I just worked out what I need in the way of decoders :
3 with sockets no lights (Bachmann 20, 25 and 55)
1 with socket and directional lights (Hornby 50) - presumably with reversed
8 non-socketed no lights (Mainline 03, Bach 08, Hornby 56, 86, 105 & 90,
Lima 87 & Deltic)
3 non-socketed with directional lights (Hornby HST & 56, Bach 158)
Also on the way, Bachmann 40 and a Heljan 47..
I am a complete novice at this, so I have no idea what I am letting myself
in for. On the plus side, I can solder fairly well and have a good knowledge
of electronics. I imagine that all the pancake motor items (Lima and Hornby)
will be relatively easy, as should the socketed items. When it comes to
wiring lights though, I have no idea what will be required.
Items which I expect will be less simple will be the 03 & 08 (space), the
158 & HST (separate function decoder for non powered car?) and the 56
Assuming I go for Lenz equipment, which models of decoder would people
Any help / advice / recomendations would be very welcome.
It depends upon what you want the decoders to do.
The LE1014 series are fine if you don't want feedback and price is a
consideration - these are effectively the same decoder that Bachmann will be
However the most popular, as least judging by the numbers we sell are the
have also used it for Hornby pancake motors (though caution is required as
the insulation can be suspect). I have used the same decoders on Bachmann
25's and Peaks and the Heljan Hymek. I have used LE1014s on Bachmann
Voyagers and function decoders. I am converting them to LE1035s as the
shunting function is useful.
Hard wiring is the most challenging but the Mackay Models and Bachmann sites
are very helpful. In twenty conversions I have cooked 1 decoder on a
hardwire, it pays to do the continuity test and read the decoder address
The challenge is worth it and if you want the best out of DCC I recommend
the Lenz set 100.
Insulation between what? the motor connections and the chassis?
I had assumed that the basic process was to cut the wires which feed the
motor and take a supply to the decoder and feed back from the decoder to the
motor. I presume the problems start where the motor is electrically
connected to other parts of the chassis via a rout other than the feed
I'm afraid you lost me there... When you say "hard wiring" do you mean
installing a decoder where no socket is available?
Continuity test...? of what / how?
Read the decoder address - please explain..
Sorry for all the questions, but it's probably better if I learn the
That looks like the favourite...