G3 Forum

Trackwork, Electrification & Control => Radio Control => Topic started by: John Candy on Sep 16 2019 12:37

Title: Disaster averted!
Post by: John Candy on Sep 16 2019 12:37

In anticipation of being asked to demonstrate "Calcutta" tomorrow, I decided to give it a short run and a sound "tune-up".

Since it is wet outside, I set up a 4 yard test track in a bedroom.
One end of the track was against a wall but the other end went into the (open) doorway.

Ran back and forth several times without any problems but then (while stationary) it let out two short blasts on the whistle (without any r/c command given) then (with considerable wheel-spin and "slipping") proceeded at high speed (tender first) towards the open door!

There was no way I could catch it as it sped off the end of the track and along the landing passage.

Fortunately, the tender stayed in line, if it had veered to the left the loco would have gone into the "black hole" (well it is Calcutta!) which is the stair well.  The gods must have been smiling on me, since it continued past the stairs until it caught a glancing blow on a laundry basket (thoughtfully left there by Carol) which deflected it (preventing it slamming into the solid wall at high speed) and steering it though a bedroom door (just missing the door post by fractions of an inch) and then impaling a buffer head into a large corrugated cardboard box which brought it to a halt.

After disengaging the tender buffer from the box, I was astonished to find that there was no damage, not even a bent lamp iron or a mark on the paintwork.

If model locos are like cats and have nine lives, it surely is now down to eight!

Cause of the problem.....battery failure in the transmitter causing it to lose contact.

That's enough excitement for one day!

John.
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: Peaky 556 on Sep 16 2019 12:44
That’s a bit worrying John, as with most R/C systems now you can switch off the Tx and the loco will continue doing whatever it was already doing.  Glad all’s well.
Tim
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: John Candy on Sep 16 2019 12:53
Tim,
Yes, very disconcerting.
R/C is a Planet T5 and the ESC a Mtroniks Viper Loco10 HV (24V version).
Had another odd experience a few months ago when Mark Thatcher came to collect the GWR diesel railcar I had converted from track power to R/C.
The railcar was stationary (with the power on) and the transmitter had been switched off while he set up his video equipment.
Suddenly, the railcar raced away for no reason. In that case it was a combination of Radiolink T8FB R/C and the same Mtroniks Viper ESC.
John.
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: Peaky 556 on Sep 16 2019 13:17
John, I had a similar experience with the Planet T5, because I had set the the speed controller to work on a channel other than the one recommended.  I had chosen the engine throttle control with the ratchet stick, and it transpired that when the T5 loses signal, the engine throttle goes fully to one end of travel, or engine idle in an aircraft.  This meant full reverse in my case!  I can’t remember whether the other channels just ‘stay as is’ when losing signal, but just be cautious.
Regards, Tim
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: John Candy on Sep 16 2019 13:21
Thanks Tim.
I will get out the T5 instruction book and see what it says. I have quite a few locos with T5 R/C.
Regards,
John.
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: John Candy on Sep 17 2019 06:30
This morning, I put "Calcutta" on the rolling road and tested it for any "runaway" tendencies.
It (she?) performed faultlessly.

The ESC is connected to Ch.1 and the whistle to Ch.2 of the Planet T5 receiver.

I switched off the transmitter while the throttle was open, with the loco still running, and it stopped within a couple of seconds, in both forward and reverse.

I can only assume the runaway was caused by a "rogue" signal given out by the transmitter, at the moment the batteries died.

The lesson to be learned, is to keep one eye on the LCD display and, when it drops below 4.8V, switch off!
 
John.
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: Jon Nazareth on Sep 20 2019 15:55
I was having problems with a Viper speed controller recently that raced away of it's on accord but in reverse.  The loco crashed into some wagons but luckily, no damage that I can see.  I've since changed the controller.

Jon
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: MikeWilliams on Sep 20 2019 16:18
All this makes me wonder if I should have adopted 2-rail!

Mike
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: John Candy on Sep 20 2019 20:48
Quote
I was having problems with a Viper speed controller recently that raced away of it's on accord but in reverse.
Jon,
A bit worrying that you have also had this problem with a Viper ESC.
Having said that, I have experienced similar isolated experiences with a Brian Jones "Mac5" and Peter Spoerer "Electron 12" controllers.
All involved 2.4gHz Planet T5 RC and I am wondering whether the transmitter was the source of problem....as Tim mentioned earlier?
Regards,
John.
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: Peaky 556 on Sep 20 2019 21:05
All this makes me wonder if I should have adopted 2-rail!

Mike

NOOOOOOOOOOO!
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: IanT on Sep 21 2019 08:40
Quote
All this makes me wonder if I should have adopted 2-rail!

Stud Contact works very well Mike!  :-)
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: John Candy on Sep 21 2019 08:49
What about clockwork!!!!
John.
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: MikeWilliams on Sep 21 2019 09:19
What about clockwork!!!!
John.
[/quote

To be serious for a moment, I have never seen Gauge 3 clockwork in action and would love to do so.  Has anyone?

Mike
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: John Candy on Sep 21 2019 09:22
I think there was an article in a (comparatively) recent Newsletter about a clockwork loco repaired (I think by Barry Lane but could be wrong).

John.
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: IanT on Sep 21 2019 09:51
Yes, certainly have Mike.

The first time I ever saw a G3 demo layout was at Kew Museum (about 1997?) and there was a lovely L&SER (I think) clockwork loco being shunted up and down by Messrs Casserley & May. Several years later I did the same thing with Tim on the G3 stand at Brighton (although I was never allowed to touch the key!). I assume it was quite an old engine and it had lovely brass control levers sticking out the back of the cab to brake or reverse the engine. I assume it's still around but have never see it at a GTG. I also seem to recall another clockwork engine being test run at Mike Mays.

My reference to "Stud" was of course slightly tongue in cheek but it was very successful at Silby and potentially allows mixed steam and electric working, not possible with 2-rail - it was also effectively self-cleaning, Adrian didn't do anything to his track pre-GTG.

Regards

IanT
Title: Re: Disaster averted!
Post by: MikeWilliams on Sep 22 2019 08:58
Returning to the topic of this thread, perhaps live steam would give greater control of the engine and more realistic running speeds?

... yes, I was just getting my coat .....

Mike
 ;D