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Author Topic: Frequency for Big Hauler battery powered 4-6-0  (Read 10914 times)
seigezapf

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« on: June 14, 2012, 04:14:18 PM »

I searched the forum for this and didn't find the answer yet.  I know the frequency is 27 MHz.  My understanding from R/C cars is that there are six channels at that frequency.  They are A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, and A6.  Which one does the Big Hauler use?  Thanks.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 04:46:56 PM »

Hi,  The early 1988/1989 Bachmann Big hauler 4-6-0 locomotives came in two frequencies 27 or 49 MHz.  Bachman has never claimed or announced any kind of compatibility with RC car frequencies, nor have I seen anything on the forum since it was started.  The only way I know of that you can find out is to get a transmitter capable of the six sub frequencies you mentioned and try each one until you find one that works.   You may not find any of them work, as a great deal changed in RC world since 1988. 

You are the pioneer in this subject, so please report back if you find any compatibility!!

Best of luck!!
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
seigezapf

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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 07:01:16 PM »

Thanks for the information.  Pioneer it is then.  I do have crystal for all of those frequencies.  It is outdated stuff as nearly everything of value is 2.4 GHz these days.

I am really surprised that one of the major G scale manufacturers doesn't offer a 2.4Ghz and Lipo battery option.  I'd guess the reason is that it would not be compatible with DCC and other favored operating systems, and you would need a transmitter for every train.  So I guess that won't happen.  

R/C just makes more sense for me so it is either make an old Bachmann R/C/ loco work or convert using one of the available aftermarket systems that are just a little more money than I want to spend.  If I convert it would definitely be to a 2.4 GHz system.

My belief is that those six channels are what were allocated by FCC for the 27 MHz frequency but I sure could be wrong about that.  Maybe they all will work as Bachmann's note indicates a 27 MHz loco can be operated at the same time as a 49 MHz loco, whereas vehicles with the 6 different 27 MHz crystals can be independently operated at the same time.  

I will report the results,  I should be getting a loco in the post pretty soon.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 07:04:09 PM by seigezapf » Logged
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 10:23:57 PM »

RC and battery power is big in Large Scale! 2.4 Ghz systems are out there for a couple of years now.  My 4-6-0's (all newer type chassis and drive train) have all been converted to Lithium Ion battery and a 2.4 Ghz receiver and transmitter.  Bachmann does not now make any of the newer RC control systems, but other manufacturers do. 

Still curious if one of the older crystals will work.
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
seigezapf

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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 10:52:12 PM »

As for the 27 MHz stuff I found the following on the Internet.

26.995 MHz - Ch 1 (Brown)
27.045 MHz - Ch 2 (Red)
27.095 MHz - Ch 3 (Orange)
27.145 MHz - Ch 4 (Yellow)
27.195 MHz - Ch 5 (Green)
27.255 MHz - Ch 6 (Blue)

"In many toy-grade vehicles the specific channel within the 27MHz range is not specified and unchangeable making it more likely that two or more 27MHz vehicles operating in the same area will experience crosstalk or interference. The most common fixed frequency for 27MHz toys is channel 4 (yellow) at 27.145 MHz. RC toys with selectable bands (usually 3 or 6) generally have a selector switch on both the vehicle and the controller that let the operator select a different band or channel (designated by letter, number, or color) so that two 27MHz toys can play together."

The channels are different in Australia and in the UK, but I would think that Bachmann would have to use the US standard for locomotives sold here.

I hope to get an R/C Bachmann Loco by this weekend and will let you know how my testing goes.  From what i understand, the receiver and speed control are both on the same board so it might be difficult or impossible to upgrade just the receiver to 2.4 GHz.  Also they would not have a lipo cutoff circuit, so would be limited to Alkaline, NiCad or NIMH batteries.

I am very interested in your conversions.  Electronics made for R/C cars - especially ESCs - seem like overkill as far as motor capacity while only handling 2S or 3S lipo batteries (11.1 V max).  The most promising source for large scale trains that I have found is Remote Control Systems in Australia - but still, even with the Planet Tx and Hobby King lipos it looks like well over $100/locomotive.  What system did you decide upon and how difficult was the conversion?  Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 10:59:31 PM by seigezapf » Logged
Tony Walsham

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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 04:24:36 AM »

Welcome to battery R/C.

Yes indeed the specialist R/C ESC's I make are more expensive than those designed for cars, boats and planes.  That is because they do much more than the simpler ESC's.  For a start they can handle 24 volt input.  They have reversing, unlike some ESC's that do not.  They also have constant brightness directional lighting outputs and four sound triggers.
That is just the hardware.  They offer programming options for various types of locos, assign sound trigger outputs to either momentary or latch ON - OFF.

BTW, you can assign (as in bind) as many RX's (locos) to one TX as you wish.  What you cannot do with RCS ESC's using 2.4 Ghz stick radios, is run multiple locos controlled independently from one TX.
Actually if you can keep track of what one loco is doing, you might be able to control two independently on the one track.  Any more, forget it.
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Tony Walsham
Founding member of the battery Mafia.


(Remote Control Systems).
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 08:21:20 AM »

I would not waste money on the old radio controlled 4-6-0. The plastic wheels alone are a major detriment and the loco itself is not all that great a runner.  Unfortunately the Large scale train hobby is expensive and you are not likely to find low cost solutions in the RC or sound aspect of it. 

You are correct that there is no cutoff protection circuit in the 4-6-0 for Lipo or other lithium battery chemistry.  The boiler is designed to hold D Cell alkaline batteries, and if your 4-6-0 is complete you get a small wire harness with a connector that allows use of a Nicad or Nimh battery pack.

I use only Anniversary 4-6-0's with a working backup light.  These are great runners and my first one from 2000 is still running like a fine sewing machine.

The RCS system is a good system, but I use the Aristo-Craft 2.4 Ghz Revolution.   It is an easy conversion.  Cut two wires on the loco to isolate the motor from the track.  The rest is done in the tender. Modify the tender to allow removal of the coal load and cut out the plastic on the top of the tender under the coal load to allow battery changes from the top. Cut the wires to the rear light, connect the two from the loco to the motor output on the receiver.  connect the wires from the rear light to the light output on the receiver. Add a connector ( I use a mini Tamiya) of your choice to the receiver battery input terminals.  Use your favorite battery pack connect it and you are done. I use a pack made up of 4 2600 Mah 3.7 volt Lithium Ion batteries. The 14.8 volt output is perfect for this locomotive, and gives great run time.  The revolution has sound triggers if you want to go that route. Adding sound to the above is also relatively easy.  connect the chuff sensor, then connect the input wires then two wires to the speaker and you are done..

Above all have fun!!
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
seigezapf

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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2012, 10:21:47 AM »

Thank you both for your responses.  You have given me a bunch to think about.  More importantly using R/C seems a little clearer and more possible than it did before. 

The installation on the Aristo-Craft version does pretty straightforward.  I'll have to revisit the RCS site to compare.  The Aristo-Craft system does seem to be more sophisticated in terms of multiple train control, but may be more than I need for my simple layout.  I certainly do want to use sound - but either system may work for that.

Again thank you both for the very helpful comments.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2012, 10:46:37 PM »

You are most welcome, you may also find this post of interest,

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,20410.0.html

You will find some excellent info on the revolution on the Aristo forum and in their online magazine called the insider, they keep all the back issues on line.  There are many good articles on other systems as well.  Perhaps some of the other members will make a recommendation as well. 

Again have fun.

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
seigezapf

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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2012, 01:31:43 PM »

Thank you Loco Bill for the great battery information.

I was looking at this:  http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__14843__Turnigy_5000mAh_4S_25C_Lipo_Pack_USA_Warehouse_.html  but it is pretty large (roughly 6"X2"X1 1/2").  Your battery box solution and GTL batteries look better to me.  It is smaller and it also has discharge protection which I don't thing the Turnigy Lipo has.

Well, I got my R/C loco in the post this morning.  I can't try it out right away since I don't have 6 D batteries.  I understood from what I had read that these locos also had a connector for a Nicad/NIMH battery pack.  I don't see one in the loco I bought unless I have to take it apart to get to the connector.  Maybe I do?  So buy some batteries or locate the connector.

UPDATE:  Now I see I need an adapter cable.  I wrote Bachmann parts, but don't hold out a lot of hope that they still stock it.  

OR if anyone knows what type of connector plugs into the loco that would be great.  It appears to be a 4 pin (not sure why) female connector.  I could then make my own adapter cable.  Or even if someone has the cable and could take a close-up of the connector, that could help.  Thanks.

Here's a picture:

« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 02:25:47 PM by seigezapf » Logged
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2012, 05:21:06 PM »

Sadly, Bachmann Parts will not be of help due to the old age of the loco.  You will have to check you local electronic store to find the four pin plug, the other end is a standard Tamiya connector found on many battery pack.  I am not sure why the four pins, but it may have to do with two powering the receiver and motor, and the other two powering the smoke circuit.  You may be able to trace it down by taking things apart.

If I still had one of those connectors I would gladly send it your way.   The Locomotives were only sold in sets, so like the tracks and other two cars and the cable are long gone.  At least you got the transmitter!!!
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
JerryB

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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2012, 07:00:16 PM »

I can't help with the adapter, but I would strongly suggest you get the 6 D cells and see if the locomotive runs and is controllable before investing in extras. Many (or most) of these locomotives had relatively short lives. They were delicate to maintain and unreliable. That especially applies to the R/C system. This is evidenced by the fact that the production period was fairly short, and they haven't been available for lots of years.

As to battery choice, the 6 D cells connected in series produce 9Volts. Putting a 12.4 or higher voltage battery pack in the locomotive will certainly result in its early demise. That means you need to have voltage limiting, another complication.

The recent versions of the 4-6-0 are hugely more reliable. Of course they require aftermarket controls if you want R/C, but that time and money investment will last you a long time.

Happy RRing,

Jerry
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 07:03:51 PM by JerryB » Logged

Sequoia Pacific RR in 1:20 / 70.6mm
Boonville Light & Power Co. in 1:20 / 45mm
Navarro Engineering & Construction Co. in 1:20 / 32mm
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seigezapf

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« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2012, 10:11:37 PM »

Thanks to both of you.  Good advice about trying it out before investing more money.  I do have a bunch of 7.2 (6 cell) and 8.4 (7 cell) NIMH packs that I had hoped to try.

"At least you got the transmitter!!!"  Alas, no.  That is why I was wanting to try out a 27 MHz R/C transmitter with the different crystals to see which (if any) worked.

I was trying to get away on the cheap here - but without the cable it doesn't look like that is going to happen.  I don't expect it to be great or up to par with newer equipment, but there is some satisfaction for me in getting older stuff to work.

I sent an email to Bachmann service to see if they could help me with identifying the loco plug and how to wire it.  I'll see if they respond.

I am new to this, and after what I have read and what you have informed me, I do plan on picking up an Annie and putting in a modern RC system (Aristo Evolution or RCS) and the Loco Bill battery pack in the near future.  I'm having to make decisions on what to buy first.  I have a small ""test" loop set up in my basement for now.  I have figured out plans for a more satisfying outdoor circuit.  So I'm thinking, build the track before buying more expensive equipment.  But that track is pretty expensive too.

Again, thank you for your help.
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JerryB

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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2012, 02:30:46 AM »

Without the transmitter, I believe you are really out of luck.

Over the years I have talked to several folks who tried using alternative 27 MHz or 49 MHz (twin stick) transmitters, but they were not able to get the locomotive to move. I have never seen any technical specifications for the locomotives, nor met anyone who claimed to have successfully used a substitute transmitter.

As to more modern technologies, there are more systems than the RCS and Aristocraft. I have several RCS Elite systems controlling Bachmann 1:20.3 scale locomotives. Tony had a great system, but he moved from a shirt pocket sized transmitter to the twin stick systems. I am not prepared to have to use a transmitter that is larger than the locomotive, so will no longer purchase his systems. If the twin stick transmitter doesn't bother you, either the RCS or the American made G Scale Graphics systems are very good. I believe they share some of their controller technologies. See G Scale Graphics at: http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/DelTapparo/

Some people swear by and some swear at the Aristocraft system. As opposed to the RCS and G Scale Graphics systems, the Aristocraft system is 100% proprietary. No chance of spare transmitters, crystals, receivers, or other components being available at the local R/C airplane and car model shop.

One other subject: Are you certain you want to start by acquiring 1:22.5 scale locomotives? Be aware that 1:22.5 scale (the scale of the big hauler series) represents a prototype gauge of 1 meter. That is really rare or non-esistant in N. America. If your interest is in N. American narrow gauge, I would recommend that you consider going with 1:20.3 scale equipment as that represents 3' gauge prototypes.

Happy RRing,

Jerry
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Sequoia Pacific RR in 1:20 / 70.6mm
Boonville Light & Power Co. in 1:20 / 45mm
Navarro Engineering & Construction Co. in 1:20 / 32mm
NMRA Life Member #3370
Member: Bay Area Electric Railway Association
Member: Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources
Wade Colyer

Lewistown,PA


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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2012, 08:19:53 AM »

Hi:

 Here's one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bachmann-Radio-Control-Transmitter-for-Big-Hauler-Battery-Powered-Locomotives-/330750080181?pt=Model_RR_Trains&hash=item4d023db4b5

Wade
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