Piko BR50 conversion upgrade to MTH DCS?

Y

Yardtrain

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22 Jun 2018
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I am interested in the Piko BR50, I would like it to be seamless with my other engines which are all MTH, I prefer the DCS system over others So converting it to DCS is essential for me. I haven't been able to find any photos of the underside or of the motor. Can anyone confirm wether or not Piko engines have flywheel motors or not as that is usually required for DCS conversions.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
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It's been a while since I bought a PIKO G scale loco but they didn't have flywheels then and I am pretty sure they don't now. I have to confess I have not heard of MTH DCS before.
 
a98087

a98087

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I do t have a Br 50, but I do currently have a friends br24. which is the smaller German tender loco.

assuming there are the same the installation should be simple as there a circuit board in the tender that allows easy installation of any control system.

it’s all colour coded and labelled and has screw terminals as well.

Piko will have all the manuals and exploded diagrams on their website for you to browse if it helps

dan
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
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I find the question of flywheel motors interesting. For me, it is a no-brainer to have a flywheel, but I can understand LGB not going that way as they were, to a certain extent, in their own little bubble, and did not have manufacturing experience in other scales and gauges. Piko, on the other hand, do have direct manufacturing experience in the smaller gauges, and I don't know why they haven't gone the flywheel route.

Using a double ended motor with twin drives can provide a certain robustness in the drive train, but using a flywheel on the motor relieves a lot of stress on the drive train, and helps with the occasional stutter on dirty track and point frogs. Yes, and while you can use a simple stay-alive when running on DCC, there's no such easy solution for DC.

It wouldn't be that difficult to include a flywheel on a double drive motor - in 00 gauge you have motors with twin flywheels and extended shafts, so it should be achievable in large scale. To my knowledge, of the major manufacturers, it's only Bachmann who have pursued the flywheel motor and, I assume from the original question, MTH as well
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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So, since the requirement for a flywheel is really just a tachometer strip, perhaps one could be fabricated of almost any material, split to fit around the motor shaft to avoid pulling the worm.

There might be a way to fit in that space. I would definitely contact Raymond Manley to get his opinion, probably the foremost DCS conversion person in the US.

Greg
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

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27 Oct 2009
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So, since the requirement for a flywheel is really just a tachometer strip, perhaps one could be fabricated of almost any material, split to fit around the motor shaft to avoid pulling the worm.



Greg
In theory, yes - but that method may induce an imbalance in the flywheel. Whether that would cause a problem, I don't really know.

Most of the flywheels that I've seen are brass, so machineable with a modest weight.

Obviously the area where you don't need a flywheel is with battery R/C control, so I haven't actually installed any in large scale locos, and the only track power loco I have with a flywheel is the C-19. Had I been able to put a flywheel on my scratchbuilt 2-6-2, I would probably not have converted it to battery power. So why didn't I? a long story, but getting a double ended, high quality motor in this scale without the worms already fitted isn't as straightforward as one would like to think :confused:
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Again, the flywheel in a DCS installation is for the tachometer strip that the system uses to regulate speed.

Making it from a lightweight material eliminates any concern over imbalance, and more importantly size, and most importantly extra wear on the motor bearings.

DCS relies on the tachometer strip for speed control. Adding a flywheel in our scale is sort of window dressing, it helps coasting, but we have electronics to simulate mass, and also, most people run with very little or no momentum, and trying to do quick stops with a flywheel actually helps add wear to the drivetrain.

Greg
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
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North West Norfolk
Again, the flywheel in a DCS installation is for the tachometer strip that the system uses to regulate speed.

Making it from a lightweight material eliminates any concern over imbalance, and more importantly size, and most importantly extra wear on the motor bearings.

DCS relies on the tachometer strip for speed control. Adding a flywheel in our scale is sort of window dressing, it helps coasting, but we have electronics to simulate mass, and also, most people run with very little or no momentum, and trying to do quick stops with a flywheel actually helps add wear to the drivetrain.

Greg
Oh, sorry, I misunderstood the use in the DCS system - gotcha.

Yes, I think that's probably the issue with real flywheels - desirable in analogue, undesirable in DCC
 
P A D

P A D

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26 Aug 2020
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DCS relies on the tachometer strip for speed control. Adding a flywheel in our scale is sort of window dressing, it helps coasting, but we have electronics to simulate mass, and also, most people run with very little or no momentum, and trying to do quick stops with a flywheel actually helps add wear to the drivetrain.
Hi Greg,
Forgive my ignorance, but why would you want to do quick stops? Surely a gradual deceleration down to a stop, as per prototype operation is more desirable. The odd emergency stop I can understand, but that would be the exception rather than the rule, so should have minimal impact on drive train wear.

Cheers,
Peter
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

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I was working on the basis that with the flywheel, even if somebody tried a sudden stop, the motor is spinning a little bit and IMHO that should reduce drive train wear :think::think:
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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Rhino, I see your point, with a flywheel, making rapid motor speed changes become more difficult... should reduce wear on regular worm style drivetrains, I am changing to your way of thinking.

Peter, why do people do quick stops? I think you need to watch others run trains. I use momentum to simulate the prototype. When I add it to a loco, almost everyone complains that the train is too hard to run, especially deceleration.

Just many years of DCC use and setting momentum and people complaining. By far, over the last 20 years, fewer people use momentum to stop, starting seems ok, but people doing switching complain.

In any case, the installation needs a tachometer strip in the drivetrain:
here's a motor with the "tach strip" on it
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
28,460
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North West Norfolk
One of the add-ons that you can do with RC (at a cost) is to introduce inertia, usually adjustable. This means that you can simulate a realistic train weight, and it makes stopping at a pre-determined point quite challenging, and good fun.

But, it's not for everyone - yer pays yer money ..................... :nod::nod:
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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It's got a lot of features. The system uses an ac signal on top of the constant track voltage, be it DC or 60 Hz AC (probably works on 50 Hz too)

The tachometer on each loco allows precise speed synchronization between locos inherently.

The sound systems are very nice, and they have the best stock "puffing" smoke units of any stock manufactured locos, except perhaps for the Kiss engines.

They use a system where the loco is registered to the system, they have wi-fi remotes as well as 900 MHz remotes, and it can be scaled to a large system.

Greg