Remote control points

JimmyB

JimmyB

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Currently I use Aristocraft Train Engineer (Art 5474) to remotely control my point motors, however I appreciate that it will not last forever, and the 27mhz system is not repairable. So my question is what other systems similar to this are available. I know Jon (Dunnyrail) has a pneumatic system, and there is a DCC system available, but I don't really wish to go down either of these routes. I as thinking of a 2.4 ghz system, with an indoor receiver (preferably) running to a LGB point motor, but currently i don't seem to be able to find a remote system that will switch LGB point motors.
 
PhilP

PhilP

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5 Jun 2013
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Megapoint controllers will interface with many makes of RC gear..

You do not gain a lot by having the Rx (and associated electronics) in the house. - You still have to run cables to each location.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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Currently I use Aristocraft Train Engineer (Art 5474) to remotely control my point motors, however I appreciate that it will not last forever, and the 27mhz system is not repairable. So my question is what other systems similar to this are available. I know Jon (Dunnyrail) has a pneumatic system, and there is a DCC system available, but I don't really wish to go down either of these routes. I as thinking of a 2.4 ghz system, with an indoor receiver (preferably) running to a LGB point motor, but currently i don't seem to be able to find a remote system that will switch LGB point motors.
Of all the systems available and one way or another I have tried a few, Air or Pneumatic has proved the simplest of the lot. Cost wise perhaps a bit more but one does not need to factor in a Compressor as some have used a Car Tyre or even a Coke Bottle. Both should be fine with a Car or Bycle Pump for a good few operations. Promise not to go on about Air again Jimmy! Well not on your thread anyway.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

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I used to have the same set up on my line as you Jimmy with the Crest TE used in conjunction with their 5474 point motor momentary switches. I got fed up in the end with constantly having to do maintenance on the LGB point motors and electrical connections and moisture protection of the Crest, items that are not really made for extended outdoor use - or at least with my line being mostly in full or part shade in this climate.

I went the same route as Jon with the Sunset Valley Railroad products. They are marketed by Anything Narrow Gauge in the UK. I find their motors to have a more positive action than the electric ones and the toggle switch activation more reliable. Plus the whole thing is so simple and logical to put together. OK pneumatic promo corner over :D Max
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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Phil, I currently have all my electronic in the garage and run cables out to the track and points, and just thinking about keeping everything dry.
Greg, although 1 controller is always ideal, if a suitable system is found then I would be content with separate controllers.
Jon, Max, I will look at air again, but running pipework around the garden to a central point (no pun intended) does not seem flexible.
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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Megapoint controllers will interface with many makes of RC gear..
PhilP having just looked at the site, I assume its the KATO board that is used to drive LGB point motors, and again I assume I would need Rx to make the connection.
 
PhilP

PhilP

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PhilP having just looked at the site, I assume its the KATO board that is used to drive LGB point motors, and again I assume I would need Rx to make the connection.
I have a picture (somewhere).. BUT, it is a print :eek: - remember them? :giggle:

A case about the size of a tablet computer (little thicker)..
Has a graphic of track-plan, with switches for points, then a loco 'Selecta' and centre-off throttle towards the bottom..
Bind, power, etc. on the edge of the case.

I will see if I can find it.. :think::think::think: Don't hold your breath, though..
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Jimmy, the small tubing to run to the switch is weatherproof and small and a single line, much less trouble than electrical wires and the attendant difficulties with voltage drop over long distances, not to mention the maintenance of an electric switch motor outdoors, and corroding contacts and the tube is smaller than the wire and can be repaired more easily should you cut it.

Since you are running all wires back to the garage already, don't see how pneumatic are anything but easier over wires and electric switches.

Not telling you which way to go, but you stated the tubing more trouble than electrics. It isn't so.

Greg
 
The Tinker

The Tinker

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6 Feb 2014
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I agree greg Air for outside easy to set up and reliable. I do recommend using a air oiler in the main feed line use thin air tool oil and happy days will yours LOL
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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yeah, the mfg never mentioned an oiler, I think because the ones I have are supposed to have teflon seals, but 10 years later some will take a squirt of oil... thanks!

The picture below has a 4x control from DCC:



Greg
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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Phil, I currently have all my electronic in the garage and run cables out to the track and points, and just thinking about keeping everything dry.
Greg, although 1 controller is always ideal, if a suitable system is found then I would be content with separate controllers.
Jon, Max, I will look at air again, but running pipework around the garden to a central point (no pun intended) does not seem flexible.
The pipe is as flexible as Wire in fact much more so. As I have said in the past I run all my Electrics and Air Pipes in Electricians Trunking. Revisions are a breeze and take minutes rather than hours having to change wiring to points. Pretty much repeating what Greg says here.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

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I think I understand what you mean by "inflexible" Jimmy with regards to the air powered systems we keep banging on about. As you have, like me, the TE system you naturally want a "walk around" RC control to replace it rather than the seemingly fixed point toggle switch operation that Jon and I have mentioned. The pneumatic system that I have installed can be activated by solenoids linked to an RC control, this is an option for mine. In the US the AirWire system seems to be heavily promoted for these as a method of control. Though I think you might be able to have solenoid operation of a pneumatic system using your existing 5474's to fire then - in reality they are very similar to the LGB point motors you have at the moment. Have a word with Simon Whenmouth at Anything Narrow Gauge, the SVRR system distributor in the UK about this. These systems are finding favour particularly with those who have unpowered tracks here - for obvious reasons.

I think Greg has put the benefits of pneumatics quite eloquently. However, like all these things it is very much down to your needs and how you prefer to operate your line and stock as to what methods of control you opt for. In my case it was dictated by my line's topography, the climate it lives in and its probable lower use than others may make use of theirs.

Particularly where you want retain RC operation it might be something you want to consider as a whole when you look at migrating from the TE system sometime in the future. Dare I mention the "B" word here - battery. As for cost, balance that against the possible resale value of the bits you are replacing. Max
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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Greg, Jon, Max, I am convinced to take another look at this, where is the best place to investigate what I would need (Max you’re post as popped up whilst typing). Yes the inflexibility is about a stationary control panel, operating the points from a single location with electricity is simple, I am looking for a walk round system, with similar flexibility as my TE.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Jimmy,
Do you already have the cabling in for your points?

if so, why not wait until that fails? - 'Rotten' wire, failed point-motors, then use the old wire to 'pull-in' an air line?

You would just need an air supply, and the electrically-fired valves, to swap from electric to pneumatic. - Both can be controlled by 'whatever' remote system you choose.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

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sunset-valley-railroad Simon's, at Anything Narrow Gauge (ANG), background is principally live steam so may not have much understanding of the TE's accessories and their compatibility with the SVRR's solenoid operation option. But I'm sure Greg can put us straight on that one. ANG have sold quite a few SVRR systems, and Simon mentioned to me a while ago, a lot with solenoid operation.

At least it will give you a method of RC point operation, and signals as on my layout, that is not tied to a proprietary RC control system as and when you choose to move on from the TE. I rue the day now I sold on my 5474's, as I had a period of manual operation after I discontinued the electrical operation of my points. I could have done the same with my SVRR air powered set up now.

The world's your lobster Jimmy, as Arfur used to say. Max
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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I have not needed to investigate remote Operation of Air via Electrical means. Reason is all of my line is at a high level thus allowing a Switch Panel at each Station. Though I have used some Remote Panel Switching using Shuttle Valves which gives some flexibility between 2 Pannels for the same location or Points/Signals. I have used this as some of my Stations are quite long so walking to and fro from just 1 Panel can be a bit of a pain. Thus I would think that for Jimmy an Electrical Means of Driving a Point from anywhere on the Layout would be a great asset. Looks like Greg knows of just the thing.

I believe that there may well be access to such devices in UK, but finding suppliers is quite tricky and knowing the terminology of what we need and size specs can also be a problem. One day someone will get to grips with it, till then we are with Sunset Valley for the time being.

Just thinking out of the box a little, I wonder if Deltang could be used to drive those Electrical Gizmo’s that Greg shows in Post 11.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

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Jon, if you can drive an LGB point motor with your device you should be able to drive a solenoid operated air valve. The next thing is having enough channels to drive/address all your points that you need to actuate. This is where an RC transmitter with limited number of single function "buttons" to convey momentary switch instructions to individual RX's to control an array of solenoids may be limited.

The TE's TX has 10 individual channels as standard. Each of these can be assigned to either operate an individual RX to control a loco's speed or to control another RX device like the 5474 - This device itself has 5 momentary switch outputs, which are controlled by an inbuilt keypad on the TE's TX that supplements each selected chanel's function in conjunction with this device. In essence if 8 of the 10 of the TX's channels is linked to an 5475 you can effectively control 40 points or linked sets of to provide predetermined paths.

But this is part of a bigger picture - what do you do if you need to replace your TE so you can full y control your points and trains by a single wireless transmitter ? Air power points and solenoids with a correctly configured RX is part of the picture - as suggested so far it could be integrated into a future full DCC or Battery power solution or the existing TE. Max

Edit - I just realised I was using 5475's and I am assuming the SVRR solenoids use a momentary current for actuation and not latched to hold them open.
 
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dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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Jon, if you can drive an LGB point motor with your device you should be able to drive a solenoid operated air valve. The next thing is having enough channels to drive/address all your points that you need to actuate. This is where an RC transmitter with limited number of single function "buttons" to convey momentary switch instructions to individual RX's to control an array of solenoids may be limited.

The TE's TX has 10 individual channels as standard. Each of these can be assigned to either operate an individual RX to control a loco's speed or to control another RX device like the 5474 - This device itself has 5 momentary switch outputs, which are controlled by an inbuilt keypad on the TE's TX that supplements each selected chanel's function in conjunction with this device. In essence if 8 of the 10 of the TX's channels is linked to an 5475 you can effectively control 40 points or linked sets of to provide predetermined paths.

But this is part of a bigger picture - what do you do if you need to replace your TE so you can full y control your points and trains by a single wireless transmitter ? Air power points and solenoids with a correctly configured RX is part of the picture - as suggested so far it could be integrated into a future full DCC or Battery power solution or the existing TE. Max

Edit - I just realised I was using 5475's and I am assuming the SVRR solenoids use a momentary current for actuation and not latched to hold them open.
Blub blub blub sorry that Deltang speak is completely above my pay grade, but I think you are saying yes to my suggestion Max. So all we need to know from Greg is what are those thingamygigs in Post 11, where can we get them and how horribly costly are they?

Funny enough going the other way IE working Electrics from Air is a breeze, just use the Air Motor to push a Micro Switch.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

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So all we need to know from Greg is what are those thingamygigs in Post 11, where can we get them and how horribly costly are they?
They look suspiciously like solenoid operated valves. Bit like the ones here svr-sunset-valley-railroad-solenoid-manifold-valve that are in the link I posted in #16, price included ;) The 2 wires from the digitrax box going in and the plastic pipe coming out might be a clue. What I'd like to know is if the SVRR marketed solenoids can be actuated by the Crest 5474/5. I might just get me some if they do and I can get hold of a 5475 at a non silly price. Max