Converting Bachmann fleet to Battery & RC

maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
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How many controllers (hand held) were you going to get? Certainly not one per loco, right?

Looks like there are many eneloop clones, like the "enelong" brand.

3 - 4 Between the 11 locos. The way I operate and how they are run by type, logging/D&RGW, that should be sufficient. Just have to make sure they are paired up right, e.g. K-27, Heisler & Porter on one TX. There is little or no chance I will operate them together. If in the course of things I find I need one between 2 I can always add. I pick the locos I am going to run and I have a couple of clearly labled tx's to select and use. What I don't want is a single DCC TX that all are loaded on that I am having to remember all the loco designations and functions and flipping between them. I could do that with my 009 hand held Piko DCC set up if I want to but that's an indoor table top affair where I rarely want run more than two. Max.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Interesting, not trying to convince you to DCC, but scrolling through 11 locos is nothing for me on my Zimo or NCE systems. Since I know the DCC address by looking at the loco, I really can just punch in the address and go, as opposed to having to look it up. I use 3 handhelds, and of course any handheld can control any loco, and if I need more controllers, we just use the cell phone app.

I really don't get your point on having to remember designations and functions, how there is any difference between what you are going to use and DCC?

I think your biggest challenge will be to standardize the function numbers to all the same sounds on all locos, then you only need to remember one mapping.

Again, just not getting the point, but do not wish to derail your thread, so I do not need an answer.

Greg
 
spoz

spoz

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I’ve been using Deltang and/or Clive Barker’s system with NiMH for years in a fair selection of Bachman locos. In my view, 13.2 volts from AAs is usually adequate. Indeed I used about 11 volts from AAAs for one (see Bachmann Indy 2-6-0 Battery & R/C Conversion). I get at least three hours running with them (and with AAs in a couple of Pikos with double motors)

But the purpose of the post is to address the track pick ups. If you are going battery, remove them completely. While it’s not an enormous amount, they do contribute drag which it is totally unnecessary to live with. Removal is easy to do, and then there will certainly be no accidental track connection.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,918
554
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Interesting, not trying to convince you to DCC, but scrolling through 11 locos is nothing for me on my Zimo or NCE systems. Since I know the DCC address by looking at the loco, I really can just punch in the address and go, as opposed to having to look it up. I use 3 handhelds, and of course any handheld can control any loco, and if I need more controllers, we just use the cell phone app.

I really don't get your point on having to remember designations and functions, how there is any difference between what you are going to use and DCC?

I think your biggest challenge will be to standardize the function numbers to all the same sounds on all locos, then you only need to remember one mapping.

Again, just not getting the point, but do not wish to derail your thread, so I do not need an answer.

G

Ah ! So you saw right through my "head 'em of at the DCC pass" ploy Greg :). I'm a simple soul, I know what I like and I like what I know, so I try to stick to the KISS principal. I own 3 locos at present that are already battery powered, RC controlled and fitted with sound. My first such loco uses the MyLocoSound steam card. the second the Sierra and the last is factory fitted with the Mtronics card. In all these installations the sound cards have varying levels of "automated/idling sounds" and at least 2 more that can be triggered by myself from the TX when wanted. Track embedded reed switch triggers do not work for me. The engine sounds on 2 locos are voltage regulated, the other by a tender wheel mounted reed switch and magnets (Sierra). As I have mentioned somewhere else I do have a DCC sound enabled loco, a tiny OO9 Bachmann Baldwin. What it and its DCC control system packs into its tiny frame is gobsmacking. In all I have as many TX's as locos - 1 a Spektrum DX6 (shared with 2 other live steamers), another a Fosworks Omni2 and lastly a gawdawfull Absima CR2 that hails from the model car world that is a factory fit to the Diesel.

One thing I have noticed with the locos that have been equipped is that I make little or no use of the sounds outside of the voltage/idling dependent automated ones, even with the tiny Baldwin. It;s fun that the extra functions are there or available but I don't use them, by habit. The other thing I have noted is that the constant scrolling on the Piko DCC handset to access some of the Baldwins sound functions and loco index was a PITA resulting in my just relying on the automated sounds on the little loco and not putting the DC chip in another loco. I am hopeless when handling controllers, all fingers and thumbs as they say. My brain is just not wired up for these things. Heck, I only discovered I could change frequencies and what the DIR and SPD buttons were for a year ago on my 17 year old Train Engineer. Why ? I never had or found a reason to use them, a need if you wish. And as any salesman will tell you, if you cannot find or create the need then you cannot site a product's features and attendant advantages to show as benefits.

At heart (whisper it) I'm more a collector.than an operator. I appreciate a nice scale model, I'm fascinated by finely detailed scale replicas and that's why I err to the prototypical rather than freelance. If it can move and you can see all the intricate motions going round even better. While I run my locos and stock it is what some might consider on an infrequent basis. I never really give myself the chance to get familiarized with their controls and operation in any depth. There is a term in the horological world, "complication" it relates to any mechanical feature added that is other than the basic hour & minutes functions. To me that is how I view a lot of the gizmos that go beyond sitting it on the track and watch it go(ing).

Hence possibly my liking for the old Sierra card and the newer Phoenix P8 , that seems to largely mimic the automated functions of the Sierra. A simple hand controller, say like one of Fosworks Omni range, with a forward/reverse/speed & inertia control and 3 buttons that can activate specific sounds is all I think I need. Anything else is an unnecessary "complication". I only accepted the idea of the additional "complication" of an inertia control knob as I am told it puts less strain on the on gear trains, especially where worm drives are employed.

Sorry if this all a bit long and tedious :) As I have said before, I really need an editor and perhaps I use these posts as therapy :D Max
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
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Ah ! So you saw right through my "head 'em of at the DCC pass" ploy Greg :). I'm a simple soul, I know what I like and I like what I know, so I try to stick to the KISS principal. I own 3 locos at present that are already battery powered, RC controlled and fitted with sound. My first such loco uses the MyLocoSound steam card. the second the Sierra and the last is factory fitted with the Mtronics card. In all these installations the sound cards have varying levels of "automated/idling sounds" and at least 2 more that can be triggered by myself from the TX when wanted. Track embedded reed switch triggers do not work for me. The engine sounds on 2 locos are voltage regulated, the other by a tender wheel mounted reed switch and magnets (Sierra). As I have mentioned somewhere else I do have a DCC sound enabled loco, a tiny OO9 Bachmann Baldwin. What it and its DCC control system packs into its tiny frame is gobsmacking. In all I have as many TX's as locos - 1 a Spektrum DX6 (shared with 2 other live steamers), another a Fosworks Omni2 and lastly a gawdawfull Absima CR2 that hails from the model car world that is a factory fit to the Diesel.

One thing I have noticed with the locos that have been equipped is that I make little or no use of the sounds outside of the voltage/idling dependent automated ones, even with the tiny Baldwin. It;s fun that the extra functions are there or available but I don't use them, by habit. The other thing I have noted is that the constant scrolling on the Piko DCC handset to access some of the Baldwins sound functions and loco index was a PITA resulting in my just relying on the automated sounds on the little loco and not putting the DC chip in another loco. I am hopeless when handling controllers, all fingers and thumbs as they say. My brain is just not wired up for these things. Heck, I only discovered I could change frequencies and what the DIR and SPD buttons were for a year ago on my 17 year old Train Engineer. Why ? I never had or found a reason to use them, a need if you wish. And as any salesman will tell you, if you cannot find or create the need then you cannot site a product's features and attendant advantages to show as benefits.

At heart (whisper it) I'm more a collector.than an operator. I appreciate a nice scale model, I'm fascinated by finely detailed scale replicas and that's why I err to the prototypical rather than freelance. If it can move and you can see all the intricate motions going round even better. While I run my locos and stock it is what some might consider on an infrequent basis. I never really give myself the chance to get familiarized with their controls and operation in any depth. There is a term in the horological world, "complication" it relates to any mechanical feature added that is other than the basic hour & minutes functions. To me that is how I view a lot of the gizmos that go beyond sitting it on the track and watch it go(ing).

Hence possibly my liking for the old Sierra card and the newer Phoenix P8 , that seems to largely mimic the automated functions of the Sierra. A simple hand controller, say like one of Fosworks Omni range, with a forward/reverse/speed & inertia control and 3 buttons that can activate specific sounds is all I think I need. Anything else is an unnecessary "complication". I only accepted the idea of the additional "complication" of an inertia control knob as I am told it puts less strain on the on gear trains, especially where worm drives are employed.

Sorry if this all a bit long and tedious :) As I have said before, I really need an editor and perhaps I use these posts as therapy :D Max
By the sounds if things MLS will work just fine for you sound wise. Here is a previously posted pic of some of my handsets, by far most user friendly is the Fosworks shown bottom middle with just the 3 sound buttons for my Piko 25 tonner. See how I have laminated and stucknon a reminder of the 3 sound functions, something that I am sure you will appreciate. Note that I do not have the Inertia Knob as I hate the function. But if you go for the Fosworks with Loc Select (up to 10) I think that the Inertia may not be possible as it is taken up by the select knob. I have the same on the rear but the extra space allows details of the Battery Spec, RX details and the date of Battery purchase plus a reminder of the sound buttons.

D26B99CD-B388-4E79-B5FC-53A3D12281A0.jpeg
Picture of the Tx with the selecta switch. Note that this will work with either or Analogue or DCC Battery Conversions, I wish that this had been available when I started out battery conversions. But with the miriad of differing DCC Functions only Function Mapping could bring about any kind of standardisation for the DCC Tx’s that I have. And that is a dark art. If you want the additional sounds with the MLS beyond 3 that are wired on a Rx youneed an additional board of some sort.
C59F3FC4-A43B-414D-A8E0-073BCD3FAB82.jpeg
 
Greg Elmassian

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Max, be as long winded as you want!

Since we cannot talk in person, often it is hard to understand the "mind set" of another person. You explanation helps me understand where you are coming from, and makes sense for your situation.

I agree that most people who have sound use very few of the "extra" sounds... I was more asking about the inference that having different locos on different controllers was somehow "better" than 3 controllers that could easily control any loco.

I know many battery operations where there is one controller per loco, dedicated to that loco only. Often this is a club situation. Since I started running trains in the late 50's I have seen precious few people who could really control more than one train (excepting separate closed loops just going round and round).

I am likewise a proponent of the KISS system, and that is why I prefer using my loco road numbers for DCC address, clearly I can see the loco, so I immediately know it's address. Thus scrolling through loco numbers or having to determine which of several controllers I must use to run a specific loco is not what I want.

So, I was just trying to determine what you found complex by having all 11 locos accessible from any controller. I understand better now, thanks.

Greg
 
PhilP

PhilP

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Max,
I have responded to your PM..

PhilP.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
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554
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
By the sounds if things MLS will work just fine for you sound wise. Here is a previously posted pic of some of my handsets, by far most user friendly is the Fosworks shown bottom middle with just the 3 sound buttons for my Piko 25 tonner. See how I have laminated and stucknon a reminder of the 3 sound functions, something that I am sure you will appreciate. Note that I do not have the Inertia Knob as I hate the function. But if you go for the Fosworks with Loc Select (up to 10) I think that the Inertia may not be possible as it is taken up by the select knob. I have the same on the rear but the extra space allows details of the Battery Spec, RX details and the date of Battery purchase plus a reminder of the sound buttons.

View attachment 275956
Picture of the Tx with the selecta switch. Note that this will work with either or Analogue or DCC Battery Conversions, I wish that this had been available when I started out battery conversions. But with the miriad of differing DCC Functions only Function Mapping could bring about any kind of standardisation for the DCC Tx’s that I have. And that is a dark art. If you want the additional sounds with the MLS beyond 3 that are wired on a Rx youneed an additional board of some sort.
View attachment 275957

MLS has its plus points but they really won't cut the mustard with D&RGW and logging locos, rodded or geared.. I'll use them on the diesels, petrol and real life electric stuff though.

That's an interesting selection you have amassed there Jon. It never ceases to amaze me that the 16 mm scale live steam and diesel makers over the years seem to have remained entrenched in using what are TX's fundamentally derived from the RC model aircraft and car world. Large unwieldy, over specced and frankly not fit for purpose. This has continued to date even though the compact hand held devices like Fosworks and others have been available for some while and will in all probability might bind to the RX's they are fitting. I see some members of my local area 16 mm NGM group adopting these compact TX's but really only where they are being used with kit built locos, both live steam and battery not factory RTR.

OK, I know that setting up the control of an ESC is a bit simpler than setting up the throws of RC operated proportional servos on a live steamers's reverser and regulator. I think once I have got the battery conversion project out of the way I will look at the cost and possible benefits of going over to compact TX's on the live steam roster. Max
 
Tony Walsham

Tony Walsham

Manufacturer of RCS Radio Control.
25 Oct 2009
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Specialist sound systems with recordings of real whistles and bells etc (but without chuffs) are already here for Live Steam locos.
Watch this space.

Max. How many channels do you want for the pocket sized Tx handpieces?
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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MLS has its plus points but they really won't cut the mustard with D&RGW and logging locos, rodded or geared.. I'll use them on the diesels, petrol and real life electric stuff though.

That's an interesting selection you have amassed there Jon. It never ceases to amaze me that the 16 mm scale live steam and diesel makers over the years seem to have remained entrenched in using what are TX's fundamentally derived from the RC model aircraft and car world. Large unwieldy, over specced and frankly not fit for purpose. This has continued to date even though the compact hand held devices like Fosworks and others have been available for some while and will in all probability might bind to the RX's they are fitting. I see some members of my local area 16 mm NGM group adopting these compact TX's but really only where they are being used with kit built locos, both live steam and battery not factory RTR.

OK, I know that setting up the control of an ESC is a bit simpler than setting up the throws of RC operated proportional servos on a live steamers's reverser and regulator. I think once I have got the battery conversion project out of the way I will look at the cost and possible benefits of going over to compact TX's on the live steam roster. Max
My 3 Roundhouse have been on Fosworks (well 2 were Spoerer) TX for years. That one big problem one in the picture is what came with the Funkey Diesel that I got from Mr Soham on here. Have not been able to get all the functions it has working with Fosworks kit despite trying hence it still lives with that great big chunky orrible plane thing. Probably why it does not get used so much, despite being a superb runner and having Servo operated couplings. Fully agree with your comments an]bout what is supplied with Live Steam and indeed many Diesel Battery jobs.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
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554
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Specialist sound systems with recordings of real whistles and bells etc (but without chuffs) are already here for Live Steam locos.
Watch this space.

Max. How many channels do you want for the pocket sized Tx handpieces?

If we are talking about a live steam loco Tony really only 2 - Regulator and reverser. There really needs to be a "kill" function, normally on the reverser, to automatically throw it into neutral when released to avoid an "out of control" situation. There is a trend to fit steam whistles, like DJB supplied items, and some locos made have remote operable drain cocks, e.g. Roundhouse's Vale of Rheidol loco. They would need a servo each to operate too. To give you an idea of the lack of standardization, probably due to time of acquisition and the fact some have been retrofitted with RC by their maker's approved service agents - Here is my line up of TX's - Saturn XR-4, Spektrum DX6i x 2, Planet T5 x 2, E-Sky (no model #), Exmitter EX7. A lot carry the legend, "helicopter control system", or suchlike ;)

Those TX'x and their bound locos have been acquired over a period of about 14 years. One of my Spectrum TX's's is bound to 3 locos, 2 x live steamer, where one loco only needs 1 channel as it uses piston valves rather than slide, 1 loco uses 2, regulator & reverser and the last is a steam outline battery loco that has the ESC and 4 independent sounds activated from a MyLocoSound sound card to be controlled and operated.

I have never seen a live steamer with a sound card fitted. I think for some that might be total anathema. When you look at most live steam locos there might be some packaging issues. Heat, water and oil ingress, is an environment that is known to kill some RX'x, so placing of the components could be an issue where there are others and space is at a premium . You see a lot of locos now fitted with chuff pipes and, as mentioned before, steam whistles. And then there is that fad for Slo-Mo devices for steamers that mimic the inertia facility built into some compact hand held TX's for battery locos. While not cheap to buy and install compared to a sound card some of those features to add interest to a locos operation possibly surplant the need for one. Sorry, a long answer to a short question :) Max
 
Tony Walsham

Tony Walsham

Manufacturer of RCS Radio Control.
25 Oct 2009
2,188
48
Casino, NSW
Apart from a Basic 3 channel hand-piece, my biggest selling compact Live Steam hand-piece is actually 5 channels. I have a 7 channel version coming soon.
I don't sell many in the UK so as not to compete with Andy Rutter at Micron, but I do sell a lot, both here in Australia and in the USA.

Later today I will put up the details of my plug in whistle sound module for USA prototype Live Steam locos.
Or you can visit the home page of my website.

BTW, your order for the SSI-9 parts is on the way.
 
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Greg Elmassian

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Max, just to let you know, the Aristo Craft live steam Mikado came with a sound system. Only one I know of, but they sold a lot of them, and after a few tweaks, a good running loco.

Greg
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
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554
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
But the purpose of the post is to address the track pick ups, If you are going battery, to remove them completely. While it’s not an enormous amount, they do contribute drag which it is totally unnecessary to live with. Removal is easy to do, and then there will certainly be no accidental track connection.
While I will most certainly follow the advice to remove all the locos' track pick ups, the friction losses are a good reason on their own, I am intrigued as to what the risks are if they are left in place ? Any power connections and "jumpers" built into to the track will have been removed and point motors and signals are all penumatcaly operated. Static build up, lightning strike ? I have noticed that when you push a Bachmann K-27 along the track with no current present the led classification markers light up. Is there some way a locos motor can be acting like a dynamo and generating a current that feeds back to the track ? Just interested. Max
 
PhilP

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Is there some way a locos motor can be acting like a dynamo and generating a current that feeds back to the track ? Just interested. Max
Basically, yes.. A dynamo and motor are more-or-less the same.. It just depends on your point of view! :D

YOUR track might be totally 'dead-rail' but others may not.. - If you visit another line, or have visitors to yours, who is to know what problems will ensue?
Also, two long parallel lengths of track, are a very (physically) big capacitor, sitting across your electronics.

It may not cause you any problems, but not worth the risk.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,918
554
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Max, just to let you know, the Aristo Craft live steam Mikado came with a sound system. Only one I know of, but they sold a lot of them, and after a few tweaks, a good running loco.

Greg
Yes, I am aware of that one. But you don't see them running at 16 mm NGM meet ups and shows. As a rule in that world the general attitude is it's a bit of a corruption of the whole live steamer ethic, never mind the wrong scale. Mind you it is perfectly ok if you are running an 16 mm scale NG diesel, even it was a hydraulic or mechanical transmission system rather than an electric motor propelling a 1:1 equivalent. Live diesel models make a terrible racket. Mind you there is a group, not 16 mm scale sadly, who have produced faithfull live gas turbine/electric replicas of 2 locos that ran in the '50's on the UK main line. They show up at the railway model exhibitions here. I do run a 16 mm scale Lynton & Barnstable Manning Wardle 2-6-2 - its battery power and fitted with a sound card, heresy ! Max
 
PhilP

PhilP

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And as for re-gauging your 32mm (2 foot gauge prototypes) and running them on 45mm 'G' scale track, alongside 3 foot Manx stock! :eek::shake::shake::shake:

:devil::devil::devil:
 
beavercreek

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The sound of a live steam loco is lovely (especially with a Summerlands chuffer..except for Shays as they really do not suit it)...
BUT...
I have to admit to that, at times, I run live steam locos with a following battery sound car.
For geared loggers the sound electronics, battery and speaker all sat inside the cabin of a works wagon with cuff magnets/sensors on the wheels and bogie. The battery was 14v and 2.Ah. it lasted a lot longer than the gas or water on multiple runnings!
I used Phoenix 2K sound cards (which can be reprogrammed with different sounds etc).

For my C21 sound card, speaker and battery were all in the tender with magnets and sensor on the wheels/bogie frame.
I tend to only use this loco when visiting flatter layouts as my one is just far too steep for the rod loco.
I have since taken all of the sound gear out of the tender and will use a following freight car (probably a stock car) for the sound gear as the loco has no problem pulling a decent train on a flat layout.
 
Greg Elmassian

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Max, you said: "

I have never seen a live steamer with a sound card fitted."

no specification that it had to be 16mm... nor is it the wrong scale for standard gauge.... When you make a general statement, you get a general answer...

Be careful with "never", "always", etc.

Anyway many people made fun of it, but turns out that you cannot get a prototypical chuff or whistle from a small model. It actually sounded pretty neat.