Trade Acc+Ess Protocab

Discussion in 'Resources' started by Tony Hagon Acc+Ess Ltd, 25 November 2012.

  1. I'm inclined to agree with you, Steve, as they come out of the box, Heljan locos are mighty beasts -certainly in 4mm! And kit or scratch build is going to be the more easy route to start with, as you say, you can plan where to put the batteries and LCU.

    To answer some of the recent posts, if I may. You could certainly put batteries in a trailing wagon or coach and connect it through to the loco. However, our design principles include that the loco power should be self contained as with the prototype as, agreeing with Phill, you would need to have the wagon permanently coupled. We have thought about having a small battery in the loco and other batteries in the wagons and connect them up when coupling, but we haven't done any research on this yet.

    Steve rightly mentions that there are larger batteries than the 2200mAh that we have fitted to the 4mm locos. In the larger scales (7mm and up) we can use different package shapes and we can configure them to fit diesel bodies. The LCU doesn't increase proportionately in physical size so you have relatively more space for the power pack in a 7mm loco.

    Certainly a more efficient motor should reduce battery consumption but there are other aspects that you may want to consider first. I chose to fit the 4mm Heljan diesel locos to see how easy it would be to convert an RTR
    loco (see post above). In encountering the Buhler motor I wondered why such a powerful motor was necessary until someone told me that a significant amount of torque was required to overcome the frictional force of an unsprung bogie.

    Another important consideration is the efficiency of the gears in transmitting the load.

    The other aspect (I am told) is that RTR models are designed with the toy market as well as the finescale modeller in mind and ruggedness has to be built in. Many modellers still expect the loco to respond at rates of acceleration far higher than the full sized loco and this requires extra power. With my 4mm conversions, even with the weight of the battery replacing the Buhler motor, I was expecting the loco to struggle under power but I was able to pull quite a respectable train at realistic speeds with the Mashima motor working on two axles only. If I tried to accelerate instantly, I got wheel spin and very little forward movement. However, when I notch up gently, as per the prototype, the loco responds, lifts its load and gently accelerates. It is a whole different driving experience!

    Next year, we will install Protocab in a 7mm Heljan and I will report our findings here and on our website. Meanwhile I have recently acquired another Hymek in 4mm and I intend to replace the mazak chassis with brass and put two sprung power bogies in to see what difference this makes.

    We are still building our understanding of model loco efficiency and a number of trials with our dynamometer will enable us to determine how best to overcome power losses and build in efficient power handling circuitry.
    Thanks for the various posts, they all add to our understanding of your requirements. We aim to satisfy them in due course.

    Best regards
    Tony Hagon
    Acc+Ess Ltd
  2. lancer1027

    lancer1027 Western Thunderer

    Any further progress / developments on this Tony?

  3. Hello Rob
    Yes, progress is good albeit much slower than I (as a marketer rather than a developer) want! But I also want a good system so that needs extensive testing. It is still our intention to have the Pilot Series available in spring 2013, so I will keep you informed of our developments and release dates.
    Thanks for your continued interest.
    Tony Hagon
    Acc+Ess Ltd
  4. Dave

    Dave Western Thunderer

    I've only just noticed this. I have no interest whatsoever in sound, lights or any of that stuff. What I find exciting about this is that I could have a railway with realistic rusty and overgrown industrial trackwork and still be able to run trains on it!

    Will you be making an ecomomy version without all the bells and whistles? Oh and I really don't like the idea of driving engines from a smart phone - for one thing that would mean buying a smart phone...
  5. Hello Dave and thanks for your note.
    Yes, the plan is to do exactly what you ask. We have been quiet on here recently as we are currently heavily involved in final developments and testing prior to launching the Pilot Series in a few weeks' time. The Pilot Series will include a Loco Control Unit (LCU) that has simple speed and direction control. The controller at launch will be, as you say, a smartphone, but we are now developing a hardware controller that we aim to introduce a short while after launch of the Pilot Series. A number of modellers have asked for sound and lights and we intend to offer these options in our next series for later this year or early next.
    I would be interested to know to which scale you model and the types of loco on you layout so that I can advise you on choice of LCU. If you send me your email address I'd be delighted to add your name to our Club Protocab list and send you regular newsletters on our progress. At the same time, do please keep in contact with any questions or suggestions.
    Best regards

    Tony Hagon
    Acc+Ess Ltd