Function decoder questions

Discussion in 'DCC Control' started by Pendeenpete, Aug 5, 2022 at 8:15 AM.

  1. Pendeenpete

    Pendeenpete Full Member

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    I am expecting an old Hornby HST set for my forthcoming birthday which will be chipped after testing etc. I have also purchased a function decoder and two of the Black Cat technology lighting boards ready to fit. Has anybody experience of this set up? I'm a bit in the dark regarding addressing the function decoder, do I give it the same address as the loco for instance? Thanks for reading. Any tips welcome (except don't do it!)
     
  2. Gary

    Gary Wants more time for modelling.... Staff Member Administrator

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    I have no experience with the Black Cat Technology lighting board, I'm sure you could run the lighting board off the decoder you are putting in the locomotive after testing. After all, you are only replacing the globes for LEDs.

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  3. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    As long as the lighting load doesn't exceed the decoders load capacity then there should be no problem. I've not used 'function only' decoders but I personally would not use the same address as the loco, a loco decoder and function decoder using the same address is likely to cause problems in my opinion. 2 loco decoders OR 2 function decoders with the same address will be ok, but not one of each. I built a model of the Bulleid "Leader" loco with a motor in each bogie, each motor controlled by a separate decoder identically programmed, this works perfectly and is quite a powerful loco.
    Keith.
     
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  4. Pendeenpete

    Pendeenpete Full Member

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    Thanks it's for the dummy loco, so no problems with additional motor I'll give it a go with a separate address.
     
  5. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    On my Bachman DMU's that require a decoder per coach, I used two identical decoders, fitted the first decoder (Gaugemaster, I think) into the motor bogie. Programmed it as required (I use JMRI Decoder Pro), then save the settings.
    Next remove the decoder and fit to the non-motor fitted unit.
    Fit the second decoder to the motor unit and reload the saved settings.

    Both are set to the same address. Makes operation far simpler.
    This also gets over the problem of a loco decoder requiring a pulse from the motor to acknowledge programming instructions, difficult to do with no motor attached.

    Paul
     
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  6. Pendeenpete

    Pendeenpete Full Member

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    The dummy loco has no motor, so with a normal decoder I would have had to put a resistance between the orange and grey wires for it to be recognised I think. It's a very old, 30 plus years loco, so it's just giving it some modern lights is my plan. Thanks though.:thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022 at 6:29 PM
  7. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    Hi I fitted these to my 2 HST sets, I had power cars at each end driven by separate DCC Concepts DP4SAP with Stay Alive decoders as their pickups are relatively poor, and used the Black Cat cards in the 'Basic Configuration', can't remember exactly what that was now but it was from the installation instructions provided.

    Simply, direction controlled, enable/disabled via F0, the decoder was an old one with 8 pin direct connection which I plugged into a 8 pin socket made from a cut down micro-chip socket which is mounted on a piece of Veroboard with pins placed to wire it all up.

    More elaborate control would require an additional decoder which if I had done that I would set at a different DCC address for totally independent control.

    I have included some images, they aren't as good as I would like but were taken before I started writing up my conversions but may be of interest, I will take some better images later when I include it in my DCC conversion series.

    Be careful to ensure both brushes are insulated from any power bogie chassis connections, the method can vary enormously between different Hornby Ringfield power bogies.

    DSCF7357.JPG DSCF7358.JPG DSCF7359.JPG DSCF7361.JPG DSCF7362.JPG



    Jim :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022 at 11:20 PM
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  8. Pendeenpete

    Pendeenpete Full Member

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    Cheers Jim, in anticipation of my acquisition,I have bought an eight pin Lais decoder and one of their function only decoders, in the driven loco I intended wiring for light function as well as motor, in the dummy the the function decoder just for the lights. I just wanted basic lights whatever direction. Hadn't really thought about independent control of the two units.
     
  9. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    Hi, I originally bought a Lais function only decoder for the lights but I could not get it to program, at the time I did not realise that it probably was being programmed but the lack of feedback to the programmer of a 60 mA pulse was actually the issue.

    So my lack of understanding at the time, and as primarily a steam and green diesel buff, with a soft spot for the Swallow livery HST, (IMO the best early HST livery, hate all the brash yellow fronts) I have now left it as the basic config.

    The use of two powered cars enabled me to run a 6 car unit of minimal train formation realism due to the age of the model without requiring extra ballast and cope with my 1 in 48 mainline grades, but also whenever I travelled by HST it was very noticeable the roar from each end as it left the station platform after disembarking.

    I did find installation a little tricky when reworking the clear plastic 'light tubes', one of them was problematic and broke, still, it looks okay from a distance :scratchchin:

    Jim :)
     
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  10. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Have you tried using optic fibres to replace broken 'light tubes' Jim? They are available on that auction site in several diameters, 1, 1.5 and 2mm being the most useful sizes, and I've used them in adding loco lighting to Lima Class 33's and similar, detailed in one of my posts quite a while back.
    Keith.
     
  11. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    Hi Keith
    No I haven't, the shape of the outer surfaces are so curved and large as to make that difficult, as it is due to the fracture the illumination looks duller than the others, nevermind filament lamps could dim before failure anyway, certainly the case in my first car, a 60's Austin, so perhaps it is a touch prototypical.:avatar:

    Optical fibres would certainly be easier with simple circular lamps as on earlier diesels.

    Can you give me a link to your post.

    Jim :)
     
  12. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    No idea how to do a link Jim, but if you search 'Using LED's in/on rolling stock' posted by me then you should find the relevant item started back in April 23rd 2016.
    Cheers,
    Keith.
     
  13. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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