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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of nearly doubling the size of my layout and am in need of more power. I want to continue with track power but would like to be able to run more than one train remotely. I like the idea of a wireless transmitter so I can follow the train around and flip switches when needed. I have looked into the aristocraft train engineer (not the basic since that only runs one engine)and I like it, it seems simple and easy to use. Question is who makes the best system for minimum funds. The biggest bang for the buck. Whichever one I get I would like to be able to build on the system without having to junk it and start over because it is lacking something. I don't see myself ever powering switches, signals, lights or sounds in the near future so I don't need that ability plus that seems like it can get confusing quick. I am looking for something relatively basic to run more than one train at a time. I read some postings here and checked out Tonys' train exchange site. That sight has a lot of info but I would like to know what the experienced RR man is using and why.
DCC DCS and all that = Don't know?
I do know that each engine will need a decoder to be wired in but 27 mghz or higher and more money for each one ?? Where does it all start and where does it end??
A starter setup would be nice what do you guys use and what would you recomend for me and my budget of up to $400. I currently run 2 LGBs'from starter sets and a Bachmann big hauler (non annie) and will have near 300' of track when done. Do I need 10 amps? I like short little steam engines that will haul 1-6 cars around but I do have some grade issues of 2-2.5 %
I am posting this same query to the beginers forum since that is what I am when it comes to this kind of RR stough.
I hope my needs are clear enough. Thanks alot for your input.
Todd
 

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Most bang for the buck would probably be Tony Walsham's stuff running from track power. Contact him if he does not pop up here.

Regards, Greg
 
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As Greg said Tony has good stuff but if you wanted to do it on the cheap your could buy 2 train engineers and a elite power supply and use one for track power and one for battery power then you could run 2 trains on one track together at a fair price.. by the way people here wont beleive i reccommended a aristo product to you but these are one of the few things thay make that work out of the box without a problem in my opionion...
Nick...
 

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I use the Aristo 27mhz for track power and run my RDC with the 75mhz on board on the same track. Since the RDC is a fast running engine, it will work with my 'slow' running engines.
I then did the same thing on my LGB rail truck with the HOTE in the tool box, it is a perfect fit.
The on board unit has a memory feature that is very helpful when doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I want to stay away from battery power and stick to the track with the easiest simpliest way to do it.
Dan you were once recommended to me by Ron Sgroi as the electronics guru and in the past you have answered some of my questions when I went down this road before.
I'm not sure what a RDC is fast versus slow or the HOTE
In the short is the aristo craft system a good one? If I go that route let me make a list. I will need the handheld transmitter, a power supply 10amp ultima or elite or can i get away with a 5 amp? ,a trackside receiver and a 27mhz decoder wired into each engine.
Say a friend came over with his engine that didn't have the 27mhz decoder installed would we be able to run just that one engine?
Too many unknowns in this realm that is why I ask the experts.
 

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Just to be clear, Tony's stuff works from track power just fine. Also, his support for his customers is tops, so I would recommend his stuff for this application over the Aristo stuff.

I use DCC, so my RDC has a plug and play QSI in it, about a 5 minute install, but DCC is more money than you want to spend. Of course it is the most flexible and able to expand.

But you put your budget first. (I would put my long term goals first, since I expect to be in the hobby another 30 years).

Regards, Greg
 

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Hi Greg.

Thanks for the plug.

However, the RCS and EVO R/C items are designed to operate from battery power only.
They can of course be made to operate from a constant track voltage with the addition of suitable bridge rectifiers and filtering, but not as they are supplied.

RCS does not recommend using constant track voltage to power RCS/EVO equipment installed on board.
The whole point of battery power is to eliminate any track power at all.
RCS is firmly of the opinion that wiring a loco for both types of power unnecessarily complicates the wiring.

The RCS philosophy is to keep it as simple as possible.
That includes how it is installed and how it works.
Unlike some other R/C suppliers, RCS does not constantly keep changing things trying to get R/C to work.
 

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If choosing Aristocraft, go with the Elite. It is 22.5 volts of regulated power. The Ultima while being a good supply, is not regulated and its voltage drops as the load increases.

I need good regulated power as I run a pair of SD-45s with sound, lights, smoke and lit passenger cars which ends up being 5 amps.

I use the 27mhz trackside for track power, and select linear mode.
I also use the Aristocraft 75 mhz on board units, one in the Aristocraft RDC (Rail Diesel Coach), and the HOTE (HO scale Train Engineer) in my LGB rail truck. These are track powered and run at the same time as my other engines are on the track powered rails.

Since Cape Cod Todd is close to me, we should get together and I can give him a demo of how this all works.

I am now available most of the time as I volunteered to be a victim of downsizing. For the next year, every day is a paid holiday. This was a great opertunity!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dan I used to live a few towns over from you in Whitman. I would really like to see your layout in operation but finding the time to get up there may be a bit difficult this time of year but thank you for the invite anyways. The aristo system seems to be real easy and straight forward so I am definantly leaning that way and the elite seems the way to go with more power right up front in case I do expand into different areas and need the juice.
I'm still a little confused.... with the 27mhz at track side can you run one train without the onboard decoder? You say that you have the 75mhz on board. I'm mixed up why the 27mhz is not the one in the engine??

I thnik a visit and a demo would be the best thing but like I said time is a bother. I'm only home on the weekends and after doing chores I usually get one day if the weather is decent to work on the RR. At the rate I'm going my expansion won't be done for months. I need a situation like yours last year I wasn't working and I had nothing but time but no money, this year money but no time who came up with this system??
Todd
 

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Since the 75 MHz onboard is no longer manufactured, I would not recommend it to anyone starting out.

The confusion is that the 27 MHz Aristo is a "trackside" unit, for powering the rails and one locomotive, unmodified. It is basically a wireless speed control.

But some people have pulled this unit out of it's case and put in a loco or trailing car, then run constant DC to the rails. Now you have an R/C system. Since the unit was not designed for this purpose, it is large, and will not fit in many locos.

Funny about Tony's response, he told me before that there was nothing stopping his equipment from running on track power. He confirmed this again here, but does not recommend it, thus I retract my recommendation.

For someone starting in track power, and wanting remote control, I recommend DCC, there are many systems, you can get an entry level system, many decoders, and many sound units, just a lot of options.

But now this might not fit in the $400 budget.

Think long term here.

Regards, Greg
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 06/29/2008 4:21 PM
SNIP
The confusion is that the 27 MHz Aristo is a "trackside" unit, for powering the rails and one locomotive, unmodified. It is basically a wireless speed control.
But some people have pulled this unit out of it's case and put in a loco or trailing car, then run constant DC to the rails. Now you have an R/C system. Since the unit was not designed for this purpose, it is large, and will not fit in many locos.
Funny about Tony's response, he told me before that there was nothing stopping his equipment from running on track power. He confirmed this again here, but does not recommend it, thus I retract my recommendation.
SNIP Regards, Greg




Greg.
Nothing funny about my response.
Sure you can use RCS on board with a constant track voltage as the power source. RCS uses simple diode protection to minimise voltage drop from the battery supply. You would need a bridge rectifier and suitable filtering in order to use them with a constant voltage on the track as a power source. Otherwise the RCS would work in one direction and not the other.

Just like the RCS, the Crest 27 Mhz TE has diode polarity protection and would have to have a bridge rectifier inserted in the track pick ups in order to use DC on the rails as the power source.
 

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My RR is the Aristocraft trackside power feeding the rails. I found that I can run the 75mhz on-board in some fast running engines while slow analog engines without any receivers onboard are running.
Most that see this find it hard to believe that it can be done as it is almost too simple.
 

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The best way to do this is constant track power, like the Aristo Elite, then receivers in each loco, with Bridge rectifiers between the track pickups & the receivers. This is the way I used to do it before I went battery power. (got tired of cleaning wheels & tracking down loose track connections). With constant track power & sufficient amps, you can run as many locos as you can manager at one time.

--
craig
 

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Tony:

Funny because your response, "designed to operate from battery power only"

and "RCS does not recommend using constant track voltage to power RCS/EVO equipment installed on board."

That's what seemed funny (not funny ha ha, but funny strange).

Regards, Greg

Posted By TonyWalsham on 06/28/2008 5:04 PM
Hi Greg.
Thanks for the plug.
However, the RCS and EVO R/C items are designed to operate from battery power only.
They can of course be made to operate from a constant track voltage with the addition of suitable bridge rectifiers and filtering, but not as they are supplied.
RCS does not recommend using constant track voltage to power RCS/EVO equipment installed on board.
The whole point of battery power is to eliminate any track power at all.
RCS is firmly of the opinion that wiring a loco for both types of power unnecessarily complicates the wiring.
The RCS philosophy is to keep it as simple as possible.
That includes how it is installed and how it works.
Unlike some other R/C suppliers, RCS does not constantly keep changing things trying to get R/C to work.
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 06/30/2008 2:17 PM
Tony:
Funny because your response, "designed to operate from battery power only"
and "RCS does not recommend using constant track voltage to power RCS/EVO equipment installed on board."
That's what seemed funny (not funny ha ha, but funny strange).
Regards, Greg





Why are those comments funny strange?
That is the way it is.
RCS/EVO is DESIGNED for battery power only.
I don't believe in using a constant voltage on the track as the power source for on board R/C.
They can of course be made to run on constant track power with the addition of extra components.
 
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uuuuuuuu some people around here are getting real sensative/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/shocked.gif:whistling
Nick.. ya i know mind my own busness.......
 

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If It were me I'd up the anti some and go for DCC and be set for life. :) You can spend a lot of money on doing various systems so do it right the first time. Do your home work and then decide. Later RJD
 

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Tony, why do you no longer manufacture the R/C track power units (like the AristoCraft TE)? At one time you offered these in a couple amperage ratings.

I have one of your old 10 amp track/RC units and while it certainly has more voltage loss than the T/E (a big internal capacitor helped this a little), the transmitter is more convenient and has better range than the TE. (I know that you eliminated some of the voltage loss in later on-board units.)
 

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Posted By toddalin on 07/01/2008 6:27 PM
Tony, why do you no longer manufacture the R/C track power units (like the AristoCraft TE)? At one time you offered these in a couple amperage ratings.
I have one of your old 10 amp track/RC units and while it certainly has more voltage loss than the T/E (a big internal capacitor helped this a little), the transmitter is more convenient and has better range than the TE. (I know that you eliminated some of the voltage loss in later on-board units.)


Hi Todd.
I still do make track control like the TE.

At the RCS website hover the cursor over "Large Scale" then click on "RCS Track Control".


and



I don't sell many in the USA because being made here in Australia I cannot compete with low cost wage countries like China.
 

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Posted By TonyWalsham on 07/01/2008 7:26 PM
Posted By toddalin on 07/01/2008 6:27 PM
Tony, why do you no longer manufacture the R/C track power units (like the AristoCraft TE)? At one time you offered these in a couple amperage ratings.
I have one of your old 10 amp track/RC units and while it certainly has more voltage loss than the T/E (a big internal capacitor helped this a little), the transmitter is more convenient and has better range than the TE. (I know that you eliminated some of the voltage loss in later on-board units.)


Hi Todd.
I still do make track control like the TE.
At the RCS website hover the cursor over "Large Scale" then click on "RCS Track Control".

and

I don't sell many in the USA because being made here in Australia I cannot compete with low cost wage countries like China.


Wow, it got more sophisticated in the last 12 years. Mine is a simple grey case (same size/shape) with an input, an output, a circuit breaker, and a purple antenna wire.
 
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