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> Fitting decoders to old locos
gareth
post 4 Jul 2010, 17:22
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Hi

I am in the final testing stages of a home built DIY DCC system and would welcome some advice please. I have about 15 locos of which only three are less than 20 year old. I fitted one of these with a simple decoder recently and it works ok.

The bulk of my locos are old Tri-Ang units from my younger days and I am wondering if it is feasible to fit these with decoders. They mostly use the X04 motors of which I have just had 3 rewound and fitted with new stronger magnets.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Gareth

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locoworks
post 4 Jul 2010, 22:28
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you could probably do with a decoder than can give 1.5 amps peak and 1 amp constant current to the motor.
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Richard Johnson
post 5 Jul 2010, 02:48
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***The New magnets will actually increase efficiency / lower the current draw of the motors but they will still draw more than a can motor. They should run well with the new magnets though. The TCS T-1 is a good choice for older triang locos - plently of power handling and a good solid performance, without a hefty price tag.

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gareth
post 5 Jul 2010, 05:24
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Thanks Guys

Any tips on installing into said locos. I should say that I am new to DCC and have only fitted one decoder and that was into a DCC Ready Hornby A4.

I have read the "Back to the Basics of DCC Installation"article in the DCC quick links but would welcome any practical tips.

Gareth
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34C
post 5 Jul 2010, 09:02
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The XO4 motor is a 'doddle' to convert for DCC operation, and has the part required on the motor if it is in original condition.

The chassis is live to one rail, which means that the brush in contact with the metal spring gets current from the rail directly through the chassis. As supplied the other motor brush gets current from a pick up wiper via a wire. That brush spring is isolated from the brush by an insulating sleeve. Take off the wire connection, remove the insulating sleeve, cut it in half and use the two pieces to isolate both brushes. That's it for essential modifications ahead of installing a decoder! Now you connect red and black to the pick up wiper and chassis block, orange and grey to the motor brushes. It is a good idea to add extra pick ups, as most Triang picks up on only four mazak wheels, and DCC is sensitive to supply interuptions.

There is one small snag to be aware of relating to the live chassis, with metal couplers often attached directly to the chassis block. There will be an immediate short circuit if two live chassis with their live sides on opposing rails happen to move into contact. Best plan is to substitute a plastic coupler for the original metal units, if these are still on your models.
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silky_jack
post 5 Jul 2010, 09:49
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I agree, the TCS T1 seems to have been the best for my old locos (all with Ringfield motors). There's some excellent guides on installing on this forum.


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gareth
post 5 Jul 2010, 12:52
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Me again

How critical is it for the wires to be connected to a specific point ie must the Red cable be to the pickup and black to the chassis also what about the wires to the brushes? Would I be correct in saying that these connections would or will determine the default direct ie If I ask a loco to go forward then it would go backwards if the decoder wires were crossed?
Due to the age of the locos there are no lights to worry about.
How would I go about fitting extra pickups, are there kits available?

As you can guess I last touched "train set"in the 60's and am having to catch up with current developements.

Gareth
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Richard Johnson
post 5 Jul 2010, 14:11
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*** The red and black decoder wires to the chassis are non critical, but if you have live chassis, as 34c mentioned, try to keep them consistent - ie black or red always to the chassis, the same alternate always to the pickup wires. dump all of the suppression stuff.... no need for the capacitors or inductors.

if you reverse the orange and gray at the motor, yes the loco will go backwards when it says forwards...

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Richard


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gareth
post 5 Jul 2010, 14:27
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Hi Richard

Assuming that I have a mixture of DDC Ready/Fitted (ie modern locos) units plus my old units running together how should the wiring be to aleviate shorts etc?

Gareth
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butler-henderson
post 5 Jul 2010, 17:00
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The decoder wiring is specific to the loco it is in - if you swop red and black on other loco it will not affect the system or cause a short. Hard wiring decoders is always a bit blind in terms of which side red and black are connected and equally which motor terminal orange and grey are connected to. The worse that can happen is for the loco to go the wrong way which can be corrected via CV29.
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Richard Johnson
post 6 Jul 2010, 05:45
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**** There is no issue with any individual loco as per previous advice - the only possible conflict or issue is two older locos with metal chassis and directly chassis fixed metal couplers. if one has the chassis live to one rail and the other loco is to the other rail, then if they touch at the couplers a short will be created. This is a good reason for using a standard approach as to which wire is live to chassis... so you will know in advance.

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Richard


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