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Reply to "Question about control systems"

Tom,

I came to some conclusions from your comments (please let me know if I'm wrong):

  1. Why does one need 12 different colors to feed two leads out to 10, or 20, or even 50 places around the layout?  Wouldn't "White and Black" or "Red and Black" suffice?
  2. Unless you'd wanted to have power control over a number of separate track blocks perhaps?  With track powered stuff this would of course be needed to keep trains from running where they shouldn't be running, and causing a wreck.  But, if you were operating BPRC locomotives wouldn't you also need a way to keep them from starting up, or more importantly, leaving a block when they shouldn't and causing a wreck?  Like perhaps adding signals?  Signals would need many colors, and much more wire.
  3. If you'd planned on doing these two things, and in particular more than just these two things, say also powering all your turnouts with electrically operated switch machines, or maybe adding a number of powered accessories as well, then multiple colors and miles of wire make sense.  Yes, none of these are simply "track power needs".

Taking all this in consideration, and your comments above, I'm thinking that you're largely a single operator concentrating on operating one or two trains at a time, even though I believe that your layout is huge and so has the capacity for much more.  If so then you don't need blocks, powered switch machines, signals, or accessories.  In this case BPRC makes complete sense.

However many of us (me for instance) need, or actually foolishly want, these other things, which demand miles of wire and 12 or more colors because there are currently no wireless solutions for them.

Because of this I have a feeling that most of us at this point wouldn't save ourselves very much wire at all by powering locomotives with batteries.

Bring on the insanity.

Mike

BTW -- Batteries make complete sense for RC model cars, aircraft and boats, and drones, because these hobbies don't have signals, turnouts, or powered accessories.  What if they did?

More importantly, those items are free-wheeling and not confined to a stationary track. 

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