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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a fairly sizeable and elderly OO gauge layout which enables us to run scale length trains which is great. However, I feel that we probably rushed the construction of the baseboards and supporting structures and the result is a track plan with various (and unintentional) inclines. Although these gradients are only just discernable with the naked eye, they do have a significant and negative impact on the performance of the trains, particularly on some of the tighter curves.

After attempts to level out the track and make the gradients less severe and shorter has helped, the problem now is not so much to do with lack of adhesion and slipping, but more to do with the highly noticeable acceleration and de-acceleration of trains over the affected areas. I find this highly irritating, as to my mind it completely undermines the excellent standards of detail and realism of current locomotives and rolling stock!

I have just noticed online the red coloured DF Dual Feedback Controller by Gaugemaster and am hoping that this could be part of the answer. The description says it is ideal for layouts with inclines and I assume that it somehow detects when a locomotive needs more or less power to maintain a (near) constant speed. Has a review been made of this controller or has anyone out there used one or an equivalent product that they can recommend for a similar sort of price? I am hopeful but wouldn't mind getting some feedback myself before making a purchase as it will inevitably postpone me obtaining a new loco for a similar price… Any info will be gratefully received.

Steveo Crouch.
 

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You can buy Gaugemaster controllers with complete confidence. It's a good brand with a track record of well made and reliable kit, and service back up in the event of any problems. (There are other brands, but having gone DCC I have rather taken my eye off the DC control ball.) The 'feedback' controller works by momentarily interrupting the power supply to the track and estimating the motor speed by measuring the 'Back ElectroMotive Force' (back EMF) which is the current the motor produces when operating as a generator. The power is then regulated using this back EMF value to keep speed reasonably constant. It cannot completely eliminate speed variation but if the loco has plenty in reserve then a satisfactory result can be obtained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice one, thanks for replying - dual feedback sounds like just the job.
That Schools class or T9 will have to wait!!!
 

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I can only echo 34C's comments.

Just one small point if you do use a feedback controller - do not use any DCC equipped locomotives as you will almost certainly fry the decoder - DCC decoders do not like feedback controllers at all.
 
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