In search of a radio control for garden railway, I got interested by the first Australian RCS control system in 27 MHz, which I thought was well designed and was also compliant with European radio regulation (which was not the case of US systems). I got to the point to make schematics and explanations for this 27 MHz system.
Then appeared 2.4 GHz system which very quickly dominated the R/C market due to their more reliable transmission.
After contemplating the idea to abandon the garden train control market, RCS finally cames in 2013 with a new system in 2.4 GHz using Deltang modules, with sufficient flexibility to accept either a standard 2.4 GHz transmitter or their own transmitter which have an ergonomy better adapted to garden trains control. This new system reuse the philosophy of the former system and keep the relatively raw external design.
It shall be noted that all 2.4 GHz systems uses complex transmission protocol to check the transmission packets and jump from one frequency to another. Unfortunately, as the first company to issue 2.4 GHz R/C radios (Spektrum) have protected their protocols, this have driven their competitors to develop other non compatible protocols. The Spektrum protocol have itself evolved for data reporting. This means that both transmitter and receiver are not compatible within these different systems (while it exists multi-protocol receivers).
The RCS system use the Spektrum DMS2 protocol.
Tx : Radio transmitter
The general philosophy of the RCS system is to have one lightweight (150g) and compact transmitter per running loco. Low cost of transmitters will maintain overall cost way below the cost any DCC rail controlled system.
One RCS transmitter can bind with as many receivers as needed. Binding is done with a cable or automatically at startup depending from the Receiver model.
RCS no longer propose radio system for accessories (switches/points, fixed lighting and sound systems)
What is a train ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) ?
There are two kinds of RC devices, thoses with main motor which goes only forward, like airplane or helicopter and those which could go in both directions, like boats or trains.
For trains, there are two ESC types :
This is used to have a more realistic operation. However, this means that power operating need two radio channels instead of one, and also need two commands devices (sticks, knob, selector, etc.). In some ESC, switching direction may need to have the power near 0 to effectively change direction, as quick reverse may drive to derailment on long trains (as can do quick stop).
Rotating knobs train transmitters works similarly with both solutions.
RCS site : http://www.rcs-rc.com/