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Railroad Tornado - what chip?


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Someone's asked me the question as his RR Tornado is running poorly at low speed. He has the basic R8249 Hornby chip which might not be good enough for the the 3 pole motor with flywheel. He has also tried a Bachmann 3 function with little improvement.

 

So, who has a nice smooth slow running Tornado on DCC?

 

TIA

 

Ian

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I asked for that didn't I Paul :lol:

 

OK, seeing as the owner is currently using a 10 quid Hornby decoder what's the recommendation for "acceptable" running with say a mid ranged decoder?

 

My suspicion is the flywheel is causing problems for the Hornby chip

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Guest Tom F

Most of my fleet including Hornby and Bachmann locos have been chipped with the TCS DP2X-UK decoder.

 

Very pleased with them. :)

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I asked for that didn't I Paul :lol:

 

OK, seeing as the owner is currently using a 10 quid Hornby decoder what's the recommendation for "acceptable" running with say a mid ranged decoder?

 

My suspicion is the flywheel is causing problems for the Hornby chip

 

Ian,

 

It's well known that Zimo make great decoders, and that I use them.

 

However, I wasn't trying to be 'funny'.

 

Check out the new 'budget' Zimo decoder, MX623. All the Zimo quality at a very attractive price (about £20 or so). Why settle for less and pay more?

 

So what is missing? The total output is 800mA, it 'only' has 4 Function Outputs and no on-board circuit for stay alive capacitor. All Zimo motor control features are included, so you should be able to get anything working smoothly, especially a fairly new model.

 

Many people rank Zimo way ahead of Lenz for fine motor control - see another current thread on here.

 

Good luck.

 

Paul

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None taken Paul ;)

If it were my loco I would like to try a Zimo decoder, but what I need here is a recommendation for someone else that I am confident will work out of the box.

 

I can't see me not using the Zimo budget decoder in future :)

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Hello Ian

Yes, one of them was, and the result was a smoothly running locomotive. I have also fitted these to Bachmann Branchline mechs, which also have a flywheel or two, with equally excellent results.

Matthew

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As a matter of interest has the Tornado owner removed the capacitors ( simply done by snipping them off with small cutters or scissors).

 

This is one of the first lessons I learned from Lenz back in '98, if a loco runs poorly, remove the capacitors, I always do so these days when fitting decoders.

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  • 1 year later...
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None taken Paul ;)

If it were my loco I would like to try a Zimo decoder, but what I need here is a recommendation for someone else that I am confident will work out of the box.

 

I can't see me not using the Zimo budget decoder in future :)

 

Hope it is OK to resurrect this old post but this is a current issue for me.

 

I am in process of taking my fleet of locos out of store and fettling them to run. One loco is the Hornby Railroad 9F. It initially ran very raggedly indeed and then I found I had fitted a ZTC 4007 decoder several years ago. A quick piece of research on RM web suggested that this may not have been a good choice. I replaced it with a Digitrax DZ125 which I have used very successfully in many other models. I wired it in directly, removing the Hornby plug and capacitors. The loco still played up and even shorted out over the points. I checked wheel back to backs and found all were out! - they have all been corrected. All contacts have been cleaned carefully. The model was also carefully lubricated. It now runs really sweetly and quietly until the speed is turned to slow when it still seems to hunt and jerk along the track.

 

I understand from the above posts that this is probably a function of the 3 pole motor and flywheel. So, some questions please: Are there any more recent decoder suggestions or solutions? I would have thought that the DZ125 was good enough to run this loco (I stand to be corrected) so are there any particular CV settings that would help? I do have a Lenz Silver available - should I swap that into the loco? Or use TCS or Zimo as recommended above?

 

Advice appreciated. Thanks.

 

Don

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Don,

 

I've fitted ZIMO sound decoders to the RR Tornado and Duke of Gloucester and both run fine out of the box, just needed the chuff rate setting up. This will not be an issue with non-sound decoders.

 

ZIMO non-sound decoders use exactly the same motor control, so I expect performance to be very similar.

 

Providing mechanical and pick-up problems are eliminated beforehand, this jerkyness at slow speed can be a sign of excessive BEMF control. With better quality decoders*, it is possible to adjust the degree of BEMF regulation or turn it off altogether, and this would be a good place to start looking. The manual for your chosen decoder should tell you what possibilities exist.

 

I fully understand the arguement that not all users and not all instalations require high end decoders to satisfy their expectations. But it is possible to save much time and frustration as well as ending up with a better result if one fits the best one can afford. Maybe not all of it's features will be required, but if one encounters a problem loco, the more 'tuning' possibilities which are available, the easier it will be to achieve a good outcome.

 

*there is a good selection available from a variety of sources.

 

Kind regards,

 

Paul

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  A  friend  of  mine  bought  a  RR Hornby 9f  when  they  were  first  released in  their  current  form,  I fitted  a decoder  for  him,  at  the  time  I only  had  a  Bachmann 6pin decoder  and   a conversion  cable for  6  to 8 pin installations   available,  so  without   telling  him  i fitted  it  to  the  loco. (and  removed  the  capacitors)

 

The  loco  ran   smoothly  and  silently  at  all speeds from the  start,  when  i  last  saw  it  it  was  happily  pulling around  25 wagons on his  layout  and  running  just  as  smoothly as  day  1,  ( the decoder  has  not  been changed!)

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Don,

 

I've fitted ZIMO sound decoders to the RR Tornado and Duke of Gloucester and both run fine out of the box, just needed the chuff rate setting up. This will not be an issue with non-sound decoders.

 

ZIMO non-sound decoders use exactly the same motor control, so I expect performance to be very similar.

 

Providing mechanical and pick-up problems are eliminated beforehand, this jerkyness at slow speed can be a sign of excessive BEMF control. With better quality decoders*, it is possible to adjust the degree of BEMF regulation or turn it off altogether, and this would be a good place to start looking. The manual for your chosen decoder should tell you what possibilities exist.

 

I fully understand the arguement that not all users and not all instalations require high end decoders to satisfy their expectations. But it is possible to save much time and frustration as well as ending up with a better result if one fits the best one can afford. Maybe not all of it's features will be required, but if one encounters a problem loco, the more 'tuning' possibilities which are available, the easier it will be to achieve a good outcome.

 

*there is a good selection available from a variety of sources.

 

Kind regards,

 

Paul

 

OK. Thanks.

 

I am not sure if anyone would describe the DZ125 as high end but, in my experience, neither is it at the bottom end. It is a nice size to fit in tight spaces. I have had no issues when fitting in any other loco (about 12 fitted now I think). I do like to be able to set my locos to be able to "crawl" if possible and, in most cases, this has been achievable.

 

Apart from mechanical issues on some locos, which had to be resolved first, I have not had a problem. Most will either stall completely or run slowly but this one sort of staggers. I think I have worked my way round all the potential mechanical problems and had expected the motor to run smoothly when running slow owing to the flywheel but the previous posts suggest that is often not the case. If anyone is aware of problems with the DZ125 when used with this type of motor it would be helpful. I may try the Lenz silver and see what happens but, before I do that I would like to experiment with the CVs on the DZ125. I have improved it considerably by playing with CVs 54 and 55 but believe there is still room for some improvement.

 

Before asking questions on RM web I usually do search around for information that may help and I thought that I had searched previously on the Digitrax site for more information but not really found anything. However I tried again today and have found a full 80 page manual which gives a great deal of information about settings so I must be getting into my dotage faster than I thought! I will use that to play further.

 

 

I have a Zimo Sound chip to fit to my J94 but it is still on the "todo" list.

 

Thanks for the response.

 

Don

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I would suggest playing with the BEMF settings on the DZ125 before looking at a different decoder. There is a fair amount of flexibility.

 

Adrian

 

That was the plan and I was hoping that someone could possibly suggest some settings. I have played around and improved things but not cured it. (yet!).

 

As I said to Paul's post -

Before asking questions on RM web I usually do search around for information that may help and I thought that I had searched previously on the Digitrax site for more information but not really found anything useful. However I tried again today and have found a full 80 page manual which gives a great deal of information about settings so I must be getting into my dotage faster than I thought! I will use that to play further.

 

Thanks.

 

Don

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  A  friend  of  mine  bought  a  RR Hornby 9f  when  they  were  first  released in  their  current  form,  I fitted  a decoder  for  him,  at  the  time  I only  had  a  Bachmann 6pin decoder  and   a conversion  cable for  6  to 8 pin installations   available,  so  without   telling  him  i fitted  it  to  the  loco. (and  removed  the  capacitors)

 

The  loco  ran   smoothly  and  silently  at  all speeds from the  start,  when  i  last  saw  it  it  was  happily  pulling around  25 wagons on his  layout  and  running  just  as  smoothly as  day  1,  ( the decoder  has  not  been changed!)

 

It now runs like a sewing machine at most speeds but, as I mention above, I like to get them to run at crawl speeds - if possible - and that is where the problem is. Of course, I may be asking too much of a Railroad model but had originally thought that the flywheel would help that.

 

Using the DZ125 I have even managed to tame a basic Hornby 0-4-0 to run in a quite controllable and slow way (not a crawl perhaps) instead of the "stop or scalded cat" approach it comes with. I didn't think the 9F would be a problem.

 

Thanks for the response.

 

Don

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Just  to  add  re  the  9f  the  loco  runs  at  a very slow  speed if  required  ,,  ( enough time  to  make  a cup of  tea  per 2 yards!!) 

 

Well, I do have spare Bachmann decoder as well. Perhaps I should stick that in. Sounds like this may come under production variations - some good and some not so good. Certainly all of the wheel back to backs (including the pony truck) were out on this one which caused a few running issues but that is sorted now.

 

Did you use the factory settings? I know there were a number of issues with the Bachmann decoder regarding settings depending on fitment in a steam or diesel loco?

 

I think the other comments are correct in that it is a BEMF issue. I now have the Digitrax Manual which gives quite a lot of detail and explanation. I will plough through that this evening and see what I can come up with for the DZ 125 - if that does not work then I will start swapping decoders.

 

I suppose it is possible that there is still a mechanical problem but I have checked as carefully as I can that there is no fouling of valve gear, wheel quartering looks good. It has been run in for a couple of hours and there does not seem to be any gearing tight spots. Lubrication is fine.

 

Thanks.

 

Don

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