Best value remote-controlled DC power supply?

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The mechanic

The mechanic

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Hello everyone,

My new layout will have two electrically independent loops, each of which I would like to control via a remote handset (or one handset for each loop). This is so that I do not have to keep diving into the garage every time I want to control a train!

I have looked at the Aristocraft "Train Engineer" , the 10A black one that allows pure DC output voltage ( to avoid issues with built-in decoders) or PWM supply. Ideally, this system would more than suffice for my requirements, but I am aware that it is no longer available as a "new" product (something the retailers call "obsolete" when advertising their new wares).

So I would like to ask what is the best "modern day" equivalent of the above system, with the following in mind?......

1. I would like whatever I install to be moderately "future proof"
2. It needs to be relatively robust, but not 100% waterproof as it will be housed in the above-mentioned garage.
3. It would have to be keenly priced (cheap?) - I really cannot afford to take out a mortgage for this at my age!
4. I would like it to have 10A capacity in order to deal with multiple heading of various manufacturers (and ages) of trains on an undulating circuit.
5. I would like it to retain the pure or PWM capability of the "Train Engineer" if possible.
6. Retain the thermal/overload safety circuits similar (or better than) the "Train Engineer".
7. Before anyone suggests it ......DCC is definitely not an option due to the number of locomotives that would require decoders - see note 3 above.
8. I do have some battery and live steam locos, but would like to keep the main lines "electrified" in order to run my Son's standard LGB etc. locos from the box and enable the ability to run something "quickly".

........So my friends, what would you suggest would be a good, cost effective, option?

I look forward to your replies with great interest

Dave
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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So, you were looking at the old Train Engineer "trackside"?

What about the new Revolution model:

What's wrong with that?

 
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The mechanic

The mechanic

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So, you were looking at the old Train Engineer "trackside"?

What about the new Revolution model:

What's wrong with that?

Hi Greg,

I was under the impression that this system is geared up for on-board DCC control? I may have got it wrong, but there looks to be an awful lot of press-buttons and "gizmos" on the latest version that are not there on the older version.

Are you telling me that this latest version works in the same way as the older one?

It just gives the impression of being overly complicated for what I need, but I will investigate price wise and would appreciate a "tutorial" if you don't mind? So that I can get my head around it


Thanks for the heads-up!


Dave
 
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JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
So, you were looking at the old Train Engineer "trackside"?

What about the new Revolution model:

What's wrong with that?

Greg, I have looked at these and been confused, it talks about a base station, and also communicating with the loco, which would suggest an on-board Rx!
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Tamworth, Staffs.
You need a receiver in each loco.. Complexity for the OP to install, and additional cost..

OP wants 'wireless' control of voltage to the track..

PhilP.
 
GAP

GAP

G Scale Trains, HO Trains
14 Jun 2011
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Bundaberg Queensland, Australia
I think the transmitter talks to the "Super Base Receiver" and controls the track voltage that way.
The track power description on page 3 explains it, "The Super Base Receiver is designed to work on track power or battery power of at least 12 volts DC to a maximum of 26 volts DC. When running from track power with a controller, set your power to the highest setting. Connect DC power wires directly to the Base Station / Super Receiver on the two screw terminals marked INPUT and connect track wires on the two outer screw terminals marked OUTPUT"


Like a lot of sites I think that maybe they have just a standard blurb for al the transmitter/receiver combos.
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
You need a receiver in each loco.. Complexity for the OP to install, and additional cost..

OP wants 'wireless' control of voltage to the track..

PhilP.
Phil, that was my thought, so why a "base station"
 
The mechanic

The mechanic

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You need a receiver in each loco.. Complexity for the OP to install, and additional cost..

OP wants 'wireless' control of voltage to the track..

PhilP.

Exactly PhiliP, I think we are on the same wavelength with this! - just need to know the most cost-effective way of doing it.


Dave
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Phil is a bit confused, but historically, like the earlier Train Engineer line, there have been combos of a transmitter, and a receiver in the loco, and a different use "grouping" called a "trackside system" where the same transmitter is used and the receiver has higher current output and is intended to power the rails and not be in the loco.

My suggestion was and is the latter. Interestingly, you can also mix and match either the "on-board" receivers and the "trackside" receivers. The nomenclature on the web site is poor, and also somewhat rooted in terminology used 20 years ago, since the people associated with this product have at least 30 years in this.

So, there are 2 trackside receivers/base stations, one is "linear", with the output pretty much smoothly varying DC, and the "normal" one that has PWM output, which Aristo/Crest/Precision RC calls PWC sometimes. (the product line has been through at least 3 companies)

This product line is popular, well priced, and if it follows it's predecessors, will be around a long time.

Greg
 
GAP

GAP

G Scale Trains, HO Trains
14 Jun 2011
2,808
652
Bundaberg Queensland, Australia
Exactly PhiliP, I think we are on the same wavelength with this! - just need to know the most cost-effective way of doing it.


Dave

Dave

Reading the description from the user manual (link in post #6) "; "This is a base station to control the track or battery power. This receiver will control the one track your train is running on without modifying the locomotive in any way. However, the Receiver can also be used in a trailing car to allow multiple trains to run on the same track."
The Super Base Receiver is designed to work on track power or battery power of at least 12 volts DC to a maximum of 26 volts DC. When running from track power with a controller, set your power to the highest setting. Connect DC power wires directly to the Base Station / Super Receiver on the two screw terminals marked INPUT and connect track wires on the two outer screw terminals marked OUTPUT"

The transmitter is just a Revolution standard one which "talks" to the Super Reciever and controls the track voltage. The receiver is beside the track instead of in the loco.

From reading the manual I have deduced that, what has been suggested is the direct replacement for the old "Train Engineer" there is no requirement to put anything in a loco.

Edit I posted this before Greg's reply but for some reason it did not post.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
26,801
2,771
Tamworth, Staffs.
Serves me right for not checking the latest on the website! - Yes this unit will give you trackside control of the track voltage.

Greg,
Could you use a second trackside unit from the SAME handset, for a second track?

PhilP.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Yes ... and then some...

So you can indeed "register" a throttle to multiple "receivers", and any combination of trackside or on board receivers.

So the literal answer to your question is yes.

The nomenclature is a bit goofy (I was actually in the initial testing and design of these, in fact the original was 900 MHz and looked quite different).

So for every "receiver", you specify an ID from 1 to 99.... that's the "binding" that most R/C people would follow, you do this once with the programming button on the receiver and the cab, this is called "linking" in their literature.

Then you define "cabs" in the throttle, and these "cabs" can be ANY combination, 1 or more "IDs".

(this allows consisting)

So you could buy one throttle, and 2 trackside units, and then define 2 cabs and define one for one track and one for another. You can switch between cabs very easily on the throttle, which has a nice LCD display that is very sunlight readable.

All in all, a very popular system that works well, has more features than most R/C systems and is inexpensive.

Greg
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
Greg, as mentioned earlier, i have looked at the site, but some of the descriptions are not easily understood.
Question, is there an ancillary or accessory unit available for this, similar to the older (2000) TE.
 
Last edited:
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Yes, it has 6 outputs I believe which can run leds, and there is also an extra board with relays for high current loads, like switching a smoke unit.

I suggest you create an account and then you can download manuals, etc.

There are also sites with lots of information about the Revolution system, here's a link:


Scroll down, there is a wealth of information there.

Greg
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Ahh... more requirements!!

1. I would like whatever I install to be moderately "future proof"
2. It needs to be relatively robust, but not 100% waterproof as it will be housed in the above-mentioned garage.
3. It would have to be keenly priced (cheap?) - I really cannot afford to take out a mortgage for this at my age!
4. I would like it to have 10A capacity in order to deal with multiple heading of various manufacturers (and ages) of trains on an undulating circuit.
5. I would like it to retain the pure or PWM capability of the "Train Engineer" if possible.
6. Retain the thermal/overload safety circuits similar (or better than) the "Train Engineer".
7. Before anyone suggests it ......DCC is definitely not an option due to the number of locomotives that would require decoders - see note 3 above.
8. I do have some battery and live steam locos, but would like to keep the main lines "electrified" in order to run my Son's standard LGB etc. locos from the box and enable the ability to run something "quickly".


So there is a number 9? :giggle:

So, adding features to a system should somewhat fly in the face of #3...

So you could buy the micro receivers for throwing switches, and some extra electronics like relays or something to boost the outputs to control the switch motors.



Done right you can drive 6 small relays from those outputs, and if you need a momentary I think it can be programmed as such, so off the top of my head, this would run 3 switches in the most simple and straightforward configuration.

Wanting a lot of features for very little cost means a bit more effort here.

By the way, people do use a DCC system, with a high current decoder, and connect the decoder to the rails. The DCC version of the Train Engineer suggests this as a possible solution, and this would be a more plug and play solution for the switches/turnouts/points, i.e. connect directly from the electronics to the turnout.

Basically the same transmitter, the receiver is a 5 amp booster, and then you get a 5 amp decoder and hook it's motor outputs to the rails, similar to the "Traditional" Train Engineer "Trackside" system.

Then you could use things like a Digitrax DS-64 for your turnouts like I do.


Greg
 
Diesel2000

Diesel2000

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18 Feb 2020
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G Scale Graphics Trackside RailBoss should satisfy exactly what you are looking for: TrackSide 4 R/C System

I'm using a 10amp 24v Meanwell power supply with it. The system works great and I highly recommend
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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I cannot find where the G-Scale Graphics product has function outputs for the turnouts/points , what the last 2 posts (#15 and #16) are about.

If there is a function output for points, please point me there.

Greg
 
Diesel2000

Diesel2000

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No turnout control. I was suggesting the trackside railboss to the OP. Sorry for the confusion.