Basic analog track control questions. (Aristocraft TE)

Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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It's very important for a transmitter to have an antenna that it resonates with. 1/4, 1/2, and 5/8 waves are typical. All have different radiation patterns and different requirements for a ground plane.

On the receive side, again you want a resonant structure to receive the signal "most strongly"... and again it should be (typically) an integer sub multiple... mainly for practicality.

The longer the antenna (provided it is a sub multiple or multiple of the wavelength) the more gain.

There is an exception in the R/C industry (does not hold for Aristo) recently though, by tuning their systems to a 40" wire, to try to use the same antenna for 27 and 72 MHz... weird.

So, antenna length is important on both ends, and in the higher frequencies, polarization. You can look this up anywhere, but please on an electrical engineering site, by engineers. I have one engineer whose sole function is designing antennas, and built my first high gain Yagi antenna tuned for my favorite FM station in 1973, and am an amateur radio operator.

Greg
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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Greg, so if I use the same length as the existing (doubling it) then that be within the wave length.
 
dutchelm

dutchelm

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The long aerial is useful as an uncoupler for LGB couplings.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

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.........This stopped me straining my wrist and poking my eye out.... o_O
In the immortal words of Eric Morecambe, "There's no answer to that!"

Jon.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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not quite that simple, because you may be making the assumption that the stock antenna is the correct length.

So I read back through the thread, Jimmy you say you bought a TE, is it the new 2.4 GHz unit, or the older 27 MHz TE? The rest of the thread references the older TE components.

So, just so I do not make a mistake, which unit(s) are we talking about, and are you trying to increase the transmit gain, or the receive gain and on what unit?

Greg
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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OK, that is the older TE system, running 27 MHz.

So brick can be tricky, do you have any metal reinforcing rods or mesh in it?

Plain brick is more loss than a wood frame, but less loss than reinforced concrete.

So the first thing is to use the long whip on your transmitters, that will help the most.

You can extend the antennas on your receivers, make sure they are also vertical.

Try with stock antennas first.

There are reasons that people will say "make the wire as long as you can"....

This is because 1/4 wavelength (about the shortest you can use) is over 100 inches... So most people just the antenna longer.

If you want to get fussy, you can calculate the length here: Frequency Wavelength Calculator

The frequencies used are on this page: 27 MHz Train Engineer
(table at the end of the page)

So taking the "average" 27.135 MHz, you get a 1/4 wavelength of 108.8 inches.

So if you extend your antenna wire on the receiver to about that length, it should help the most. Clearly 1/2 wave at double that length is not feasible. (This is often why you see 27 MHz receiving antennas in locos wound on a tube)

Greg
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

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Well this is my installation. It's served me well for 15 years. No reception/transmission problems walking around with the TX in the garden. Standard aeriels, etc'. Stone built house and a metal window frame the receiver's antenna is tied to (gade Ii listed, can't change it). Very low tech round here. So what is the farthest you'll get from your garage installation ? Max

102600_2d0c11291511a5f496319c29114a0ae8.jpg
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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Greg, many thanks, some interesting information on your page. Your page mentions the accessory controllers, and pulse output, and not being suitable for all switch machines, will they work with LGB switch machines?
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

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Greg, many thanks, some interesting information on your page. Your page mentions the accessory controllers, and pulse output, and not being suitable for all switch machines, will they work with LGB switch machines?
They did with mine, all LGB point motors. Max
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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Maxi. many thanks, like all new things, its a steep learning curve at the beginning.
 
Eaglecliff

Eaglecliff

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Well this is my installation. It's served me well for 15 years. No reception/transmission problems walking around with the TX in the garden. Standard aeriels, etc'. Stone built house and a metal window frame the receiver's antenna is tied to (gade Ii listed, can't change it). Very low tech round here. So what is the farthest you'll get from your garage installation ? Max

View attachment 241745
As a retired conveyancing lawyer I find it surprising, to say the least, that a Grade 1 (or did you mean 2?)listed building is of an age/significance to have metal (Crittall?) windows. Art Nouveau? Who designed it? What age is it?
I did once act for a publican who had replaced all her pub’s wooden windows with pvc and was made to replace them but I don’t ever recall (in 43 years) a similar situation with metal frames (which having lived in a Council flat so fitted I can heartily not recommend). I am sure you could start a real punch-up between your local planners and the environmental people!
 
chris m01

chris m01

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Not wanting to high-jack this thread, but I am about add electric points, first thing I notice is that LGB/Piko seem to be interchangeable, and after reading this thread and the manual Korm provided a link for I understand that LGB 12030 will switch track power, but you suggest that the switch is not really up to the job, and suggest a latching relay powered from Art 5475. Please can you supply more details as this far simpler than running power from a switch box.
The latching relays I use are part number 680-3889 from RS - see RT424F12 | DPDT PCB Mount Latching Relay 15 A, 12V dc For Use In Power Applications | RS Components
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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chris m01

chris m01

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Yes. The pulse of power from the accessory controller goes to both the point motor and the relay. They are wired in parallel not series.
 
beavercreek

beavercreek

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Looks like you are accumulating much info for the 'new' system Jimmy.
It will definitely get a good use in its new home.
When I had your 'new' kit installed at my layout I had extended the receiver aerials vertically to the roof of the conservatory.
The range was fine right to the extreme of the garden.
But what did affect it greatly, was the DCC Massoth Central Station RF (433mhz) which was sited close to the receivers and aerials.
Although this is a totally different frequency, the strength of the signal seemd to 'swamp' the TE 27mhz one.
Maybe it was also due to the fact that 433mhz is pretty much 16 times 27mhz.

The Massoth unit also interfered with my 'X-10' house automation but as the X-10 also works on 433mhz as well, it was expected.

The receiver aerials were pretty close to our DAB aerial for the radio in the conservatory and when I had the TE on it would cause DAB interference whenever I used the transmitter!. FM signal was completely fine.

Anyhow you will probably not have these problems but do keep any other strong RF source a good distance away from the receiver aerials.

Happy runnings!
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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So I am now looking around for a power supply for my ART 5474/5475, the instruction say "connect to any DC power source (5 - 18 volts)" finding this a bit vague, and reading Greg's website 12V DC would seem about right, but what amps/watts. A quick look on the internet come with an array or plug in power sources, especially the "all in the plug type" like a phone charger. Will any 12V 12w (1a) or higher rating do the job!
 
PhilP

PhilP

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So I am now looking around for a power supply for my ART 5474/5475, the instruction say "connect to any DC power source (5 - 18 volts)" finding this a bit vague, and reading Greg's website 12V DC would seem about right, but what amps/watts. A quick look on the internet come with an array or plug in power sources, especially the "all in the plug type" like a phone charger. Will any 12V 12w (1a) or higher rating do the job!
Just watch it does not run too hot.. - A lot of the 'wall-wart' PSU's are not very thermally efficient..

If you think about it, you are running the TE point-controller, and only drawing much power when you fire the point(s) (unless you switch other accessories as well).. The latching relays should not use much current to hold latched.

IMHO, something a little bigger will probably last longer, and give you a margin for other accessories, as the layout develops.
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

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So I am now looking around for a power supply for my ART 5474/5475, the instruction say "connect to any DC power source (5 - 18 volts)" finding this a bit vague, and reading Greg's website 12V DC would seem about right, but what amps/watts. A quick look on the internet come with an array or plug in power sources, especially the "all in the plug type" like a phone charger. Will any 12V 12w (1a) or higher rating do the job!
If you can find one of these....

ARISTO-CRAFT 4amp POWER SUPPLY & CONTROLLER (0590sjm) | #131225794