Author Topic: Simple Radio Control for O scale  (Read 778 times)

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Simple Radio Control for O scale
« on: July 05, 2010, 07:59:46 AM »
I am in the process of installing a simple forward/backward receiver in an Atlas O scale GP60.

I will work on this posting and try to update with pictures as time goes by.

Here are some pictures

The yellow and green wires in the schematic are the Forward/Backward outputs. So only one set of relays is active at a time.

I have been working on this project since the end of May in bursts.

My reason for using RC instead of conventional track power was the idea of having some track outside. Currently the space inside for the layout only really allows for a point to point plan. I could have continues running but it would involve a duck under. I originally built the shelving (benchwork) for an HO layout which turned into an N layout. Then I got into 2 rail O. This space is also my bedroom, the shelves top surface is at 58" (147.3cm).

The other motivator for this project was a 5000mAh Li-Ion battery that I had to use for something. The  battery I have is the
New Trent IMP500 .

 I took the engine apart and milled out the GP60's fuel tank just enough for the battery to fit in. And a little more than needed but nothing which wasn't repairable with a little JB-Weld. Looking back now I could of easily just moved the stock circuit board and stored the battery in the long hood. Just seemed more interesting to have the actual source of "fuel" in the fuel tank.

After milling out enough material for the battery to fit. I used a milling bit in a Dremel and did it all by hand.

I am also painting the GP60 to be a Southern Pacific unit, that is why I have the dissassembly pictures.

I found out early on that the MicroSizers receiver/ecs couldn't handle the amp draw of the engines. I spent a couple days researching RC on the internet and thinking of different ideas. I settled on relays to allow me to just control the engines direction. That's all the MicroSizers receiver did anyway, off or on. No proportional speed control. The receiver activates the relays which connect the battery to the circuit board inside the engine. As I plan to have a small switching layout this plan works out for me. It is slow enough that I can couple gently by letting the flywheels do the work right before coupling. What I am saying is I can turn the motors off and it coasts enough to couple on to a car without jarring it.  

Now the Li-Po batteries can not be run down below 3.2v. But the charging circuit built into the battery case would shut off if I ran the engines off of it. By charging circuit I mean the circuit board that charged the battery itself and let you connect other devices via USB to be charged. So to keep the battery from running below 3.2v and killing itself, I ran the receiver off of the charging circuit while the motors are connected straight to the battery via the relays (well through Atlas' circuit board).

I also read that increasing power to the transmitter will increase the range, and it does. Also added a four foot antenna to the transmitter. The antenna in the engine will be attached to one of the pickup points on the trucks so that the rail can function as an intermittent antenna. Intermittent because I am not to worried about the connection between the rails.

More information here.

« Last Edit: July 05, 2010, 04:41:50 PM by avel »
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