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POWER what can I get for $400

6573 Views 38 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  craigcoffman
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.
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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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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 06/29/2008 4:21 PM
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

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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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 06/30/2008 2:17 PM
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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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".


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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I didn't say constant track power would not work well. I know it can be made to.
It is just that it is not my philosophy to do it that way.
I design what I make to work only on battery power.
As yet the proposed Crest 2.4 Gigaherz on board R/C has not been released.
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