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    • March 10, 2017 2:28 PM EST

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      Making the jump to Airwire

      I'm making the jump to airwire and have several locos that I want to put them in, but my first will be an LGB Mogul.  looking over the Airwire catalog and website, I've determined that I need a battery and charger (probably gonna go with the Batt3), a G3 Decoder, and a T5000 throttle.  Are there any other accessories that I need to get.  I will probably mount the airwire in the tender, unless it's better that I put it in the loco.  I know there have to be wires and connectors that I will probably need to go between the two so can anyone tell me what else I would need and can I get those items from CVP or do I need to go with another vendor.  I would also like a generic sound card as well.  Can I do this or do I need to go with a phoenix sound card?

      thanks,

      Mark

       

       

    • March 10, 2017 2:56 PM EST
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      Hi Mark, would you consider the Revolution system.  I am offering a complete discounted bundle with all the gear you would need for a successful install.

      I can send you more details if you want.

      Don

    • March 10, 2017 3:06 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Coincidently, I asked the same question yesterday of Robbie at RLD Hobbies. I’m also leaning towards battery operation, using the Airwire T5000 throttle. Robbie indicated that The Airwire G3X would be used for my LGB 2019S and LGB 2028D locomotives. He said the battery might need to go in a trailing car (usually a reefer or box car) depending on the space. Haven’t gotten to the sound card yet – was hoping the existing LGB sound could be utilized here. I’m sure there will have to be some re-wiring of the wheel contacts on the moguls too.

      This post was edited by Michael Kirrene at March 10, 2017 3:07 PM EST
    • March 10, 2017 3:26 PM EST

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      Don, I had considered the Revolution awhile back.  I'm a first generation TE owner.  I always liked the way Aristo did that system and was this close (index finger and thumb 1/4 inch apart) to getting a revolution when Aristo closed up shop and they became scarcer than hens teeth.  I saw on a hobby shops site that the Revolution is back and available but for how long?  Can you (or anyone else for that matter) give me any insights on this?  It has been a number of years since I've frequented these boards.  I was once part of a club but am now once again a lone wolf so I will probably be back here more frequently.

    • March 10, 2017 3:28 PM EST
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      I recently converted two LGB Mogul one in San Diego with the Phoenix and the other in Trinidad with LGB sound using the RailLinx and Revo systems. These boards are much smaller than the G3x. I can share with a way to fit all the gear inside the tender.

      Please contact me off line for more info. donsweet@rcsofne.com

       

       

       

    • March 10, 2017 3:41 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Don, would you give me your opinion right here as to how the Revolution system has the edge over the Airwire system?  I know it's a loaded question but I'd like to know why you recommend one over the other. Thanks.

       

    • March 10, 2017 3:51 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Mark Perreault said:

      Don, I had considered the Revolution awhile back.  I'm a first generation TE owner.  I always liked the way Aristo did that system and was this close (index finger and thumb 1/4 inch apart) to getting a revolution when Aristo closed up shop and they became scarcer than hens teeth.  I saw on a hobby shops site that the Revolution is back and available but for how long?  Can you (or anyone else for that matter) give me any insights on this?  It has been a number of years since I've frequented these boards.  I was once part of a club but am now once again a lone wolf so I will probably be back here more frequently.

      From what I understand, one of the systems designers has taken control of Revo and is investing in it to improve the sounds. So it should be a strong entry in the market, with support.

       

      John

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • March 10, 2017 5:11 PM EST
      • Belleville , Illinois act
         
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      Mark, you will need to remove the sliders and the brushes by removing the motor block plate. Wedge popsicle sticks or tongue depressors under the motor block, before you removing the plate to keep the drivers from moving.
      Michael, have you considered the 6 amp CONVRTR with a motor/ sound decoder?
      .
    • March 10, 2017 5:37 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Jim Agnew said:
      Michael, have you considered the 6 amp CONVRTR with a motor/ sound decoder? .
      Jim, I'm considering the Airwire system, I asked one question yesterday of the dealer/installer about my LGB engines, but have not finalized anything yet. Was unaware that I need to do anything else except to install a decoder and a battery. I just read that I might need a Phoenix sound card too.
      I would like to stay with one system consistently. Right now, my LGB locos are secondary to a USAT GP9 with Airwire that I have a P.O. for from RLD. Before I sign off on that, I'd like to weigh the differences between the Airwire/Revo systems one last time before I commit.
      Sorry Mark if I derailed your thread here a little bit.

       

      This post was edited by Michael Kirrene at March 10, 2017 5:58 PM EST
    • March 10, 2017 6:02 PM EST
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      Hi Mark and Michael, when the Train Engineer stop availability last  summer this provided Airwire the opportunity to become the number one supplier of G scale r/c. They had done extremely well. I had hoped our RailLinx products could pick up the slack but that did not happen. However, I knew there would be a solution coming for the return the Train Engineer/Revolution.  That happened in January and there is plenty of inventory and Navin is there handling sales and repairs.  Navin will have a booth at the East Coast Show.

      In my previous work I was a manufacturer rep and had great stability working for the manufacturer. Today the Revolution is owned by Precision RC. Mr Jae Kim who is the engineer/designer of the Train Engineer products is the owner. Mr Kim works directly with the Korean factory. I believe this will provide the direct connection needed to keep cost down and stability we need to see these products for a long time.

      With any business they need sales. So far the Revolution is doing okay as it builds back the customer base. There are plans for more sound files and the ability to change them. I do not know the specifics but will ask Navin at the show.

      I can offer a comparison between the AirWire G3X and the REVO.  I am not a dealer for the AirWire but for the REVO and other systems.  I would send you to RLD or Reindeer for those items I do not support.

      With my experience starting as an installer then expanding to full sales/service provider for the past 25 years I look for a complete package to offer you a kit or provide the installation.  Along with many years of good support.

      There are three fundamental differences for you to consider. 900 Mhz frequency versus 2.4GHz, size of the throttle board and the operating system. In this photo the REVO is the left board then the AirWire. 

       

       

      For Michael's locos I would use the REVO board due to its smaller size. Also the REVO has longer radio range than the AirWire. But that reality is based on your needs. Walk along or 100'+ away.  The 2.4Mhz has the benefit of unlimited channels so it will not interfere with other locos as it could happen within 900 MHZ. If this was part of a a club layout I would choose the REVO. With choosing the REVO all the gear will fit inside your LGB 2019s or 2028 tender. This is where our bundles can help. Specially shaped batteries to fit along with the battery install kit. Depending on your preference for sound the REVO includes a generic steam sound or you can trigger the LGB sound or add a Phoenix. The LGB sound needs to be second or later generation digital sound. The first sound units were analog and the circuit boards filled the inside of

      the tender, requiring the use of a trailer car. Below is the REVo installed inside the 2019S tender.

       

      .

       

      The operating system is based on DCC for the AirWire and propriety for the REVO. You need to decide what you want. DCC offers a lot of complex setting to set up functions or the REVO has a simple menu in English, for most functions. If you are comfortable spending a little more time with software settings then you will eventually tolerate setting up CV's. I lost my patience when QSI stopped helping us. If it wasn't for Greg and Kevin providing info here, I would be wasting too much time rather than running trains.  

      Hope this gives you some more info.

      Don

       

       

    • March 10, 2017 9:05 PM EST

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      I've been using the Airwire Convertr receivers or Tam Valley Depot receivers with QSI, Zimo, TCS, and Soundtraxx DCC decoders. The receivers are compatible with the Airwire T-5000 and new T-1300 handheld throttle, and give you the advantage of being able to use the latest generation DCC motor/sound decoders. While there's nothing wrong with the Airwire/Phoenix combination, the latest decoders from the DCC manufacturers are leaps and bounds better in terms of how the sound interacts with what the locomotive is doing. If you're a sound geek (as I am) it's pretty much the only way to go.

       

      Pricewise, you can get a Tam Valley Depot 3-amp receiver for $90, and combine that with a 4-amp Soundtraxx Econami for around $130, bringing your total cost to $220 for the pair. Airwire's Convertr comes in 1.5-amp, 2.5-amp and 6-amp varieties, and will run you around $100 - $130 depending. Their advantage over the Tam Valley Depot receiver is that they can operate on all 17 Airwire frequencies, whereas the TVD receivers are limited to channel 16 only.

       

      Comparisons to the Revolution, it comes down to what you want to do with your trains, and how you run them. By no stretch of the imagination is the Revolution comparable to the functionality of a modern-generation DCC motor/sound decoder. However, I'd wager that 80% of modelers don't begin to utilize their trains to "need" that level of functionality, so they'd never feel the Revolution lacking for how they run their trains.

       

      I run both. I like the Revolution for its simplicity. It's also got much better range. The menus are "plain English" when it comes to programming speed and other parameters. Selecting your loco once the handheld is set up is a matter of scrolling through your pre-programmed locos until you find it. If you're pairing it with a Phoenix sound system, it works well. You'll be limited to being able to control 4 sounds (the number of external triggers on the Phoenix board), but that's pretty much its only limitation. If you run the Airwire/Phoenix combination, then you interface with the Phoenix via the DCC output of the Airwire, so you can control more sounds.

       

      One thing I do like about the Airwire G3 is it's "cruise control" feature. If you've got a railroad with significant grades, and are the kind of operator who likes to sit back and just watch trains run around, the cruise control feature will keep the train running at a pretty constant speed regardless of grade or load. Folks who do switching operations (lots of stopping and starting) probably will not find much need for that feature.

       

      Later,

       

      K

      ____________________________________
    • March 10, 2017 9:15 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      First, thanks for your very informative post, Don! 

       

      Kevin, one thing I read recently was that if you have one (or double-headed) USA Trains Geeps running constantly at a pretty good clip, that DCC is the preference. Is that true, or do the GP9's run fine under battery power? I know most, if not all, of your engines are from the steam era - if so, maybe someone else could answer to this.

      This post was edited by Michael Kirrene at March 10, 2017 9:16 PM EST
    • March 10, 2017 9:43 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Kevin, it's nice to see you state this (besides the fact it is true):

      By no stretch of the imagination is the Revolution comparable to the functionality of a modern-generation DCC motor/sound decoder.

      Some years back that statement would have gotten you blackballed on a number of forums, besides the Aristo one, and you probably could not even do reviews on GR.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • March 10, 2017 11:04 PM EST
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      Hi Michael, DCC does offers a lot of motor control so you can run multiple locos together with god results. This was needed for the smaller scales. If you have an indoor layout you can appreciate seeing this capability a lot more. I say show me when running outside. Using the REVO with several GP-9/38's 's you have plenty of motor control at all speeds running off battery power. The key is the installation with lashups. With the REVO you can afford to have a receiver in each loco for best control.  As Kevin stated it depends on what type of operator you are.  You can view my videos showing multiple units at  https://www.rcsofne.com/galleries/videos/

      If you want to delay your decision until May I will show you a system from RailPro that will outperform most DCC systems on the market. It has bi-directional communication for total motor control using different manufacturer locos. With the Direct Radio control the lead unit controls the motor response of the second and third unit. The radio signal talks to the lead unit and then lead unit relays commands to the second and third unit for perfect operation. It is pretty cool to watch.  I predict this could become the next standard for loco control.  You can see this demo for diesels at www.ringengineering.com  Click on the word RailPro, then scroll down to videos.

      Enjoy.

    • March 11, 2017 11:04 AM EST
      • Berkshire, Ma.
         
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      Mark I have both airwire and revo. and both are battery.  my go to is the airwire I like different sounds with revo like Kevin said you only have 4 if you use phoenix with airwire you can control all. you also any range of sound grade. With the T5000 you can put all locs. in and just scroll to bring it back up. Kevin said you can do this with the revo. but can also do this with airwire.

      Michael all of usa 38, 30, 6, and 9 motors are the same and they all run great on battery be it alone or in a lash-up.

      Also just check price there can be $50 or more on some items.

      cheers richard 

       

      This post was edited by Richard at March 11, 2017 11:59 AM EST
    • March 11, 2017 11:40 AM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      The bottom line is today there are a lot of options, so I would encourage you to to take a little longer to make the decision.

      Each product has it's pro's and con's. Possibly write up a short list of pro's and con's for the various "ways" you can go.

       

      What is great to see is the battery powered market moving to take ADVANTAGE of all the DCC compatible hardware out there, it gives you more choices, and of course there's competition when YOU get to be the person making the choice.

       

      A couple of clarifying comments: DCC is not just for advanced motor control for small scales, but it has a huge range of features. Whether you need them is your decision, but for example, running servos to animate things on a loco, couplers, hoppers that can dump, that's really easy. Extra lighting effects, multiple loco control, perfect matching of locos running together, there is a lot.

       

      I use a lot of consisting, so the DCC features to do this are important to me, for example.

       

      This is not to talk down a niche product like the Revolution, it does fill a unique niche, passable sound, and pretty advanced features over a simple remote with motor and direction control. For the money it is a great deal, but you have to realize you have locked yourself into the features it provides today, and hope that additional sounds will happen, and support will continue. It's a great choice for many people.

       

      AirWire used to lock you into just their motor control and sort of a crippled interface to a DCC sound card, which also made the entire system more expensive. With the advent of the Convertr, this has improved the situation significantly in my opinion, giving you more flexibility in choices.

       

      Lastly, "deadrail" has a number of things going for it, and is a similar setup to AirWire when using DCC motor/sound decoders. It is a bit different in that you have to provide your own DCC system and throttles. In some cases this is a huge boon, in others, AirWire might be a better choice.

       

      So while not a lot of new rolling stock is being developed, we are certainly benefiting from the increased number of choices in electronics, albeit sometimes somewhat confusing.

       

      Greg

       

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at March 11, 2017 12:06 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • March 11, 2017 12:18 PM EST
      • Topaz, The original Bad Kitty.
         
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      This is such a great thread on RC systems I do not want to derail it for a side question.

       

      Don could you please address this topic on the thread linked below. Any information on who is doing it and how it would work, capabilities software, etc...

       

      " Revolution: There are plans for more sound files and the ability to change them. I do not know the specifics but will ask Navin at the show."

       

      Customizable Sound

       

       

      ____________________________________

       

      Boomer

      "Why is it when when the train goes over the cliff I am the only one stoking the fire and screaming, wonder how much distance we will get this time?", from The Book of Boomer, chapter 16, verse 1

       

    • March 11, 2017 10:55 PM EST

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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Kevin, it's nice to see you state this (besides the fact it is true):

      By no stretch of the imagination is the Revolution comparable to the functionality of a modern-generation DCC motor/sound decoder.

      When the Revolution first came out (can you believe it's been 8 years!?), the QSI Magnum running version 7 software was "top of the line." To be fair, that decoder doesn't hold a candle to today's DCC boards, either. The Revolution found its niche and nestled in. The DCC manufacturers don't have that luxury, which is much to our benefit. They've raised the bar considerably in that time. The question for the user is whether those advances are features they actually use. As many folks who were excited to see Soundtraxx release their Tsunami2, there were just as many glad to see the prices on the original Tsunamis drop, as the "old" boards are good enough for their purposes.

       

      That's the $64,000 question for each of us... what's important to us when it comes to how we run our trains? I'm an admitted sound and operations geek, so I'm definitely keen on the advances these DCC manufacturers are making. I've got friends who are on the "I just want something to make a reasonable noise in the garden" side of the coin. When I tell them I've spent a week of evenings pouring through the instruction manual for my latest decoder to tune it specifically to the locomotive, they give me a sideways glance that says "I'd rather suffer a week's worth of root canals." Diff'rent strokes.... ;)

       

      Later,

       

      K

      ____________________________________
    • March 12, 2017 2:11 PM EDT
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      Ouch!, Kevin is that why my teeth hurt when I think about CV's?

      In a perfect world we could visit a store where they have all these different systems to demo and listen to. Years ago that was the norm. In our club at the NHGRS we have had meetings where I will offer demos on various systems. I recently showed the prototype  BlueTom. A blue tooth motor driver/receiver plugged into in a Aristo GP-40.  Smooth running but a work in progress. 

      Boomer, I asked Navin about future sounds and he said to meet with Jae Kim at The East Coast Show and ask him about future capabilities.

      Don

       

    • March 12, 2017 4:30 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Don Sweet said:

      Ouch!, Kevin is that why my teeth hurt when I think about CV's?

      In a perfect world we could visit a store where they have all these different systems to demo and listen to. Years ago that was the norm. In our club at the NHGRS we have had meetings where I will offer demos on various systems. I recently showed the prototype  BlueTom. A blue tooth motor driver/receiver plugged into in a Aristo GP-40.  Smooth running but a work in progress. 

      Boomer, I asked Navin about future sounds and he said to meet with Jae Kim at The East Coast Show and ask him about future capabilities.

      Don

       

      Don, 

      You are exactly right - no one should believe the hype;  they need to see it for themselves.   They really need to talk to someone who owns one, and if possible operate with it.   I've found that people are much more willing to talk about the downsides of a system than to post about it and get yelled at by somebody that is offended you just insulted his favorite system.   Just remember, someone's downside may be an upside to somebody else.   You just never know and it's seeing the system in person that really makes a difference.

       

      I remember a friend coming over with an AirWire way back when.   It had a Phoenix sound card and could do all sorts of sounds.   It seemed so cool that I just had to get one.  I did, and then found out the only time I used those extra sounds was when I was showing off the system; in day to day use I never used them.  I ended up ditching the Airwire when it would not control the loco the way I wanted.

       

      Eh, for me, I really only need chuff and whistle.  Yeah, the bell is nice but seldom used.   Each to their own, I guess.  But, before you make a huge investment follow Packard's advice: "Ask the man who owns one!"

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

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