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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a veritable myriad of newbie type questions. I am essentially a novice, I have a Farish starter set from 20 years ago when I was a kid, and am now picking up again and designing a 6'x4' layout in N. Should I post all the questions in a single thread, or create new threads for each question?

The first is:

I intend to go DCC, but currently have only the 2 locos from 15-20 years ago and they are decidedly analogue. Whilst I will likely get them converted at some point, can a DCC system control the analogue trains in the mean time?

I am thinking of getting a basic DCC system for a test bench you see, possibly the Backmann EZ control so want to know if I have to do other things to run my existing stock on it or not. The engines I have are an intercity 125 3 car set, and a class 55 diesel loco similar to the one in the current range.
 

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Graeme
Look through the headings and find the most appropriate for each one, people will help or redirect you to help.

can a DCC system control the analogue trains in the mean time?
Most DCC sytems can control one conventional loco but it'll buzz al the time so to be honest I'd build the layout and wire it for analogue control with isolating sections, separate track sections and get a cheap analogue controller around £25.
The advantage is you can just connect a DCC controller instead later and it helps for finding shorts as you can switch off each section to find faults.
You can still put chips in the locos that will work on DC or DCC so they will run anyway. I have a ez command but have never tried to run an analogue loco on it even though it says you can.

I am thinking of getting a basic DCC system for a test bench you see, possibly the Backmann EZ control so want to know if I have to do other things to run my existing stock on it or not.
Why not wait a bit and get a better controller like the gaugemaster start set, wait for bachmanns dynamis or the NCE powercab that you can use on the layout and test bench. I put my controllers in a box that holds the transformer, base and handset so the only wiring I have to change each time is the track connection.
Saves a bit of money and you'll have the same on the test bench as on the layout.

Just thought I'd throw in a few thoughts, stick these DCC ones in the dcc section,
Paul
 

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Graeme,

First off I would dump the Farish starter set from 20 years ago and not bother trying to chip those old locomotives. Now then when you have a clean slate you need to decide if N-Scale is the right way to go since I assume you are modeling British prototype. You're going to have a hard time with DCC and British N. Can't say it's impossible just hard. Now if you modeled German prototype it would be no problem because there is a lot to choose from. I don't want to discourage you but that's the current state of British N-Scale and DCC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your replies.

I am fairly set on moddling in N, although am unsure what you mean by "British Prototype" Dennis. I do intend to model using British rolling stock etc. so is this what you mean?

I will ask the DCC stuff in that section, thanks Paul.

I'm also fairly set on DCC, being the modern, IT type of bloke that I am. Also, with Farish/Dapol releasing increasing amounts of locos with 6pin sockets, I think it will make the whole process easier.
 

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QUOTE (Graeme T @ 25 Apr 2007, 15:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thank you both for your replies.

I am fairly set on moddling in N, although am unsure what you mean by "British Prototype" Dennis. I do intend to model using British rolling stock etc. so is this what you mean?

I will ask the DCC stuff in that section, thanks Paul.

I'm also fairly set on DCC, being the modern, IT type of bloke that I am. Also, with Farish/Dapol releasing increasing amounts of locos with 6pin sockets, I think it will make the whole process easier.

British N with DCC is far from impossible, at least in the diesel era (I'm doing it myself so have to say that!). A certain amount of skill is needed to fit the decoders though, we're not yet at the stage where they can just plug in. Google will find several websites with good instructions and photos which ought to give you some idea whether your're comfortable with the necessary modifications (or there are people who will do them for you at a price). Steam locos, and all current Dapol products, are more difficult than Farish diesels. Both suppliers are becoming more DCC-friendly but this is a slow process.

In your situation I would wire the layout for DCC from the start rather than bothering with the extra wiring for DC. You could connect an analogue controller to run one loco for testing (removing all other locos from the layout), but one of my first actions would be either to fit decoders to the existing locos or get rid of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sadly, I quite like my old locos, so will likely get them changed as it'll be cheaper than replacing them hopefully!
 

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QUOTE (Graeme T @ 25 Apr 2007, 17:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Sadly, I quite like my old locos, so will likely get them changed as it'll be cheaper than replacing them hopefully!

Greame,

what kind of locos are they?

First, you´d have to determine how many amps of current they draw - older engines tend to draw a bit more than new ones. Based on that, you´d want to buy an appropriate DCC decoder. The usual limit on N scale decoders are 0.5 amps, so if your engines use less, then these decoders would be fine.

Second, do your engines feature light that you´d want to turn on and off?

Third, depending on the type of engines, where are the electrical pickups, and where is the motor (on steam engines e.g.)?

After figuring all that out, you need to solder the decoder between electrical pickup and motor, and electrical pickup and lightbulb, and you may have o remove analogue capacitators. Depending on the engine itself, you may have to lathe some of the ballast away to create a space where you´ll place the decoder.

I can´t decide whether keeping the locos is cheaper, but it looks like a lot of work equipping them with a DCC decoder. Maybe you can get some advice from a local hobby shop?
 
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