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    • June 20, 2019 10:54 AM EDT
    • I recently had the opportunity to fit a new RCS R/C system and Fosworks COBRA-260 ESC to a latest run USAT GP38-2.
      Knowing that USAT diesels have in the past been very susceptible to gear failure I very carefully checked out this example.
      All the axles were perfect.

      This particular installation was to be fitted with a Centre OFF 100 Watt COBRA-260 ESC.  These are virtually identical to my new Low OFF RCS # OMEGA-10 100 Watt ESC.
      The owner wanted to use one Tx hand-piece to be able to control 1 x battery R/C loco and 1 x TITAN track-side R/C separately from the same hand-piece.  The EVO-DUO+ hand-piece can do this and also provide 4 x sound trigger functions for the diesel.

      The GP38-2 was ripe for some creative internal layout of components.

      I started with the MyLocosound, Speaker and MRW-SSQS quad R/C sound trigger by mounting all of them in the fuel tank.
      The Infra Red sensor for programming was mounted up under the frame of the loco. Top left in pic below.
      The wires were neatly bundled together and fed up into the loco body for connection to the control panel on top of the loco.

      The 2,600 mah 5s Li-Ion battery pack was mounted between the stanchions on 10 mm square styrene tubing glued in place with silicone adhesive and secured to the loco frame by a cable tie.
      I never re-wire USAT locos. Instead I leave the stock wiring in place and feed the motors direct from the ESC.  I power the loco electronics by the traction batteries fed via a DPDT relay which is controlled by the directional lighting outputs of ESC lighting outputs.  The relay is mounted on the battery pack for convenience.

      The result is constant brightness directional lights and the two marker lamps change colour with direction change.

       Whilst working on the loco body removing the two smoke units (they eat batteries) I discovered that the top centre section of the loco body could be made removable.  It is held in place by 4 x screws which are easily removable.


      Once the top cover was removed making a control panel to hold switch, charge jack, Rx and ESC was easy peasy.

      The dimensions are here:

      The DSM2 Rx was mounted on the top side of the panel.  The servo leads to the ESC and quad R/C sound trigger pcb in the fuel tank come up through a slot in the panel.

       The COBRA-260 was mounted on the underside of the panel.

      In hind-site that was not a good idea.  The minute amount of radiation from the ESC interfered with the Rx because it was too close to the antenna.  The thickness of the styrene is not enough, although only an inch or so separation is actually needed. After testing I replaced the Rx with a Deltang Rx with a long range antenna the receiving part of which was well away from the ESC.

      The panel is supported by 5 mm square styrene tubing glued to the insides of the loco body.  The panel sits on top of the tubing and secured in place with 2 x spare USAT body mounting screws.
      I glued some small pieces of styrene tubing in the old screw holes to act as guide pegs when removing and replacing the body cover.
      The result is no holes drilled into the loco at all.

      It runs really well on the 4s (14.8 volt) pack although a 5s (18.5 volts) pack would give a higher top speed which many users would prefer.
      Range is about 200' and duration around 2 hours with a 10 car train on a flat layout.

    • June 20, 2019 9:54 AM EDT
    • To see the RailPro system operating at the NGRC Portland, OR, please visit Terry Meyer's layout during the tours. I will not be able to attend. Terry has the system with the brighter hand controller screen installed in his USAT SD-40.

       

       

    • June 1, 2019 9:10 AM EDT
    • May 2019, RailPro adds Shay sound to sound files. Now available three truck Shay recorded at the Hesston Steam Museum. This is the newer ULT quality file and responds to the  loading feature. Video sound demo to be posted soon. 

      Select new Baldwin 3 chime whistle. YouTube of the exact whistle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAw17tXUke4

       

    • June 4, 2019 1:45 PM EDT
    • I can confirm that Tony's TX works with many different DSM2 systems.  I've tried 3 different RXs with mine so far.

    • June 4, 2019 12:19 AM EDT
    • Hi Rooster.

      The problem had always been, no matter good and reliable R/C car ESC's were, the big drawback was always the big cumbersome two hand operation Transmitters.

      Not any more.  The Tx's I make will fit in a pocket and can be operated by one hand if you wish.

      They vary from a basic three channel entry level handpiece with one sound trigger;

      To a more advanced 5 channel hand-piece with 5 x sound triggers. 

      Unlike some R/C systems the RCS R/C is compatible with quite a bit of DSM2 protocol equipment.

      Rx's start at A$ 22 ea Xenon Rx's.  ESC's from A$ 49 ea.

    • June 3, 2019 9:57 PM EDT
    • I personally "was" wired into the RC car business many moons ago and often wondered why no one grabbed the ESC and related it to the model train hobby.

    • June 3, 2019 12:00 PM EDT
    • Hi Peter.

      Understood.

      I deliberately call my Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC's) just that, to differentiate them from DCC.

      The # OMEGA-10 can use any type of Rx that has standard servo signal throws and not just DSM2 protocols. Although I only produce and sell DSM2 compatible R/C.

      The only maker I know of that has combined Rx/ESC's are Deltang DSM2 compatible, and only one of which can actually be used up to a claimed 18 volts. The others are all a maximum of 13 volts.

      The ESC in this thread can take up to 28 volts, although I only say 24 volts.

    • June 3, 2019 11:28 AM EDT
    • " Rooster " said:
      Tony Walsham said:

      Hello Pete.


      Did you have a question?

      Probably not only challenging as a few do.

       Rooster, that is a very weird sentence.

      Tony, I am not wired in to the rc car biz, where talk of ESCs is common.  I am used to trains using "throttles" - electronic ones in this case.  And many DCC systems have the receiver and the esc built in to the same module.

       

      As you didn't mention DSM2 I assumed it did not have an integral receiver, so I went to your site to check - hence the red writing.

    • June 2, 2019 8:03 PM EDT
    • Tony Walsham said:

      Hello Pete.


      Did you have a question?

       

      Probably not only challenging as a few do.

       

      Nice product Tony !

    • June 2, 2019 6:43 PM EDT
    • Hello Pete.

      You wrote
      Each locomotive will require one ESC/RX combination listed above.

      That is correct.

      Although designed specifically for my own DSM2 R/C, they will work with just about ANY Digital Proportional Rx that has standard servo signal outputs.

      Did you have a question?

       

    • June 2, 2019 5:26 PM EDT
    • I was curious about the r/c so I looked on your link:

      Each locomotive will require one ESC/RX combination listed above.

    • June 1, 2019 8:30 PM EDT
    • RCS now has available a new 100 Watt (5 amps at 20 volts) ESC.

      OMEGA-10

      They feature screw terminals and constant brightness forward and reverse lighting outputs.

      These replace the no longer made original RCS OMEGA series. The OMEGA-10 Low OFF control uses two channels for speed and direction.

      Low OFF control is how most Live Steam locos are operated.

      The direction is set by a reverser which also controls Inertia/Momentum. The loco speed is controlled by a 300º degree regulator knob. 

      Much finer control than with the 150º degree control a Centre OFF ESC has.

      Three different operating modes can be set and they are programmable for performance features. High frequency silent PWM output.

      The # OMEGA-10 can be used with any standard servo output receiver and requires two channels.

      Available direct from RCS for A$ 89 (US$ 62) Post Free.

      Go HERE for full information.

    • April 19, 2019 9:41 AM EDT
    • MTH G Scale New Announcements! SD70ACe And GS4 With LED Lights!

       

       

       

    • March 28, 2019 2:38 PM EDT
    • David Maynard said:

      Another point is, have any of you seen an injection molding machine in action? The parts come out of injection molding machines at a rate that no 3D printer could hope to match. So for mass production, injection molding will be the way its done. For small batches of unique parts, that would be the 3D printers niche, at least for now.

      I never mean't to imply 3d printing would replace injection molding for mass production.  It's my belief that as more folks get access to higher quality 3d printers,  the manufacturers will consider not producing the parts at all and just supplying stl files.  Have you noticed that now if you buy a board game like Stratego, they make you do the work and peel & place all the stickers on the playing pieces?  I'm thinking the next step would be a flat pack with the board, stickers and instructions with links to download and print the pieces yourself.  Imagine how much production cost, shipping, stock space etc. could be saved.  And when you want X-Men or Smurf Stratego they just sell you the files.  See where I'm going with this?

      Let's pretend AML has the CAD files for a GP60 but doesn't get enough pre-orders to commit to injection molding costs...  Hmmm?  How much to rework the CAD files to something printable and offering it in kit form?

    • March 28, 2019 2:18 PM EDT
    • Luckily for us home hobby guys, we can trade time for cost if we are making stuff for ourselves and the machine runs by itself.

       

      I think the biggest challenge is the ability to afford a machine for yourself that has the surface resolution that can be directly painted, not filled and sanded.

       

      Greg

    • March 28, 2019 1:54 PM EDT
    • David Maynard said:

      Another point is, have any of you seen an injection molding machine in action? The parts come out of injection molding machines at a rate that no 3D printer could hope to match. So for mass production, injection molding will be the way its done. For small batches of unique parts, that would be the 3D printers niche, at least for now.

       

      Yeah, about thirty years ago, the forging industry was taking a hit because of the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall coming down. I was laid off and found work in zinc injection mold house with a "captive die shop" (meaning it was a separate entity, but associated with the larger production shop). Zinc is a "kind" of pot metal used for many consumer products. But the finish on the cavities of these molds is usually a polished surface to remove tool marks and grind marks. Just don't want to leave a blemish on the surface of the injection molded product. We even did some aluminum parts. The call boxes along the freeways were made by this company. Even the surface for aluminum products can have a high polish surface on the cavity. But when you start doing plastics, this is an entirely different world. The dies have to be handled with gloves because the acid from the skin of the mold maker can mar the surface of the cavity. The final finish is almost literally chrome plated! NOTHING touches a finished cavity in production or any spot or blemish will appear on the plastic part. This is where the cost of plastic injection dies goes skyward exponentially! 

      Just because a injection molded die is machined exactly to print, DOES NOT mean that it will work properly. There is always the added cost of the "tryout" period before production. Inevitably changes have to be made to the die because of the flow characteristics of the part material or the movement of the die in the injection machine. All machines act differently. It's not "cookie cutter" easy. And like David mentioned, you can produce "bad" parts VERY quickly in these machines. Scrap always seem to go quicker during production rather than an easy "good" part production run. But the injection mold process is by far faster than 3D printing and WILL be far into the future. Definitely not something for the home hobbyist 3D printer unless you have VERY DEEP pockets!

    • March 28, 2019 12:25 PM EDT
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      Well, with people paying $1200 for some scarce road names in some locos (go figure) I can see people getting a favorite, never produced (but fits on another chassis) loco.

      What would I pay for a Santa Fe E1? A lot.

      The issue is clearly the quality level, we are getting pretty close with the latest generation of "hobby printers", the filament printers are clearly not there, the SLA printers are pretty darn good, much less "filling and finishing" and the upcoming SLS printers (see the formlabs web site) might be close enough to print and paint.

      I'd love to have one each of all the unusual early Santa Fe diesels.

      Greg

      I'm surprised that Mark Demyan  hasn't chimed in...

       

    • March 28, 2019 11:47 AM EDT
    • Well, with people paying $1200 for some scarce road names in some locos (go figure) I can see people getting a favorite, never produced (but fits on another chassis) loco.

       

      What would I pay for a Santa Fe E1? A lot.

       

      The issue is clearly the quality level, we are getting pretty close with the latest generation of "hobby printers", the filament printers are clearly not there, the SLA printers are pretty darn good, much less "filling and finishing" and the upcoming SLS printers (see the formlabs web site) might be close enough to print and paint.

       

      I'd love to have one each of all the unusual early Santa Fe diesels.

       

      Greg