PIKO new dcc control system

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Tommygcbe

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#1
Has anyone had hands-on experience of the new PIKO dcc control system. I’m not sure exactly how recent it is but I am always loathe to rush into a brand new and untried product. On the other hand PIKO seems to be a good company and fairly trustworthy??? Any views please?
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
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#2
Which one ? I have just bought the 55017 Smartcontrol light - but that's a 2 amp unit made for small HO/N operations, like my nascent 009 layout. Max
 
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Tommygcbe

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#3
Hi Max, my need is for G scale (45mm) but I thought the newest version of their kit could cope with any gauge. I would certainly need a 5amp transformer as a minimum. Regards, Tom
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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#4
not just the amperage, but G scale needs a much higher voltage....

the "newest" I could find advertised was the "smartcontrol basic" which is advertised on their web site "for all scales"... but the data sheet says for HO and N, and the power supply is 16v, so probably 14v to the rails, not sufficient for G scale.

But on another of the pages it shows an 18v transformer (so maybe 16v on the rails)... still not sufficient for G scale.

A bit misleading... for all scales should mean from Z to G ...

I would not recommend this...


Greg
 
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playmofire

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#5
14v will do for G scale, it depends on what size of locos you run.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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#6
Agreed P playmofire in my early g scale days I ran my trains using a Hornby Elite designed for OO/HO which is 14v with a 4A transformer until I knew what I wanted. But Greg makes a good point it would not be a good choice for a large scale user.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

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#7
There is another Piko DCC system - 55040 - that Gaugemaster list as suitable for larger scales, quoting "G". However this is much more expensive at more than double the price, with an untethered wireless "walkaround" handset. Still only rated at 2.5 amp. When you look at the Piko shop they do not market the 55040 for "G" and they are the people who are in that product area too so you think they would know. Make your own mind up. The Piko 55017 "light" system is the well established Uhlenbrock Daisy II system repackaged. Or so I am told by the nice man at the shop where I bought mine. Max
 
palmerston

palmerston

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#8
Oh yes, i just got the System Control 4 from KM1 which is another repackaged Uhlenbrock Daisy II with 20V, 4A! Works fine with LGB and MLGB in dcc mode.
 
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Tommygcbe

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#9
Thanks for these replies. I obviously need to do more research. Regards, Tom
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

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#10
Oh yes, i just got the System Control 4 from KM1 which is another repackaged Uhlenbrock Daisy II with 20V, 4A! Works fine with LGB and MLGB in dcc mode.
Yes, they are upgadeable/expandable for higher loads from the standard 2 amp rating. As the vnm at the shop said. Max
 
65 1057

65 1057

Railways @ 1.435 mm/ 1.000 mm/ 750 mm and 45mm
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#11
I started with Uhlenbrock DAISY 2 DCC set, and it worked reliably for G scale up to 2-3 locos. I connected later the little command station via LocoNet to an 8 Amp. booster, and only this booster is feeding the track with sufficient Power & Voltage.
Details for Uhlenbrock DAISY 2 DCC can be found here
Details for PIKO Smart Control Light can be found here

Both systems are pretty similar. The differences are (I quote the test from the german magazine "Digitale Modellbahn")

Power Pack
PIKO SMART Control 2,25 A @ 16 V
UHLENBROCK DAISY2 DCC 1,9 A @ 15,2 V

Only the Uhlenbrock "HandController" has illuminated keys, and can be upgraded with a wireless control.

Andreas

p.s. to obtain more connectivity e.g. WLAN, USB etc. I recommend to consider the DIGIKEIJS DR 5000 station
 
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Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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#12
14v will do for G scale, it depends on what size of locos you run.
It's not the size, but the motor voltage, and usually the manufacturer. For example an LGB track cleaning loco flat out will not run (cleaning motor, the reason you buy it) on 14 volts DCC... Aristo Craft diesels will barely budge at that voltage.

So be sure to check the locos on DCC voltage (not DC) before you commit. Yes little bitty locos that are geared to supersonic speeds will run on lower voltages, but it is a bad choice in my opinion.

I don't like giving newcomers (to DCC) advice that requires experience on their part, or the ability to check their personal fleet of locos for voltage, since they clearly don't have the experience or the fleet of locos in most cases.

Greg
 
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playmofire

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#13
It's not the size, but the motor voltage, and usually the manufacturer. For example an LGB track cleaning loco flat out will not run (cleaning motor, the reason you buy it) on 14 volts DCC... Aristo Craft diesels will barely budge at that voltage.

So be sure to check the locos on DCC voltage (not DC) before you commit. Yes little bitty locos that are geared to supersonic speeds will run on lower voltages, but it is a bad choice in my opinion.

I don't like giving newcomers (to DCC) advice that requires experience on their part, or the ability to check their personal fleet of locos for voltage, since they clearly don't have the experience or the fleet of locos in most cases.

Greg
My apologies, I had overlooked the earlier references to DCC.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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#14
Most stuff will work fine at lower voltages, but there are exceptions all over the place, and some really crazy ones you would not expect.

There are inexpensive 5 amp boosters that can be had and will work up to reasonable voltages, recently I put a portable system together with a Tam Valley 5 amp booster and used a 20 volt laptop power supply, giving 18 volts to the rails, which is fine for most demonstrations.

I've gotten "bitten" before, and there are examples of mainline diesels that need the full 24 volts DCC on the rails to achieve 92 smph.... (it was a passenger train, and I do normally run it about 75 smph, but they DID hit 100 occasionally)

Anyway, I have most likely once again beaten the topic to death... sorry!

Greg
 
palmerston

palmerston

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#15
Yes, they are upgadeable/expandable for higher loads from the standard 2 amp rating. As the vnm at the shop said. Max
Its not upgraded, it has 20V, 4A as standard and the transmitter is already installed in the System Radio aka Daisy II.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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#16
There is another Piko DCC system - 55040 - that Gaugemaster list as suitable for larger scales, quoting "G". However this is much more expensive at more than double the price, with an untethered wireless "walkaround" handset. Still only rated at 2.5 amp. When you look at the Piko shop they do not market the 55040 for "G" and they are the people who are in that product area too so you think they would know. Make your own mind up. The Piko 55017 "light" system is the well established Uhlenbrock Daisy II system repackaged. Or so I am told by the nice man at the shop where I bought mine. Max
I think that is the "rub".... It says "ALL SCALES" on the Piko site, in my language "all scales" means "ALL"... especially since they sell G.... so that is definitely misleading and how this thread started...

They should have said "N, HO, and maybe O".... I did not see adjustment for output voltage, so voltage not suitable for Z (too high) or G (too low) in my opinion (and experience).

Greg
 
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R. Wolfe

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#17
Tom, I saw a Youtube Video from Piko America. Take a look. This should answer your question about running G-Scale with it.

 
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Dan

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#18
I am with Greg on this. My first track powered RR with the Aristo 27 mhz in 2002 had a 24 volt regulated supply feeding my Aristocraft receivers and I still use them to this day. I installed a DPDT cemter off switch to select my power source.
I use my old 24 volt to the track Zimo MX1 wireless system (input power is 28VAC). I do not run big loads like Greg but I do run diesels fast.

Note here in the US the Washington to Boston Acela hits 160MPH just 7 miles from me in Mansfield, MA. Track is rated for 165mPH.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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#19
R. Wolf... I can drive a Fiat 500 on the racetrack, does not mean it's motor will keep with a real race car.

I explained carefully about the differences in locos. That is a little bitty loco on a flat track going slow, and it's one of the more efficient locos, so yes THAT loco will run on that system. Will it work well with more loads or on a grade? Probably not. Will it have enough voltage for an Aristo loco, no. Will it work well with a Bachmann K27? No...

Let's not encourage someone to make a bad choice.

Greg
 
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PAULG

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#20
Thanks for these replies. I obviously need to do more research. Regards, Tom
Hello Tom, looks like you are in the same boat I was this time last year. I carried out fairly extensive research seeing what was the lowest voltage a loco would run at and what current was being drawn. You need to bear in mind that if you have a decent distance of track you will get some volt reduction [volt drop] , so if you are going with something less than g scale 24/22 volts , you may lose loco ability at the furthest point on the circuit.
Also if you buy the larger locos, they can be fitted with twin motors like my piko TEE and can pull about 2.7 amps , more on uphill sections, so you'll end up needing a 5 amp supply. In the end I went with the piko g scale navigator 35011 as I wanted the wireless option , so I could control from my deckchair.
Paul.