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Offline robfl  
#1 Posted : 03 January 2021 18:38:46(UTC)
robfl

United Kingdom   
Joined: 11/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 11
Location: England, Warwickshire
I have finished laying my track, which will need three controllers and I only have one, they are rather expensive, so I have been looking at alternatives. I found this one by Budget Model Railways:
video of controller being made

I wondered if anyone had tried one on Z gauge and is it a good idea. The input voltage is 12v, would this be a problem, as although 10v is mentioned for Marklin trains, my Marklin controller outputs between 10 and 16 volts measured across the tracks.

Any thoughts???

Rob Confused
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by robfl
Offline uhrwerk  
#2 Posted : 03 January 2021 19:50:01(UTC)
uhrwerk

United States   
Joined: 03/01/2021(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Colorado, Longmont
Hi Rob,

No reason not to make your own. Did you measure the track voltage with or without a train running? You could always mark on the throttle where 10V is and not turn the knob past that point.

When I was a kid, my dad made a very fancy throttle for his HO layout with momentum and braking, and meters and lights. I wish I still had it, it was really fun.

Offline Poor Skeleton  
#3 Posted : 03 January 2021 22:26:13(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 305
Location: England, Cambridge
Originally Posted by: robfl Go to Quoted Post
I have finished laying my track, which will need three controllers and I only have one, they are rather expensive, so I have been looking at alternatives. I found this one by Budget Model Railways:
video of controller being made

I wondered if anyone had tried one on Z gauge and is it a good idea. The input voltage is 12v, would this be a problem, as although 10v is mentioned for Marklin trains, my Marklin controller outputs between 10 and 16 volts measured across the tracks.

Any thoughts???

Rob Confused


I have done quite a bit of experimentation into controllers and whilst I'm by no means an expert, I do have some useful experience.

The controller featured in the video is a PWM type. This will give good slow running performance, but could result in high operating temperature of the motor, even more so if it's a modern coreless (bell shaped armature) type. I wouldn't recommend using this with a power supply of more than 9V, but with a 9V supply performance should be pretty good and the risk to your motors pretty low.

It's quite simple to make a DC controller for a similar amount of money if you're competent with a soldering iron and this would be 100% safe, even if your power supply was of excessive voltage, but slow speed performance would not be as good. I've used this type of design for my own layout and I'm happy with the result - for me, I'm happy to trade poorer slow speed running for the certainty the motors aren't being stressed.

There was some discussion on this subject a while ago, which included some information on an inexpensive PWM controller I'd found - hopefully this link will take you there : https://www.marklin-user...Rokuhan--Pwm-Controllers

Hope this is of help


Chris
Offline robfl  
#4 Posted : 04 January 2021 21:24:03(UTC)
robfl

United Kingdom   
Joined: 11/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 11
Location: England, Warwickshire
Hi Uhrwerk,

I measured the voltage with the train running and without it running. But could only obtain a stable reading without it running.

Rob.
Offline robfl  
#5 Posted : 05 January 2021 16:40:47(UTC)
robfl

United Kingdom   
Joined: 11/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 11
Location: England, Warwickshire
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the detailed reply. I think soldering my own DC controller is a bit beyond my abilities, I couldn't solder very well years ago and my eye sight isn't improving with age, lol.
I think I will try the PWM controller and make sure I use a 9 volt supply and keep an eye on my trains temperature, I will let you know how I get on.

Cheers Rob BigGrin
Offline robfl  
#6 Posted : 12 January 2021 22:23:26(UTC)
robfl

United Kingdom   
Joined: 11/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 11
Location: England, Warwickshire
Hi all,
I have followed the video for the controller and it has worked. As suggested by Chris, I used 9v on an adjustable transformer, the PWM controller is the one used in the video.
Performance is better than my Marklin controller, especially at slow speeds. To start the train moving the controller needs to be turned quite far and then backed off.
The only slight downside (to me), is that to reverse you have to throw a switch, whereas I prefer just twisting the dial backwards. But this controller is so much cheaper that I can live with that.
I haven't noticed any overheating on the motors, which are 3 pole. It will run two trains with no problems.
Rob BigGrin
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by robfl
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