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  • Topic: What I want in a controller

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    • July 27, 2016 8:01 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Pretty simple. Off, on, stop, go, forward, reverse........

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      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • July 27, 2016 8:02 AM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      When it comes to displays, why do manufacturers use the left and right pointing arrows for direction?  It "seems" as if a lot of folks has set it so that the right arrow is forward, but when you're on the other side of the train it can be confusing.

      To me, it would make a lot more sense to use the up arrow to represent the "forward" direction, and the down arrow as the "reverse" direction.

      Or, how about "F" for forward, "R" for reverse?

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      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • July 27, 2016 8:25 AM EDT
      • Phippsburg, Maine
         
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      Live steam I use two stick Controllers. The right stick is throttle up being more,  left stick is reverse up is forward down reversed neutral in the middle (serves as  brakes too) the whistle is on the left stick pushed to the right. 

      This post was edited by Eric Schade at July 27, 2016 8:25 AM EDT
    • July 27, 2016 10:16 AM EDT

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      Hey Bruce.  Do you mean something like this:


      Spring loaded switch for direction and a pot for speed control which has proper end stops.

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      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • July 27, 2016 10:59 AM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Yep.  Up and down arrows make a lot more sense for direction than left and right.

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      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • July 27, 2016 12:15 PM EDT

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      Bruce, the early Airwire throttles' speed control was very flaky on grades. Some of dad's locos were virtually uncontrollable on his 4% grades. Speed step 1 would send it flying downgrade, while going up, we'd be almost at full throttle to get the same speed. Part of that had to do with the motor and gearing (some locos were worse than others with the same version of the board), but I've also used the G3 in some of his more recent locos, and it's vastly improved. (The "Cruise Control" on the G3 is very good--up and down dad's entire railroad without so much as a perceptible difference in speed.)

       

      I would agree that up and down arrows or "F" and "R" would be preferable to left and right arrows, though I guess I've just gotten used to them. But since we're designing our "dream" handheld, put me down for up and down arrows or "F" and "R." ;)

       

      Later,

       

      K

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    • July 27, 2016 12:49 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Kevin Strong said:

      Bruce, the early Airwire throttles' speed control was very flaky on grades. <snip>

      That's a BIG understatement.  I don't have a lot of level space, so it just seemed like the Airwire was just plain flaky all of the time.

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      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • July 27, 2016 4:25 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Well, I use left for forward, and right for reverse on my TE. Since where I stage the trains, if they go to the left, they are going forward. But it isn't as intuitive as it could be.

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      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

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      and King Butt Modeler

    • July 27, 2016 4:29 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Bruce Chandler said:
      Steve Featherkile said:
      Bruce Chandler said:

      Yes, that is VERY interesting.   Thanks, Greg.   And a link for those so inclined.  

       

      I'm not yet convinced (based upon my earlier Airwire experience) that 900 mHz has enough range, but the prices sure seem good.  

       

      I have yet to see a transmitter with the same sort of information displayed that the Revolution does, but I have not really been looking, either.

      Bruce, I get a solid 100 feet with my Airwire setup.  How much do you need?

      When I had my Airwire it would not control the train at the far end of the loop.   That's probably about 60 feet.   At that time, the Airwire did not do a good job of controlling my train - it would always run away down hill and slow a LOT up hill.   I was constantly adjusting the throttle.   I did not care for the implementation of the throttle at all - yes, it was a knob, which I did like, but it had NO stops; it just spun continuously.

      I don't care much for that , either, though I've made my peace with it.    I haven't noticed significant speed changes going up or down hill.  I use the G3, I wonder if that matters?

       

      Edit:  According to Ken, using the G-3 matters.

      This post was edited by Steve Featherkile at July 27, 2016 4:36 PM EDT
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      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • July 27, 2016 5:00 PM EDT
      • Charlottesville, Virginia
         
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      I'm confused by 'stops' ?  Throttle knob with detents for 'notches'?  Or do you mean just a start-end stops?  Sorry, never used any of the commercial units.  Just asking.  Would 'notches' be preferable to most?  I want something I can just 'feel', I don't want to look at it.

    • July 27, 2016 5:23 PM EDT
      • Your Host in Littleton, MA
         
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      Someone needs to make this for us.  Any 3d modelers want to take the plunge?

       

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      Bob, your Site Host and Benevolent Dictator.

    • July 27, 2016 5:42 PM EDT

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      Steve Featherkile said:I haven't noticed significant speed changes going up or down hill.  I use the G3, I wonder if that matters?

       

      Edit:  According to Ken, using the G-3 matters.

      I don't remember if dad has any G2s or not. Most of his are 1st-generation. I replaced the controller on his most problematic one (Bachmann "Connie") with a G3 when I replaced the stock drive with a BBT drive, which made all the difference in the world! I've got G2s in mine, but my grades are fairly mild so I don't notice any significant difference between uphill and downhill running.

       

      One thing to keep in mind... the DCC booster output on the original Airwire and G2 boards is 3 amps; the G3 downgraded to 2.5 amps. You have a little more headroom to use the original Airwire boards as receivers only if you want to feed a Soundtraxx or TCS (or ???) motor/sound board. I've got plans to install a new Soundtraxx Tsunami2 in my B'mann mogul. The performance improvement between running it with the G2 vs. the Econami I have in my K-27 is likewise night-and-day.

       

      Later,

       

      K

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    • July 27, 2016 6:25 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Martin Sant said:

      I'm confused by 'stops' ?  Throttle knob with detents for 'notches'?  Or do you mean just a start-end stops?  Sorry, never used any of the commercial units.  Just asking.  Would 'notches' be preferable to most?  I want something I can just 'feel', I don't want to look at it.

      The knob just continuously spins in both directions.   I prefer one that has limited travel - from dead stop to full speed ahead, and you can't go beyond either.

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      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • July 27, 2016 8:45 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Yea, those knobs that will spin for like forever aggravate me too. First, they don't/can't indicate relative power with a pointer or line on them. And then I find myself spinning the knob round and round when the locomotive stalls for some reason. The only controller I have used like that was on DCC, and on DCC a locomotive can still stall on dirty track. I keep spinning the knob, because I have no idea if I am sending full power to the engine or not. If the knob were to stop at full power, it would click in my brain a bit faster that there is something else going on.

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      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • July 27, 2016 9:10 PM EDT
      • Charlottesville, Virginia
         
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      I'm thinking of a knob that goes in 9 steps with a 'detent' at each.  All the way left is zero, stop, all the way right is full, stop- each detent a 'notch'?

    • July 27, 2016 9:37 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Martin, 9 steps may be somewhat prototypical, but its a very course way of controlling trains. 16 steps on the early control systems was course. On the older DCC controllers there were 28 steps, and that was pretty good, but still a bit of too much or too little sometimes.

      This post was edited by David Maynard at July 27, 2016 9:38 PM EDT
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      Shannon car Shops
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      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • July 27, 2016 10:05 PM EDT

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      David.

      You can get regular end stop potentiometers that can have as many "detentes" as you want.  Even though they have those detente clicks they are still proper pots with variable control all the way up.

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      Best wishes,
      Tony Walsham

      Remote Control Systems. www.rcs-rc.com/
        Modern technology. Old Fashioned reliability

    • July 28, 2016 9:10 PM EDT
      • Curmudgeon at Large, Insurance Warrior
         
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      Having followed this that the 'Crest id dead' threads, it would be very interesting is someone or a consortium of folks knowledgeable in this subject could put together some form or chart detailing which systems are compatible, incompatible, maybe compatible, open source, proprietary, or any other details they might consider relevant. I have one R/C install with an AirWire G2 that so far has done me well. I have another G2 receiver, and for the foreseeable future I will stay with AriWire.

       

      As I posted earlier, either in this or the other thread, for the price I may well look at the system published in GR mag.

       

      Thoughts????

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      We don't stop playing with trains because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing with trains.....

       

    • July 28, 2016 11:05 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Bob McCown said:

      Someone needs to make this for us.  Any 3d modelers want to take the plunge?

       

      Tony Walsham was brainstorming something like this ten or so years ago, but gave up on it as economically impractical.

       

      I have a RailDriver for TrainSim, and other RR Sims.  Its supposed to be able to operate a model railroad, somehow.

       

      It would be cool if we could make this work with a tx.

      This post was edited by Steve Featherkile at July 28, 2016 11:07 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • July 28, 2016 11:12 PM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      ok as a now very confused new comer, I am going to ask a bunch of probably dumb questions. I have been looking at converting my loco to battery/wireless control and reading this and the other post has greatly muddied the waters for me.

       

      Probably will be best if I just ask Where can I go to read some kind of  comparison on what the different control systems do and more improtantly what they do without tech degrees. I am with a lot of the other comments, end stops, a good screen to tell easily what loco I am dealing with, easy setup, ability to customize what things you want it to do, simple to complex, depending on how you run things.

       

      On a big side note someone mentioned something I think would be absolutely great for both kids and for operations minded layouts and would put a huge jump in the realism of the operation. Wireless cameras, like go pros, mounted on or in the loco cab, to give the most realistic view of operations, and give the tech kids a way to "play with trains" . Imagine looking at the engineers eye view of your switching  operations, and the view of your train running around the track. My thoughts for now, many questions to follow

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      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

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