DCC Battery Powered DCC

Discussion in 'Techniques' started by richard carr, 22 December 2015.

  1. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Richard,
    Firstly I got it wrong, it is Digitrains and not DCC Supplies.
    I would like to think they are frequency variants but they can all do 868MHZ.
    DRH186 DRS1 HI POWER 869MHZ RECIEVER
    DRX022 DRS1 MKIII RECEIVER 869MHZ
    DRXMK4 DRS1 RECEIVER MK4 869-930 MHZ
    Wildly different size, form and price! The Mk 4 doesn't have a wire aerial, jsut a pair for power and a pair for signal. I suspect the aerial is on the chip like the S-Track receivers.
    I suspect I will use NiMh for the diesel but will need to use LiPo for the small tank engines. I'll investigate your recommendations later.

    Simon
     
  2. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    The first trial instalations are now done and the locos are running on Holme Lacy. First up the geneous space within the 37.
    DSC02729.jpg
    This loco started with two Buehler motors and an Locsound XL. I simplified it by removing one of the motor/gearbox. The big Visaton speaker has also gone (too big) and is replaced by the large cube from YooChoos. The isolator switch sits in the space used for the sound to get out, it now comes out through the unused motor hole. On the left the XL sits in the plastic mount with the terminals I'm interested in easily accessable from above (I don't do lights). On the shelf above is the Mk 4 receiver (solid state aerial) with the voltage regulator. Power comes from a 4 pack of rechargable AAA batteries (4400mAh). This loco trundles around the trainset in a most satisfactory way and confirms that I want sound. This means that I won't follow the Protocab path any further.

    Next is the installation in a 42XX.
    DSC02730.jpg
    The receiver (Mk3 with wire aerial) sits in the bunker and the wires come through the bunker and under the cab floor to connect with the rest of the kit on the chassis.
    DSC02731.jpg
    A NS sheet cage goes over the motor and the batteries sit on top. A plate on the side mounts the ADAPLU5 and MX645P and the speaker sits on a convenient but unused crossmember.
    DSC02733.jpg
    The isolator switch fits into a new plate in the chassis and the voltage regulator is on another new vertical crossmember. This all works well but the penny has dropped that I can mount all the gear in the hollowed out body and then only have the motor lead to connect onto the chassis. At the moment I am scoping this mod out.
    I have yet to see how long a set of fully charged batteries last; they take about 12 hours to charge. The only slight wrinkle is that when slowing to a stop the loco creeps at a minute speed (as in 0.000oo001mph) for about ten seconds before the brakes go on. This may have something with me changing CV29 to allow speed control by the CVs in the 60s, so I need to set it back to the older speed curves.

    I have to say that I am very encouraged by this experience. I intend to see how well a set up using two and one AAA battery work in the confined space of a Pannier tank (Solid tanks in the MOK and NLTRT offerings). I will also look at AA batteries for this instalation, they should hold a greater charge. Later on I will take a look at Lithiums but have no appetite for the high power R/C aircraft ones.

    Simon

    PS Has anyone got any feedback on the YooChoos Zimo programming App?
     
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  3. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    Simon

    Yes I have the YooChoos Zimo programming App and I can only offer very positive feedback, it is now my programming app of choice for Zimo decoders.
    John at YooChoos is very helpful and will listen to requests for further improvements.

    It is much better than Decoder Pro and a couple of the German ones I tried, Decoder Pro will do most of what the YooChoos one does but the YooChoos software is much easier to use if you ask me and well worth the £40 fee.

    The above installations are looking very good.

    Richard
     
  4. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Richard,
    thank you for both the information and your appreciation. The YouChoos package of the software and the Digikeijs DR5000 looks quite tempting. I am thinking of putting the Lenz onto the bench as sub for a more modern system.
    Simon
     
  5. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Richard , do you run the yooChoos software on your computer through a Sprog ? If assume yes then which one .
    Programming in this way is something that i feel is my next step on the DCC path .
    Cheers Paul
     
  6. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    Hi Paul

    Yes I use a SPROG 3 with the YC software. The earlier SPROGs don't have enough grunt to drive a Heljan loco as they are limited to 250mA output, you can do all the programming, but the Heljan locos draw about 300 mA at low speeds and the Sprog 2 cuts out when you are test driving your latest programming changes .

    Richard
     
  7. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Thanks for that Richard , the information about Heljans is very helpful as i have two and have fitted DCC to others .
    Cheers Paul
     
  8. Boyblunder

    Boyblunder Active Member

    Simon's installation in a 42xx reminded me that I had a DRS Mk.3 in my moribund J71 so I removed it and tried it in my nearly finished Scale 7 J50 with synchronised ultrasonic steam. It works, but coiling the antenna into the bunker and covering it in a thin layer of coal reduces the range to just over 3 metres. I had the same trouble with the J71 and solved that by coiling it into a plasticard cab roof , I can't do that with the J50 because the cab roof is integral to the body. Any ideas? With any luck you can see it on this video:
    Robin
     
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  9. TheSnapper

    TheSnapper Western Thunderer

    Hi Robin

    I did an install into a G1 Sang Cheng Standard 2-6-4T (80xxx) using a TamValley DRH186 receiver & Zimo 696 decoder, and ran the aerial lengthwise underneath the chassis. It didn't work well inside the metal body at all.
    Worth a try?

    Tim
     
  10. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    Hi Robin

    I'm surprised by the range problem. My Ivatt and Q1 both have the antenna coiled in the tender with thick plastic card above them and coal glued to the plastic card, both ran fine on Love Lane (at least until the batteries ran out !)

    Unfortunately I don't have another suggestion at the moment but if I come with something I will let you know.

    Richard
     
  11. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Robin,
    I get 4.5m range before I run out of train set and I haven't thought to try it on the floor. Is the transmiter aerial vertical, does it have good electrical contact with the DCC kit and is the aerial in the line of sight of the receiver? It could be that the aerial needs to be in the same plane as the receiver. Like Richard I am now out of ideas.
    Simon
     
  12. Boyblunder

    Boyblunder Active Member

    Thanks for your responses. I will try running the receiver aerial under the loco and setting up the transmitter aerial in different ways. My aspiration for years has been a flexible layout that I could set up quickly in the garden when the weather is good and the DRS seemed a great idea to avoid track cleaning & wiring, hence the Tam Valley kit. Then the Love Lane team corrupted me into becoming a wiring monkey so now I'm not so fussed about R/C and the old chipboard finescale planks were dumped several years ago. During lockdown I started building a Scale 7 version of the track using a hybrid Spoor-1 / Fremo modular interface and it works! Just need to build another 15 modules to go all round the garden. My main motivation to re-start the garden project has been to run Steve Baldock's steaming 8F outside, this loco draws >2 amps and would need quite a bit of modification to fit the new high powered MK.3 receiver and a decent battery in the tender so I'm not convinced yet. Has anyone tried the Mk. 4 receiver with integrated aerial in a brass loco yet? If that works then I will only need the DCC wiring for turnouts and signals.
    Robin
    Straight and Curve.JPG Underside.jpeg Joint.jpeg
     
  13. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    The Mk4 in a metal loco is my next step. Probably in the either the tender of a Hall or the 9F with the Rx in the coal space and everything else in the metal box. Leads to the motor and speaker in the loco. I'm old DC for the turnouts and signals. Current work on Holme Lacey is the signaling.
    Simon
     
  14. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    Simon

    This is my latest one, it will be D206 once it is finished.
    It is using 6 rechargable AA batteries, connected to a 12 volt regulator board to give 12 volts to the radio receiver and decoder.

    The radio receiver is a Tam Valley DRS1, I think this is a MK2 but MK3s are the only ones you can buy now and are a bit more powerful than these.

    The decoder is a Zimo MX645P22, this plugs into a ADAPLU, and everything is then wired to this adaptor board. There is an on/off switch hidden in the fuel tank and the recharging point is hidden there too.

    The speaker is small Tang Bang.

    I still need to tidy up the wires and finish the rest the rest of the model, but the chassis runs really nicely.

    20200804_105420.jpg

    20200804_105432.jpg

    20200804_105445.jpg
     
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  15. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Richard,
    I like the weight adding mounting for the ADAPLU! I have discovered that the Energizer Recharge AA batteries can hold 2000mAh, a worthwhile increase over the common 1200-1300mAh. My order for a suitable battery box is in with RS!
    Simon