Building the Multi-Power Loco....

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Hi Jon

What a great post. You have done more or less what I have been hoping to do, but thought not possible in UK, which is:
  • Stanton S-Cab Throttle, but with
  • Stanton ECO-400 with receiver. This is the Soundtraxx Econami 400 DCC and sound board coupled to an S-Cab receiver
I was put off because I thought that S-Cab was only available with US frequency. Your news that Stanton will do a Euro special is great news.

I am a newbie to DCC and battery radio control but keen to learn. Would it be possible for you to post a parts lists of all the bits that are needed and where to source them? Such as:

  • 5v stabilizer boards
  • quick blow in-line fuse
  • loudspeaker
  • miniature toggle switches
  • etc, etc.
If you could that would be so helpful.

Plan is to install in Aristocraft and Bachmann steam outline locos.

All the best.

Tim

At the risk of blowing my own trumpet..

http://rctrains.co.uk/Accessories.htm#Voltage_reg

Also, Polyswitch fuses (2A and 2.5A), switches, charging sockets etc..
And, plenty of linked-to information for those just starting out..
(other suppliers are available) ;)
 
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Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
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Feel free to blow away, PhilP (hang on, that didn't come out quite as I planned....) ;)

Just got the Multi-Mode 2095 and soem OBB coach stock packed up ready for the Open Day visit, hoping the weather stays good - it's a very extensive layout in a really large garden, which will give me the opportunity to conduct some range tests with the S-Cab, which is one thing I haven't really done yet; indoor tests show it will work happily at the longest line-of-sight distance I can get in the house, but that's only about 25 feet or so. When testing Cliff's version a couple of years back at an indoor show, we managed successful control the full length of the hall we were using, which was probably 80 feet.......
Will report back on how today's outdoor tests go!

Jon.
 
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Zerogee

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Back now from the afternoon's running at the open day, all with the onboard battery, and happy to report that the loco itself performed faultlessly....... Murphy did manage to stick his oar in slightly, because the one thing I hadn't done is to give the S-Cab's inbuilt battery a thorough overnight charge - I'd topped it up with a couple of hours during the week, but that obviously wasn't enough as shortly into the running session I noticed that the second digit of the S-Cab's display was getting dimmer than the first digit, which is the sign that the li-ion cell is getting low.... to its credit the Cab remained operational the whole afternoon, but the low battery did, i think, drop the range considerably - while control range remained quite adequate, I think it would have been much better on a full charge.
That aside, the degree of control over the loco was excellent - really just the same as running it on track-power DCC, which was of course the intention of the whole project - so I think it can be considered a success!

Now thinking about putting the second TVD receiver I have into my "spare" Saxon Meyer IVk, so that I have both diesel and steam outline locos to run..... things I've learned while doing the BoBo will, I think, make the IVk relatively straightforward. An alternative candidate for conversion would be the original green Frank S that I bought a year or so ago, which has less room in the loco itself but of course has the advantage of a tender with some space in it... hmmm, decisions, decisions.....

Jon.
 

palmerston

trains
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I just hit the contact button on the Tam Valley Depot website for asking some questions.

http://www.tamvalleydepot.com/aboutus/contactus.html

This week he announced dropping the Dead Rail System. He is seeking for a replacement company to take over the DRS range.
 

Zerogee

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I just hit the contact button on the Tam Valley Depot website for asking some questions.

http://www.tamvalleydepot.com/aboutus/contactus.html

This week he announced dropping the Dead Rail System. He is seeking for a replacement company to take over the DRS range.


Thanks for the heads-up on that - let's hope that somebody does successfully pick up the products, the latest news flash on the site suggests that somebody is seriously interested.... In the meantime I've just ordered a couple more 869MHz DRS1 receivers from one of the UK stockists (Digitrains) while I can still get them, just in case they are unavailable for some length of time - these should see me through all the conversions that I'm likely to want to do in the forseeable future!

Jon.
 

palmerston

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Do you need a DCC Central station for setting the adres in the decoder?

Can you reprogram the buttons on the DRS handheld for other functions?
 

Zerogee

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Do you need a DCC Central station for setting the adres in the decoder?

Can you reprogram the buttons on the DRS handheld for other functions?

I don't use Tam Valley's own DRS handset - I use a Stanton Radio Cab specially ordered for 869MHz; I don't know if the handset can be reprogrammed, I've never found the need to try.

If, instead, you use a Tam Valley DRS transmitter module (not their new all-in-one handset) then that is connected to the output of a DCC central station - therefore you will already have a DCC system that you can use for programming - BUT with the Stanton Cab you CAN program decoder CVs wirelessly through the DRS receiver if you wish, so if you go that route then technically you don't need a DCC Central station at all.

Jon.
 
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palmerston

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I don't use Tam Valley's own DRS handset - I use a Stanton Radio Cab specially ordered for 869MHz; I don't know if the handset can be reprogrammed, I've never found the need to try.

I see the Stanton has a lot more buttons then the TVD DRS handheld. I wish i would have know earlier about Stanton S-Cab and TamValleyDepot as i have waited for years for the Massoth unit. The only system know to me was the Uhlenbrock/KM1/GamesOntrack which requiers a central station and a mains supply. Costs over 600 €. for the start.

Tempted for the Stanted S-Cab as DCC makes installation and operating so much easier then RC equipment. I also read that the S-cab handheld only transmits for a 0.04 seconds....so my garagedoor opener wil work and the remote unlocking of my own, visitors or neighbours car will also work!
 
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Zerogee

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The DRS1 handset is not listed.

Yes, I noticed that - I'm wondering if development work on it has not been finished, unlike the rest of the DRS components which have been in production for some time. Still, the Stanton Cab is a much better control option, to me the DRS Hand Throttle looks oddly limited, particularly in terms of its function controls..
The only drawback of the S-Cab for outdoor use is its limited range - according to the designer/manufacturer, due to the very limited transmitting power permitted by US regs. However I've been reliably informed that someone with suitable electronics knowledge should be able to increase the power (and thus the range) considerably by bypassing the voltage regulator in the output stage of the unit, and feeding the transmitter with full battery voltage - I have yet to see if I can find anyone willing to have a go at this with my handset..... ;)

Jon.
 
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PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
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Yes, I noticed that - I'm wondering if development work on it has not been finished, unlike the rest of the DRS components which have been in production for some time. Still, the Stanton Cab is a much better control option, to me the DRS Hand Throttle looks oddly limited, particularly in terms of its function controls..
The only drawback of the S-Cab for outdoor use is its limited range - according to the designer/manufacturer, due to the very limited transmitting power permitted by US regs. However I've been reliably informed that someone with suitable electronics knowledge should be able to increase the power (and thus the range) considerably by bypassing the voltage regulator in the output stage of the unit, and feeding the transmitter with full battery voltage - I have yet to see if I can find anyone willing to have a go at this with my handset..... ;)

Jon.

Two problems Jon,
1. 'Whoever' becomes responsible if the unit goes 'pop'..
2. Would probably mean it no longer conforms to any regulatory certifications.. - You might have 'fun' if it interferes with something, and someone complains. :(
 

palmerston

trains
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Would be nice if these systems would operate on the 2,4 or 5GHZ. Then there will be no problems of interfering.