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I am getting set to build my first G-Scale layout now that I am retired. Over the years I have been planning for this and have built up a large inventory of track, cars and more than 30 engines of different manufacture (Aristo, USA, LGB, Kalamazoo). I have also added some Aristo Battery stuff as I had planned on using battery as well as track power. Now that I am getting closer to this project, I have been very sensitive to the thoughts of others, and the name RCS keeps coming up as one of the best for battery control. I do not have a huge budget now that I am retired, but I do want to do the best I can. I do believe that I can do most of the installations that battery will require, but I will not have the wherewithall to equip all of my locos. I was hoping to equip 3 or 4 locos and then develop a trailing car that I could use with the rest of my engines. Quite a few of my engines do not have the switch in them for the selection of track power or battery power. I also have quite a few Aristo LiON batteries and chargers, can they be used with the RCS system? Can one handheld RCS controller run more than one train? Can you MU RCS engines? I do have a USA ABBA in Santa Fe Warbonnett, can they be run as a single unit with RCS? Am I seeking to much? Needless to say I would be very grateful for any help or suggestions. I am hoping to start the track work within 4 weeks, my initial effort will be a 10 track freight yard built on beam supported 3/4" pressure treated plywood. This yard will have the 10 15' storage tracks and three through tracks from either direction. I will be using Aristo .332 Brass American Track. The turnouts in thes first project will be the large radius units from Aristo. For access to the mainline and all mainline running switches will be the very large radius Aristo switches. My minimum radius for operations will be 5' and my minimum radius for running on the mainline will be 10'.
Again, thoughts, suggestions and direction would be appreciated.
TIA
 

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I am sure that one of the RCS crew (Tony or TOC) will also weigh in but I will start. i have used both Aristo and RCS products for many years now as have other members of the Ottawa Valley Garden Railway Society. In fact our webpage at www.ovgrs.org contains a great deal of material on RC battery installs and is worth referring to for ideas. Paul Norton who is a member here at MLS has written most of the material on our website and has become very knowledgeable.

In terms of your specific questions ...

" I also have quite a few Aristo LiON batteries and chargers, can they be used with the RCS system?" yes ... RCS can be used with any battery type and of course the charger is dependent on the battery technology in use ... the Aristo Li ion packs put out a much higher voltage than is needed for most ng steam locos but the higher voltages are often helpful with diesels especially if folks want to run fairly fast

" Can one handheld RCS controller run more than one train?" Yes the current version of the handheld unit can change its address readily to accomodate different locos. It is not designed to simultaneously run more than one loco at a time ... I won't ask why you would want to do that as opposed to having a second operator run a second loco from a seconf hand held controller.

" Can you MU RCS engines? I do have a USA ABBA in Santa Fe Warbonnett, can they be run as a single unitwith RCS?" This really reflects two different questions and we may get bogged down in a semantical quagmire. The term MU means in the prototype that one diesel unit controls all the locos in a lashup ... steam locos were not MU'ed in the real world but were doubleheaded running independently. If you have two diesels each equipped with an RCS receiver, they cannot be MU'ed in the sense of havng one receiver obtaining the signal and controlling both (DCC consisting in its various forms can achieve this but we are not talking DCC here). Both receivers could be set to the same frequency but this is not something I would advise. In the second part of the question you asked about an ABBA lashup operating from just one RCS receiver and presumably very substantial battery pack. Yes this can be done provided some care is taken. A 10A RCS receiver must be used and care should be taken that those big power hungry F units from USAT do not draw collectively more than 10A on startup. Their lights are known to contribute to the high current draw so some work there would no doubt help. A final note, the Aristo Li ion packs are rated at 2A and have some circuitry to protect them built in. I do not believe you can successfully operate the planned ABBA consist from such a battery pack. For that large power draw you may want to examine NiMH battery technologies.

Regards ... Doug
 
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I'd give Dave Goodson (RCS rep) a call, he is avail most regular biz hours on the Left Coast....425-823-3507....

I've used RCS from Day One, and been beyond pleased...the product is Great, Service is Stellar!

I do all my installs, they are pretty straight-forward...with your collection, a trail car set-up may be the best bet, at least to get you started!

Please let me know if I can be of any help! (on or off forum)

cale
 

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Both my engines are are run by one remote, they are programmed the same, I run them together. I have had no problems at all( only the ones I caused ) I went through Don Sweet, and I did both my installs, and that took a miracle because I am electrical illiterate, had GREAT help from Don, service was fantastic, RCS to me is very user friendly, my 5-year old has the remote a lot playing with the horn and bells, he runs it forward and backwards. In the future I want to make my own battery cars so I can switch cars to different engines. Then I can take the battery out when it is run down and just replace it, and keep running. I asked around and read a lot before I made my decision, but have never regretted it, fantastic people to help you out and answer any questions, and the product is awesome also.

tom h
 

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Hello TIA.

Thanks for considering RCS.

I would suggest you open this file: http://www.rcs-rc.com/PDF/TX-24/TX-24_Instructions.pdf and read up on how RCS works.
Given some limitations, RCS will do pretty well exactly what you want to do.
However, please bear in mind that RCS is NOT DCC and never claims to do what DCC can do.

Others have explained about battery voltages.
I stick to 14.4 volts for pretty well everything except the larger USAT and AC locos like the SD-70 and SD-45.
 
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