Date   
Re: DCC Meters

PennsyNut
 

As I said. This is model railroading. Not rocket science. As for the average, normal model railroader, the cheap HF meters are sufficient to get average readings that help determine voltage loss. I measure both DC and AC volts. As long as they read the same at each end of my layout. And that means the 3 meters can all have different readings, but use one meter at one end and then the other end and if it reads the same, it's OK. Do the same with other meters to be sure. But for "accuracy", I'm not interested. I don't need "accuracy" or expensive meters. This is a hobby for fun. And y'all ruin my fun by insisting that cheap "VOM", which I take it to mean HF, aren't "good enough". Phooey! I'm not here to hurt anyone. I'm not trying to sell HF. I'm only speaking MHO from my experience. If y'all want to spend $80 or more, go ahead. As long as I'm sure my track voltage is consistent from the command station to any track on my layout, I'm happy. This is not to put anyone down. This is just my opinion and experience. Y'all make it sound like "if you don't buy $80 meters, you won't get accurate readings." So what? The time you need to buy a RRamp meter is when you like to spend money for "accuracy". But my sincere point is why? That's like buying a Cadillac instead of a Chevy. They both get you there. And what difference does it make if you get a reading of 11.6 or 15.6? As long as that reading is the same wherever you check.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: going from bachmann to peco

PennsyNut
 

PECO is made in the U.K./British. ME is made in the U.S. But I found ME harder to work with. PECO is a quality product that IMHO is the better of what's available here in the U.S. The code 83 is pretty darn good and I like it. As for turnouts. If you don't run 0-4-0 steam engines, and/or all diesel, the Insulfrog is good. The Electrofrog is good too, but requires wiring. Of course, if you use a machine to operate the turnout, that will require wiring. And Electrofrog would be worth using. But if no machines, and you only hand throw, the Insulfrog is easier to install. I use NO wiring whatsoever on my Insulfrogs and point feed. Do check out PECO's web site. They have good info on their turnouts. Also, some YouTube videos are helpful. Go ahead and ask questions. That's what we are all here for. To help.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Rail joiners & PECO

PennsyNut
 

I have a problem with my track. I have PECO code 83 flex, Insulfrog turnouts and code 83 joiners. The joiners are giving me headaches. Not to forget split nails, cut finger tips, etc. I even try putting a joiner on a spare piece of rail to then put onto the track. But those joiners are way too tight. Filing the rails, top, bottom and top of the base - very lightly, just enough to smooth and remove any burrs. Can't seem to figure out how to spread the end of the joiner a bit, just to get it started. The darn things just don't like me. LOL Positive help requested and appreciated.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Wiring the LEDs in a DC wired loco for DCC

dennisedgar7
 

I have a DC loco that has 4 LEDs front and rear. There are two white LEDs and two red LEDs at each end.

When running forward in DC mode the two white LEDS light up and two red LEDs in the rear light up and vice versa.
I would like to install a decoder into the loco but I am not sure how to wire the LEDs so that I get the same functionality.

The LED terminals are not all visible. I fact there are only 4 leads coming from each bank of LEDs.

I am not sure how to up load a diagram to show the existing wiring layout.
Is anyone able to assist me?

Re: Rail joiners & PECO

Bob Macionis
 

I sympathize, and have multiple finger tip scars from those nasty joiners.  Using small pliers designed for this very task will avoid the blood.  But those joiners are too tight!  I have given up using them (except on code 70 track) and now use Atlas universal joiners.  Yes, they’re much bigger, and loose, but they go on easily, and I solder all joints and paint the rails so they look ok.
Bob
 

From: PennsyNut
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2019 11:11 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Rail joiners & PECO
 
I have a problem with my track. I have PECO code 83 flex, Insulfrog turnouts and code 83 joiners. The joiners are giving me headaches. Not to forget split nails, cut finger tips, etc. I even try putting a joiner on a spare piece of rail to then put onto the track. But those joiners are way too tight. Filing the rails, top, bottom and top of the base - very lightly, just enough to smooth and remove any burrs. Can't seem to figure out how to spread the end of the joiner a bit, just to get it started. The darn things just don't like me. LOL Positive help requested and appreciated.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Rail joiners & PECO

Kurt Konrath
 

Atlas Model RR co sells a tool specifically for putting on rail joiners.  Cat 150-401.  Many places to get it from. 

Three sided tool for code 100, 83 and I forget the other one. 

Designed to allow you slip joiner on tool point and it opens slightly and gives you a way to push on rail without fingers in the way of sharp items!

Kurt


On May 1, 2019, at 11:05 AM, Bob Macionis <macionis@...> wrote:

I sympathize, and have multiple finger tip scars from those nasty joiners.  Using small pliers designed for this very task will avoid the blood.  But those joiners are too tight!  I have given up using them (except on code 70 track) and now use Atlas universal joiners.  Yes, they’re much bigger, and loose, but they go on easily, and I solder all joints and paint the rails so they look ok.
Bob
 
From: PennsyNut
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2019 11:11 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Rail joiners & PECO
 
I have a problem with my track. I have PECO code 83 flex, Insulfrog turnouts and code 83 joiners. The joiners are giving me headaches. Not to forget split nails, cut finger tips, etc. I even try putting a joiner on a spare piece of rail to then put onto the track. But those joiners are way too tight. Filing the rails, top, bottom and top of the base - very lightly, just enough to smooth and remove any burrs. Can't seem to figure out how to spread the end of the joiner a bit, just to get it started. The darn things just don't like me. LOL Positive help requested and appreciated.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Rail joiners & PECO

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

I had the same trouble in N with PECO code 55. I slid a joiner all the way onto a 1-inch piece of track, leaving just enough track exposed to accept a new joiner half way on. I locked the whole thing into a singe section of a connector block. (See photo). Works great and allows me to use PECO joiners, which are MUCH better than any other N-scale joiners I have seen. 



John Johnston
(713) 240-1687
Sent from iPhone via gmail

On May 1, 2019, at 3:40 PM, Kurt Konrath via Groups.Io <kurt.konrath@...> wrote:

Atlas Model RR co sells a tool specifically for putting on rail joiners.  Cat 150-401.  Many places to get it from. 

Three sided tool for code 100, 83 and I forget the other one. 

Designed to allow you slip joiner on tool point and it opens slightly and gives you a way to push on rail without fingers in the way of sharp items!

Kurt


On May 1, 2019, at 11:05 AM, Bob Macionis <macionis@...> wrote:

I sympathize, and have multiple finger tip scars from those nasty joiners.  Using small pliers designed for this very task will avoid the blood.  But those joiners are too tight!  I have given up using them (except on code 70 track) and now use Atlas universal joiners.  Yes, they’re much bigger, and loose, but they go on easily, and I solder all joints and paint the rails so they look ok.
Bob
 
From: PennsyNut
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2019 11:11 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Rail joiners & PECO
 
I have a problem with my track. I have PECO code 83 flex, Insulfrog turnouts and code 83 joiners. The joiners are giving me headaches. Not to forget split nails, cut finger tips, etc. I even try putting a joiner on a spare piece of rail to then put onto the track. But those joiners are way too tight. Filing the rails, top, bottom and top of the base - very lightly, just enough to smooth and remove any burrs. Can't seem to figure out how to spread the end of the joiner a bit, just to get it started. The darn things just don't like me. LOL Positive help requested and appreciated.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Rail joiners & PECO

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

I replied via regular email but photo got stripped out, so I uploaded another photo to the web site.  I can't figure out how to attach it to this email, but it's on the site if you want to look

Re: Rail joiners & PECO

Tom Anderson
 

          I got one of those and it was totally worthless.

 

          Just my .02

 

 

Tom Anderson

 

Business Information Systems, Inc.

P.O. Box 160396

Boiling Springs, SC  29316

 

(864) 621-8607

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Kurt Konrath via Groups.Io
Sent: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 3:41 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Rail joiners & PECO

 

Atlas Model RR co sells a tool specifically for putting on rail joiners.  Cat 150-401.  Many places to get it from. 

 

Three sided tool for code 100, 83 and I forget the other one. 

 

Designed to allow you slip joiner on tool point and it opens slightly and gives you a way to push on rail without fingers in the way of sharp items!

 

Kurt


On May 1, 2019, at 11:05 AM, Bob Macionis <macionis@...> wrote:

I sympathize, and have multiple finger tip scars from those nasty joiners.  Using small pliers designed for this very task will avoid the blood.  But those joiners are too tight!  I have given up using them (except on code 70 track) and now use Atlas universal joiners.  Yes, they’re much bigger, and loose, but they go on easily, and I solder all joints and paint the rails so they look ok.

Bob

 

From: PennsyNut

Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2019 11:11 AM

Subject: [w4dccqa] Rail joiners & PECO

 

I have a problem with my track. I have PECO code 83 flex, Insulfrog turnouts and code 83 joiners. The joiners are giving me headaches. Not to forget split nails, cut finger tips, etc. I even try putting a joiner on a spare piece of rail to then put onto the track. But those joiners are way too tight. Filing the rails, top, bottom and top of the base - very lightly, just enough to smooth and remove any burrs. Can't seem to figure out how to spread the end of the joiner a bit, just to get it started. The darn things just don't like me. LOL Positive help requested and appreciated.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC


ExchangeDefender Message Security: Check Authenticity

Re: Rail joiners & PECO

Ron Still
 

Bob, I did exactly what you did. I’m on a blood thinner and every time I would poke myself there was blood everywhere!! Don’t know why they make them so tight.

Re: Rail joiners & PECO

Doug Wagner
 

Might take a gander at this link to see if it might help

https://modelrailwayengineer.com/sunday-scribbles-easy-way-fitting-rail-joiners/

Doug Wagner
Bakersfield, California

In a message dated 05/01/19 11:25:20 Pacific Standard Time, macionis@... writes:

I sympathize, and have multiple finger tip scars from those nasty joiners.  Using small pliers designed for this very task will avoid the blood.  But those joiners are too tight!  I have given up using them (except on code 70 track) and now use Atlas universal joiners.  Yes, they’re much bigger, and loose, but they go on easily, and I solder all joints and paint the rails so they look ok.
Bob

From: PennsyNut
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2019 11:11 AM
Subject: [w4dccqa] Rail joiners & PECO

I have a problem with my track. I have PECO code 83 flex, Insulfrog turnouts and code 83 joiners. The joiners are giving me headaches. Not to forget split nails, cut finger tips, etc. I even try putting a joiner on a spare piece of rail to then put onto the track. But those joiners are way too tight. Filing the rails, top, bottom and top of the base - very lightly, just enough to smooth and remove any burrs. Can't seem to figure out how to spread the end of the joiner a bit, just to get it started. The darn things just don't like me. LOL Positive help requested and appreciated.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Wiring the LEDs in a DC wired loco for DCC

Paul O
 

 Dennis, you’ll have to give us a lot more information in order for us to help.
Is there any circuitboard involved in the wiring? Do the red LEDs only come on in reverse?
If you can, draw out the wiring on the sheet of paper, create a JPEG or some other form and upload it to the Files or photo section depending on what format you upload.

Paul O

Re: Rail joiners & PECO

PennsyNut
 

I appreciate all the advice. I'm not quite clear on that photo and how it works. I do have a home-made tool: 6" piece of rail, bent up about half the length of a joiner. And a wire nut on the top. Easier to hold than just a rail with joiner. The rail end to hold the joiner is nicely filed, smooth, etc. And it helps some. But the problem is that the joiner is just too tight. And even with tools to help reduce the cutting of fingers and splitting of finger nails, those joiners are not right. The trick is that the joiner must be tight enough to not slip off. What I find really silly is when I do get a joiner on, and have to take it off. The next time, is just as difficult to get on. Also, I like to be able to have my turnouts totally removable. Slide the joiner off the turnout completely on the adjoining rail. Lift the turnout right out. Put the repaired one or a new one right back in place. Slide those joiners back onto the turnout and done. No muss, no fuss, no mess, simple. I use the Insulfrogs with no wires at all. But with these PECO joiners, I can't do that. For one thing, the joiner is too long. The joiner is ideal for connecting two pieces of flex. And because it's so tight, probably will conduct electricity better than a loose joiner. You can still solder joints if you wish. There is another type of joiner that looks like tie plates, and is in two pieces, but those are expensive. Might be better, but this hobby is expensive enough. And what strikes me is that PECO produces a fine product, turnouts are superb. Why are their joiners so tight.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Rail joiners & PECO

george hohon3
 

With a minor amount of filing on the rail, just enough to remove any burrs, joiners slip into place without any force or cut finger tips.

LG


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of PennsyNut <pennsynut@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 6:07 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Rail joiners & PECO
 
I appreciate all the advice. I'm not quite clear on that photo and how it works. I do have a home-made tool: 6" piece of rail, bent up about half the length of a joiner. And a wire nut on the top. Easier to hold than just a rail with joiner. The rail end to hold the joiner is nicely filed, smooth, etc. And it helps some. But the problem is that the joiner is just too tight. And even with tools to help reduce the cutting of fingers and splitting of finger nails, those joiners are not right. The trick is that the joiner must be tight enough to not slip off. What I find really silly is when I do get a joiner on, and have to take it off. The next time, is just as difficult to get on. Also, I like to be able to have my turnouts totally removable. Slide the joiner off the turnout completely on the adjoining rail. Lift the turnout right out. Put the repaired one or a new one right back in place. Slide those joiners back onto the turnout and done. No muss, no fuss, no mess, simple. I use the Insulfrogs with no wires at all. But with these PECO joiners, I can't do that. For one thing, the joiner is too long. The joiner is ideal for connecting two pieces of flex. And because it's so tight, probably will conduct electricity better than a loose joiner. You can still solder joints if you wish. There is another type of joiner that looks like tie plates, and is in two pieces, but those are expensive. Might be better, but this hobby is expensive enough. And what strikes me is that PECO produces a fine product, turnouts are superb. Why are their joiners so tight.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Re: Rail joiners & PECO

Carl
 

Hi Gang:


I used O-Gauge Gargraves track. It comes with rectangular pins, but where I wanted insulated pins only round Lionel plastic pins were available. I found a finishing nail that was just the right size to open up the Gargraves rail to accept the plastic pin. This worked fine.


So it might be possible to find a small finishing nail that would open up the PECO joiners so they slip on with less force. Removing the burrs on the rail is also a great idea! I would also look at making a hand tool from a bit of rail to hold the joiner when you need to push it on a rail. Anything to keep your fingers away from the metal edges.


Best wishes, Carl.

On 5/1/2019 10:06 PM, george hohon3 wrote:
With a minor amount of filing on the rail, just enough to remove any burrs, joiners slip into place without any force or cut finger tips.

LG


From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> on behalf of PennsyNut <pennsynut@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 6:07 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Rail joiners & PECO
 
I appreciate all the advice. I'm not quite clear on that photo and how it works. I do have a home-made tool: 6" piece of rail, bent up about half the length of a joiner. And a wire nut on the top. Easier to hold than just a rail with joiner. The rail end to hold the joiner is nicely filed, smooth, etc. And it helps some. But the problem is that the joiner is just too tight. And even with tools to help reduce the cutting of fingers and splitting of finger nails, those joiners are not right. The trick is that the joiner must be tight enough to not slip off. What I find really silly is when I do get a joiner on, and have to take it off. The next time, is just as difficult to get on. Also, I like to be able to have my turnouts totally removable. Slide the joiner off the turnout completely on the adjoining rail. Lift the turnout right out. Put the repaired one or a new one right back in place. Slide those joiners back onto the turnout and done. No muss, no fuss, no mess, simple. I use the Insulfrogs with no wires at all. But with these PECO joiners, I can't do that. For one thing, the joiner is too long. The joiner is ideal for connecting two pieces of flex. And because it's so tight, probably will conduct electricity better than a loose joiner. You can still solder joints if you wish. There is another type of joiner that looks like tie plates, and is in two pieces, but those are expensive. Might be better, but this hobby is expensive enough. And what strikes me is that PECO produces a fine product, turnouts are superb. Why are their joiners so tight.
Morgan Bilbo, new to DCC

Virus-free. www.avast.com

Re: Wiring the LEDs in a DC wired loco for DCC

dennisedgar7
 

Paul,

 

Thanks for the email.

 

I have uploaded a sketch of the wiring.

 

There is no circuit board involved in the wiring.

 

The red LEDs in the rear (long hood) come on when the loco is moving forward and the white LEDs in the rear (long hood) are off and the white LEDs in the front are on.

When the loco is reversing then the red LEDs in the front (short hood) are on and the white LEDs off.

 

Dennis G

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io [mailto:w4dccqa@groups.io] On Behalf Of Paul O
Sent: 02 May 2019 02:54 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Wiring the LEDs in a DC wired loco for DCC

 

 Dennis, you’ll have to give us a lot more information in order for us to help.

Is there any circuitboard involved in the wiring? Do the red LEDs only come on in reverse?
If you can, draw out the wiring on the sheet of paper, create a JPEG or some other form and upload it to the Files or photo section depending on what format you upload.

Paul O

Re: Wiring the LEDs in a DC wired loco for DCC

Al Silverstein
 

Dennis,
 
You did not specify the type or scale of the engine so my comments are theoretical. Should the decoder be a basic hard wired type powering lamps then the following in theory, depending upon if you want to turn the forward and rear headlights on/off, and depending upon the decoder used, this should work for your situation. You will most likely need to add on the negative leg of each LED a resistor to adjust for brightness. 1/8 amp resistors will most likely get the job done.
 
Connect all eight of the LEDs positive lead to the blue wire of the decoder.
 
Connect the front white LEDs and the rear red LEDs to the white wire of the decoder.
 
Connect the front red LEDs and the rear white LEDs to the yellow wire of the decoder.
 
In essence when the engine is set to move forward, and the headlight function is turned on, the front white LEDs will light up and the rear red LEDs will light up. When the engine is set to move backwards, and the headlight function is turned on, the rear white LEDs will light up and the front red LEDS will light up.
 
I did something similar to a N scale doodlebug a couple of years ago.
 
You might want to test the above first to insure of the value of the resistors before you wire the headlights of your engine. It will be easier to swap out different value resistors in order to get the proper brightness of the LED.
 
Al Silverstein
 
 
 
 

From: dennisedgar7
Sent: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 1:17 PM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Wiring the LEDs in a DC wired loco for DCC
 
I have a DC loco that has 4 LEDs front and rear. There are two white LEDs and two red LEDs at each end.

When running forward in DC mode the two white LEDS light up and two red LEDs in the rear light up and vice versa.
I would like to install a decoder into the loco but I am not sure how to wire the LEDs so that I get the same functionality.

The LED terminals are not all visible. I fact there are only 4 leads coming from each bank of LEDs.

I am not sure how to up load a diagram to show the existing wiring layout.
Is anyone able to assist me?
 

Re: Wiring the LEDs in a DC wired loco for DCC

Don Vollrath
 

Dennis,
The photo/sketch is not complete and probably not correct.
1. For DC operation... With the + polarity as marked for Forward movement It appears as though the 2 White LEDs at the Front are connected in series (starting with the anode) and also in series with the 2 Red LEDs in the rear, and there is a resistor R1 to limit the current. [Current flow from + to - ] But with the polarity reversed the 2 White LEDs in the rear (again starting with the anode) are also in series and connected to the 2 Red LEDs in the front, but there is no current limiting resistor. That's not going to work. There must be a mistake in your diagram.
It would work with the existing R1 if the rear white LED connection to the (- marked) terminal was connected to the R1 & Red LED at the (-) marked terminal in your sketch, This would place R1 in series with either polarity.

2. But with a DCC the polarity doesn't reverse. It will just turn one 'side' on or off. So the connected polsarity of the LEDs needs to be corrected/adjusted.
To use only one resistor it needs to be connected to the (+) or common (blue wire) of the decoder... [not a negative lead as shown]. Then disconnect the wire from the rear White LEDs to the (-) marked terminal and connect it to the resistor/Read Red LED side of that connection. [This should be the anode end of the white LEDs]. And disconnect the Red/+ wire of the Front LED string and connect it directly to the REAR light control of the decoder (prob. Yellow).

3. Then reverse the (external) connections to the Rear Red LEDs, and those of the Front White LEDs from that shown in your diagram to your square marked terminals. Then connect the (+) marked wire in your diagram now going only to the cathode side of the Front White LEDs to the FWD decoder lighting output (prob white wire).
Test make sure that it all works with the FWD and REV lighting outputs separately engaged. [If they are both on at the same time it may be too dim due to using the same current limiting resistor.] You may fine that they are too bright. If so, increase the Ohms value of the resistor.

For independent intensity control of Red and White lights it will take some re-wiring and separate additional resistors [but not impossible.]

DonV 

. OK, so far so good  

Athearn "timebomb" headlights and Tsunami Decoder

Puckdropper
 

I'm working on a Genesis F3A with Highliners shell that had a screwed up decoder. In fixing it, I needed to pull out the Athearn board to put in a new Tsunami decoder. This leaves me with the question of what to do with the tiny Athearn "timebomb" headlights. Should I add a resistor to the light lead like one does LEDs? What size resistor will keep the bulbs from burning out while still letting the lights shine?

Do I need something more sophisticated than a resistor?

I want to change the lights over to LEDs, but I'm not sure I want to do a week of R&D right now since it finally stopped raining and I've got grass to mow.

Puckdropper
P.S. I call them "timebombs" because they're almost certain to fail in the near future.

Re: Athearn "timebomb" headlights and Tsunami Decoder

Craig Zeni
 

If you want to keep incandescent bulbs, replace them with Miniatronics 1.5v 20 ma bulbs.  I've been replacing them with 0402 LEDs and Details West lenses.

Craig Zeni
Cary, NC
Despatched from my infernal Android

On Fri, May 3, 2019, 02:21 Puckdropper via Groups.Io <puckdropper=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I'm working on a Genesis F3A with Highliners shell that had a screwed up decoder.  In fixing it, I needed to pull out the Athearn board to put in a new Tsunami decoder.  This leaves me with the question of what to do with the tiny Athearn "timebomb" headlights.  Should I add a resistor to the light lead like one does LEDs?  What size resistor will keep the bulbs from burning out while still letting the lights shine?

Do I need something more sophisticated than a resistor?

I want to change the lights over to LEDs, but I'm not sure I want to do a week of R&D right now since it finally stopped raining and I've got grass to mow.

Puckdropper
P.S. I call them "timebombs" because they're almost certain to fail in the near future.