"Next18" DCC decoders.

Discussion in 'Non Sound Decoders' started by Keith M, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I've just received the first of this relatively new (to me at least) type of decoder, though I usually keep at least one of each of the more usual 8 and 21 pin versions 'in stock'. This new version has been bought for a purpose as I have one of the "Rails" Wainwright D Class 4-4-0 commissions (31574) on pre-order, anticipated either 3rd or 4th quarter of this year, so decided to get hold of the decoder in plenty of time in case any supply delays due to Covid-19 meant I'd have to wait. They're certainly small, even in comparison to many other decoders I've had, and this will be the first of my own loco's which take this type of decoder although I have come across one before when checking a loco for a friend. As usual, it's the 'LaisDCC' brand on which I've come to standardise for my non-sound fit loco's, cheap at under a 'tenner', and so far having fitted around 50+ have proved every bit as good and as versatile and controllable as the so called 'Premium brands'. Here it is compared to a UK 5 pence piece, so you get some idea of scale.
    Keith.

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  2. Kimbo

    Kimbo Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Keith, first one I’ve seen close up. Very small indeed, care required when plugging that one in.
    ‘Kim
     
  3. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Let us know how it goes Keith. Maybe a couple of pictures of the installation would be good.

    Cheers

    Toto
     
  4. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    As I understand it Toto, the design of the loco according to "Rails" is such that the smokebox door is removed and the wiring harness drawn out, remove DC plug, substitute Next18 decoder, push harness back into smokebox, refit door (Magnetic perhaps?) and that's it. So no faffing about finding tiny screws (and maybe risk losing them!) to enable body removal for decoder fitting, about time the likes of Hornby cottoned onto this idea which I first came across on DJModels/Kernow commissions, though they may not have been the first. Either way, it's a sensible idea in my opinion, though it may be nearer the year end before I receive the intended victim to fit the decoder, and I'll be happy to demonstrate when it arrives.
    Keith.
     
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  5. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Although DCC for 20 years now, I confess I have not come across the next18.. infant, it’s only with recent locos I’ve come across the 6 pin decoders which I thought were for N gauge!

    So what’s next 18 if it’s 21 pin?
     
  6. Gary

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

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    Those Lais Next18 decoders are small. I bought two of these (& 2 x 21pin) from CM3 Models about 3 months ago. One of the Next 18 is for my Bachmann 2MT tank. I have only looked at them, but haven't installed them yet...

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  7. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    These 18 pin decoders are a fairly recent development and I believe there is also a 22 pin decoder recently announced too Andy, though not personally heard of any models using it yet. I guess that with the increasing sophistication of models nowadays both sound and lighting-wise, the need is for additional pins to allow connection of these extra functions. Regarding the 6 pin decoders, I think some of the recent small '00' gauge shunting loco's use these so not limited to 'N' gauge stuff, Hornby also using what I believe is their own four pin version I gather, though I'm afraid that my experience of Hornby's decoders means that they would be my last choice, they're not particularly cheap and have limited functionality compared to most others so no reason in my opinion to choose theirs over other brands. When I returned to model railways around 7 years ago, I decided at the outset to go down the DCC route, and now having amassed a 'stable' of 120+ loco's, I've tried pretty much all the well known decoder brands. When "LaisDCC" became available, they didn't have official NRMA approval, and in fact I was criticised by a couple of YMRC forum members for using 'Chinese clone' unapproved decoders (not that it bothered me, it's a free choice!), but I always speak as I find, and when they became NRMA compliant shortly afterwards, I continued to use them and have honestly found them equal to the well known (and expensive!) brands. I'm not particularly 'tight' ('Careful' perhaps!) but I see no reason to spend £20 on a decoder when £10 will buy me one equal in performance, the only disadvantage presently is that Lais don't as far as I know, produce any sound decoders, though if and when they do, it will be competition for the likes of Zimo and ESU who not only have a captive market, but seem to have established an accepted price level around the £100 mark. As they say in Yorkshire, "Ow Much?????":giggle::giggle::giggle:
    Keith.
     
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  8. Splitpin

    Splitpin Full Member

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    Yeah OK call me stupid, others have :facepalm: but I don't regret the Zimo Next18 sound decoder I bought for my new Rails/Dapol 00 Terrier which comes with a built in speaker. After all how could I 'waste' the 'free' speaker :hammer:

    Installing had to be the easiest PlugNPlay installation I've ever done. It really can't be misaligned and a satisfying little click tells you it's home. Nothing to do with Zimo there of course, just the Next18 setup. I assume these are really intended for N gauge as they are so incredibly tiny.
     
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  9. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Well I just splashed out well in to the 3 figures for my Locsound v5 chip for the Dapol 08. It now comes pre wired with a sugar cube speaker.. (sounds quite impressive for its size!!!!) and although it’s much better than a Hornby TTS sound decoder at more than half the price, this does have the option To play more than 2 sound channels and had up to 5 functions for lights. And drive lock... it’s quite impressive really and probably is worth the money. If that’s what you want.
     
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