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Old 09-05-2018, 08:44 PM   #1
Mixed Signals
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Default Converting DC Loco's to DCC

Hello,
I'm merrily buying used loco's for my layout (D.C) and just wondered if in the future they could be chipped for D.C.C. My layout is mostly Diesel and Electric. Hornby and Lima Class 35/37/43/47/55/58/60/91 and a few others.

At some point I expect to switch. Is the only restriction just space in the body shell?

Generally speaking, is there some models to avoid and can't be converted but most can or when I decide to change over, is it better I start afresh with new stock.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:27 PM   #2
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There are very few (if any) locos that can’t be converted but skill and ability will be the limiting factor. Older locos tend to draw more current than more recent designs while some decoders can only handle a low current draw so those combinations should be avoided or it will get expensive.
And then there is the question of space........
IMHO if switching to DCC is a real possibility aim for DCC ready locos - they will have a decoder socket, and space for the decoder, already fitted - makes life a lot easier.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:31 PM   #3
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Split chassis models are best avoided.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
IMHO if switching to DCC is a real possibility aim for DCC ready locos - they will have a decoder socket, and space for the decoder, already fitted - makes life a lot easier.
Noted and thanks.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian1951 View Post
Split chassis models are best avoided.
Don't think I have any apart from the ones I've dropped on the floor.

Avoid split chassis and look for DC ready, got it and thank you chaps.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:25 AM   #6
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If you are OK with a soldering iron I wouldn't worry too much about buying DCC ready models. Nearly all my conversions have been on older non-DCC ready locos. It's just a matter of interrupting the wiring to the motor from the pickups and routing it via the decoder. Care needs to be taken were the chassis itself is used as one side of the feed. A multimeter is your best friend when tackling these jobs. Use cheaper decoders like those from Hattons for your first foray.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:09 AM   #7
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also think about wiring in a decoder socket so if any decoder problem should arise you can just change it easily.

example here

this also should help here
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:12 AM   #8
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these come with a wiring harness and socket.

http://www.hattons.co.uk/70002/Hatto...ockDetail.aspx

I have used them on converting my 30 plus year old Dapol locos. Small enough to go in the boiler area of my Terriers. Also you do not need the decoder in place while soldering so no chance of damage there.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:35 PM   #9
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Hi,
Yes not too bad with a soldering iron and have a decent multimeter so good to go.

Glad that these 30 plus loco's I've recently bought can be converted with some care and skill.

Now just need to get the timing right for the extra investment to convert to DCC from the house budget. If not, I will just hide the credit card statements.

Thanks all.
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:19 PM   #10
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If you are considering DCC with sound then you are into a further raft of considerations as I have discovered after buying up a few older locos before settling on DCC.

Lengthy conversations with Digitrains made me realise that a DCC decoder with sound is far more susceptable to the stray interferance generated by the less than perfect current path to the motor found on older locos which in turn interfere with the quality of the signal recieved by the decoder. This causes unreliable operation of the decoder. Apparently sound decoders are more susceptable to this. I took my locos to Digitrains and they kindly gave me advice on them all with some being hard wired convertable, some being suitable for DCC without sound and a couple that were simply not worth the expense.

Since then I have only purchased DCC ready models and relegated two to a weathered static only display status. Good for practising airbrushing!
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