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Old 08-10-2011, 07:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What does R/C Ready mean to you?

In one of the other threads there was mentioning of a locomotive being R/C Ready by the manufacturer. I have found different interpretations of this and was just curious as to what that phrase means to the average live steamer when they read it in a manual, a review, online forum, etc. This is NOT to start flame wars about manufacturers and what it means to them, but to find out from the consumer what goes through their mind when they hear or read that phrase before ever seeing the loco in person.

For example. I have one locomotive that is R/C ready. That meant it came with one servo mounting and has a tab on the underside of the cab roof for attaching the antenna wire to improve reception. If I wanted to install R/C, I had to purchase a seperate lever with holes in it to replace the steam throttle in order to hook up to the servo and figure out where to put the electronics (probably in the coal bunker since there is lots of room there).

I have another locomotive that is called R/C ready. That meant it came with the throttle lever with tiny holes in it to be able to hook up to a servo, but no servo mountings. Have to figure out how to do that for myself. The electronics would either be in the cab or I would have to create a dry space inside of the tender.

I have seen other locos that were called R/C ready that had a place for batteries under the roof and servo mountings and a tender that had a special place to hide electronics.

So what does that phrase mean to you? Some of the above, more than the above? If someone says R/C ready (not installed), what is it you like to see waiting for you to add your own servos and electronics? And what is the minimum you expect when you read that phrase?

Thanks, and Happy Steaming!

Scott
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default RE: What does R/C Ready mean to you?

Scott, to me R/C 'ready' is what it reads - ready to install R/C. You should be able to identify the compatible servo's from the manual and install them using a screwdriver and without any additional tools. The locomotive should have a place for the batteries and the receiver, and very importantly also an easily accessible location for a switch. There are locomotives like that on the market. Best, Zubi
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: What does R/C Ready mean to you?

I agree with Zubi.

I'm the antagonist on this subject in the other thread.

I'm a graduate to live steam from the HO scale side of the hobby. In HO scale, you see locomotives advertised as "DCC Ready". Almost without fail, this means that you can install a DCC decoder by simply removing the body shell, plugging the decoder in and replacing the shell.

In the case of live steam, I would expect "R/C Ready" or similar phrases to indicate that provision has been made to add R/C to at least the throttle or the reverser, and preferably both, and to any fitted whistle. This would require mountings for servos, a recommendation/instruction in the manual specifying which servo to use, and installation with only a screwdriver.

To be fair - DCC and R/C of live steam are two completely different things, and R/C is far more complex. I also don't think the ease or otherwise of installing R/C is "the" deciding factor of whether or not I purchase a locomotive. But I'd very much appreciate it if at least one servo - throttle or reverser - was easy to install with just a screwdriver or something. I think in this age of CAD and such, that shouldn't be too difficult to do.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: What does R/C Ready mean to you?

Well I bought a R/C ready Caledonia and it included a servo arm for the throttle, You still have to make the brackets and mount in what would be a very tight install.

On the Mason when I was working with Accucraft I wanted the loco to be R/C ready meaning there were mounting and arms for the servos. When they changed the operatino of the johnson bar that threw it out the window. Would of been a perfect loco as it is a completely closed cab. I will still R/C mine and have the same plans as Winn with what he did on his.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: What does R/C Ready mean to you?

Hey, Scott. My "R/C Ready" Accucraft EBT #12 has a couple of interesting features besides the arm on the throttle.

Behind the water bath is a sealed box that looks big enough for a battery pack and a receiver:




And the water tank fill hatch opens to reveal a pair of holes, ready for sockets, switches, etc.




It would have been nice it they had made holes in the floor of the r/c box for the wires?
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: What does R/C Ready mean to you?

Well there you go! Another interpretation. And the little "dry bunker" in the tender is what I was talking about in my review of the SPng 4-6-0 that you would have to add to that locomotive in order to keep the electronics out of the cab. Or, as so many do, just set up the first car in the consist to be your electronics/battery car. But you're good to go! Cool. Thanks for the update.

Scott
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: What does R/C Ready mean to you?

Posted By Pete Thornton on 19 Aug 2011 08:49 AM
It would have been nice it they had made holes in the floor of the r/c box for the wires?

Actually there is a hole for the wires, but it's in the front wall of the R/C box instead of the floor. There's a tube that runs through the water space (you can see it down between the gas tank and the left wall of the tender) and comes out at the front, through a hole in the inner side of the water leg. I haven't tried it yet to see if a standard servo plug will fit through there, or if you need to remove the plugs to feed the wires through.
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: What does R/C Ready mean to you?

I think this is an interesting topic. I would agree That for most There ought to be provisions for servo mounting and batteries, so that a minimum of fabrication is needed. The down side of this type of "ready" is that those think are very likely to clutter up the cab of the loco or take up space in the tender forcing install in only one fashion. I am of the mind set That I don't want to see electronics in the cab (or a gas tank either). If I was setting up an R/C system I would hide servos in the tender, under the cab floor in the Fake fire box, wherever as long as the weren't seen. This type of mounting would cost extra and be harder to produce so I'm sure they would likely put these thing on the "normal" in the cab location. Another potential problem (for me any way) Is that I like to have several thing automated (5 or 6 channels worth) on a loco. By providing mounts for the standard two or three things would probably get in the way of installing more equipment for controlling features. To pack 5 channels in to one loco (especially a small one) requires that things be very tight and efficient users of space. Your not going to get that standard on production models since most people don't want all of those bells and whistles. Excuse the pun. I think that if all loco started coming with servo mounts installed they should be easily removable in favor of a different lay out. Maybe you could unscrew them or drill out a rivet or even make a small cut through a tab with dremel to remove the factory bracket. Anyone wishing to add a more complex set up should have no trouble removing this type of mount.It's definitely exciting to see all of the new features that become available for models of 200 year old machines as state of the art technology improves!
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: What does R/C Ready mean to you?

A problem with providing servo mounting arrangements is that not all servos are the same size... so which servo do they provide mounting for?

Generally speaking, servo mounting isn't a big problem. If worse comes to worse, one can use servo tape. When I used to build and fly R/C planes some 20+ years ago, most of them (kits) didn't come with pre-made setups for servo mounting either. Probably today's ARF's or RTF's do - in fact, they would probably have to.

As for locomotives, so long as there is room for servos, I'm happy. I can figure out the rest on my own.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: What does R/C Ready mean to you?

Pete, look on the front wall of the "battery space" on the tender. There's a roughly 3/8" tube that runs just to the side of the gas tank and opens up along the fireman's side of the front of the tender. It's designed so you can run servo wires forward to the locomotive. The catch--there's 90-degree bend at the end of the tube, and you can't get the servo plugs through the bend. So you're going to have to run the wires, then cut and splice a new end on. Oh, and that "sealed box" is only sealed along the bottom and sides. A quick stop and water goes sloshing over the top into the back. It's still great for R/C gear, but I'd tape them to the sides of the tender, not the floor.

Later,

K
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