Recent Piko 35010 Central Station issues

Neil Robinson

Neil Robinson

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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N W Leicestershire
I purchased one of these a couple of weeks ago and initially thought it to be suspect for the following reasons.

1/ It didn't work

2/ The baseplate had the model number 35015 molded on rather than 35010

3/The red and green stop and reset buttons were reversed. A green stop button, really !

To me this suggested someone had dismantled it and was somewhat careless with the reassembly so I returned it.

The helpful dealer checked his stock and commented "I have checked the replacement and this also has the same base as the 1 returned and have been told is normal as just a generic base plate."

A little research revealed that, whilst my two to three year old example worked O.K. on either AC or linear DC supplies, the latest version needs a switched mode DC supply.

As the replacement of my recent purchase was identical to the one I returned I decided to use it on a switched mode DC supply, ignore the incorrect model number on the base and dismantle the unit to swap the red and green buttons over myself.

It appears that Piko's supplier have some quality control issues.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Tamworth, Staffs.
They are no longer (or it is 'old, new stock') including the A5 flyer warning to use DC only then? - What do the instructions say?
 
Neil Robinson

Neil Robinson

Registered
24 Oct 2009
9,339
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N W Leicestershire
They are no longer (or it is 'old, new stock') including the A5 flyer warning to use DC only then? - What do the instructions say?
The instructions supplied with my latest unit state " Input power supply 16-24 V DC". The output on the unit is labelled 22 V followed by the = sign with the dashed lower line signifying DC only. Unsurprisingly my old. original spec. unit has the AC/DC sign.
 
ARIA31

ARIA31

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3 Oct 2017
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Toulouse - France
35015 is a booster not a DCC central station such as the 35010 : see page 109 in the 2019 catalogue.

It is not an old stock !!!
 
Neil Robinson

Neil Robinson

Registered
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N W Leicestershire
35015 is a booster not a DCC central station such as the 35010 : see page 109 in the 2019 catalogue.

It is not an old stock !!!
Indeed, but apart from the molded on numbers the baseplates for 35010 and 35015 appear identical.
 
ARIA31

ARIA31

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Yes they look the same but the 35015 is designed to be connected to 35010
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Besides that, reversing red and green lights is very strange.
 
Neil Robinson

Neil Robinson

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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N W Leicestershire
What is written on the housing , on the grey front side : booster or digitalzentral ?
Digitalzentrale. The unit now performs as expected of a later 35010. It's supplied by a switched mode supply, I've swapped the coloured buttons over and can accept the "wrong" baseplate. In my opinion Piko's supplier's quality control would benefit from being more vigilant.
 
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LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
Yes, you've bought the Piko Booster Unit. Obviously the dealer you bought the unit from didn't know what they're doing........should have advised you that it's not the Central Station but the Booster Unit. You should return it to get your money back for selling you the wrong component.

The Piko 35010 Central Station connects to your track. You also need to buy either a Piko Navigator or Massoth Navigator hand held controller unit, either the cabled version or the wireless/cable version. Massoth Germany makes the Piko line of DCC items for Piko Germany, and the components are interchangeable. You'd also need either a Piko Receiver or Massoth Receiver that connects to the Piko Central Station if you want wireless control. I've had a Piko Central Station for four years now and it works great.......my first DCC system. I now use the full Massoth DCC system for my garden RR, and I use Massoth Navigators for both the Piko and Massoth DCC Central Stations. The main use of my Piko Central Station now is for programming CVs on DCC decoders on a Programming Track.

The Piko Booster Unit is used only if you want to power a separate isolated track section, such as a large outdoor layout, and is powered by a separate five amp max DC power supply. The Piko Central Station also needs it own 5 amp max DC power supply. A cable from the Booster is connected to the Central Station in order for the Central Station to also provide commands to the Booster's separate isolated track section that is controlled by the wireless Navigator Controller. Piko recommends using its own Power Supply that's made for the Piko Central Station or Booster Units, correct specifications. Using a DC power supply on either unit that doesn't match the Piko specifications needed can blow the units. If in doubt about the appropriate use of an alternative power supply with the Piko units, I recommend you contact Piko of America, San Diego CA USA:
Contact Us:
Phone: 619-280-2800
Toll-Free: 877-678-4449
Fax: 619-280-2843
info@piko-america.com
Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM Pacific
 
Neil Robinson

Neil Robinson

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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28
N W Leicestershire
Yes, you've bought the Piko Booster Unit. ...........
Thanks for your interest and detailed reply.

The extract above is the only part that I disagree with. I may not have made myself clear in earlier posts.

I've always presumed that my original purchase and replacement are Central Stations assembled with the wrong baseplate and incorrectly assembled buttons.
 
ARIA31

ARIA31

Registered
3 Oct 2017
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Toulouse - France
Question to LGB333 , I am curious to know in summary what the Massoth system provides with you in addition to the Piko DCC ?

I am waiting for my Piko 35010, possibly next week. This will meet my limited expectation in DCC ; I have an indoor layout and I only wish to upgrade one loco to DCC (mainly because of adding a sound module) . But I have not understood so far what a Massoth system would bring to me. I know there are a lot of specialist about Massoth on this forum.
 
Neil Robinson

Neil Robinson

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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N W Leicestershire
Hmm... if it is a Central Station, wouldn't it have a socket for the connection of a throttle? Wouldn't that be the obvious difference between the booster and the central station?
A reasonable assumption but that's not the way Piko do it. The one socket on the Central station may be used to connect a controller, wireless transmitter for a wireless controller or a booster. A "splitter cable" plugs into a similar socket on the booster. The other end of this cable has a double socket, the controller or another booster plugs into one and a cable from the Central station or another booster plugs into the other.
 
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LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
Question to LGB333 , I am curious to know in summary what the Massoth system provides with you in addition to the Piko DCC ?

I am waiting for my Piko 35010, possibly next week. This will meet my limited expectation in DCC ; I have an indoor layout and I only wish to upgrade one loco to DCC (mainly because of adding a sound module) . But I have not understood so far what a Massoth system would bring to me. I know there are a lot of specialist about Massoth on this forum.
ARIA31 - The Piko Central Station is fine for a small to medium sized layout. The Central Station and Booster Units are limited to a five amp 22 volts DC power supply input to produce a DCC five amp/20 volts output but you can add up to five additional Piko Booster Units for larger layouts. These track sections will all be electrically isolated from the Piko Central Station and each other with their own 5 amp power supplies. But the Central Station and a Piko or Massoth Navigator will control the entire layout through the Booster units as an integrated operation.........a locomotive just traverses from one track section to the next seamlessly. However, as Greg Elmassian pointed out a few months ago in a DCC Central Station discussion I participated in, that the Piko system is max'd out at five amps output. For large a large layout running large consists and several two motor locomotives all at the same time, especially if there are any inclines in the layout, this would probably overload the Piko system's capacity.

The Massoth Central Station can produce up to 12 amps DCC output, has adjustable power settings, so it has more robust specifications. I use a Massoth 12 amp DC Power Supply with it. It also can accommodate PC interface control which the Piko unit can't provide. But for the newbie DCC hobbyist, unless you know you're going to be expanding to a huge layout as I described, the Piko unit should be fine for most large scale hobbyists. And the full range of Massoth DCC components will work with the Piko unit, e.g., Receivers, Navigators, one channel and four channel switch decoders, and some of the non-produced LGB MTS/DCC components which were made by Massoth for Ernest Paul Lehmann Patenwerk - LGB.
 
LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
So the only way to tell is to plug in a throttle and see if it works?
Negatory! The Piko Central Station and the Piko Booster look identical but have separately identifiable markings:
1. Top of units: Central Station labeled "Digitalzentrale"; Booster labeled "Booster";
2. Cable Connectors Face: Central Station telephone type plug labeled "Digital Bus"; Booster telephone type plug labeled "BUS Splitter";
3. Bottom of units: Central Station "35010"; Booster "35015".
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PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,957
335
Tamworth, Staffs.
Question to LGB333 , I am curious to know in summary what the Massoth system provides with you in addition to the Piko DCC ?

I am waiting for my Piko 35010, possibly next week. This will meet my limited expectation in DCC ; I have an indoor layout and I only wish to upgrade one loco to DCC (mainly because of adding a sound module) . But I have not understood so far what a Massoth system would bring to me. I know there are a lot of specialist about Massoth on this forum.
The main difference (which will probably never give you a problem) is that the end-user (you!) is not able to upgrade the firmware of the Piko throttle (handset) or (I believe) the Central Station.

The Massoth system allows the end-user to do this (via a PC interface module) to the Navigator (throttle/handset), Central Station, and other parts of the 'system'.
Also has a greater current capacity from the Central Station.

The limitation of 'power districts' (sections of track supplied by initial CS, or Booster's) is each section is still limited to 5amps. - If you have a terminus / goods-yard / whatever, where a number of loco's may all end-up at the same time, you may still run-up against the 5amp limit?
 
ARIA31

ARIA31

Registered
3 Oct 2017
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7
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Toulouse - France
Neil , As I am waiting for my own Piko 35010, have you bought yours as brand new one ?
If yes I will ask my web shop to check the station before shipping. !!
 
Neil Robinson

Neil Robinson

Registered
24 Oct 2009
9,339
28
N W Leicestershire
Neil , As I am waiting for my own Piko 35010, have you bought yours as brand new one ?
If yes I will ask my web shop to check the station before shipping. !!
Yes. It was purchased from a respected on line retailer who also has a shop.

As an aside I've made Piko aware of this issue as I needed to contact them on another matter anyway.