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Author Topic: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos  (Read 5121 times)

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Offline AGR-Shed-Enderby

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2016, 12:41:55 pm »
I would like to see us guys help push the company forward by offering positive encouragement.
In answer to the more sensible comments: The new batteries are coming on stream and the circuit board has been lengthened to 25mm whilst halving the width specifically to move towards this solution.  They stated emphatically during  their presentation that N Gauge is their next priority and that now batteries are improving they are hoping to match the running times of their existing 00 system (4 hours constant at 100 mAh).  The company is more likely to move quicker, which they are really keen on doing, if we make positive noises and all join their member area as soon as possible.

Their Youtube videos are excellent and provide full details of the current system and installation.  They are going to bring their 'Concentrator' box into use soon and this will allow many things to happen which are so far only a dream for many of us.  How about running a layout from different locations in the world in real time using live video camera and either speech or bells to communicate between driver and signalman for example?

I would urge anyone with even slight interest to have a look.  Obviously some guys will not even think about it and some layouts won't be suitable BUT their research shows that over 50% of layout owners use the locos in a way which they can provide control for.  Their new handset for example will allow many more locos and the safety cur out system stops instantly should there be any sort of incident.

I remember Zero 1 (Yuck) and DCC being born (Wow) and that climbed a much bigger mountain than Protocab needs to do - the cost is likely to be very similar for example.  DCC can still operate the turnouts etc. etc. but you will be driving the loco directly (No turnout power wiring problems) and with no problems from dirty tracks.

You might assume that I am keen on the idea - be in no doubt - I am!  No wonder I am known as 'Grandad Gadget' by my off-sprungs.

Malc (GG)

Online emjaybee

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2016, 12:48:14 pm »
I appreciate your enthusiasm. May I ask one question?

Do you have a vested interest in the company?

 ???
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Offline Ian Bowden

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2016, 12:57:51 pm »
Although I am sceptical about the impending battery developments. I would be an early adopter of a working system. My worries are still the battery, look what has happened to Samsung with their quest for smaller longer life batteries. Batteries do give off a fair amount of heat when worked hard. In OO gauge there will be room but in N the space will require something similar to a CR2032 or not much bigger. I have no doubt that the technology will come and will work but it will probably take a few years.

Initially there will probably be a requirement for a battery compartment in the first carriage/wagon. Not really a problem if you run fixed rakes and would be great at exhibitions.

Offline Only Me

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2016, 12:59:22 pm »
Yes it would seem that may be the case from this angle (emjaybee), also working in electronics, 100 ma draw is 4 approximately leds.... so thats not really going to work when the N gauge motors draw about 300-400 ma, @AGR-Shed-Enderby   did you have another account on here related to another battery operated train idea a year or so back?

Im still however at a loss of why you would want a battery operated loco when DCC does far more and the remote doesnt look like my old Nan's TV set from 1970 :D

So then we use the analogy of current draw through battery capacity and if we said on average a loco would draw 400ma (a respectable but not unreasonable amount with the lights on) then the battery would last about 15 minutes... 

100mA.h                     100mA.h
----                              ----                                         = 0.25
400ma                         400ma


So whilst I appreciate it would work in OO because of space availability, as stated previously you would have to have a wired together train to provide the space for the batteries would you not?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 01:02:04 pm by Only Me »



Offline AGR-Shed-Enderby

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2016, 01:10:13 pm »
Just been tagged and a PM Don't know who. In answer to your question - No I have not posted previously on battery N locos. Also 100ma would be when running not the stall current.
Don't shoot the messenger!

Offline themadhippy

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2016, 01:17:13 pm »
why the need for batterys?theres already a tried and tested method of getting electrickery into the engine thats been around for a good few years,the rails.The only advantage i can see is with more complex track layouts,however you could still run on track power for the majority of such layouts,just using the battery for isolated section around complex track junctions .Also what frequency is the radio operating on?dont want next doors garage opener telling your latest local to go fulll speed in reverse

Offline njee20

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2016, 01:23:30 pm »
Only Me tagged you in the post above yours. It's hard not to be a bit skeptical - you've basically signed up to wax lyrical about how incredible this is and telling everyone to sign up to their website. Those are the classic hallmarks of astroturfing.

Leaving that aside, the battery issue is surely a huge one. You'd not even fit a CR2032 in most N gauge stock, perhaps an LR44, or as said you're into joining locos and wagons/coaches, which starts getting really messy. Something like a Dapol 56 just about has room for a DZ126IN decoder, which are 9.05mm x 10.61mm x 2.67mm. No way are you converting that to radio control!

You're limited to 9 locos, so it's only really useful for small layouts. Who needs/wants to be able to operate their layout from elsewhere on the planet? Even then you're buying into a system on the promise of what it might one day do. That's like saying buy a television now because virtual reality may happen in 20 years.

I get the concept, and I like it, but half the 'benefits' really aren't IMO and the practicalities leave massive question marks in my mind.

Online Dr Al

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2016, 01:27:01 pm »
I kind of struggle to see any great advantage over a decent DCC system to be honest - is there one?

Track and wheels still ultimately need cleaned on any system as the build up of crud still occurs and can cause running issues (mechanically).

And tearing apart N gauge models to fit all this seems a big effort for not much gain (unless I'm missing the advantages).

On DCC surely all turnouts are live anyway, and all sections (as they would be on a DC system) switched on?

Given the longevity of Lithium Ion cells (assuming this is the power source), this wouldn't be permanent install either - they'd die after a given number of years and need replaced - remember models are generally expected to last 5, 10, 15, 20 or maybe more years; and never mind the charge time which we don't have on straight DC/DCC - plug in and go, no wait.

Running the layout remote "from around the world" is interesting, but it immediately raises two questions - who would really do this (I suspect very very very few?)? And derailment = end of it....?

Sorry, maybe I'm just missing the advantages completely, but seems like a massive upheval (and devaluing of your models) for little gain.

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

Online emjaybee

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2016, 02:12:32 pm »
I'm thinking it's more a case of "we can" invent it, rather than "we need" to invent it.

Does anyone recall the episode last week of the guy spending 11hours to get his wi-fi kettle to work. All very good, but why do you need a wi-fi kettle?

 :smackedface:
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Offline themadhippy

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2016, 02:35:44 pm »
Quote
. All very good, but why do you need a wi-fi kettle?
so you can have a boiled kettle ready for you when you walk through the door at 3am wanting a coffee but are to tired to wait for the kettle to boil

Online emjaybee

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2016, 02:56:34 pm »
Were you not aware that you should not boil water that has been standing in a kettle for many hours?

It de-oxygenates itself which is not good for you.

Hence you should always use freshly drawn water.

Hence why have a wi-fi kettle?

 :smackedface:
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Offline Ian Morton

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2016, 03:01:40 pm »
Quote
. All very good, but why do you need a wi-fi kettle?
so you can have a boiled kettle ready for you when you walk through the door at 3am wanting a coffee but are to tired to wait for the kettle to boil
If you're that tired you'll be asleep before the coffee is cool enough to drink!  :doh:

Offline railsquid

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2016, 03:03:47 pm »
It actually puts you in the cab - they have a notion to allow you to be in the cab of a loco on your PC or tablet and actually drive the model from the screen using the cab images of a real loco with your mouse (or finger). 
Unless there's a camera embedded in the loco (both ends), which is presumably not part of this system, why would I want to stare at a screen and not the loco itself while operating it? Also, with apps/proprietary software in general, I would be concerned about lack of updates a few years down the line, though for this system they're presumably optional as there's an actual physical controller.

I feel that model railways are lagging behind in embracing new technology, we have some wonderful radio controlled, battery powered toys in the shops. thses vary from quadracopters to swimming fish, yes the latter does exist. I thought the young lad next door had a Goldfish in a tank for a birthday present, in reality it was  battery powered and radio controlled and looked extremely realistic. If a swimming fish can be made which is 50mm long what is stopping N gauge locos from running by battery and radio control.

Unfortunately it's a very small niche market with not much in the way of capital floating about which would provide the necessary investment for developing radical new innovations with uncertain prospects of making a return on that investment... It's not like  e.g. Bachmann have shiny stores in every town and people regularly queue up through the night to get their hands on the latest iTrain.

There's also the problem of adoption and inertia - classical DC is a pretty universal system which is hard to beat, you can take pretty much any (well-maintained) train from the last 40 or 50 years and put it on any track with any controller and it should work; DCC overcomes many of the restrictions of DC and is a common standard implemented by many different manufacturers, it's not perfect but it's out there; any other system is going to have to offer some discernable advantage (at low cost of adoption/conversion) to beat those, methinks.

As far as batteries go - I'm no expert but I suppose you could (in the case of diesels/electrics) make the chassis itself be the battery, rather than a lump of metal as it is now, but I suspect that would be a) hideously expensive for the small production runs in this industry, and b) once the chassis-battery no longer holds a charge, what then?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 03:05:01 pm by railsquid »
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Offline Railwaygun

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new brochure

www.protocab.com

the Chips are  24mm
x10mm and thanks to a new flat antenna,
the board thickness is 4mm and supports
motor stall currents up to 350 milliamps.

* so not DCC size yet but could fit larger locos?

the batteries are down to 10mm (diam) x 45mm so could fit in waggon / coach.

* they claim you never have to clean track ( or wire it ) again!!

Anyone had a go yet??

Brochure:

https://www.protocab.com/resources/2017-02-04-Announcement-Brochure.pdf

(no commercial interest)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 04:43:55 pm by Railwaygun »
This has been a public service announcement
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Offline 25901JFM

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Re: Protocab - About to produce control for N Gauge locos
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2017, 06:20:38 pm »
There seems to be a lot of negativity about this.  Having read through this and not having looked at any of the publicity material I can see its appeal and also the issues with N gauge.  For me the selling point is the loco is radio controlled so you have no need to wire the track.  To me that's a bonus straight away!   Personally however, I feel that this is probably not a viable proposition in N due to its size.  Good luck to the developer if they can make it work though and I'm sure there would be people who may find that the system suits them the same way DC suits some and DCC suits others.  Each to there own I suppose... 

DCC was supposed to be really simple, but the more I read up on it the more complicated it seems to be with all the variables and options that can be programmed.  I'm becoming a bit of a techno-phobe has things become more advanced and to me more complicated!

John

 

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