Phoenix locos are UK based international distributors of high quality, affordable battery electric model locos,
rolling stock and loco bogies in 5 inch and 7.25 inch gauge that are ideal as club locos or in garden railways.

Find Phoenix Locos on Facebook Find Phoenix Locos on Twitter

Phoenix Locos

Project Loco Too

The Project Loco has been available in its original form for some years. The intention was to introduce a loco that met all the basic needs of easy to build, easy to run and easy on the pocket.

Project Loco 2

Things have moved on since the original loco. Over the years we have incorporated small changes, often as a result of feedback from owners. However, technology has advanced considerably and new production techniques have developed. We decided it was time to revisit the Project Loco and incorporate some of this new technology.

Project Loco 2

We start all new products with a "wish list". We check back on the collected feedback and our own experience and compile a list of features we consider essential to the new product.

The Project Loco Wish List:

  • Easy build kit.
  • Good price.
  • Reliable and easy to run.
  • Safe operation.
  • Robust all steel construction.
  • Good passenger hauler.
  • Run for a day on one charge.
  • Will run on smaller railways.
  • Have a matching riding truck.
  • Digital control system.
  • Minimum 1hp motor.
  • Fit in a car.
  • Illustrated build manual.

There are other features we have also incorporated but they are cosmetic and not absolutely essential.

The new Project Loco has a laser cut and folded chassis in 3mm steel with a powder coat finish. The bonnet and cab are lasered steel and incorporate extra detailing and a high level of accuracy.

We are installing our class leading DCi 120 digital control system to ensure smooth and reliable running all day long.

CNC turned wheels and axles with chain drive to both axles ensure the power of the Bosch 1hp DC Motor is fully utilised for passenger hauling.

The compact size means it will fit in the family car and is easily transferred onto the track.

The comprehensive build manual is fully illustrated and also contains a section on running and maintaining the loco.

Several safety features such as a Deadmans device are standard on all Project Locos.

The New Project Loco will be released soon and more details will follow. In the meantime here is a sneak preview of the new loco.

Project Loco 2

10 September 2010 19:00 Keith

Read More

Lifting The Lid

Battery-electric locomotives are like human beings. The heart of any battery-electric locomotive is the battery. The motors provide the muscle and the motor speed controller is the brain.

You can’t tell whether a person is a rocket scientist or a railwayman just by looking at them and it is the same with motor speed controllers. They all function, but some function better than others.

We were looking to have a controller system made specifically for locomotives that would have the following features.

  • Reliability
  • Digital, high frequency operation
  • Regenerative braking
  • Easy to install and use
  • Deadmans facility
  • Good design
  • Over temperature protection
  • Integrated heat-sink
  • Easy to mount
  • Reasonable cost
  • Water protection
  • Safe to operate
  • Options for accessories
  • Handset included
  • Failsafe mode
  • Good technical back up
  • Upgradeable firmware and software.
  • Double heading facility
  • Intelligent control
  • Soft start/stop
  • Smooth power control.
  • Good warranty.
  • Local manufacture and supply

DC motor speed controllers are made all over the world. The companies that make them are often part of a bigger industrial combine. They make great products, however, they do not make them specifically for the locomotive market, as that market is too small. There is always a compromise and you have to use the product that is the closest to your wish list, usually a golf buggy controller.

We have been working closely with Mtroniks in Yorkshire to develop a new controller that meets the demands of the modern market and can be retro fitted to improve the performance of older locos.

Mtroniks have been designing and manufacturing motor speed controllers for more than 20 years and have produced more than a million controllers in that time. The controllers are designed and manufactured in house and were developed around a large powerful computer core to add extra features and exceptional control function.

What's in the box?

The DCi120 controller contains a powerful computer chip which converts the input signals from the driver via the handset to commands for motor speed and direction. The components are sealed to provide water protection and to stop dust and dirt getting into the system. The whole controller is mounted onto a extruded aluminium base-plate to allow for easy mounting in any position.

The top of the controller has four stud connectors with M6 nuts for easy connection to the batteries and motors, mutiple motors can be connected directly or via a terminal block.

There is also an input socket for the handset and a12 volt output for accessories. Look out for a multiple accessory relay board in the near future.

The other little socket is a factory programming port which allows us to update software and programme the controller. it also allows us to interrogate the computer chip for fault finding along with running and usage history.

DCi 120

The bit you hold in your hand

The handset has a rotary power controller in the centre. This has a centre neutral position, turn to the right to increse power and speed, turn it to the left of centre and you will decrease the power and bring in the regenerative braking. This means you can coast into the station, adding a little braking to bring your train to a gentle halt at exactly the right spot every time.

We have programmed in soft start and stop, so there will be no jerky starts or surprise sudden stops.

Direction of travel is decided with a toggle switch and the whole system can be turned on and off at the handst by using the master switch at top left of the handset. The horn button is top right and triggers the 12v output on the main controller board.

We have also fitted a deadmans facility with a jack socket on the trailing edge of the handset. the jackplug has a lanyard for your wrist and in the event of a runaway the jackplug will be pulled out and the controller will take off the power and stop. The jack socket will also accomodate a foot switch or other types of switching to suit your loco and circumstances.

The connection between the controller and the handset uses a protocol called I2C which is a computer program designed to allow machine tools to communicate with each other. By Using an industrial standard protocol we have reduced the number of wires connecting the handset which increases reliability and adds the options to add accessories in the future.

DCi 120


Before releasing the production versions, we have been field testing the prototypes for some months, for field testing you could also read "trying to break them". The paramount aspect of testing is safety. The system is designed to go to zero should there be a break in connection. This means that should the connecting lead be severed or inadvertently disconnected the computer will shut down the system and the loco will stop. The deadmans facility will also bring the loco to a stop and take off the power. Both events will require the driver to re-set the system by turning of and resetting the power.

As well as inadvertant disconnection we also need to guard against false starts and sudden acceleration. The handset has a seperate on/off switch to allow the user to make all connections before powering up. The rotary control must be in the neutral postion when the system is switched on, if it is not in neutral then the system will not operate and will need to be reset by turining the rotary control to the neutral position and turning the pwer of for a few seconds and then back on. This function stops any possibility of the throttle being open when power is applied and the locomotive accelarating away.

Further to this we have also programmed the system to have soft start/stop, This feature is particularly useful with novice or younger drivers as it softens the throttle inputs to stop massive initial acceleration and unsettling the passengers.

What you get with the system:

  • The controller
  • The handset
  • Crimp terminals for batteries and motor
  • 60 Amp midi fuse
  • Related wiring
  • Illustrated instructions

The price is £225 inc Vat

The system is a new departure in the battery/electric locomotive control market and incorporates many new features and the latest technology, we will be fitting this system to all Phoenix DC motor locomotives in the future and we are offering the sytem as a replacement for older systems or for new build locos. To ensure complete customer satisfaction we will be releasing the DCi 120 with an industry leading 24 months warranty.

DCi 120

12 July 2010 17:25 Keith

Read More

Spot the difference?

Looking around you may have noticed that there have been more than a few changes to our site. We'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you, we hope you like it. We would like to further extend a welcome Model Engineer readers, who may have noticed the ad we ran in this months issue. The ad was sent to print about two weeks ago, and we made a pretty bold promise. A brand new web site with lots of new content and as many new features as we could fit under the hood. We like a challenege, so decided that with out an awful lot on paper as a starting point to set ourselves a deadline of 17th of June, or the publication date of the magazine to have a completely re-worked bespoke web site, completed and uploaded online. Not an easy task, and a couple of late nights later, here we are... Proud to say we finished on deadline.

We'd like to talk you through some of the changes, but first an important bit of information, we will be attending the Kit Builders Rally this Saturday 19th June.

The rally is hosted by The Nottingham Society of Model and Experimental Engineers at their wonderful site at Ruddington (Sat Nav Ref: NG11 6NX). We will be taking our 7¼ gauge Class 42 Loco and as much rolling stock as we can fit in the van!

Polly Models will be there and the Great Central Railway Centre is next door.

We've been working hard with the site, and many things have changed. The biggest thing is the width. We've stretched the content sideways, so we have more space, and can present a third column. It allows us to have more content with less clutter, and sometimes provide you with an interesting bit of meta data, or such as in the Phoenix section, persistently show our contact details so they're easily visible.

Whilst we're talking about the Phoenix section, you may notice that the "Why not check out..." image will change every time you load the page. There are about 15 in total, so it may take you a little while to see them all.

The products section is the area where we've made the most exciting changes. As you can see we've added a lot of new information on our Rolling Stock range, a few of which you may not have seen or known about before, so please have a browse around. Each product is selectable from the menu on the left, and then "Information", "Specification", "Frequently Asked Questions" and "Photos" can be selected from the menu on the right. We have also included the price of the product you're viewing on every page, so you can see at a glace how much each product costs whilst you're reading about it

We have also compiled a Photo Gallery. We've put together a collection of (at the time of writing) 237 photos, and counting. When we get more, we'll be sure to put them online as soon as we can. The Gallery uses lightbox (a wonderful and powerful piece of software), and each of the albums can be navigated in a number of ways. Once viewing an image in the album you can press the P and N keys on your keyboard to cycle through the images. You can also use the left and right arrows to the same effect. Alternately if you click on the left half of the image, you can go backwards, and if you click on the right half of the image, you can go forward through the album. We hope that makes sense. There are numerous ways to navigate around the album, so choose the one that suits you best.

As you can see from the top menu, we've also added a "Second Hand List". From time to time we come across things like Used Rail, or an ex-development loco, and we intend to use this section of our web site to let you know about the one off items we currently have. You could grab yourself a bargain, so why not see whats available?

We've also added a news section. We're going to do our best to keep you updated with goings on. Even if they're small updates on the go, or slightly more considered, we understand how important feedback and news is to our customers' hopefully we'll be able to share what we're up to with you as much and as often as we can.

Thats about all for now, please explore the rest of the site, there might be the odd thing we haven't mentioned here (why spoil all the surprises?). We hope you like the work we've put in, and that it results in a better and easier browsing experience for you. We welcome any feedback. Our web site should work for you, just as much as it works for us. So, if we haven't lived up to your expectations, let us know how we can do better. Our contact details can be found here.

17 June 2010 00:01 Keith

Read More

Meta Information

Showing posts from 2010. There are 3 posts that match your critera.