Radio Controlled Switches

PapaJohn

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Hi, I am new here and after serching for a while I have not found an answer to a problem I have. I want to make my switches true remote control ie Radio. Most of what I have found is using track power and wires to a switch or a DCC control which uses track power. I have converted my trains to battery for easier to me use. (Less haveing to keep the track perfectly clean). I want to have each switch individual battery powered and radio controlled. This way the grandson (3 yo) can be in charge of the remote to make the switches move and he will be helping Papa run his trains. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

a98087

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What’s the total number of switches you want to operate?
And how far apart are they?

Solutions I can think off are in no particular order.
1.Point motor on each switch, and wired to a control panel, or a few panels depending on your track plan.

2.Compressed air system to one or several control panels
 

PapaJohn

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Looking at 6 switches so far. Tryin to get away from switch panels and have no idea about compressed air. The ground here is VERY hard and rocky so I really don't want to have to dig 100'+ of trenches to bury wires or tubes.
 

PhilP

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You will still need power (electric or air) and wiring /tubing to the switches.

If you go RC you would need a receiver, and to then wire-out to the switches.

I have a solution for this, but it is not fully mature, and there is some work required to adapt to individual manufacturers switches.

PhilP
 

dunnyrail

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Looking at 6 switches so far. Tryin to get away from switch panels and have no idea about compressed air. The ground here is VERY hard and rocky so I really don't want to have to dig 100'+ of trenches to bury wires or tubes.
Air operation is simple, just 1 air line from each switch to each point actuator and 1 line to each panel. Air is linked to each switch via T barbs. You can run the lines via Electrical Trunking over ground to replicate real Concrete Trunking Lines as I do over ground no digging and the top can come off to access the lines for revisions.

I have not done a full thread on Pneumatic but this post linked Post No#136 shows how I moved a panel from one end of a station to the other. in a couple of hours or so. Easily available in US from Sunset Valley.

Whilst this is indoors I have other panels out side.
 

GAP

G Scale Trains, HO Trains, 1:1 Sugar Cane trains
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I'm installing this on my layout (12 switches) Simple Servo Controller just replace the toggle switch with one of these or something similar Pololu RC Switch with Relay (Assembled) and a receiver at each switch all that is needed is 5V and that can be supplied via a cable run through conduit (in my case I used irrigation tubing) covered with mulch material.
House all the electronics in sealed food containers to prevent water damage.
Just a suggestion for your thoughts
 

Greg Elmassian

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It's easy to put the single 1/8" air line in the ballast, no trenching. I'm all air power and then the controls can be put next to the switch with a simple toggle, or run the hose back to a central place, again with an inexpensive mechanical toggle, or you can go further and remote control.

See if this page gives you more info on this very reliable and weatherproof solution:


Greg
 

PapaJohn

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I'm installing this on my layout (12 switches) Simple Servo Controller just replace the toggle switch with one of these or something similar Pololu RC Switch with Relay (Assembled) and a receiver at each switch all that is needed is 5V and that can be supplied via a cable run through conduit (in my case I used irrigation tubing) covered with mulch material.
House all the electronics in sealed food containers to prevent water damage.
Just a suggestion for your thoughts
I believe this is what I been looking for. I watched David's videos and read his webpage. That's what gave me the idea. I just could not figure out a RC switch to replace the toggle. Plan on building a "shack" to hide the batteries and electronics. I was hoping to keep away from a control panel and just have a simple handheld remote the grandson could walk around with and use. Thanks John
 

PapaJohn

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It's easy to put the single 1/8" air line in the ballast, no trenching. I'm all air power and then the controls can be put next to the switch with a simple toggle, or run the hose back to a central place, again with an inexpensive mechanical toggle, or you can go further and remote control.

See if this page gives you more info on this very reliable and weatherproof solution:


Greg
I looked at the air power and it is very interesting, but I am trying to get away from having to get a 4 year old having to stay in a seat and throw a switch. He has WAY too much energy to sit still that long.
 

Greg Elmassian

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Yes, but I guess you missed the part where you can control it remotely with an air activated solenoid.

I am not trying to change your mind, but I would like you to understand the option.

point #1, instead of running wires and/or power to each switch/turnout, you run a single 1/8" diameter rubber hose to the switches, and they can be over 100 feet long, as opposed to the voltage drop for electrical wires, the small diameter hose can be easily hidden in the ballast under the track.

point #2, nothing to corrode, oxidize, or short out at the switch, no yearly electrical maintenance on switch motors.

Point #3, you manually control very inexpensively with a toggle that switches air (but I think you got that) and the toggle can be located anywhere between the air source and the switch.

Point #4, you can remotely control the air with an electrical air solenoid, available in multiple voltages and they can be operated from THE REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEM OF YOUR CHOICE

So you run 6 small hoses back to a central spot, where you have the air solenoids, power and the remote system that will interface to 6 solenoids.

I tied my solenoids into a DCC accessory controller, but you can use ANY system to power the solenoids.

The choice of what remote control system is wide open and essentially trivial, you pick what you want. Why not integrate it to your existing remote system? You can limit his controller to just the switches.

By far the biggest gotcha is the powering of the switches/turnouts, the maintenance of electrical wiring to them and the maintenance of the motors themselves.

Really the only downside is that given the cheapest way to control the switches electrically, the pneumatic system can be more expensive (the solenoids).

Greg
 

PapaJohn

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Yes, but I guess you missed the part where you can control it remotely with an air activated solenoid.

I am not trying to change your mind, but I would like you to understand the option.

point #1, instead of running wires and/or power to each switch/turnout, you run a single 1/8" diameter rubber hose to the switches, and they can be over 100 feet long, as opposed to the voltage drop for electrical wires, the small diameter hose can be easily hidden in the ballast under the track.

point #2, nothing to corrode, oxidize, or short out at the switch, no yearly electrical maintenance on switch motors.

Point #3, you manually control very inexpensively with a toggle that switches air (but I think you got that) and the toggle can be located anywhere between the air source and the switch.

Point #4, you can remotely control the air with an electrical air solenoid, available in multiple voltages and they can be operated from THE REMOTE CONTROL SYSTEM OF YOUR CHOICE

So you run 6 small hoses back to a central spot, where you have the air solenoids, power and the remote system that will interface to 6 solenoids.

I tied my solenoids into a DCC accessory controller, but you can use ANY system to power the solenoids.

The choice of what remote control system is wide open and essentially trivial, you pick what you want. Why not integrate it to your existing remote system? You can limit his controller to just the switches.

By far the biggest gotcha is the powering of the switches/turnouts, the maintenance of electrical wiring to them and the maintenance of the motors themselves.

Really the only downside is that given the cheapest way to control the switches electrically, the pneumatic system can be more expensive (the solenoids).

Greg
I will revisit the air idea. I saw the use of solenoids and may use them. Nothing is in concrete as yet (except the ground outside, it really is like digging concrete LOL). John
 

Greg Elmassian

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I understand the issue you want to solve, I have handed my DCC remote to a 5 year old, and let him run a train. 10 minutes later he figured out momentum and also how to address and control another loco, and all the differents sounds the function keys made.

In about 1/2 hour he figured out how to throw switches.

Kids love electronics!

Greg
 

GAP

G Scale Trains, HO Trains, 1:1 Sugar Cane trains
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I believe this is what I been looking for. I watched David's videos and read his webpage. That's what gave me the idea. I just could not figure out a RC switch to replace the toggle. Plan on building a "shack" to hide the batteries and electronics. I was hoping to keep away from a control panel and just have a simple handheld remote the grandson could walk around with and use. Thanks John
This what I am currently working on not Radio Control but a switch panel
Servo Controlled Points
I could easily convert to R/C, but the biggest issue will be the number of radio channels required.
I did toy with an idea of using a point throw to operate a switch near each point, to do away with a control panel.
Food for thought if you are walking around anyway.

This is a guy in the US who is running a parallel project similar to me and we are bouncing ideas around, he is controlling his with a Railpro system but his is indoors.