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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Make mine a double.

You invited a list of "classic locos" for advise on decoder possibility/ choice. I offer this list of my old locos as a starter.

If the list looks odd it is because I have cut & pasted it from a spreadsheet. All locos are from the 1980's.

AIRFIX

54120 Pendennis Castle
54150 Prairie 6167 BR Black
54151 Prairie 6110 GWR

LIMA

20 5108 M W G Class8 3004 BR GREEN
20 5117M W G GWR 9400 Pannier
205150MWG GWRAILCAR BR Green
30 5343 W Western D1003 BR Green

HORNBY

R080 Class 29 D6110
R302 BR Jinty 47480
R264 9F 92200 92200
R761 GWR Hall 5934
R25730 Schools Dover 30911
R059 GWR Pannier 2744

MAINLINE

37074 Jubilee LMS 5687
37041 Type 4 Green D100
37090 GWR Mogul 5322
37087 Warship green D825
37057 Reb Scott BR Gn 46100
 

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Makemineadouble


Thanks very much for the offer in Posting no. 40 re listing locos suitable for conversion to DCC. Here is my stock list

Hornby
R760A Class 2721 Pannier tank No.2783
R830 Saint Class 'St David' No. 2920
R2019 Saint Class 'St Patrick' No. 2927
R759 Hall Class 'Crumlin Hall' No. 4916
R2431 Industrial No. 101
R351 Thomas the Tank Engine (grandson's !)

Dapol
?? Castle Class 'Neath Abbey' No. 5090
?? Class 1400 Tank No. 1466 (Airfix body)

Mainline
54156 2301 Class Dean Goods No. 2516
37090 4300 Class Mogul No. 5322

Graham Farish
?? 9400 Class Pannier Tank (metal body)

Only one is on ChrisE's list (posting No. 47). Any advice would be most welcome. I am an Expat living in rural New South Wales with only one half decent Model Shop (no DCC stock) within half a day's drive, so rely on the Internet for the bulk of my research and buying.
 

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37074 Jubilee LMS 5687
37041 Type 4 Green D100
37090 GWR Mogul 5322
37087 Warship green D825
37057 Reb Scott BR Gn 46100

You certianly have an aged fleet of Loco's, some must nearly older than me, and I'm on pension !


Lets start with the Loco's I'm familar with I'm sure some else will fill in the rest:
Jubilee
Mogul
Scot
are all split frame chassis. In order to fit a decoder in these loco's you need to remove the chassis from the body and strip it down to it's component parts. This isnt as difficult as it sounds, and can easily be accomplished by an experienced installer or by yourself if you prepared to give it a go. Do you want detailed instructions on how to tackle the split frame ? Of these the GWR Mogul is the easiest.
I don't know the Type 4 or the Warship but if their anything like the Bachmann Warship these two will be the most staight forward to the batch.
Hornby
R760A Class 2721 Pannier tank No.2783
R830 Saint Class 'St David' No. 2920 tender drive
R2019 Saint Class 'St Patrick' No. 2927 tender drive
R759 Hall Class 'Crumlin Hall' No. 4916 tender drive
R2431 Industrial No. 101 loco drive
R351 Thomas the Tank Engine (grandson's !) loco drive

Dapol
Castle Class 'Neath Abbey' No. 5090 ringfield loco drive
Class 1400 Tank No. 1466 (Airfix body) split frame ?

Mainline
54156 2301 Class Dean Goods No. 2516 tender drive
37090 4300 Class Mogul No. 5322 split frame

With the tender drive loco's espicially the earlier ones, current is conducted through the frame of the motor and transfered to the motor terminal via the left hand self tapping terminal screw as it bottoms in the motor housing. It is vital you ensure this terminal is fully isolated either replace the screw with a nylon one, or use fibre or plactic washers to ensure it does not bottom and conduct power which will blow you decoder. always check with a continuity meter before programming and testing.
http://home.intekom.com/wurzel/DCC/index.html
will get you basic instructions.
My experience with tender drives is they can be difficult to tune to get the best out of them. Try to obtain a decoder with B-Emf for best results.
If you want further help post here.
 

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The locomotive lists broadly up until now are of British models.

It would be common sense for manufacturers supplying digital kit to those modellers who are interested in British outline models to offer guidelines. Even more so if the kit is designed outside the UK and imported into the UK. Lets however accept that they don't.

There are massive variations in model design around the world. A chip that functions well in an American model may function differently in a British model as a result of factors that may be outside the control of the company supplying the digital equipment.

One would like to think that companies with a base within the UK and designing systems and supplying to British outline modellers as well as producing locomotives would stand a better chance of getting it right!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Makemineadouble

Thank you for the information. It appears that they can all be converted - just not all very easily. Yes they are old. Like a lot of people I have not modelled for a good few years but am coming back. I still have the locos, stock, track etc that that I had all those years ago & would like to be able to use them occasionally.

I intend to deal with modern stock first but needed reassurance that I could deal with my classic models.

I hear the bender of moles concerns about the thread and will come back on a separate thread when I am ready to convert these old models.

Perhaps it would be a very good topic for a separate thread now? There seems to be plenty of interest.

Thanks again.
 

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Makemineadouble,10 Jan 2006, 20:06

Thanks very much for the advice in Posting 57. Detailed instructions on the Mogul would be most appreciated please. Re the tender drives, any suggestions on where to get appropriate nylon screws please? (The Decoders I bought are TCS MC2 so have B-Emf.)
 

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You might find the older mainline stuff has a different motor to the Buhler can motor now fitted by Bachmann. I've only done one of these which was a pannier tank as I recall it had a semi-open motor, but the principles are the same.

Re the GWR Mogul. This is easier because the motion comes out as one piece. With Walschaerts valve gear you have to remove the circlip on the centre driver.
1. Remove the the chassis from the body normally a small screw either end of the chassis.
2. Remove the base plate, and remove the wheels and motion as one piece.
3. Remove the screws from the chassis side tapping our the insulation pins in the pocess, make sure you retian the spacers that fit on the pins. You may need to lever the chassis apart with a screw driver at the same time this varies from chassis to chassis.
Remove the motor, and the pinion gear from the chassis. Remove and disgard the tiny brass srings that make contact with the motor to chassis.
Re-assembly.
At this point do a dummy run with the chassis and the decoder to make sure the decoder will fit inside. If not the chassis is easy to cut with a junior hack saw, see my web page. http://home.intekom.com/wurzel/DCC/index.html
Make sure the wires from the motor to the decoder will not become trapped by the chassis 1/2's in the past I have often cut a small channel for these with a dremel.
Fit a short piece of shrink tube to the ornage and grey wires of the drcoder and then solder these wires to the motor terminals and then shrink the tube to the terminals using a little heat (from a lighter). to be continued .......next
 

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continued.................
Now reassembly. Take a rose and lightly chamfer the location holes of the insulation pins this really helps getting the chassis 1/2's together. With two clean chassis 1/2's repostion the gear lightly lubricate the boss (I use Woodlands white grease) it's similar to La Belle. (also a white grease). Postion the motor ensuring a good mesh with the gear. insert the insulation pins ensuring the spacers are in place, and then gently fit the remaining 1/2 of the chassis. Once together then insert and tighten the screws. The red and black wires of the decoder are soldered to small pices of copper clad board and each pole wedged into the space between the chassis 1/2's ensuring it collects power from one side only. CHECK this with a continuity meter. Alternatives are drill and tap two holes to collect current, wrap the wires around the pin and the screw to collect current, or drilling one small hole either side of the chassis on the top and trapping the wire in there with a pin. Refit the motion, it only fits one way so you can't go wrong,
once you happy fit the base plate. Then the body, and then program. I always preprogram my decoders using a LoysToys decoder tester this saves me time and I have the knowledge that the decoder is good before I start.
I hope this has been of use to you, and others who need to tackle the split frame chassis.
MMD
 

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For the tender drives some people use the nylon screws from Kadee who I suppose they force into the self tapped hole. I have always used thick nylon washers that I got from an electrical compoent dealer. BTW I did have a single tender drive on my layout. All were converted to loco drive. I don't like traction tyres or tender drives. The newer plastic motor is probably the best of the bunch and the easiest to do installations to as you dont need ti insulate. dont forget to throw the tv suppression in the bin.
 

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Makemineadouble

Thanks very much for the detailed instructions and info in Postings 67-69 - that's terrific. I'll certainly give it a go. You have certainly been burning the Midnight Oil! Best wishes from a stinking hot NSW (33 C @ 11 am).
 

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There has been some terrific information about older locomotives and DCC posted in the "why DCC" thread.

Maybe if the relevant posts could be extracted and moved to this thread then it would keep it all together and this topic specifically on this subject would keep the info in one place for easy reference.

Meanwhile if members would like to continue the theme of older locomotives and DCC within this thread then it would be appreciated as the "why DCC" thread could move forward on another topic at anytime!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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This is a topic that is of great interest to me at the moments, as i changed to DCC about 15 months back, and when purchasing my equipment (Lenz LH 100) had no idea that my existing older stock of locos with 3 pole motors, would struggle on DCC, I have looked for replacment motors to upgrade to 5 pole, which it appears is a must if good smooth running is required, but so far with no luck, is there a market for replacment motors on older locos? or, are the manufacturers thinking of producing a chip for operation with 3 pole motors? there must be thousands of 3 pole motors on layouts just waiting to be converted, I got 25 of them sitting in the sheds waiting for a major overhaul. I would like to see them running with DCC any ideas???
 

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Modern UK Bachmann run with skew wound 3 pole motors. I actually like their motor it's got plenty of guts. Your best bet for older loco's to try different decoders, some just don't work well with older stock. You quite definately want B-emf, and you need to be able to play with the settings on the CV's. My personal pet hate is the Hornby Ringfield
motor and tender drive. The lack of torque with this motor, it's sloppy construction,
and in the earlier days lack of pickups caused me no end of frustration. To the point I swore just before the introduction of the Merchant Navy I would never buy Hornby again. We have much to be pleased with on Hornby's current crop of newer models.

Many kit built models with open frame motors, suffer a multiude of shorts, for this use super glue as an insulating coating it works a treat. Where current is collected through the wheels on one pole, redicial steps need to be taken to ensure the motor is fully insulated. On future kits buy insulated drivers they work much better with DCC. If your loco ran poorly on DC, be sure it will run much worse on DCC. DCC is highly selective about what works. " well laid track, sweet running loco's, plenty of track feeds, and a well engineered track bus". In some instances I've taken commercial chassis, and fitted them into kit built loco's. I have two of the sweetist S&D7F's under DJH bodies, running with sound, thanks to the 8F chassis, this does need a few modifications, but the result is highly pleasing. I have a Hornby Patriot with a Bachmann split frame chassis fitted, and sound in the tender, looks good runs particuarly well, and I'm happy. You just have to work round each loco to find the best solution, as they say one at a time.
 

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Many thanks for your help (MMAD) but as with any reply it always seems to prompt more questions, you memtion "B-EMF" i have no idea what this is? or what it does? at the moment, the locos i do have running well are using the lenz LE1000A, these being recently produced locos, my older stock with motors like the X04, ringfield, and a couple of airfix motors, either run erratically, or not at all, all these locos ran quite well before the fitting of decoders, the worst being a ringfield motor on my princess elizabeth, the armature burnt out on that and had to be replaced. Could you recommend a suitable decoder for these motors? I have 25 locos still to have decoders fitted, and don't want to waste monies on decoders that are not going to do the job, any further help would be much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Gary

I support what you say.

A really useful resource would be a guide as to how to recognise, by model manufacturer, which motor you have- a picture of each?- and a suggestion for each motor re the best decoder(s) and an indication of whether the result will be worthwhile.

This could hopefully be a sticky as it would be of ongoing value.

Chris
 

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I have to agree with ChrisE, if there was a chart showing what decoders, members had fitted to their locos, and the end results, this would quickly become a invaluable resource for any one fitting a decoder, especially to older engined locos, think of the time and monies saved, by fitting the correct decoder first time, this could also help by not putting people off from trying DCC
 

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Back-emf:

normally the cheaper decoders do not have B-EMF. This can be summarised as load /speed compensation. IE. The decoder adjusts voltage as load increases IE with a gradient. B-emf decoders are recommended for ringfield or similar motors.
I tend to stick with one decoder, and I have a preference for TCS decoders. TCS M1 or or more recently the MC2 are well suited to UK outline steam because of their small size. They have a goof proof warrently, they have a wrapper around them, they do not overheat, they have superb low speed running, they have more than 1amp peak loading. I normally have 20 - 25 decoders in stock, most of them are TCS decoders although their are a few sound decoders sat in the box as well. Lenz & Digitrax both produce decoders with B-emf. Why do I stick to one decoder ? well you get to know the characteristics well, and so setting up the decoder becomes very easy. I think it's a good habit to get into keeping notes of your settings.

I'm currenlty contemplating selling most of my UK stock and switching to American.
So watch out on Ebay !
I will continue to install decoders and sell the loco's on Ebay.

BTW another book I would recommend for ANY DCC user is:

this book is an intensive general guide to DCC and is highly recommended.
 
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