RCS is proud to present a range of installation options for battery R/C of
THOMAS & FRIENDS
 Locos.

Updated Oct 1st 2020
Ever since Bachmann© released the THOMAS & Friends (and the Li'l Big Hauler) locos, RCS has been looking for a way of converting them as economically and as
simply as possible to battery R/C and sound. Now we have found such a way.
 

EVO-BATTERY  HANDPIECE
RCS has recently released our new pocket sized RCS EVO-SIMPLEX handpieces which are easy for small hands to use. Ideal low cost Radio Control has been made possible. Direction and speed control is with a large sized knob which is set up for Centre OFF control.
Directional LED lighting is possible, as are sound triggers.
You will only need one # EVO-SIMPLEX handpiece as you can bind as many locos to one TX handpiece as you like. 
You will only need extra TX handpieces for extra operators. Or perhaps a spare just in case.
You can readily swap all locos between any extra handpieces.
 
If you already have DSM2 TX's stick radios or RCS TX-1, TX-3, TX-5, TX-7 or TX-9 handpieces.  You can use them instead of the normally supplied EVO handpiece. 
The # EVO-SIMPLEX was made as simple as possible to help keep the costs down.  There is 1 x sound trigger.
The # EVO-SIMPLEX+ has three sound triggers.
 
ELECTRONIC SPEED CONTROLLER
RCS is now selling a
NEW!!! small easy to fit and use 30 Watts COBRA-160 ESC made by Fosworks in the UK.  We have chosen this ESC to be the most suitable for use with Thomas & Friends.  Thorough testing has proven this new ESC to be reliable in the field.
 
LOCO HEAD & TAIL LIGHTS
If you want directional constant brightness lights you will be able to use the built in Directional Constant Brightness lighting outputs fitted to the # Rx107 Auto Bind Rx.
LED's supplied separately.
 
BATTERIES
The Thomas & Friends locos are perfectly happy using 9.6 volts - 11.1 volts, which is plenty fast enough for most users.  Although it is not too fast for young operators who like driving locos fast, but all too often end up crashing them.
The loco bodies are quite large enabling 8 x AA rechargeable hybrid Alakline/NiMh cells to fit in fairly easily.  The cost of batteries is always a factor in all battery conversions.  To help keep costs down RCS is supplying 4 & 5 cell rechargeable ENELOOP Hybrid NiMh/Alkaline battery packs. 4 in a row side by side flat packs are 4.8 volts each pack are economical and will fit in most of the locos. 2 packs of 4 x AA batteries each are required @ A$ 49 each. They come with standard servo lead connections and the supplied # FUT-SERIES wiring joins 2 x packs for 9.6 volts.  They fit most of the locos without modification except Percy and Thomas which do require some internal modification.
Thomas & Percy can use two 2 x 2 inline AA twin stick packs with 4 x hybrid AA LSD batteries in each pack.
If more speed is needed and you have room for the 5 x cell packs, 2 x 5 cell packs = 12 volts.
All batteries are 2,000 mah capacity which will run a loco for at least 2 hours.
 

INSTALLATION KITS
Our fused regular BIK-U3B 3 amp installation kit is used.
This is installed on the back of each loco or tender where it is easily accessible along with a battery charge port.
Tender - loco connector cables are provided free of charge for EMILY & JAMES.
Check out installations ideas at the bottom of this page.

Another way to set up Thomas, is to use a trail car with battery pack(s) and R/C.
All that is then required is a 2 x wire cable between the trail car and loco. RCS supplies a suitable in line 2 way connector cable so that the trail car can be swapped between locos.
 
CHARGER
We use and recommend the Powertech PLUS charger (MB-3633).  These are a mains powered conditioning smart charger.  The chargers are supplied with the correct plug for the # U-BIK-3b installation kit jack, which will be mounted on the back of the loco.  Re-charge time is about 2 hours from flat.  These are a one time purchase and can be used with all your locos.
You can use any charger you like that is suitable for NiMh, but the charge plug must be a 2.5 mm x 5 mm DC coax type to be compatible with the supplied hardware.
N.B. The MB-3633 are only sold in Australia.  Similar chargers are avauilable from regular R/C hobby shops.

SOUND SYSTEMS
These are an optional extra.  We use and recommend the economically priced Australian made MyLocosound steam sound with a voltage controlled chuff.
The current model has 5 x sounds apart from the chuff, some of which are programmed for automatic operation. 
You can trigger 1 x sound using the Ch # 5 pushbutton on the Tx handpiece.  You will require 1 x # MRW-SSSS. 
OR; More sounds can be tiggered with 1 x # MRW-SSTS for three sound triggers.
For those 3 x sound trigger functions you would need the # EVO-SIMPLEX+ handpiece.

Speaker placement inside these locos is not very easy.  In our earlier installations we had a small oval speaker under the coal load of THOMAS which worked OK.  However we now mount a 40 mm x 30 mm oval speaker in the backhead of the tank locos.  This has proven to be ideal. A printed stick on drill pattern is supplied to enable neat holes to be drilled to let out the sound. The loco body acts as a "boom box" so the sound volume can be quite loud.  Sound is vented through the cab which has a removable roof.

A larger speaker can be installed in the tenders of James and Emily etc.



 PARTS USED BY RCS FOR A BASIC THOMAS & FRIENDS INSTALLATION.  (1 x Per loco unless stated)
Order as a kit below or scroll down to individual items you want & add to cart.
Please note. 
Reduce quantities In cart  by placing a - before the amount. Then "update cart".
PDF INSTRUCTION PAGES ARE LISTED BELOW.
LOCO
 
  THOMAS PERCY EMILY JAMES TOBY  

# EVO-SIMPLEX DSM2
R/C H/PIECE
(1 x per operator)

 
COBRA-160
 
Rx107  
BATTERY PACKS 2 x supplied
2 x supplied
2 x supplied
2 x supplied
2 x supplied
 
2 x FUT-JST  
# U-BIK-3B
 
APPROX COST
A$330

Free postage
A$330

Free postage

A$330

Free postage

A$330

Free postage

A$330

Free postage
 
NEXT LOCO
(No TX)

A$231
Free postage

A$231

Free postage

A$231

Free postage

 A$231

Free postage

A$231

Free postage
 
SEE BELOW FOR UPGRADE TO BASIC KIT TO A SIMPLEX+ TX HANDPIECE
OPTIONAL EXTRA ONE TIME BUY ONLY, BUT A CHARGER IS NEEDED FOR THE FIRST LOCO.
MB-3633
CHARGER
 
OPTIONAL EXTRAS FOR LIGHTS & SOUND ETC.
Use any SONY IR remote control for making adjustments.  Or purchase a universal IR remote from K Mart
LED KIT*            
STEAM
MyLocosound
 
SPEAKER  
* NEEDED IF FITTING LED's ONLY                    ** ONLY NEEDED IF FITTING SOUND OR INCANDESCENT LIGHTS


IDEAS FOR COMPONENT LAYOUT

THOMAS
Remove rear 6 x screws only. Remove part of plastic screw support. Placement of batteries/
  Rear holes drill pattern. Charge jack & ON - OFF switch mounted. Basic VIPER ESC & RX in coal bunker.

PERCY
  Battery placement. Mounting components. Speaker output.

EMILY
Battery Placement + ESC + Sound Mount BIK Rear of tender
   Front of tender w/LED indicator  Speaker mount  Inside rear body shell

JAMES
 
  Inside rear of tender. Speaker & support under components.  

TOBY 
Battery placement + ESC on top MyLocosound + speaker BIK Installation
   
 Remove Toby switch and wiring.    

 

Click here for an up to date currency conversion.
 
Model Price Image Description

# EVO-SIMPLEX REQUIRES AN ALKALINE PP3 9 VOLT TRANSISTOR BATTERY.
GO HERE FOR OTHER TX HANDPIECE OPTIONS.

# SIMPLEX

A$99

Use an # EVO-SIMPLEX for a single loco control and 1 x sound trigger on one handpiece.
PDF instructions

# SIMPLEX+
A$119

Use an # EVO-SIMPLEX+ for a single loco control and 3 x sound triggers on one handpiece.
PDF instructions

TX-UPGRADE
A$20   Upgrade the SIMPLEX kit to a
SIMPLEX+ Handpiece.
   
 
Model Price Image Description
BASIC ESC. REQUIRES 1 x DSM2 RX SUCH AS # Rx107. SEE BELOW.
COBRA-160
$59 (L) 6 volts to 24 volts. 1.5 amps - 14 amp peak.
30 Watts continuous. Settable Inertia.
45 mm x 22 mm x 15 mm. JST cables.
PDF instructions

AUTO BIND  DSM2 Rx
20 mm x 16 mm x 12 mm
Instead of a Top Mount Rx we can supply an End Mount version.

Rx107-TM
$35 (L) Long Range Xenon Rx's with a single 10 cm Diversity antenna.  Ideal for battery R/C  Top Mount pins. Clear heatshrink covered.
PDF Instruction Manual
AUTOMATIC LIGHTING CONTROLS.
DUAL CONSTANT BRIGHTNESS FORWARD & REVERSE LIGHTING.
Powered by Rx107.  LED's only.

LED-3mm-WW
$10 (L)
30 cm servo lead with
1600mcd 3 mm Warm White LED.
Front or Rear LED headlight.
Requires heat protection if used with Live Steam.
LED-5mm-WW
$10 (L)
30 cm servo lead with
1600mcd 5 mm Warm White LED.
Front or Rear LED headlight.
Requires heat protection if used with Live Steam.

 

Model Price Image Description
BATTERY INSTALLATION KITS with JST connectors.
U-BIK-3B A$29 (L) 3 amp Universal Battery Installation Kit.
   ToggleSwitch & 2.5 MM plug in charge lead.
  Terminals on the reverse side.

PDF Instructions
Model Price Image Description

AA SIZE LSD HYBRID BATTERY PACKS.

4-AA-TS $6 (L) 4 X AA TWIN STICK
SIDE BY SIDE & END to END.
These are a low cost way of installing 4 x LSD-AA cells in Thomas & Percy.
Wire 2 x holders in series for 9.6 volts.
Internal loco bodifications required to fit.
4-LSD-AAF
$49 (L) Flat pack of 4 x fully charged AA = 4 volts.
2 x packs = 9.6 volts.
ENELOOP 2,000 mah LSD hybrid batteries.
 FUTABA Plug.
5-LSD-AAF
$59 (L) Flat Pack of 5 x fully charged AA = 6 volts.
2 x packs = 12 volts.
ENELOOP 2,000 mah LSD hybrid batteries.
 FUTABA Plug.
2 x FUT-JST $10 (L)
Converts Furaba wiring to JST wiring.
RTR Plug in Futaba cable puts welded R/C battery packs in series, to increase volts.
Mates to RCS # U-BIK-3b kit and ESC.
SUITABLE PLUG IN SMART CHARGER
# MB-3633
$109 Mains powered quality JayCar
Multi chemistry conditioning charger.
Up to 15 NiCd or NiMh cells.
Up to 6 Li-Ion or LiPo cells.
Intro instructions
For full details go to
https://www.techbrands.com/store/product/mb3633.aspx
9.6v-Chg
$29

9.6 volt NiMh charger for 8 NiMh cells.
Fitted  with a 2.5 mm x 5 mm DC plug.
Supplied with an Australian type
mains adaptor plug.

 

Model Price Image Description
MyLocosound SOUND SYSTEM
STEAM
$89 (L) Great sounding, synthesised low cost voltage controlled steam chuff sound with whistle, bell & 3 x other sounds.
40 x 30
$23 40 mm x 30 mm Phoenix speaker mounts in cabin backhead of tank locos.
Good volume from such a small speaker.
Supplied with a stick on drill pattern.
C0600A

$5  40 mm x 40 mm Altronics speaker Specifically for EMILY.
Good volume from such a small speaker.
C0604
$5  2" speaker mounts in tender for James and Emily.  Great sound.
SOLID STATE CONTACTS FOR TRIGGERING SOUND SYTEMS THAT CAN USE TRANSISTORS.
CAN ALSO BE USED FOR MANUALLY CONTROLLING DIRECTIONAL LIGHTING.
MRW-SSSS
$19 (L) Solid State Single Switch.
# MRW-SSSS has 1 x
3amp trigger control functions for any channel used.  Ideal for use with Channel # 5. 21 mm x 13m x 10 mm
PDF Instructions
MRW-SSTS
$49 (L) Solid Solid State Triple Switch.
# MRW-SSTS has 3 x
3amp trigger control functions using 3 x separate channels. 
Designed to be used with # EVO-BASIC+ Tx.
PDF Instructions  21 mm x 39 mm x 10 mm.
PDF Instructions