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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To start me off as a modeller my wife has bought my a hornby loco - however it's not DCC ready. I'm buying track etc. now and need to go for either digital or normal 12v control. I want more locos so am interested in going digital but want to use my first loco on the layout. So, my question is, can I run the loco on a DCC layout; if so what precautions should I take to protect the engine from the higher current; can I convert (hardwire?) my loco to run as a DCC one (if so should I take it to a shop to have it done or can a beginner do it?)?
Much obliged in advance
Brendan
 

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Hi bren
If your Hornby loco is a Tender drive, then conversion to DCC is quite straight forward. See my site for the conversion details - DCC Tender Drive Scroll down to about 3/4 way down the page to "The Ringfield Motor".
You can't run a loco that's not DCC fitted on a DCC layout. But depending upon the decoder being used you may be able to run a DCC fitted loco on DC tracks. If you place your unfitted loco on to the rails of a DCC layout the result will be a possible short circuit and even motor burn out.
 

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I started from scratch last year, and was unsure whether to go for DCC or DC. Having chosen DCC, I'm really glad I did. Therefore I would convert the loco to DCC or get it converted, because in my opinion the benefits of DCC are well worth it.
 

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Hi Bren, welcome to the forum.

Here is a 'Back to Basics' DCC decoder installation topic.

It covers hard-wiring a decoder into place on a non-DCC Ready Hornby loco and a couple of other concepts too.

Take a look at the other reviews and see the general trends involved in the process of DCC installation.

I hope you have fun with your project. Let us know how it turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Many thanks for all your helpful comments - one question is that I asked ONTRACK whether I could run a non DCC loco on a DCC layout and they said yes (on the 0 button of the digital controller) but if I left it on the live line stationary i could cause flutter and damage the engine - so - can I or can''t I?
Also no doubt a real novice question but can you park a loco on a non live section? If so how do you get it on that section?
cheers
Bren
 

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Hi Bren

The ability to run a non DCC loco on a DCC layout depends on the controller being used, the Bachman EZ controller can run it by selecting '0', other controllers may or may not have this facility. Regardless of whether it is selected or not there will be a buzzing noise from the loco, this is caused by the permanent AC in the track and is considered by many that this may cause damage to the motor if left static for long periods. The answer if you intend to use this facility is to drive the loco onto a non live section when not required for use. I expect this is why you have asked how to get the loco onto this section. The answer is quite simple, fit a point which has a 'non live frog' (standard Hornby will do) to a siding, when the point is selected for the siding both rails will be live, changing the point will cut the power to one of the rails and isolate the loco (the buzzing will stop) the loco can be brought into operation by reselecting the point to the siding. Hope this helps.

My layout and stock is all DCC, When not in regular use I park all locos in non live sections.

Brian
 

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Branchliner's suggestion is an excellent one. But in the long term it would be best to convert the loco. That way you are not limited to where it can be stored.
 

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Some systems such as Lenz, Atlas Commander use the zero button for DC locos on DCC track but most don't . The reason for this is not just the constant current but the wave form of the bipolar DC with the overlayed AC signal. Subjecting a DC only loco to this for long periods of time will ruin the magnets resulting in a usless motor and pehaps a costly replacement. If you must do this remove the loco from the track after using it. Better to install a decoder in the loco before you put it on the track. I don't use " Non live" sections as it's unnecessary with DCC but in DC I would install a SPST swich accross the the rail break in the common rail.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (bren @ 21 Jan 2007, 00:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Many thanks for all your helpful comments - one question is that I asked ONTRACK whether I could run a non DCC loco on a DCC layout and they said yes (on the 0 button of the digital controller) but if I left it on the live line stationary i could cause flutter and damage the engine - so - can I or can''t I?
Also no doubt a real novice question but can you park a loco on a non live section? If so how do you get it on that section?
cheers
Bren
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi, did a "fast reply" to all your helpful advice but not sure yet how that works so am sending this - many thanks to all - I'll opt for the conversion of my loco I think - as it's not a tender drive and I'm very much a beginner should I get it done professionally - if so is it very expensive?
Brendan
 

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That depends on where you get it done and which brand decoder you decode to install. If your in Oz I can help but if not well somebody else might.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (bren @ 21 Jan 2007, 18:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi, did a "fast reply" to all your helpful advice but not sure yet how that works so am sending this - many thanks to all - I'll opt for the conversion of my loco I think - as it's not a tender drive and I'm very much a beginner should I get it done professionally - if so is it very expensive?
Brendan
 

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Which Hornby loco is it? as I may have already done one and can post some pictures maybe.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (bren @ 21 Jan 2007, 18:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi, did a "fast reply" to all your helpful advice but not sure yet how that works so am sending this - many thanks to all - I'll opt for the conversion of my loco I think - as it's not a tender drive and I'm very much a beginner should I get it done professionally - if so is it very expensive?
Brendan
 

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Just to be a pedant the Bachmann E-Z unit uses setting "10" for analogue operation, the Hornby Select uses setting "0" for the same purpose.

You ought to be able get the decoder fitted for £10 - £15 but the real cost will depend on which decoder you select and here "you pays your money and takes your choice"!

The idea of an isolated section for analogue locos is a very good one, you could take it further by having a number of isolated sidings in your MPD so you could have more than one analogue loco on the layout....

60134
 
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