There are two methods for on-board sound. Sound can be an included function of the loco decoder as with LionChief. The second method is for sound to be transmitted from the smart device app to an on-board bluetooth speaker amplifier as is the case with BlueRail Trains. Both yield similar and satisfactory results.
Well, there's also stand-alone sound boards that have inputs from the RC receiver.
I've been heavily exploring this. Have been in RC for 20 years and using lipo batteries for the last 15. All of the wireless systems frustrate me in some way be them DCC, DCS, TMCC/Legacy. I see no mention in this thread of Railpro. I have been looking into them but am concerned about smoke and the steam sounds are limited right now. However their radio speed matching and the way locos communicate with one another in consist is nothing short of amazing.
Haven't pulled the trigger on anything yet and have two PS1 conversions I have been stalling due to indecision. I don't plan to put the battery in the loco though.
With the various sizes and shapes of the MTO batteries it's hard not to find a good fit. Also I have seen some neat unique custom MTO asymmetrical battery pack cell configurations made to fit irregular voids within diesel bodies.
If they are going into HO engines it seems reasonable that 0 scale is doable. Atlas SW-8 installs are straight forward. Have a GP-9 done, tight but works fine.
Starting to do some steam engines and it's all good. Robert Buck makes it easy for a non electronic types like me to forge ahead. I have no thought of pulling a battery car. My industrial siding are too tight for otherwise nonessential cars.
For full features the Railpro system is hard to beat, smaller and simpler then the average DCC and less cost. Plus of course, no wiring or boosters at all.
I'm sure some here have read some of my earlier posts about regreting not having gone battery early on. Now I REALLY regret it!
I have experienced flawless RC operation with both BlueRail (bluetooth) and LionChiefPlus, track or battery powered. With so many after-market systems available, I can understand that there might be some problems encountered.
On another subject, one of the issues with battery power is the difficulty in recharging. Each of my battery powered engines have a battery access jack which allows me to monitor voltage and recharge without having to remove the battery. However, on-track recharging would still be more convenient and I plan to look into this idea.
Mr. Walker said: "However, on-track recharging would still be more convenient and I plan to look into this idea."
I have found that there is an element of circular logic with using the rails to charge batteries. One of the big advantage of RCBP is that you don't need to clean the track and wheels...except if you want to charge the batteries! In my own experience using the S-Cab system, I fell for this! My first response was to only recharge on dedicated clean track like at the engine facility. The problem was that all the dirty rail around the layout did a very good job of transferring dirt to the wheels, so the clean spot still didn't work! End game, either still have to clean (but maybe a little less) or resort to battery removal or plug in recharging.
I truly believe that RCBP is the future. But right now for my situation I'm going to have to stick with traditional DCC. My hang up is the fact that I don't get to play with my models enough! The months and years since I last used my S-Cab system have not been nice to the batteries. In order to play again, I'm going to have to do some extra maintenance to turn everything back on. In reality this is more of an infrastructure issue. If I were to ever commit to RCBP I would build all of the nice to have support infrastructure to maintain batteries in between use.
It's still the future...
I can see that as a downside. I haven't run anything in two months.
My MTH Hudson has a battery in the tender. I never figured out how to do a "factory reset" so the electronics in there are useless. I got uneasy about the battery failing and then leaking, so I pulled it out.
I still think BRC is the wave of the future, but battery access and storage will have to be addressed.
Wouldn't it be cool if a future train manufacturer of BPRC trains made a removable fuel tank which was the battery.
Pete M posted:
I don't know about DC versions of BPRC, but if one has DCC already the following might be of some use: Last year I made a test rig with a DCC operated Overland MP15AC chassis that had sound, but there's more room in a steamer to add the smoke unit as well.
Bob, I'm not sure it's allowed to post links and prices here of non-advertisers but here's the basic info:
The first step was to replace the Pittman motor with a Maxon RE25 coreless motor (used or surplus). That dropped the typical current draw in normal use from about 2-3A to under 0.5A with similar torque, allowing longer battery life or a smaller/cheaper battery. It also enables the use of a Stanton BPS-v4 battery manager.
The BPS-v4 is a neat device imho that steps up the Voltage to 11V which is fine for the coreless motor. It allows the loco to run on dead rail and also to re-charge on DCC or DC powered track automatically. As well it takes care of the safe management of the Li-Po batteries and lets you turn the whole shebang on and off from outside the shell with a magnet wand. The battery pack is a Stanton BPS 2P 850mAh.
The corless motor needs only a "HO-sized" decoder with a current capacity of around 1-1.2A. In my case a Loksound Select (now LS5DCC). Any brand of sound decoder of similar spec would work fine of course.
There's a Tam Valley DRS1 wireless receiver in the loco and Tam Valley transmitter at the command station. These are now DeadRail Installs products I think. That sends the same DCC signal as would normally be in the track wirelessly to the decoder in the loco.
The speaker is a Tang Band 1925s. In an O scale steamer one could add a larger speaker or two.
As well there'd be room for a Loksound dual-fan smoke unit that would allow separate synchronized chuffs from one fan, and manual or speed-related smoke emissions from the blow down valves (not sure if that's the the proper name), and when the whistle's blown etc. This would require require a higher-current capacity decoder such LS 5DCC "L" or "XL" as used in O or G scale locos which would also provide power to the smoke unit. Plus such decoders have servo-drive outpuits for couplers etc. You would need a larger battery no doubt but such is life, and at least there's more space available.
Here's my jury-rigged first test of the MP15AC chassis. Eveything shown does fit in the shell and fuel tank without giving up the cab interior, just...
The starting off got a lot smoother once I tuned it. As well the background hiss is from my stupid phone camera not the loco.
Where can I get one of these Maxon motors?
I'n thinking of deadrailing my Weaver 0-6-0, because it never ran well over switches and such. With the reduced tender space, I could use a big speaker, a small decoder, and a small Airwire converter.
I used to get them surplus from Micro-loco-motion but the owner sadly passed last year. These days I work with Jay Criswell at Right-O'-Way who stocks some suitable Maxon and Faulhaber coreless motors and gearheads for his drive upgrades that are great for O scale. Otherwise they can be found on ebay once you home in on the size, power and current draw parameters you need.
Some of the Maxon Remax RE25 series work well for O scale. Also Maxon RE24 with a 22GP gearhead can work well. Jay has several Faulhaber options also.
Here's a link that includes a post by me that lists what components I used and how much they cost, I'm sure prices have changed:
I recharged batteries yesterday, some of them have been sitting idle since June 2019 and barely required a charge at all. One engine had been run quite a bit but not since August. When I turned it on it ran about 1/2 way around the layout and stopped, knew it was time to put it on the charger. A freshly charged battery in an engine that is stored will IMO keep for 6 months, maybe more. I have yet to have to replace a battery. These things are good for hundreds of recharges. Other than a loose wire (my fault) I have had no issues with components breaking.
Here's another linked post:
My experience with BPRC pretty much parallels Bob D.'s. I have had no battery failures and the batteries retain a charge for a very long period.