DCC Decoder Question

Discussion in 'Product Review Forum' started by hooknlad, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    I have about 30 ho engines of various makes and models. I am investigating the possibility of improving these engines to run DCC. Is there any generic decoder that i can buy, which is inexpensive to meet my needs. I realize that it all depends on the functions that i want preformed. Nothing exotic needed. I am assuming that each engine will require 1 amp and a stall current of about 2 amps. I also realize my statement of "inexpensive" is all relative. Im looking into approximately $20 a piece. In theory it would be totally ridiculous to outfit all my engines at one time.. None of my engines have the nmra plug installed and are not dcc ready. Im not afraid at all of modifying them.
    Can anyone set me straight and point me in a direction on the web where i can purchase what i am looking for?
    Thank you fellow Gaugers.
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    There's one additional thing you may need to consider. And that is decoder size. Will the ones you select actually fit inside your loco?

    I "bulk bought" the NCE D13SR. They do a 10 pack for $200 AUS (about $150 US) i.e. $15 ea. They do a 50 and 100 pack as well. The more you buy, the cheaper per unit they are. Maybe even cheaper if bought in the US They do NOT have any plugs on them, and require you to solder each connecting wire into your loco. Which is probalby OK for those locos that are not DCC ready. ((i.e. do NOT have a DCC plug.). Also, on some locos they would not fit without hacking away at the weights/chassis inside the loco. Some were a very very very tight "Squeeze". I run HO.

    These decoders are pretty basic providing all the standard accel/decel/momentum features, start voltage etc, and front/rear headlight (multiple modes such as gyro, strobe etc) and one additonal function for, say internal lights, or separete gyro/ditch/stobe light. And they do allow your loco to run on ordinary old DC as well.

    I found them to be quite robust even to the extent of the wire breaking off at the decoder on one of them (too much fiddling and twisting to get them to fit), but just soldered the wire directly back onto the decoder, and it worked fine.

    You can get smaller decoders than these, however the price is more expensive, of course.
  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi Michael, I've had no problems with both Digitrax DH123 and TCS T1. Both are available from Tonys http://www.tonystrains.com/list.htm for about $16.00, a bit less for 4 or more. He also has the NCE D13SR for the same price, I am not familiar with it. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them.
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Question for mods/admins, this thread shows on the main page because it is the thread with the latest post, but when looking at the list of threads under Techincal Q&A, I don't see it. Why?

    Never mind, it was posted in the sub forum, product reviews. Why? I don't know.
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Why? Because that's where the thread started put it.:D Now I can move it to the DCC forum where it probably will get better coverage, it that's what hooknlad would like me to do...:wave:
  6. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    Thanx for your help guys !!! I now have a model number to start from. Don, feel free to move my question. I also had problems looking for my question as well, so I went with a different location. Sorry about any inconvenience.

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