Author Topic: DCC ready plug  (Read 3884 times)

Abiqua

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DCC ready plug
« on: November 02, 2015, 08:46:22 PM »
Does the LM-2 plug directly into which DCC ready connection? 7 pin, 8 pin, 9 pin or 128 pin. I am totally new to DCC ready locos and I am not sure if I am asking the correct question. I gave up trying to understand the various DCC instructions but RailPro seems very straight forward. Help is appreciated.

Bob.         Modeling SP&S and related Oregon Short Lines
Bob -- Cottage Grove, Oregon
SP&S and Oregon Shortlines

G8B4Life

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2015, 10:11:43 PM »
Don't worry Bob, ask away; we're here to help.

The LM-2  (and LM-2S and the old LM-1) plugs directly onto the 9 pin JST connector. I don't have a loco with the 9 pin built in on board so I can't provide a photo.

There is a 6 pin JST on the module as well but this is for function output and input and (LM-2S only) the speaker output. The 6 pin harness is included with the LM-2S but must be purchased separately for the LM-2. The 6 pin is not needed to use the loco module unless you want to use functions (I think) 5 and 6, the inputs (which don't have a use yet) or the speaker output.

- Tim

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2015, 10:47:39 PM »
While replying to Bob I remembered a question I had asked Tim Ring once, and got a "you can get an adapter harness" reply, which really is of no help given the circumstances. Not that I hold Tim Ring in any less regard for that comment, he simply wouldn't know.

I basically have to hardwire everything and make modifications to weights/ frames for what I model. No Australian prototype model has ever been made with a 9 pin JST in it. Everything has been designed for 8 pin directly on board (ie, no harness) decoders, and now the latest craze being built into our models is the 21 pin MTC.

What I had asked Tim was if he was going to consider other form factors for the plug, which lead to the adapter harness reply. I know the 9 pin JST is not going away anytime soon but given the advances in the hobby (somewhat stalled last time I looked) with tighter form factors such as 21 MTC, and PLuX 8/16/22 is the 9 pin JST going to end up a headache for us, with us having to hardwire everything or try and fit adapter harnesses in if we don't embrace what's coming? Thoughts?

- Tim

KPack

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2015, 10:55:35 PM »
Bob and Tim, in answer to your question regarding harnesses: 

9-pin is the most commonly used plug in the States.  21-pin is popular overseas and is catching on in the states, while some manufacturers still use 8-pin.  Should you run across one of these locomotives I head over to TCS  to pick up the harness I need: http://www.tcsdcc.com/Customer_Content/Products/Harnesses/harnesses.html.  Pick up the needed adapter harness from TCS, then plug in the Railpro module.  If the trend continues towards other plug designs I'm sure that Tim will start making and selling harnesses to plug into the Railpro module. 

You may find that in some cases there isn't enough space inside the locomotive shell to fit everything that you want (module, multiple speakers, resistors, wiring, etc).  That's when you take a big step and take out the factory electronics and hardwire in the Railpro module.  More work and takes some patience, but allows you much more room to work with and greater electical reliability.  This is how I do all my installs now, just because I like it.  That being said, in most cases you can just pop the shell off, plug in the module, shell back on and go to town:
.

Regardless of how you install the module you will certainly enjoy Railpro!  Welcome to the group!

-Kevin

Abiqua

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2015, 06:39:52 PM »
Thank you to all who answered. When you are new to train control it is often difficult to find information especially when you are not sure of the question. The harness link was great and made the issue much more clear.
Bob -- Cottage Grove, Oregon
SP&S and Oregon Shortlines

Prostreetamx

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2015, 09:25:42 AM »
I have several different types of 9 pin harnesses that I bought just in case but so far I have found that deleting the factory board has been a better option in most cases so I can get the ditch light to function properly. Only my MTH's still have their factory boards because they make the ditch light pretty tough to rewire without their circuits.
Modeling modern BNSF on 20x20 freelanced double deck layout under construction.

nodcc4me

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 10:13:39 AM »
When choosing harnesses, Tim recommends crimp type (i.e. Digitrax) over insulation displacement type because the latter can be pulled out and break contact more easily.
Al

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Prostreetamx

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2015, 10:26:27 AM »
I only use Digitrax brand adapter cables on my installs. Have never been a fan of any type of IDC connectors other than the type used to splice phone wire. Some guys use the larger types for feeders but as an electrician, I don't like them. I really like their hardwire to 9 pin cable since it has long enough leads to limit splices. Got a few older engines I will need to hardwire but like I stated above, I normally delete the factory board to make more room and have more control over the lighting.
Modeling modern BNSF on 20x20 freelanced double deck layout under construction.

hirailer

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2015, 02:40:40 PM »
I use Digitrax DHWH nine pin connectors. They have nice long leads on them.

Mel
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KPack

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2015, 03:02:29 PM »
Digitrax harnesses for me too.  They are the least expensive and come in a five pack.  Plenty of wire as has been mentioned.  I save all the wire that I trim off and use it to hardwire the trucks and anything else I might need to do.

Prostreetamx

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2015, 03:24:35 PM »
As an electrician at trade shows, I have access to many cables and such that just get thrown away after the shows. I picked up a damaged HDMI cable with the intent of fixing it but instead cut it open to see what it was made of. There are 16 very flexible 26 or 24 gauge wires inside these cables. I will now be using some of these wires where needed on my module installs. I know they sell wire just for this but these were free and will work great. I looked into using phone wire but it is too stiff and solid. I made my track buss from #12 speaker cable I also got for free allowing me to use my money to buy more receiver modules.
Modeling modern BNSF on 20x20 freelanced double deck layout under construction.

hirailer

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Re: DCC ready plug
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2015, 04:12:25 PM »
As an electrician at trade shows, I have access to many cables and such that just get thrown away after the shows. I picked up a damaged HDMI cable with the intent of fixing it but instead cut it open to see what it was made of. There are 16 very flexible 26 or 24 gauge wires inside these cables. I will now be using some of these wires where needed on my module installs. I know they sell wire just for this but these were free and will work great. I looked into using phone wire but it is too stiff and solid. I made my track buss from #12 speaker cable I also got for free allowing me to use my money to buy more receiver modules.

Thanks for the tip. I have several old HDMI cables kicking around here. I made my track buss from NMD-14 house wire which was left over from a job. Seems to work very well.

Cheers
Mel

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