Remote Controlled Locomotive

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

The prototype for this model is one of a `DSG` class of 24 locomotives built in 1981 by Toshiba for the New Zealand Railways. These locomotives weigh 56 tonnes and have two diesel engines, providing a total of 750kW. In more recent years they have been modified for shunting with a crew of one or two, by the provision of `refuges` behind the headbo

Remote Controlled Locomotive
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ards for the safe riding of staff, and a radio-controlled remote system which allows the operator to leave the cab to couple wagons and still be able to drive the locomotive from a distance. The Meccano model is built to a scale of 1:17 and runs on 2. 5" gauge track. Two Richards motors with six speed gearboxes provide the motive power (one per bogie, with only one axle driven on each bogie). The gearing used provides a scale top speed of about 20km/h, while developing enough torque to move six bogie container wagons through four-metre radius reverse curves in a shunting yard. I wanted to add electronics to be able to drive the locomotive in prototypical fashion, `by remote`. The model had to be self-powered, as the pointwork in the shunting yard made any idea of insulated rails for power feeding a bit of a nightmare. The solution came in the form of an infra-red (IR) remote control system from Oatley Electronics. This kit was originally designed for the remote control operation of stereo equipment, and is comprised of a nice handheld remote transmitter unit and an 8-channel IR Receiver Module. The IR Receiver Module is interfaced to a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) drive unit, a kit from Dick Smith Electronics designed originally as a light dimmer or motor speed controller for use in cars. With a switching capacity of 10A it easily runs the two Richards motors wired in parallel. Power is supplied by two lead-acid gel cells...

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