TCS M1 fried!!!

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gz3xzf
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TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby gz3xzf » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:08 am

I have just fitted a TCS M1 to a loco (Hornby Terrier) and when I put it on the track for a pre-programming test the decoder lit-up, smoked and fried!! :cry: :cry:
Has anybody else experienced this type of problem and does anybody know what might cause it? (I did check the wiring before testing and the loco runs fine on DC)
Cheers, Bryan. :D

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sishades
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby sishades » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:21 am

All TC decoders come with a "No Goof Ball Warranty" (Their words not mine) so no matter what happens to it, they will replace it free of charge in the event of failure. Just send it back to the place you bought it and you will get a new one.
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Mike Parkes
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby Mike Parkes » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:03 pm

Sounds like some short between the track connections and the motor ones - it would seem to work fine on dc but the short would have existed then and the decoder would eventually fry - just appears to have occurred when you put it on the programming track when it fact the damage would have been done on the dc. Always try a new decoder fitting on the programming track first as any fault should show up i.e. the decoder failing to read back properly.

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gz3xzf
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby gz3xzf » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:07 pm

Mike Parkes wrote:Sounds like some short between the track connections and the motor ones - it would seem to work fine on dc but the short would have existed then and the decoder would eventually fry - just appears to have occurred when you put it on the programming track when it fact the damage would have been done on the dc. Always try a new decoder fitting on the programming track first as any fault should show up i.e. the decoder failing to read back properly.

Sorry Mike, my explanation was a bit ambiguous, the loco ran fine on DC before I started fitting the decoder and it does again now I have taken the decoder off.

It fried as soon as I put it on the track for the first test run on DCC using the default CV settings.
Cheers, Bryan. :D

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Flashbang
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby Flashbang » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:31 pm

Hi
Is this a DCC ready loco or is the decoder being hard wired in place?

If its hard wired
A) It sounds as though there is a direct short between the pick-up wheels and the motor terminals on one or both of the motors terminals.
B) One (or both) of the motor connection terminals are in direct contact with a live chassis half.
C) Possibly the decoders circuit board or its wires is/was touching a live chassis or other live part of the loco when the body was replaced?
Check the motor is fully insulated, with the wiring for dc running removed from the motor and then test with a multimeter on its OHMs range (or battery operated buzzer) each pick-up wheel to each of the two motor connections in turn. Then test from each half of the chassis to each of the motor terminals in turn. No reading or buzz should be noted.

If any is noted the cause MUST be removed before any decoder is refitted.

However, if its....
DCC ready - fitted with a socket, check carefully that when the plug is inserted into the socket the pins of the plug don't pass right through the socket and then touch any metalwork below the socket. A small strip of PVC insulating tape under the socket will help if this is considered to be the cause. Also ensure (C) above is not the cause too.

At least the TCS decoder has a Goof Proof warranty and will be replaced if you return it to the supplier.
Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

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gz3xzf
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby gz3xzf » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:47 pm

Just to let everybody know, the replacement decode has arrived and successfully been fitted to the locomotive. As I haven't changed anything with the locomotive (a Hornby Terrier), but I did a thorough insulation test on the chassis before refitting the decoder.
Cheers, Bryan. :D

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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby RFS » Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:57 pm

I've had a TCS M1 go up in smoke a few weeks after fitting to a Bachmann N. And a TCS M1P (same decoder but with an 8-pin plug) failed soon after being fitted to a Hornby M7. The decoder just gave "short circuit" when placed on the programming track. Both have been sent back to TCS under their warranty and I'm awaiting replacements. I'm not impressed with the reliability of this decoder: 2 purchases and 2 failures!
Robert Smith

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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby retiredoperator » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:56 am

Hi Modellers. I have been buying Hornby Locos which need to be converted to DCC.
The next one that I do? Will be my first attempt ,so to speak. And I recently bought a Hornby A1x Terrier ( said, incorrectly to be DCC ready) disappointed as I was I kept it, even though the retailer offered to take it back. According to the Hornby website , the weight has to be removed, a hole drilled and cut out. Wholesale destruction ! But I don't want to do that. The Terrier is really limited for space, and I have a recommendation for the TCS brand, but I don't want to "screw it up" so to speak, my question is what goes where? and some Hornby Locos have chassis pickups which have to be insulated, with tape, but according to a YouTube video I watched this morning. The standard insulation tape isn't any good for Decoders as it makes them "Too Hot", there is a special tape recommended , but more expensive? Which might be cheaper in the long run? On reflection it might be better to pay someone else to do the job? Providing that they don't have to remove/ reduce the weight or hack about inside the Loco . Any useful suggestions would be appreciated . Happy Modelling. Kev

Bigmet
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby Bigmet » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:12 pm

Generally, don't wrap decoders in tape at all. Apply ordinary cheap insulation tape carefully cut to size to the spaces inside the model where there is any exposed metal a decoder might contact.

As for making space inside models for decoders. In small models, and especially those designed with no thought for a decoder installation - and the Terrier is in both those categories - there is usually no alternative to making space by removing ballast weight. The method I typically use is to remove the ballast entirely and replace it with lead, which is a lot denser than the mazak the manufacturers have to use. That way the decoder fitted loco ends up heavier than it started out, despite having a void inside occupied by the decoder.

I wouldn't start on the Terrier as your first decoder fitting project. Do something simpler with more interior space available. What other models do you plan to fit with decoders?

Like any unfamiliar process, you need to practice to build skills and confidence. Once you have a few conversions under your belt, it will all become much easier.

Mike Parkes
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby Mike Parkes » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:20 pm

retiredoperator wrote:Hi Modellers. I have been buying Hornby Locos which need to be converted to DCC.
The next one that I do? Will be my first attempt ,so to speak. And I recently bought a Hornby A1x Terrier (


Get some other locos running on DCC first. All decoders follow a standard colour coding - black and red go to the pick ups, grey and orange to the motor. What you need apart from the decoder is a soldering iron, multi-core solder, a decent pair of wire strippers and heat shrink. Then follow the instructions at http://www.bromsgrovemodels.co.uk/hornb ... cinstr.htm Also very useful is a multimeter set to resistance - no resistance indicates a short circuit.

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gz3xzf
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby gz3xzf » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:17 pm

Hi Kev
I discovered with the Hornby Terrier that there is enough space on top of the motor for a small decoder (hence the TCS M1), I tested the amount of space by using plasticine. Put a lump of plasticine on top of the motor and re-fit the body to give you an idea of the space.

As far as insulating, I used a square of 15thou plasticard cut the size of the motor and glued to the magnets so that the decoder could then fit on top of the plasticard under the tank/boiler top.

Hope this helps.
Cheers, Bryan. :D

retiredoperator
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby retiredoperator » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:23 am

Hi Modellers When one installs new toner cartridges in ones copier????
One has to be careful, to keep ones fingers off the shiny bits, what has this got to do with Decoders?? You may ask. " Sticky fingers cause Decoders to malfunction " and that may be the reason for frying them?? :oops: Happy modelling. Kev

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RAFHAAA96
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby RAFHAAA96 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:43 am

Some decoder instructions caution only to handle decoders by their edges.

I use heat shrink tubing as insulation but only shrink the ends a bit to stop it sliding off, but to allow air flow over the decoder.
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End2end
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby End2end » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:08 am

I would imagine static electricty can cause problems too.
Whenever I have to open my pc to work inside I always touch the radiator first to dispell any static.
Hope it helps.
Thanks
End2end
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Mountain
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Re: TCS M1 fried!!!

Postby Mountain » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:41 pm

Terriers can be converted by using G scale decoders taped onto the roof of the loco.... :lol:

OK, on a more serious note, quite a few locos are puzzling as where to fit decoders. For me using a coupled wagon to fit a decoder isn't really a realistic option. Removing a weight is not ideal, but I guess one could try to add weight elsewhere instead. Not fitted a decoder to my little terrier so I am glad I've seen this for future reference.
I hope you have had success. Is it DCC sound?
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.


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