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DCC - effect on old Farish loco's

8183 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  jeremyshotts
My first posting but I'm sure you guys can help me.

I'm starting a layout after many years absence and reading through this forum and the usual publications it seems obvious to go down the DCC route for a new layout However I have a number of old Poole built Farish loco's that I would like to convert to DCC but I'm not sure what effect DCC will have on these as they were built to either be running or left in an isolated section. They were not built to sit idle in a powered section of track, is it likely to burn out the motor and should I plan to add some isolated sections or do the decoders help protect the motor? Finally I only intend to use two function wired decoders on the loco's (can't see any reason for more functions as I don't plan to use sound), are there any types I should avoid installing on Farish kit.
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QUOTE (Noelp @ 13 Apr 2011, 14:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Guys, Thanks for the replies. I can't remember where but I do recall reading something about motors burning out but couldn't remember the detail so before I went any further I thought I'd check. Still have to decide on the decoders and asking which are the best is like asking how long a piece is - everyone has thier own opions. I had narrowed it down to NCE, Lenz or Digitrax but I also need to buy the command station and was thinking of using one brand for both the decoders and station, decisions, decisions - life was a lot easier when all you had was DC.

DCC Rule 1 - there is NO advantage in buying your command station and decoders from the same maker. Buy the best command station for your purpose, and then buy the best decoders for your purpose.

DCC advice - if you are comfortable using computers, then look at the JMRI/DecoderPro software for setting up decoders. To use it you need a computer interface to your chosen DCC Command Station, and the price of the interface can vary a lot between Command Station makers. Some are free (just a cable), some around £30-40, others nearer to £60 and a few are over £100. Not every system can connect to JMRI, check compatibility (on JMRI website) before you spend money on a command station.

For N size decoders, in my experience you pay more for better performance. With old Farish, superb running is possible, but the loco needs to run well on DC first, then a good decoder can make it superb.
Bachmann own-brand 6-pin. Adequate, at a very low price. Its a rebadged Soundtraxx motor decoder.
Digitrax DZ125. Not too bad, again good price.
TCS smaller BEMF decoders. OK-ish, but I think their designs work much better in OO than N scale.
Lenz Mini Silver+. OK, but overpriced in my view; CT and Zimo are noticably better.
Lenz Mini Gold+. No point buying the Gold over Silver unless you have space for Power-1 module inside loco (which you don't in most N locos).
CT DCX75. Best motor control you can buy. Documentation poor (though there is stuff on the net about them, including my own work).
Zimo MX621. Close, arguably equal to the CT. Documentation excellent. Overload protection excellent. Probably the best on the market.

I've never tried an NCE decoder, and the Gaugemaster one appears to be yet another badge-engineered product (cannot remember who they got it from). There are a few other small decoder makers, typically German, which are not generally sold in the UK.
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