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Author Topic Next Topic: An Experiment in Wireless Charging
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Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 12/25/2017 :  08:52:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ok, I see DanT posted to this thread on 12-24 at 10:45PM yet I don't see the post. Could Dan have deleted it? Just wondering.

Bernd


A PESSIMIST sees a dark tunnel
An OPTIMIST sees light at the end of the tunnel
A REALIST sees a freight train
The LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER sees three idiots standing on the tracks

Country: USA | Posts: 2606 Go to Top of Page

DanT
New Hire

Posted - 12/25/2017 :  8:40:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Hi Bernd,

We're good, just edited my last post and expanded on "what works best for me..."

Dan



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DanT
New Hire

Posted - 07/02/2018 :  6:21:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some random thoughts...

Been thinking about what engine to use to install the induction charging system so I can get some useful data. I think I'll go with my GP35 loco since I've been wanting to rebuild it anyway.

A question in my mind is whether or not to include a switch so I can select battery power or track power. This leads to a bigger question, which is, do operators want dual purpose engines or not?

I'm talking about the future. Let's say you're in a hobby shop and see this gorgeous steamer, but notice it costs a little more than the others because you can select DC or BPRC mode. Would it make sense to buy a model like this vs a "standard" BPRC only model?

I didn't say DCC or BPRC mode because that's a whole subject all by itself, the main reason being the decoder "in the same ring" with a receiver.

Don't get me wrong. It can be done. In fact, I've been doing it for years. My Hudson steamer has all the basic sounds and motion control you get with a DCC sound decoder, and operating in that mode.

A few reasons I don't talk about it is because the group I'm in wants certain revelations kept under a lid until commercial feasibility is determined and marketing studies are complete. There are also certain legalities associated with this for which I'm seeking legal counsel.

I have been in touch with a few major suppliers and one of them has offered to supply me with complete locomotives without electronics. Sounds great, but as many of you know, an engine designed to hold a motor and mechanical drives probably needs a different frame when you add batteries. So more discussions as to who does what will be required.

Sorry to be a tease and go off subject, but it's most important to know we are on a much higher plateau than you may have realized. I have four (4) YouTube videos posted if you care to watch them. Google "Battery Power and Radio Control for HO Trains..." for more info.

For now, still want opinions on using a switch.

Dan



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Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 07/03/2018 :  12:57:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DanT

A question in my mind is whether or not to include a switch so I can select battery power or track power. This leads to a bigger question, which is, do operators want dual purpose engines or not?

For now, still want opinions on using a switch.

Dan




Hi Dan,

My opinion on this through reading on several forums is that many of todays modelers are either incapable or just don't like to do wiring and soldering of any kind. Plus many don't want to take a new engine apart to add something a manufacturer could have added. Todays modeler is more of a plug and play guy. I'd say add the switch to the engine. Perhaps a reed switch so no cut out has to be done on the engine, plus you don't need to pick up the engine to use the switch. Have you also considered a bridge rectifier on the front end to supply 12 volts from perhaps DCC, DC, or even AC current on the track? Just a thought.


Bernd


A PESSIMIST sees a dark tunnel
An OPTIMIST sees light at the end of the tunnel
A REALIST sees a freight train
The LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER sees three idiots standing on the tracks

Country: USA | Posts: 2606 Go to Top of Page

DanT
New Hire

Posted - 07/06/2018 :  11:51:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Bernd,

I think you're right about many modelers preferring something they can just put on the track and run, but my thought was more about dual function locomotives vs single function, stand alone DCC or BPRC types. Reed switches will work fine with single function engines, but you would still need to select one method or the other via a SPDT or DPDT switch in a dual function engine to avoid decoder and receiver being powered up together, simultaneously.

I found very small slide switches (Miniatronics) mounted under a car or engine or the front shelf of a coal tender, that I could control with one finger, to work OK...also hate picking up heavy engines. I'm thinking about using Pololu's #2808 power switch for an upcoming model. It uses a small PB that could be mounted in any number of places, even the top of the engine if properly disguised.

I thought about the bridge rectifier you mentioned. The Stanton BPS is available to do this, but I'm pretty much dedicated to getting all my power from on-board batteries and a suitable voltage regulator. My engines generally have the motor driving the front truck, which then drives the rear truck from below the chassis, so I have plenty of room on top for batteries. This is the Hobbytown approach to 8-wheel or 12-wheel drive engines, which I went with early on.

I've got some very nice Stewart and Proto 2000 diesels that I want to convert to BPRC. They run beautifully and are too nice to mess with, so I think I'll just put everything in the "B" units and isolate the "A" units from the track, maybe add a double throw switch to select track power ...or just forget about the switch!

Dan



Edited by - DanT on 09/22/2018 5:55:16 PM

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Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 07/07/2018 :  12:02:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DanT

I think you're right about many modelers preferring something they can just put on the track and run, but my thought was more about dual function locomotives vs single function, stand alone DCC or BPRC types. Reed switches will work fine with single function engines, but you would still need to select one method or the other via a SPDT or DPDT switch in a dual function engine to avoid decoder and receiver being powered up together, simultaneously.


Ok, I now understand your concept. A SPDT or DPDT switch would work.

quote:
I found very small slide switches (Miniatronics) mounted under a car or engine or the front shelf of a coal tender, that I could control with one finger, to work OK...also hate picking up heavy engines. I'm thinking about using Pololu's #2808 power switch for an upcoming model. It uses a small PB that could be mounted in any number of places, even the top of the engine if properly disguised.


Took a look at the Pololu push button. I think that would work great. I could have used one of those on my Deltag controlled crane. I burned up the receiver by reversing the voltage by accident.


quote:
I thought about the bridge rectifier you mentioned. The Stanton BPS is available to do this, but I'm pretty much dedicated to getting all my power from on-board batteries and a suitable voltage regulator. My engines generally have the motor driving the front truck, which then drives the rear truck from below the chassis, so I have plenty of room on top for batteries. This is the Hobbytown approach to 8-wheel or 12-wheel drive engines, which I went with early on.



I don't plan on using any kind of DCC control. I plan on using just R/C an battery/track power. I've collected a lot of Hobbytown drive's. One BPRC project is a Hobbytown PA consist. I also like the so called "tank" drives.

I see not many seem to be interested in joining in. You've got my interest up in all this. Lets see what happens over time. I've been pushing R/C on Model Raulroad Hobbyist, but the response are crickets at times.

Bernd


A PESSIMIST sees a dark tunnel
An OPTIMIST sees light at the end of the tunnel
A REALIST sees a freight train
The LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER sees three idiots standing on the tracks

Country: USA | Posts: 2606 Go to Top of Page

DanT
New Hire

Posted - 07/07/2018 :  9:21:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
(Note: In a casual re-reading of this post on 9/26/2018, I felt obliged to modify some statements I made since they appear vague and disconnected. I apologize for this.)

I also have no interest in using a DCC decoder to control my trains. I use the receiver to control the decoder. The decoder is simply a means to an end. In all the years I've been in the hobby I've never seen a better device for duplicating prototypical sound and motion than the DCC sound decoder. Let's face it, it's one heck of an invention. Where else can you get a pulse width modulated output, low crawl speeds, adjustable acceleration and deceleration, and regulated throttle control for automatic MU'ing. That's right, automatic MU'ing without fiddling with CV's!

And where else can you get authentic, recorded sounds for a wide variety of steam or diesel locomotives, or the increased sound of an engine struggling up a grade, or the almost silent sound as it descends a grade, or the squeal of brakes as an engine comes to a stop other than in a DCC decoder. Motion and sound control, all on one PCB, and changeable via programming if you want something else.

Combining the features of both worlds, i.e., radio control plus excellent motion and sound control is the way I prefer to go...and, of course, without track power. Also, with the exception of the DCC decoder, if you use one, all is open source!

I've kind of given up on posting on MRH, too many experts finding fault with what I'm doing while ignoring their own shortcomings.

Been invited to do a clinic at the Little Rhody Div./NMRA and the 2019 NER Convention. We'll see...

Dan




Edited by - DanT on 09/26/2018 10:32:27 PM

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Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 07/08/2018 :  7:27:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have to agree on the sound. I do like it but some of the engines I've listened to on videos, seem to me anyway, like they are not in sync with the motion. One that really irritates me are the steamers. On a real steam engine you don't here the "chuff" of a light engine when it begins to move. Going down hill with you should only hear the clanking of rods and flange or brake squeal. The other most annoying thing on a steamer is the chuff rate, should be four per revolution, not five, not three. But that has nothing to do with battery power or control.

So if I understand you correctly you are using the 2.4GHz DSM2 or DSMX protocol to control the DCC board? Interesting.

quote:
Where else can you find a PCB that gives you PWM DC, 1 mph crawl speeds, adjustable acceleration and deceleration, and regulated throttle control for automatic MU'ing. That's right, automatic MU'ing without fiddling with CV's!


I've been playing around with an eddy current drive system that I believe would take care of those same things that you suggest above. An Australian came up with that drive. I've been refining it for my purpose. The Hobbytown PA I plan on doing will use battery power, eddy current drive with a Dletang R/C. I've also be experimenting with a semi-permanently coupled A-B-A F7 engines. Progress is slow at present.

quote:
I've kind of given up on posting on MRH, too many experts finding fault with what I'm doing while ignoring their own shortcomings.


I just like to shake things up with some "show & tell" to keep the experts on their toes.

quote:
Been invited to do a clinic at the Little Rhody Div./NMRA and the 2019 NER Convention. We'll see...


Hopefully you'll inspire the group and get some good feed back. Wish you good luck.

Bernd


A PESSIMIST sees a dark tunnel
An OPTIMIST sees light at the end of the tunnel
A REALIST sees a freight train
The LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER sees three idiots standing on the tracks

Country: USA | Posts: 2606 Go to Top of Page

DanT
New Hire

Posted - 07/08/2018 :  11:02:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Someone once told me not to fret about the lack of synchronization between chuff sounds and engine speed...once up to speed, both will seem synchronized. But you're right, maybe we'll have to go back to the old method of counting the white marks on the drive wheel shaft for perfect synchronization.

On the receiver-decoder relationship, I covered this in some detail a few years ago in the Freerails Forum under the DelTang topic. I'll attempt to do this again with another steam engine I have, a Bachmann 4-8-4 SP Daylight, or try it with a diesel engine. Bachmann quality is problematic though.

Good luck with the eddy current drive. Hope you're aware of the small Neodymium magnets they have on eBay, like 3mm dia. x 2mm thk. There may be smaller ones.

Dan



Edited by - DanT on 07/08/2018 11:09:34 PM

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Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 07/09/2018 :  08:37:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think part of the problem with timing is that some don't understand the workings of a steam engine.

I went back to the Freerails forum. I found some of your posts. I found the GP35 you did with the Hobbytown drive. It's getting me inspired again to get my BPRC projects moving forward.

I buy my magnets from K&J Magnetics. They have quite a selection of magnets and strength sizes.

Also I found the thread on Freerails that talked about wireless charging circuit that the Robot Shop sells. Just ordered one so I can do some experimenting on wireless charging. Want to get some materials together for the coming cold season when model railroading gets a bit more of my time.

Bernd

P.S. I think posting your work here with what you posted on Freerails would be a big help. Now if only the people interested in it would join in the conversation.


A PESSIMIST sees a dark tunnel
An OPTIMIST sees light at the end of the tunnel
A REALIST sees a freight train
The LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER sees three idiots standing on the tracks

Country: USA | Posts: 2606 Go to Top of Page

DanT
New Hire

Posted - 07/09/2018 :  11:03:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On steam engine timing, I think adding a sensor to determine rotary speed adds another component and complicates decoder electronics, and thus cost, vs just speeding up the chuff rate with increased motor voltage. Some of the coreless motors I use have rotary encoders to determine motor speed. Maybe this is a way to match motion and sound, but this will also cost more. Spektrum uses telemetry to transmit aircraft engine rpm's, battery voltage, a few other parameters, to many of their transmitters, DX6 and on up. I know the technology is there, but doing something about it isn't on my to-do list. Just wondering, doesn't motor BEMF provide feedback to the decoder to control motor speed?

The GP35 is being taken apart so I can install a new battery holder for better clearance with the shell, a new Pololu 9V voltage regulator, and most important, Qi based wireless charging boards plus coils and a battery management board for charge and discharge control. Be forewarned, induction charging is not an easy subject to absorb, much less implement. But like anything else, with enough trials and tribulation, a workable design should present itself.

Re those magnets, It's a pain to remove most shells from their frames, so what I plan to do is to take a few of those very small magnets, glue them to the frame, then directly above that, attached to the shell, have steel screws that can be vertically adjusted, so I can easily separate the two. I think it will work.

Yes it would be nice to read some comments. After 5 difficult years with BPRC, I now know BPRC is not difficult. Actually, it's easy, and fun running a heavily weathered old steamer over rusty rails. Eat your heart out my track wired friends!

Dan




Edited by - DanT on 07/09/2018 11:07:44 PM

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Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 07/10/2018 :  2:25:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Not being familiar how DCC is used to control the "chuff" sound I'll leave that subject alone for now. All I remember is from when steam engine sounds were first added that a four lobe cam controlled the "chuff" rate. As far as the rotary encoder on a motor is concerned I think that it probably could be used. But as you said it adds cost.

quote:
.... Qi based wireless charging boards plus coils and a battery management board for charge and discharge control. Be forewarned, induction charging is not an easy subject to absorb, much less implement. But like anything else, with enough trials and tribulation, a workable design should present itself.


Could you enlighten me about "Qi"? What is it?

Edit: I Googled "What is Qi in wireless charging?" The answer is: "Qi (the Chinese word for “energy flow“, pronounced like the “chee“ in “cheese“) is the universal standard for wireless charging of battery operated devices like cell phones, iPods, MP3 players and cameras. The wireless power transfer occurs through electromagnetic induction."


I received my wireless charging boards today from the Robot Shop. Plan on doing some experimenting with them. Since you already have done some work with them can you tell me if the coil has to stay round or can it be shaped into an oblong coil to fit the width of the fuel tank on an engine?

quote:
Re those magnets, It's a pain to remove most shells from their frames, so what I plan to do is to take a few of those very small magnets, glue them to the frame, then directly above that, attached to the shell, have steel screws that can be vertically adjusted, so I can easily separate the two. I think it will work.


That sounds like an excellent solution for removing the shell. I think it will work great.

quote:
Yes it would be nice to read some comments. After 5 difficult years with BPRC, I now know BPRC is not difficult. Actually, it's easy, and fun running a heavily weathered old steamer over rusty rails. Eat your heart out my track wired friends!

Dan


I have seen the numbers increase slightly on how many have at least looked at the thread. I think pictures are needed to reinforce the printed word. I know it's hard to post pictures here using the forum software. I have my own web site and host my own pictures that I post.

Bernd


A PESSIMIST sees a dark tunnel
An OPTIMIST sees light at the end of the tunnel
A REALIST sees a freight train
The LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER sees three idiots standing on the tracks

Edited by - Bernd on 07/10/2018 8:38:07 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 2606 Go to Top of Page

DanT
New Hire

Posted - 08/07/2018 :  4:45:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Been thinking more and more about adding a video camera to an engine as a means of guiding a consist around a layout, especially when you lose visual contact entering a tunnel or head "around the mountain". A small screen on your hand-held controller would tell you exactly where you are and if you're heading for a "cornfield meet". Similar arrangements are used to "tour" a model railroad witha large monitor screen for viewing.

They've been doing it for years with model airplanes. It's called FPV, or First-person view. The technology exists, and it seems just a matter of developing a properly shaped hand-held with a proper monitoring screen to make it happen. Small cameras with integrated transmitters and small receivers are in use for FPV, probably small 3" monitors are available as well for a "T" shaped hand-held.

Anyone have any thoughts on the pros and cons of having such a system on board a BPRC locomotive?

Dan



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Bernd
Fireman



Posted - 08/08/2018 :  07:58:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bernd's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DanT

Been thinking more and more about adding a video camera to an engine as a means of guiding a consist around a layout, especially when you lose visual contact entering a tunnel or head "around the mountain".

Anyone have any thoughts on the pros and cons of having such a system on board a BPRC locomotive?

Dan



Personally I think it more of a novelty for public viewing. I'll give it more thought for now.

Bernd


A PESSIMIST sees a dark tunnel
An OPTIMIST sees light at the end of the tunnel
A REALIST sees a freight train
The LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER sees three idiots standing on the tracks

Country: USA | Posts: 2606 Go to Top of Page

DanT
New Hire

Posted - 08/09/2018 :  3:52:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not too many opinions expressed here, so let me expand on the video camera idea. For the last two years, have been studying, developing and acquiring parts needed for Tx controlled track switching. In this system, track bed mounted IR receivers pick up signals from a passing locomotive which in turn control turnout position. With the aid of the video camera you can decide to stay on the mainline or switch over to another route or yard area by simply moving your Tx toggle left or right (PB's will also do) to signal the appropriate receiver and switch machine.

This is a virtual reality train ride and you can use available FPV goggles for the journey. Being done now with model airplanes! Along with another operator friend, who is an electronics guru and Master Model Railroader, we envision a day when you can ship your engine to say, California, and take a virtual train ride on a big club layout while sitting on your recliner at home. Sort of doing this now with my iPad and FaceTime when we want to see and talk to our grand kids in PA.

Maybe this is too far out into the future, maybe not. We think the technology is, more or less, out there to make it happen soon. So what do you think? Anyone?

Dan



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