Yes, they’re finally here, and we’re really proud of them. Geren (a.k.a. The On30 Guy™) and Kevin (a.k.a. Mr. Touchtoggle) have finally said, “done!” and the throttles are ready to go. “Serial #1” is already in the hands of one of our favorite guinea pigs, and so far, he’s really enjoying it.
The devil with these has really been in the details. Certain processes that we thought would make producing the throttles easier bombed. For instance, I had first planned to use a CNC router to cut the front panels, but that proved problematic. We also discussed laser cutting, but finally, Kevin tried a 3D printed faceplate that also allows us to set the momentum knob nearly flush with the faceplate. There were also issues in developing a circuit board that would allow us to modularize the throttle and allow us to offer several variations efficiently. But we’ve pushed through!
Last night and this morning, we finished all the math to determine the final price of the kit. That was another, “Oh, sh….” moment! The kit price was ridiculously high! So, I went back and calculated the time it would take for our technicians to simply build the throttles, versus the price of packaging all the components, and found that we could produce the fully assembled throttle for a price very close to that of the assembled version of original DelTang Tx21 throttle that everyone loved. So, yes, these are more expensive than the Tx21 kits. I’m afraid that’s unavoidable.
The new throttles include a rechargeable battery which provides up to 12 hours of run time. A 5V power supply is required to charge the battery through the charging port on the throttle. A suitable option is available through the Shop for a reasonable price, or you can supply your own. The supply should be filtered and regulated and capable of 5V at 500mA, with a 2.1 x 5.5mm barrel connector. The center pin is positive.
We’ve also tinkered with the inertia circuit (except on Serial #1, I’m afraid). With the previous design, all of the usable control was in the first 25% of the control range. Our new model aims to give a wider range of control, which should make the inertia control more enjoyable to use.
We’ve also dispensed with the center detent on the speed control. This means that the new throttle is not as well suited for use with a receiver programmed for center-off control (a -2 or -22 receiver). We suggest that if you have such a receiver, that you re-program it to use the direction switch. ALL future receivers sold through The On30 Guy™ will be set for full-range control.
Finally, this first iteration of the throttle is not compatible with DelTang’s new “SOS Programming” feature. This feature was added to the receivers after we were well along in development of the throttle. However, the capability is there, with a retro-fit and some slight reprogramming of the internal DelTang Tx2 module.
In order for the SOS programming mode to work, the direction switch would need to be replaced with either a momentary center-off toggle, or push-buttons for direction control. As operators, neither are options that Kevin or I like — even though we built the capability into the product. Another option would be to build a relatively simple, hand-held receiver programming device. We’d love to know what you think about these options. Drop us a line through the Contact page with your thoughts.
Some of you are bound to ask me if there will be a replacement for the Tx22, and at this point, the answer is that it’s not likely. As I’ve mentioned before, Selecta is a little bit of a kludge, and having the option of controlling one loco from two throttles is downright head-splitting. I’ve given some thought to the problem, and it’s all doable, but to do it “right” would result in a very expensive throttle. That said, if someone throws several thousand dollars our way, we’ll consider it.
So, that’s it for now. The new throttles are available for order now for $74.90 each, and the 5V power supply is $9.90. Go over to the shop and buy some throttles (and a power supply or two). If you order five or more throttles, you’ll save 5%, no coupon code needed. And, as always, I cheerfully accept credit cards through either PayPal or Square — your choice!