comparisons/advice on train remote control units

366 views
8 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    March, 2006
  • From: Southern MB
  • 50 posts
comparisons/advice on train remote control units
Posted by JITO on Monday, April 17, 2017 5:48 PM

Greetings from Manitoba Canada. Most of the snow has melted by now in Southern Manitoba and thoughts turn to the great outdoors!

I've been trying to do some research on train remote control and battery power this past winter. Just when I thought I was getting somewhere with thoughts of the RailLinx controls, I'm told that production has stopped with an unknown certainty of what the future might hold. So, I'm back to the drawing board and need some help. My wife and I currently have a track powered outdoor layout of about 80 feet (and maybe more in the future?) and dream of one day adding remote control and battery power to deal with power issues. We've had it a number of years now and wonder on how to make things better with overall running and use.

We currently have 3 engines:

Bachmann anniversary edition 4-6-0 item # 91605. it comes with synchronized sound in the tender.

Bachmann Spectrum 55 ton three-truck shay item #82699. it comes equipped with DCC sound on board Tsunami sound technology

LGB 210 starter set engine, no sound

In particular, I've been looking at the new Revolution, the Rail Boss system, AirWire, and the currently unavailable RailLinx. I'm not wanting or needing anything overly complicated in order to run 1 train at a time. Cost is also a big consideration in taking this step. I get lost in some of the technical terms used to describe the systems so I tend to think the simpler the better as long as it will do want I need it to do. What might be suggested in this context in order to make the transition to get at least the Bachmann engine up and running this year with the others to follow so that we can enjoy our railway more?
Thanks
Michael

Moderator
  • Member since
    February, 2004
  • From: North, San Diego Co., CA
  • 2,885 posts
Posted by ttrigg on Monday, April 17, 2017 8:08 PM

Have a look at Greg E.'s articles. Just find a post from him and follow the link at the bottom to his sitw where he talks of these issues. My RC experience is limited to flying above 1:1 trains and videoing them.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: North Coastal San Diego
  • 812 posts
Posted by Greg Elmassian on Monday, April 17, 2017 9:30 PM

I try to make decisions by elimination. AirWire gives you the most flexibility in chosing the decoders to use, you can basically use ANY DCC decoder with the CONVRTR, which is the configuration I recommend for AirWire. Some of your locos won't need the 6 amp unit, and can get the 2.5 amp unit, from $132 to $99 for the smaller unit. Then you add a DCC decoder with sound, for steam, the new WOW Sound unit is ok at $160.

But you say cost is a big issue, so I think I would eliminate AirWire, and if you are fine with the steam sounds the same on all the locos, the "new" Revolution is a deal that is hard to beat, lots of features and very inexpensive to boot. Also runs on 2.4 GHz, better technology and great range.

I like the inexpensive controllers from G Scale Graphics, but I think it would only save you money if you do not have sound. You could buy a cheap sound unit, but something like MyLocoSound is still $90. I think you can get the lowest price per loco, but you are sacrificing functionality and sound quality, in my opinion.

So, I think in your case, the Revolution is tops.

 

Regards, Greg

Visit my site: http://www.elmassian.com - lots of tips on locos, rolling stock and more.

 Click here for Greg's web site

 

  • Member since
    March, 2006
  • From: Southern MB
  • 50 posts
Posted by JITO on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:26 PM

Thank you for your help.

Cost is always a consideration when buying from the States as we need to add approximately 40% to the price right off the hop due to exchange differences. It's a tough decision to make as I can't just go anywhere close by and check them out in person. I'm relying on the connectedness of the internet to help with my research! I like the visual simplicity of the Rail Boss with maybe Phoenix sound being added for better sound quality and the variety of sounds. But what would I lose in functionality that the Revolution has, that I should be considering?

 

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: North Coastal San Diego
  • 812 posts
Posted by Greg Elmassian on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:43 PM

The Revolution has more programmability, consisting, LCD screen, more settings, etc. It's more halfway to DCC.

Also the receiver and motor and sound is all in one small, compact unit.

I'd suggest reading all the precisionrc.com site.

Greg

Visit my site: http://www.elmassian.com - lots of tips on locos, rolling stock and more.

 Click here for Greg's web site

 

  • Member since
    March, 2006
  • From: Southern MB
  • 50 posts
Posted by JITO on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 10:21 PM

Sorry, but I can't access the precision site. Is that the same as revoelectronics.com?

If it is, the site doesn't really tell me anything. It has the products but it doesn't explain or promote its features and what they do. That's why I like the Rail Boss site as they explain and promote the different things that it does. It makes it easier to understand what it can or can't do. I don't get that same info with the Revo site which leads me to the questions that I have!

 

  • Member since
    April, 2017
  • 2 posts
Posted by David N on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 9:20 AM

Hi, 

I am exactly where you are, trying to decide on the next wireless remote control system.  I ventured to the East Coast Larger Scale Train show in PA and was able to do some research with vendors.

Economically, the Train Revolution seems the way to go.  It has a very low entry price for the transmitter and first receiver, and each additional receiver is as low cost as the others.  For that price, you get train control, and a sound system, with every receiver.  My only concern is the staying power of these companies, but my old Train Engineer systems still work, so I am ready to gamble that a Revolution system will outlast the company if short-lived, and there were a lot of vendors selling the Revolution system, so parts will be around for some time.  

You may wish, however, to rethink battery power.  This is where the money comes in.  You will need batteries and a charger, and the batteries do not run long or last long.  I have decided, as I build my new layout, that it is easier to add a $10 capacitor board to each loco, and go back to track power. No longer will I start every season replacing worn or dead batteries.

 Maintaining 80ft of track may be much easier than maintaining a fleet of batteries.

 

Best regards,

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: North Coastal San Diego
  • 812 posts
Posted by Greg Elmassian on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 2:22 PM

I get what you are saying about "features"

Go here: http://trainelectronics.com/RevoElectronics/LinearBase-USB/

TONS of articles, how to's videos, etc. on the Revolution.

Go to the revoelectronics.com support page (sorry about the wrong url!)

And keep asking questions!

Regards, Greg

Visit my site: http://www.elmassian.com - lots of tips on locos, rolling stock and more.

 Click here for Greg's web site

 

  • Member since
    March, 2006
  • From: Southern MB
  • 50 posts
Posted by JITO on Thursday, April 20, 2017 10:04 PM

Great, no worries, the address works now!

Thanks for all the help. I'm still pondering and checking out the support page.

 

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Garden Railways newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month

Search the Community