Author Topic: Quaity of R/C control packaging  (Read 7264 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MikeWilliams

Quaity of R/C control packaging
« on: Mar 31 2014 17:48 »
I have one of Peter Spoerer's very nice hand-held R/C devices and it works a treat.  However, all R/C gear I've handled over he years feels a bit toy like.  Fine for controlling your kid's model racing car, but not got the right "feel" for a steam engine.  In the 1970s transformer/controllers suffered the same problem until somebody (Scale-something?) brought out a unit with a nice regulator-like handle and switches which felt really solid - like a real engine.

Has anyone experimented with re-packaging the modern R/C sets into a nicer case?


Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #1 on: Mar 31 2014 17:56 »
This is the best picture I can find of what I mean.  This is a Codar which was not the first, and its a double which is probably not needed, though maybe one could be regulator and one brake, buttons and knobs for minor controls.

Any interest in that style of controller?


Offline AllWight

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #2 on: Mar 31 2014 20:43 »
What you really want is the model W hand held controller as supplied from gaugemaster. I'm sure that it's possible to fit a controller pot to the radio control equipment. 


Offline 454

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #3 on: Apr 01 2014 07:38 »
What is needed is a hand held RC Tx controller that has 3 functions intended for a battery electric loco.

1) Brake
2) Regulator/throttle
3) Forward / reverse.

A planned manoeuvre will take place like this:

1) Select forward or reverse as intended direction.
2) Release brake. This arms the regulator to become active. It is also a variable proportional control.
3) Open the regulator to move away in the chosen direction.
4) When desired speed achieved, close regulator & coast. The speed will diminish depending on an inertia setting.
5  Open/close regulator when more/less power needed according to route.
6) To bring train to a stop or to slow more quickly apply brake progressively.
7) Set brake to full on when stopped.

End of manoeuvre.

Anything else is not realistic, the above gives a prototypical "feel" to the operation of controlling a train, this exists in the smaller scales/gauges.

Perhaps the time has come for someone clever enough to come along and adapt an RC unit to give this functionality.

Or could it be that it already exists & I am not aware of it yet.
I am sure someone out there will let us know.


Offline AllWight

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #4 on: Apr 01 2014 18:33 »
Hi Dave.

The model WS has all the functions that you listed. It's a derivative of the model W from gaugemaster.


Offline Peaky 556

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #5 on: Apr 04 2014 21:27 »
If you open up your aircraft-style Tx you will see that the joysticks take up a lot of room.  Each one has two pots, one for each control axis and function.  I think it would be quite easy to buy four of the necessary pots from ebay (or our local radio ham shop Potts in Derby!!) of the correct rating and mount them in an alternative plastic enclosure, wiring exactly as the originals were, and bringing across the circuit boards and battery pack and aerial mounting of course.  You will have four knobs to twiddle then and add crank handles, pointer knobs or whatever takes your fancy! 

You will lose the trim function, but I think we can live without it.

You can also buy the electrical hobbyist enclosures from Maplins etc.

Is this a way ahead Mike?

Cheers, Tim

Offline Moonraker

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #6 on: Apr 05 2014 00:40 »
Peter Spoerer's radio control systems are excellent for battery powered locos but I needed something for my live steamers. For years I have been using model aircraft style joystick transmitters and I hate them. They need both hands to operate and the aerials get in the way.

A couple of months ago, I switched over to the new transmitters from RCS ( These can easily be held in one hand and you can drive your loco with your thumb. If you need both hands to attend to your pride and joy then you jut slip it into your pocket. The regulator and reverser knobs drive the relevant servos proportionally. When the bind button is pressed it turns an accessory servo from mid-point to the end of its travel so I use it for a whistle. Operating range is in excess of 30m (being the maximum distance in my garden). I currently use it on the G scale part of my railway and will now be getting more for my remaining G3 and G scale live steamers.


Peter Lucas

Offline Tony Walsham

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #7 on: Apr 05 2014 01:52 »
Thanks for the kind words Peter.
I make a number of different Digital Proportional TX hand pieces all of which are suitable for both Live Steam and battery R/C use.
The full range is displayed and details are available at my website.

Tony Walsham
Best Wishes,

Tony Walsham (Remote Control Systems)

Offline John Candy

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #8 on: Apr 05 2014 07:35 »

Took a look at the RCS website and am tempted to use the system with my GRS LMS Johnson 1F 0-6-0T brass kit currnetly under construction.

There are a lot of options and combinations of components offered and I have not had time to take it all in (or put another way, am at present totally confused)!

I would want to use the system in conjunction with a MyLocoSound steam card and suitable ESC (the choice of ESC will be dictated by format/size and available space in the loco.).

The questions which immediately to spring to mind are:-

1) I understand 3 Amps to be maximum loading for the ESC's offered .... I currently use 15A rated units with a 5A fuse......will the Omega ESCs heat up under potential Gauge 3 loadings?

2) What are dimensions of the ESCs and are they shrink-wrapped or otherwise "cased" to protect against shorting inside a metal body where wiring and other electrical components may be tightly packed?

3) Did I understand correctly that the Omega ESC provides the activation for the whistle on a sound card, thereby eliminating the need for a separate onboard whistle control switch (this is a space-saving consideration with a small tank loco)?

I looked at he UK agent's website but there is very little indication of which components he is offering or the supply situation : What are the UK import/Customs complications with ordering direct from Australia?

John Candy
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline Tony Walsham

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #9 on: Apr 05 2014 23:11 »
Hi John.
Thanks for the questions.

1.  Yes the limitations are 3 amps.  My ratings are real amps.  I have been using the motor driver on the pcb for many years.  They drive USA Trains 4 x axle large scale diesels and all AristoCraft diesels just fine.
I feel certain they will handle smaller Gauge # 3 locos. 
For really big G3 locos I can offer a 5amp version.  It is a modified G Scale Graphics Rail Boss ESC.  However it is quite expensive.

2.   61 x 43 x 12   These are at the website but may be hard to find.  There is an OMEGA-3 page with all details.

3.  Yes.  The OMEGA-3v5 has 4 x sound triggers that are activated by the 4 x buttons on the TX-7.  The MyLocosound can be either voltage controlled chuff or mechanically timed chuff.  I prefer the latter although the voltage one is pretty good.  I like the drifting effect when cruising.  The OMEGA-3v5 instructions show how to wire the MyLocosound.

The OMEGA-3v5 is very new.  The UK agent has not got any stock yet.  Sending the first batch off on Monday.  Not sure how his version of the Deltang TX works.  Such as how he triggers sound functions.
Best Wishes,

Tony Walsham (Remote Control Systems)

Offline 454

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #10 on: Apr 12 2014 14:45 »
Today was Gauge 1 North at Bakewell & I was on the lookout for Peter Spoerer's trade stand where I had a very pleasing demonstration of his TX-21 handheld RC transmitter, Spektrum compatible. That was just the ticket I was hooked & bought one. Price £58.00. As most of my Battery Electric locos are equipped with Spektrum compatible receivers it became a no-brainer to make my collection of spiky joystick cumbersome Tx collection redundant with just one hand held, fit in the pocket transmitter.

Within 5 minutes of arriving home the binding plug was inserted into Kinder Scout's receiver, the ESC servo control was changed from "rudder" to Aux 1 & six seconds later everything was up & running.

Put the Peak diesel on the track & was impressed with the built in controllable inertia control which can be de-selected easily if one desired. The cruise control worked effectively & the big bonus is I just need to go around binding all my other locos to it.

It is powered by one PP3 9volt battery.

It has 2 accessory buttons giving either a servo function or a switch function for e.g. Whistle, horn, lights, uncoupler etc.

The really good news is that double heading should now be possible subject to mechanical wheel rotation harmony between locos.

The even better news is that with such a compact size when not in use it can be stowed away safely within the cavernous body of the Peak.

Peter Spoerer, thanks, today I have a smile on my face.

Highly recommended by me.


Offline 454

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #11 on: Apr 27 2014 09:00 »
The TX-21 has been put through it's paces now & my experience of it is as follows:

1) In my small garden with limited obstacles & on my indoor track set up the unit is a joy to use with confidence.

2) In a large garden with many obstacles e.g. sheds, tunnels, trees, hedges etc. using an ESC with "fail safe mode" the loss of signal can be a frustration as the signal from the handheld seems to be weak at the limits of it's range when compared with a "conventional" joystick controller.

3) So from a "large garden GTG" viewpoint my models will be re-bound to my Spektrum Tx for that purpose.

4) At home or on indoor exhibition layouts will be re-bound to my TX-21, as this offers a more convenient & discrete method of control.

5) If use is as a "walk around " controller it is absolutely fine.

6) The ESC during the comparative testing was an Electronize.

7) To date have not tested the TX-21 with either a Mac 5 or Viper. It is unlikely that I will bother.

Hope this helps when deciding which RC control to select. It is "horses for courses".

My recommendation still stands as it is a joy to use under the appropriate conditions.


Offline Jon Nazareth

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #12 on: Aug 31 2014 13:18 »
I know absolute nothing about how to control a battery powered loco using a remote controlled system.  I've read all of the above and the TX-21 looks to be the place to start.  I'm building a Manning Wardle and most of the boiler space is taken up by a Slaters motor and gearbox driving the middle axle.  There is space in the firebox for something but not sure what will go in there.  There is a also a small coal bunker which could be used for something as well (told you I didn't know anything about RC).  The batteries will have to go in a wagon/covered wagon that will go behind the engine and that's about it, folks. 
Would it be easier for me just to get in touch with Peter and chat to him or are there better systems out there.  I did like the idea of a small controller that didn't have a joystick and that would slip into the pocket.  I looked at the Gaugemaster WS but this had an electrical lead attached to it and didn't seem to be what I was looking for.


Offline 454

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #13 on: Aug 31 2014 22:20 »
The TX-21 was bound to various locos which I took along to be run on Blackgang at Llanfair Caereinion this weekend.

I bound all the locos with 2 exceptions  to the same TX-21 which meant that when a loco was not being used it had to be switched off at the loco.

The ESC's operated by the TX-21 were the following: Viper, Macfive, Electronize. All performed normally without any problems.

One emerging problem with experience of the device now I have noticed that with the TX-21 is when the Tx battery ( a 9V PP3 ) is starting to fail the "zero" of the forward /reverse speed control knob shifts progressively. But this is not an issue if a spare battery is used immediately one recognises what is happening. The first indication is when the loco keeps on moving slightly when the stop click position on the control knob is attained on deceleration to a commanded stop.

For a small loco it may be best to use a Viper, it is the most compact of the three aforementioned ESC's & should be easy to fit in a small space.

The battery pack needs to be selected based on what current draw the loco has under normally expected loadings.
The amp. hour rating then matched to a reasonable running time. Maybe AAA rather than AA could be used. But possible a spare pack to replace one pack while the other is on charge.

The aim is NOT to put the RC kit in a support vehicle, it cramps your operating style when playing trains.

I'm sure you can do it.


Offline Jon Nazareth

Re: Quaity of R/C control packaging
« Reply #14 on: Sep 01 2014 18:06 »
Erm...ESC, I don't think that means escape does it?.......