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Hi David and welcome to the MRF from a fellow N Gauger.

I too am awaiting delivery of 2 No. Ixions so cannot say for sure which chip will be most suitable.

As regards my existing locos most, including my Dapol 2-6-0 Prairie Tank, have the CT Elektronik chip which is small enough even for a little 0-6-0 Pannier and, using 128 step control, gives good slow running plus smooth acceleration and braking. There are very few N gauge locos which come with a 6 pin socket so most have to be hard wired. The only exception I have come across, apart from the Ixion locos, is the Peco Collett which comes with a pre-installed Lenz decoder. Not sure which one though.

As regards sound, I have decided to go with the Railroad & Co system which, while it may seem expensive, is actually no more than it would cost to put individual sound chips into 4 or 5 locos. The difference is that you are then able to add sound to as many locos as you are able to run at any one time and can even add other sound effects such as 'coupler/buffer clank' etc.

I also looked into the possibility of adding smoke and, while it is actually possible in some of the larger, tender driven locos, was concerned at the risk of the smoke generator burning out if not kept fuelled up. As far as I can tell, once they are installed there is no way of switching them off. You just have to keep on adding smoke oil ad infinitum.

As regards carriage lighting you need look no further than Richard Johnson's 'Flicker-free' lighting kits which are excellent pieces of equipment and reasonably easy to install.

Cheers for now and enjoy your modelling,

Expat.
 
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