My DCC Journey

Post all your DCC only problems, solutions and discoverys here.
Tallpaul70
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My DCC Journey

Postby Tallpaul70 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:21 pm

Hi Everyone,

As you may have seen from my last entry in my thread "To DCC or not?" I have decided to go for DCC in my new 00 gauge 12ftx8ft round and round layout, based on a 2 track WR main line, branch junction, and yard.

The layout track plan will be a compromise because while the main focus is on a 1960-62 era scene in the lower Thames Valley west of London, I have, and wish to run, from time to time, locos and stock from a number of periods up to c2016 when electrification infrastructure spread into the area.

I want to run singlehanded, a fairly intensive timetable, which I have generated from what I consider are the interesting movements from the 1960 WTT, coach and locomotive diagrams.

So, I think I need eventually, to have a touch screen mimic diagram.
A degree of automation might also be good to run , when I want, the more routine trains, while I concentrate on the more interesting movements.

Initially my DCC equipment will be used on a small end to end test track, that I am setting up in my workshop, which is separate from the dedicated railway room.

Having set the scene in this first post, next time I will share the details of the equipment I have bought.

Best regards
Paul

Tallpaul70
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Tallpaul70 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 2:40 pm

So the story so far:-

I have kicked off with an NCE Power Cab. Having seen good comments on this controller on my To DCC or not thread, and as my local model shop is a stockist and can give me help and support, it seemed a sensible way to go.

I am taking things one step at a time, particularly as until my local shop has chipped a few locos for me, I only have one chipped loco, a brand new Hornby TTS Castle (I like Castles!). I expect that sound will by the cost be limited mainly to shunting and slow moving locos, where I think it will be most effective.

Chipping is not something that I feel confident to try myself, so I am happy to pay the charges to have it done for me.

So I have an existing 56xx tank being sound chipped and one of my pannier tanks and another Castle being chipped without sound, for comparison.

I am also off to Ally Pally next weekend to gen up further on the possibilities.

Best regards
Paul

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End2end
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby End2end » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:48 pm

Tallpaul70 wrote:I have an existing 56xx tank being sound chipped

I have a 56xx too, so if at all possible I'd love to see yours running with sound once you have it. :)
Thanks
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Tallpaul70
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Tallpaul70 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:07 pm

Hi EndtoEnd,

Once I have the 56xx back and have tested it I will try to take a short video to post.

I'm not too experienced in video so I cant promise what the results will be like!

:P
Best regards
Paul

Tallpaul70
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Tallpaul70 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:26 pm

Hi All,
Collected three chipped locos today. They are a Hornby 08, a Bachmann Pannier and a Hornby Castle. All are fitted with Zimo non sound chips.

These locos were chosen to explore facets of DCC:-
The Castle to compare with my TTS Castle - I have third Castle which might soon get a sound chip.
The shunters to compare diesel and steam shunters under DCC. Later a similar pair will get sound chips, again for comparison.
The panier is also non DCC ready, so I get a view of hard wired against socketed chips.

So tomorrow, I will get a view on setting up loco addresses, and also see how the above locos run on my test track.
I will post my findings later in the week.

My 56xx is not ready yet, so will collect that in a week or so.

Best regards
Paul

Bigmet
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Bigmet » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:40 am

Tallpaul70 wrote:...These locos were chosen to explore facets of DCC:-
The Castle to compare with my TTS Castle...

Are these Castles both current versions from Hornby? If so I will be interested to read your perception of the differences in motor control between the TTS and Zimo decoders.

Tallpaul70 wrote:... The shunters to compare diesel and steam shunters under DCC...

Mention of hard wiring prompts the question of which version of the Bachmann Pannier you have? Hope it is an earlier version of the current model with wiper pick ups. This model's mechanism has the major advantage of a sprung centre axle, which Bachmann then nearly negate by having the axle movement overly constrained by the keeper plate. It is worth adjustment of pick ups for very positive contact with the wheelbacks, and to file slight recesses (0.5mm is enough) in the keeper plate sides under the centre axle to allow a little more sprung travel. The benefit in reliable pick up is significant.

The Hornby 08 has the major advantage of a good size five pole motor, flywheel and 40:1 reduction, practically any decoder will operate this intrinsically smooth running mechanism very well. Getting the current Bachmann Pannier to match it as closely as possible (small 3 pole motor, 25:1 reduction) is something that a Zimo decoder is particularly good for.

Tallpaul70 wrote:...The pannier is also non DCC ready, so I get a view of hard wired against socketed chips...

You also get a view of how well the installer performs!

Tallpaul70
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Tallpaul70 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:14 pm

Trying to answer the points raised...
The two castles are not of the same Hornby variant The TTS is a factory fitted one uses the 2010 version of the body, but I think was announced last year(?), whereas the Zimo fitted is the 2005 Hornby Collectors club version, which I think has an earlier body, but the chassis/ motor etc. may be the same as from 2005 they were DCC ready.
Perhaps any Hornby experts reading this can enlighten us?

Only having a 6ft test track at present it is a little difficult to compare the running characteristics!

Reference the pannier, it is a 32-212 again from 2005, and appears to have a sprung centre axle. I will look at the recommended adjustments.

The Hornby 08 does seem to run very slowly, very well!

So far, I cannot fault the installer!

Hope this helps?

Best regards
Paul

Tallpaul70
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Tallpaul70 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:46 pm

Further to my last post, I have received information which says that the HCC Castle(amongst others) was the Airfix 1979 body on a Dapol 1985 Chassis. So mechanically my two Castles are not the same!

I have completed the readdressing of the three locos recently chipped, and am pleased to say it was not difficult. They all work fine.

I then got overconfident and decided to try pairing the two shunters in what the NCE manual calls a consist. This was not difficult, but the problem I have is that I cant work out and the manual doesn't help on how to stop the locos working in a consist and return them to working against their individual addresses.

When I call up the individual addresses they just don't move?

Any help on this would be appreciated?

Best regards
Paul

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Flashbang
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Flashbang » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:47 pm

As stated on the other forum...

Of course they won't move as individual locos, you have assignment a Consist address to them, so they both move together.
You need to Dissolve or Clear the consist. See page 30 or page 32 of the PowerCab manual depending on what type of Consist you have set up for the two locos... https://www.dccconcepts.com/manual/nce-owners-manual-powercab-handset/

'Consist' is the US term for what the UK calls 'Double Heading'
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Tallpaul70
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Tallpaul70 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:07 pm

I now know that the "Consist" is not the powerful option I had thought!

Just glad that the need for it on my layout when built will be minimal. The only time I will use it regularly will be when running modern stock and I need to run a top and tailed train.
It will probably be easier to choose pairs of locos that have similar running characteristics and run them as individual units. Might be advisable to not couple the rear loco to the stock!

Best regards
Paul

Tallpaul70
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Tallpaul70 » Mon May 27, 2019 2:56 pm

Firstly, apologies for no update for several weeks, but a number of unplanned things both modelling and family/household got in the way!

Anyway, I have now able to test my old DC locos, as well as my newly converted DCC locos, having completed the roundy-round test track and provided it with both DC and DCC power, although switching between the two is not easy.

So can anyone tell me if I have separate power systems for DC and DCC, plugged into separate power sockets is it sufficient protection to switch which ever is not in use off at the socket and the power unit , or should I , as I am currently doing disconnect the system not being used from the tracks?

I realise I need to only have one type of locos, either DC or DCC, on the test track at one time according to which power system is being powered.

Having now got over my Class 31 Mayzak rot at the expense of a new class 31, I still need to test other classes highlighted on the rot list such as Bachmann class 42s, Hornby Class 50s and steam class 75xxx and MNs/WCs/WC 4-6-0s

The latest problem is the high current for Lima motors. I had tested several Lima locos and wanted a sound conversion on a GW AEC Parcels railcar as there seems little prospect of a new model unlike the passenger cars where I will have to be patient and save up for the new Heljan version. As the model ran wellI thought it ok, but on testing my model shop advised that it was drawing 1.1 amps which they thought too close to the 1.2 amp limit for Zimo chips, having had examples blow in the past.

So the two alternatives are :-
1) go for a second hand Heljan class 128 in BR green, which vehicle took over from the W34W AEC parcels car in the Thames Valley. This should convert to DCC sound ok.

2) buy a Hornby updated Lima GWR passenger car and swap to its chasss the body for the parcels car giving the parcels car a modern mechanism. This might be cheaper than 1) above provided Hornby have left the fixings between car body and chassis unchanged.

Any thoughts would be welcome!

Many thanks
Best regards

Paul

Bigmet
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Bigmet » Mon May 27, 2019 4:31 pm

If requiring the choice of running a layout on DC or DCC, the essential requirement is that the systems are not fed from the same mains transformer (you have that covered by implication as the systems are plugged into different mains sockets) and that one of the track outputs on each system is on a 'double throw' (centre off) master switch, so that either the DCC or the DC system is in circuit with the track, but there is never a possibility of both being in circuit. (The other two track outputs may be commoned which makes a major saving on wiring.)

I have been operating fifteen years on this basis on what was formerly a DC multiple cab switched section common return wired layout, completely trouble free. Don't heed the naysayers who predict dire problems if you dare do such a thing. As long as you stick to the basic rules of completely independent mains transformers for each system, and making the track connection 'one or the other system' in circuit, but never the possibility of both, all will be well electrically on the layout. Your own responsibility: removing locos without decoders from the layout, before switching to DCC power.

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Bufferstop
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Bufferstop » Mon May 27, 2019 10:31 pm

Bigmet wrote:Your own responsibility: removing locos without decoders from the layout, before switching to DCC power.

You can't repeat that bit of advice too often, controlling a DC loco by unbalancing an AC voltage is only safe as long as the motor is turning. Leaving the loco stationary will subject the motor to the full AC output of the DCC power supply. If it's an old iron cored armature it will get hot and start to smoke. If it's a more modern coreless type it will shake itself to death in a relatively short time.
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Tallpaul70
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Tallpaul70 » Tue May 28, 2019 7:59 pm

Trouble is there is nowhere to mount a switch without quite a lot of work. This is a temporary testing and DCC set up track and has no control panel! Only way I can see is to find a small plastic box , mount the switch on one side and sockets for the three sets of cables (one input, two outputs on the other and then put appropriate plugs on the three leads.
Anyone got a suggestion involving less work?

Many thanks
Best regards
Paul

Bigmet
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Re: My DCC Journey

Postby Bigmet » Tue May 28, 2019 8:10 pm

Two wires from the track (somewhat separated to avoid shorts) terminated in two croc clips, then just clip on the track outputs from one system or the other.


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