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In depth idiot
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
My layout operation requires the Cravens DMU (TOPS 105), happily supplied by Bachmann, so that's alright then?

Well, sort of. Nothing wrong with the model's appearance and running, but the implementation of DCC is clearly intended to sell decoders, as the 2 car sets require a decoder in each car, where just one would be adequate with through connections. And what if they are running as a four car formation (most common) or six car (next most common)?

I have been fiddling around with arrangements to reduce the decoder demand for what feels like an age, and for the benefit of anyone else interested I quite recently tried something obvious that I should have done right at the start. Why 'obvious?': my first purchase of this model, the motorised car proved quite capable of towing eight Bachmann mk1 coaches, at which point I stopped adding more. Instead of my previous fiddlings around fitting unpowered running gear to replace the powered bogies, I just took the entire motor block out of two of the sets. The formerly powered bogie runs nearly as freely as the unpowered bogies, and one motorised bogie is more than adequate as sole power for an 8 car set.

DIY through wiring means that now just one decoder runs the one motor and the lighting in all four cars. With all wheels picking up, uninterrupted power supply is a given. Two four car sets arranged thus, and one four car set of two independent pairs, means that I have all the flexibility required, (12 car formation and: 8+4, 8+2x2, 2x6, 6+4+2, 3x4, 2x4+ 2x2) from just four decoders instead of the twelve of the original design. My parsimony is satisfied...
 

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An interesting project.
Bachmann are not the only company who require a decoder for the non driving car ...

David
 
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