Author Topic: Arnold Digital Command 80..  (Read 796 times)

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learmoia

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Arnold Digital Command 80..
« on: August 26, 2018, 01:01:30 AM »
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I came upon an Arnold Digital Command 80 Command Station and throttle, along with 2 DCC Arnold S2 locomotives.

I am reading that the locomotives are NOT DCC compatable.  Correct?

~Ian

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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Arnold Digital Command 80..
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2018, 06:27:28 PM »
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I'm pretty sure they are, but only on 14 speed steps and two digit addresses if memory serves correctly. Even if you are not interested in their decoder, the PC boards on the DCC units is different than that of the DC models and makes DCC conversion MUCH easier.

In fact if the price is right, I may be interested in those engines to convert a few of my own.
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peteski

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Re: Arnold Digital Command 80..
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2018, 10:44:56 PM »
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I believe that those Arnold S2s were the first ever N scale models with a factory-installed decoder and I also agree that they are compatible with the DCC standard.  Is there any literature included with the loco? According to http://www.spookshow.net/loco/s2.html the decoder is an early Lenz DCC decoder. 

But I'm not even sure if the Arnold Digital Command 80 station is compatible with that Lenz decoder. Unless that loco is even an earlier model and it has a decoder compatible with the Command 80 station (maybe only sold in Europe)?  "Command 80" might refer to the max. number of addresses it can handle.  Something about that is mentioned on https://dccwiki.com/DCC_History

Marklin Digital appeared on the market in 1984. This system was designed for use with Marklin's line of Alternating Current HO trains. Developed by Lenz for Marklin. Uses Motorola parts, hence the different mode and compatibility settings. It is the system that uses the Motorola format for sending commands. It is not compatible with DCC, but some manufacturers support the Motorola format in their command stations. The original format supported up to 80 addresses. Marklin and Arnold would market similar systems based on the Lenz design, Arnold would later exit the agreement due to patent/licence issues.

Two Marklin systems were sold: Digital~ for their AC products, and Digital= for Direct Current.

Marklin would also introduce another digital system developed by a third party for use with their DC product line.

Although Marklin Digital sold well in Europe, in North America it didn't fare as well.

The system was first demonstrated in 1979, going on sale in Europe in 1984 and in North America in 1986. (Marklin Website)

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learmoia

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Re: Arnold Digital Command 80..
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2018, 10:55:47 PM »
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The box hasn't arrived yet. But I believe the system I'm getting is the Arnold (Lenz) system from the early 1990s (featured on the Walthers Catalogs.. )

This stuff came as a lot.. DCC system, 2 locos and 30 some cars.. Basically got it for the DCC Units and a few of the cars
.  I'll post some pics when I get things unpacked.
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reinhardtjh

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Re: Arnold Digital Command 80..
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2018, 12:03:22 AM »
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I have that set. I bought it from Pete at BLW in the early or mid 90's. It was a special DCC promotion.  IIRC it was $499 or $599 for the set.  @peteski  can probably dig out the BLW sale catalog with the ad.  Look around 1993 I think.  I hounded Pete for a about a year waiting for it to show up - vaporware isn't just an Intermountain thing. ;)  You got two DCC Arnold S2's, the controller box (looks like a regular power pack, but taller) and power supply.  I also bought the "programmer" box which was an early serial to DCC interface.  It came with a 5-pin DIN type connector to wire on the end of your serial cable to plug into the box. I still have all the boxes although I hosed one of the S2's putting MT couplers on it.   The set is NMRA DCC compatible although I think the command station can only handle 14 speed step decoders.  Or it default s to that and you have to change it for 28. No 128 speed steps for it though.  The decoders in the S2's are the same with 14 speed steps.  Real oldies but goodies.  If it weren't so late I'd dig it out and post pictures.  Yours will probably show up before I can get decent pics.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 12:07:19 AM by reinhardtjh »
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peteski

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Re: Arnold Digital Command 80..
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2018, 01:56:36 AM »
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I have that set. I bought it from Pete at BLW in the early or mid 90's. It was a special DCC promotion.  IIRC it was $499 or $599 for the set.  @peteski  can probably dig out the BLW sale catalog with the ad.  Look around 1993 I think.  I hounded Pete for a about a year waiting for it to show up - vaporware isn't just an Intermountain thing. ;) 

LOL, my BLW catalog collection is not that large. But I believe that @bbussey has a vast collection of the BLW newsletters/catalogs.  :)
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learmoia

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Re: Arnold Digital Command 80..
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2018, 08:34:47 AM »
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Well.. One thing I can say.. The technology in model railroading hasn't kept up with inflation..

1993 Arnold DCC Central Unit: $402.98
1992 Arnold DCC Control 80: $272.98
Total Arnold DCC System: $675.96 >> $1,214.16 (2018)

2018 I suppose this would compare to the Digitrax Zephyr: $225.00
2018 Lenz Starter system: $445

1992 Arnold S2 Digital: $179.98 >> $323.28 (2018)
2018 Atlas S2 (with Sound) $239.95

So there is that..

~Ian

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peteski

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Re: Arnold Digital Command 80..
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2018, 04:28:29 PM »
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Well.. One thing I can say.. The technology in model railroading hasn't kept up with inflation..

1993 Arnold DCC Central Unit: $402.98
1992 Arnold DCC Control 80: $272.98
Total Arnold DCC System: $675.96 >> $1,214.16 (2018)

2018 I suppose this would compare to the Digitrax Zephyr: $225.00
2018 Lenz Starter system: $445

1992 Arnold S2 Digital: $179.98 >> $323.28 (2018)
2018 Atlas S2 (with Sound) $239.95

So there is that..

~Ian

With consumer electronics (which is what I consider DCC to be part of), the prices don't follow inflation, but actually go down as the new technology matures.  Remember the cost of the newly introduced to the market items like color TVs, VCRs, DVD players, flat-screen TVs, and other electronics?  They were very very high initially.   As the technology matures, prices drop drastically.

For example, a flat-screen TV which in the early days of that technology cost around $1200, can now be had (new) for probably less than $300.  And the contemporary setl has many more functions and features, and a much better quality picture.  DCC follows similar trend (although the price and feature enhancement is less pronounced than those of the high-volume consumer electronics).  Remember the price (and size) of early DCC (non-sound) decoders?  Nowadays, for about the same price, you can buy a low-end sound decoder which is magnitudes more complex than the early non-sound units).
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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bbussey

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Re: Arnold Digital Command 80..
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2018, 12:58:43 AM »
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LOL, my BLW catalog collection is not that large. But I believe that @bbussey has a vast collection of the BLW newsletters/catalogs.  :)

 8)
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