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C55
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder if you would have an answer to a quick question, as I noted there are already a couple of very small locos, which have been upgraded to DCC, recently.

I am looking to put a 6 pin Decoder into the new Hornby Rocket, when it arrives. I gather it has a 6 pin socket in the Barrel and I'm looking for slow running given the age of the loco it depicts.

I note the Lenz Silver might suffice, as 34C advises me that their drive elements in the Gold are the same. I also note the small ZN6D Zen from DCC Concepts has a small stay-alive, which might be useful, although I wouldn't know if that will fit in the Rocket Barrel, with the Decoder. I gather that Zimo have more controls than Lenz, but how much improvement that might give and which decoder from them I don't know.

I would be grateful for advice as to which decoder might be considered to be the most suitable.

NB. I only have one 6 pin Decoder and don't know what make it is, either way it's not into getting smooth running of one of DJM Austerity / J94 efforts {quite likely a Bachmann 6 pin one}, so experience of the type is short. I have yet to try some ideas to fix that one, with a number of posts already on the Forum.

Kind regards and thank you for reading.
Julian
 

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Zimo do a standard decoder for all pin types costing £20, and the 6-pin direct version is the MX617N. All these decoders have the Zimo standard drive functions, but not the more advanced features which you perhaps wouldn't need for the Rocket.
 

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C55
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (RFS @ 28 Jan 2020, 17:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Zimo do a standard decoder for all pin types costing £20, and the 6-pin direct version is the MX617N. All these decoders have the Zimo standard drive functions, but not the more advanced features which you perhaps wouldn't need for the Rocket.

Thank you that's interesting, I will go and have a look at that one.

Regards
Julian
 

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Chief cook &amp; bottle washer
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I'm using a 617 in the Hornby 0-4-0 R&S diesel shunter which is tiny. It also has a Lais KungFu stay alive capacitor pack complete with charging circuit. The decoder allows you to set how long the loco runs without a dcc signal via CV153. You use this in conjunction with CV111. This sets the time that emergency braking starts. CV153 is set in tenths of a second, mine is set to 20 = 2 sec's. (It will go for 20 seconds, which is ridiculous). I have high inertia set so that CV2 can be used as a brake. I set CV111 to 1 so that I actually get just over 2 seconds which is more than enough. Hope this helps, if not get back to us.
Ps: CV 111 is a new CV and didn't show up on the manual last time I looked, but it's definitely there.
Pps: Make sure you have the latest version if you buy one. If you get it from Digitrains, they'll make sure it has V39.
 

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C55
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (hoonsou @ 29 Jan 2020, 01:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm using a 617 in the Hornby 0-4-0 R&S diesel shunter which is tiny. It also has a Lais KungFu stay alive capacitor pack complete with charging circuit. The decoder allows you to set how long the loco runs without a dcc signal via CV153. You use this in conjunction with CV111. This sets the time that emergency braking starts. CV153 is set in tenths of a second, mine is set to 20 = 2 sec's. (It will go for 20 seconds, which is ridiculous). I have high inertia set so that CV2 can be used as a brake. I set CV111 to 1 so that I actually get just over 2 seconds which is more than enough. Hope this helps, if not get back to us.
Ps: CV 111 is a new CV and didn't show up on the manual last time I looked, but it's definitely there.
Pps: Make sure you have the latest version if you buy one. If you get it from Digitrains, they'll make sure it has V39.

Thank you hoonsou, that's lots to digest, but very precise. It may be a good idea to get one before the Rocket gets to wing it's way to the UK and try it in the only other 6 pin I have.

Regards
Julian
 

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As its Hornby and as their 6 pin decoder is their basically their not brilliant 8 pin decoder on a 6 pin lead there is absolutely no guarantee any 6 pin decoder will fit as they will possibly site the socket so you need a cabled 6 pin decoder as there is only space for the plug in the socket. If you really want to buy a decoder before finding out what actually fits then aside from the Hornby offering Zimo do a version - the MX617F
 

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QUOTE (butler-henderson @ 31 Jan 2020, 04:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As its Hornby and as their 6 pin decoder is their basically their not brilliant 8 pin decoder on a 6 pin lead there is absolutely no guarantee any 6 pin decoder will fit as they will possibly site the socket so you need a cabled 6 pin decoder as there is only space for the plug in the socket. If you really want to buy a decoder before finding out what actually fits then aside from the Hornby offering Zimo do a version - the MX617F

The Hattons 'P' tank is a good example of this. Even Hatton's own 6 pin decoder doesn't fit - you can't get the body back on because the decoder sites too high. And that's the very decoder they say they tested it with! I can only assume the decoder they tested with must be different to the one they sold me.
 

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C55
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have some information, on DCC fitting as a result of looking at another topic about the Rocket.

For those interested, there are a good few pictures in Hornby's Engine Shed Newsletter, this is a link to it.

https://www.hornby.com/uk-en/news/the-engin...phensons-rocket

It's also worth scrolling, well down, to the pictures of the DCC decoder fitting. It looks like they used a Hornby 6 pin, so other smaller type ones should be even smaller. The Decoder will need a harness to connect to the Hornby 6 pin socket. A Zen with their small stay alive might just get in there, too.

Regards

Julian
 

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A 6 pin decoder with long legs bent through 180 degrees might work looking at it. Think the Zimo with a lead I referenced previously might not fit because looking at pictures as the Zimo lead looks longer than the Hornby one. The barrel however looks pretty awful with that join. I would have thought it would have been possible to locate a small 6 pin amongst the coal but then Hornby do not make such a thing so the design has to bodged to fit what they have
 

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C55
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hornby’s new Rocket is rather nice, so I, recently, bought an ESU Lokpilot 5, Right-angle 6 pin decoder for it. It seemed a good idea at the time, as it fits much more easily than many others might. Rocket ran smoothly, out of the box on DC and still does, apart from not running slowly. Once fitted, Initially, it ran at about speed step 6/7, when the controller [NCE] was on 1 then after several rotations [5 – 20], it normally, slows to about step 2/3, but not less.

I haven’t had much trouble with installing decoders and would appreciate any ideas from those more experienced with the ‘beasts’.

Notes

The rolling road had been cleaned with Isopropanol, rails and rollers, beforehand, as were the loco wheels. It had another clean since, not that anything significant was removed.

Adjusting CV 2, 3 & 4 doesn’t seem to have any effect on the initial speed, it goes at to start with, but does affect the rate of changes at speeds above 5 / 6.

Interestingly it will normally slow to step 1 if it has gentle pressure applied to the top of the boiler???

Back-EMF on / off seems to make no difference, nor do CVs 51-57.

Factory settings : - With speed curve adjusted [red]
CV​
1​
2​
3​
4​
5​
6​
7​
8​
9​
10​
51​
52​
53​
54​
55​
56​
57​
Val​
3​
3​
4​
3​
100
50
255​
151​
40​
0​
10​
10​
130​
50​
100​
255​
0​

Best wishes
Julian
 

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This was done by the shop I bought it from, sound decoder, smoke generator, stay alive. If you want more details let me know.
Regards
Alan
 

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A 6 pin decoder with long legs bent through 180 degrees might work looking at it. Think the Zimo with a lead I referenced previously might not fit because looking at pictures as the Zimo lead looks longer than the Hornby one. The barrel however looks pretty awful with that join. I would have thought it would have been possible to locate a small 6 pin amongst the coal but then Hornby do not make such a thing so the design has to bodged to fit what they have
Sorry for coming in late here (I missed the original postings in this topic): For the record, and for anyone else considering it, I did exactly what Butler-Henderson suggested here when fitting my 'Rocket' for DCC. I used a flat file as a spacer to achieve the 180 degree bend with clearance to go back over the body of the decoder socket. The photos show this clearly - note I deliberately derailed the tender to get a better photographic angle.


P_20200722_133733_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr


P_20200722_133810_vHDR_Auto by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
 

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C55
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for the pictures/video, they are a reminder that these were the very ones which made me decide to go on the same route and avoid the Hornby solution.
Oops... that reminds me that I should have remembered the pictures of the decoder in place.

The decoder connected and ready to be lowered into place.
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Automotive design Yellow


Product Automotive design Audio equipment Material property Font


With the wires tucked in, it's ready for the top.

I should, also, have added into the notes, above, that it has been lightly oiled and Graphite grease applied to the gears.
Factory settings : - With speed curve adjusted [red]
CV1234567891051525354555657
Val3343100502551514001010130501002550

Now it's fitted, it runs at about speed step 6/7, when the controller [NCE] inputs step 1 then after several rotations of the drive wheels [5 – 20], it normally, slows to about step 2/3, but no less.
I would appreciate any suggestions for CV settings which might get the motor to run at speed step 1.

Best wishes
Julian
 

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C55
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update
I have been made aware of a feature of newer ESU 5 decoders, whereby it can set the BEMF CVs from a CV. It involves setting CV 54 to 0, the on return to the normal track, select F1. The loco will run at a very fast speed and learn about the motor, then set the decoder for best running. A good length of track is needed for the run.

Results
On step 1 the drive wheels now jerk round at about 3 jerks/sec and 24 jumps per cycle. Increasing the throttle makes the jerks faster with smaller jumps, until step 15, where it runs slowly and smoothly again, around 5 sec per cycle. Top speed is the same as at the factory reset speed and the intermediate speeds seem to be in line with the CV5 / 6 settings.
CVs after the BEMF setting read as below.
CV1234567891051525354555657
Set334325588255 40035896222550

It looks like some more reading to be done.

J
 

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I usually set start voltage to 0 in most applications with newer motors, so CV2 = 0. That usually gives a more progressive start.

Only if there is an older motor or a slightly sticky gear train involved do I step up the start voltage in CV2. By default, most manufacturers seem to set CV2 = 3.

Also, while the CV54 trick usually does a good job, some installations may need more than one crack at it, so try it a second or even third time. If, after that, the running is still iffy, I start to play with the BEMF parameters individually.
 

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C55
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
With an eye to looking at the other motor adjustment settings, I have set CVs 5/6 to 90 & 30 and 2 = 0, which results in a good looking top speed, with nice initial speed steps on the way up. {I didn't want to adjust the other speed CVs and then find that I have to start all over again when I put the speed curve in.} The jerky initial motion starting with speed step 1, is similar to before, but now continues up to 28/29 steps {up from the previous 15 steps} before becoming smooth again. At the speed step 29, rotation is a slow 5 seconds per cycle {which is similar to the previous transition to smooth point, which was at step 15}.

I'm going to have a good read of the other 50s CVs before chasing them, as yet. I have looked at the Intermountain comments on the ESU, {down at Rows 10/11} but they don't seem to specify what each one affects, so a little more to find. https://www.intermountain-railway.com/customerservice/dccwebpage/ESU-FAQ-Page.html
I have looked at the ESU documentation and {to paraphrase Morecombe and Wise} I understand all of the words, but not necessarily in that order. o_O I will give it another try, to see if it might be slightly more fathomable?? 😏

J
 

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Just to confuse or enlighten further....

ESU have several versions of their DCC decoders. With the V5, there is the "V5" (European spec) and the the "V5 DCC" (north American spec). They work differently. ( Just as with the V4 there was the V4 (Europe) and the V4-Select (North America).
In the V5 (Europe) there is no CV6, instead have to use the 28 point speed table (and also CV29 must use the 28 point speed table), but CV2/CV5 are still required to set the end points of that table.
In the V5 DCC (North America), the three point speed curve (CV2,5,6) is an option.
The CV3/4 acceleration parameters behave differently on each.

I think the Intermountain document is around North American spec decoders. There are subtle, but important, differences if it is a European spec decoder.


CV50-54 are pretty much standard motor control parameters, several other makers have similar CVs (with different numbers) doing the same things. The trick to adjusting them is to try the auto-calibrate and see what you get. If no good after a few tries, then have to manually adjust them. It is hit&miss, but one can home in on a decent setting fairly quickly. Its often quicker to do this "on the main" as changes can be made as the loco is moving.



Using DecoderPro can help - then you get offered the correct parameters for the decoder in question, and it reduces the "is this a V5 or V5DCC " questions when trying to read the manual.



- Nigel
 

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C55
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
CV playschool time.
I started with a baseline, with a simple Factory Reset, followed by a CV 54 = 0, runaway. The start figures and the post CV54 = 0, can be compared, particularly with the comments in column 2.

CV1234567891051525354555657
Factory ResetStep 1 runs fast {SS 6/8}Value313310065255151400101013050220450
CV 54 RunStep 1 Jerks to step 15Res33432558825515140035896222550
A run through the individual motor control CVs got a much improved, smoother, performance.
CV 52 = 1:- CV53 = 255:- CV54 = 15;- CV55 = 25.

However, it did go very - very - fast indeed. CV 5 = 45;- CV 6 = 20, got the speed under control, with 30mph top speed {must have been terrifying back then - quite probably still so!}, with 14mph {Rocket average} for mid speed steps and speed step 1 ~ 1/2 mph.
All calculated from Wheel diameter 4' 8 1/2" and 10sec timed rotation counts {so little more accurate than spinning a coin!}. I will revisit those CVs, as one will affect some others to some extent.

I, also, lopped the superfluous wire off the Decoder, to keep any possible pressure off the Plug / Socket and there's plenty of room in there. You can see the amount of room quite clearly, if you take the picture at the right angle. {Ba - Boom!! 🤐 }.
Circuit component Passive circuit component Hardware programmer Audio equipment Electronic component

Small question - are there any capacitors on the Hornby socket??

As an aside, I had an unexpected surprise for Christmas, with a rather nice pack of 3 of these 3rd Class coaches / trucks.
Wheel Train Vehicle Tire Toy


I will let you come your own conclusion as to what this is about, I'm pretty sure I might be able to find a solution in the chain locker... :unsure:
Train Wheel Product Toy Mode of transport


Best regards to all
Julian
 

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Nice..
Which reminds me - I never did get any third class wagons in the end ...

David
 
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