DCC : Module Fitting

I have a chance to go digital and am wondering just how easy it is to fit decoder modules to non-DCC ready locos. Does it need a degree in electronics or intimate knowledge of motors? Any advice appreciated. TIA, Dave.

-- potter55(at)ntlworld.com

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Reply to
Dave Potter
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Hi Dave, You need some very basic soldering skills, normally on a non DCC ready loco you need to solder 4 wires, 2 to the motor and 2 to the pick-ups. Once you have done a couple its a doddle, nothing to be afraid of ;-)


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Reply to
Nick Gurney

Nick - that's just the response I was hoping for :) - Thanks

(Been reading the Lenz instructions for fitting decoders and it was saying stuff like 'make sure motor brushes are isolated' (or was it insulated?) and that was what was making me have doubts.)

My bank account is now in for a h*ll of a pasting......

Reply to
Dave Potter

There are a handful of model designs which are more complex; its these Lenz are referring to.

The DCC chipset requires that the motor be attached to two wires, and the wheels to two other wires. There must be no jumping across those terminals. If the motor brushes are electrically connected to the (metal) chassis, and then to the wheels, its necessary to work out how to place some insulation between the brush and wheels. In most cases its not difficult, but does need a little bit of thought.

The most common cases with this problem are Farish N gauge models, though there is now an aftermarket conversion for those. I'm sure there will be a few OO models with the same difficulty, but most should not present such difficulties.

- Nigel

Reply to

Some step by step instructions here,

may help your comfort level. The only 00 stock likely to give difficulty are the old Hornby-Dublo/Wrenn locos with the motor as an integral part of the chassis, best to leave those to the collectors market. Keith Make friends in the hobby. Visit Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.

Reply to
Keith Norgrove

Thanks Keith - again, just what I was looking for, and step-by-step instructions too. All I need now is for someone to tell me the 6 (winning) numbers for the next lottery :)) (I will have an awful lot of decoders to buy)

Reply to
Dave Potter

Dead easy for the most part as long as you know how to make a decent soldered joint and have a good quality soldering iron.

I am a rank novice at railway modelling and have converted several locos already. DCC is excellent, you won't regret it.

Reply to
Just zis Guy, you know?


Phil: Buy yourself a 'continuity tester' if you havn't got one already (ie a Multimeter or similar device which can be set to measure resistance

- one that beeps if there is a low value is useful. You will find that this helps check that BOTH motor terminals really are isolated from the track pickups (one of which may be via the chassis, or both if old mainline chassis!)

Personally, I find the old Mainline split chassis type the worst to do - possibly because my oldest ones have been converted twice already for Zero-1: (Once with the original 'forward' direction, and then with the 'revised/reversed' direction sticker).

Whereas in another group's thread I replied about getting old Wrenn/Hornby Dublo locos converted, it is Mainline Split chassis that have proved 'most expensive' in that I have usually chosen to go and buy the later-version chassis available from Bachmann - and get improved running too.

However, even some of these early Bachmann chassis are best 'hacked' considerably to ensure an accesable insulated access to the motor terinals.

But finally, in most cases the difficulty will still be finding where best to out the module - eg the 45xx won't fit a Maccoder in the boiler space, and so I'll have to use another, smaller module (and waste features built in to it).

Also ensure that no short-circuit can happento the module when the body is refitted etc--- for the Track Tamper, I have the module beneath the unit, above the track --- okay until it drails! - so its also got a plasticard insulating layer added beneath it 8-)

Reply to

I thought ZTC made a three wire decoder that was suitable for locos where the chassis is directly bonded to the motor?

Although looking at the ZTC site at:

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it appears that the 3 wire versions are now obsolete. Anyone know why?


Reply to
Robert Flint

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