Decoders for older Hornby locos?

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Bigmet
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Re: Decoders for older Hornby locos?

Postby Bigmet » Wed Jan 19, 2022 1:22 pm

joshv8 wrote:...The set B12 and J52 Im finding to still be hesitant at times. I'm guessing these would benefit from upgraded decoders?...

More information to digest!

A good decoder will get the most out of the motors in these mechanisms, but it cannot 'work miracles'. What needs to be sorted out is why they hesitate, and that's usually loss of pick up.

Easy to fix on the B12, check the wipers are all bearing on the wheelbacks, and that any joints in the wiring to the motor are soldered properly.

The J52 has a 'one size fits all' 0-6-0T mechanism and this can be more problematic. The soft, sticky and stretchy low grade polymer traction tyre ideally needs to go as it dirties the track as well as preventing pick up, but can you easily find a replacement plain wheelset? It will run, albeit with some clunkiness, with the traction tyre gone; once the pick ups have been optimised and the useless 'suspension' on one axle sorted out or made rigid. (Wanting a J52 I completely circumvented the Hornby mechanism problem by use of the current design Bachmann 57xx mechanism; easy to install with a little invisble hacking and chopping, and cheap when Hattons were flogging complete 57xx at £25 a go, sigh...)

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joshv8
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Re: Decoders for older Hornby locos?

Postby joshv8 » Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:27 pm

Suzie wrote:Zimo decoders are as follows:-

NEM652 8-pin = MX600R (MX645R for sound)

Bare wires = MX600 (MX645 for sound)

Next18 = MX618N18 (MX658N18 for sound)

Often the older locos have a nice lot of room so you can fit a socket. I would recommend that you fit the Zimo ADAPLU PCB (has a 22-pin PluX socket that will take any PluX decoder) and use an MX600P12 decoder (or MX645P22 for sound) rather than just hard wire the decoder in - you never know when you might want to upgrade to sound or add extra functions later - having a socket with all the connections makes life so much easier.

As you can see the MX600 although a basic decoder has enough functions to drive the 12-pins, on the versions with a lesser plug the extra function outputs are still there but you will have to wire them outside of the plug and socket connections.


Many thanks for posting those part numbers. Ill get a chance to sit down and work through them.
The basic decoder at £20 pounds is well priced I think. Id love to convert to sound but at basically £100 pounds for a sound decoder that adds up too quickly. I might do a couple though, the J15 and my new 812 would be nice to have sound.
You make a good argument for attaching the plug, as you said I can upgrade easier later so I can buy basic decoders now and upgrade to sound easily later. Thanks!

Bigmet wrote:
joshv8 wrote:...The set B12 and J52 Im finding to still be hesitant at times. I'm guessing these would benefit from upgraded decoders?...

More information to digest!

A good decoder will get the most out of the motors in these mechanisms, but it cannot 'work miracles'. What needs to be sorted out is why they hesitate, and that's usually loss of pick up.

Easy to fix on the B12, check the wipers are all bearing on the wheelbacks, and that any joints in the wiring to the motor are soldered properly.

The J52 has a 'one size fits all' 0-6-0T mechanism and this can be more problematic. The soft, sticky and stretchy low grade polymer traction tyre ideally needs to go as it dirties the track as well as preventing pick up, but can you easily find a replacement plain wheelset? It will run, albeit with some clunkiness, with the traction tyre gone; once the pick ups have been optimised and the useless 'suspension' on one axle sorted out or made rigid. (Wanting a J52 I completely circumvented the Hornby mechanism problem by use of the current design Bachmann 57xx mechanism; easy to install with a little invisble hacking and chopping, and cheap when Hattons were flogging complete 57xx at £25 a go, sigh...)


£25 for a 57xx? Thats incredible. Truth be told theyre still probably making profit hahaha. But perhaps that's an option.
I'll double check tonight but I actually dont think my J52 has the traction tyres, maybe Hornby removed them from this model being sold as a DCC loco. I have persisted with cleaning pickups and wheel faces as an assembley but to no avail. But I think you're right it may be a pickup problem. Its usually not too problamatic while running but if you stop to change points or halt a train and go to restart running atleast 50% of the time it needs a wiggle, like the decoder hasnt got the power. Now its not even much of a wiggle. Perhaps I need to disassemble the wheel sets, clean individually and clean the pickups that way rather than trying to get in there. Ill check soldered joints to.

The B12 is definitely less problamatic but still needs some fine tuning. These 2 engines sat in the previous owners care long enough that they seized the wheel sets so who knows where there may be corrosion hiding.

Cheers,
Josh

Suzie
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Re: Decoders for older Hornby locos?

Postby Suzie » Thu Jan 20, 2022 9:06 am

joshv8 wrote:I have persisted with cleaning pickups and wheel faces as an assembly but to no avail. But I think you're right it may be a pickup problem. Its usually not too problematic while running but if you stop to change points or halt a train and go to restart running at least 50% of the time it needs a wiggle, like the decoder hasn't got the power. Now its not even much of a wiggle. Perhaps I need to disassemble the wheel sets, clean individually and clean the pickups that way rather than trying to get in there. Ill check soldered joints too.


Zimo will help you here. If you stop somewhere with poor pickup the decoder will nudge the loco along until it gets good pickup again before stopping. It will not overcome a serious problem with total loss of pickup or a short, but specks of dirt and the occasional wheel on a dead frog should be overcome easily.

You can always add a stay alive capacitor for more resilience (PluX-16 MX630 or PluX-22 MX633 decoders, or the PluX sound decoders have the pins for this).

Bigmet
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Re: Decoders for older Hornby locos?

Postby Bigmet » Thu Jan 20, 2022 2:14 pm

joshv8 wrote:...halt a train and go to restart running at least 50% of the time it needs a wiggle, like the decoder hasnt got the power. Now its not even much of a wiggle. Perhaps I need to disassemble the wheel sets, clean individually and clean the pickups that way rather than trying to get in there. I'll check soldered joints to.

The B12 is definitely less problamatic but still needs some fine tuning. These 2 engines sat in the previous owners care long enough that they seized the wheel sets so who knows where there may be corrosion hiding...

If a decoder fitted loco doesn't start on command = no current reaching decoder. I feel you are likely onto something with the seized wheelsets and corrosion. The connection to one rail via the axles and wheels, means that any metal oxide (rust) between axle and cast chassis block will prevent conduction. Make it all shiny metal in there, and see if reliability improves to the 100% that we all want.


joshv8 wrote:...£25 for a 57xx? Thats incredible. Truth be told theyre still probably making profit...

Keep in mind this was the Bonanza! moment from about 2004 to 2008 when Bachmann and Hornby were both going hammer and tongs with the new 'better products than anything previously seen in RTR OO' and the money was rolling in. At the time Hattons had the habit of shifting stock during the summer holiday period with really hefty price reductions, presumably to maintain cashflow when sales volume was down. So instead of the regular price for a small Bachmann tank loco being in the £40 - £50 range, they would drop it by up to 40%. I was in there like the robber's dog, because these were so useful for repowering old kit and RTR locos with worn out or inferior mechanisms...

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Mountain
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Re: Decoders for older Hornby locos?

Postby Mountain » Thu Jan 20, 2022 5:37 pm

Bachmann used to sell complete running chassis which would fit with no or very little modification straight into Mainline bodies as when Bachmann came into the UK market, they basically used some of the Mainline moulds and redesigned the chassis with 5 pole conventional motors but going through a split chassis set up similar to mainline which apart from needing regular maintenence I had no issues with them. And these chassis could be had for very reasonable prices. I was sold a tender and a body from a standard class at a very good "Please rescue me" price which was either Mainline or Bachmann. The secondhand retailer offered them to me cheap as a token price as he did not think he could sell them.
I bought new Makits wheels for the tender and a new Bachmann split chassis which needed a little delicate work as the con rods were supplied upsidown so this was corrected, and it was all like new and all in cost me less than half the price of a new model. I was not into BR steam locos so a friend bought it off me. I only bought it to rescue it. The brand new Bachmann chassis cost me £17.95. Nearly all Bachmann retailers had a stock of them on display.

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joshv8
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Re: Decoders for older Hornby locos?

Postby joshv8 » Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:41 am

Suzie wrote:
joshv8 wrote:I have persisted with cleaning pickups and wheel faces as an assembly but to no avail. But I think you're right it may be a pickup problem. Its usually not too problematic while running but if you stop to change points or halt a train and go to restart running at least 50% of the time it needs a wiggle, like the decoder hasn't got the power. Now its not even much of a wiggle. Perhaps I need to disassemble the wheel sets, clean individually and clean the pickups that way rather than trying to get in there. Ill check soldered joints too.


Zimo will help you here. If you stop somewhere with poor pickup the decoder will nudge the loco along until it gets good pickup again before stopping. It will not overcome a serious problem with total loss of pickup or a short, but specks of dirt and the occasional wheel on a dead frog should be overcome easily.

You can always add a stay alive capacitor for more resilience (PluX-16 MX630 or PluX-22 MX633 decoders, or the PluX sound decoders have the pins for this).


Thanks for the addition! And I think ultimately will be the way to go. I will persist the the hornby decoders for the time being and upgrade in time.
Looking through availability of your suggested components seems the adaptors are somewhat unavailable at the moment so looking like I will be doing a hard wire job for the time being.
Also the MX600 is seemingly hard to find but I can get the MX600R ok. Can I purchase those and simply cut the plug off the end?

Bigmet wrote:If a decoder fitted loco doesn't start on command = no current reaching decoder. I feel you are likely onto something with the seized wheelsets and corrosion. The connection to one rail via the axles and wheels, means that any metal oxide (rust) between axle and cast chassis block will prevent conduction. Make it all shiny metal in there, and see if reliability improves to the 100% that we all want.


Ok, J52, so I had some good results here, completely removed the wheel sets. Found the front axle bearings tight in the block. Cleaned everything up, oiled and reassembled.
No issues stopping and starting at all, at an exceptional snails pace it did stop just past a frog but all in all a great result and if I do change decoders as Suzie suggested I imagine it will pick up any remaining issues. I'll play a bit more tonight to make sure the issue seems to be solved.

The B12 is basically running ok, removing the wheel set found a lot of hardened grease around the worm gear. But has quite a bit of motor noise at shunting speed. It dissapears at higher speed. Sounds to be gear noise. Im unsure if there is adjustment but I believe the wormdrive has a nylon gear and might benefit from a brass one.
Thanks for the suggestion!

Mountain wrote:Bachmann used to sell complete running chassis which would fit with no or very little modification straight into Mainline bodies as when Bachmann came into the UK market, they basically used some of the Mainline moulds and redesigned the chassis with 5 pole conventional motors but going through a split chassis set up similar to mainline which apart from needing regular maintenence I had no issues with them. And these chassis could be had for very reasonable prices. I was sold a tender and a body from a standard class at a very good "Please rescue me" price which was either Mainline or Bachmann. The secondhand retailer offered them to me cheap as a token price as he did not think he could sell them.
I bought new Makits wheels for the tender and a new Bachmann split chassis which needed a little delicate work as the con rods were supplied upsidown so this was corrected, and it was all like new and all in cost me less than half the price of a new model. I was not into BR steam locos so a friend bought it off me. I only bought it to rescue it. The brand new Bachmann chassis cost me £17.95. Nearly all Bachmann retailers had a stock of them on display.


Too bad it's not still the case! I have my 2 mainline J72s that could really use converting. Theyre not exactly cheap but Bachmanns new J72 looks quite fantastic... might be worth the new purchase rather than converting the older ones.

Cheers,
Josh

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

Re: Decoders for older Hornby locos?

Postby Suzie » Fri Jan 21, 2022 10:47 am

One ADAPLU board here:-

https://www.coastaldcc.co.uk/products/z ... for-plux22

Yes, an MX600R is just an MX600 with a plug soldered on to the end of some of the wires, all the wires are still there.


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