Last Updated: 17 January 2022
PIKO’s Remote Control (R/C) system was introduced in 2019 to be a modern, simple and user-friendly control system with two different use cases:
- Extending/replacing traditional analog DC track power systems by offering remote control capabilities.
- Providing traditional remote control for individual locomotives.
Both use cases will be described in more detail in different sections below. They have one thing in common: the R/C pocket remote.
The remote is a simple 4-button unit, of which the upper two buttons control direction and speed. Pressing the direction buttons a first time sets the desired direction, pressing them multiple times increases the speed. I don’t know how many speed steps there are, but in a video from PIKO America (see below) it seems to be a nice, gradually increasing speed curve. The bottom two buttons have different functions depending on the use case.
Communication goes via 2,4 GHz radio waves, and range is defined as being up to 30 meters (80 foot in freedom units). The remote is powered by a replaceable CR2025 battery.
Remote Control Analog Track Power
Let’s say you already have an analog DC layout, where you always need to turn the knob on your analog control unit to operate the trains. Those analog throttles could either be cheap ones typically found in starter sets (e.g. LGB 50080/50081, PIKO G 35006 + 35005) or larger units (e.g. LGB 51070 + 50110, PIKO 35002 + 35000). Either way, you’re probably tired of having to be near the controller to operate your railway.
PIKO’s R/C system is an easy way to control those traditional analog layouts remotely. The system consists of an “R/C Controller” unit combined with the remote. The R/C controller is basically a traditional analog throttle without the big control knob, which connects wirelessly to the remote. The R/C controller provides up to 4,5 Amps DC to the track, and up to 2 Amps DC for accessories (house lights, switch lights, …).
As described earlier, the upper two buttons on the remote control direction and speed, in this case the bottom two buttons switch accessory power on/off (button 1) and provide emergency stop functionality (button 2).
The controller and remote are set to channel 0 by default, but can be changed to 7 other channels (so 8 channels in total: 0 to 7). The channel configuration is located behind the top panel on the R/C controller, and behind a small cover at the back of the remote.
PIKO America offers a complete set, which includes the R/C controller, a power supply and the remote.
- 35028 R/C Analog Track Power Set, 5 A [120 V] – $ 199,99 [MSRP 2022]
PIKO also offers starter sets that come with the R/C analog track power set included.
- 38107 Starter Set Freight Train, PRR (Analog) [120 V]
- 38108 Starter Set Freight Train, SF (Analog) [120 V]
- 38109 Starter Set Freight Train, WP&Y (Analog with Sound and Smoke) [120 V]
- 38112 Starter Set Passenger Train, D&RGW (Analog with Sound and Smoke) [120 V]
- 38123 Starter Set Freight Train, Christmas (Analog with Sound and Smoke) [120 V]
- 38152 Starter Set Freight Train, Christmas “North Pole Hauler” [120 V]
- 38153 Starter Set Freight Train, “Halloween Hauler” [120 V]
In the European market, there’s not a set that contains everything in a nice package, so you need to buy the components separately: R/C controller (#35008), a matching power supply (#35000 or anything with the same specs), and the remote (#35041).
- 35000 Power Supply 22 V / 100 VA DC [230 V] – € 170,00 [MSRP 2022]
- 35008 R/C Analog Throttle, 24 V / 4 A DC – € 110,00 [MSRP 2022]
- 35041 R/C Remote – € 31,00 [MSRP 2022]
Traditional R/C Control – R/C Receiver for Third Party Locomotive Conversion
PIKO also offers a separate R/C kit (locomotive receiver + remote) to be installed in PIKO locomotives that do not come with R/C (and battery power) from the factory, or just in any other G scale loco in general.
The receiver board needs to be installed inside the locomotive in place of the original electronics, and is designed to be battery-powered (batteries not included). However, the receiver can of course still be powered by a traditional DC voltage on the track.
The receiver board includes two relay-type function contacts, for activation of functions such as horn/whistle and bell on a separate sound unit. The remote controls direction and speed, plus the two function contacts connected to the receiver board.
Important to note is that there are two different versions of the R/C receiver board. The “original” one introduced in 2019 has article number 35040, and in 2022 a second version was introduced with article number 35042.
So what’s the difference between the versions? The most obvious one is that the second version can draw more power, but the biggest difference is that the original version is only suited for installation in analog locomotives (with analog sound units), while the second version is suited for use in combination with digital DCC decoders (with digital sound units).
Components US & EU
- 35040 R/C Locomotive Receiver w/ Remote, 3 A – € 73,00 / $ 104,99 [MSRP 2022]
- 35042 R/C Locomotive Receiver w/ Remote, 5 A – € 90,00 / $ 119,99 [MSRP 2022]
Traditional R/C Control – PIKO Factory Installed Battery Powered Locomotive
PIKO currently offers some variants of their GE 25-Ton diesel locomotive with R/C battery power operation from the factory, both in analog version, as well as with digital sound.
The GE 25-Ton diesel is equipped with a quick-change battery clip located inside the hood, which holds six AAA batteries (which are not included). According to PIKO, 1100 mAh rechargeables give over two hours of run time. The remote controls direction and speed, plus the bell and horn in case a sound unit is equipped.
Starter Sets with R/C Battery Power, No Sound
- 37154 Starter Set “Circus Roncalli” (R/C Battery Power)
- 37155 Starter Set GE 25-Ton w/ Brick Building Flat Cars (R/C Battery Power)
Locomotives with R/C Battery Power, No Sound
- 38501 Diesel Locomotive, Type GE 25-Ton, Track Cleaning Locomotive, Yellow, M.O.W. “Clean Machine” (R/C Battery Power)
- 38503 Diesel Locomotive, Type GE 25-Ton, SF #427 (R/C Battery Power)
- 38504 Diesel Locomotive, Type GE 25-Ton, UP #825 (R/C Battery Power)
- 38505 Diesel Locomotive, Type GE 25-Ton, PRR #924 (R/C Battery Power)
- 38506 Diesel Locomotive, Type GE 25-Ton, Track Cleaning Locomotive, Red, M.O.W. “Clean Machine” (R/C Battery Power)
Locomotives with R/C Battery Power, with TCS Digital Sound
- 38509 Diesel Locomotive, Type GE 25-Ton, SF (R/C Battery Power with TCS Digital Sound)
- 38510 Diesel Locomotive, Type GE 25-Ton, PRR (R/C Battery Power with TCS Digital Sound)
- 38511 Diesel Locomotive, Type GE 25-Ton, US Army (R/C Battery Power with TCS Digital Sound)
- 38512 Diesel Locomotive, Type GE 25-Ton, KLW (R/C Battery Power with TCS Digital Sound)
Links & Downloads
- Flyer – PIKO America Flyer R/C (PDF)
Source: PIKO / PIKO America