The LOCOLINC® Story

Keithco, Inc. was founded to design and manufacture model railroad control systems which offer the hobbyist the freedom, mobility and prototypical control capabilities not previously available on the market. The resulting LOCOLINC® product line has become the most comprehensive control system available in the model railroad industry. LOCOLINC may be used to control the entire layout: locomotives and accessories. Significant is the unprecedented level of control realism. In a hobby characterized by precise scale-rendering of the realism of railroads, past and present, many products are available to accurately depict locomotives, rolling stock, track systems, scenery and layout features. Little has been done to allow the hobbyist to control his locomotives and layout accessories with anywhere near the same kind of prototypical realism.
THE MODELERS CONTROL CHOICES BEFORE LOCOLINC
Prior to availability of LOCOLINC wireless addressable control systems, hobbyists took one of two approaches to controlling locomotives. In one approach, varying voltage is applied to the track or sections of track called "blocks". Locomotives on an active (powered) section of track move in the same direction at the same speed which is controlled by the amount of voltage applied to the track.

A second alternative was to use an encoder/decoder system available from several manufacturers and commonly referred to as "command control". In an encoder/decoder system, control signals are generated at a fixed-location control unit connected to the rails via a tethered cord. The signals are pumped through the rails to locomotives equipped with decoding devices. Control is still limited to speed and direction of the locomotive. But now, with a command control system, each locomotive can be given individual commands for direction and speed. These systems first appeared on the market about twenty years ago. Virtually all of them use the same twenty-year-old technology. In every case the model railroader has a fixed-location control unit limiting his mobility relative to the layout. And this technology allows no convenient expansion path for controlling locomotive lights, bells and whistles, or for controlling other accessories on the layout such as turnouts.
THE LOCOLINC CONCEPT
LOCOLINC has been designed from the ground up as a comprehensive control system for prototypical control of the entire model railroad layout. The design concept is original, not relying on or building from previous model railroad control concepts, or on control technologies developed for other hobbies such as model airplanes or model cars. As a comprehensive system, LOCOLINC can be used to control the entire layout - locomotives and accessories. Individual locomotive receivers are used to control speed and direction, directional lighting, and bell and whistle sound systems on the locomotive. Accessory receivers may be used to control turnouts, scenery lighting, or other motorized layout features. There's a LOCOLINC receiver for any motorized device the model railroader wants to control. There's even a servo receiver for controlling live steam locomotives.

Key to the enjoyment of a LOCOLINC-controlled layout is it's prototypical realism. LOCOLINC allows the model railroader to run his layout in a fashion that looks just like a real life railroad. In addition to locomotive speed and direction, LOCOLINC capabilities include excellent slow speed control desirable for yard work. Real time sound control allows the hobbyist to ring a locomotive's bell or blow it's whistle whenever he wants, wherever he wants, and for as long as he wants. Locomotives can be run individually or double-headed for multiple-unit operation. Trains can be assembled using up to four powered locomotives to simulate prototypical operation over grades and mountain passes. Turnout switches can be thrown individually and they can also be linked to operate in "dispatcher switching" mode, throwing a series of switches to direct approaches and departures from yards and train stations.

LOCOLINC wireless addressable control systems employ radio signals transmitted from a hand-held transmitter through the air to receivers located within individual locomotives or mounted at the layout for accessory devices. Because the transmitter is hand-held, the model railroader has complete freedom to control his layout from any physical location within 150 feet. Not restricted to a fixed control panel or by tethers to the rails, the model railroader is completely free to move about the layout following the path of his trains, watching as switches are thrown, observing the interaction of all of the "live" elements of his layout.

Radio frequency transmission also gives model railroaders a choice of running his locomotive engines from track voltage or battery power. Battery power has become popular with outdoor railroaders and on layouts where keeping the rails clean is a difficult or tedious task. Battery power or a combination of track power with battery back-up can mean the difference between powering and controlling one's locomotives and no operation at all.

Maximum LOCOLINC control system capacity is 64 locomotives and 256 accessory devices. Operating range of the transmitter is up to 150 feet. LOCOLINC can be used on N-scale through G-scale layouts.
THE COMPANY
Keithco, Inc. was founded by Behren Reeves. A thirty year veteran in the electronics industry, Mr. Reeves brings his extensive domestic and international marketing background to the model railroad industry. LOCOLINC is the embodyment of his vision for a comprehensive control system that brings the same attention to life-like operation as is available for recreating real life-like details and features on locomotives, rolling stock and scenics. Mr. Reeves also holds an MSEE in RF Electronics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Keithco has its headquarters in Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA, and manufactures its products in the northwest and at offshore manufacturing facilities. A worldwide sales and support staff serves retail hobby shops where LOCOLINC systems may be purchased. LOCOLINC authorized installation depots offer custom installation services for hobbyists who prefer not to do their own installations.

Keithco's LOCOLINC systems have now been sold around the world. Available since October, 1992, LOCOLINC has become preferred as the most complete and capable systems on the market. LOCOLINC is patented in the U.S. and Germany and has been the recipient of a number of industrial design awards.

For further information call, fax, or write us at:
Keithco, Inc., P.O. Box 1806, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035 USA.
Phone: (503) 635-7604 Fax: (503) 699-0434


Copyright 1997-2010, Keithco, Inc. All rights reserved. LOCOLINC is a registered trademark of Keithco, Inc.
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