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Hi All,


I thought you might be interested in this.  I happened to hear about a wireless DCC system being developed while listening to the Model Railcast Podcast.  Here is the link:


It is a neat and really simple idea.  Basically a transmitter sends out the DCC signal over the air instead of the rails and that is picked up by a receiver in the locomotive.  There is a video showing this function with a battery operated train, which is suggested right now.  But it isn't hard to see that this could be adapted to use power from the rails and DCC signal over the air.  It seems like this would overcome some of the objections to DCC, two of which come to mind:


- No expensive track boosters would be required.  Just put the power on the track and no need to have the expensive booster to pass through the DCC signal.

- No issue with momentary interruptions on the track.


I don't have any command control yet.  I have been waiting on the sidelines because it seems changes are coming fast and I really like the iPod/iPad interface that is available with DCC for $10.  I also like On30 as well as the three rail and it would be nice to have one controller for both.  I am hoping O gauge makes it there.  



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QSI has a nice system. A Decoder with the airwire system. Decoder can run off track or battery power. I have installed it in a G Gauge Bachmann and it runs and sounds great. Definetly not plug and play though. You should have their software interface system with it so that it can programmed on a computer. This has to be run through a DCC power booster for G gauge. Unless you have DCC already the start up cost jumps quickly.
    Setting the chuff rate is an experience in itself. It works off of the motor's back feed. you need to tweak the CV's every five MPH to sync the decoder to the wheel rotation. The good point of this is there doesn't need to be any magnets or micro switches installed and once set everything can be saved as a file on you computer so it is available if ever again needed.

The beauty of the Tam Valley unit is that it is not at all proprietary.  It just takes the DCC signals from the command station, sends them wirelessly and the antenna at the other end just receives it.  So you can use any DCC system and (I think) any decoder.


Since the track doesn't have to carry the DCC signal you don't need a booster or any expensive supplies.  So you one approach might be:


Sprog II - $99 (needs a computer which I assume is already near the layout)

Smartphone with WiThrottle - $9.99 (assuming one has the phone/iPad)

Sender and receiver units from Tam Valley - $120 


Assuming you have a train with a DCC decoder built in you would be off an running for $230 plus a little for Lipo batteries or to adapt it to work from track power.  


Each loco would require the additional cost of $59 for the Tam Valley wireless receiving board.  Depending on how many locos were to be outfitted it could get expensive.


But, you would never have to have a power district or a track power booster, which as I understand it can be pretty expensive.  No need for DCC friendly switches or anything like that.  If using batteries there also wouldn't be a need to do anything with reverse loops.



Last edited by RailGrandson

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