Non-Aristo-Craft Revo Installations

BRUCE A.
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Post by BRUCE A. » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:43 pm

I have SD-40, GP-38 NW-2& S-4 ,I have been use A control/battery car to run my Aristo-Craft Locomtoives and I like the battery power to run the trains.you test track sound good to test the locomotive

Jerry McColgan
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Post by Jerry McColgan » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:40 am

I have a MoPac GP-38 and it runs fine with the Revolution. I don't have a SD-40 or a S-4. Perhaps others can volunteer their results with them.

I know that earlier in this thread Paul Norton had installed a Revolution into a S-4 (see post #21 08-10-2010, 10:32 PM).

Paul and Stan (and others) have done a lot of battery conversions with Revolutions. My installations are all track powered.

The truth is that they know what they are doing a lot better than I do (really).

Aristo-Craft modified one of my NW-2's for me after I gave up with my home-made solutions.

Jerry
BRUCE A. wrote:I have SD-40, GP-38 NW-2& S-4 ,I have been use A control/battery car to run my Aristo-Craft Locomtoives and I like the battery power to run the trains.you test track sound good to test the locomotive

Mark Gilger
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Post by Mark Gilger » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:32 am

I've converted both an NW2 and SW4, and maybe I'm lucky, but the lights worked in both cases. I tore out the USA main PCB and smoke unit and then just made up some 'Y' cables for the pickup and motor plugs, to mate up with the Revolution. For the lights, I just hooked them up to the wires that normally came down to the main PCB. Everything is wired directly to the Revolution receiver and seems to work ok.
Mark

Jerry McColgan
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Post by Jerry McColgan » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:04 pm

Hi Mark,

This is why I am going to make up a test track with an Aristo-Craft CRE57005 Super Receiver to see if the Revolution PWM affects the lights of any USA or other non-Aristo-Craft locos before I decide to install Revolutions in them.

There is no hard and fast rule regarding which USA loco light circuit boards are directly compatible with Revolutions.

Some report no problems with the lights while others report problems with the very same type of USA loco. It may be as simple as the year(s) of manufacture of those locos.

No one is at fault in that my NW-2's were made years before the Revolution and it would not be reasonable to expect USA to test and modify their circuit boards to assure compatibility with Aristo-Craft Revolutions.

The important thing is to be aware that there is a potential lighting problem if considering installing Revolutions into USA locos - and there are a variety of solutions available.

I was impressed that Aristo-Craft is willing to spend their engineering time on working out this situation for locos from a competitor of theirs.

Jerry


Mark Gilger wrote:I've converted both an NW2 and SW4, and maybe I'm lucky, but the lights worked in both cases. I tore out the USA main PCB and smoke unit and then just made up some 'Y' cables for the pickup and motor plugs, to mate up with the Revolution. For the lights, I just hooked them up to the wires that normally came down to the main PCB. Everything is wired directly to the Revolution receiver and seems to work ok.
Mark

Mark Gilger
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Post by Mark Gilger » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Jerry,
I forgot to mention that I also installed Revolution receivers in 2 of my SD-40-2's. Those worked also, right out of the gate, although I have to say I'm not impressed with how bright, or dim the lights are. They are very dim, compared to the NW2 and SW4. But at least they work ok. The SD-40's might be a good candidate for LED's......

I also did another NW2 that I did not mention because it did not get a receiver installed directly, although indirectly it's controlled by the one in the lead NW2. I gutted it and installed it full of batteries, 32 'AA's. I took 1 of the motors out, and left the 2 axles to free wheel. I then MU's power from the first NW2's motor 'Y' connector back to the battery NW2 to power the single truck that was left. I did not want 2 motors pulling off the battery, but figured if I left a single motor in, it would help make up for the extra load of all those batteries. I had it out Saturday and it ran for 3 hours continuous, pulling 5 cars. I could have gotten more, but it started to rain. It was still going strong though, so lets say it will give me 3+ hours of operation.

I'm convinced it's just better to remove the circuit boards on any non-Aristo engine, and just let the Revolution manage all of the lights, bells, whistles, etc etc. Besides, less electronics to suck up power when running under batteries. You figure all you have is typically 2-4 motors, either track pick-up, or batteries providing power, whistle, bells, and lights and that's about it. Revolution provides outputs for all that, so no need for the original electronics.

Just my 2 cents worth.

An indoor test track would be nice, especially for winter testing, but no room left in my basement. So I have to resort to a test stand on my work bench. Darn.....

Mark

Jerry McColgan
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Post by Jerry McColgan » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:57 pm

Hi Mark,

I believe most folks would agree with you and most are probably doing what you are doing.

I just happen to be one of a small minority who likes to keep everything as factory original as possible.

It just happens that I am 6'5", 325 lbs with poor eyesight and I wear size 16 shoes with hands to match. That too has a lot to do with my reluctance to mess with tiny circuit boards.

Jerry
Mark Gilger wrote:Jerry,
I'm convinced it's just better to remove the circuit boards on any non-Aristo engine, and just let the Revolution manage all of the lights, bells, whistles, etc etc.

Mark

BRUCE A.
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Post by BRUCE A. » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:12 pm

To all Thank You for all the infor. Bruce

Bud Harriss
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A very nice job

Post by Bud Harriss » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:44 pm

Maybe I will now be encouraged to try the same conversion to my NW-2. Your posting is very informative. But I need to clear up somr other troubles with my track first.

Jerry McColgan
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Posts: 486
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2000 4:00 am

Test track with an Aristo-Craft CRE57005 Super Receiver

Post by Jerry McColgan » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:29 pm

Rather than actually build a test track with an Aristo-Craft CRE57005 Super Receiver (to see if the Revolution PWM affects the lights of any USA or other non-Aristo-Craft locos before I decide to install Revolutions in them), instead I just power my layout with a Super Receiver and Everest 15 amp power supply (FIRST being sure that any mainlines or sidings with locos on them have been turned OFF).

Awhile ago I bought some USA MoPac PA/PB-1's (sorry but Aristo does not make a MoPac Cab Unit) and I have wondered how their lights would react to PWM so yesterday I hooked up the Super Receiver to the layout and tried the PA/PB-1's. I discovered two things:

1. No lights visible on the PA/PB-1's with the Super Receiver (locos ran fine).
2. Sound worked fine on one PA-1
3. No sound with the other PA-1.

My conclusion is that I would need to either replace or modify the wiring and or lights on my PA/PB-1's to get the lights to work with the PWM of the Super Receiver. It is possible that a different generation of PA/PB-1's might work differently.

I think the sound unit that works is an old PH Hobbies/Aristo digital sound unit from an FA-1 that I had converted to a Revolution and Dallee sound.

The sound that did not work would most likely work perfectly if I added the Aristo filter for Sierra sound systems.

This is not a problem or defect in either Aristo or USA equipment. These PA/PB-1's were very likely made before the Revolution was introduced.

Jerry

Paul Norton
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Post by Paul Norton » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:53 pm

I am presently working on converting an NW-2 diesel switcher to battery power and radio control using an Aristo-Crfat lithium-ion battery pack and Revolution receiver.

The idea of using the factory headlight bulbs proved to be a problem. I tried to take readings of the USAT voltage regulator output, so I could determine the voltage to use for the headlight bulbs. But the readings were unstable. It’s appears the output has voltage spikes like the Revolution receiver’s Pulse Width Control. Unfortunately the LM317T is a variable output voltage regulator, so the data sheet was no help either.
I wired the headlights directly to some test battery packs.

At three volts the headlight bulbs were dim and orange in appearance. Nice representation of an old coal oil lantern, but not very effective as a diesel headlight.

At 6 volts they were bright, but drew 85 ma of current. A resistor in the circuit would have to drop the voltage of the lithium-ion battery pack, which provides power to the headlights, from 25.5 volts to 6 volts. That’s a voltage drop of 19.5 volts. With a current of 85 ma, it would have to dissipate (19.5 volts x .085 ma) 1.66 watts of power as heat. The best resistors I have are 1/2 watt. Do I smell magic smoke?

If an LED is used as a headlight, the resistance in the circuit would have to be 1,100 ohms to drop the voltage from 25.5 volts to 3.5 volts. That is a voltage drop of 22 volts. With a current of 20 ma, they would have to dissipate (22 volts x .020 ma) 0.40 watts of power as heat. That’s still a bit more heat than a 1/2 watt resistor should handle.

With 1,470 ohms, the current drops to 15 ma, and power to 0.33 watts.
With 1,820 ohms, the current drops to 12 ma, and power to 0.26 watts.
With 2,000 ohms, the current drops to 11 ma, and power to 0.24 watts.

Using the dark closet test, I saw no loss of brightness with the drop in power. But the two 1K resistors were cool to the touch.

I have removed all the factory wiring, and will start next week installing LED headlights.
Paul Norton
Ottawa Valley GRS

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