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Fitting decoders into kit built locos





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#1 hayfield

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:33

I am building a small 0-16.5 layout, and I now have 3 locos which will have to be fitted with processers.

As I am dipping my toe into the water, I went for the cheaper Hornby Select system (brought s/h) and will up-grade once I have used the system and understand how DCC works better and know what I will want from it.

I have the unit, 2 processers and 2 x 8 pin decoder sockets

Before I wire up one of my 0-16.5 locos I will wire up a Hornby 0-6-0 chassis as an initial test unit.

I have plenty of multi strand wire medium thickness of many colours left over from previous layout wiring, will this be OK for locos ?

Do I need to fit decoder sleeves to the decoders, or cut down the sealed plastic bags they come in ?

Any other pitfalls I should be aware of please.

Off to daughters today so will take all the instruction books and other instalation guides I have to read up on

Thanks in advance

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#2 Butler Henderson

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:13

You only need the insulating sleeve if the decoder is likely to come into contact with a metal surface - generally a double sided sticky pad resolves this as well as holding the decoder in place. Provided the wire is no thinner than that attached to the decoder it should be okay, more importantly is to ensure that any soldered joints in the wiring are insulated (ie by using heat shrink)

#3 noiseboy72

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:35

Nice thin wire and a sticky pad. The issue with the sleeves is they can cause the decoders to overheat.

Be prepared to play with speed curves unless your chassis are very free running. I found that the extra weight of my kit built locos led to lumpy starting without a few tweaks. The extra current also dictated better decoders as the cheap Hornby ones ran out of beans quite quickly.

#4 Dutch_Master

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 15:08

If one pays monkeys, don't expect to get horses... :rolleyes: ;)

#5 hayfield

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 18:52

You only need the insulating sleeve if the decoder is likely to come into contact with a metal surface - generally a double sided sticky pad resolves this as well as holding the decoder in place. Provided the wire is no thinner than that attached to the decoder it should be okay, more importantly is to ensure that any soldered joints in the wiring are insulated (ie by using heat shrink)

Nice thin wire and a sticky pad. The issue with the sleeves is they can cause the decoders to overheat.

Be prepared to play with speed curves unless your chassis are very free running. I found that the extra weight of my kit built locos led to lumpy starting without a few tweaks. The extra current also dictated better decoders as the cheap Hornby ones ran out of beans quite quickly.


Thank you both for your answers, is there any side which is best to use the sticky pad on please


If one pays monkeys, don't expect to get horses... :rolleyes: ;)


Thank you for your advice, which also has been echoed by others in the past by others. However the price I have paid for the items, is quite likley far less than I may have lost selling a far more expensive system that did not suite my purposes.

As out of my pocket I have spent about £50, I could recoupe a good part of that £50 if I decided to buy a more expensive set up and re-sell.

Firstly I have no real idea of what to expect from DCC, once I start using it I will have a better idea of the possabilities DCC can open up to me. And by the time I am ready to upgrade the system I want could be cheaper or a better one available

Secondly I want to see what these processers are like with 0-16.5 whitemetal locos, I may buy a better quality processer and see what the difference is and part of the reason of using decoder sockets is for ease of swapping processors.

Whilst we are building the layout DCC may open up new opportunities on the scenic side etc that at the moment I am un-aware of, so saves me the expence of buying the wrong expensive unit

In the end it may be worth keeping the unit for work bench use or a second small layout I have

Yes its much better buying the best you can afford, providing you know what you want.

But thanks again for your input

#6 Steven B

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:16

The issue with the sleeves is they can cause the decoders to overheat.


If a decoder overheats it's because it's struggling to supply the current your motor wants to draw (or there's been a short circuit involving the motor side of the decoder).

A decoder fitted to a loco is in a sealed box with no air-flow, what air there is makes for a good insulator of heat (think double-glazing or a duvet). Heatshrink makes little difference to the temperature a decoder runs at - Digitrax sell several versions of their DZ125 decoder; The 6 pin version doesn't have heat-shrink, the wired version does. Both work equally well.

Happy modelling.

Steven B.

#7 Super D

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 14:34

Use a double sided sticky pad.

#8 noiseboy72

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 19:04

TCS and others reccomend not wrapping the decoder in tape or using a sleeve. Even the small airflow inside a loco is better than the micro oven the sleeve can create! Its more about not transferring heat to other more sensitive components than the drive transistors themselves failing. Some of the caps in particular can be sensitive to heating.

Afix the sticky pad to the side with none or the least number of components.

#9 hayfield

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 20:00

TCS and others reccomend not wrapping the decoder in tape or using a sleeve. Even the small airflow inside a loco is better than the micro oven the sleeve can create! Its more about not transferring heat to other more sensitive components than the drive transistors themselves failing. Some of the caps in particular can be sensitive to heating.

Afix the sticky pad to the side with none or the least number of components.


Thanks as there are components on both sides

#10 Michael Delamar

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 00:16

How risky is it to mount a decoder (Lenz mini) to the side of a mashima motor, with thick double sided pad sponge?

 

reason being the kit has the motor horizontal and the boiler/body threads onto the motor, ive space either side and at the front of the motor in the boiler, but at the front if itll be dangling around in a brass tube and it cant be secured inside the boiler, and it may snap wires when the boiler is pulled off.



#11 Michael Delamar

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 01:45

actually there isnt much space at the side so what ive done is make a cradle from a piece of tube (old pen) and glue that to the front of the motor so the decoder can sit in it, the decoder is free to move about, hopefully this should be reliable, runs fine with the body on and wont be doing any great speed.

PICT0301.JPG

 


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#12 Crosland

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 13:30

TCS and others reccomend not wrapping the decoder in tape or using a sleeve. Even the small airflow inside a loco is better than the micro oven the sleeve can create! Its more about not transferring heat to other more sensitive components than the drive transistors themselves failing. Some of the caps in particular can be sensitive to heating.

Afix the sticky pad to the side with none or the least number of components.

Given the concern over heating, if you must use sticky pad, the decision has to be based on knowledge of the components, rather than how many or how few. A sticky pad makes a very nice insulator and could well cause more problems than an insulating sleeve, depending what the sleeve is made of.

 

Andrew









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