Author Topic: DCC / HO newbie....  (Read 1007 times)

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LIRR

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DCC / HO newbie....
« on: December 07, 2016, 06:47:21 PM »
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switching from  N to HO. Will be using the Walters code 83 turnouts. Is it necessary to power the frog? I test ran a non-DCC loco thru the turnout and it simmered OK. The atlas N turnouts I used had a nice built in connection to power the frog, not so on the walthers 83s.....


peteski

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2016, 07:15:42 PM »
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Necessary? No. Highly recommended? Yes.  In any scale.

The more continuous power delivery is to the locomotive, the more reliably it will run.  It also enhances your overall pleasure of operating your layout.  There are modelers in all scales who depend on the point-to-stock-rail for delivering power to the closure rails/frog (if applicable).  They are also ok with the occasional stall and the nudge they have to give their train to run.  So, it is really up to you whether you are willing to do some extra work while building the layout and end up with reliable operation or save some time now and deal with some stalling later.

Having said all that, the larger the models are, the more positive is their contact with the track (mostly due to their greater mass).  So H0 scale locomotive will be more forgiving than N scale loco when small lengths of the track are unpowered.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

LIRR

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2016, 07:31:02 PM »
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Understand all of your points....powered frog in N is a must for all the reasons you state. Atlas turnouts make it easy. Also, I hate everything and everything to do with soldering, so if I can live without it, I will.....but Its easier to do it with the turnouts on the work bench than later when they're installed.....

Thanks...

peteski

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2016, 09:00:33 PM »
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.....but Its easier to do it with the turnouts on the work bench than later when they're installed.....

Thanks...

You understood my perfectly!  :D  A little time spent and pain experienced while the access for soldering is easy (on the workbench) will pay back in multiples by having reliable operations and not having to do the upgrades (soldering) later after the track is installed and ballasted on the layout.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

LIRR

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2016, 09:07:41 PM »
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I really knew the answer before I asked the question.....you just validated it for me. I was hoping someone would say - "no need! They work perfectly right out of the box!" I went right down to the train room and worked on one. I exposed the frog on the underside and soldered a lead to it. One down, six to go for now.

peteski

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2016, 10:30:44 PM »
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I really knew the answer before I asked the question.....you just validated it for me. I was hoping someone would say - "no need! They work perfectly right out of the box!" I went right down to the train room and worked on one. I exposed the frog on the underside and soldered a lead to it. One down, six to go for now.

Well, there is no *ABSOLUTE* need to do this (as you witnessed the loco negotiated the turnout problem-free), but it won't hurt to wire up the frog either. I have no specific experience with H0 or those turnouts, but plenty of real-world experience (in various scales) of what happens when layout owners cut corners: Usually that results in frustration of both, the layout owner and his guest operators).  :(
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

LIRR

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2016, 11:21:18 AM »
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Getting ready to start wiring....14 gauge sufficient for the bus wires?

Layout is about 11x17 around the walls with a center peninsula. maybe 100 linear feet (route-miles if you will) of track that'll be separated into 4 or 5 districts.....

C855B

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2016, 11:29:10 AM »
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#14 would work OK if all runs were less than 20' from a booster, but #12 would be a safer bet. The higher draw of HO means more voltage drop at the end of longer runs especially if you are inclined to m.u. as you did in N.
...mike

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We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

LIRR

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2017, 05:20:10 PM »
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When I switched to HO, I bought a Bachmann F7 to get started. Since the, I've bought an NCE Power Cab system and a DCC loco with sound. I'd like to put a decoder in the F7, but I'm having  trouble identifying the proper decoder. None of the manufacturers websites seem to call out a specific decoder for this loco. It's DCC ready with an 8-pin socket.

Any recommendation will be sincerely appreciated.....

jdcolombo

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2017, 05:37:14 PM »
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When I switched to HO, I bought a Bachmann F7 to get started. Since the, I've bought an NCE Power Cab system and a DCC loco with sound. I'd like to put a decoder in the F7, but I'm having  trouble identifying the proper decoder. None of the manufacturers websites seem to call out a specific decoder for this loco. It's DCC ready with an 8-pin socket.

Any recommendation will be sincerely appreciated.....

First: POWER THE FROGS!  It just isn't that hard at the construction stage, and even in HO, engines (especially short-wheelbase switchers) can have trouble on dead frogs.  (The other option is to put big honkin' keep alives on all your locos, but better to attack the problem directly, and wiring the frogs won't cost anything if you're going to use some sort of switch machine anyway - even ground throws can come with electrical contacts).

If the F7 has an 8-pin socket, then any decoder with an 8-pin plug should work as long as there is space in the shell (do some measuring).  ESU LokPilot or a Zimo MX622R would be my first choice; but every decoder maker (Digitrax, TCS, Zimo, etc.) makes decoders with 8-pin plugs. 

John C.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 05:40:50 PM by jdcolombo »

LIRR

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2017, 05:43:29 PM »
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Thanks.....

And I am powering all frogs....

LIRR

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2017, 09:44:14 AM »
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I need a diagnosis.........

I have an NCE Powercab system, and 2 Bachmann sound equipped locos. every now and then the system loses power. loco stops, sound stops, headlight goes out.

it's not a frog issue, it'll happen away from the switch, its not a short because I nudge it and it restarts, track is squeaky clean......

anyone else have this issue?

MK

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2017, 10:46:19 AM »
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Are the wheels squeaky clean?  Is it always the same spot on the layout?  If so, try another loco and see if it is the track (for whatever reason).

peteski

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2017, 01:18:54 PM »
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Sounds like an intermittent electric pickup issue. Dirt is the most likely (and easiest to deal with) suspect. Clean the track really well and try another locomotive (if you happen to own other DCC locos).  If the other loco runs fine and the Bachmanns still stall, clean their wheels really well.  If that doesn't solve their problem then the intermittent connection would be inside the model.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
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LIRR

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Re: DCC / HO newbie....
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2017, 12:24:53 PM »
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I did all that, the obvious steps.....I have a pad and pencil handy to start listing the locations and circumstances if/when it happens again. I do have 2 locomotives, but I honestly haven't noticed if it's happened to both

With this exception, the Bachmann locos run beautifully
Thanks