4QD controllers are used for model locomotive speed control by model engineers worldwide, both private and commercial. Indeed our DNO controller, and its predecessor the VTX, were designed specifically for this application. Our model locomotive customers tell us that our controllers give really smooth operation and are simple to install. Many have controllers still going strong after 25+ years. All our controllers have adjustable acceleration and deceleration ramp times which can be adjusted to give realistic locomotive speed control. The new Pro-160 / 360 have many new features and are some of the first controllers to include a readout of current, voltage, and temperature.
The model of controller you need depends on the power / current rating of your motors, and also the sort of loads that you intend to pull, any gradients on your track, and how long you intend to run for.
As a general guide the following controllers are suitable for model locos:
Pro-360 – for larger locos with motors up to 360 amps, these controllers provide serious pulling power. With deadmans handle, emergency stop, top speed limit, regen braking, and coasting all easily adjustable, they have all the features you need to make your loco run just the way you want it.
Pro-160 – fast becoming the standard for mid-size + locos up to 5″ / 7” gauge. The Pro-160 does away with relays to give long term reliability, and is ideally suited to those locos that will be worked hard pulling 10 – 20 passengers for extended operating periods. With a 2 line display that can be mounted remotely the Pro-160 has features designed specifically for locomotive control, including a dead mans handle input, a slow / fast mode switch [allows new driver training], built in radio control input, and readouts of voltage, current, and temperature [motor temperature can also be monitored].
Pro-150 – for mid-size locos up to 5″ / 7 ” gauge. We see good results for locos pulling up to around 10 passengers. The Pro-150 has a number of settings which allow the controller to be fine-tuned to the operator’s requirements via the optional display / programmer. It will still work out of the box with the standard settings though.
DNO range – These are great for small / mid size locos up to 5″ gauge with motors up to 100 amps. These controllers require the minimum of set-up, but still have adjustable gain and ramp settings. Again, good for up to 10 passengers.
We have a list of all the locomotive sites and suppliers that we know about, please let us know if you’d like to be added to the list.
There are also some locomotive knowledgebase articles that address loco specific issues.
Here are just a few of the fantastic models that our customers have built.
From time to time we get asked if we can do special projects. Here’s a picture of a custom control box that we built.