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| | |-+  Why Does Power Still Come through the Rails ?
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Author Topic: Why Does Power Still Come through the Rails ?  (Read 7553 times)
Cody J


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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2009, 05:58:39 PM »

One day, probably in the not too distant future, small watch type batteries will be powerful and long lasting enough to power your average HO scale locomotive.

Imagine.  No more wiring issues, no more short circuits, easy complex trackwork as wiring is a non issue.  The engine batteries could recharge on a recharging track or tracks.  Out in the open these could be your engine service tracks and in your staging, a simple section of track long enough to accommodate your longest engine consist.

If you are a modern modeller, track circuits on running lines are a breeze.

The cost of track could possible be cheaper as there'd be no need for electrical isolation.

Yep, battery power is what we should all hope for.



I am only 13 and so my layout is very simple and does not need special wiring. So I really like power going through the rails.

cody
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CSX Mt. Storm Subdivision- Freemont, West Virginia

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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2009, 11:34:11 AM »

Tiny, high-power batteries are right there with high-efficiency solar panels - the technology is "just around the corner".  The problem is still getting to that corner.  The large scale guys have NiCad battery packs that are big enough to power a loco for a couple of hours, but then you have to recharge the battery, which means the loco is out of service for however long it takes to recharge, or have another battery pack ready.  There is also the matter of complexity.  Battery power then means some kind of small R/C receiver/current controller gets added to the mix.  And in the medium run, you should be looking at the high-efficiency (and expensive) micro-motors.  And then you'll need R/C controllers programmable to the individual receiver frequencies for each loco. 

I think I'll stick with DC through the rails. ...  Wink
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Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2009, 11:37:01 AM »

Weren't the early Bachmann large-scale trains battery powered?  Huh?

Yes.  They ran on half a dozen D-cells or an optional rechargeable battery pack (probably gelled lead-acid.)  That was Bachmann's first foray into large scale and I suspect that their market research told them that users of large scale wanted something cheaper than imported large scale and something with batteries and radio control.  They were cheaper, a lot cheaper, than the competition and allowed many of us to get started in G-scale.  Unfortunately, minimal price meant the radio control was not up to the standards of say model aircraft radio of the time.  The motors were small (to conserve battery power) and tended to overheat when pulling more than a couple of cars up small grades.  I know I melted the motor mounts in a couple before I started adding fans to cool the motors.  But they sold huge numbers of sets with these locomotives in them, and I, for one, am grateful that they did.

Large scale has always been too, well, large for the spaces I've had and have available. I've often wondered how much run time those trains got before you needed either to replace or recharge the batteries.
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2009, 02:52:55 PM »

Run time depends on several things:
- state of lubrication
- number of cars pulled
- grade
- track radius
- type of battery

freshly lubricated pulling just the cars that came with it on flat track with 3'radius/6' diameter track and fresh Alkaline D cells, about 6 hours.  The same with typical NiCad D cells, about 2 hours.

badly in need of lubrication but still running, about 1/4 of that time.

using the 2' radius/4' diameter track that comes with the set, about 1/3 less time.

grade does not have much effect unless it slows the train to near stall on the upgrade.  I suppose this is because the extra power to go up hill is at least partially balanced by the reduced power going down hill.

With NiCad batteries, the voltage is low.  You may want to add an extra cell or two in the tender to bring them up to the same starting voltage as fresh alkalines.  Some locomotives seem to need that little extra to make their radios work properly.

Speaking of the radios, they are not very long range and it is possible to go out of their control range on a garden layout.  However, the design of the system is such that the locomotive will continue forward until it is back in control range.  You can use this to save on transmitter batteries by starting the train with the transmitter on, then turning it off until you want to change speed or direction.

Jim
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2009, 04:15:09 PM »

An added comment about radio throttles and range. Yes, it is possible to get out of range on a large outdoor layout, but even with shortened transmitter antennas for indoor use, my Aristo Train Engineer throttles are reliable to over 100'. That is on 27 Mhz.

The new TE Revolution is 2.4 Ghz and should be even better in range and "steadyness" of signal. I have one but have yet to test it.

Sheldon
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2009, 05:25:44 PM »

Train Engineer and Loco Link both have a lot more range than the original Big Hauler radios.  In part it is the narrower bandwidth, which also allows 10 different frequencies, each with ten digital channels, all built into one transmitter.  The old Big Haulers use two channels, both of which require different transmitters - one on 27 MHz, the other I believe on 49 MHZ.

I am anxious to hear how Sheldon's 2.4 GHz systems works.

Jim
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2009, 05:59:56 PM »

Dear Jim,

Too bad you live way up "north to alaska."

http://www.last.fm/music/Johnny+Horton/Honky+Tonk+Man%3A++The+Essential+Johnny+Horton+1956-1960

If you were closer to Sheldon and me we could play with his TE and block control, and have a few brewskis, EH ?

Hope things are well for you all, way up there in southern Canada !

Best Wishes,

Jack
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2009, 08:21:32 PM »

Hey Jack.  That would be great, eh?  Maybe with the new 2.4 GHz TE we will be able to sit in our living rooms and run Sheldon's trains from where we are!

Ya gotta love Johnny Horton.  My favorite is the Battle of New Orleans, even though my relatives were on the losing side.  We may not have won but we did get you to give your White House a new coat of paint. Grin

Jim
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2009, 08:08:49 AM »

Jim,

All the reports I read on the Aristo forum about the new TE Revolution are great. Currently it is sold with one style of receiver designed for onboard large scale (but it is small enough that it would work in most O or On30 locos). A number of guys have already posted good results using the current receiver as a large scale trackside receiver, so I'm sure it will work fine as a trackside rceiver in HO. There is unoffical word Aristo is working on both trackside and HO onboard receivers as future projects.

As soon as my currently busy business and personal situation returns to normal, I plan to do several tests with the one I have.

It is unlikely that I would change from the 10 channel to the Revolution, at least not right away, but it shows that the future of control systems is still wide open.

Battery/radio or track power/radio could dramaticly change the landscape in HO, solving problems of signal pickup, dirty track and reducing under layout infrastructure compaired to DCC.

Even with track power/radio on a large HO layout imagine no base unit, no radio throttle receivers, no boosters, no circuit protectors, no reverse loop modules, no or limited buss wiring, just a simple regulated/protected power supply for each zone. That might be worth installing receivers for?

Sounds like greatly reduced cost compaired to DCC and much simpler install on a large layout.

Sheldon
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jsmvmd

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« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2009, 05:36:34 PM »

Dear Jim & Sheldon,

I googled a search for DCS vs TE Revolution and read that the TE-R has an HP chip, unknown technology or speed.  Is that right ?  The new TE-R has a look akin to DCC, don't you think ?  I have not thought much about DCS since I got interested in TE.  Are they similar in any way or way different ?  Please, I am not asking you for a detailed cf, just a line or two ?  You guys have a lot of other stuff to do !   Grin

Best Wishes,

Jack
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2009, 06:07:30 PM »

Jack,

OK, only a line or two. Aristo is not talking on "how" the TE-R communicates but we can assume it is digital. The MTH DCS is also digital but not the same format as DCC. Others could tell you more and I have it written down somewhere, but don't recall the details.

Don't look for interchangeablity between these technologies. For one thing, by the time Radio like the TE is fully developed, DCC may be obsolete from a computer or electronics standpoint.

And as for DCS, that will never make any progress in HO if you ask me. Mike doesn't look ready to get in the decoder business and HO modelers will demand better interchangeablity.

But Aristo could do just like MTH, build a decoder that works on TE-R radio, DCC and DC. Only unlike MTH, it would have to actually work on those other two systems.

The TE-R does work a lot like DCC, but without anywhere near as much layout "infrastructure". Now it just has to be made small enough for all scales.

Sheldon
« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 04:31:03 PM by Atlantic Central » Logged
jsmvmd

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« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2009, 11:37:03 AM »

Dear Sheldon,

Thanks a million for the good information !  Looks like I will be staying with my cute little TE !

Mylargescale.com has nice plans for a 1:22.5 reefer, which I was considering building with Bachmann trucks and couplers to serve as a battery car with my Annie.

With my busy schedule at work and with kids, plus being tired at night, it will take me a while to get it done !  However, I am  going to print the pictures, gather supplies and get going.

Best Wishes,

Jack
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