Before he died, I did a Bachmann 4-4-0 with RCS, Sierra and batteries for him.
He was amazed.
It worked every time.
I ran his stuff, you never knew what was or wasn't going to work.
And he was a electronics engineer!

I spent many moons as an Electronics Technician, and I know what it takes to make a design work.


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: Matthew (OV) on July 19, 2007, 10:50:28 PM
Some other food for thought:

There's a big difference between the kind of R/C that will run a toy car or tank from Radio Shack at Christmas, and the kind of R/C you need to run a large scale train.  Sure, if all you want is some kind of speed control it can  be done .... but for most everything you do with a model train outside of the "Christmas Tree" environment, you need a bit more positive control than you'll get with the ususal R/C setup on a toy.  RCS addresses a lot of the issues that pop up with even the simplest of control situations.

Let's start with the most basic.  You control the direction and speed of the train by varying the voltage on the track.  Certainly, with a perfectly clean track, and all other environmental factors being equal, this works.... except that in the real world, there's always some kind of issue that seems to introduce obstacles into the power path... trains hesitate, stall on dirty spots on track or wheels, and the voltage isn't entirely free of noise and variation.... and trains don't always run smoothly.  To be sure, there are a number of systems that take advantage of the fact that having full power on the track and the variations made on board the locomotive do overcome some of this ... but clean track and wheels, and steady, noise free power are still very important.

When you try to make those speed adjustments with Radio control, you find that the obstacles to using "straight" track power cause havoc with many lower end radio control methods.... the arcing between wheels and track, and the electrical noise generated by power supplies and sent down the rail with the current can make it very difficult for an onboard radio to hear what a (usually)very weak transmitter is trying to say, particularly when it's a system that requires a continuous signal.  And... if the locomotive stalls on a dirty track or dirty wheels, all the signalling in the world won't get it started again.

So... we move to radio control with onboard batteries.  Now you have the throttle on board the locomotive, and batteries providing noise free uninterrupted power regardless of whether the track is mirror clean, or covered in mashed caterpillars ..... but we're not out of the woods yet.  You need a way for the controller to give instructions to the locomotive that it will interpret correctly regardless of changing position (relative to the transmitter) metal valve gear, extraneous signals in the area, and various electrical devices in and around the train .... and your kid's radio controlled monster truck's system simply isn't set up to do that.

So... the radios become digital... and send non-continuous instructions to the receivers....  signals become encoded so that you can have more than one train in use at a time,  and the interpretation becomes reliable enough that you don't need a transmitter that makes your neighbors' TV's go fuzzy.

We've had a number of folks come through who meant to build a better mousetrap ... and there's nothing wrong with that.  Provided the better mousetrap actually catches mice... and doesn't catch cats, start fires, or violate federal ordinances.  The manufacturers who have been in the business the longest have had the most opportunity to work all those things out ... and have done quite a lot of it ... which is why they've been around as long as they have.  Others have been very loud at the beginning, promised much, and delivered little .... ususally because they ran into one of those obstacles (that is, making something that works well, conforms to the various laws and regulations, and can be made in such a way that it's worth it to the makers to do so) and found that it wasn't as easy as it appeared when they first set out.  Others have found that selling such products before they've been properly built, tested, and proven (or, for that matter, even built at all) can be disasterous.

So ... if you want to build your own, more power to you, particularly if you enjoy that sort of thing.  Enjoy the experience... and tell us how you overcome the various things that pop up along the way.  But be careful to maintain a modicum of respect for those who have travelled the path before you ... some of whom even defined the path ... and be careful not to confuse well earned success with greed, or well researched and proven knowledge with arrogance.... it simply isn't like that.   Certainly, anyone can attach a gas engine to a wagon, and make a horseless carriage .... but that doesn't mean you're going to outdo the Ford Mustang as a people mover when you build one even if they do charge a lot more for a Cobra GT than you need to buy a wagon and a Briggs and Stratton.

Respectfully ...

Matthew (OV)


Title: Re: Question for Tony or anyone else on RCS.
Post by: sierra28 on August 03, 2007, 01:47:50 PM
Hi Tony     My name is Jay. My question is I am to find info on 2 G scale sets I had stolen . The sets were called  "Big Hauler" and the other was " Blue Royal'  What would have been the price of one of these new. Also what year did bachmann start making G scale sets. I would apreciate the info

 Thank you
 Jay Cullen  Sierra28