Author Topic: Which came first Chicken or Egg (DCC Ready locos)  (Read 851 times)

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learmoia

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Which came first Chicken or Egg (DCC Ready locos)
« on: August 11, 2013, 10:28:33 AM »
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« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 08:06:03 PM by learmoia »

spookshow

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Re: Which came first Chicken or Egg (DCC Ready locos)
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 11:03:18 AM »
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I'm not familiar with the evolution of DCC as far as European prototype models are concerned, but as for North American models, the first truly DCC-Ready locomotive (Kato's 1993 E8) was only DCC-Ready by accident (or so I've been told). That basic mechanism design had been around for a while before Digitrax got around to designing a decoder to fit it.

The next step in the evolution of North American DCC was Atlas's 1997 GP40-2. Atlas took their dual-lightboard GP40 mechanism (released in 1996) and redesigned it such that it used a single lightboard with motor contacts. IE, the first locomotive mechanism to be re-designed specifically for DCC.

So, to answer your question - both.

Cheers,
-Mark

P.S. Arnold's 1991 S-2 was the first North American prototype locomotive to come with a decoder. However, in my mind it wasn't technically DCC-Ready. IE, it either came with a decoder or it didn't, and the ones that didn't weren't designed to accept one.


peteski

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Re: Which came first Chicken or Egg (DCC Ready locos)
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 01:38:03 PM »
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Europeans seemed to be ahead of the curve in through-the-track remote control acceptance.  I have some Minitrix models from the late 80s or early 90s which came factory equipped a 6-pin socket and dummy DC jumper (with 2 diodes) which allowed the model to function in DC.  That was in the pre-DCC days (the plug was designed for Minitrix's Selectrix remote control decoders). However that plug and its pinout was also adapted in DCC design. So, those old models are truly plug-n-play DCC models.  That plug is also used in many of the currently made European models, and even some US prototypes (like FVM's GEVO) utilize that plug for truly easy and very simple plug-n-play DCC conversions.  The only limitation when using that plug is that due to 6-pin compact design, it only allows for 2 functions (headlights).  Other functions would have to be hardwired to the decoder (if the decoder had pads for extra functions).
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VonRyan

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Re: Which came first Chicken or Egg (DCC Ready locos)
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 09:34:12 PM »
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I'm not familiar with the evolution of DCC as far as European prototype models are concerned, but as for North American models, the first truly DCC-Ready locomotive (Kato's 1993 E8) was only DCC-Ready by accident (or so I've been told). That basic mechanism design had been around for a while before Digitrax got around to designing a decoder to fit it.

The next step in the evolution of North American DCC was Atlas's 1997 GP40-2. Atlas took their dual-lightboard GP40 mechanism (released in 1996) and redesigned it such that it used a single lightboard with motor contacts. IE, the first locomotive mechanism to be re-designed specifically for DCC.

So, to answer your question - both.

Cheers,
-Mark

P.S. Arnold's 1991 S-2 was the first North American prototype locomotive to come with a decoder. However, in my mind it wasn't technically DCC-Ready. IE, it either came with a decoder or it didn't, and the ones that didn't weren't designed to accept one.

Actually the S-2 was considered DCC ready. Perhaps a tad questionable in today's more exacting DCC-speak.


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spookshow

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Re: Which came first Chicken or Egg (DCC Ready locos)
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 01:58:58 AM »
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Actually the S-2 was considered DCC ready. Perhaps a tad questionable in today's more exacting DCC-speak.

There is no "drop in" decoder option for the S-2, which I think is the best definition of DCC Readiness. If the S-2 is DCC Ready, then so is pretty much anything else.

Cheers,
-Mark

peteski

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Re: Which came first Chicken or Egg (DCC Ready locos)
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 02:24:58 AM »
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There is no "drop in" decoder option for the S-2, which I think is the best definition of DCC Readiness. If the S-2 is DCC Ready, then so is pretty much anything else.

Cheers,
-Mark

And to make it worse, there is pretty much no way to install even a generic decoder without modifying the metal chassis or its solid metal body.  I agree that (even though DCC was a factory option) this locomotive should not be considered as DCC ready.
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reinhardtjh

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Re: Which came first Chicken or Egg (DCC Ready locos)
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 03:19:48 AM »
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And to make it worse, there is pretty much no way to install even a generic decoder without modifying the metal chassis or its solid metal body.  I agree that (even though DCC was a factory option) this locomotive should not be considered as DCC ready.

You only had to modify the body if you want DCC controlled lights.  Which, admittedly, most would like.  I have 2 of the original DCC equipped units and one of the analog versions.  The analog can be converted to DCC by some re-wiring of the circuit board and a small, hard wired decoder.  The TCS Z2 fits nicely into less space than the original Arnold decoder and one of the Zimo, CT or other really small European decoders fits even better.

Mine will be made surplus later this year.
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sundowner

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Re: Which came first Chicken or Egg (DCC Ready locos)
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 08:42:20 AM »
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The next step in the evolution of North American DCC was Atlas's 1997 GP40-2. Atlas took their dual-lightboard GP40 mechanism (released in 1996) and redesigned it such that it used a single lightboard with motor contacts. IE, the first locomotive mechanism to be re-designed specifically for DCC.


Actually the Kato -9 was out first, by the time Atlas release the GP40-2 Kato was already on there second run.
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spookshow

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Re: Which came first Chicken or Egg (DCC Ready locos)
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 09:23:26 AM »
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Actually the Kato -9 was out first, by the time Atlas release the GP40-2 Kato was already on there second run.

Right, but that model was never re-designed for DCC (being fully DCC-Ready right from the get-go). My reference addressed the OP's original question and was meant to illustrate the fact that in the early days some non-DCC models were indeed redesigned for DCC support.

-Mark
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 09:28:33 AM by spookshow »