Author Topic: My Favorite DCC tool  (Read 1189 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

woodone

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 564
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +18
My Favorite DCC tool
« on: May 01, 2018, 08:39:01 PM »
+1
This is my go to tool for doing DCC work. Very simple and easy to use.
I test LEDs for positive, negative leads when working with magnet wire which is all the same color and small size.
I can check to see if the loco wheels are making contact with the frame ECT.
It is a Tool I can't be without.
You don't have to be looking at it when you are doing work- the buzz will tell you when you have a connection.
9 volt battery, a 6 to 18 volt buzzer from Radio Shack and some test leads and clips. I also use some very sharp stainless home made probes to work with very small items.
see the buzzer here::   https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-pc-board-12vdc-70db-piezo-buzzer   

woodone

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 564
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +18
Re: My Favorite DCC tool
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 05:42:30 PM »
0
Wow! Not even a question about this?

RBrodzinsky

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1048
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +375
Re: My Favorite DCC tool
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 06:20:18 PM »
0
Jerry, didn't even see this post (then again, spending a couple of days basically away, I may have missed a bunch of posts).

I am having problems getting the photo to expand to any viewable size.
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

woodone

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 564
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +18
Re: My Favorite DCC tool
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 08:15:46 PM »
0
Rick, try clicking on the photo number and see if that will open it for you.
If not let me know an I will shot you an e-mail with the photo has an attachment.

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 24407
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +2931
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: My Favorite DCC tool
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2018, 08:33:32 PM »
0
Rick, try clicking on the photo number and see if that will open it for you.
If not let me know an I will shot you an e-mail with the photo has an attachment.

You asked for comments . . .

If you were to post those photo attachments as "In-line full-size images" then they would  show up full-size in the post without needing to click on them.  I also have a problem with viewing them the way you post them. Or better yet, upload them to the gallery and link to them in the post - that way anybody can view them (not just logged in members).

If I understand your tool correctly, I use my multimeter's continuity test setting for the same purpose.

If that buzzer is a simple solenoid-based buzzer with an electromagnet and a set of points (like on old style doorbell) then I would be worried that the kickback voltage from the coil might generate voltages which might damage delicate electronic components of a decoder.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 08:35:24 PM by peteski »
. . . 42 . . .

MK

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2913
  • Respect: +396
Re: My Favorite DCC tool
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 09:20:14 PM »
0
My Fluke multimeter has a continuity setting that sounds a buzzer if there is a connection.

woodone

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 564
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +18
Re: My Favorite DCC tool
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2018, 10:55:32 AM »
0
This is not to replace a DVM. I too have a Fluke and  Simpson 260 meters. They don’t get used that much.
I found that the test leads were too big and the meter takes up room on my work bench.
This is very small and the very small test wires don’t move my loco’s while working on them. The small needles let me get into tight places.

woodone

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 564
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +18
Re: My Favorite DCC tool
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2018, 11:41:51 AM »
0
Peteski,
 Guess that you missed the link about the buzzer.
Sending you a PM about photos.

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 24407
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +2931
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: My Favorite DCC tool
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2018, 12:33:14 PM »
0
Well, I have to admit that I missed the "piezo" part.  :facepalm:  Never mind that comment. I also thought that Radio Shack went out of business.

We'll work in PMs on attaching photos.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 12:42:05 PM by peteski »
. . . 42 . . .

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 24407
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +2931
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: My Favorite DCC tool
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2018, 02:53:54 PM »
0
With just a little more effort, the needle-probe idea can be turned into a more universal tool.  That is what I did when I reverse-engineered the ESU decoders.

I also started off with sewing needles. Those make excellent miniature probes. Using a cutoff wheel in a Dremel tool I trimmed the needles I had at hand to be about 1" length. Using the same tool I then ground about 1/16" long  flat spot on the sides of the thick end of the needles. That removed the chrome plating and exposed the inner steel core of the needle. Steel is easier to solder.

Then, using TIX acid flux (zinc chloride) I tinned those small bare steel areas and rinsed off all the traces of the acidic flux.  Next, I soldered 12" lengths of ESU decoder hookup wires. That wire is very flexible and makes a perfect leads for the tiny probes. Next, to make handles, I took about 1" lengths of Evergreen 0.093" diameter styrene tubes and glued the needles inside the tubing using 5-minute epoxy.   On the other ends of the wire I attached couple of alligator clips.



Now I have a set of tiny probes which can be attached to any standard multimeter leads.  Since I am using the multimeter, I can measure voltage, resistance and continuity with my tiny probes. I couldn't figure out those ESY decoders without these probes.



Woodone, I hope that you don't mind me posting this in your thread - it expands on your design making it more flexible.  I can always delete this post.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 02:04:50 AM by peteski »
. . . 42 . . .

woodone

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 564
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +18
Re: My Favorite DCC tool
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2018, 07:01:41 PM »
0
No problem here.