Identifying a decoder - another

N

NDC

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Hi,

I bought an as-seen USA Trains F3 AB set and found one of these in each. Does anyone recognise it?
I tried it with my old H&M controller. It went through the start up sequence, then the motors start, but quite slowly at the max 12 v . Also the sound went a bit crackly below 12v which I guess is because the motors are pulling the voltage down.
If these are good, than Mrs C is happy to commit to DCC!
Thanks
 

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PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
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Also........

I assume your H&M controller is 'flat-out' at 12 volts? - What current is it supposed to be able to supply?

The USA Trains loco's will easily pull 2-3 Amps.. Try using the switches to make sure the smoke unit(s) are turned off. - You could also turn the lights off in the same way.
This will reduce the load on your controller.

The above presupposes that the switches have not been bypassed by the decoder installation.

PhilP.
 
Brixham

Brixham

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And watch out for badge engineering....

Malcolm
 
beavercreek

beavercreek

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It is a ESU Loksound XL V 3.5....a good decoder. I have used a fair number of them.
 
PhilP

PhilP

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NDC,

Welcome to the Forum, by the way.. It would appear you have possibly been absorbing the atmosphere for quite some time? ;)
 
N

NDC

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Thanks for the info. I've now managed to find manuals and CV values, just need a proper controller....

I think the H&M is a non-starter, 12v and maybe 1A if I'm lucky. The motors are wired direct to the decoder and I think the lights are too. The marker and number board lights come on when going backward but the head and reversing lights don't work at all.

Is it worth moving the speaker to the fuel tank, as the designers intended. Or is that just for easy installation of the OEM sound system?
 
PhilP

PhilP

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Thanks for the info. I've now managed to find manuals and CV values, just need a proper controller....

I think the H&M is a non-starter, 12v and maybe 1A if I'm lucky. The motors are wired direct to the decoder and I think the lights are too. The marker and number board lights come on when going backward but the head and reversing lights don't work at all.

Is it worth moving the speaker to the fuel tank, as the designers intended. Or is that just for easy installation of the OEM sound system?
You are welcome!

Moving the speaker is very much a personal choice.. It does move a little weight lower-down. - Always a good idea. Also, the tank will act as a sound-box.

Most important thing is to be meticulous keeping the wires clear of the pillars in the body, or to be more precise, keep them from between the pillars and screw-holes. - I have worked on a number of these (Aristocraft also) where wires have been trapped, cut, even a pair shorted by the mounting screws, and/or the pillars / where they sit on the chassis.

Hiding the 'spaghetti' can be a challenge..
 
PhilP

PhilP

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I could be wrong? - About the OP's controller??

I could also be showing my age? :eek:

But my H&M controller gives +/- 12v DC and has a 14v AC accessory output.. :(
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

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I could be wrong? - About the OP's controller??

I could also be showing my age? :eek:

But my H&M controller gives +/- 12v DC and has a 14v AC accessory output.. :(
Or maybe a 16VAC accessory output, not seen one in years.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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so "controller" to a DCC decoder made me think it was a DCC system

So, just an old HO power pack...

So, saying "if these are good.... commit to DCC" really meant, if these are good, I would buy a DCC system... ahh...

Greg
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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so "controller" to a DCC decoder made me think it was a DCC system

So, just an old HO power pack...

So, saying "if these are good.... commit to DCC" really meant, if these are good, I would buy a DCC system... ahh...

Greg
HnM are a good quality controller for Analogue, robust well built but not in the legue for big G Scale Locomotives. Ok for an odd test with smaller or even running but not DCC in any serious way. I am pretty sure that HnM dissapeared before DCC got into the swing of things, had they still been about I am sure that they would have made a good DCC System.

So clearly our friend needs a DCC System of some sort, lots of choice and there will be lots of ‘get this one it is the best’ and indeed I have mine but am not going to say it as I am past all that now. Though my chosen system does have issues trying to read and update Cv’s with the one G Scale Locsound Decoder fitted Loco that I have.

Must also be mentioned as NDC appears to be pretty new to the G Scale scene that there is the option of Battery Radio Control which can include DCC locomotives as well. No track cleaning in the Garden, can be a bit tricky to fit to smaller Locomotives, pretty simple in larger ones but there are also non DCC options with the 2 systems living happily side by side or track to track. Have a look at some of the threads in the Battery Section. Some by me but also see Rik And others.
 
N

NDC

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Hi all, thanks for your help. Yes, I have been running on DC (on and off for over15 years, including a house move) so now looking to justify something better.

Nick
 
Greg Elmassian

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I have no track cleaning in the garden, just takes stainless steel track and rail clamps... I go years without any electrical maintenance. It can be done if done properly, even cheaply with brass track by using clamps or bonding wires (free)

Both ways have their pro's and con's but DCC was designed for track power and centralized control, and the battery powered systems that use DCC decoders don't have that centralized control and the benefits.

Greg
 
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dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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I just knew that the old chestnut about Stainless Steel Track would return, yes it is better for lack of track cleaning. But there are a few things to remember.
- It is more expensive so if cost is an issue could be a no no.
- Apparently more difficult to cut.
- I believe it is almost impossible to solder wires to thus Track Clamps for this purpose required (more expence)
- Was the full range of points and xovers available in Stainless?

if you want a good low down on the merits this post is interesting also pointing to Aristocraft Stainless:-


The post by EmpireII Line on 14th May being particularly relevant in this respect.

As in all of my mentions about Battery Power I just mention it to give a balanced knowledge of what is out there to potential newcommers.

As for centralised control, it depends on what this really means in terms of operation, if you have a bunch of guys working Timetable and someone is doing the wrong (or stupid) thing then yes with Battery Power you cannot just take a way his power. However with CTC as I understand it one has access to Signals that must be obeyed and Points (switches in USA) that must be observed for correct orientation by whoever is driving the Train. That is all just about discipline and organisation of visitors one’s line. As a rule most visitors understand the need to be respectful when visiting a Railway, but there is always the odd one and a Central Station running DCC will cut him off whilst things are resolved - but is that really the way? DCC could be used to power Points and Signals from a Central Location with ease and I guess that is part of what Greg refers to, but as with all things there are many meanings to ‘centralised control’.

rant done ....... for now.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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That thread is 12 years old, and the people who have it love it. The people who have never used it, their opinions pretty much don't matter, but also that is so long ago, that rail clamps were not that well known.

the stock joiners will not do the job of conductivity, and very few people argue that for track power nowadays.

Also, yes SS track is more expensive than brass, but it's less expensive for me to power my rails and have decoders than to not power the rails, use cheaper rail and add batteries and chargers.

After about 4 locos, track power always wins the cost argument.

Centralized control is a big deal, if you have more than one loco running and/or more than one operator. The one example of many is an effective "all stop"... and I use it when running alone but with 2 trains. Avoids crashes that are my fault.

Centralized control is a fundamental concept of DCC, in that the Command Station knows what locos are running at any one time, therefore an effective way to stop all locos by going through the "list" of ones running is easy.

But it also helps with consisting, handoff of locos between operators and many other things. DCC is just more than direction control and speed.

The more you know about DCC, the more features you will find you like. Jon, you no longer run DCC I believe and have gone battery, so it appears that you have not really gone into depth on what DCC brings to the table.

It may not have features that YOU want, but when advising someone else, it helps to let them discover what is available, not put it down because you don't know these things or want these things, which is of course your personal prerogative.

Greg
 
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PhilP

PhilP

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Centralized control is a fundamental concept of DCC, in that the Command Station knows what locos are running at any one time, therefore an effective way to stop all locos by going through the "list" of ones running is easy.
Greg,

Got to take issue with you on this one?

The emergency stop command is a broadcast command under DCC, which all decoders should respond to. - So the Central Station (in effect) 'shouts' stop-all, and all the decoders should respond to this.
(I do not know of a manufacturers system, which sends 'stop', to each address it thinks is running, in turn?)

The Central Station knows which loco's you have sent commands too, but can not know which are actually running, as DCC is a broadcast transmission system, with no feedback, to acknowledge receipt of a command, or (under normal running) way of knowing if a command has been implemented.
Hence DCC sends each command a number of times, and hopes it has been received.

This is different on a programming track, where the decoder acknowledges receiving (and acting) on a command by the 'twitch' we see of the motor. - The CS detects this, but it does not transmit any 'data' (in a '0' or '1' sense) back to the CS.


Simplified explanation, I know, but think the whole audience should get this? :nerd:
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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I am pretty conversant with DCC, admittedly not using all the functions. Double heading (consisting to you guys over the pond) is not something that my chosen line does on a regular basis. But many of the other DCC bits are of use though I rarely use all if the sounds available as I feel some are just gimmicks. My personal view. But that is just me and my general run of the mill Operators are rarely interested much beyond Whistle and Bell as being used regularly in the Harz in former East Germany which my line is based on.

Going back to track cleaning for me it has become a chore on my near 400 ft if Railway. In effect many times stopping me from bothering to run trains at all till I started 2 years ago to be exclusive Live Steam and Battery. I think that a certain person should read my words a little more carefully as I these days only point out the availability of Battery as an option detailing my why and wherefore of why I have deserted (mostly) track power. For many newcommers this availibility may not be a known entity.

But DCC is still with me, my Massoth system gets used in the Winter or whenever I decide to have a Shed Operating day on my own. Plus of course I am changing Cv’s on my Battery DCC fitted Locomotives when I get them up and running to ensure that Maximum Speed is set as I like it and to remove all traces of Momentum again my choice.