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Wireless Control for T Gauge

Postby Switcher102 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:37 am

Now then, I know what you're thinking. Your mouth's open, you utter 'What the ……?" and you are thinking 'This guy's fallen off his trolley'.

Well maybe I have, but what the heck, I'll carry on regardless. Seriously though, the idea is not so ludicrous, we all know that technology is getting smaller and smaller, after all … hence … T gauge. The freedom you get with wireless control is so refreshing. When I converted it felt like I had just passed my car driving test. I could go anywhere, no track wiring, no points and dirty track issues, you are actually driving the locomotive, not the track, even more so than DCC.

If anyone is interested then have a look what the Germans and Dutch are up to with HO scale road vehicles, and remember HO is smaller than OO, and that's road vehicles, which are smaller than standard gauge railway stock (what size is the white van in my next link?), and notice they don't dart about like toys, they model the real thing, amazingly so:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUzzmUxcfM8

And then there's …… THIS!!!! :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYqp5RnhCOk

Now that's the one relevant to T gauge. Also realise that there is more going on with these than with railway stock. Railway stock normally just goes forwards and backwards, these little blighters steer and have working lights aswell. They use infrared receivers because apparently they can be smaller than radio receivers. That's why I've titled this thread 'wireless' rather than 'radio' control. There's one small disadvantage with infrared, it is direction sensitive, you have to make sure you direct your transmitter at your receiver, like with your TV remote.

If you're at the Warley Show in November and hear a Dutch / German accent at a trade stand it might be them. Can't see them in the traders list but I couldn't last year either but yet something of their stuff was there. Didn't see the infrared road vehicles being demonstrated but they were selling the tiny gearboxes and some other very tiny stuff. Here's a web site, hope your translator works, mine doesn't ever since downloading Windows 10:-

http://www.mikromodell.de/

Food for thought?

Rich
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Re: Wireless Control for T Gauge

Postby Switcher102 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:10 am

Actually, on re-examination of the micro bus video I notice the dimensions are given and it is bigger than T gauge. I thought it was the same size, in fact I'm not sure that is actually 1:160 scale. I think my point still stands that the technology is getting there, and the little circuit boards that fit in some of the stuff I have linked may actually already be small enough, I don't know. Also, there is a new company in radio control that have only last November brought out their pilot series and they are very keen to be shaped by their customers:-

https://www.protocab.com/welcome

I am very pleased with their product so far. They are of course initially catering for the OO/HO market but if they are successful they aim to expand to both the bigger and smaller scales. They are already looking towards N gauge and their system I think has more potential for expansion and adaptation in the future.
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Re: Wireless Control for T Gauge

Postby mattd10 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:59 pm

I don't see why this couldn't work! Especially if you're going to be modelling narrow gauge. The larger bodies will give ample space. Looking at the dimensions in the other thread, 9.3x9.9x2.3mm won't fit in a standard gauge bodyshell. The interior space is probably about 5 or 6mm maximum. The smallest available DCC chip I could find anywhere will just about squeeze in on an angle, but would need a separate car to itself to allow room for motors and gears etc.

A permanently coupled consist would be a solution here, but then that also helps with electrical pick up and continuity issues that the wireless control is trying to avoid. The only benefit you're then gaining is individual control. I still think it's a great fun experiment to try but will probably only work in a narrow gauge body.
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Re: Wireless Control for T Gauge

Postby Switcher102 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:15 am

Gosh, I'm amazed you found a DCC chip to fit inside standard gauge T gauge, even if it has to fit at an angle. Kupzinger (in my Flywheels thread) is looking into converting T gauge to DCC. It would be wonderfull to see T gauge with sound, that's one thing wireless control is lacking at scales smaller than about O gauge. Although radio control equipment is now getting smaller, sound equipment for it is not, it's still massive, but hopefully Protocab will sort that out. The Americans are converting DCC to battery powered radio control but the frequencies they use are illegal in Europe.
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Re: Wireless Control for T Gauge

Postby Kupzinger » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:40 pm

Hi there.
Really cool idea. The fact that ni wireing is required, and no track cleaning... not too bad :) The main issue I would see is not the electronics, but the energy storage. Even with multiple cars coupled electrically, this can get an issue and/or be expensive. However, 3V should be sufficient.

Hmmmm....... :)
Cheers
Kupzinger
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Re: Wireless Control for T Gauge

Postby mattinair » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:00 pm

There's a person on this forum (Joe Malinchak-MICRO-STEAMTOWN layout) who has actually built the World's smallest RC jet (also I think his triplane is the World's smallest RC plane period! :o )....he might know if this is actually possible.... :)
I keep hoping some techy millionaire out here in Cali will stop making smart phones or whatever long enough to spend some fun money on producing an actual product line that gives Eishido (Tuen Mun) some competition :roll: ....Yeah, I know, ....crazy :lol:
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Re: Wireless Control for T Gauge

Postby Kupzinger » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:50 pm

Hi, I die some web research, batteries with 5.4 mm do exist. So, my concern about the energy storage is a bit smaller now :) still, those seem not to be rechargeable.

Cheers
Kupzinger
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Re: Wireless Control for T Gauge

Postby Kupzinger » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:23 pm

Hi Rich,

this was definitively food for thoughts. The interesting points are: compared to a DCC decoder, the IR receiver has significantly less components. And: conventional analogue trains can be operated on the same track as IR controlled ones.

Due to the size of the required battery, this will (proably) only work with two electrically coupled units, one with a motor, one with battery and PCB. I found some batteries for hearing aids "Type 10", these have a 5.4 mm diameter and seem to fit e.g. into my Class 156 body shell.

Image

Compared to a standard DCC decoder architecture, no rectifier, no voltage controller and no large buffer capacitor is requried.

Image

The issues I see at the moment is reception of the IR signal, which would have to be done through the windows. Maybe, multiple sensors can be placed at different sides of the unit. Photo transistors are available in 1206 SMD casing, that is reasonably small.

Regarding the controller, I would go for a ATtiny 85. This by the way is the same that is used by the car modellers behind the Youtube links above. There seems also to be a IR library available for decoding the signals.

Cheers
Kupzinger
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Re: Wireless Control for T Gauge

Postby Switcher102 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:25 am

Wow Kupzinger - excellent work, drawings aswell. Hearing aid batteries, brilliant, never thought of that. You are more knowledgable about this subject than me. It will take me a while to study your work but I am going out today and tomorrow.

I will just relate what I know about batteries, which you perhaps already know. As a general rule if a motor is using 1 Amp, then a 1000mAh battery will last 1 hour. I think I've got that right.

Now a model locomotive that takes 1 Amp is going to be a big O gauge or larger scaled locomotive. I'd love to know how many amps, or rather, millionths of an amp T gauge locos pull. I'll take a guess that a locomotive on its own, no train, will draw about 10 milliamps. Does anyone know?

Button batteries will fit my 5 inch gauge set up mentioned in my other thread and a lithium button battery to fit can give 48mAh. If a T gauge motor does take 10 milliamps (no train) I think that means the battery would last nearly 5 hours. How many mAh does the hearing aid battery supply?

In my experience voltage just affects speed. My button battery would be 3V so it just means the T gauge 4.5V motor won't be able to go at top speed.

Matt - that tiniest RC plane in the world sounds interesting. Have to look out for it.

Rich
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Re: Wireless Control for T Gauge

Postby Switcher102 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:03 am

Kupzinger - another thing that needs to be taken into account with battery powered wireless control is switching on and off. For my 5 inch gauge I have found a reed switch, the glass body of which is 18mm long by just slightly over 2mm wide, and a 3mm diameter magnet to switch it on.

I'm not sure you really need to have rechargeable batteries for this scale. I was originally looking for rechargeables but the complication it adds might not be worth it, and these tiny batteries are cheap enough. I aim to make it easy to replace the battery. Depending on how easy you make the battery replaceable you could perhaps do without the on/off switch.
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