Dapol Imperium 6p decoder substitute.

Discussion in 'DCC Control' started by Keith M, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I've received my Dapol BR/SR Class B4 loco from Rails, seems a nice little loco, runs beautifully with (according to the supplied "Owners Manual") no need to run in the loco. It's a bit of a 'faff' to fit a decoder, 4 tiny screws to remove the bottom plate, turn back the NEM pockets to expose another 2 tiny screws to finally ease off the body. Then you find that a standard 6 pin decoder is way too big!
    Dapol recommend their own 'Imperium 6p' decoder ( no surprise there) but it's been said in print many times " don't buy decoders from the big model manufacturers", Hornby being a perfect example of what not to buy in my experience, but looking on the Dapol website it seems that this particular decoder is not even listed! I need a 6 pin decoder for this loco, but the decoder body (not including the pins) maximum size is only 10mm long to fit into this loco. I can (and have) removed entire circuit boards from some loco's to create space but I'm loth to do this with this particular loco, bearing in mind past problems Dapol have had with some of their electronics, since obviously this would void the warranty.
    So, here's the question, does anyone know of a suitable alternative 6 pin decoder of a size that would fit this loco, from a known decoder manufacturer rather than Hornby/Bachmann/Dapol, maximum body length 10mm,(excluding pins) width no more than the 6 pin plug itself, and as thin as possible?
    Keith.
     
  2. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    try xen decoders Keith. they are quite neat.in fact ill go get one and post a photo up........ back soon

    toto
     
  3. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Ok here we are ..... Xen 6 pin decoder ...... with stay alive which of course you do not need to use.

    First up ....... the decoder ......


    I'd say that may just fit your approximate 10mm space .....

    next up ........ the stay alive .......


    a bit bigger but has enough length on the cable to be stored a bit further away ....... if you want to use it at all.

    If its any good to you let me know, pm me your address and I'll send it down ( foc ) but its gonna be when I get back from Cyprus now as I'll not make the post office before tomorrow. Just back from ASDA as well and if I had spotted your post, I could have had it on its way.

    let me know if you want it.

    cheers

    toto
     
  4. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    From the DCC Concepts site


    Zen 6 Pin Direct 2 Function w/Stay Alive.


    Made to NEM651 6-pin standards the ZN6D fits beautifully in any loco with a direct plug interface. ZN6D has 2x100mA light functions…. and like all ZEN decoders it is wired ready for the super slim Stay-Alive™ that is provided in the pack. It’s only 13.5 x 8.5 x 3mm and has a 750mA / 1 amp motor drive.

    It's 13.5mm long but doesn't say if that is over the circuit board or board and pins.

    The Zimo small decoder

    MX621N DECODER, NEM651
    The MX621N is the direct plug in version of Zimo's miniature decoder.

    NEM 651, 6 pin direct mount; no harness.

    Max continuous 0.8Amp, 1.5Amp peak (c20 Secs)

    4 function outputs max 0.5Amp; F0 on the plug, F1 & F2 on solder tabs.

    12mm x 8.5mm x 2.2mm.

    Again 12 mm long

    The version with wires is 13mm long :whatever:

    CT Elektronic

    DCX75

    [​IMG]

    Super thin and tiny

    Track Voltage 8-18

    Max Continuous 1A

    Peak 3 Secs 2A

    2 Function Outputs Standard
    4 x 250 mA on full version

    Max each 0.25A, Max total 1A

    11x7.2x1.1(1.4 max)mm

    https://www.digitrains.co.uk/manufacturers/ct-electronik.aspx

    At 11mm is getting close

    Paul
     
  5. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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  6. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    9.5mm ...... Amazing really .... And the things they can do.
     
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  7. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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  8. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Wow ..... Tootsie. I suppose the minimum size is going to be governed by the spacing of the pins at the end of the day. Any experience on performance ?
     
  9. Paul-H

    Paul-H Full Member

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    The Zimo MX616N is only 8x8mm but quite pricey at £35
    The Gaugemaster DCC23 is 10.6x8.7mm so might just squeeze in
    The Lenz silver mini is 10.6x7.5mm but is also over £30 so quite pricey

    That's 3 that might fit.

    Paul
     
  10. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Forgot about the Lenz silver mini. I may have one of those kicking around somewhere. I have found Lenz to be good decoders. I have installed numerous in my OO stock.

    Cheers

    Toto
     
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  11. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    Performance is very good from these. I have installed the hard-wired version in one of my Wickham trolleys, and used other CT Elektroniks decoders (DCX75 and DCX76) in my two Hatton's Andrew Barclay 0-4-0Ts, a BAchmann N class 2-6-0 and previously had the ones in the Andrew Barclays in two Bachmann E4 0-6-2Ts. The E4s could accept larger decoders so the tiny CTE ones were swapped to the Barclays where their size was more useful/essential. One of the E4s got Zimo sound from YouChoos, the other got a Bachmann 36-568 decoder.

    When the CT Elektronik decoders were first fitted in the E4s, the performance was disappointing, but after a few CV tweaks, they performed really nicely. All have worked well straight out of the box in the other applications.
     
  12. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    A good point there with reference to CV tweaks because some may experience a disappointing performance and instantly assume the decoder isn't up to the job. It pays to experiment a bit with the CV's and see what happens. Of course a little investigation to appreciate the decoders settings is required but I suppose it in your interests to be doing that anyway.

    Good point well made. :thumbs:
     
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  13. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    The Xen would be too long a body length to fit the space Toto, as looking at your pic, it'd be around 13mm plus pins, and although the Lenz Silver mini at 10.6mm ought to fit, it might well be tight, and I can't find any stockists listing the Dapol one anyway. I've looked at the CT Elektronik decoder suggested by SR Man (I also used one of these decoders in my Wickham Trolley) and this looks to be the best (and smallest) option, but Coastal DCC are out of stock so I'll have to look around and see if there are any other dealers with stock, including the German ones. Thanks to all for your advice, and Toto for the offer of the Xen decoder (enjoy your hols Toto!).
    Keith.
     
  14. Kimbo

    Kimbo Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Keith, nice looking loco, just looked on Hattons web page. Do you have or can you take a picture of the body and chassis separated please?
    Kim
     
  15. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Kim.
    I took a couple of pics yesterday, one of the loco chassis with part of the body in the background, and a second pic showing the size of the DC plug, which gives an indication of the required decoder size. Here's the chassis pic.

    IMG_1240.jpg

    The DC plug is the green bit at the left hand end of the circuit board.
     
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  16. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    This gives you a better idea of the required decoder size!

    IMG_1241.jpg
     
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  17. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Incidentally, I bought my loco from "Rails" Sheffield, same price as Hattons but post free. I guess I could have driven over and collected it as it's only about 14 miles away, but if you're interested in ordering one, I doubt it'd be 'Freepost' to Oz Kim!:giggle:
    Keith.
     
  18. Kimbo

    Kimbo Staff Member Moderator

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    Cheers Keith :thumbs: That’s one big circuit board for a small loco. I’m thinking of getting one for a conversion but I think if I do I’ll hard wire it, as it looks an easy one to do.
    Kim
     
  19. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I could easily hard-wire it Kim, but with the reported problems with some of the other Dapol products, I'm a bit reluctant to do that as I doubt they'd honour a warranty if I'd done that then had a problem.......don't want to give them a "Get out clause!"
    Keith.
     
  20. Kimbo

    Kimbo Staff Member Moderator

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    I’ll wait and see how you get on with yours first then Keith before I buy ;)
     

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