Control systems?

Could someone give me a brief summary of the pros and cons of the various methods of providing power and control to model trains? I.E.,
basic transformer vs R/C, DCC, command control and whatever else may be available.
This would be for use with an outdoor G scale layout, if that makes any difference.
ˇ
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Run like Hell! You've just restarted a perennial debate :-).
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Heheh. Well, how about this instead... a list of each method's features? I need some way to get a handle on what these different systems can (and can't) do.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Well, I'm a DCC bigot, so just to get the debate started, I'll say DCC can do *everything* better! :-)
All seriousness aside, I'm not sure I'd want to trust the rail/wheel electrical contact of an outdoor railroad, so I think that I'd personally tend to look at R/C and on-board batteries first.
But why not talk to these folks, or other similar groups, to get some first-hand experience?
http://www.cagrs.com /
HTH, Stevert
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Stevert wrote:

Like waste your money?

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" snipped-for-privacy@aol.com" wrote:

There are four main possibilities: - Analogue through the rails. - DCC through the rails. - Radio control with batteries on the train. - Radio control with 12/18 volts on the rails.
A basic problem with analogue control is that the voltage varies - the higher the voltage, the better it finds it's way between rail and wheel. Solution: PWM controller.
DCC costs money. Probably ideal for garden railways where you just want to switch between trains.
Radio control works well, but rolling stock loaded with batteries severely limits the pulling power of locos.
Radio conntrol utilizing full voltage on the tracks works better but I'm not sure it has advantages over the right DCC system ( = $$$)
Regards, Greg.P.
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Greg Procter wrote:

Thanks Greg!
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" snipped-for-privacy@aol.com" wrote:

I'm sure everyone will tell us I'm wrong ;-)
Regards, Greg.P.
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I guess that 30 or 40 cars is a severe limit!
Wander over to http://www.aristocraft.com/ and check their forums. This is specifically G scale. Particularly the General Forum. Lots of postings discussing battery power. Most with separate battery cars, others with battery in locomotive.
Big advantage of battery power, is that you can use cheaper track (ie wood or brass) as there is no need to keep it "electrically clean".
Disclaimer. I am using DCC for outdoor G scale.
--
Bob Small

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OK, I have a few more questions about control systems...
1. Who makes R/C systems for trains?
2. What kind of batteries do the R/C systems use, how do you charge them, how long do they hold a charge, and how long will the battery last?
3. How much problem is there with radio interference when using an R/C system?
4. With either R/C or DCC, would I be able to use the loco's existing sound/lights/smoke?
5. From what I've seen so far, DCC seems a bit complex. Could a visitor who is unfamiliar with the system be able to run trains with me? Could a child run it?
c
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OK, I have a few more questions about control systems...
1. Who makes R/C systems for trains?
2. What kind of batteries do the R/C systems use, how do you charge them, how long do they hold a charge, and how long will the battery last?
3. How much problem is there with radio interference when using an R/C system?
4. With either R/C or DCC, would I be able to use the loco's existing sound/lights/smoke?
5. From what I've seen so far, DCC seems a bit complex. Could a visitor who is unfamiliar with the system be able to run trains with me? Could a child run it?
I posted these questions earlier but they seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle.
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I don't think they got lost, I just think no one answered because there is no such product. You can certainly do it, but you will have to cobble together a system from existing airplane and model car systems and adapt it yourself to your model railroad application.
From the text of your question ". . . sound/lights/smoke . . ." it sounds like you are running O gauge tinplate with AC track power. You can use DCC with tinplate, but you need to get answers from other tinplaters who have adopted DCC to operate their trains. A good place to go in addition to this board is the Digitrax users forum. You can find it on Google.
Froggy,
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Aristocraft makes a radio control system for G. Called Crest I believe. I think that they use lead acid batteries. Can be charged from the track or a charging station. The system handles sound and lights, I don't know about smoke. Go to http://www.aristocraft.com/ and check it out.
" snipped-for-privacy@aol.com" wrote:

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THere is also the possibility of doing a wireless DCC with batteries on the train. But I don't know of anyone who makes the gear.
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How about live steam with RC? They do that already. Bruce
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Gordon reeder wrote:

How would that work???
Would you transmit a DCC signal by radio?
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wrote:

Generaly yes, that was the idea. But now that I've given it some thought I see that it is a bit more complicated. First: THe power source can not be DC. DCC uses square wave AC power. There goes the idea of a simple battery to power the locomotive.
Second: You would need to separate the DCC control signal from the DCC power. Actually this may not be that difficult if you take the signal from the control bus, between the cab and the booster.
Trying to kludge a DCC system into a wireless system with DC power is probably not a good way to go. But if a manufacturer were to market a purpose built decoder with a radio link that could run on DC power... Now that would be somthing. And very feasable.
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Gordon reeder wrote:

No, a battery would be fine! Transistor switching is capable of producing the square wave AC.

They are one and the same thing - no problem!

True.
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Sure it could be done. But that adds one more thing that can fail. A purpose built DCC controler could be designed with an 'H-Drive' motor control. THat would allow the motor to be controled in either direction with a simple DC source.
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Gordon reeder wrote:

YES!
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