Author Topic: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7  (Read 2057 times)

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davefoxx

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2018, 02:51:57 PM »
0
In case you ever wondered, here’s what a Keep-Alive can do for you (this is a TCS KA4):

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Pay particular attention to the lights and sound, in addition to the running, until the cutout.  :D :D :D

DFF
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 02:53:42 PM by davefoxx »

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MK

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2018, 04:18:55 PM »
+1
Wow!  I wished we can do that in N!  :)

jdcolombo

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2018, 05:03:54 PM »
+1
Great work, Dave.

Yes, a keep alive does wonders.  Problems with dead frogs or dirty spots on the track just disappear. 

Can’t put these in N diesels, but you CAN sometimes fit them in steam tenders.

John C.

davefoxx

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2018, 07:59:30 PM »
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Today, I installed a LokSound Select decoder and TCS motherboard in the second B30-7.  If the first transplant had gone as bad as this one, I would have quit yesterday.

Issues:

1) Intermittent headlights: I believe that I finally have this corrected after a lot of messing with solder joints.  I didn't have this problem yesterday, and I was beginning to blame it on the decoder, because . . .

2) I think I have a bad decoder.  The LokSound Select 73900 is giving me fits.  If I change any settings on the LokProgrammer (or even read the decoder), it won't do anything afterwards.  However, it seems consistent that if I pull this 21-pin decoder from the motherboard and then reconnect it, it works again.  WTF?!  Nothing else works to fix this problem.  Even if I remove the locomotive from the rails and let it sit, nothing.  I have to pull the couplers, remove the shell, and pull the decoder.  :x

3) Because I had to pull the decoder so many times today, I broke half of Pin 12 off of the motherboard.  The instructions say that is for VCC.  What is that?  Thankfully, everything seems to still work . . . so long as I don't write to or read the decoder.  :(  I think I need to send it back.  FYI, out of curiosity, I temporarily swapped the decoders between the B30-7s and confirmed that (A) the second locomotive had the headlight issue with the good decoder, and (B) the first locomotive developed the same "non-responsive" behavior with the bad decoder.

For now, though, it's running, so I'm enjoying it while it works.  Oh, this has been such a chore.  But, presently, it's consisted with the other B30-7, so I am listening to the symphony of two Dash 7s in Run 8.  Lovely.

4) Oh, that reminds me.  Both of these locomotives have the same decoder (ESU #73900) and have the same sound file (#75413) downloaded from the ESU website.  Both units are set up with CV48 at 7, which is supposed to be a Leslie RS5T horn.  But, the locomotives' horns are different.  :facepalm:  I ain't messin' with that anymore, because I'm done pulling the decoder tonight.  Ugh.

DFF

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reinhardtjh

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2018, 08:33:33 PM »
+1
Today, I installed a LokSound Select decoder and TCS motherboard in the second B30-7.  If the first transplant had gone as bad as this one, I would have quit yesterday.

Issues:

1) Intermittent headlights: I believe that I finally have this corrected after a lot of messing with solder joints.  I didn't have this problem yesterday, and I was beginning to blame it on the decoder, because . . .

2) I think I have a bad decoder.  The LokSound Select 73900 is giving me fits.  If I change any settings on the LokProgrammer (or even read the decoder), it won't do anything afterwards.  However, it seems consistent that if I pull this 21-pin decoder from the motherboard and then reconnect it, it works again.  WTF?!  Nothing else works to fix this problem.  Even if I remove the locomotive from the rails and let it sit, nothing.  I have to pull the couplers, remove the shell, and pull the decoder.  :x

3) Because I had to pull the decoder so many times today, I broke half of Pin 12 off of the motherboard.  The instructions say that is for VCC.  What is that?  Thankfully, everything seems to still work . . . so long as I don't write to or read the decoder.  :(  I think I need to send it back.  FYI, out of curiosity, I temporarily swapped the decoders between the B30-7s and confirmed that (A) the second locomotive had the headlight issue with the good decoder, and (B) the first locomotive developed the same "non-responsive" behavior with the bad decoder.

For now, though, it's running, so I'm enjoying it while it works.  Oh, this has been such a chore.  But, presently, it's consisted with the other B30-7, so I am listening to the symphony of two Dash 7s in Run 8.  Lovely.

4) Oh, that reminds me.  Both of these locomotives have the same decoder (ESU #73900) and have the same sound file (#75413) downloaded from the ESU website.  Both units are set up with CV48 at 7, which is supposed to be a Leslie RS5T horn.  But, the locomotives' horns are different.  :facepalm:  I ain't messin' with that anymore, because I'm done pulling the decoder tonight.  Ugh.

DFF

VCC is electronic-speak for the supply voltage.  i.e. +5V or whatever.  It's value is most often referenced to ground. I don't know the wiring schematic of the motherboard but it may have something to do with the programming problem. Or not.  If half the pin is still there, then it might be making enough contact to supply power for normal ops but without the full contact surface available it might be just enough missing to cause a higher resistance and voltage drop which might affect programming.  That's just a WAG.  I know you probably hate the thought of unsoldering it, but I'd get a replacement motherboard when you get a replacement decoder.

I have no idea why the horn sounds different.  IIRC, horn sounds are one that you need to remove power from the decoder before it will switch to the new one.  But I'm sure that's happened between swapping decoders and soldering, etc.
John H. Reinhardt
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davefoxx

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2018, 09:03:04 PM »
0
Yeah, I'll probably get another motherboard, but the decoder behavior was long before I broke that pin, which occurred after pulling the damn decoder at least a half dozen times or more.  The good news is that all of the wires are cut to length (and tinned!) for when I swap the motherboard.

It is working now, but I don't dare read or write to the decoder.  I just turned off the layout after running the locomotives for an hour or so.  Towards the end, I put them into dynamic braking.  I love that sound, too.  Reminds me of chasing trains on the grade at Saluda, North Carolina.

DFF

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Point353

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2018, 09:41:39 PM »
+1
Yeah, I'll probably get another motherboard, but the decoder behavior was long before I broke that pin, which occurred after pulling the damn decoder at least a half dozen times or more.
Do you wear an antistatic wriststrap when you work with the decoders?
If not, Best Buy stores typically have them in stock or you can order one from various online sources.


davefoxx

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2018, 10:27:05 PM »
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I never have, but that’s probably good advice.

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davefoxx

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #53 on: December 28, 2018, 11:15:34 PM »
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I have no idea why the horn sounds different. IIRC, horn sounds are one that you need to remove power from the decoder before it will switch to the new one.  But I'm sure that's happened between swapping decoders and soldering, etc.  (Emphasis added.)

UPDATE: Because I'm a glutton for punishment and I can't leave well enough alone, I decided to address the horns on my B30-7s.  I will admit that at some point a month or so ago when I finished screwing around with these locomotives, I got the horns to become similar in the two units with some update.  Unfortunately, when the one locomotive updated, it changed to the less desirable horn to match the second.  D'oh.  That's been nagging at me ever since.

Flash forward to the present when I came across a YouTube video tonight that included shots of Seaboard System B36-7s and samples of the prototype's horns.  Yes!  I ended up changing the sound of the horns on these B30s to best match that video.  Although I have read that the prototype may have used Leslie horns, I found a Nathan M5 horn best matched the video (at least to my ear).

I rolled the dice and reprogrammed the locomotives with my LokProgrammer.  As expected, neither locomotive would do anything after the reprogramming.  But, this time, instead of getting pissed off, pulling the locomotive shells, and yanking out a decoder at great risk of causing further damage, I waited.  At the suggestion of @reinhardtjh, I removed each locomotive from the programming track.  Sixty seconds wasn't long enough, because still no dice.  I pulled the locomotive off again and waited two to three minutes.  Success!  IT'S ALIIIIIIVE!  All is well in Seaboard land, again.  I'm presently running both locomotives in a consist.  The music coming out of @David K. Smith's stereo system may sound great, but it's got nothing on the sweet symphony of a pair of GE Dash 7s in Run8.  ;)  Oh, and the horn is a lot closer to the prototype now and much more pleasing to my ear, too.

Whew,
DFF

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reinhardtjh

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #54 on: December 29, 2018, 11:28:26 PM »
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I bet with the keep alives, the time you need to take them off the track is longer.  With an un-enhanced non-sound decoder, just rocking them so one set of wheels is off the track is enough.  The keep alive will feed the decoder for quite some time if it's not running nor producing sounds.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 10:59:44 AM by reinhardtjh »
John H. Reinhardt
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davefoxx

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Re: Want to Replace DCC Guts of HO Scale Atlas B30-7
« Reply #55 on: December 29, 2018, 11:53:07 PM »
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That’s what I think is going on, too.

DFF

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