Author Topic: Going Partially Back To DCC  (Read 326 times)

TwinStar

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Going Partially Back To DCC
« on: July 01, 2020, 08:40:53 PM »
I fought the Free-mo DCC demons as best as I could and lost, miserably. DCC is ingrained into that module standard, and most of the hobby, for better or for worse. I'll be purchasing a DB210 to power my module set (it has two distinct power districts; main and non-main) and I've already ordered the DCS52. I'll use DCC power on my module set from here on out, even at home, in order to dial in the current detectors.

I'll also be going a step further and equipping all of my SW fleet (3 units right now moving to 5 eventually) with DCC sound decoders instead of RailPro. The reasons are three fold; first, Ring hasn't released anything small enough yet to fit into such a small locomotive without major surgery; two, the major benefit of RailPro's load sharing isn't utilized in a single SW switching cars; and three, most of my operators will arrive with a DCC throttle.

All of my road locomotives will remain and/or be equipped with RailPro. I don't ever want to bother with speed matching ever again. It also appears that thanks to Ring that Digitrax has finally entered the early 2000's with the UI. Yeah!!
Jacob Damron
Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Proto-Rail modules

Texas Railway Modeling and Historical Society trmhs.org
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G8B4Life

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 04:13:10 AM »
That's sad to hear.

DCC is ingrained...
or stubbon, brainwashed, clueless, biased... I could go on.

Quote
It also appears that thanks to Ring that Digitrax has finally entered the early 2000's with the UI. Yeah!!

More than likely it was TCS's offering not RP that pushed them to do it if it was competition that got them off their backsides unfortunately.

- Tim

CPRail

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 03:24:07 PM »
I have successfully installed LM-3S modules, speakers and Keep-Alives in both a Rapido SW1200RS and a P2K S3, both without major surgery. You have to toss the board in the SW1200RS, but it can be done.

I've posted on RPUG pics of the SW1200RS install and a description of the S3 install (forgot to take photos) posted as well. If I ever open up the S3, I'll take photos.

RP can be put in these locos, you just need to think it through. On the radar are two Rapido GMD-1s, but I've taken a break from tight installs for a while.
Ian Lisakowski
Modelling CP Rail & VIA in the early 80's
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ON28

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2020, 08:34:19 PM »
Has anyone here done an LM install without the plastic shell? That would buy a little more room.

William Brillinger

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2020, 06:46:39 AM »
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without the plastic shell?

Yes, Alan has done that. You can wrap the LM in Kapton tape to protect it, but be aware, removal of the casing is likely the end of any warranty on the unit.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


Alan

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 06:53:31 AM »
Has anyone here done an LM install without the plastic shell? That would buy a little more room.

I did. The tiny amount of horizontal space saved by removing the plastic case was just enough to get the module to fit inside the hood of a HO Atlas S-2. Wrapped it lengthwise with a single layer of Kapton tape.

Fun fact... I emailed Ring alerting him of the fit solution. Tim responded it was a fire hazard. He seems paranoid of being sued or styrene is now considered a fire suppressant.  ;D
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

William Brillinger

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2020, 06:58:49 AM »
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Tim responded it was a fire hazard. He seems paranoid of being sued or styrene is now considered a fire suppressant.

Most DCC boards are bare to begin with.

I'm guessing cooling would be best if you left it unwrapped, you'd just have to be mindful of potential shorts.

- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


Alan

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2020, 07:14:59 AM »

Most DCC boards are bare to begin with.

I'm guessing cooling would be best if you left it unwrapped, you'd just have to be mindful of potential shorts.

Yeah, I'm sure shorting is the real concern. Just found it illuminating (funny?) that Tim leaped all the way to fire hazard instead of a more practical be careful of shorts reply.

Reminds me of the assembly instructions that used to come with Trek bicycles. Big bold warning "Not following this instruction may lead to injury or death" appeared on virtually every step throughout the instructions. It must have been in there 30 times. Apparently people are dying in droves from improperly assembled bicycles. Lawyers, gotta love'em.
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

William Brillinger

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2020, 07:26:50 AM »
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Just found it illuminating (funny?) that Tim leaped all the way to fire hazard

Absolutely.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


Alan

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2020, 07:44:41 AM »
On a more useful note... modules do employ CMOS technology so they are sensitive to static discharge. Don't handle a bare board without first properly grounding yourself. Standard CMOS rules apply to an unwrapped module. Touch grounded equipment or grounded plate immediately before touching any of the individual parts or the printed circuit board.



Alan

LK&O Railroad website

When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

ON28

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2020, 04:53:20 PM »
Has anyone here done an LM install without the plastic shell? That would buy a little more room.

I did. The tiny amount of horizontal space saved by removing the plastic case was just enough to get the module to fit inside the hood of a HO Atlas S-2. Wrapped it lengthwise with a single layer of Kapton tape.

Fun fact... I emailed Ring alerting him of the fit solution. Tim responded it was a fire hazard. He seems paranoid of being sued or styrene is now considered a fire suppressant.  ;D

Any manufacturer designs and builds its products to be used in a designated way by the customer. The LM packs a lot into a small package. I am sure Tim has fire-tested the LM casing and seen a benefit. Better the LM melts than an open flame ends up consuming the loco, the layout, and the room! I experimented with battery power for trains and a short caused a small flame like a cigarette lighter to pop up on my micro r/c receiver. (Even small LiPo batteries can output significant amps when shorted.) Luckily, I had the shell off and only the Rx was damaged. 

darryl.trains

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2020, 03:51:25 PM »
That's sad to hear.

DCC is ingrained...
or stubbon, brainwashed, clueless, biased... I could go on.

Quote
It also appears that thanks to Ring that Digitrax has finally entered the early 2000's with the UI. Yeah!!

More than likely it was TCS's offering not RP that pushed them to do it if it was competition that got them off their backsides unfortunately.

- Tim

I have a few DCC sound decoders that I never got around to using before I went all RP.  Care to make some kind of trade?  Darryl

ON28

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2020, 12:12:34 AM »
I know the new TCS throttle works across different DCC systems, but I question why they would put the resourceas into developing new hardware when smartphone throttles are the cutting edge for control --  and yards cheaper. 

G8B4Life

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2020, 01:32:33 AM »
I have a few DCC sound decoders that I never got around to using before I went all RP.  Care to make some kind of trade?  Darryl

Why are you asking me? I'm not the one going back to DCC  :)

I know the new TCS throttle works across different DCC systems, but I question why they would put the resourceas into developing new hardware when smartphone throttles are the cutting edge for control --  and yards cheaper. 

And you only have to read a few of many forums posts out there on the world wide web to see what a lot of people think about using phones as throttles! Just like there is still plenty of DC only people out there there's a great deal many people where using a phone as a throttle is just not 'gonna happen. I've done it and don't particularly care for it.

As to the cost being yards cheaper, well comparing apples to oranges maybe, comparing apples to apples no. I'll leave the rest of your post well enough alone.

- Tim

emd_16645

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Re: Going Partially Back To DCC
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2020, 10:22:58 AM »
I ultimately came to a similar conclusion.  I've started construction on a permanent layout, which I too will be powering with digitrax equipment.  My decision is based on a couple reasons.  One:  Its cheaper than using a series of Ring power supplies, although it does not rival the power method put forward by Alan.  Two, I'm alone among my friends in the Railpro venture, DCC runs strong with them.  By having a DCC power supply, they are able to run something of their own.  With the newish Wifi interface that Digitrax has, I don't need to invest in DCC throttles.  Third, realistically I will never convert my entire fleet to RP.  I own somewhere over 100 locos, many already have DCC.  It would not be cost effective to convert everything.  Also, as Jacob mentioned, there are cases where conversion is basically irrelevant.  For example, I'm planning on a solo RDC run for my layout.  It would be just as effective to pony up the minimal cost for a sound equipped Rapido than go through the hassle of buying a DC, converting, then never consisting it to anything.  Especially when there aren't really any correct RP sounds.

I really think this arrangement covers the best of both worlds.
Chris Bellows
Somerset Junction, 1980
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