A new single manufacturer 'Dead Rail' wireless (RC) DCC system........ ?

beavercreek

beavercreek

Travel, Art, Theatre, Music, Photography, Trains
24 Oct 2009
17,348
56
East Anglia
www.facebook.com
If you have a DCC loco that you want to take to a layout with no power (dead-rail) then you are in a bit of a pickle if you want to run the loco and control its DCC functions.
You can add batteries to the loco but to control the functions there are these solutions......

1) There are quite a few folk who have been waiting years for Massoth to produce their wireless (RC) (non central station) DCC system, the DRC300. Looks like it will never happen

2) There have been a few of us that have cobbled together the StantonCab RC controller with Tam Valley DSR1 Hi-Power receiver boardhooked up to a DCC decoder in a battery loco to enable wireless DCC control of a loco without having track power or a DCC central station.

3) The Airwire system... expensive and with a fairly good range of functions.

But is the following, the inexpensive, 'off the shelf', one manufacturer answer that wireless (RC) battery DCC loco runners have been waiting for...

There seems to be a new kid on the block... well they are not that new as they have been producing the Crest Revolution (Train Engineer) wireless system for some years.
They now have a wireless system for controlling a DCC decoder. The initial set of wireless TX handset and one RX board (which hooks up to the decoder, is only $195 (about £150 plus the shipping and VAT) extra RX boards are $105 each. The handset is smaller, more advanced and has far more functionality than the Stanton Cab jobbie and the RX board is the same size as the plain non-DCC Revo one so will easily fit in most locos or battery trailer car/tender.

Here is the link for the PDF of the Revolution RC DCC system : http://www.revoelectronics.com/media/wysiwyg/revo_59000_manual.pdf

Retailers page for the system: REVOLUTION DCC - Products
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Gardenbahner
Hutch

Hutch

G Gauge, Raising Peaches, Apricots
1 Feb 2012
346
4
Southwest Oklahoma, USA
I have one, I guess I better test it out...

Greg


Greg, please let us know how it does, at the moment I'm sort of fed up with the price performance of current DCC products, and would like to use something that is "more logical".
 
Tony Walsham

Tony Walsham

Manufacturer of RCS Radio Control.
25 Oct 2009
2,109
8
Casino, NSW
If this system does what it says it can do, at the price point outlined, it will have the potential to wipe out most, if not all, of the existing Large Scale battery R/C DCC set ups just as it is proposed. Plus most of the regular battery R/C systems.
A much smaller Rx will be needed to do the same in the smaller scales.
Good luck to them.
 
John S

John S

Registered
5 Nov 2017
634
110
Exeter, Devon, UK
Last edited:
beavercreek

beavercreek

Travel, Art, Theatre, Music, Photography, Trains
24 Oct 2009
17,348
56
East Anglia
www.facebook.com
Information can be found here at, Tam Valley Order Form – Dead Rail Installs

Also worth a visit is the site belonging to Dave Bodnar at Crest Train Engineer Revolution, just one of a number of informative articles that can be found on his site.

View attachment 240558

Hi John
Thanks for the update on the availability of Tam Valley DSR1 Hi-Power board I will amend the post to include this.
When I bought mine it used to appear on the product information website pages

Dave Bodnar's articles are very informative but they about the ordinary non-DCC Crest Revolution system.
My posting is about the new RC DCC version.
 
John S

John S

Registered
5 Nov 2017
634
110
Exeter, Devon, UK
Hi bevercreek, oops, my bad, hadn't spotted that.

Avid fan of the Tam Valley system, all in all the Revolution RC DCC system does seem to offer an affordable solution.
Thanks for mentioning it, as an alternative.
Await Greg's notes on this with some interest.
 
Last edited:
beavercreek

beavercreek

Travel, Art, Theatre, Music, Photography, Trains
24 Oct 2009
17,348
56
East Anglia
www.facebook.com
No pobs John
Hopefully Greg's investigation won't be too damning as he tends to take manufacturers to task for even small problems (Aristocraft often used to get the sharp end of his mind in the past including the Crest Revo system when it first entered the market)
If the system works and gives a good enough coverage of RC DCC control then I would be happy. ( Although I run DCC, I use the ordinary DC Revo control for a few locos and have found it to be very reliable and flexible)
It does not set out to be the pinnacle of technology but seems a pretty inexpensive way of gettingRC DCC control.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,618
98
North Essex
Looks an interesting entry into the market...... my only worry is that the prices quoted are shown as "sale" prices, the "full" prices shown by the items are pretty darn high.... at the sale prices it is an affordable option, at the full prices rather less so!
For me the Stanton/Tam Valley combo has been working very well indeed - it is extremely easy to install and the just simply works, seamlessly, as I would hope the new Revo one will. As discussed before, the only real problem with the Stanton Cab is operating range - and with the special extended range version that Neil Stanton made for me, that has certainly been improved; still not massive, but adequate for most circumstances.
I've taken my two TVD equipped locos to several layouts at open days, and they run very well.
It will be very interesting to see how well Revo's version is received, and I'll certainly keep an eye on developments.

I know you bought some TVD DRS gear, Mike, have you got round to installing any of it in anything yet?

Jon.
 
itsmcgee

itsmcgee

Registered
18 Apr 2012
263
0
Spokane Washington USA
This system looks great. I just ordered one, should be here in a couple days. I will share my experience with it. I have used the dead rail system with the airwire controller and it works but has limited range compared to the Revo DC. I have been installing my DCC decoders with a power switch which allows power from the rails or (with the flip of a switch) power from a plug.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,618
98
North Essex
One thing I will be very interested to know..... the new Revo system describes the receiver module as a "command station/booster" - does that mean that it transmits a proprietary signal format to the receiver, which then translates that into a DCC command signal to feed the decoder? That is what Massoth were always planning to do with the never-produced DRC300 system. The Tam Valley system works by actually transmitting the DCC commands wirelessly, with the transmitter being the actual "central station" and the receiver simply being a signal booster. I will be very interested to find out which of these two types of system the new Revo one uses.

Jon.
 
John S

John S

Registered
5 Nov 2017
634
110
Exeter, Devon, UK
From reading the manual which is at present "provisional" the Transmitter contains within it's "firmware & software" the complete set of NMRA DCC Commands as they stand at the present, should the MNRA make a changes in the future the Transmitter has the ability to be "upgraded" via USB by the end user, well thought out in this respect, future proofing.

All the transmitter does is transmits the NMRA DCC Commands via the IEEE-801.15.4 standard 2.4GHz DSSS radio frequency, and the receiver, well just receives, and forwards the NMRA DCC Command onto a NMRA compliant decoder.

The term and reference to booster is a tad confusing, (as in DCC we tend to think of this as voltage) a more simplified explanation would be to describe it as an "amplifier", when the NMRA DCC Commands are received by the receiver they are fairly "weak in signal modulation" therefore need "boosting or amplifying" for forwarding onto the decoder.

Personnel view, well thought out, minimal equipment, no need as in the Tam Valley System to lug the Massoth Central Station around, future proof, once the end user detaches one's mindset from complicated DCC as in conventional DCC Hard wired systems, to, a very structured and well laid out way to activate commands, this could well be a very successful purchase with a lot of happy users.
 
Last edited:
C

Cliff George

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,121
0
City of Chelmsford
One thing I will be very interested to know..... the new Revo system describes the receiver module as a "command station/booster" - does that mean that it transmits a proprietary signal format to the receiver, which then translates that into a DCC command signal to feed the decoder? That is what Massoth were always planning to do with the never-produced DRC300 system. The Tam Valley system works by actually transmitting the DCC commands wirelessly, with the transmitter being the actual "central station" and the receiver simply being a signal booster. I will be very interested to find out which of these two types of system the new Revo one uses.

Jon.
Presumably the protocol is proprietary since the instructions Mike highlights says this system is bi-directional, where pure DCC is not, and that feature of the receiver, max power ect, can be configured.

Interesting system, benefits I can see (assuming claims are true)
*) Can control all 28/29 Functions
*) Better range
*) bi-directional protocol ensures changes reach the decoder
*) Universal frequency for all countries.
*) Better system for the operation of multiple handsets.
*) Maybe others I can't yet think of.

Interested to see reviews of this from Greg, itsmcgee.
 
Gardenbahner

Gardenbahner

Registered
10 Jul 2013
298
35
Very interesting. Combining all the benefits of DCC and battery powered R/C. Win win! :clap:
 
Last edited:
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,628
260
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
If you have a DCC loco that you want to take to a layout with no power (dead-rail) then you are in a bit of a pickle if you want to run the loco and control its DCC functions.
You can add batteries to the loco but to control the functions there are these solutions......

1) There are quite a few folk who have been waiting years for Massoth to produce their wireless (RC) (non central station) DCC system, the DRC300. Looks like it will never happen

2) There have been a few of us that have cobbled together the StantonCab RC controller with Tam Valley DSR1 Hi-Power receiver boardhooked up to a DCC decoder in a battery loco to enable wireless DCC control of a loco without having track power or a DCC central station.

3) The Airwire system... expensive and with a fairly good range of functions.

But is the following, the inexpensive, 'off the shelf', one manufacturer answer that wireless (RC) battery DCC loco runners have been waiting for...

There seems to be a new kid on the block... well they are not that new as they have been producing the Crest Revolution (Train Engineer) wireless system for some years.
They now have a wireless system for controlling a DCC decoder. The initial set of wireless TX handset and one RX board (which hooks up to the decoder, is only $195 (about £150 plus the shipping and VAT) extra RX boards are $105 each. The handset is smaller, more advanced and has far more functionality than the Stanton Cab jobbie and the RX board is the same size as the plain non-DCC Revo one so will easily fit in most locos or battery trailer car/tender.

Here is the link for the PDF of the Revolution RC DCC system : http://www.revoelectronics.com/media/wysiwyg/revo_59000_manual.pdf

Retailers page for the system: REVOLUTION DCC - Products
Great possibilities with this. I already have 4 Batter Locomotives with the Revo and am very happy with the way it works. If this one cuts it my dreams have come true. I have just ordered a set with a spare chip for a second loco so looks like I will be jumping in at the deep end! That is of course if the Manuafacturer lets my Credit Card work! Already failed on 2 different cards!
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,618
98
North Essex
From reading the manual which is at present "provisional" the Transmitter contains within it's "firmware &software" the complete set of NMRA DCC Commands as they stand at the present, should the MNRA make a changes in the future the Transmitter has the ability to be "upgraded" via USB by the end user, well thought out in this respect, future proofing.

All the transmitter does is transmits the NMRA DCC Commands via the IEEE-801.15.4 standard 2.4GHz DSSS radio frequency, and the receiver, well just receives, and forwards the NMRA DCC Command onto a NMRA compliant decoder.

The term and reference to booster is a tad confusing, ( as in DCC we tend to think of this as voltage) a more simplified explanation would be to describe it as an "amplifier", when the NMRA DCC Commands are received by the receiver they are fairly "weak in signal modulation" therefore need "boosting or amplifying" for forwarding onto the decoder.

Sorry for the Geek explaining, from tinkering with home brew decoders tacked onto the Tam Valley Receivers, discovered the need to "boost" the signal, usually something as simple as a conventional H Bridge Driver would in most cases be sufficient.

Personnel view, well thought out, minimal equipment, no need as in the Tam Valley System to lug the Massoth Central Station around, future proof, once the end user detaches one's mindset from complicated DCC as in conventional DCC Hard wired systems, to, a very structured and well laid out way to activate commands, this could well be a very successful purchase with a lot of happy users.

Thanks John, that pretty much answers my question - so it works the same way as the Tam valley system, by transmitting the actual DCC commands wirelessly (re your last paragraph, I get round the requirement to have the central station present by using the Stanton handset to transmit directly to the Tam valley receiver); as opposed to the planned-but-never-released Massoth system which used the proprietary Dimax comms protocol for the Navvy to talk to the chip in the loco, the actual DCC signal only being created within the loco receiver module.

Jon.
 
Tony Walsham

Tony Walsham

Manufacturer of RCS Radio Control.
25 Oct 2009
2,109
8
Casino, NSW
Presumably the protocol is proprietary since the instructions Mike highlights says this system is bi-directional, where pure DCC is not, and that feature of the receiver, max power ect, can be configured.

SNIP
If a method of two way transmission in the described system is proprietary, it would be possible to patent such a method, if it hasn't already been patented, and limit the use of such a standard to just one manufacturer.
What would happen to the basic DCC idea of common interoperability of component parts?
 
Gardenbahner

Gardenbahner

Registered
10 Jul 2013
298
35
With these sale prices then, does that mean I can get a complete 5A wireless DCC system (less power supply) for 195 Bucks?
If so it's worth buying on that basis alone.
 
C

Cliff George

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,121
0
City of Chelmsford
If a method of two way transmission in the described system is proprietary, it would be possible to patent such a method, if it hasn't already been patented, and limit the use of such a standard to just one manufacturer.
What would happen to the basic DCC idea of common interoperability of component parts?
The only standardised part of DCC is the track protocol, so already you cannot mix handsets and DCC systems from different manufactures. The use of the Stanton CAB and the TVD receiver really only works by luck rather than design in that both decided to carry the raw DCC over the air and both decided to use tx and rx chips from the same manufacturer (Linx). I don't see the use of a proprietary protocol in the revo system as a major disadvantage, and potentially has advantages such as confirmation commands arrive at the receiver (without requiring multiple repeats) and the ability to configue parameters in the receiver itself, rather than just the DCC decoder.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,618
98
North Essex
Placed an order for some myself, to try it out - as I've already got my two TVD-equipped locos up and running, I should be able to test the new system very easily as the new Revo module should be a straight drop-in replacement for the TVD DRS receiver - literally disconnect four wires and swap the receiver units over!

Will see what happens...... if the new Revo stuff remains at the "sale" prices it will be quite affordable, but if/when they revert to the "normal" pricing then it will be a much more expensive option than the TVD/Stanton setup. Whether that extra will then be worth paying for what is mainly an increased range benefit will remain to be seen (yes, I know that you will get other benefits like the better CV programming abilities - though the Stanton Cab will handle that as well, just not as "visually" - but I expect to be doing 99% of my programming via the Massoth CS anyway as usual).

Jon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dunnyrail