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DIY Controller

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  • dave_o_1999
    Hi all, Is a 9-volt battery too much juice for Z scale? I am planning on building a battery controller for a layout, and wondered if I should use a 9-volt
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 26, 2010
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      Hi all,

      Is a 9-volt battery too much juice for Z scale? I am planning on building a battery controller for a layout, and wondered if I should use a 9-volt battery or AA/AAAs. So far, I have a project box, DPDT switch, and a potentiometer (probably a volume controller; I got it at Radio Shack). Do I need anything else/ I already have some 9-volt terminals.

      Thanks.
    • Loren Snyder
      9 volts is the suggested voltage for Z. ... From: dave_o_1999 Date: 2/26/2010 10:55:58 AM To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com Subject: [Z_Scale] DIY Controller Hi all,
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 26, 2010
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        9 volts is the suggested voltage for Z.




        -------Original Message-------

        From: dave_o_1999
        Date: 2/26/2010 10:55:58 AM
        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Z_Scale] DIY Controller

        Hi all,

        Is a 9-volt battery too much juice for Z scale? I am planning on building a
        battery controller for a layout, and wondered if I should use a 9-volt
        battery or AA/AAAs. So far, I have a project box, DPDT switch, and a
        potentiometer (probably a volume controller; I got it at Radio Shack). Do I
        need anything else/ I already have some 9-volt terminals.

        Thanks.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Garth
        Well that might work depending on the resistance value of the pot but it is going to waste a lot of battery power and the 9volt battery won t last very long.
        Message 3 of 14 , Feb 26, 2010
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          Well that might work depending on the resistance value of the pot but it is going to waste a lot of battery power and the 9volt battery won't last very long. Depending on the load the pot might get hot.

          I think you would be better off with a Zthek controller from Ztrains than going this route.

          For low current drain you want your pot controlling the bias to the base of a transistor not the full voltage.

          No question in theory what you plan will work but it is not an efficient way of doing it. Yes 9vdc it fine for Z.

          cheerz Garth

          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "dave_o_1999" <iplayfhorn@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi all,
          >
          > Is a 9-volt battery too much juice for Z scale? I am planning on building a battery controller for a layout, and wondered if I should use a 9-volt battery or AA/AAAs. So far, I have a project box, DPDT switch, and a potentiometer (probably a volume controller; I got it at Radio Shack). Do I need anything else/ I already have some 9-volt terminals.
          >
          > Thanks.
          >
        • Loren Snyder
          Garth is correct. One observation Joe and I observed years ago was that the MTL GPs ran a long time on one 9 volt battery if used in the ZThek snail speed.
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 26, 2010
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            Garth is correct. One observation Joe and I observed years ago was that the
            MTL GPs ran a long time on one 9 volt battery if used in the ZThek snail
            speed. Definitely worth buying one. All the work is done for you. You
            can find them at.....
            http://www.ztrackcenter.com/electronics/index.html




            -------Original Message-------

            From: Garth
            Date: 2/26/2010 12:23:58 PM
            To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: DIY Controller

            Well that might work depending on the resistance value of the pot but it is
            going to waste a lot of battery power and the 9volt battery won't last very
            long. Depending on the load the pot might get hot.

            I think you would be better off with a Zthek controller from Ztrains than
            going this route.

            For low current drain you want your pot controlling the bias to the base of
            a transistor not the full voltage.

            No question in theory what you plan will work but it is not an efficient way
            of doing it. Yes 9vdc it fine for Z.

            cheerz Garth

            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "dave_o_1999" <iplayfhorn@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi all,
            >
            > Is a 9-volt battery too much juice for Z scale? I am planning on building
            a battery controller for a layout, and wondered if I should use a 9-volt
            battery or AA/AAAs. So far, I have a project box, DPDT switch, and a
            potentiometer (probably a volume controller; I got it at Radio Shack). Do I
            need anything else/ I already have some 9-volt terminals.
            >
            > Thanks.
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Larry Card
            A 9v battery works well for Z. First, you want a linear wound potentiometer, not a volume controller. Second, even at such a low voltage as 9v the
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 26, 2010
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              A 9v battery works well for Z.
              First, you want a linear wound potentiometer, not a volume controller.
              Second, even at such a low voltage as 9v the potentiometer will heat up and be destroyed.
              There are several plans for 9v controllers on the web, the simplest ones use a three terminal voltage regulator.
              Here's one:
              http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/TTRThrottle.html
              I have one like this, I think it cost me all of 10 or 15 dollars to build but I used an LM317 regulator instead of the 350.
              V/R
              Larry P. Card
              Franklinton NC

              > Is a 9-volt battery too much juice for Z scale? I am planning on building a battery controller for a layout, and wondered if I should use a 9-volt battery or AA/AAAs. So far, I have a project box, DPDT switch, and a potentiometer (probably a volume controller; I got it at Radio Shack). Do I need anything else/ I already have some 9-volt terminals.


              _________________________________________________________________
              Your E-mail and More On-the-Go. Get Windows Live Hotmail Free.
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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • dave_o_1999
              Well, here s what I have (I just looked at it): Rheostat: resistance: 25 ohms, +-20% tolerance related power: 3 watts sliding power:
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 26, 2010
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                Well, here's what I have (I just looked at it):

                Rheostat: resistance: 25 ohms, +-20% tolerance
                related power: 3 watts
                sliding power: <47mV
                total rotation: 300 degrees +-5 degrees

                Toggle switch: DPDT; contacts rated at 6A @ 125VAC, 3A @ 250 VAC

                Will this suffice, or do I need to take it all back? That zThek controller is looking better and better. Would it work for N as well, or would it be too slow?

                Thanks again; I'm rather mechanically declined, so I'm sorta flyin' blind here.
              • Garth
                Sorry to say that is not going to work. Yes if you can return it and get your money back that is what I would recommend. If you want to build a controller
                Message 7 of 14 , Feb 26, 2010
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                  Sorry to say that is not going to work. Yes if you can return it and get your money back that is what I would recommend.

                  If you want to build a controller follow Larry's suggestion as that circuit works and the substitution of the LM 317 is a good move. But the power source for Z should be no more than 10vac and your output will be 8.6vdc. Just right for Z. Your transformer only needs to be rated for 1 amp and your fuse should not be larger than 1 amp and it could be as low a .5 amp and still give good performance.

                  But by teh time you add your time a couple of trips to the store etc etc the Zthek is probably a better deal.

                  cheerz Garth

                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "dave_o_1999" <iplayfhorn@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Well, here's what I have (I just looked at it):
                  >
                  > Rheostat: resistance: 25 ohms, +-20% tolerance
                  > related power: 3 watts
                  > sliding power: <47mV
                  > total rotation: 300 degrees +-5 degrees
                  >
                  > Toggle switch: DPDT; contacts rated at 6A @ 125VAC, 3A @ 250 VAC
                  >
                  > Will this suffice, or do I need to take it all back? That zThek controller is looking better and better. Would it work for N as well, or would it be too slow?
                  >
                  > Thanks again; I'm rather mechanically declined, so I'm sorta flyin' blind here.
                  >
                • dave_o_1999
                  Thanks. Yes you re right; the Zthek controller is looking better and better. I also do N; would the Zthek work for N, or would there not be enough power?
                  Message 8 of 14 , Feb 26, 2010
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                    Thanks. Yes you're right; the Zthek controller is looking better and better. I also do N; would the Zthek work for N, or would there not be enough power?
                  • Garth
                    For many N-scale engines the Zthek will be fine but for some older engines they won t run as fast as you might want them too. I use this type of controller for
                    Message 9 of 14 , Feb 26, 2010
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                      For many N-scale engines the Zthek will be fine but for some older engines they won't run as fast as you might want them too. I use this type of controller for my N-scale as well and for me it is fine, but I run a prototypical speeds on my layout.

                      cheerz Garth

                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "dave_o_1999" <iplayfhorn@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Thanks. Yes you're right; the Zthek controller is looking better and better. I also do N; would the Zthek work for N, or would there not be enough power?
                      >
                    • GLENN
                      ... 9 volt will be fine for Z scale. 9 volts could work for N scale switching at slow speeds. Full throttle is up to 12 volts.
                      Message 10 of 14 , Feb 27, 2010
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                        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Garth" <garth.a.hamilton@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > For many N-scale engines the Zthek will be fine but for some older engines they won't run as fast as you might want them too. I use this type of controller for my N-scale as well and for me it is fine, but I run a prototypical speeds on my layout.
                        >
                        > cheerz Garth
                        >
                        > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "dave_o_1999" <iplayfhorn@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Thanks. Yes you're right; the Zthek controller is looking better and better. I also do N; would the Zthek work for N, or would there not be enough power?
                        > >
                        >
                        9 volt will be fine for Z scale. 9 volts could work for N scale switching at slow speeds. Full throttle is up to 12 volts.
                      • viktor_kovacs
                        Hi, ... The marklin/minitrix speed controllers with wall adapters use an LM317 for regulating the output voltage, but a pwm controller, like the z-thek is much
                        Message 11 of 14 , Feb 27, 2010
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                          Hi,

                          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Larry Card <lpcard@...> wrote:
                          > A 9v battery works well for Z.
                          > First, you want a linear wound potentiometer, not a volume
                          > controller.
                          > Second, even at such a low voltage as 9v the potentiometer will
                          > heat up and be destroyed.
                          > There are several plans for 9v controllers on the web, the
                          > simplest ones use a three terminal voltage regulator.
                          > Here's one:
                          > http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/TTRThrottle.html
                          > I have one like this, I think it cost me all of 10 or 15 dollars
                          > to build but I used an LM317 regulator instead of the 350.
                          > V/R
                          > Larry P. Card
                          > Franklinton NC

                          The marklin/minitrix speed controllers with wall adapters use an
                          LM317 for regulating the output voltage, but a pwm controller,
                          like the z-thek is much better and does not waste excess voltage
                          as heat. Usually these controllers can be powered from 9V to 12V,
                          but for Z, 10V is the maxium. (for N 12V is a normal voltage)
                          Marklin solved this problem by supplying the same controller for
                          both scales and using wall adapters with different output
                          voltages.

                          Usually an N scale battery controller is good too, but there
                          should be diode pairs connected in series with the track
                          feed wire to drop the output voltage from 12V to 9V.

                          best wishes: Viktor
                        • David Epling
                          They announced at the GTE show in Daly City at the Cow Palace that BAZBoys own Matt has a birthday today Happy Birthday Matt
                          Message 12 of 14 , Feb 27, 2010
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                            They announced at the GTE show in Daly City at the Cow Palace that BAZBoys
                            own Matt has a birthday today

                            Happy Birthday Matt
                          • flyerbait
                            Yeah I too have been looking into using rechargable 9 volt batteries for a D.C supply for L.E.Ds lighting on a portable layout. The idea was to make a layout
                            Message 13 of 14 , Mar 2, 2010
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                              Yeah I too have been looking into using rechargable 9 volt batteries for a D.C supply for L.E.Ds lighting on a portable layout. The idea was to make a layout that can run off either mains or battery power depending where its being used. So the question has been either a single 9 volt battery, or 2 x 4 packs of C or D cells (12 volts) so I can flip a switch and run the lighting and accessories of the mains or battery backup.

                              I have also been looking at doing a sound system. The ECC netbooks are very cheap now, but it doesn't seem to be that easy to multi stream several different sound loops around a layout (even by adding extra sound cards). A lot easier to use several smaller MP3 players that recharge off a computers USB supply, plug them into seperate speakers wired into the layout (which run off mains, they suck the juice out of batteries too fast). As each MP3 player runs flat, you can simply swop them out with another one. You can set up tracks on each player to hold all the sound tracks you would use on your layout .. ie: city traffic, farmyard sounds, rail yard noises, etc. but sellect the track for the particular speaker area and put it on endless repeat. Costs under 10$ for a cheap powered speaker (Tear these appart, build another speaker box into or under the scenery, have the audio volume accessable but out of view), and 20$+ for a basic MP3 player. Some Mp3 players are also powered by AAA batteries, which means all you have to do is swop out the battery to recharge.

                              Anyway, and idea thats in work.

                              Leigh


                              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > 9 volts is the suggested voltage for Z.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > -------Original Message-------
                              >
                              > From: dave_o_1999
                              > Date: 2/26/2010 10:55:58 AM
                              > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                              > Subject: [Z_Scale] DIY Controller
                              >
                              > Hi all,
                              >
                              > Is a 9-volt battery too much juice for Z scale? I am planning on building a
                              > battery controller for a layout, and wondered if I should use a 9-volt
                              > battery or AA/AAAs. So far, I have a project box, DPDT switch, and a
                              > potentiometer (probably a volume controller; I got it at Radio Shack). Do I
                              > need anything else/ I already have some 9-volt terminals.
                              >
                              > Thanks.
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                            • Garth
                              Hi Leigh; Getting 9vdc from D or C cells is a lot of weight and not a lot of capacity. If you want something big and robust use a 6vdc lantern battery. For
                              Message 14 of 14 , Mar 2, 2010
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                                Hi Leigh;

                                Getting 9vdc from D or C cells is a lot of weight and not a lot of capacity. If you want something big and robust use a 6vdc lantern battery. For myself I would use a 4 pack of 9vdc batteries in parallel as I have found I can run 3-5 shows with the same set of batteries before replacing or recharging them. This gives you the amperage so the draw down on the batteries is minimal and when left connected together, but not to a load, they recover a certain percentage on their own between shows. They are less weight and less restate to use this than a pack of D or C cells. To get 9vdc from a group of battery cells you need groups of 6xAA, 6xAAA, 6xC , or 6xD cells. These are all 1.4 - 1.5 vdc per cell depending on whether they are generic, alkaline, etc.

                                cheerz Garth

                                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "flyerbait" <flyerbait@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > Yeah I too have been looking into using rechargable 9 volt batteries for a D.C supply for L.E.Ds lighting on a portable layout. The idea was to make a layout that can run off either mains or battery power depending where its being used. So the question has been either a single 9 volt battery, or 2 x 4 packs of C or D cells (12 volts) so I can flip a switch and run the lighting and accessories of the mains or battery backup.
                                >

                                > Leigh
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > 9 volts is the suggested voltage for Z.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > -------Original Message-------
                                > >
                                > > From: dave_o_1999
                                > > Date: 2/26/2010 10:55:58 AM
                                > > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                > > Subject: [Z_Scale] DIY Controller
                                > >
                                > > Hi all,
                                > >
                                > > Is a 9-volt battery too much juice for Z scale? I am planning on building a
                                > > battery controller for a layout, and wondered if I should use a 9-volt
                                > > battery or AA/AAAs. So far, I have a project box, DPDT switch, and a
                                > > potentiometer (probably a volume controller; I got it at Radio Shack). Do I
                                > > need anything else/ I already have some 9-volt terminals.
                                > >
                                > > Thanks.
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                > >
                                >
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