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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Basically NEM 651 vs NEM 652,

I am in the brink of going DCC. All these years it was DC for me but now I'm having this inferiority complex cause I feel left out whilst nearly everybody around me has converted one way or another. I strongly believe in its merits.

I have been going thru all sorts of articles from day one, trying to understand the basics and as I go along in depth it gets confusing by the day.

Primarily, before proceeding I would beg from you to show some loving care because you are abt to deal with a real bonafide dummy when it comes to electrics.

Before I proceed let me share with you the constants that I have in hand:( i.e can't be changed.)

Dcc unit :Hornby Select.
Decoders : Hornby 8 pole digital decoders or ESU lok sound digital decoders
Locos to be converted :Fleischmann steams mainly.

Now here is where the problem starts. Fleischmann uses their own system called FMZ ,twin digital .

In their older models they have no sockets or anything just plain vertical, noisy DC motors. I can understand converting them to DCC. ( I admit its for the experts not my cup of tea.)

Now when I look around in the market nearly every other major brand is accomodating in their DC models an 8 pole DCC socket acc to NEM 652 claiming that it is DCC ready. Bravo, perfect for dummys like me, find an 8 pole digital decoder and you are off to DCC.

However in the case of Fleischmann, loco's are fit with their 6 pole sockets acc to NEM 651 (which they probably dictated to the board of NEM so that Fleischmann users can fit their so called twin decoders into it). I can hear some of you say, then get a lenz 6 pole digital decoder and I would simply say pls refer to my constants above.

The reason that I can't change the constants is because its the only digital unit and decoder available in Turkey at a very reasonable price.

Also learned lately that this 6 pole sockets do not have a function capability. i.e you can't have sound.

Going thru some articles and even on one of the threads on DCC in this very forum that the trouble of one fellow Fleischmann owner went thru when trying to install a decoder to his loco and at the end blowing of the decoder is really worrying me.

Besides also recently heard that a pretty hectic isolation is necessary cause the bulbs get the electricity from the chassis .

I am in a sort of a dilemna.

Any ideas of will be highly appreaciated of how to proceed.

Cheers

Baykal
 

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Whilst the constants you mention might seem to be a constraint, there's nothing to stop you ordering items from abroad via mail order if you can't get them in Turkey.

This would mean you could consider the Lenz decoder you mention and, if necessary, you could make use of their warranty. Alternatively you could go for a Zimo decoder. Whilst probably a little more expensive, the MX63F, MX64F and MX620N all come with a NEM651 6-pin connector. The MX620N is a direct plug-and-play (i.e. there are no wires). Zimo decoders are not indestructable, but they do have an excellent overload protection, should you have problems with short circuits.

Regards

John R
Bromsgrove Models
 

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QUOTE (ebaykal @ 3 Apr 2007, 22:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>In their older models they have no sockets or anything just plain vertical, noisy DC motors. I can understand converting them to DCC. ( I admit its for the experts not my cup of tea.)

Hello Baykal,

some Fleischmann engines do have 6-pole sockets. However, there is a German guy (not me, I don´t know the man in person, only via German rr forum) with a website who shows (with pics and all) how he converted certain engines without DCC sockets by hardwiring them (the way he describes is how I´ll convert my 218 w/ 6-pole-socket in a few weeks):

Hans Peter Pfeiffer

Don´t settle for 6-pole, as you will have limited operation only. By the way, my favorite decoders are ESU LokPilot 3.0. My local hobby shop sells them at 23,-- Euro (around 15 GBP), and they have neat features. If the Hornby Select is DCC compatible, the decoder brand won´t matter. I´ll leave it to the experts whether that claim is correct for Hornby, as this system is not (yet?) available in Germany.

I chose the Trix Mobile Station instead, the entire system cost me 70 Euro (some 45 GBP), and you can read out (!) decoder values, change and save them afterwards. Downside is, it is only rated at 1.9 amps, which is sufficient for me, but may not be for you. However, if you know somebody with that system, he can program anything you want for him, and the big display gets rid of the dcc guessing game. There´s an English version of the manual available for download as well:

link to Trix Mobile Station

However, enjoy your DCC, no matter which brand :)

Tom

EDIT: Mr Pfeiffer´s web page is in German - PM me if you need a translation or two.
 

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Hi BayKal, sorry to but in but I would also recommend that you look elsewhere for your digital system. Roco MultiMaus and the Trix system are both very good, the new Bachmann system is made by ESU and should be good. These will be better options and more compatible than the Hornby digital effort. The Select is controversial and much has been written about it's problems.
 

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Hi Baykal - first of all it's not a problem to answer questions & help with advice - we all started somewhere & DCC was a mystery to me at first. Once you have changed & got used to it you won't want to go back.

As a Fleischmann Dealer who has attended the FLM factory DCC course I hope that I can add something.

For a start I do not personally like the use of the 6-pin socket (which nearly everyone else uses only for N Gauge).

If you want to use Hornby DCC it looks like the Elite is a far better unit. I have not so far used the basic Hornby decoder but will try the Saphire when it is available. The ESU sound decoders are excellent, but you will have a lot of diffeculty fitting them into older FLM models - more cost effective to sell the older ones & buy new models I'm afraid. The ESU LokPilots are also excellent decoders & work very well with FLM locos with the 3-pole motors.

Forget the FMZ system - very advanced in it's day & to FLM's credit still supported & available.

The older FLM motors can be converted, but this usually means replacing the motor backplate to insulate both "sides" of the motor from the chassis. The biggest problem with the steam locos is finding the space for the decoder - sometimes the only way is to remove some of the weight or the rear tender light.

The 6-pole socket will allow for front & rear lights so it may be possible to change the plugs on your decoders with a small soldering job (or get someone to do it for you).

Regarding the guy with the FLM 218 I'm afraid he did not really follow the advice given, however I did manage to blow up a couple of decoders early days but as they were Lenz they were replaced without question.

If you need any further help just ask - if you need help with FLM spares send me a private message.

Hope this helps.
 

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Congratulations on making a good decision, DCC is the best way to control your layout. Many people including myself make the same mistake at the outset
of wanting to convert all their old loco's, even those which are difficult to convert and when their converted they offer no advantage over conventional DC control.

USE THE OPPORTUNITY TO RETIRE ALL THOSE OLD LOCO'S because DCC is all about control and running your railway in a realistic manner. Rather start with less stock and more control, start with quality smooth running loco's, and dump all your old problems on e bay, display cabinets or friends you don't really like.
If you want to benefit from DCC this is the best approach, only then will you appreciate what fine control is all about.

Here's your next problem:
QUOTE Before I proceed let me share with you the constants that I have in hand:( i.e can't be changed.)
Dcc unit :Hornby Select.
Decoders : Hornby 8 pole digital decoders or ESU lok sound digital decoders
Locos to be converted :Fleischmann steams mainly.

Fuddled thinking - Hornby is a DCC system under development - it still has many bugs to ironed out, you don't want an experiential set up miles from support
you want a dependable system Lenz or Digitrax and spend some money don't buy cheap buy, buy quality. Perhaps John (Bromsgrove models) will sell you an NCE system they have a reputation for dependability and simplicity. Others may argue for other systems, ESU for one. But do yourself a favour and forget Hornby's DCC it isn't main stream just yet.

 

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QUOTE USE THE OPPORTUNITY TO RETIRE ALL THOSE OLD LOCO'S because DCC is all about control and running your railway in a realistic manner. Rather start with less stock and more control, start with quality smooth running loco's, and dump all your old problems on e bay, display cabinets or friends you don't really like.
If you want to benefit from DCC this is the best approach, only then will you appreciate what fine control is all about

Funny you should mention it, MMaD but I just did that with my old Hornby and Bachmann dodgy motor split frame jobs. I would second that, look on it as a new beginning.
 

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Thanks for all the replys.

John R ,

Heard very good reports on the Zimo products worth studying. Will visit yr site

Tom,

I have been a constant gazer of herr Hans Peters site for a long time, specially his FLM conversions. Its scarey ! Did you see his Br 03 conversion.
I've come to the conclusion that FLM locos are not DCC friendly. All that hard wiring is definitly for the experts.Now that you have yr new camera would appreciate if you will share with us with photo's yr conversions

Brian,

Thanks for all the advice. The elite will be available in Turkey May 2007. Have read Garys report on it. Very promising .One ouestion tough and pls correct me if I am wrong. In DCC there is 14-16 volts all the time on the rails and is AC rather then DC.What are we going to do with the loco bulbs then on FLM loco's?

Neil, the point is yes the Roco the Trix and the rest are all ok I know.I would have settled with the Twin center and part of my problems would have been solved.
However as you all probably know by now the Hornby dealer in Turkey (which is also a member in the forums) is offering at very decent prices compared with the other major brands command modules which none is available or if it is nearly double the european price. Check the above topic (DCC Ssystem chart) and you will see what I mean pricewise.

But I am aware that there is the other side of the coin, there is a saying ' I am not rich enough to buy cheap things' and thats where my dilemna starts.

Makemineadouble you haven't made my day
.Its not easy to part with your friends.Took me ages to collect them. We have a sentimental bond between us.
Besides the Hornby shop, there isn't a local shop to pop in and buy whatever you want in Turkey. Also all my loco's that I have collected were once used in the Turkish railway scene.Can't depart from them.

Now here is my cattle to be converted:

Flm Steams:
Br 55 no sockets very very hard to convert, noisy vertical motor.
Br 41 6 pole socket
Br 03 " "

Flm Diesel :
Br 260 shunter A nightmare to convert

Flm Electric:
1043 no socket, plenty of space, noisy vertical motor

Roco Steam:
Br 50 8 pole no problem
Br 44 no sockets
Br 57 " "

Roco diesel:
V100 no sockets
"Taiga drum" 8 pole ready.

Liliput steam
Br 52 8 pole no problem to convert

Guess I need to do alot of searching to do before I make up my mind. I really will appreciate yr support in this course and pls do not mind the daft questions that I will ask from time to time.

Thanks again

Baykal
 

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Hi Baykal,

There is always voltage on the track when the controller is "on". It's not really AC or DC in the conventional sense - no need to go into the technical stuff here.

If the bulbs are fed through the decoder function outputs they will be OK - it is advisable to use the dimming function on the decoders to reduce the brightness - otherwise the bulbs will run hot with the possible melting of the body.

As others have suggested, it may be a good time to rationalise your fleet. However, your old FLM locos can be converted - I still have my original FLM loco, purchased in 1973 DB 01 220 converted & it runs very, very well. Many regard the FLM 3-pole motor as a piece of junk, but provided it is running well will be even better on DCC - select your best runner & see how you get on with it. If you really don't want to part with the older locos then ;
BR55 - decoder will fit into the firebox (hardwired).
BR41 & 03 - change decoder plug & fit decoder in space allowed.
BR260 - Probably have to remove some of the weight to fit the decoder & hardwire it.
1043 - Easy one fit decoder & hardwire it.
BR44 & 57, also V100 - never actually converted these but should not be too diffecult to hardwire.

again - hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Brian,

Very helpful indeed.
I guess I should wait for May, thats when the Elite arrives here.
Hornbys decoders, sizewise,compared to others have an edge. Its small.
I would like to use it to my advantage in tighter places like the Br 55.
Anyway still have time to consider.

Thanks again

Baykal
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 4 Apr 2007, 18:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Baykal,

There is always voltage on the track when the controller is "on". It's not really AC or DC in the conventional sense - no need to go into the technical stuff here.
There seems to be a common assumption that AC can only be 50Hz, sine wave at mains voltage. By all means leave out the technical stuff, but don't confuse the issue with statements like this. Any electrical circuit has to be either AC or DC.

Andrew
 

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Firstly I am well aware that AC can be virtually any voltage & frequency & not just sine wave.

This was meant to be a remark by a "techie" to a layman - let's get really technical then & have some scope traces & then compare the outputs from all the DCC units made, compare them, discuss the merits & be really sad.

IMHO I did not confuse the issue - just trying to be helpful.

I stand by my original statement "It's not really AC or DC in the conventional sense".

How, exactly would you describe it then Andrew ?

& how about analogue DC with high frequency AC coach lighting on the same circuit ?
 
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