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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can an Airwire reciever be used to control a live steam loco? Overall, I like the features and functions of the Airwire system (and the fact that I can use the transmitter with a wireless DCC HO layout with a little modification), but if I invest in a r/c system, I want it to be able to handle my future needs as well. Eventually, I will want live steam locos, and I don't want to be forced to buy a second, independant control system.

As I understand it, the Airwire reciever serves as a DCC command station, albeit limited to a single loco, which you must then attach a DCC decoder to. I would think that there is a way to use the outputs (presumably with the decoder) to control servos instead of an electric motor. Is such a product available, or easily built?

If not, is there a system out there that can handle both live steam and battery powered locos? Long range isn't much of an issue, since I plan on building so that I can get to the tracks easily for switching, though it would be nice to set it and let it run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Posted By ConrailRay on 04/07/2008 8:25 PM
DKRickman,
A little clarification... The Airwire receiver has a built in 10amp motor driver, head/reverse light functions, a few amp on/off function for smoke unit, and a 1 amp max DCC bus that you can plug other standard DCC decoders into. Seems like using this receiver and altering to control servos would be a waste of money, as they aren't cheap (~$140). You could probably use the QSI Gwire reciever and hack into some decoders to save money, but still a lot of work and you'll still need servo driver circuits or decoders.
I would think the easiest way is to go the standard live steam route and get the Spektrum DX6 (or DX7 or Futabas version) 2.4gHz digital system (75mhz analog systems are a thing of the past!!). About $200 for the transmitter, receiver, and 4 servos last time I checked. And the receivers are small, have very short antennas and are pretty cheap (under 40 bucks) and will directly control your servos. Then just buy the Airwire TX or other wireless throttle when you need it for your HO stuff.
Just some food for thought.
-Ray




Granted, the Airwire system is not the cheapest in the world, but..

I want decent sound with at least whistle control.

I want to run either live steam, or battery power, or both at the same time.

I want to control multiple locomotives independantly.

I do not want to purchase a transmitter for each locomotive.

So far, it apears that there are DCC servo drivers that would work with the Airwire system (roughly $140 for battery, $180 for live steam). RCS is also capable of running both, and at roughly the same prices, though reversed in favor of the live steam models. Are there inexpensive (under $100 US) 2.4gHz recievers to control a battery locomotive? Can either 75mHz or 2.4gHz systems handle a single transmitter working with any one of a number of recievers (and if so, how many)?
 
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