1. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

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    Folks
    Arguments over what one SHOULD do, belong on politicsboard. This is a great thread for discussing what works for us. Heck. We're close to someone posting a DC throttle solution, that can be built at home. I know we are. One that can control a DC power supply with MRC like feedback. But, if we let the thread devolve into attacking and defending our ideas and likes.... we won't get there.


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  2. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

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    The biggest frustration I've had with DCC is each new expanded solution is more expensive, than you think. For instance. In choosing stationary decoders, one was advertised as being able to sense a train and throw the switch. The example used a proprietary switch, but the literature wasn't really clear that I NEEDED the proprietary switch or a hardware intensive alternative that would make it difficult and or expensive to do. It also seemed like this solution needed to be in a specific location. So, while I'm using the decoder to throw Kato switches, I'm waiting until I learn more about sensors, to set up train detection and automated switch throws.


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  3. jdcolombo

    jdcolombo TrainBoard Member

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    OK - I went through my notes, and the DC throttle I built was a version of the "True Action Throttle" design of Lynn Wescott. My notes don't say whether the one I built was the TAT IV or the TAT V (which was an evolution of the TAT IV designed to fit on a circuit board; I sort of vaguely recall etching boards for this, but it might have been for some power supplies that I built for my turnouts), but I'm now sure that I got the information from Model Railroader, and I'm pretty sure it was published in 1988. If someone has the MR archive, I'm sure they can find the articles in question by doing a search for "True Action Throttle".

    But if you don't want to build your own, here's a link to a DC handheld/walkaround that I considered buying back when I built the TAT IV/V:

    http://www.thegmlenterprises.com/

    I remember that at the time, folks had commented very favorably on the GML throttle (which I think is pretty much the same design as the TAT), and that I almost bought one from them instead of rolling my own, but then decided that building my own would be fun. It was, and those throttles worked perfectly on my layout for four years until I converted to DCC.

    UPDATE: I actually found the article - I can't believe I kept it. The article is "Build an inexpensive walkaround throttle" by Kirk Wishowski. The original article was published in Model Railroader in January 1986, then there were corrections published in a letter from Kirk Wishowski, but unfortunately the page I have that printed his letter doesn't have the publication date. Again, someone with the MR archive (or a library with MR dating back to 1986) should be able to find both the original article and his correction letter.

    John C.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  4. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    I built this same throttle. I ran across it not too long ago in the garage but searching for it in MR's data base only comes up with TAT v4 and v5 (v5 Apr 1994 issue) and I don't think that was what it was called (I thought it was 'Easy DC' or something like that, but I'm old). I did find several others online. Can't say anything about them but they are out there and pretty easy to find.

    http://www3.sympatico.ca/kstapleton3/851.HTM

    http://www.thegmlenterprises.com/id18.html

    http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/Throttles.html#2
     
  5. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

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    I can agrue both side of the DDC or DC table. DCC is awesome, no doubt. DCC also adds complexity which is not a necessity to enjoying trains. Everyone approaches this hobby from a differing vantage point. Some want to run multilashed units SP prototypical style. Some really enjoy dispatching. Some are totally into switching maneuvers and puzzles. Some cannot live without properly functioning ditch lights while others might have thought you said "witch lights".There is no right or wrong arguement. Everyone has a differnt need level. I have torn down and hand wired more decoders into non-decoder ready frames that if I see one more I'll shoot the messenger! I am quite capably of programming both the Lenz system and the Digitrax system. I used to remember all the important cv values! But at this point in my life I really just want an easy brainless operating session. At one time I was super into DCC and it is a revolutionary move forward for model railroading. It's simply run its course with me. I still enjoy recordings of Gary Richrath burning up a lead guitar but mostly I like quiet these days. Although my neighbors may disagree due to my amps. ;)
     
  6. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

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    These are excellent!!! Thank you!!!
     
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  7. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    All of these throttles require a tether to the layout. None of them offer 'wireless' operation like the Aristo radio throttles.
     
  8. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Ntrak had a good, cheap teathered DC throttle.
     
  9. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Yes but it was still tethered. Look, I readily admit, I am spoiled. "Back in the day..." the Aristo radio throttles were a godsend, especially for Ntrak layouts. You were not tied to one location where the power packs were. You could get out from the inside of Fort Ntrak and move about following your train. When DCC came in wireless throttles came in too. Going back to being tied to a power pack via a tether or any other name one wants to use for it is like trading in your car for a horse drawn wagon. Wireless analog throttles are not new technology. We had them before and we can have them again. Maybe this is something that we should prod the MRC people about?
     
  10. jdcolombo

    jdcolombo TrainBoard Member

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    I originally posted about the tethered DC throttle in response to ESPEEMAN's comment that he just wanted a good handheld DC throttle. That post wasn't intended to address the issue of a radio DC throttle, which as far as I know is not available from anyone today. I honestly doubt any manufacturer would take the time and trouble to get FCC certification for a radio DC system today, since the likely market is very small and the hassle of getting certification is very large. If you really need radio, I suspect your only choice from here on is going to be to go with DCC.

    John C.
     
  11. KE4NYV

    KE4NYV TrainBoard Member

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    I'll simply say this. I couldn't imagine life without DCC now.
     
  12. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    I hate coming in at the tail end. However, everything I would have said has been said.

    It's your layout, you make the rules and you only can decide what you want to do.

    Every layout is a teaching layout and you will learn much about modeling as you will about yourself. A mission of self discovery.
     
  13. MaxDaemon

    MaxDaemon TrainBoard Member

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    I'm the kinda guy that finds a cheap and dirty way of getting things done. Just for the sake of argument, suppose you took some of those cheap Chinese servos (like for planes or automobiles) and simply attached them to the throttle and the direction toggle on your power pack. Seems like a fairly inexpensive way to set up a remote throttle. Or am I being too simplistic?

    I'm imagining duct tape and SuperGlue, but I'm sure something more elegant could be come up with...

    .
     
    Espeeman likes this.
  14. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    I had the same thought. I don't know if it would be cheaper or easier. But it would be more unique!

    Those systems should even allow you to control how quickly or slowly you crank the power up and down.
     
  15. MaxDaemon

    MaxDaemon TrainBoard Member

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    I'm kind of assuming that most of us have dabbled in radio control at one time or another and we have an old Futaba or something lying around. Of course, all that stuff is much cheaper than it used to be. And I think I paid about $3 each for servos a couple weeks ago.

    .
     
  16. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    I'm very active with R/C airplanes and helicopters. Yes the price of radio sets have dropped dramatically IF you go with the off brand noes. And since you will be using it in a room, even the dicey ones will work as you're not controlling your trains 1/2 a mile away. :D

    Servos are about $2 and the transmitter(Tx) / receiver(Rx) set can run about $50. And everything is 2.4 GHz spread spectrum so you won't have any frequency conflicts if everyone is using it. (I was at an event where we had 65 airplanes in the air at once. No interference!) A set of 4xAA for the radio will last days and some even come with rechargeables.

    The only thing remaining is creating the mechanical linkage from servo to throttle knob. And with exponential adjustments on your Tx, you can control your throttle with finer adjustments than if you were doing it with your hands. :)
     
  17. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    I was thinking the same thing. I think radio control is used in G scale garden railroads. Size is an advantage there. But we in N scale would not need to have the servos located in the locomotive. The servos would be connected to the power or base unit and control voltage and polarity just as a regular power pack would. The transmitter would be hand held and be completely untethered from the layout. Only problem is possible interference with other users of that frequency. Regarding the Aristo Craft throttle the research I could do basically indicated that the transmitter used a 27 megahertz fm signal with pulse code modulation to eliminate any signal interference. Its signal could travel up to 300 feet. That is more than enough for N scale.
     
  18. MaxDaemon

    MaxDaemon TrainBoard Member

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    I can't wait to see the conglomeration of duct tape, paper clips and double-sided tape that someone comes up with. Rube Goldberg would be proud!

    Seriously though, everything you could possibly need in the way of linkages and control horns is available at any RC hobby shop.

    I run DCC only, these days, but if I was using DC i'd have to try this ..

    .
     
  19. Hansel

    Hansel TrainBoard Member

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    I am waiting for the "Dead Rail Society" to come to N scale! Maybe by way of a dummy loco?
     
    BarstowRick likes this.
  20. RT_Coker

    RT_Coker TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have said NO to DCC by taking down a medium sized DCC layout and selling just about all of it on eBay.

    I now have a just a test HO layout for developing Direct-Bluetooth-Train-Control with a battery option (as in "Dead Rail Society"). Robotic hardware is small and relatively cheap (<$25 for the hardware to control a HO locomotive). The two 7.4 volt LiPo batteries I am using were ~$24 with charger.

    You might want to check out DCC++ as an example that could be programmed to be a wireless (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) controller that can be command/switched between DCC and DC control (or just a DC controller).

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017

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