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    • May 23, 2017 12:23 PM EDT
    • What? You mean to tell me you don't know that if you combine the output of the cryo-coupled xenon capacitor with the heliotropic power modulator that you can run your trains on solarisometric fusion power?

       

      Sorry 'bout that. Here's a glossary to help folks follow along. Links will take you to on-line references for more information.

       

      Raspberry Pi = a series of very simple, inexpensive computers (little more than a PC board with USB and HDMI ports built in for keyboards, monitors, and other accessories) originally designed to teach computer science, but latched onto by developers for their simplicity and flexibility.

       

      JMRI = Java Model Railroad Interface--software (Java-based) which allows you to interface your computer with your model railroad. It's got various components, including operations and car forwarding software which is sometimes discussed elsewhere on this forum. In this instance, it's the DCC controller/programmer that's of interest. The DCC programmer is a graphic user interface for programming DCC decoders, which eliminates the need to remember CVs (control or command variables) which tell the decoder how to behave. The controller is a throttle "window" on your screen you use to run your trains. More to the point, though, it has the capability of connecting to phones which are on the same WiFi network so you can use your phone instead of the window on the PC to run your train.

       

      Sprog = A line of USB interfaces which act as the physical connection between your PC and model railroad. The "Nano" is the smallest of the bunch, and needs a booster (essentially an amplifier for DCC) to combine the DCC signal with an external power supply to feed the decoder. Other Sprogs are more stand-alone and have more features. Some DCC command stations allow you to interface your computer with them via a built-in or proprietary add-on USB connection.

       

      WiThrottle = a phone app which allows you to run your DCC-based railroad from your phone or tablet, provided you've got the hardware and software to interface. WiThrottle Lite is free, the full version is $10. This app interfaces seamlessly with JRMI running on a computer.

       

      Deadrail = battery power. It's a term increasingly used by the small scale crowd that doesn't have the long history of calling it "battery R/C" that we do in large scale. 

       

      (The technobabble in my first sentence? Haven't a clue. It would make an interesting Google session, though, just to see where it leads.)

       

      Later,

       

      K

    • May 23, 2017 11:42 AM EDT
    • I agree Pete. Those posts went so far over my head, they had vapor trains!

    • May 23, 2017 9:49 AM EDT
    • my PC and Sprog Nano set-up I recently built for programming decoders with JMRI. I use the WiThrottle app

      Greg, Kevin,

      That short discourse could almost be a comedy sketch about incomprehensible jargon.  Raspberry Pi ? Deadrail ? WiThrottle ?

       

       

    • May 23, 2017 1:49 AM EDT
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      Another thought, Raspberry Pi running Linux, and thus running JMRI, connect to the $160 NCE PowerCab system, you might need a $30 wifi router. Hook the deadrail transmitter to the NCE system.

      I like it. I've been contemplating a similar set-up using my PC and Sprog Nano set-up I recently built for programming decoders with JMRI. I use the WiThrottle app on my phone with that so I don't need to continually toggle screens for programming versus testing. No reason in the world why I can't just tap a transmitter on the output of the Nano and use my phone to run the trains. I'll have to play around with that this Summer to see what kind of range I can get. My laptop usually lives in my family room, so I can easily open the window and put the transmitter right there over the railroad. My existing WiFi router covers my entire back yard, so that range wouldn't be an issue.

       

      Later,

       

      K

    • May 22, 2017 4:02 PM EDT
    • Another thought, Raspberry Pi running Linux, and thus running JMRI, connect to the $160 NCE PowerCab system, you might need a $30 wifi router. Hook the deadrail transmitter to the NCE system.

       

      Now you have a full wireless DCC system running wirelessly to the battery powered locos with any number of smart phones as throttles and really any number of locos.

       

      Greg 

    • May 22, 2017 3:27 PM EDT
    • Yep, the GWire throttle was a nice idea, in that it gave you an additional option for your AirWire system. Some AirWire features did not work, and I won't comment on whether those changes were intentional by CVP to eliminate competition or not.

       

      But my thinking was the GWire throttle, modded to all 17 channels and used with DeadRail, which should allow ALL features of ANY DCC decoder.

       

      Maybe NCE could be encouraged to do this, since the DeadRail concept is supported by a number of manufacturers, and finally it meets the "pure DCC" spec, in terms of commands.

       

      Greg

      Kevin Strong said:

      Greg, what's the street price cost of the wireless throttle add-on to the Pro-Cab? Most folks looking to go battery R/C (of whatever flavor) are looking for some kind of wireless walk-around control, so a wireless link between handheld controller and command station is almost a mandatory added cost.

       

      If only NCE would make their G-wire handheld again, updated for all 17 Airwire channels. I like that interface. It didn't quite do everything for all decoders, though. The macros like one-button momentum adjustment didn't work with Airwire's throttles, and if I recall, neither did the Emergency Stop button. My NCE controller is now living back east, so I can't try it with the latest 6-amp Convertr. Unless NCE updates it for all 17 Airwire channels, you cannot control the Tam Valley Depot receivers with it.

       

      Later,

       

      K

       

    • May 22, 2017 12:27 PM EDT
    • Thank you Michael and Pete.

      The advice I'm being given seems to mirror what you say. I'm very grateful.

      Martin

    • May 22, 2017 12:17 PM EDT
    • Martin, (also on GscaleCentral.)  Same answer - Mr K likes the Airwire Convrtr boards for driving your DCC locos via r/c.

    • May 22, 2017 12:15 PM EDT
    • Martin, I strongly believe that you should consider going in the direction of the Airwire system. After consulting with Airwire users on this board and with members of my club (BAGRS) who actively use this system, I think Airwire is the way to go. My advice is to thoroughly read the posts on this very thread, the CVP Products web site, and especially share the thoughts of long time Airwire users Kevin Strong and Paul Burch. I have been advised to purchase a T5000 throttle (transmitter), G3x decoders, and Phoenix P8 sound cards for my installations. Some feel the "Drop-in" decoders are adequate - others swear by the G3x boards for their versatility. The T5000 transmitter, G3x decoders, Phoenix P8 sound boards, and Tenergy batteries work together seamlessly for a complete walk-around system.

      http://www.cvpusa.com/airwire_g3.php

    • May 21, 2017 7:45 PM EDT
    • I'm glad I've found this thread as I'm in the thought process of changing from track power to battery and R/C. Here's the scenario...

      My Digitrax rail power but with radio control keeps getting fried by our frequent thunder storms. Track cleaning is also a pain with sandy soil (actually all sand), irrigation systems and summer heavy rain.

      I have few locos - 6 in total, but only use 4 mostly. All have Zimo DCC boards. They are all U.K. Prototype narrow gauge locos, so small with limited space inside. I may have to design battery tenders.

      I tend to wander around my railroad following a loco. The line is about 500' total with two return loops and a branch. No point of the track is further than about 30' from my beer chair.

      I want something that will use my DCC decoders, but be relatively easy to install.

      So, will AirWire do this? That seems the simplest way. Other systems may do it, but I get a bit baffled by the technology jargon.

      I'm really open to suggestions for the simplest and most cost effective solution.

      The starter signal is off......so to speak!

    • May 21, 2017 2:38 PM EDT
    • My point was that it always was a "track power" car, i.e. got power from the track, in this case from the track, through the loco and out the back connector, but still track power, battery was backup as Dan has stated several times.

       

      Typically these are 400 milliamp hours up to about 550 for duracells.... throwaway batteries. Rechargable ones are WAY lower in amp hours.

       

      So I concur with Dan, you need a much larger battery if you are running this old school sound system (clearly not class D efficient).

       

      Greg

       

      Matt Doti said:

      Not sure why the 12 volt test batt would make much difference from the 9 volt test batt I'm using.  And the 9 volt (Duracell) was fresh out of a package.

       

      So maybe the sound unit I have isn't working right.

       

      Oh and Greg, the car I have wasn't upgraded to tack power (no pickups added).  And I don't have track power on my layout.  So hoping an on board battery would suffice to play the sound.

      >>>>>>>>>>> snip

    • May 20, 2017 7:36 AM EDT
    • I do not understand why every one thinks the 500ma 9 volt battery will work long term  (remember you are driving a speaker with current!!).  And the cable going to the engine is not a start signal for these sound cars, it is the power source.  Note that LGB does state the battery is not needed for DCC systems as the sound unit was designed to primarily run from track power and the connector for the 9 volt battery was for intermittent power interruptions.

      Also, there are 2 types of car type sound units, the later ones have DCC control.  Red chicken dance is DC, blue Chicken dance is DCC. 

      European coke is DC, American coke is DCC.

       

      My cars running on DCC do not have the 9 volt batteries installed, but they do have power pickups and are tied to either an engine or another car for better power pickups.

       

      So, Battery people would be best off to have a robust rechargable power source of more than an amp and at least 9 volts.  Anything over 12 volts would just be wasted heat.  Exception would be the steam and diesel sound cars which need a voltage change for the sounds.

       

    • May 18, 2017 10:17 AM EDT
    • Could you hook up some sort of timer to re trigger the sound periodically?  I would think you could,rig it to operate off one 9v battery with some fiddling. 

    • May 16, 2017 6:39 PM EDT
    • Matt Doti said:

      That's a good idea Todd.  I might try that. 

       

      This unfortunately wouldn't work though when the car is stationary.  And stationary is probably where the car will be most of the time.

       

      Like these cars in parked at the cattle/sheep loading area:

       

       

      You could do it using a 555 chip set up in "flip/flop" mode, the same as a reverser unit.  The parts would be minimal because you already have regulated dc power.

       

      Would only require the 555 chip, a capacitor, a relay, a couple resistors, and board to mount them on. 

    • May 15, 2017 11:25 PM EDT
    • Matt Doti said:
      Dan Padova said:

      A typical 9 volt battery doesn't seem to have enough of what it takes to power the sound continuously.  That is why I suggested a 12 volt battery.  I did forget to mention that the 12 volt battery I was speaking of in my previous post should be a Li-on battery.  

      Thanks for the info.  I have an extra 12 volt Li-on  (well I think it is 11. something) that I plan to use for interior lighting in some passenger cars.  So I'll test that and see if it continues to power the sheep sound.

      Matt, don't forget to connect the Li-on battery to the "Track power" terminals, not the 9 volt battery terminals.  

    • May 15, 2017 10:48 PM EDT
    • Dan Padova said:

      A typical 9 volt battery doesn't seem to have enough of what it takes to power the sound continuously.  That is why I suggested a 12 volt battery.  I did forget to mention that the 12 volt battery I was speaking of in my previous post should be a Li-on battery.  

      Thanks for the info.  I have an extra 12 volt Li-on  (well I think it is 11. something) that I plan to use for interior lighting in some passenger cars.  So I'll test that and see if it continues to power the sheep sound.

    • May 15, 2017 9:27 PM EDT
    • A typical 9 volt battery doesn't seem to have enough of what it takes to power the sound continuously.  That is why I suggested a 12 volt battery.  I did forget to mention that the 12 volt battery I was speaking of in my previous post should be a Li-on battery.  

    • May 15, 2017 9:08 PM EDT
    • That's a good idea Todd.  I might try that. 

       

      This unfortunately wouldn't work though when the car is stationary.  And stationary is probably where the car will be most of the time.

       

      Like these cars in parked at the cattle/sheep loading area:

       

       

    • May 15, 2017 7:39 PM EDT
    • I think that you could essentually do it the same way ITT does it.

       

      Use the 9 volt back-up battery and wire the 12 volt battery (or maybe even another 9 volt) to it through a mercury tilt switch or equivelent.  When the switch is jostled, it will break the 12/9 volt source and the sound should start anew.

    • May 15, 2017 6:26 PM EDT
    • Not sure why the 12 volt test batt would make much difference from the 9 volt test batt I'm using.  And the 9 volt (Duracell) was fresh out of a package.

       

      So maybe the sound unit I have isn't working right.

       

      Oh and Greg, the car I have wasn't upgraded to tack power (no pickups added).  And I don't have track power on my layout.  So hoping an on board battery would suffice to play the sound.

       

      Good old Google...found my answer:

      "The car was intended to get it's trigger signal voltage from the locomotive tender.  You will need two 9 Volt batteries -- one inside the car, as you already know about, and one connected to the input terminals on front of the car.  IIRC, the sound only cycles for about 30 seconds or so when it is triggered with a battery, though, because it was intended to be connected to the locomotive and receive some type of pulses from it."

      From: http://cs.trains.com/grw/f/91/t/151698.aspx

       

      Explains exactly what I'm seeing.

       

      Wish there was a way to rewire/redo some of the circuit board solder joints to work as a sound loop via 1 battery. 

       

      I suppose I could make the car track powered, but the problem with that is I have a constant 12 volt (AC!!!) supply going through my rails for some Malibu style lighting.  I'm using the rails as wires essentially.  But this is not track power for locos, etc...  And AC might be an issue. 

       

      Oh well, I guess it is what it is.