Model Train Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,904 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have completed some initial tests and such in my investigation into the wire guided "Faller system" type operating cars.: Here are my early conclusions. All tests were done with O-Gauge automotion cars (five of them).
1) Battery life is about two hours at medium speed (roughly scael 35 mph) and requires about five to six to recharge.
2) Speed setting (they have a small adjustable screw head like locos do to adjust smoke, to adjust speed within a 3:1 or so range) seems to affect run time some: set them on fast and they run maybe only 105 min fastes versus 135 min. on slowest. Not really definate to the time different. It is perceptable but not a huge range.
3) They slow down only a tiny bit as the battery discharges, then just run down and stop in very short order.
4) The iron wire that guides the cars needs to be within about 1/16th inch of the top of the road surface. I tested distances of 1.2, 2, 2.4, 3.6, 4, and 4.8 hundreds of an inch (i.e., of .012 inch (the thickness of thickness postboard - the wire was taped to the underside) to 4.8 hundedths inch (3 more layers of postboard atop that), andtested both posterboard, and styrene sheets each .02 inch thick. Paper and styrene seem to make no difference - its only the distance (depth to the wire) not the materia ( (not surprise here).
At anywhere up to 2.4 hundreds inch the thickness doesn't seem to matter (i.e., 1.2, 2, and 2.4 hundreds all worked just was perfectly: the cars never get lost and can follow sharp switchbacks - from a radius five inch left to radius five inch right turn - with no problems, never getting "lost" in two hours of running on a tight, twisting loop. At 3.6 hundreds the cars will run but sometimes (1 in five times) get lost on sharp turns and switchbacks, but handle radii of 7 to 8 inches fine. At 4 hundreds inch and more they can't kept track at all on tight turns but will on wide (12 inch) diameter, most of the time.
5) Placing an additional very small neodymion magnet, the same size or slightly smaller than the one or two installed on the steering arm (magnetic force alone keeps it there) increases the cars ability to "see" the wire, extending the ability to see deeper by about 1.2 hundreds of an inch. I did not try more than one additional magnet - it seemed to have no effect on the performance of the vehicle other than improve its ability to follow "a deeply buried wire" in sharp turns.
6) Doubling up the wire - placing two wires as close together as possible on the route, increases the ability of the steering to track dependabily. Doubling seems to let the steering "sense" about half again as deep, or with half again as much pull on the steering. either way you look at it, this confirms that "doubling" helps tracking, as I thought it did when I had my N-Gauge layout. Thus, in places where a sharp turn is needed or a quick switchback must be made made, etc., it might be a good idea to always double the wire through the turn, etc. but it is not ncessary on straightaways and wide turns.
6) Wires crossing at less than about a 40 deg angle can confuse cars - at less than 30 deg it is no uncommon to see a car sometimes jump to the path crossing its own and charge off on its own. I plan to keep any intersections where wires cross at least at more than 45%, preferable near 90 deg.
7) If the wire is 1.2 or 2.4 hundreds inch (one or two layers of posterboard separating their sensor from the wire( deep and no more, a car will reliably follow one wire while another is 5/16 or a bit father to the side, and no get distracted for confused about its route.
8) Crowning a road or even banking it to 12% does not cause any problems if the wire depth is only 1.2 to 2.4 hundreds (I did not test at great depths). However, cars can "get confused" at the transition from, say, a banked portion of road to level, or from a really heavily crowned road to flat, if the tranistion is sudden. Make it a gentle gradual transition and there seem to be no problems.
9) I just received a Faller-brand HO starter kit with big truck - the box in downstairs still drying off for an after being hit with diinfectant, etc. after delivery. I want to see and examine an actual Faller system again in detail.
More in a week or so, and probably pictures, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,439 Posts
Thanks for the report Lee.
Does the steering guide touch the road surface or does it ride a few (or several) thousandths above?
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top