Nearly two years are gone since I posted the last message about this project.
Some ideas need time to mature. The light blue rectangle is a rotating standard NEM coupler socket. Because a freight motor needs functional couplers.
|Dension Wireless RC receiver and Wifi dongle.|
DCC doesn't like power interruptions, as they could be frequent with traction models.
And I felt that in the age of wireless phones, when you can do virtually anything with your Smartphone, there must be a way to go further. I am not so sure that DCC is still state of the art ...
My idea was to create a sort of "Traction Model Drone". An autonomous vehicle, radio controlled by your Smartphone, without any external power supply once the batteries charged. It could ran on 2 rail layouts, or with functional overhead, on DCC layouts or not, with clean tracks or not, anyway, you could even run it on plastic trackwork.
Folks, it may be possible, at least I will try out. Doing it in O scale would be possible in any case. But I want to do it in HO scale.
There are three request to achieve this :
1/ having enough battery power
2/ a Wireless Smartphone Remote Control system
3/ a small motor controller.
And two more requests: use only commercially available standard components, and use NWSL Stanton drives as motors
All conditions can be reached:
1/ Smartphone Lithium batteries are small, powerful and not expensive. But they have an output of only 4.2 Volts. But with a small "step up module" you can create an output of 12V DC.
2/ Dension WIRC is an Wifi based radio control for iPhone and Android. The receiver is small enough to be housed in an HO scale 61" Interurban car. The range of Dension WIRC may be limited to 50-100 meters, but for indoor H0 scale, this may be widely enough. (http://wirc.dension.com)
3/ I found a small motor controller (Thor 4s: http://www.cti-modellbau.de/CTI-Fahrregler/-74-102-110-161.html)
All components could fit into one of my Cincinnati built Wooden Combines. And Dension WIRC give us the possibilité to install a micro camera in your model and to drive virtually in it. I will study this later ...
Failure or success, you will hear from me...
Some asked me about my layout. It is a small layout, 200 cm long, 60 cm deep. It is built into a Ikea book rack, the four black rectangular holes visible above are the cutouts for the rack mounts (one Ikea rack is 80 cm wide and 30 cm deep). The street trackage is build with Luna-Tillig tracks. This trackwork is expensive, but it could be considered as the only "ready to run" H0 street trackage available worldwide with complex turnouts and crossings. Luna track needs an absolutely perfect base, so the structure is made of 1 cm Forex plates (PVC) and aluminium profiles, no wooden parts. The layout is made of 4 parts who are re-assembled in the rack. The view shows the layout before assembling in the rack, the paving not totally finished. The paving outside the trackage is made of 2 mm cork and 2 mm grey foam rubber.
I trimmed an IHP Septa Kawasaki to negotiate ultra sharp 5.5" curves (140 mm). How it was done I will tell later. The car is still a little bit noisy, but this merits a glass of wine ...