Motor Controllers

JimmyB

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I am using a 2.4 MHz system. The Rx has a failsafe feature such that when it detects loss of transmitter signal it makes the throttle go to zero. I have been unable to disable this.
As I said earlier, it is the Rx and not the ESC controlling the running.
 

Rhinochugger

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As I said earlier, it is the Rx and not the ESC controlling the running.
In that specific case it is - but that is only because the Rx is programmed to do the safety shut down; but it doesn't change the fact that it is generally the ESC's that feature cruise control.

My Saturn and cheap Chinese R/C sets say nothing about cruise control, but when used with an ESC that has the feature, they allow it to work.

Having said that, I wouldn't know how to test the other way 'cos I don't know of a loco ESC that doesn't have cruise control. I'm pretty certain that the Viper marine EC doesn't, so irrespective of what sort of R/C you're using, it will shut down if the signal is lost ............................. I would hope :hi::hi::hi:
 
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Rhinochugger

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As I said earlier, it is the Rx and not the ESC controlling the running.
Yes, yes, yes, oh no.

It's taken a while, but the penny has finally dropped.

My Saturn R/C and my cheap Chinese R/C are 6-channel sets designed for aircraft but aircraft with petrol or diesel engines -they are not designed for electric motors with an ESC. That's why there's no auto shut down or cruise control features, so these set-ups rely on the ESC for cruise control.

Got there in the end.
 

dunnyrail

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Just been looking at my Fosworks Rx and Cobra (speed controller) manuals. Both appear to show anything about having cruise control, though I could be wrong. Certainly when I tried it out the other day the loco stopped.
 

Rhinochugger

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Just been looking at my Fosworks Rx and Cobra (speed controller) manuals. Both appear to show anything about having cruise control, though I could be wrong. Certainly when I tried it out the other day the loco stopped.
The Cobra should be OK - I've got one in the Galloping Goose and that cruises around - although this could be the case that Phil & Jimmy are citing where the ESC is kept alive by the Rx even though the Tx is switched off.

The cruise control feature was originally developed from the principal that, with 2.4 MHz, an interrupted signal (out of range, trees, tunnels etc) could be 'caught' again with a paired device. Cruise control is just an extension of that concept.

On a long circuit like mine, it's ideal .............................. unless I forget to change the points back to mainline on the loading spur :oops::oops: I have had a loco running away over the paving slabs :D:D:D
 

GAP

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I did some tests with the 3 types of ESC's I have with the following results;
  • Hobby King; as soon as the Tx is turned off the train stops
  • Pololu simple motor controller; same as the HobbyKing above
  • and Viper; motor ran at the last speed set when the transmitter was turned of, if the transmitter setting was changed prior to switching back on when the connection was made the motor changed to the new setting eg if running forward and stick moved to neutral the motor stopped.
Same transmitter and receiver used for all ESC's (model aircraft stick transmitter and receiver)

Conclusion;
The receiver may have fail safe but I cannot guarantee that it does.

Hobby King ESC manual states; 'Throttle signal loss protection: The ESC will gradually reduce the output power if the throttle signal is lost for 1 second, further loss for 2 seconds will cause its output to be completely cut-off.' so that explains its operation.

I could not find anything for the Pololu but it may have the same feature, it is mostly used in robotics so a runaway robot would not be desirable.

The Viper does indeed have cruise control as a built in feature.

It seems from these results that cruise control is built into the Viper ESC but not the others.
 
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Rhinochugger

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Yep, you can't guarantee it, it's usually in the blurb - what surprises me is the Fosworks Cobra which cruises fine for me, doesn't for Jon Dunnyrail and doesn't appear to say anything about it in the blurb on Fosworks' website :oops:
 

PhilP

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Yep, you can't guarantee it, it's usually in the blurb - what surprises me is the Fosworks Cobra which cruises fine for me, doesn't for Jon Dunnyrail and doesn't appear to say anything about it in the blurb on Fosworks' website :oops:
The ESC will do what it is told..

If the receiver is programmed to continue outputting a signal, even (say) with the transmitter switched off.
The ESC will continue to power the loco.

PhilP
 

JimmyB

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I have a Fosworks ESC-161 with a Micron MR001a fitted to my Playmobil 4010, and cruise control seems to work with that. I am about to use a Fosworks ESC-160 with a MR001a, I have a test set-up at the moment, and a test run has shown that this also has cruise control.
The Fosworks ESC are very nice, but coupled with the MR001a (though not Deltang) use the DSM2 protocol so I can use my RC Trains and Micron Txs.
 

PhilP

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I have a Fosworks ESC-161 with a Micron MR001a fitted to my Playmobil 4010, and cruise control seems to work with that. I am about to use a Fosworks ESC-160 with a MR001a, I have a test set-up at the moment, and a test run has shown that this also has cruise control.
The Fosworks ESC are very nice, but coupled with the MR001a (though not Deltang) use the DSM2 protocol so I can use my RC Trains and Micron Txs.
Jimmy,
You might be confusing yourself:
The Micron MR001a does not have fail-safe on it..
The present software will allow you to turn your transmitter off, and the MR001a will continue to output a signal to the ESC.

PhilP
 

dunnyrail

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I have a Fosworks ESC-161 with a Micron MR001a fitted to my Playmobil 4010, and cruise control seems to work with that. I am about to use a Fosworks ESC-160 with a MR001a, I have a test set-up at the moment, and a test run has shown that this also has cruise control.
The Fosworks ESC are very nice, but coupled with the MR001a (though not Deltang) use the DSM2 protocol so I can use my RC Trains and Micron Txs.
Ah they are both Cobra speed controllers which I refer to and use. The ESC ref is Fosworks Cat Ref, they currently have 4 varieties of Cobra ESC’s.
 

GAP

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The ESC will do what it is told..

If the receiver is programmed to continue outputting a signal, even (say) with the transmitter switched off.
The ESC will continue to power the loco.

PhilP
Phil,
That does not line up with what I observed; my observation of the receiver valid signal LED was that it was off when no transmitter signal was being received.
So that I was getting the same results I used the same transmitter and same receiver for each ESC.

2 ESC's HobbyKing and Pololu both stopped (one spec states that it will stop, the others spec is indeterminate so its operation cannot be taken into account) and the Viper did not.

The fact that the valid signal LED was not lit on the receiver each time the transmitter was off, leads me to believe that the Viper is possibly remembering the last valid receiver signal and does not change till another valid signal is received again (when the transmitter was turned back on) most like a software instruction.

I have concluded that there is some code in the software that tells the Viper to ignore the loss of transmitter signal, as opposed to the Hobby King ESC that is programmed, again in software, to stop on signal loss.

There is a glaring difference between the Viper and the Hobby King in that the Viper loco 10 is designed for model trains whereas the Hobby King is designed for model aircraft. Lets face it a model train is not going to disappear over the horizon like an aircraft if the transmitter is turned off. If anyone wants to get into "return to base" for aircraft that is a whole new can of worms which is not relevant here anyway.

I feel that comparing different manufacturers ESC or ESC/RX combos is never going to solve this discussion, so I am just going to run (pardon the pun) with what I have on hand and will continue converting my LGB 2076 tank engine to battery R/C.
 

JimmyB

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Jimmy,
You might be confusing yourself:
The Micron MR001a does not have fail-safe on it..
The present software will allow you to turn your transmitter off, and the MR001a will continue to output a signal to the ESC.

PhilP
Phil, I did not mention "fail-safe" i.e. where transmission is lost the ESC powers down, but cruise control, where transmission is lost, and the ESC continues to power the motor.
 

Rhinochugger

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I feel that comparing different manufacturers ESC or ESC/RX combos is never going to solve this discussion, so I am just going to run (pardon the pun) with what I have on hand and will continue converting my LGB 2076 tank engine to battery R/C.
Yep, so in addition to your info:

Microviper loco - does have cruise control - proven with two different R/C set ups (Saturn and Deltang)
Brian Jones Mac V - does have cruise control- proven with two different R/C set ups (Saturn and Deltang)
Peter Spoerer unit (forget its name, but it's no longer available) - does have cruise control

Now, the Cobra is the enigma.

Mine cruises, Jon (Dunnyrail's) doesn't :worried: but like Jimmy, I'm using the MR0001aRx with mine ('cos I have an 18v battery pack) - not sure what ESC Jon is using but that could be the difference.

The other thing is that some aero R/C kit that is designed for planes with electric motors, has a fail safe shut down as our man in Finland found out, and that obviously overrides the cruise control feature.