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Well, I've finally got it wrong with a decoder installation. I've smoked a brand new TCS M1 decoder!


It was my own fault too. I decided to install a decoder in my 3R "Tadpole" unit (BR class 206) which meant doing a hard-wired job. The unit has a Black Beetle motor bogie which needs the motor feed wires desoldered from the pick up tags. Stupid
me solders new wires to the motor brush wires using black and red wires to match the Black Beetle originals, then blithly goes on to solder grey and orange wires to the pick ups. Of course, no prizes here, you can guess the rest. I connected the motor drive to the track pick up wires of the decoder and the track pick ups to the motor wires of the decoder. Yup! It went up in a puff of smoke - quite convincing coming out of the exhaust port on the roof of the motor coach but unfortunately no movement to go with it.

Aren't I lucky TCS has that "Goof Proof" warranty!


Still, it is the first time I've blown up a decoder, all others I've lost having been failures in service (mostly Digitrax ones I'm afraid).
 

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So you did not follow the goldern rule of desoldering the wires from the motor to the pickups before soldering the decoder in then.

John

Sometimes rules are really useful!
 

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mi too brian and more than once
and i followed the rules
fully paid up member of the ''fried chip club'' here experience has taught me insulate well check and double check, ensure the control is on programme track /main off before puttng the loco on track for test as well.
 

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Hi

Ahh well thats how it happens I have fried a couple including a loksound in my early days. Well you are lucky it was not another brand of decoder as TCS, as you said offer the 1 year goof proof warrenty. So a little time lost, a lesson learned and next week you will have a new one no charge.

m
 

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Actually, I did follow the rule about desoldering the motor brush wires from the pickups, I just got it back-to-front when I came to solder the decoder connections! Because the Black Beetle sits under the floor of the unit I didn't carefully (enough) identify which connection was which. As I said, I can only blame myself.

Hopefully; lesson learnt! (Where's that red face smilie gone?)
 

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QUOTE (upnick @ 20 Jul 2008, 10:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>experience has taught me insulate well check and double check, ensure the control is on programme track /main off before puttng the loco on track for test as well.
of course I make sure I do that now !
 

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QUOTE (SRman @ 20 Jul 2008, 17:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well, I've finally got it wrong with a decoder installation. I've smoked a brand new TCS M1 decoder!


It was my own fault too. I decided to install a decoder in my 3R "Tadpole" unit (BR class 206) which meant doing a hard-wired job. The unit has a Black Beetle motor bogie which needs the motor feed wires desoldered from the pick up tags. Stupid
me solders new wires to the motor brush wires using black and red wires to match the Black Beetle originals, then blithly goes on to solder grey and orange wires to the pick ups. Of course, no prizes here, you can guess the rest. I connected the motor drive to the track pick up wires of the decoder and the track pick ups to the motor wires of the decoder. Yup! It went up in a puff of smoke - quite convincing coming out of the exhaust port on the roof of the motor coach but unfortunately no movement to go with it.

Aren't I lucky TCS has that "Goof Proof" warranty!


Still, it is the first time I've blown up a decoder, all others I've lost having been failures in service (mostly Digitrax ones I'm afraid).
I managed to fry one of these too Jeff. Difference was that it was a plug in job. These decoders seem more succeptible than most.
 

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Yeah Nick you also forgot to mention after you check and double check when chipping to ask me especially when doing farish pcb boards....lol. It always helps though to have someone else around to ask questions and to make sure that every base has been covered.

BTW can I also stick my name down as being a member of the fried chip club as well. have burnt out a load of hornby r8215 chips in my time.
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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Well all I can say is thanks for sharing that and if it saves someone (hopefully me!) the grief of a fried TCS decoder then its happy days indeed. Haven't yet killed one but sure that it's down the track. Only installed a couple so far.
 

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Hi All
yes I've fried a couple
One time I found an extra track pickup on one wheel of a tender.This was on a Fleischmann tender driven loco.
The one wheel powered the rear lights so I had power running to the lighting circuit two ways and back to the decoder!
Now I put the loco I'm working on, on a piece of track and get the multimeter out, to make sure I haven't missed any power pickups.
Regards Zmil
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 21 Jul 2008, 06:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I managed to fry one of these too Jeff. Difference was that it was a plug in job. These decoders seem more succeptible than most.

***No Neil, In fact they are less susceptible than any other small decoder I've ever seen as their motor drive and fuinctions are both higher rated than Lenz Micro, ESU Micro, Digi and NCE.... In the micros both lenz and ESU are particularly vulnerable.

Frying is always a result of a user or loco wiring error - there is no other way to put a big black mark on a decoder.

Richard
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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This fried chips club is getting alot of members!!
Shame we can't put Salt&Vinegar on them and have lunch!!! Someone had to say it!

I've done a few TCS M1's which is my decoder of choice now, it's fitted in virtually all my stock N and OO gauge.
Nice thing is go to the TCS web site fill in the warranty form and send the lot to them, it normally takes about 7 working days and new ones arrive...excellent

I've just got a Dapol Virgin voyager, I want TCS to start making the NEM651 6 pin plug in chips!!!!
I used the new Digitrax Dz125IN ran perfect for over half an hour, then one of the chips just went pop, no smoke but it just stopped and I was getting a constant short circuit.
Removed the chip all ok.
The strange thing is, this chip was in the end car so it was only being used for function control of the lights, nothing else.
The other two decoders are still fine, I remember having trouble programming the address on the one thats gone pop, so it could have been just a bad decoder, checked all the lighting wires and they are all ok.
Anyway thats gone back to Digitrax for a warranty replacement.
 

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QUOTE (wiggy25 @ 25 Jul 2008, 12:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This fried chips club is getting alot of members!!
Shame we can't put Salt&Vinegar on them and have lunch!!! Someone had to say it!

I've done a few TCS M1's which is my decoder of choice now, it's fitted in virtually all my stock N and OO gauge.
Nice thing is go to the TCS web site fill in the warranty form and send the lot to them, it normally takes about 7 working days and new ones arrive...excellent

I've just got a Dapol Virgin voyager, I want TCS to start making the NEM651 6 pin plug in chips!!!!
I used the new Digitrax Dz125IN ran perfect for over half an hour, then one of the chips just went pop, no smoke but it just stopped and I was getting a constant short circuit.
Removed the chip all ok.
The strange thing is, this chip was in the end car so it was only being used for function control of the lights, nothing else.
The other two decoders are still fine, I remember having trouble programming the address on the one thats gone pop, so it could have been just a bad decoder, checked all the lighting wires and they are all ok.
Anyway thats gone back to Digitrax for a warranty replacement.


The 6-pin TCS decoder is some way off yet, I'm told.

We can handle the TCS warranty replacements for customers who have bought them from us, so no need to return them to the US - turnround is quicker, just for the cost of postage.

We hope to be a direct Digitrax retailer in the UK within the next few weeks (direct invitation from Digitrax), rather than having to go through a supplier, so we may be able to handle their warranties as well, but I will update on this later.

Regards

John R
Bromsgrove Models
 

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Ok so I spoke too soon.

Was running my renumbered 60096 which I chipped with a TCS M1 decoder and everything was running perfectly. The loco was running for about 15 minutes and then all of a sudden the loco stopped. The loco's lights were still on so thought that it had just stalled on a part of the track but when I took the body off there was no sign of the decoder then I realised the decoder was still there but literally welded to the plastic body. I managed to carefully remove the chip from the body and after a lot cursing and swearing because the chip had slightly damaged the grille area on the roof. I had a look round and even though I had gone round the chassis with tape to try and protect it from any chance of a short one of the motor tabs coming from the circuit board had touched the chassis and blown the decoder. I haven't had a chance to test the loco to make sure no permanent damage has been done to the motor or circuit board but after speaking to a friend who this has happened to he assures me that everything should be ok but to just make sure when I get my replacement decoder from TCS under the Goof Proof warranty that I check check and check 2 more times to make sure nothing will move.

I have taken the steps though to make sure none of the other locos I did the other day have worked loose and suffer the same fate but you never know and I will just have to keep an eye on the rest of them every so often.
 

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Kain,

General advice for these locos is to mount the decoder so it is flush or under the level of the cab bulkhead if it is like the class 66 from Farish

http://nick--orwin.photoblog.me.uk/p52532213.html

this shows the positioning well to achieve this the wires needs careful trimming and soldering keeping the wiring to a minimum as there is little space for them inside any pressure on the wires from the body can push the board down ....... a tip for these locos as posted elsewhere is to insulate the whole of the top of the chassis where the board sits to prevent shorts.
 

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QUOTE (harkins77 @ 16 Aug 2008, 03:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ok so I spoke too soon.

Was running my renumbered 60096 which I chipped with a TCS M1 decoder and everything was running perfectly. The loco was running for about 15 minutes and then all of a sudden the loco stopped. The loco's lights were still on so thought that it had just stalled on a part of the track but when I took the body off there was no sign of the decoder then I realised the decoder was still there but literally welded to the plastic body. I managed to carefully remove the chip from the body and after a lot cursing and swearing because the chip had slightly damaged the grille area on the roof. I had a look round and even though I had gone round the chassis with tape to try and protect it from any chance of a short one of the motor tabs coming from the circuit board had touched the chassis and blown the decoder. I haven't had a chance to test the loco to make sure no permanent damage has been done to the motor or circuit board but after speaking to a friend who this has happened to he assures me that everything should be ok but to just make sure when I get my replacement decoder from TCS under the Goof Proof warranty that I check check and check 2 more times to make sure nothing will move.

I have taken the steps though to make sure none of the other locos I did the other day have worked loose and suffer the same fate but you never know and I will just have to keep an eye on the rest of them every so often.

My first install on a Farish 66 had this problem - putting the body back on pushed the PCB down so that one of the solder blobs touched the chassis. My solution is to tape a piece of Plastikard to the top of the chassis next to the slot where the motor contacts are - the extra thickness compared with tape on is own makes accidental contact much less likely. You should also put a bit of heatshrink round the motor contact itself if this isn't already provided (I think it is on the 60 but not the 66).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This can also be a problem in OO with Heljan diesels if care is not taken with the mounting and insulation.
 

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Some goods news for the day as my replacement tcs m1 decoder arrived today from America less than 2 weeks since posting it.

Now that's customer service for ya.
 

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woohoo 60096 lives again thanks to the speedy replacement of the M1 decoder from TCS and also a helping hand from my 7 year old son as well thanks guys.

And yes I have learnt from my last mistake it is fully isolated from what it was before.
 
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