Pulse power for extra smooth low speed operation
Back-EMF detection for speed regulation
Infrared remote control
Front panel speed control
Speed setting displayed as bargraph and percentage value
Actual speed bargraph display
Adjustable simulated inertia with on/off control
Adjustable braking (stop) inertia
Forward and reverse lockout
Indication of stop, direction, inertia and lockout
Overload protection with visual and audible indication
Once upon a time model trains were every kid’s dream hobby – but nowadays they are much more
likely to be the province of their dads and grand-dads.
To a true model railway enthusiast, realism of rolling stock,
track layout, scenery and train operation is paramount – and it’s not hard to
spend up to a thousand dollars or more on a good loco. (Some model railway
"widows" insist it’s the spender that’s loco!)
Given the amazing control that the Railpower IV gives the model train enthusiast, there is certainly not much to it, thanks to the power of the PIC16F88-I/P. It is built on two PC boards (one for the display) and mounts in a 260 x
85 x 180mm ABS case. It offers both local and infrared control.
Many model railway enthusiasts have permanent setups occupying
vast areas of their homes – inside and out! We’ve heard of model railway
enthusiasts who have bought a new house simply on the basis that it lends itself
to their hobby. Bedrooms? Bathrooms? Kitchen? Who cares, as long as there is
room for his "trains"!
One thing that every enthusiast understands is that the
old-fashioned rheostat-type controller is simply not up to the task – to achieve
that realism we mentioned earlier, they must have a high-performance train
controller, one that can vary the speed, direction and be able to simulate the
inertia of a full-size train. And one with switchmode (pulse power) operation
for really good low speed control.
Finally, infrared remote control (so you can direct operations
from anywhere on your layout) is practically essential – and not just on larger
Railpower Mk IV
Our latest Railpower train controller (actually the fourth one
we’ve published in our 20+ years) is simply outstanding. The completely new
design, based on a PIC microcontroller, provides all those wanted features and
Those who have had a chance to try it out reckon it’s right up
there with the best commercial controllers costing hundreds of dollars more.