Electric/Battery Automation

J

Jamie1

Registered
22 May 2020
2
0
38
UK
Hi all

I'm after some advice as I am new to the world of G-Scale. I am looking to build a garden railway after being brought a LGB start set. My goal is to have a small(ish) layout with automation so I can set the trains going at watch them run. DCC with computer control seems to do what I want but after reading up on electric vs battery I am being persuaded that battery would be better for outdoor . My reasoning around this is that track cleaning regularly comes up as a con with analogue/DCC and can cause locos to stop where as battery power is much smoother with less track cleaning. I am fully prepared to charge batteries and realize that this is not needed with an electric set up. I would like to set out on the right track (excuse the pun) rather than invest in one route only to have convert from electric to battery in the future.

So - the only major drawback that I can see is that if I wanted a fully automated layout (automated trains, points, signals, etc) I would have to stick with electric power as I haven't seen any battery powered automated equipment on the market.

Can anyone advise if there is any way of automating a layout using battery rolling stock or do I need to stick to electric DCC to achieve what I want?

Many thanks

Jamie
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
17,270
1,815
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Hi all

I'm after some advice as I am new to the world of G-Scale. I am looking to build a garden railway after being brought a LGB start set. My goal is to have a small(ish) layout with automation so I can set the trains going at watch them run. DCC with computer control seems to do what I want but after reading up on electric vs battery I am being persuaded that battery would be better for outdoor . My reasoning around this is that track cleaning regularly comes up as a con with analogue/DCC and can cause locos to stop where as battery power is much smoother with less track cleaning. I am fully prepared to charge batteries and realize that this is not needed with an electric set up. I would like to set out on the right track (excuse the pun) rather than invest in one route only to have convert from electric to battery in the future.

So - the only major drawback that I can see is that if I wanted a fully automated layout (automated trains, points, signals, etc) I would have to stick with electric power as I haven't seen any battery powered automated equipment on the market.

Can anyone advise if there is any way of automating a layout using battery rolling stock or do I need to stick to electric DCC to achieve what I want?

Many thanks

Jamie
This lot do an auto shuttle control system, not quite sure how it works.


I thought that Brian Jones did a Battery Auto Shuttle but cannot find it now, also I believe that Deltang can do an Auto Shuttle System, perhaps Phil could comment on this.

Also as a Massoth Chip can be made to work an Auto Shuttle using some Track Magnets it ought to be possible to set this up with a Battery DCC System either from Fosworks (UK small supplier) or Train Engineer Revolution (from the USA but UK suppliers).
 
Madman

Madman

Registered
25 Oct 2009
13,620
534
Pennsylvania, USA
Check out G Scale Graphics. Del Tapparo has items that you may like. he even has modules that will control and separate two battery powered trains on the same track !

 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
25,897
1,467
Tamworth, Staffs.
I was going to suggest G Scale Graphics..

Deltang can do a 'station stop' - where a loco slows and stops, pauses, then continues. Or a 'shuttle' - slow's to a stop, pauses, then back to the other end..
If you wish to do more, then you will need to add to this. - I would suggest wired train-detection and points would give less problems, than trying to male 'everything' battery?

PhilP.
 
J

Jamie1

Registered
22 May 2020
2
0
38
UK
I was going to suggest G Scale Graphics..

Deltang can do a 'station stop' - where a loco slows and stops, pauses, then continues. Or a 'shuttle' - slow's to a stop, pauses, then back to the other end..
If you wish to do more, then you will need to add to this. - I would suggest wired train-detection and points would give less problems, than trying to male 'everything' battery?

PhilP.
Thanks PhiliP / all for your replies. So looks like there isn’t a computer automation yet for Battery/RC layouts as yet and to archive what I want I would probably need to stick with DCC and software. As for track clean does anyone have advice on LGB track cleaning loco or Piko’ clean machine. Piko’s clean machine seems reasonably priced has anyone used this model and does it work?

Many thanks

Jamie
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
25,897
1,467
Tamworth, Staffs.
Thanks PhiliP / all for your replies. So looks like there isn’t a computer automation yet for Battery/RC layouts as yet and to archive what I want I would probably need to stick with DCC and software. As for track clean does anyone have advice on LGB track cleaning loco or Piko’ clean machine. Piko’s clean machine seems reasonably priced has anyone used this model and does it work?

Many thanks

Jamie
The best way to keep track clean, is to run regularly.. :)

The LGB track-cleaning loco does what it say's on the tin. - Cleans track..
Some would argue it is a little aggressive, leaving scratches, but it can not be denied it does the job.
Don't leave it unattended! - If it gets stuck, at all, it will 'dig' hollow's in the track eventually! :eek::cry:

The Piko is a lot gentler, but will take a lot longer to clean really dirty track. - I would argue that is not what it is designed for?


Personally, I suggest a quick walk round the line, and remove bigger bits of debris. - Twigs, bunches of leaves, cut-back vegetation.. A kettle of hot water, for any large 'bird-deposits'.. Then a Dry-Wall sander pole with a 'Scotchbrite' pad rubbed over the line. - just once round, will do.
You now know the line is clear of major debris, and everything is intact, and can send the likes of the Piko round the line a few times..

Then start running.. Any areas where you get stalling, look for any other problems, and use the LGB track-cleaning 'rubber'..


Of course, what we tend to do, is just back a loco on the line, and see what happens! :rolleyes::giggle:
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
17,270
1,815
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Without doubt the LGB track cleaning rubber does the best job by far. The LGB cleaning loco is great for difficult to get at places and as Phil says needs to be watched and does leave scratches. I feel that any kind of other abrasive can be a bit if an issue as even relatively small scratches attract muck and some on here would not even approve of the LGB rubber. As for the Piko clean machine, I feel it is about as useful as the small rubber attachments that LGB do to attach to a wagon. These have their place as if the wagon is in a lot of trains you are getting a regular wipe. But without doubt regular running does the trick as the loco skates help with cleaning. But eventuall you will need attention from Mr LGB rubber.