Welcome to the forum   
Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Share
Options
View
Go to last post in this topic Go to first unread post in this topic
Offline Artologic  
#1 Posted : 04 April 2019 22:45:54(UTC)
Artologic

Belgium   
Joined: 21/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 427
Hello,

I was wondering if the rokuhan and pwm controllers can be used on all marklin mini club motors (So the classic 3/5 poles, the "throw away" ones and the new brushless ones), without doing damage.
If yes, what are you experiences with them and which ones are/ do you recommend for use with marklin mini club.

Thanks for your 2 cents!
Kristof
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#2 Posted : 07 April 2019 22:24:49(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 85
Location: England, Cambridge
Hi!

My knowledge here is incomplete, but I hope I can offer a bit of help.

The first important factor, I understand, is the peak PWM voltage, as this determines the peak power dissipated in the motor, even at low speed. So, if the power supply is 9-10V (i.e. no more than the maximum rated DC voltage) you're safe.

The second factor is the PWM frequency. From what I understand, low PWM frequency (let's say 50-100Hz) is safe for coreless motors. Much more than this (say in the kHz range) not so. I've yet to get my head round the physics of this, but I believe this to be the case.

To add to my uselessness, I don't know what peak voltage or frequency Rokuhan controllers work at.

I have a couple of "Snail" controllers, which I know operate at 50Hz and 9V peak and I believe are safe for all Z scale motors. These give incredibly good slow speed running. But... (you knew there was going to be a "but", didn't you?)... There seems to be a major discontinuity between friction limited and normal running. Which is to say, once the motor speed is high enough to overcome static friction the speed suddenly increases. So, accelerating from stop the speed increases gradually to a point and then suddenly increases enormously. There is a range of intermediate speed that you don't seem to be able to achieve, at least with any degree of control.

From what I have been able to gather, a lot of people are using Rokuhan controllers successfully and safely. I have heard some reports of them current tripping - mainly with older and underlubricated locomotives -although I think more modern controllers have a higher current limit and don't suffer from this.

Having done quite a bit of experimentation and research I have decided to stick with constant voltage (i.e. Maerklin style) controllers, but I think it very much depends upon what characteristics you're after. (I'm also thinking about designing a hybrid controller that combines the best characteristics of both, but at the moment that is very much just a concept!)

Is that any help at all?

All the best


Chris
Offline Artologic  
#3 Posted : 07 April 2019 23:34:11(UTC)
Artologic

Belgium   
Joined: 21/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 427
Hey Chris,

First of all, thanks for the reply...

The only thing I indeed knew was that the peak power should be equal or less then the max allowed power for the motor, otherwise it would be jolting the motor too hard (there my knowledge stops lol).

It s that frequency what I was worried about, it also doesn t help that I have no experience to coreless motors, everything now has the classic motors, but since I m interested in the slow running charasterics that such pwm transfo can give, I was asking it was safe for all the miniclub motors... Sounds good that there are transformers/ frequencies that are safe for all miniclub motors, it would be a shame for the investment otherwise...

I guess the rokuhan voltage will be safe in any case (since they are made for z), but indeed, is the frequency safe too...

What are those snail controllers you refer to? I would like to find out more about them. Also, isn t all in life with a but :-P? The friction jump you talk about, that one is also there (at least here it is), with the standard marklin controller. The 3 pole motors have it the most noteable, but it s even there with the 5 pole motors, once you notice it, you ll always see it, beware :-).

I know rokuhan made the trip current in their latest controller indeed higher, but if it s high enough for the older motors even with this higher limit is still a good question, one I have too. Anyway, my locos are partly old, but well maintained and sufficiently oiled, so I think it would help with not tripping.

For now I have the normal controllers as well, although in my opinion, only the white ones with the transformer part build into the transformer itself work really well, I have a newer one with a seperate power supply, just like a brown and blue one and they all are disappionting :-(. But I m after the slow running charasteristics, with normal running (that last thing works great as well with regular controllers). Anyhow, if your controller idea ever gets to fruitition, let me know, I m really curious about it!

The willing to help, is help on it s own already, but still, it contained useful information, for which I thank you very much!

Kristof
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#4 Posted : 08 April 2019 23:22:22(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 85
Location: England, Cambridge
Hi Kristof,

The "Snail" controller I mentioned is this : http://www.ztrackcenter....nail-1?filter_name=snail As far as I know, it's not available in Europe - I had mine shipped over from the US. The slow speed running is very good, but the acceleration is not at all smooth, as I complained in my previous post. Have a look at the videos and you'll see what I mean.

I have also tried an inexpensive controller : https://www.rapidonline....regulator-module-37-1300 which I felt worked equally well, albeit with a bit more fiddling around. I'm an electronics engineer, so I happy doing that sort of thing.

To my mind the biggest problem with the Marklin Controllers is how grainy the control is. I use a similar design but with continuously variable speed control and that is much more satisfactory to my mind.

I know there are people here who use the Rokuhan controllers so I hope someone will chip in with some first hand experience.

All the best


Chris

Offline Artologic  
#5 Posted : 09 April 2019 01:02:54(UTC)
Artologic

Belgium   
Joined: 21/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 427
Hey Chris,

Thanks for the explaination, I have watched the video, it s like there are some speed steps missing in the acceleration/ slowing down, if you control it manually, does it do the same? Doesn t seem like a good buy seeing the video s :-(.

That one looks nice, especially when you want to put it in a control panel, what did you have change/ fiddle with that one?

I like the white marklin controllers (the old ones), but the new ones I don t, which one do you find grainy? You solution does sound more fine tuned, do you have an example of it?

Kind regards,

Kristof

Offline Poor Skeleton  
#6 Posted : 09 April 2019 12:35:31(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 85
Location: England, Cambridge
Hi Kristof,

Yes, the “missing speed steps” are exactly what I find objectionable and it does do exactly the same controlled manually. I have come to the conclusion that this is a consequence of the physics. I even have my doubts that back EMF sensing and feedback can correct for it.

The panel mounting module has no reversing switch and I also found that even at the minimum setting locomotives would move, so I changed a couple of component values to change the range of control. If I was needing very slow running, I’d use one of these, accepting that there will be the same missing speed steps as with the Snail controller.

The Maerklin controller I have is one of the newer ones with separate transformer and I find the control too coarse for my liking.

I’m not sure what you mean by an example of my controller, but there is a video of my layout here
which shows some starting and slowing down.

In general, I have found steam locomotives to have much better slow speed and smoother running than bogie diesels.

As you can tell, I also would like good slow speed behaviour and smooth acceleration, but I’ve pretty much concluded it’s not really possible. For me, I’ve opted for smooth acceleration at the expense of slow speed operation. I’m sure I’ll be experimenting again in the future, though!

All the best


Chris
Offline Artologic  
#7 Posted : 09 April 2019 14:32:03(UTC)
Artologic

Belgium   
Joined: 21/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 427
Hey Chris,

Seems we both don t like the same thing about it then. By physics, do you mean friction the locomotive encounters? The only emf sensing and feedback that probably should work, is the one build in in a decoder, but a one for all loco controller with the same probably won t work.

Well the non reversing is easily countered by a switch of course, but I have the impression it won t be much different then the snail controller, unless you change some things? Still, I like the slow running part, but the missing steps would be more annoying to me...

If you have one of those I can understand you don t like how it controls the train, I didn t like mine either and I m going to use it for lighting. It s a shame they don t made the older ones anymore.

Your layout looks very nice and everything seems to be working great, nice job! I see you have a br64, are you happy with it? It s on my wish list, but if it runs like my br86, I ll pass lol.

I only have one 5 pole bogie locomotive (br212), but that one runs closely to how the steamers run, even at slow speeds. But I guess it s mostly to what model you have? But in generals, the steamers run really well at slow speeds, but seem to lack a proper power pickup and pulling power, at least in my impression, my br50 and br86 don t get much done in any case lol.

That s too bad it doesn t work out, but that s the fun thing about a hobby, it s hasn t have to be done by tomorrow and every step you take, makes it worth the while. I hope to see more of the advancements in the future.

Kind Regards,

Kristof
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#8 Posted : 10 April 2019 10:52:49(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 85
Location: England, Cambridge
Hi Kristof

It’s been a long time since I studied mechanics, but my recollection is that there is static friction – the force that resists a stationary object from moving – and kinetic friction - which is the force that resists motion once something is moving. Kinetic friction is usually less than static friction and we see this all the time – for example you can but a block on a slope and it will stay where it is, but give it a push to get it going and it will then keep moving. We’re used to this with our locos, too – we turn the controller up to get them started and can then back the speed off and they’ll keep going. From this, I deduce there are two modes of movement – at very low speeds when the motor has to overcome static friction and at higher speeds where it has to overcome the (much lower) kinetic friction. My theory is that this boundary is where we see the sudden increase in speed of the snail controllers. (Apologies if this sounds patronising – that’s not my intention at all.)

My theory further goes that with a PWM controller and in the low speed region the motor rotates in a series of short bursts coinciding with PWM signal. In between the motor is stationary and hence there is no back EMF to sense. Once the motor is into the kinetic friction region, it is rotating constantly and there is then a back EMF to sense for feedback purposes. (An additional factor, of course, is that at slow speeds any back EMF is quite low in level and hard to sense with adequate accuracy.) I don’t think there’s a fundamental difference as to whether the controller is in the loco as a decoder or feeding the track.

Anyway, that’s why I think getting smooth acceleration from crawl to full speed with a PWM controller is inherently difficult, even with back EMF feedback.

As for the panel mounted PWM controller I mentioned, even with the changes I made (which I am very happy to share if you want to try for yourself) the performance is no better than the Snail controller, though no worse either, in my opinion.

I have two br64s one with the 5-pole and one with the new coreless motor. They are very attractive locomotives but do lack traction. As you can see, most of my layout is on an incline and 3 coaches is about the most they can handle on it. I feel the coreless motor has less traction than the 5-pole and that would make sense as I would expect it to be a bit lighter, but they are both 21g according to my kitchen scales! I have my eye on the new br86 when it comes out, but am a bit alarmed by your reports of poor performance. I really like the 88942/88943 class 94s (forgive me I’m not familiar with the German locomotive classification system) which run very smoothly and could haul an elephant up my gradients. I was anticipating the br86 would be similar.

I’ve seen videos of the Maerklin articulated steam locos and they do seem to run a smoothly as the other steamers so I am confused as to why the diesels don’t as the mechanics are very similar. I have a couple of br218s and a br231 and none of the run as smoothly at low speed as any of my steamers. A pair of 218s pulling a 9 coach train is something to see, though!

I was a bit disappointed by the slow speed performance when I initially discovered it, but I have come to accept it now. As you say, the important thing is to have fun and find the hobby relaxing – which I certainly do! If I ever devise a way of uncoupling loco from train, I might be back to worrying about slow speed control. If I make any discoveries I’ll be sure to let you know.

All the best


Chris
Offline Artologic  
#9 Posted : 12 April 2019 13:15:46(UTC)
Artologic

Belgium   
Joined: 21/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 427
Hey Chris,

Thanks for the reply and sorry for the delay.

I ll quote the parts from the topic, otherwise I m going to loose track of my replies :-).

"It’s been a long time since I studied mechanics, but my recollection is that there is static friction – the force that resists a stationary object from moving – and kinetic friction - which is the force that resists motion once something is moving. Kinetic friction is usually less than static friction and we see this all the time – for example you can but a block on a slope and it will stay where it is, but give it a push to get it going and it will then keep moving. We’re used to this with our locos, too – we turn the controller up to get them started and can then back the speed off and they’ll keep going. From this, I deduce there are two modes of movement – at very low speeds when the motor has to overcome static friction and at higher speeds where it has to overcome the (much lower) kinetic friction. My theory is that this boundary is where we see the sudden increase in speed of the snail controllers. (Apologies if this sounds patronising – that’s not my intention at all.)"

-> I see what you mean, I just tought about initial resistance, not the kinect friction, well thought off. Very clear explaination, thanks, I have something to think about :-). What I was wondering, snail controllers, do they actually have emf sensing? I thought they had a fixed pattern (changing with voltage), indifferent from how the train responds? I m for sure far from the expert, but I thought it worked like that? Don t worry about it, I love the explaination, it s very interesting and for sure not patronising to me :-).


"My theory further goes that with a PWM controller and in the low speed region the motor rotates in a series of short bursts coinciding with PWM signal. In between the motor is stationary and hence there is no back EMF to sense. Once the motor is into the kinetic friction region, it is rotating constantly and there is then a back EMF to sense for feedback purposes. (An additional factor, of course, is that at slow speeds any back EMF is quite low in level and hard to sense with adequate accuracy.) I don’t think there’s a fundamental difference as to whether the controller is in the loco as a decoder or feeding the track."

-> Like I said above here, are you sure those controllers have pwm sensing? I thought it was a fixed pattern, in function of voltage? If it was there, wouldn t it make a slow running train run worse since it couldn t sense anything and go haywire? Also brands like esu added slow running cv s to their esu 4 decoders, then there must be something they can get out of it, or is it just a wild guess in settings until you find something that works? This is a genuine question, not a mean comment :-).


"Anyway, that’s why I think getting smooth acceleration from crawl to full speed with a PWM controller is inherently difficult, even with back EMF feedback."

-> Just a train of thought, isn t there a way to go from pwm to regular dc when the train increases speed? Seems to me that pwm isn t necessary when running at normal speeds?


"As for the panel mounted PWM controller I mentioned, even with the changes I made (which I am very happy to share if you want to try for yourself) the performance is no better than the Snail controller, though no worse either, in my opinion."

-> It sounds interesting to know, even if only used in my train/ shunting yard :-). The pricing was still beter ;-).


"I have two br64s one with the 5-pole and one with the new coreless motor. They are very attractive locomotives but do lack traction. As you can see, most of my layout is on an incline and 3 coaches is about the most they can handle on it. I feel the coreless motor has less traction than the 5-pole and that would make sense as I would expect it to be a bit lighter, but they are both 21g according to my kitchen scales! I have my eye on the new br86 when it comes out, but am a bit alarmed by your reports of poor performance. I really like the 88942/88943 class 94s (forgive me I’m not familiar with the German locomotive classification system) which run very smoothly and could haul an elephant up my gradients. I was anticipating the br86 would be similar."

->Pfff that sounds indeed familiar, too bad, because I like them (at least the looks of them) a lot. Still it s easier to have a short train behind a br64 and not look out of place, then say a br86/br50, but 3 coaches isn t really much indeed :-(. I think it has to do with the weight distribution, the coreless motor is a little longer I thought? Maybe it hangs a bit more on the back, distrubing the balance front vs back a bit? I have the br86 from the coal train set (marklin 81379), she is a real beauty, great runner, but the power pick up and pulling power is a let down, it has 3 filled coal hoppers in the set and that s about what it will pull (to know they made a 4 filled coal hopper set avaiable to add to it, the thing won t get from it s place). One thing I also noticed is that the loco in reverse has less power (both br86 & br50), I m still to find out why. Maybe that is what is causing you br64 pulling power issues? It also confirms that coreless motors don t suffer from pwm, since you are running the br64 with coreless motor on it... You would have seen damage by now I guess.


"I’ve seen videos of the Maerklin articulated steam locos and they do seem to run a smoothly as the other steamers so I am confused as to why the diesels don’t as the mechanics are very similar. I have a couple of br218s and a br231 and none of the run as smoothly at low speed as any of my steamers. A pair of 218s pulling a 9 coach train is something to see, though!"

-> I think it s down to gearing, my br212 does run about as smooth as my 5 pole steamers (it has more power luckily lol), but it has some tiny gears in them, that from the top of my head a br218 doesn t have. I can t test further, since it s my only 5 pole loco that isn t a steamer. What here seemed to help with locos to make them run a bit better, is to reduce brush tension, it really can make a big difference, I didn t thought it was possible. Maybe it s an option to do? I love br218, must indeed be great to see those running with such a train (or a cargo train for that matter, power!!!!)


"I was a bit disappointed by the slow speed performance when I initially discovered it, but I have come to accept it now. As you say, the important thing is to have fun and find the hobby relaxing – which I certainly do! If I ever devise a way of uncoupling loco from train, I might be back to worrying about slow speed control. If I make any discoveries I’ll be sure to let you know."

-> I still have a lot of 3 pole locos, which do run great, except at slow speeds, so I know what you mean (well not bad for the type of motor, but still), but it s easier to accept then from a ho loco in my opinion (here most people are still impressed it even runs lol). Don t the stock marklin uncoupler tracks work? Here I use a plastic toothpick for places where there aren t any, it works a charm, due to having t tapered end (different from the wooden ones) and since they are made of soft plastic, they bend before the do damage. Please to let me know about the discoveries.

Kind Regards,

Kristof
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#10 Posted : 12 April 2019 22:54:26(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 85
Location: England, Cambridge
I’m beginning to wonder if we should take this epic conversation off-line, but as no-one has told us off yet, I’m going to reply here. (Besides, there must be someone who really knows about these things on this forum who can tell us how it actually is!)

When I bought the Snail Controllers I was certainly under the impression that they had back-EMF sensing feedback. However, I did some testing this evening and I couldn’t find any indication that the controller was responding to changing load, so I’m inclined to conclude there is no feedback.

I suspect your comment about how a controller would respond to little/no back-EMF feedback at very low speed is spot on. The obvious way around this problem would be to ignore feedback at slow speeds, which doesn’t help at all with the “lumpy” acceleration we’re both trying to avoid!

Your thought about a controller which smoothly switches from PWM to constant voltage as you increase the speed is exactly the “hybrid” scheme I was referring to a couple of posts ago. As I see it, the challenge is to make that transition smooth – something I’m still thinking about. I’m sure the decoder manufacturers know much more about this than I do, and probably have means of getting better and smoother control. I still feel pretty sure, though, that these would work applying power to the track.

In any case, I should be clear that on my layout I use constant voltage controllers so have no experience of the long-term effects of the Snail controller or any other PWM controller, for that matter. However, in case you do want to experiment with the “cheap” PWM controller, here are the modifications I did :

UserPostedImage

The br64 is a very handsome locomotive and luckily the passing loops on my layout are only three coaches long, so that limit isn’t a major problem for me. Despite your warnings, I’m sure I will buy the new br86 when it comes out. Ah well, I can’t say I wasn’t warned! The coreless motor in the br64 is smaller than the 5-pole motor in the previous version judging by the extra space in the cab, but I think you’re right that the weight distribution is an important factor. I’ve certainly noticed that the BR64 pulls better in one direction than the other.

I’ve not tried the Marklin uncoupler track, but it is very ugly, very expensive and, besides, all my track is laid now! I am after a “hands-free” uncoupling solution, though, so I’m trying to avoid anything that involves the “hand of god”!

Have a great weekend- you’ve got me thinking about speed control again, so I know what I’ll be doing!

All the best



Chris
Offline husafreak  
#11 Posted : 13 April 2019 20:47:19(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: California, Bay Area
I am new to this forum and train modeling so starting now with Z scale and a NOCH layout. I bought a Marklin 5 pole 2-8-2 steam engine manufactured in 2001. I tried the Rokuhan RC-02 controller as I will have battery power for my layout. The Rokuhan controller is ergonomically comfortable and very smooth in operation. I could run my engine at a crawl. I really like its DC operation. With fresh AAA batteries it can deliver 12.4v to the track though so be careful, and battery life is poor. I suffered the occasional current limiting shutdown with the RC-02 so I also purchased a Blue Line Snail Speed controller. This controller only puts out 9.6v max due to its single battery. It is not so nice in the hand but I was hoping ton use the naked version of these in a control panel. The train operation is a bit jerky as described, I especially dislike it’s tendency for the train to jump forward or backward before settling on speed. This is not very realistic. Worst case is usually if the train stops at slow speed it cannot be restarted except by physically moving it. That seems odd and makes it little better than the RC-02 in current protection mode. Battery life is even worse than the RC-02. Now I have added a Rokuhan engine of the DB line and it’s led lights come on full bright even stopped with the RC-02 but fade in with movement with the Snail Speed controller. I have decided to use Rokuhan controllers after this comparison. I heard that the RC02 is less prone to shutdown with wall wart power. But in keeping with my desire to run on batteries I intend to try a 3s LiFe battery pack which will normally output 9.0 to 9.9v with peak on fresh charge about 10.5v. And if the Marklin engine overloads it then a bit of cleaning is probably due.

Edited by user 14 April 2019 17:30:24(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Poor Skeleton  
#12 Posted : 14 April 2019 14:52:19(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 85
Location: England, Cambridge
Hi! Welcome to the forum and the wonderful, enchanting and frustrating world of Z-Scale! I hope it will bring you as many pleasurable hours as it has me!

Thanks very much for your informative and useful reply. It sounds very much like the Rokuhan controller is the answer to Kristof's and my needs. I'll be checking them out and getting one on order (assuming they're available here in the UK) right after this! I have to say the 12V track voltage does concern me a little, as does the fact that even at zero there's enough voltage to light up the LEDs, but I can check that out and decide whether or not I'm really concerned (and if I am, if I can do a modification to get around it).

Thanks again!


Chis

Offline husafreak  
#13 Posted : 14 April 2019 17:22:49(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: California, Bay Area
Nice reply! Thanks. I believe the LED lights on feature is as designed by Rokuhan. And that the constant DC put out by the Rokuhan controller when switched into forward or reverse activates it. The Snail Speed controller puts out PWM and does not. I didn’t check how long it takes the 8 AAA batteries to settle down to their average working voltage but I’m sure it is pretty quick. So I’ll have to refrain from drag racing my trains immediately after a battery change.
FWIW I have noticed that after the voltage drops enough the Rohuhan turnouts I have on a Y connector become unreliable. I think a constant voltage source like a big battery or wall wart will make for more reliable operation.
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#14 Posted : 14 April 2019 18:32:16(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 85
Location: England, Cambridge
I'm really intrigued by the Rokuhan lights-on feature. I've been doing a bit of research this afternoon, but no hint of how it works. (I have a couple of theories but I'll spare my embarrassment by keeping them to myself!) Do you know if the feature works only with Rokuham locos or does it work with the Marklin, too?

For historical and highly irrational reasons, I'm very loyal to Marklin, but I see some excellent Z Scale products from the US, these days. Worth checking seeing as you're "local". If they were more readily available in the UK, I'd be checking them out myself!

All the best


Chris
Offline husafreak  
#15 Posted : 15 April 2019 01:33:34(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: California, Bay Area
We were having a discussion on another forum about controllers and one of the very knowledgeable members posted this in answer to my question about the lights:
"The light on the Märklin is 12V bulb connects across the tracks while the BR181 has an LED with a constant lighting circuit. There are upgrades for Märklin locomotives to a plug-in constant lighting circuit from HTM. I believe the ZTrack Center handles them. I upgraded my Mikado locomotives with them, but they aren't cheap."
I hope he does not mind my quoting him "out of context" here. You may want to look into the HTM lights, I haven't yet.
I only have one Marklin engine with the LED lights, it is the BR 233 Diesel Tiger from the 81451 set, its lights do not come on until the train is moving. I absolutely love Marklin cars and engines! But the Rokuhan BR181 loco distributed by NOCH runs really well, smooth and powerful with rubber wheels. A European engine with features and pulling power like the AZL trains. And those lights at rest ;)
Offline husafreak  
#16 Posted : 15 April 2019 20:56:32(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: California, Bay Area
I need to revise my comments concerning the Snail Speed controller based on its power supply. I had compared the two controllers with their onboard battery power supplies, not with their wall wart AC power supplies. Yesterday I wired up a 9.9v avg. 3s LiFe 3800 mAh battery and with this much stouter power supply the Snail Speed controller is really showing its mettle. I have a 2001 Marklin 5 pole 2-8-2 steam engine crawling through my turnouts reliably. I can really see the PWM power working at this speed, the wheels turn a bit jerky but just when you think it will stop it turns again. Absolutely impressed. The Rokuhan controller cannot keep the train moving at this slow speed, the wheels turn smoothly but stop in the turnouts when running at "snail speed". With the big battery both units can resume running with a twist of the throttle. Basically I think the Snail Speed controller is a handy tool for checking engines and track with its onboard battery and needs a better power supply for reliable operation on a bigger, more complicated layout. With better power I can see the advantages of PWM, running reliably at super slow speeds, and the direct current Rokuhan, running trains very smoothly and realistically. I have ordered a wall wart to try them both on AC power but I am mostly interested in battery operation.
Offline zscalehobo  
#17 Posted : 15 April 2019 22:21:23(UTC)
zscalehobo

United States   
Joined: 22/01/2014(UTC)
Posts: 96
Location: CALIFORNIA, Irvine
Originally Posted by: husafreak Go to Quoted Post

FWIW I have noticed that after the voltage drops enough the Rohuhan turnouts I have on a Y connector become unreliable. I think a constant voltage source like a big battery or wall wart will make for more reliable operation.


Once you receive your Rokuhan AC adapter, I think the issue with the turnouts will resolve. I have seen flaky operation with battery power.
Frank Daniels
Owner - z.scale.hobo
A Noch "Top Dealer"
Marklin Dealer and Z Locomotive Service
Irvine, California, USA
www.zscalehobo.com
Offline husafreak  
#18 Posted : 16 April 2019 02:06:42(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: California, Bay Area
Thanks I look forward to comparing them.
Offline husafreak  
#19 Posted : 16 April 2019 02:07:59(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: California, Bay Area
And yes I got the adapter today thank you for getting that out so quickly.
Offline husafreak  
#20 Posted : 16 May 2019 18:49:17(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 20
Location: California, Bay Area
I am running a larger more complicated layout now, Rokuhan Plan L, as my test facility. Using The Rokuhan RC02 and RC03 controllers with 3 more turnout switches on the RC02. I am using Rokuhan wall wart power and the turnouts and trains are operating reliably. I made up connectors so the Snail Speed controllers can be easily swapped for the Rokuhan ones. The Snail Speed controllers are the best for super slow speeds, this is not news. But I prefer the Rokuhan controllers "form factor" and it is really difficult to juggle two Snail Speed controllers when running two tracks. So I use the Rokuhan controllers and keep the speed up a bit. But for a small simple layout or running early era Marklin engines I like the Snail Speeders for incredible realism. Panel mounted.
What is frustrating about the Rokuhan controllers is you have this huge knob and it turns about 300 degrees but all the action happens in about 10 degrees of travel! I have to turn to the 12 to 1 oclock position before my 5 pole Marklins start moving but by the 2 oclock position they are flying around the track. Most of the useful speed range is in about 1/2" of travel. When matching speeds at the track crossover point the tiniest movements of the two controller knobs are needed.
Good luck with that hybrid controller, that would be awesome!
And I found most of my early issues with keeping my engines running was due to starting out with a bunch of older 5 pole Marklins that needed work to run reliably. Now that I have them cleaned and lubed and even new brushes in two cases life with them is much better and I can't blame the controllers!
Users browsing this topic
OceanSpiders 2.0
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

| Powered by YAF.NET | YAF.NET © 2003-2019, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 0.468 seconds.