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Fitting Decoders - DCC - Tutorials - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Mar 14th, 2014 08:27 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Toto,

The latest Jubilee came out last year so you should be fine as it sounds like the revamped model.The problem didn't appear for several years (age and an oil-incompatible plastic).

Nigel



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 Posted: Fri Mar 14th, 2014 09:39 pm
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toto
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Hi Nigel,

Thanks for that, I'm glad it's not major surgery. I dare sy that will come at some point.
I'll do an up to date list of the loco's that I have to chip in case there are any more Wobblies in there.

Cheers for now.

Toto

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 Posted: Sat Mar 15th, 2014 12:01 am
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toto
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Here is my updated list of Loco's for chipping. I'll work my way through chipping them but as I said, due to the fact that I've just ordered 9 x 21 pin decoders, I'll be starting on them first so if there are any specific requests let me know and I will cover them.

First couple will be easy peasey ones to get me into the swing of it again. Then, take your pick. If there are any on here that require a special decoder ( mini decoder for example ) etc, pre warn me if possible.


Class A4 William Whitelaw ( Bach ) 8 pin
Class A4 Dominion of Canada ( Bach ) 8 pin
Class 37 ( Bach ) 37427 Bont Y Bermo 21 pin
Class 37 ( Bach ) 37405 Strathclyde Region 21 pin
Class 37 ( Bach ) 37412 Loch Lomond 21 pin

Class 03 ( Bach ) 03045 ( nr 2 for renumbering ) 6 pin
Class 08 ( Bach ) D3963 8 pin
Class 08 ( Bach ) D3963 ( nr 2 for renumbering ) 8 pin
Class 20 ( Bach ) 20128 21 pin
Class 22 ( Dap ) D6327 21 pin
Class 22 ( Dap ) D6311 21 pin
Class 22 ( Dap ) D6330 21 pin
Class 14 ( Hel ) D9535 8 pin
Class 33 ( Hel ) 33029 Glen Loy 8 pin
Class 53 ( Hel ) D0280 Falcon 8 pin
Class 47 ( Hel ) unnumbered 8 pin
Class 47 ( Hel ) unnumbered 8 pin
Class 47 ( Hel ) Unnumbered 8 pin
Class 47 ( Hel ) 47555 Commonwealth Spirit 8 pin
Class 25 ( Bach ) 25279 21 pin
Class 55 ( Bach ) ? pin
Class J94 ( Hor ) 68006 ? pin
Class 8750 ( Bach ) 4680 8 pin
Class Jubilee ( Bach ) 45587 8 pin
Class N ( Bach ) 31404 6 pin
Class 5MT ( Bach ) 73049 8 pin
Class 4F ( Bach ) 43924 21 pin
Class 7F ( Bach ) 53810 21 pin
Class 9F ( Bach ) 8 pin


Feel free to come back with any comments, advice, warnings etc.

cheers for now.

toto

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 Posted: Sat Mar 15th, 2014 01:47 am
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BCDR
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Hi Petermac,

J39 - I've done similar. This is a split-frame chassis with zero room in the body for a decoder. It comes with a tender, so plenty of room there. The issue is isolating the motor and getting connections with the 2 chassis halves. There is normally a thin (50 micron) layer of copper underneath the paint that can with luck be soldered. MAZAC can also be soldered, but the flux and solder are not very nice. Drilled and tapped for screws or pick-ups under the frame work well (I've converted 3 different Bachmann split frames to date), wires to the tender and decoder and back to the motor.

Jinty looks straightforward to me. There is a U-tube on this

Nigel



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 Posted: Sat Mar 15th, 2014 02:08 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Hornby have no credibility in my book when it comes to decoders.  They are at the bottom of the pile and would never be fitted to any loco I am converting.

Admittedly, most of my work is with sound decoders - top of the pile Loksound, Zimo and QSI.  Spurious problems often link back to leaving the capacitors in place.  They serve no useful purpose.

I hard wire every decoder, stripping the loco right back.  I remake the pick ups, fit LED lights (sometimes with fibre optics), and service the drive train - including snipping off the capacitors.

I ALWAYS use "sugar cube" speakers.  They are small (15mm x 10mm), and have a huge sound due to their integrated chamber.

Loksound uses 4 Ohm amplifies, so two 8 Ohm sugar cubes in parallel, facing each other creates a mighty and bassy sound, due to the hyperbaric effect.

Did I mention removing the capacitors?  :lol:



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 Posted: Sat Mar 15th, 2014 02:29 am
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BCDR
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Max,

Couldn't agree more. Hence my previous comment re getting decent decoders. Seems Hornby want us to use their decoders. I run Loksound, Loksound Select for the NA stock, QSI and Lenz mini-silvers, I have used Soundtraxx, Digitrax and the like are for making sure the wiring is correct before committing an expensive decoder. Like you I see no point in keeping circuit boards, chokes or resisters (whether it's Bachmann, Hornby, Atlas, Athearn, or Kato) when a decoder is being installed that is doing all of that and better. I think we differ in that I don't hard-wire directly. Start with a clean slate, if it goes wrong it's my fault, not some unsuspected interaction with what they did (or did not). Whenever possible I change the motor as well, as I have to change the wheel sets anyway. Slowly moving towards proper chassis' for all the stock with Mashima cans and decent gearboxes with ratios appropriate for the job.

Most of my decoders are Loksounds, after sales service is fantastic, even several years after buying.

Enough, this is Toto's thread, and I did promise a blow-by-blow of the Bachmann 56xx. Which is already proving interesting.

Nigel








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 Posted: Sat Mar 15th, 2014 03:08 am
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Hey Nigel,

Carry on ....... It's all over my head and I did not realise this subject ran so deep. A fascinating read.

I'll chip In to what max said about Hornby but from a much wider perspective............ I hate buying anything from them. Have a look at my loco list which tells a story. I have only detailed the unchipped loco's but out of a total of 51' two are Hornby and I have had bother with both of them.
I may have to give in again at some stage, but as far as I am concerned, hell will freeze over first. They take there name for granted and In my opinion, try to dictate the market. Well...........they have fallen from grace and on hard times and the other big three are reaping the benifits.

Sorry about the rant but I always say ......... Vote with your feet and rightly or wrongly from a personal perspective that is what I have done.

Back to chips............ I've not tinkered with sound as yet as it seems very expensive and can't justify it when I have so much still to do with the basic layout. But I would appreciate an honest breakdown of what it would cost me for the basic components to try my first sound project say on a class 37 or a 25. The big manufacturers are starting to produce loco's with sound for about £ 135 and slightly upwards, what in your opinion is the big difference from say a Zimo equipped sound decoder.

It may be night and day to an experienced modeller but to me the differences may not be that obvious.

Cheers again

Toto

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 Posted: Sat Mar 15th, 2014 04:37 am
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BCDR
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Hi Toto,

Class 37 - which one? Howes have 3 different ones for £117.00. Looking at Hattons (my base reference point) a Class 37 goes for around £84.00, depending on the model. eBay is slightly cheaper. Combine the 2 and that's £201.00 for the locomotive and a full function decoder with authentic sounds (and of high fidelity). Zimo decoders would appear to be £10.00 cheaper. I have no experience of these.

Not sure where you saw one with sound for £135.00. Ah, under £130 with Soundtraxx sound on pre-order. Not bad.This is an "economy" range decoder with limited functions (no bells and whistles, which is what Bachmann believe the UK buyer wants (I have a lot of issues with this approach) compared to a regular decoder. Apparently these are recorded from the real thing. Also applies to the Class 20, 45xx, 57xx (I'd be interested in the 45xx and 57xx if the sounds are as good as the Howes ones), and the BR 5MT. 

Loksound Selects for NA sounds go for around $88.00 US, Loksound 4.00 for around $115 US, which is a lot less than in the UK. Difference is that nearly all UK sounds are proprietary, most NA sounds are in the public domain. And no, they will not re-blow a NA decoder in the UK. I've asked.

If you're not bothered by the reduced functionality of the Soundtraxx decoder and if the sound quality is good for that price it's a pretty good deal. £20.00 more than the Loksound decoder alone (although that has much more functionality).

Regards,

Nigel




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 Posted: Sun Mar 16th, 2014 03:20 am
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toto
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Hi,

Got my decoders from a Hattons today. Disaster........no pins, I take it these have to be soldered then. :thud

They are tiny....... Oh boy.

This could be interesting...........and costly. :mutley

I'll be back

Cheers
Toto

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 Posted: Sun Mar 16th, 2014 03:45 am
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MaxSouthOz
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They may have to push on to a 21 pin rack, Tom.

Are they 21 pin?

Can you put up a photo of them?



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 Posted: Sun Mar 16th, 2014 05:07 am
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toto
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Hi max

I'll post a photo in the morning

Cheers

Toto

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 Posted: Sun Mar 16th, 2014 11:26 am
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Aren't most 21 pin decoders direct plug, no harness quest:


Ed



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 Posted: Sun Mar 16th, 2014 11:34 am
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That's what I'm saying, Ed.  They push on to a rack of pins.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 16th, 2014 04:11 pm
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toto
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Hi Max,

as promised, please see below some shots of the two decoder types. On closer inspection, I can see the holes, .........:oops: I was looking for pins which of course will be on the Loco side.:oops::oops:

Anyway, I'll post the piccies regardless.

First up is the hattons offering, as packaged



Now a close up, forgive the photo quality.



and a bit clearer on this one,




and the the Lenz Silver, as packaged,



and a couple out of the shell,



and the last one,




Sorry for the confusion, I think a blind man would have even spotted this first time around. There we have it anyway. I might get on to the first conversion tonight depending how far on I get with my tracklaying. If not, I'll pick a hand full of loco's and take them up north with me.

I'm not sure f my works laptop will let me down load photo's to it so if not, it maybe next weekend before I get them posted. Hopefully it will have the facility without needing administrators rights.

cheers for now.

Toto

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 Posted: Sun Mar 16th, 2014 11:37 pm
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Hi Toto

I admit up front that I'm exclusively ESU nowadays.  My main focus is on computer control, so I have eliminated all of the hassles I can in the infrastructure that supports it.  That's the reason I'm building my own turnouts - too many issues with RTR stuff.

Anyway, I digress.  ESU offer a daughter board for 21 pin decoders, called a 21 MTC adapter.  It has all of the standard wires attached to it - including the speaker wires - and even pads for two extra auxiliary functions.  Once the daughter board is installed, it's simply a matter of pressing the 21 pin decoders on to it.

So called DCC ready locos often have these 21 pin racks on them, but they still have the issue of the capacitors and the DC board.  I really hate watching people new to DCC, struggling with the process. Eventually we all decide on a good brand and stick to it.

The best advice I can give you is to avoid brands that sell decoders as a part of their larger business.  TCS, Lenz and ESU make decoders and associated products.  You will pay a bit more for them, but it's value for money.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 17th, 2014 05:16 am
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BCDR
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Hi Toto,

I just posted the Bachmann 56xx DC to DCC sound conversion I did over the weekend in Members Projects/Members Workbenches/ Nigel's Workbench as it is quite long, and I don't want to take over your post.

One of the first generation DCC "Ready" models that was really a DC chassis with an 8-pin plug as an afterthought and really no space for a decoder, let alone a decoder and a speaker.

Issues I found: Non-standard wiring, no room for a standard sized decoder in the boiler and no room for a speaker in the boiler.

I managed to squeeze a full-size decoder and a 20mm speaker in, but it turned out to be a total dismantle and rewiring job to do it. Not difficult, minimum of tools required (screwdrivers, file, soldering iron), and minimal butchery of the body work.  

I bought the model for £20.00 in excellent as new condition, soemthing those trying DCC modifications for the first time might want to consider.

Nigel




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