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Wifi Model Railroad LLC. products

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  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 4,711 posts
Wifi Model Railroad LLC. products
Posted by rrebell on Thursday, February 07, 2019 9:01 AM

In the latest MR there is a reveiw for a wi-fi module for diesel locos with soan onboard (kinda the same as Bluerail trains but sound onboard rather than on phone. Would like to know more about this from people who know about electronics but also about another product about to be put out called Ampit that is a dead rail boost to regular DC they say can last 5min (that is alot of dead frogs in a row).

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 26,093 posts
Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 07, 2019 5:42 PM

 I'd like to know what sort of protocol they are using over Wifi. Is it a standard one already in use, or at least something they reveal, or is this yet another proprietary direct radio control system? Which will for me always be a deal killer. Get 10 locos in and the company goes belly-up, now what do you do?

 As for a DC keep alive - I can conceptually see how it might be accomplished, even accounting for the fact that operating at part throttle with a basic capacitor arrangement would have singificantly less stored energy than if you were running full theottle (which is why it works with a very simple circuit in DCC, you always have full voltage). I can think of ways around that, although efficiency would suffer due to losses. And even maintain the same voltage, since of course with DC, it's the voltage on the rails that controls how fast the motor turns, so if you were running at part throttle with say 5 volts on the track and there was a dead spot, you'd want the circuit to keep supplying 5 volts to the motor, not more or less. I can conceptually think of a way that could actually be done, but it wouldn;t be too simple, or too small. And since it involves basically having a throttle on board the loco, why not just use something already tried and true, either a direct radio system or DCC?

 ANd 5 minutes of keep alive? WHY? I have ONE DCC loco with a keep alive circuit, because it came from the factory that way and it MIGHT truly need it, being such a small wheelbase. The problem is, it runs for FAR too long. There is no reason your track should be so badly constructed or so poorly maintained that you'd need a loco to run 5 minutes after it last had power. And DC or DCC - if there is no power in the rails and some devices is keeping the loco moving - there is NO control over it. Hitting E-stop, or turning off the power to the track, or unplugging the power pack - none of those will stop the loco! You can only watch as the keep alive in your expensive brass steamer keeps it moving and plowing right into and through the train standing in front of it. The only way such a long keep alive time even makes sense is with a direct radio (wifi or bluetooth, or whatever) so that even when power is lost to the rails, you can still issue commands and stop the loco if needed. 

                                    --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • From: somerset, nj
  • 2,538 posts
Posted by gregc on Thursday, February 07, 2019 5:58 PM

is this the review from the march issue: WiFi Model Railroad LocoFi locomotive decoder?

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 4,711 posts
Posted by rrebell on Friday, February 08, 2019 5:58 PM

yep

 

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    October, 2005
  • 796 posts
Posted by betamax on Saturday, February 09, 2019 7:57 AM

I agree with the proprietary nature being a non-starter. Especially software based systems.

There is the risk of investing a lot of money in a system only to discover that the supplier has no interest in adding features, or obsoletes your current investment with a new product. 

When they do that, they often decide to stop providing things like software updates, because they want to sell you a new one, not give you free software updates.  After all, your problems are solved in the next version.

Or they go out of business and you are left with an orphan.

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