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Postby crazypotter » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:35 pm

Hi all. I am about to order a class 122 "bubblecar" from Rails. This is a Dapol model in oo gauge. Now to control all the lighting functions a five function decoder is the minimum. Dapol recommend their Imperium (well they would wouldn't they) which is 21 pin, 6 function. Prefer a lenz myelf but all their 21 pin state 4 functions. Anyone know of other options or experienced the Imperium. Cheers guys.

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Re: Decoder

Postby RFS » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:51 pm

The Lenz 21-pin decoder has 5 functions so will be OK. About 1/3rd cheaper than the Lenz is an equally good decoder, namely the Zimo MX638D which has 6 functions. Coastal DCC have the Lenz for £28 and the Zimo for £20. I'd go for the Zimo.
Robert Smith

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Re: Decoder

Postby Paul-H » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:49 pm

Or the Laisdcc for £9.99 and it's identical to Dapols Imperium, which makes it easier to setup using Dapols lighting setup guide which needs quite a few CV's set yo get the lights working correctly.


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Re: Decoder

Postby SRman » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:06 am

I have tried one of Dapol's Imperium decoders and so far it does what it says on the box, albeit the instructions were almost non-existent when I bought it (not sure if that has changed now). I like the Lenz Silver+ 21, but as RFS said, Zimo's 6-function MX638D is also fully featured and considerably cheaper to buy - at £20 it is quite a bargain. The Zimo decoder can also be altered with a CV change to provide power for full-powered or logic auxiliary outputs, meaning it can be used in a few of the more 'difficult' locomotives. Mind you, the Imperium is also around the same price as the Zimo, so also represents a good bargain.

I have three Zimo MX638s in service (in a Dapol class 22, Kernow class 41, and Bachmann H1 Atlantic), and 26 Lenz 21-pin decoders in service, but you have to remember the Lenz one has been available for a lot longer.

I have no axe to grind as all three of the above-mentioned brands feature in my collection with excellent results. To that, I would add one more brand as being ultra-reliable and fully-featured, ESU, although I'm not sure if their decoders would fit the requirement here for the class 121/122, at least, not for the price and value for money.

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Re: Decoder

Postby Bigmet » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:26 am

The Zimo for the drive refinement on offer, they have long been the leaders in offering adjustments to cope with whatever a mechanism throws up; and now at a price competitive with the Lenz standard which has been my 'old faithful' for a good many many years on modern drives. And Zimo document properly. So many features that the documentation is halfway to an airport novel, but it is all there.

There's a cautionary note on ESU, now that coreless motors are becoming common - no idea what is in this Dapol model - unfortunately ESU's BEMF design is often poor with coreless motors so probably best restricted to iron core motors.

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Re: Decoder

Postby crazypotter » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:23 am

Thanks for you're input guys. I am tending to favour the Zimo. The price and the favourable comments made by yourselves have swayed my decision. Thanks for you're help.

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