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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an indoor G scale layout that I want to DCC equip. I need to be able to operate the railway from a number of locations & I do not want trailing wires. Whilst G Scale can use up to 20v it currently runs at perfectly adequate speed/power from an old H&M Clipper which has "controlled output 12v DC" and which at full power & with my largest loco running at full speed gives an actual track voltage of 14.5v. The largest loco draws 1.25 amp, at startup with a heavy load, if I bang the throttle open & 0.75 amps when steady running at full speed - which I never normally use. The power of the Clipper at 1.5amps appears adequate.

The most economical transmitter type DCC system appears to be the Dynamis. I have a number of questions about it which hopefully someone can answer.

1. What is the actual measured track voltage of a Dynamis system when under load?

2. What is the voltage loss through a DCC loco decoder?

3. I note that I can't read the decoder with the Dynamis. Why does this matter? How do I get round it?

4. What is the user experience of the Dynamis system now that it has been around for a while?

5. Is there a better alternative without spending a lot more money given that I want wireless remote control.

Thank you.
 

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QUOTE (ChrisE @ 20 Oct 2008, 15:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have an indoor G scale layout that I want to DCC equip. I need to be able to operate the railway from a number of locations & I do not want trailing wires. Whilst G Scale can use up to 20v it currently runs at perfectly adequate speed/power from an old H&M Clipper which has "controlled output 12v DC" and which at full power & with my largest loco running at full speed gives an actual track voltage of 14.5v. The largest loco draws 1.25 amp, at startup with a heavy load, if I bang the throttle open & 0.75 amps when steady running at full speed - which I never normally use. The power of the Clipper at 1.5amps appears adequate.

The most economical transmitter type DCC system appears to be the Dynamis. I have a number of questions about it which hopefully someone can answer.

1. What is the actual measured track voltage of a Dynamis system when under load?

2. What is the voltage loss through a DCC loco decoder?

3. I note that I can't read the decoder with the Dynamis. Why does this matter? How do I get round it?

4. What is the user experience of the Dynamis system now that it has been around for a while?

5. Is there a better alternative without spending a lot more money given that I want wireless remote control.

Thank you.

Chris, your line "I need to be able to operate the railway from a number of locations" says do not use the Dynamis - it needs to be in direct line of sight of the IR receiver and no more than about 20 degrees off axis to communicate properly - if it loses contact, then it will shut down track power.

Personally I think a wired system and several layout panels to plug in a would be a thousand times better than a dynamis "running reliability" wise if you intend to move around much.....

Being able to read CVs is actually important if you want the best from DCC - those who can't do it will never understand what they are missing. You could use a 3rd party product like the SPROG and your computer to read CV's, but then add the cost of Sprog+dynamis and you are well above the base dynamis price and still compromised for reliable wireless communication.

To be honest if your budget is limited then the answer is there is NO 100% cost effective answer!

The best DCC radio system by a country mile is made by NCE, but you will have to buy it direct from the US as its not approved for a UK retailer to sell it - no problem for a private buyer to buy and use, but a big fine for a retailer to buy and sell within EU!

The next nearest may be the Lenz Set 100 + the Lenz XPA which will let you use any DECT portable phone as a controller - but then you are again so close to a directly imported NCE radio system I wonder at the compromise...

As to your other questions re voltages, track voltage varies by brand but the output voltage of every DCC system will run your G scale just fine. You will get a drop of appx 1 volt between rail voltage and motor...

Richard
 

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Hi Chris E,

I have to agree with Richard the dynamis if not in line does not pick up a signal to the track ...... the NCE systems are fine giving you all the facilities of reading CV's a great advantage you will miss andc be sorry if you were to choose the Dynamis in its basic form ...... the add on to give you this facility with the add on box makes the Dynamis overpriced.
I dont know where you are but try and find a retailer with a DCC system set up you can see working with CV capability, the wireless idea though ok is never as good as a wired type of system my cab is on a long curly cord and if i wanted further cabs they are available sepratley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (john woodall @ 20 Oct 2008, 09:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Will standard HO Locomotive chip be ok running LGB stock?

John

I doubt it. The loco that I referred to above is a two driven bogie/ motor diesel and has a stall current of 2.5 amps plus. That leads me to think that even with one motor it would be very marginal with a 00 designed chip. My single motor locos run at nearly the same current. I await being told that I am wrong but I think most OO loco decoders are unhappy at anything above 1 amp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Richard Johnson & Upnick.

I don't think that the 20 degrees is an issue as I would never be out of sight of the base station & I could place it so that pointing the hadset at it was unlikely to be a problem.

I have always liked the NCE system but as I understand it the wireless link is an illegal frequency in the UK & if it is this set the $662 - which by the time I have paid carriage & VAT etc is likely to be £500+ is a slight problem!

http://www.staubintrains.com/trainshop/shopexd.asp?id=2355
 

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QUOTE (ChrisE @ 20 Oct 2008, 10:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I doubt it. The loco that I referred to above is a two driven bogie/ motor diesel and has a stall current of 2.5 amps plus. That leads me to think that even with one motor it would be very marginal with a 00 designed chip. My single motor locos run at nearly the same current. I await being told that I am wrong but I think most OO loco decoders are unhappy at anything above 1 amp.

I would agree here - although for their size LGB (for example) loco's do not draw that much current they do tend to draw far more than most HO/OO decoders will be happy with.
 

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QUOTE (ChrisE @ 20 Oct 2008, 10:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have always liked the NCE system but as I understand it the wireless link is an illegal frequency in the UK & if it is this set the $662 - which by the time I have paid carriage & VAT etc is likely to be £500+ is a slight problem!

http://www.staubintrains.com/trainshop/shopexd.asp?id=2355

A word of warning with any illegal frequency system if it should conflict with the emergency services the equipment WILL be confiscated and destroyed and could lead to a fine to the user of it.
 

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QUOTE (upnick @ 20 Oct 2008, 11:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>A word of warning with any illegal frequency system if it should conflict with the emergency services the equipment WILL be confiscated and destroyed and could lead to a fine to the user of it.

A point people often forget - there are good reasons why allocated frequencies differ around the world.
 

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QUOTE (upnick @ 20 Oct 2008, 19:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>A word of warning with any illegal frequency system if it should conflict with the emergency services the equipment WILL be confiscated and destroyed and could lead to a fine to the user of it.

***Nick, Brian: Sorry but that is a little extreme: You could have the unit in the same room as a medical unit and not interfere - or in the same tin box for that matter!

Before such comments you should understand what is being talked about:

For a start, read the specs for the NCE radio power... 0.00035 of a watt from memory (350µ watts). Despite this with the current software it has got great range for train operation and it is faultless in poeration.

Do you really think I would make a recommendation that could compromise a list member - there are hundreds of many brands - including NCE, Easy DCC and Digitrax radio systems working quite happily in UK every day, and the courts aren't full of recalcritant railway modellers.

Digital radio is nothing like older analog radio issues. frequencies are super tightly controlled as is the content of the digital signals.

Anyway.... actually its NOT illegal for a consumer to import and use use anyway - it is merely illegal to cause inconvenience or conflict problems for others including neighbours, something an average power tools radiated energy and an overloud car stereo system does far more than such a system ever could.... and something an average mobile phone does on almost the same band on a grand scale compared to an orchestra of any 1000 + Radio based DCC systems (an average mobiles transmitted RF power peaks at better than 10,000 times the output of an NCE radio system).

Come to think of it, a standard DC locomotive, a portable CD player and an Ipod all radiate with far, far more energy too!!

Talking about different spectrum allocations in different countries doesn't work either:

FYI the spectrum allocations are pretty well the same here in AU as they are in UK, especially in that band area, and the CE regulations are mirrored and the NCE passes with no problem.... in fact the officer from the spectrum management who did a routine audit on my CE paperwork a year or two ago made the comment that given the power, the purpose it is designed for etc it was a narrow judgement call whether it actually needed Any approval for the radio part of the system at all!

He was more interested (quite correctly as that is not as tightly controlled in any DCC unit) in the possible radiation from the command bus and higher power booster circuitry in fact!

The ONLY reason its not fully licensed for UK is the excessive cost of obtaining EU approvals, which is ridiculously high compared with using fully approved CE laboratories in other parts of the world.

Richard
 

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QUOTE (ChrisE @ 20 Oct 2008, 17:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I doubt it. The loco that I referred to above is a two driven bogie/ motor diesel and has a stall current of 2.5 amps plus. That leads me to think that even with one motor it would be very marginal with a 00 designed chip. My single motor locos run at nearly the same current. I await being told that I am wrong but I think most OO loco decoders are unhappy at anything above 1 amp.

***With a slip current of 1.25 and a running current of 0.75 you could use a standard TCS chip (1.3 amp continuous motor drive, 2 amp max) quite reliably however a full stall may cause grief. For single motor G scale ex europe a standard TCS chip will be fine, but I'd not try an esu, lenz, bachmann or hornby.

For 2 motor drives 2 standard chips are fine, one pwer motor. Some adjustment of back emf to have it turn off after initial slow speed starts - say at about speed step 8, would stop any back EMF interaction at running speeds but preserve speed step one slow running quality.

There IS an advantage in using a V3 LokPilot XL though - it is designed for higher current large scale and it has a full stay alive built in so no stalling on dirty track or dead frogs ever - its a really nice decoder but a little expensive, and certainly the one I install into G scale often by choice.

Richard
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 20 Oct 2008, 13:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>***Nick, Brian: Sorry but that is a little extreme: You could have the unit in the same room as a medical unit and not interfere - or in the same tin box for that matter!
Maybe in the specific case of the NCE, but I was generalising about radio frequencies as, I suspect was Nick.

Unfortunatly, in the UK we have many, many over-zealous officials who pursue the small print to the extreme !
 

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Dear All,

If you are looking for decoders for LGB with all the bells and whistles (literally), then you might wanto to consider the "Easyline" ZIMO Decoder kit. This is a special kit which comes with an adapter from Manhart for easy fitting (and all the screws and wires needed), plus a ZIMO sound decoder (MX690), a smoke generator and working couplings, all controlled by the ZIMO decoder. These kits are not cheap (around 200 to 250 euros, depending on the LGB model), but are probably the best set of components on the market for the complete DCC experience with LGB. See here for more details. It's in German, but the pictures show most of what you get, and if you need this in English, let me know and I'll do a quick and dirty translation! The documentation for the MX690 is available in English and is comprehensive, including connection and controlling of smoke generators and couplings. Sounds are availabel for many of the LGB locos (steam and diesel) and come pre-loaded.

ZIMO do produce a wireless controller, but it is expensive as you need the base station as well as just the controller, so I would not recommend a ZIMO controller if your budget is limited. Roco are about to release a wireless version of the Multimaus, which may be worth waiting for. The standard Multimaus puts out plenty of volts for a garden railway, so this should be OK. One of the key limitations of the old (wired) Multimaus was lack of CV read-out, but this is overcome in the new version. See more in this topic. I am not sure of the release date of this, but it ought to be out soon, presumably in time for Christmas?
 

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QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 20 Oct 2008, 18:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Maybe in the specific case of the NCE, but I was generalising about radio frequencies as, I suspect was Nick.

Unfortunatly, in the UK we have many, many over-zealous officials who pursue the small print to the extreme !

It was Generic stament Brian as yours was no doubt in this case the NCE was included although i have no evidence it would cause conflict.

Some years ago working in a modelshop we heard of a case of 72mhz radios being used for R/C aircraft locally ..... a while later it was reported a person had their equipment confiscated due to conflict with emergency services frequencies ....... we knew lived in the area where the planes were flown.
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 20 Oct 2008, 14:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>***
For 2 motor drives 2 standard chips are fine, one pwer motor. Some adjustment of back emf to have it turn off after initial slow speed starts - say at about speed step 8, would stop any back EMF interaction at running speeds but preserve speed step one slow running quality.

Richard

Sorry to be so thick but but the sentence "some adjustment to back emf to have it turn off......." doesn't mean much to me.

Is this easily adjustable?

Everbody keeps telling me the NCE powercab is the best of ther base sets - has it enough power for these locos or am I just going to burn it out?
 
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