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 Bachmann Porter Dead Rail Conversion
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Author Previous Topic: 4-4-0 Kitbash? Topic Next Topic: Steel rail
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shadow50
Section Hand

Posted - 12/19/2018 :  4:04:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bernd, Yes I am in the U.S.! Pleasant Hill, California. I've been a long time friend of John Roth, otherwise know as Kewlbrew on the forums. He's the troublemaker that has really gotten me interested in trains. Way back when we were in grammar school.

He's very active in the California Central Coast On30 group. One of these days I hope to find the time to join them in their module mayhem, if my wife ever lets me have free time! (jk)




Country: USA | Posts: 74 Go to Top of Page

shadow50
Section Hand

Posted - 12/19/2018 :  4:25:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
I looked at his chart. Is kind of confusing. Is he saying that at full throttle with a voltage of 8.4 volts the circuit draws only .5 amps? Doesn't make sense.


Yes, slightly confusing. I'm not much of an electronics engineer. I believe that is the maximum current draw the circuit can handle.

This reminds me, I probably should remember to put in some sort of fuse in-line just in case. Don't want to smoke the board!

When applying power to the engine it seems to travel about the speed approximating that sort of voltage. But it seems ok, gotta shoot for scale speeds anyway.



Country: USA | Posts: 74 Go to Top of Page

man7sell
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/04/2019 :  11:27:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit man7sell's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very interesting build. When charging the battery, wouldn't it be great if it could be proximity charged. By this I mean stop the loco at a charging station (point on the track) Then electromagnetic connection free charging like modern phones an even electric tooth brushes..... Just pondering. Paul

Capt. Paul Mansell
https://crookedmileriver.blogspot.com/2018/11/crooked-mile-river-logging-on30-scale.html

Country: USA | Posts: 133 Go to Top of Page

Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 01/04/2019 :  1:05:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by man7sell

When charging the battery, wouldn't it be great if it could be proximity charged.


I see you didn't mention that you checked any where else. Have you checked here? :http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=98

Bernd



Country: USA | Posts: 3114 Go to Top of Page

shadow50
Section Hand

Posted - 01/04/2019 :  5:17:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow guys! I haven't really thought of the wireless charging idea. But if installed, it surely would reduce a lot of handling of the electronics.

Right now I have been tediously working on simply wiring this little guy as neatly and reliably as possible. My wiring skills seem to be improving.
Sometimes it requires a bit of thought.

Presently I have stolen a charge port from an old electric razor. It is one of the smallest jacks I have seen. It should work nicely.

Next step on to the led for the front light!



Country: USA | Posts: 74 Go to Top of Page

brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/04/2019 :  10:19:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've been tempted by dead rail and been reading this thread. My issue that you guy may be able to answer is - is there a 'standard, or going to be a standard' like that for DCC?

Until there is a standard I'm scared of buying an orphan system.

bruce



Country: Australia | Posts: 441 Go to Top of Page

shadow50
Section Hand

Posted - 01/08/2019 :  3:50:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hmmm,

"Standard" could be a loaded question.

Brucet, at this time I don't really know of a true standard. I'm not sure how DCC arrived at such a reliable line of rules but it certainly does help all that use it.

My research has found 3 to 4 different camps that use the technology available to try and get our loco's mobilized. (battery powered)

One type "Airwire" incorporates a transmitter and receiver that also uses DCC protocol. This may be the most "standard". My issue right now is the size. I'm trying to jam all of the tech into a little Porter loco without tender.

The Airwire transmitter seems great, it is compact. You can us it the same as your hand held DCC cab.

Tam Valley showed promise, they make a very small receiver. They designed a transmitter module that connected to your existing DCC system.
The issue I found was, I wanted a wireless transmitter I could carry anywhere. In one of my previous posts, I describe that using Airwire TX rendered me to one frequency on the Tam Valley receiver. If you tried to change to another loco address on the track, you wound up with a runaway loco. After letting this project rest for a while. I got the idea for the third camp.

RC. Radio control has been around quite some time. It is slightly new in smaller scale railroading but since I have some large scale locos, it is a very good candidate for me at this time.

Back in the old days, you wound up with many transmitters for your Radio Control equipment, quite often one for each Plane or Loco along with this the frequencies were few, perhaps a dozen or so and they were shared with other ground RC vehicles. A bit of a limiting factor.

Today transmitters have multiple vehicle memory. Now we only need one transmitter! They new systems somehow digitize the frequency and you wind up with countless frequencies with out the big worry of crowding another persons frequency. The small issue is you cannot switch locos on the fly with your standard Aircraft/Car Transmitter.

The recent discovery I made was that Del Tang has a transmitter that can handle up to 12 locos and you are able to control multiple locos on the fly.
They ideally make receivers that are super small and receivers that can handle larger locos like my G scale live steamers. This has become my choice to try and get some locos on the track.

Another company is using bluetooth technology, but I haven't really given this a try. Going outdoors I wondered if bluetooth had the range and also they didn't have a small enough receiver for my porter.

With so many choices, who knows what or how we will arrive at "standard"?




Country: USA | Posts: 74 Go to Top of Page

shadow50
Section Hand

Posted - 01/08/2019 :  4:13:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To be truthful, I feel Airwire sticks closest to DCC so this may be your standard. Tam Valley might not be far behind, but their dead rail stuff has been sold to another vendor.

Ideally getting some trains on the track without track wiring headaches is the main goal in the dead rail idea.

So far I have a bit of track down, track power not really working. (numerous shorts or dead tracks. Lazy me!)

More power to the guys that have been able to work through the wires and reverse loops!

When you think about it, I believe "standard" is going to be what you make for your Railroad Line. How often do we go to other layouts? Certainly there is a lot of value for the guys in the module groups. Without standards they would have a lot of trouble getting down the track.

For my little endeavor, I'm having a lot of fun trying to work through these silly wiring issues. Dead batteries and ultimately I hope to get some trains running.
Perhaps once in a while I will meet with by buddy Kewlbrew and run my dead rail porter on his layout. But we rarely seem to get together.

hmmmm...
This is truly a retired guys sport!



Edited by - shadow50 on 01/08/2019 4:17:55 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 74 Go to Top of Page

shadow50
Section Hand

Posted - 01/10/2019 :  11:59:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thought I would share this bit of information.



The picture here shows my solder iron with a strange bit of wire added to it.
You may ask why would I try to do this?



I never would have figured a way to solder to such a small PC board with the tips I have for my iron.



I stumbled upon a websight for RC fliers. https://micronwings.com/HintsAndTips/index.shtml

This site has been very useful to me for the tech available outside our hobby and for the great tutorials he has shared.

It is amazing how the small wire tip actually works. Of course his method is much better, so please use his youtube example.

No more large blobs of solder holding my wires in place!




Edited by - shadow50 on 01/10/2019 12:17:16 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 74 Go to Top of Page

brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/13/2019 :  05:24:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Standard? I guess my take on a 'standard' is when every manufacturer can supply items that will work with every other manufacturer. Just like now you can buy any number of DCC decoder with confidence it will work with any system. (Accepting special features).

Years ago I had a model railroad business. Long story. But part of that business was manufacturing transformers and controllers for dc systems. I had the opportunity to become the national dealer for Lenz. I met Mr Lenz in Germany. He told me how he worked with the NMRA to introduce a DCC 'standard'. Which is what happened and resulted in today's DCC 'standard'.

So the way I see it is that the same needs to happen. Someone needs to sit down with the NMRA and 'do a deal'. Then and only then will 'other' folks make the investment needed to make deal rail a real success. I hope it does. But individuals doing their own thing will never be anything other than a niche market.

bruce



Country: Australia | Posts: 441 Go to Top of Page

tharbin
New Hire

Premium Member

Posted - 01/13/2019 :  10:58:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bruce,

Remember that BPRC (Battery Power / Radio Control) is a little different from all powered-rail standards. Powered-rail requires all of the equipment on the track to follow the same basic parameters. BPRC means that each piece of track equipment is separate and they do not have to share anything except track gauge to operate on the same track.

DCC, in its early days was much like where BPRC is today, mainly experimenters trying to get there from here. Many of the promises of DCC have not really panned out, "two wires" is a myth. Blocks are still needed we just use "auto-reversers" to replace the toggle switches and tolerate the momentary shorts that make them work. Reverse loops are no better than the DC days, certain track arrangements are almost impossible for a mere human to work out (like a reverse loop within a reverse loop). Running a prized DC engine on your DCC layout? Not me, they end up sounding like demented chipmunks.

I do believe that only BPRC can fix those issues. We won't get there unless some of us help drive us there.

I have looked at many systems and they all have strengths and weaknesses. If you want to play with your DCC and your decoders, TAM Valley or S-Cab will work great. Airwire gives you a little more flexibility. Personally, I am going toward the "pure" RC direction like Deltang. DCC was developed to give individual train control over power. BPRC can look at the power and the control as separate entities (like a fireman and an engineer). That should allow it to use more economical methods. I would not like to see BPRC tied too closely to DCC. That will hamper its development, increase complexity and decrease innovation.



Tom - blog: https://trainblog.tharbin.com

Country: USA | Posts: 46 Go to Top of Page

brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/13/2019 :  4:16:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Back when DCC was cutting it's teeth in the market I was a skeptic. I manufactured good ol DC components so why would I want to go down the DCC route? I did and it has been worth all the pain. The same with dead rail. But this time I want someone else to suffer the pain. Sorry.

I want to build a layout that has track wandering through trees and along the back of buildings. I want dead rail cos cleaning tracks can be very destructive when 1:1 hands meet 1:48 stuff.

But at the moment I just see no real direction taking the helm. I don't want an 8 track or Beta orphan. I want some assurance that what I buy will still be around in 10 years time. For those who find 'playing with' dead rail as part of the hobby that's fine. But for me I'm a plug and play type of person. I'm sure there's a zillion folks also waiting in the wings to see which direction dead rail goes. The dominant player will reap the rewards. And dominant doesn't have to mean the best either.

bruce



Country: Australia | Posts: 441 Go to Top of Page

tharbin
New Hire

Premium Member

Posted - 01/13/2019 :  5:10:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bruce,

I certainly understand your viewpoint, in fact it is one I share. I went kicking and screaming into DCC when my last DC power supply quit on me. The cost for a new one was close enough to the cost of a DCC starter set that it just made sense to change over.

I only had two locomotives after I switched to On30, a Mogul and a 0-4-2 Porter so I did not have a massive effort to convert to DCC. Still, seven years after I converted both locos were still sitting on the shelf, unused, waiting for me to convert them.

I took the Porter apart to convert it to DCC about six months ago. After reading about BPRC from many modelers that I respect, I decided to convert the Porter to BPRC. If you disconnect the track wipers, you can run it side-by-side on your DCC layout. That was my plan. Since it was just gathering dust anyway I would use it to see what BPRC was all about.

Shortly after I took apart the Porter I received some new equipment from a friend that convinced me to do a little re-construction/expansion of my layout. Long story short, I found I really like hand-laid track so I decided to start over with all hand-laid track.

After many false starts, I decided to "bite the bullet" and go all in on BPRC by not wiring the track. I'll start with the one Porter and eventually convert others, but slowly.

While I used to modify locomotives in my HO days, I haven't touched an On30 engine, leaving them totally ready-to-run. The models are just so much better than what we used to get ready-to-run that I didn't trust myself to tear it apart. I forgot that I enjoy tinkering with the mechanisms. I feel like I'm rejuvinating my hobby by simplifying.

It is not for everyone and if I had a MRR empire I would not do it.


Tom - blog: https://trainblog.tharbin.com

Country: USA | Posts: 46 Go to Top of Page

brucet
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/13/2019 :  6:01:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
At the Denver convention I had the money in my pocket to buy into dead rail. Nothing seem to be convincing, at that time, so I'll wait. I think it's the future but not just now for me.

bruce



Country: Australia | Posts: 441 Go to Top of Page

shadow50
Section Hand

Posted - 01/22/2019 :  4:43:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Latest news.

After a short learning period of programming the Del Tang receiver, the loco seems to be running great! My only difficulty has been the batteries.
I feel for this loco the lipo's are just too temperamental.

I have tried numerous configurations, wiring with balance connections, but the batteries don't seem to like it.

Rather than risk my little loco to the fire gods, I have found some nimh batteries that I hope will do the trick.

It turns out that there are AAA batteries that are smaller than usual! They are called 1/2 and 1/3rd AAA batteries. It seems they are 1/2 and 1/3rd the length of a standard AAA battery. So here's hoping they will fit in the space available. The AAA's are rated at 3oo mah, compared to my lipo's of 180 mah, I hope to see a bit more run time too.

I am also expecting the stability of a nickle metal battery to be less worry some and more reliable.
Ideally I would like to leave all electronics and batteries untouched inside the loco and simply recharge via small plug or as we discussed in previous posts above, wireless charging.

When the batteries arrive I will post some pictures and perhaps a video to share too!



Country: USA | Posts: 74 Go to Top of Page
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