Topics

Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

Mark Cartwright
 

Hello all, 

Not sure I am gong to ask this question in the most appropriate way...
However....
After I purchased my first DCC Controller, an MRC PA -2, I was soon advised to purchase some sort of booster.
As my very first DCC Controlled Locomotive was the Walther's Heritage Y6b (2-8-8-2) with SOUND.
(The previous owner had all sorts of issues and sent his model back three times to Walther's.)
So there went another $100 for the matching MRC Booster.
And ?
Yes, all my DCC locomotives seem to run better, especially with Sound.
=====
>>> I began a Chase towards long steam N Scale Locomotives with Sound.
Especially, after the purchase of a Hallmark (Brass) ATSF Texas Steam Locomotive, equipped with a LokSound Sound Decoder....
Yes, I was smitten and fell in love with Model Railroading all over again. 
Meaning....?
What a man will do for love....
All sorts of my parameters began to change such as soldering, size of turnouts and even the width of radius/curves and further even into which type (90 Degree vs Parabolic).
I eventually began to standardize with LokSound Sound Decoders.
(Though, I probably own at least one of every other type and brand.)
======
As night follows the day.....
Eventually, I Forrest Gumped my way into the ownership of an ESU ECoS....
And this too was like a full tier movement upwards in the overall performance of my layout.
Top Drawer so to speak.
>>> Power supply output voltage adjustable from 15V to 21V / 7A (150VA) <<<
http://www.esu.eu/en/products/digital-control/ecos-50210-dcc-system/ecos-technical-data/
Somehow I got around to measuring it once and it showed 15.4 volts to the track.
=======
No, I did not mess with it...that was what it was set up as out of the box.
=======
Though I can speak and read some German....I basically leave the ECoS alone and let it do it's thing.
I tend to simply down load a sound program to the decoder and for the most part ....
Let the ECoS recognize the locomotive and stay away from manipulating CV's.
=======
So here is my un-question...
I am fairly happy with my choice of LokSound Sound Decoders as a standard as well as my ECoS as my standard DCC Controller 

All at 15.4 Volts to the track.

How's the lesser voltages of 13-14.5 volts working out for you?
====
I have not yet purchased the ESU ECoS booster...but I plan to do so; as my layout is stretched out over the space of 25 x 30 feet between two rooms.
No, I am not even sure it will be needed....
:)) Mark

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Mark, et al.,

 

I am also in N Scale, new to DCC, and coming at it from the other end.  I am building a roughly 8’ x 18’ irregular shaped mountain layout Code 55 Peco track and Electrofrog turnouts, multiple reverse loops, wyes and hidden staging.  Besides giving me LOTS of opportunities to learn from my mistakes, the track has consumed most of my budget, so I have been something of a cheapskate on everything else.

 

I have a single Digitrax DCS 100 Command module with no other boosters.  Set on N-Scale, it delivers 11.5 – 11.7 volts anywhere on the layout.  I have a couple of Bachman Berkshires and a Consolidation with sound, a Ten-wheeler with no sound, and an old analog GP7 that I use primarily for testing.  I can run them all at once without any power limitations (just frantic throttle control to keep the GP7 from crashing into things on the reverse loops.)

 

I have a lot of yard switches that prove everyone tells us to start with – don’t rely on the point rails to transmit power to the frogs.  Blue Points have built in switches, but ground throws need something else.  I like Frog Juicers, which work great but cost a lot.  So I drop a single wire from the jumper on each frog, and leave it dangling until I get annoyed enough to do something more.

 

I’ll probably keep putting most of my money into track for a while, unless I find an N-Scale Allegheney 2-6-6-6…

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2019 11:15 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: [w4dccqa] Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

 

Hello all, 

Not sure I am gong to ask this question in the most appropriate way...
However....
After I purchased my first DCC Controller, an MRC PA -2, I was soon advised to purchase some sort of booster.
As my very first DCC Controlled Locomotive was the Walther's Heritage Y6b (2-8-8-2) with SOUND.
(The previous owner had all sorts of issues and sent his model back three times to Walther's.)
So there went another $100 for the matching MRC Booster.
And ?
Yes, all my DCC locomotives seem to run better, especially with Sound.
=====
>>> I began a Chase towards long steam N Scale Locomotives with Sound.
Especially, after the purchase of a Hallmark (Brass) ATSF Texas Steam Locomotive, equipped with a LokSound Sound Decoder....
Yes, I was smitten and fell in love with Model Railroading all over again. 
Meaning....?
What a man will do for love....
All sorts of my parameters began to change such as soldering, size of turnouts and even the width of radius/curves and further even into which type (90 Degree vs Parabolic).
I eventually began to standardize with LokSound Sound Decoders.
(Though, I probably own at least one of every other type and brand.)
======
As night follows the day.....
Eventually, I Forrest Gumped my way into the ownership of an ESU ECoS....
And this too was like a full tier movement upwards in the overall performance of my layout.
Top Drawer so to speak.
>>> Power supply output voltage adjustable from 15V to 21V / 7A (150VA) <<<
http://www.esu.eu/en/products/digital-control/ecos-50210-dcc-system/ecos-technical-data/
Somehow I got around to measuring it once and it showed 15.4 volts to the track.
=======
No, I did not mess with it...that was what it was set up as out of the box.
=======
Though I can speak and read some German....I basically leave the ECoS alone and let it do it's thing.
I tend to simply down load a sound program to the decoder and for the most part ....
Let the ECoS recognize the locomotive and stay away from manipulating CV's.
=======
So here is my un-question...
I am fairly happy with my choice of LokSound Sound Decoders as a standard as well as my ECoS as my standard DCC Controller 

All at 15.4 Volts to the track.

How's the lesser voltages of 13-14.5 volts working out for you?
====
I have not yet purchased the ESU ECoS booster...but I plan to do so; as my layout is stretched out over the space of 25 x 30 feet between two rooms.
No, I am not even sure it will be needed....
:)) Mark

Mark Cartwright
 

Ah?
You might want to consider...Getting that 2-6-6-4 right away and begin to use it as one of your primary track testers....
With SOUND
Not a GP-7 which is one of the easiest locomotives to accommodate to any layout....Well almost.
====
If you are so inclined to longer steam locomotives one day.....
Actually I suggest something with a 10 in it..such as a 2-10-4 and then learn to run it not only on straights or gentle curves as a single unit but pulling an ever increasing length of train; upwards of what ever you and your layout feel comfortable with.
OVER every single Turnout on your layout.
For me that is 60 cars; not 158 which was my prototypical goal.
====
Except...when visiting someone else's layout.
Then ? Yes, it's time to find your best runner over any type of track or grade.
Several of my Kato/Atlas Diesels come to mind.
====
That is with one (fairly affordable) exception....in Steam at $150.


Especially their latest version. This model taught me many things about the general design and engineering of N Scale Locomotives; such as the use of Bearing Blocks on every single driver and the overall balance of a longitudinal array of motor, driving gears and flywheels. Along with simply the way a Tender should be electrified to the wheels.These work well with #6 or #8 Turnouts, with a 6 in the driver array. However, my 2-10-4's seem to prefer #10 or larger turnouts.
:)) Mark

Charles Brumbelow
 

Mark - Do your steam locomotives with 8 connected drivers need #8 or gentler turnouts/switches?

Thanks. Charles



On Friday, February 22, 2019, 2:20 AM, Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io <marcdecapri@...> wrote:

Ah?
You might want to consider...Getting that 2-6-6-4 right away and begin to use it as one of your primary track testers....
With SOUND
Not a GP-7 which is one of the easiest locomotives to accommodate to any layout....Well almost.
====
If you are so inclined to longer steam locomotives one day.....
Actually I suggest something with a 10 in it..such as a 2-10-4 and then learn to run it not only on straights or gentle curves as a single unit but pulling an ever increasing length of train; upwards of what ever you and your layout feel comfortable with.
OVER every single Turnout on your layout.
For me that is 60 cars; not 158 which was my prototypical goal.
====
Except...when visiting someone else's layout.
Then ? Yes, it's time to find your best runner over any type of track or grade.
Several of my Kato/Atlas Diesels come to mind.
====
That is with one (fairly affordable) exception....in Steam at $150.


Especially their latest version. This model taught me many things about the general design and engineering of N Scale Locomotives; such as the use of Bearing Blocks on every single driver and the overall balance of a longitudinal array of motor, driving gears and flywheels. Along with simply the way a Tender should be electrified to the wheels.These work well with #6 or #8 Turnouts, with a 6 in the driver array. However, my 2-10-4's seem to prefer #10 or larger turnouts.
:)) Mark

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>
 

Charles,

 

My answer may or may not be applicable, depending on the brand in question.  I use PECO code 55 electrofrog turnouts, which strangely enough ALL have #6 frogs.  Small, Medium and Large turnouts have different diverging track curves and lengths.  I have found that all of my locos including 2-8-4s run smoothly through both small and medium turnouts (diverging curves 12” and 18” radius respectively.)

 

That’s the simple version.  The answer may vary with grade, as well as train length.  With the obvious exception of the 12” curve in the turnout itself, my minimum radius is 13 inches.  My passing sidings limit most trains to 22 cars but my 2-8-4 Kanawhas will pull about 30 cars up a 2.7% grade.  Going up a steep grade with more than 20 cars would cause the lead driver would hop the rail on only one curve, causing trouble at the next turnout. Going down, it ran through just fine. It WASN’T the turnout.  Closer examination showed that I had inadvertently laid the curve at 11 inches instead of 13.  Fixing the curve fixed the problem, but it may indicate that a small turnout could be pushing the envelope for a 2-8-4 pulling a heavy load.

 

The C&O didn’t normally run 2-10-4s on the James River line, so I don’t plan to allow for them.  USRA 2-8-8-2s seem to work just fine.

 

If you are using Atlas turnouts, or Peco code 80, the answers may be different.

 

Cheers,

John

 

From: w4dccqa@groups.io <w4dccqa@groups.io> On Behalf Of Charles Brumbelow via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2019 10:33 AM
To: w4dccqa@groups.io
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

 

Mark - Do your steam locomotives with 8 connected drivers need #8 or gentler turnouts/switches?

Thanks. Charles



On Friday, February 22, 2019, 2:20 AM, Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io <marcdecapri@...> wrote:

Ah?

You might want to consider...Getting that 2-6-6-4 right away and begin to use it as one of your primary track testers....

With SOUND

Not a GP-7 which is one of the easiest locomotives to accommodate to any layout....Well almost.

====

If you are so inclined to longer steam locomotives one day.....

Actually I suggest something with a 10 in it..such as a 2-10-4 and then learn to run it not only on straights or gentle curves as a single unit but pulling an ever increasing length of train; upwards of what ever you and your layout feel comfortable with.

OVER every single Turnout on your layout.

For me that is 60 cars; not 158 which was my prototypical goal.

====

Except...when visiting someone else's layout.

Then ? Yes, it's time to find your best runner over any type of track or grade.

Several of my Kato/Atlas Diesels come to mind.

====

That is with one (fairly affordable) exception....in Steam at $150.

 

Kato (Japan) JNR C55 4-6-2 Pacific

Kato (Japan) JNR C55 4-6-2 Pacific

 

Especially their latest version. This model taught me many things about the general design and engineering of N Scale Locomotives; such as the use of Bearing Blocks on every single driver and the overall balance of a longitudinal array of motor, driving gears and flywheels. Along with simply the way a Tender should be electrified to the wheels.These work well with #6 or #8 Turnouts, with a 6 in the driver array. However, my 2-10-4's seem to prefer #10 or larger turnouts.

:)) Mark

Mark Cartwright
 

Charles....
I wrote this very long reply, which I believe could have possibly alienated many a Model Railroader of today but not a Model Railroader of say 1934 in his Attic, Basement or Family Room of 25 feet in width.
So I deleted it.
We call this a Missed Approach in aviation.....
Let me go around again....
Here is the phenomenon......
http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/267707.aspx
========
So to answer your question in the most succinct manner possible....
It's the one after the 9 o 9 - The Beatles.
Meaning ....
No, not a #8 for a 8 Drivers nor even a re-created #9 Kato Unitrack Turnout from a #6.
I was using an Atlas #10 for 10 drivers and found even that not the best for locomotives of multiple sets of long drivers such as a 2-8-8-2 with an actual train of 30 or more cars behind it.
=========
Despite what Walter's of Today writes on the Box; their Y6B (2-8-8-2) does not like to pull a train over a #4, but it seems to have no issues with a #12. with 30 cars behind it.
The previous owner of my Y6B, kept sending his back to Walther's...
Three Times and they would pick him out another one...
Never telling him to simply disregard the advertising on the box.
==========
Even without traction tires on a 1.5% Grade.
My previous standard of 1.73% gave me pause to question.
=========
I no longer use traction tires..DCC Sound needs all the help it can get.
=========
So back to the above article....
Do passenger cars derail or uncouple (even in N Scale) as the first writers states on 20, 24 or even 26 inch curves?
Yes  they do on abrupt 90 degree curves with a 21 car passenger train behind three consisted Kato Diesel Locomotives (even though perfectly speed matched).
=====
iN my reality, N Scale begins to seriously open up at 28 inch curves and even the transition to such a curve shoed be gentle....not abrupt at 90 degrees.
=====
I may let the world know when I actually create Success On My Layout and write a book which Kalmbach will never publish; nor be allowed in Train Stores.
=====
Presently, I am experimenting with 28 to 84 inch parabolic curves.
https://www.nmra.org/sites/default/files/d3b3.pdf

But not at the N Scale Level; which was not yet compressed in 1952.
It's the one after the 9 o 9  ...or TT Scale to HO and even O scales which I am currently using; as my basis for Physics.
Lionel O Scale Bridges for example...actually measure out to be N Full Scale.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RES7mnxkYCE
And when one would attempt to actually put an O Scale Ship under such a Lionel Bridge.
https://eaglewingsironcraft.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/o-gauge-vertical-lift-bridge/
Ah?
We are gonna need a smaller boat or get a bigger bridge.
============================
Or better yet known as BNSF Modern Specifications scaled down to Model Railroading.
And everything else too including the width of your Channel.
What I call Full Scale Model Railroading (without compression)
Meaning ?

Yes, I am in the process of learning the Art of Creating #12 (and larger) Turnouts with Fast Track Jigs.
I am placing these on a Wooden HO Scale Tru-scale Base. and beginning to control then with a ESU like Servo motor back to my ESU ECoS.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IYvfKwGppo

Question ? >>> Everything 

The Other Phenomenon....
Which gave ma a What the Hey ?!?!
Nearly everyone of my N Scale Brass Steam Locomotives came to me LNIB.
Never run
Even those which had been converted to DCC with Sound.
Here are some clues.....on the proverbial Hallmark 2-10-4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgwu7ydD4Bw
===> There AIN"T NOTHING WRONG WITH IT !
Just don't expect it to run on 19 inch curves.
When you slop up the drivers so they wiggle to and fro...
Oops !
Then the locomotive may get confused as it tries to traverse a Commensurate Turnout. 
Increase the turnout as well... !
Keep your drivers tight within Box Journals.
Here is another one....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKP4wSurQ5Y
The Con Car Aero Train.
If you complain to Con For about it...they will send you some weights.
Don't use them....Just go to a wider radius.
Another example is the Kato Shinkansen using Single Viaduct Kato Track....
Won't work..
http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/4376-kato-single-track-viaduct-connect-to-viaduct-station/

Kato's Double Viaduct Track has a clearance of 15 mm rather than 10....and I increased even these dimensions when it came to my #9 Kato Turnout.
======
Again as at the first article strongly suggests...
It's the one after what ever the Manufacturer Suggests is where you should begin your track laying efforts.
Today...
There isn't much on my layout that I have not modified from the instant, I took it out of the box.
===================
Except for Lok/More N Scale Steam Locomotives (The best the hobby has ever offered).
I've got to get me one of these.....
http://spookshow.net/loco/more4664.html

And will so, as my reward for creating a layout which can actually run it.
Sorry Spookshow...
19 inch curves ARE THE PROBLEM.
=============================================
I learned as an Aviation Pilot....
Not to simply read and believe the specifications as set forth in written form.
Instead....
Take the Airplane out on your own, and see what you can personally make it do.
Then if you actually do loose an engine on take-off.....
Meaning....
===> I won't fly a Cessna 310 into most small airports.
The roll out procedure on one engine out on take off...exceeds the length of most small airport runways.
They are fine with both engines operating...but is you loose an engine....It will be considered as Pilot Failure to investigate the minimums. and the Insurance may not kick in.
Such as ...
https://www.aviationlawmonitor.com/2010/02/articles/general-aviation/tesla-cessna-310-crash-at-east-palo-alto-the-paradox-of-the-twin/

Yes, this airport and the one North of it too at San Carlos.
====
So a 4-6-6-4 works easier than say a 4-6-2? on the same given trackage?
>>> No 
The Kato 4-6-2 is a phenomenon unto itself.and I strongly suspect a whole other layout will be required to effectively operate a LIK 4-6-6-4.
:)) Mark