Point decoders

Post all your DCC only problems, solutions and discoverys here.
Gilbert
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Point decoders

Postby Gilbert » Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:55 am

Are you serious about buying the Lenz system?... Thought the Gaugemaster would do the job. Won't be running more than about 3-4 locos at once. Yes, decoders can be placed close to the points, I.e. Stn throat, yard, approach etc.

User avatar
Flashbang
Posts: 3601
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: SE United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Point decoders

Postby Flashbang » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:14 am

The Gaugemaster Prodigy Advanced 2 will do all you need and even offer PC layout control via JMRI free software.
I have used one for years without any problems and its operating DCC Concepts AD-S8 decoders.
I also have a NCE PowerCab while as supplied its lower powered than the PA2 it does the same features and can be used with a PC too with a separately purchased interface unit.

If you want feedback then consider Digitrax as another alternative.
[Image << Click the Icon to go to my website
Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

Gilbert
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Point decoders

Postby Gilbert » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:39 pm

Thanks for all the info, so good to get honest, valued opinions. I think the Concepts decoders are no longer available...unless someone knows otherwise.

User avatar
Flashbang
Posts: 3601
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:07 pm
Location: SE United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Point decoders

Postby Flashbang » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:47 pm

Gilbert wrote:Thanks for all the info, so good to get honest, valued opinions. I think the Concepts decoders are no longer available...unless someone knows otherwise.

DCC Concepts solenoid point motor decoders are sold by several retailers including Gaugemaster and eHattons. eHattons tend to be about the cheapest. http://www.ehattons.com/stocklist/SiteResults.aspx?searchfield=Accessory%20decoder They have both the DCD ADS2 £14.00 and the DCD ADS2fx £17.00 in stock plus the DCD ADS8fx £56.00 (Cant see any of the older AD-S8 though!). Do make sure if you purchase any they have the S in the name as this is the Solenoid decoder.
[Image << Click the Icon to go to my website
Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

BananaRepublic
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:03 pm

Re: Point decoders

Postby BananaRepublic » Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:51 pm

Gilbert, how do you control your points at the moment?
Do you use a mimic panel or a switchboard of some kind?

If you are determined to go down the path of DCC controlled points and wish to rip out all that wire, it is possible to convert your mimic or switch panel to DCC operation.
Alternatively, a new panel can be built that could be used for DCC control of your points.



Gilbert
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Point decoders

Postby Gilbert » Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:04 pm

Points operated by momentary toggle switches on a track plan.

BananaRepublic
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:03 pm

Re: Point decoders

Postby BananaRepublic » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:13 pm

If you wish to retain the use of that switch panel, it can be converted to DCC, but will incur extra expense in buying the necessary electronic interface.

Gilbert
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Point decoders

Postby Gilbert » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:57 pm

I am hoping to lose all the switches etc and run everything through the controller, maybe just keeping a small plan with the track diagram on.

BromsMods
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:34 pm
Location: Bromsgrove, Worcs
Contact:

Re: Point decoders

Postby BromsMods » Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:22 pm

You might also consider the Team Digital SMD84. This can operate up to 8 point motors and you can mix solenoid and slow motion motors across the outputs, but only one type on any one output. It is also powered from the DCC track supply. I have a number of these on my developing layout and they are extremely easy to program. It is also to possible to throw 2 Peco PL10W solenoid motors attached to one output simultaneously - I use that setup for a two points constructing a crossover in a station. You can also assign non-sequential addresses to the outputs if you wish or just assign a block of 8 sequential numbers at whatever starting point you like. If you want to attach the outputs to a mimic board you will need the terminal strip as an additional item for each SMD84. They can also be more complex if you wish and can be used to set up routes, though I haven't done this within the technology used on the SMD84 but with macros contained within the NCE PowerPro DCC command system which I use.

Bigmet
Posts: 7774
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Point decoders

Postby Bigmet » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:23 am

Gilbert wrote:Are you serious about buying the Lenz system?... Thought the Gaugemaster would do the job....

All the DCC systems on sale will 'do the job'.

But you only have to consider the huge sales Lenz have achieved, and the very low problem report rate it generates to know it is a good product. Near 'bombproof', mine is in near daily use for two or more hours a session, now 13 years old: not one problem. Excellent manual which is very thorough. What I particularly like is the small handset, it can be held and operated in one hand, leaving my other paw free for point ops, cup of tea, uncoupling pole etc..

If you are going to spend some cash, it is always worth inspecting all the available options. Why buy a system that 'does the job' when you could by trying what is available find the one that 'fits like a glove' '?

Suzie
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:46 pm

Re: Point decoders

Postby Suzie » Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:48 am

Bigmet wrote:
Gilbert wrote:Are you serious about buying the Lenz system?... Thought the Gaugemaster would do the job....

All the DCC systems on sale will 'do the job'.

But you only have to consider the huge sales Lenz have achieved, and the very low problem report rate it generates to know it is a good product. Near 'bombproof', mine is in near daily use for two or more hours a session, now 13 years old: not one problem. Excellent manual which is very thorough. What I particularly like is the small handset, it can be held and operated in one hand, leaving my other paw free for point ops, cup of tea, uncoupling pole etc..

If you are going to spend some cash, it is always worth inspecting all the available options. Why buy a system that 'does the job' when you could by trying what is available find the one that 'fits like a glove' '?


You really need to consider the one big reported shortcoming of the Lenz command stations when making this statement - its propensity to occasionally send continuous commands to activate turnouts resulting in the emmission of smoke from the solenoids unless something is done to mitigate this potential problem (special Lenz compatible decoders like the Merg or the DIY accessory decoder for example). the Lenz LS150 notably does not mitigate this problem. The Lenz command station might be reliable on a lightly used layout but its reputation far exceeds its actual performance and reliability in practice.

Suzie x

Bigmet
Posts: 7774
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Point decoders

Postby Bigmet » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:16 pm

It's never troubled me in this regard, but my operation is all slo-mo motors anyway which are totally resistant to such a problem.

Note I am not specifically recomending the Lenz above any other system, beyond noting its many excellent qualities based on my own and friend's experience. It's up to the purchaser to explore what is available from the many options out there to find the one that 'fits like a glove'.

RFS
Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:09 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Point decoders

Postby RFS » Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:09 pm

Suzie wrote:
You really need to consider the one big reported shortcoming of the Lenz command stations when making this statement - its propensity to occasionally send continuous commands to activate turnouts resulting in the emmission of smoke from the solenoids unless something is done to mitigate this potential problem (special Lenz compatible decoders like the Merg or the DIY accessory decoder for example). the Lenz LS150 notably does not mitigate this problem. The Lenz command station might be reliable on a lightly used layout but its reputation far exceeds its actual performance and reliability in practice.

Suzie x


I had this problem all too frequently when I was using solenoids. The continuous commands never lasted more than 2-3 seconds. At one point I tried to reuse some Seeps and two of them were burnt out very quickly. Peco PL-10s are more robust and tolerated this although got quite hot in the process. For this and other reasons, I decided to replace with Tortoises and NCE Switch-8 decoders and this has resolved the issue. Even if it sends commands to the NCE continuously for several seconds it doesn't affect non-solenoids like the Tortoise.

Other than that my Lenz system is extremely reliable.
Robert Smith

Gilbert
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Point decoders

Postby Gilbert » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:11 pm

thanks for all your help. Think I may go for the Gaugemaster. Will see what decoders are around, will ask at my model shop (Alton Models). Happy Christmas everyone. Hope we all get plenty of Railway pressies.....!!!!


Return to “DCC Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest