Established 1994



February 2016 Newsletter

From the President's Desk Trips
Photos The Dining Car
Upcoming Train Shows & Events Tech Tips
Wanted / For Sale Video of the Month

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Tech Tips
Dave Bodnar


An Inexpensive Radio Control System


There are a number of inexpensive (< $10.00) radio control units that have come to market that may have model railroad control applications.  These controllers are designed to connect to LED strip lights, either of a single color or of the RGB variety (R=red, G=green, B=blue)

I have done some experimenting with a few of the devices I have found on eBay, Amazon and from other vendors.  Some of these devices communicate from the transmitter to the receiver via infrared signals and other use RF (Radio Frequency).  I have limited my experiments for this article to RF devices as they generally have greater range and can operate around barriers (IR units require line-of-sight operation)

The devices to be explored also are designed to operate RGB LEDs so that one color can be used to control the engine speed while another color is used to toggle a DPDT (Double Pole Double Throw) relay to reverse the motor's direction of rotation.  If you have no need to reverse your train you can use one of the simpler, one color controllers.