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DCC Decoders for Cab Cars/End Cars


CaptOblivious

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As far as I'm aware it is just two pairs of non bipolar contacts.  The light boards it interacts with also has two pairs of contacts, so I'm fairly sure it's just a two function nonbipolar decoder.

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1 minute ago, Kiha66 said:

As far as I'm aware it is just two pairs of non bipolar contacts.  The light boards it interacts with also has two pairs of contacts, so I'm fairly sure it's just a two function nonbipolar decoder.

 

That's what I thought. When I converted my Kato 500 shinkansen I altered the lightboard and connected the FL12 as directed by a guide from an online guide. I was merely functioning as a copycat monkey. But If the stock light board has four contacts then it seems it wouldn't need to be altered at all. Just connected directly to the FL12 or other decoder.

 

Btw, I spoke with digitrax. Their solution for a cab light decoder is to use a "motor" decoder (they used the quotes) and apply a load to the motor output by putting a resistor between the grey and orange motor wires. Seems wasteful but otherwise an ok solution.

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In all fairness, I read that they were somewhere (a link I cannot find at the moment), where it said people were buying them and hardwiring them in to installations (soldering them in).  I don't know this for myself.

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Hello,

 

I use FL12 solder in for headlights in some consists, but you can't have lights running when consist is stationary, unless you set a different address for FL12.    Edit: please ignore my incorrect comment.  Clarified in my next post.

 

Better to use a function decoder if you want lights on when train is stationary. 

 

Another option to FL12 scenario is to use a motor decoder and set the start, mid, and max voltage the same.

Edited by Ochanomizu
Correction
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3 hours ago, Ochanomizu said:

Hello,

 

I use FL12 solder in for headlights in some consists, but you can't have lights running when consist is stationary, unless you set a different address for FL12. 

 

Better to use a function decoder if you want lights on when train is stationary. 

 

Another option to FL12 scenario is to use a motor decoder and set the start, mid, and max voltage the same.

 

 

????  

 

The FL12 supports lights on when stationary.  DCC lights on is a separate function and not connected to the running of the motor.  Just hit F0 (default -- usually labeled lights) when the  train is stationary and they will go on (or off if already on).   My FL12 are set to the same address as the motor car and it works fine and they are independent.

 

Edited by chadbag
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Hello,

 

Yes, sorry ... my mistake.  I don't know what I was smoking.  Yes chadbag, you are right.  Post edited.

 

I did FL12  in 10-237 Relay Tsubame.  Function is: lights on / off and auto reverse.

 

I did Digitrax DZ123 in 10-590 Around The Kyushu.  First I used the motor wires, setting the same voltage for low, mid and max.  This turned the lights off when the train was stationary ... like it would in DC.  When I first got into DCC I thought this would be the neatest way to go ... but it isn't ... unless you just want the lights to work like they do in a DC model.

 

Later, I swapped the DZ123 over to F1 and F2 because it gave more realistic operation of lights.  I like to enable rule 17 to dim the lights too, even if the prototype doesn't.  FL12 doesn't seem to be rule 17 enabled.

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What about adding to the list LAISDCC 860012? You can set it up so the motor wires can be used for directional lights, and bi-polar depending on the direction of travel. Price is very cheap to be used for cab/tail cars lighting. If you plan to use it to drive a motor, I wouldn't do it (my opinion).

 

Manufacturer: LaisDCC

Price: 10$

Height: 3mm

Width: 9,2mm

Length: 14,5mm

Functions: 2

Directional lights? ◯

Bi-Polar? ◯

Dimmable lights? ◯

4-digit address? ◯

Transponding? ✕

Railcom? ✕

Max Current (cont. func.): 100mA

Max Current (peak func.): 1A       

Max Current (cont. total): 1A       

Max Current (peak total): 1A   

 

Cheers,

Dani

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Jugderdemidiin Gurragchaa

Are you guys able to provide a bit of help with picking the right directional lighting decoder and the best way to solder it in?

The motor decoders seem pretty straight forward but I've been going around and around reading forum posts and websites trying to figure out the best way to do the cab end lights but everyone seems to do it differently and I am just getting very confused 😕

 

I'm looking to upgrade my three Japanese trains to DCC and am only looking for the cab end lighting to just be able to turn on and off and automatically switch when I change directions, so nothing fancy really.

From reading the first forum post it seems like the NGDCC DF11 is a good fit but I've read many different forum posts about needing to change the lights to LEDs, cutting circuit boards and installing resistors and that is where I am getting completely lost.

 

The models I am trying to convert are:

Kato 10-510 500 Shinkansen

kato 10-1394 885 Around the Kyushu

Tomix 92822 JR700 Hikari Railstar

 

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

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I used the NGDCC ones in my Hikari railstar.  You could also use them in any KATO that is not FL12 compatible.  With the NGDCC bi-polar function decoders you don't need to cut any traces or flip LEDs or anything.

 

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Hello All ,Brett From Melbourne .

I created an Account to ask some questions,but rather than start a new thread i will jump on this one.

Main question is,I have made a N scale Layout using Unitrack and NCE DCC eQuipment.

I have bought 3 Japanese Kato Commuter Trains and a Em13 Decoder.(imported from Japan)

All is working well,but i would like to get the Decoder for the End Lights.I think its FL12 Kato,but i cannot seem to locate them in stock

I have seen them on ebay for high markups,but PLaza Japan have them listed at about 18$,but they never are in stock.

Is there something going on like End Production of these decoders?or is there an equivalent i may use(plug and play type)

thanks for your time

Brett.

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7 hours ago, Brett said:

Hello All ,Brett From Melbourne .

I created an Account to ask some questions,but rather than start a new thread i will jump on this one.

Main question is,I have made a N scale Layout using Unitrack and NCE DCC eQuipment.

I have bought 3 Japanese Kato Commuter Trains and a Em13 Decoder.(imported from Japan)

All is working well,but i would like to get the Decoder for the End Lights.I think its FL12 Kato,but i cannot seem to locate them in stock

I have seen them on ebay for high markups,but PLaza Japan have them listed at about 18$,but they never are in stock.

Is there something going on like End Production of these decoders?or is there an equivalent i may use(plug and play type)

thanks for your time

Brett.

 

 

They (FL12) go in and out of stock.  A new production run gets done and everyone has them until they sell out and then you just get the expensive ones until the next production run.

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Well i finally got them(fl12 Decoder).Plazajapan had 6 for a brief time so i bought them all.

Now if only Kato would release some of their City buildings.They are so hard to find and when i do the want $$$$ for them.

Its a game of patience this N scale japanese game'

Brett

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gavino200

Following up on a conversation with @chadbag it looks like the Zimo alternative to the FL12 isn't just the Digitrax/Kato FL12 sold under the Zimo name to go with their EM13 alternative. The Zimo decoder looks like ti has different circuitry than the FL12 which you can also see on the same page.

 

It's Zimo MX605SL. Tho of them sold with a MX605N (EM13 replacement). Or individually for $18

 

Prices from the UK here without postage.

Edited by gavino200
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2 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Following up on a conversation with @chadbag it looks like the Zimo alternative to the FL12 isn't just the Digitrax/Kato FL12 sold under the Zimo name to go with their EM13 alternative. The Zimo decoder looks like ti has different circuitry than the FL12 which you can also see on the same page.

 

It's Zimo MX605SL. Tho of them sold with a MX605N (EM13 replacement). Or individually for $18

 

It is 18 pounds or about $24.50 in current dollar exchange

 

2 hours ago, gavino200 said:

 

 

Streamlined Backshop www.sbs4dcc.com -- a US distributor/seller of Zimo.  They don't always have stock of certain things but they get periodic restocks.  I am not sure what sort of notification services they have but they do run a mail list.  I've bought from them a few times, though not the Zimo KATO-compatible stuff.

 

They list two different EM13-type with sound decoders and one EM-13 without sound, as well as FR11 and FL12 compatible ones.

 

Here is all their Zimo decoder offerings including the KATO compatible ones.

 

https://store.sbs4dcc.com/ZIMODCC-3.aspx

 

 

I have no interest in sbs4dcc.com except as a satisfied customer.  I just mention them here as they are US based so you don't have to import if you don't want to.

 

 

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gavino200
1 hour ago, chadbag said:

 

It is 18 pounds or about $24.50 in current dollar exchange

 

Duh, I could have sworn it said $. Which I though was odd. Still not bad - about the same as the FL12.

 

1 hour ago, chadbag said:

 

 

 

Streamlined Backshop www.sbs4dcc.com -- a US distributor/seller of Zimo.  They don't always have stock of certain things but they get periodic restocks.  I am not sure what sort of notification services they have but they do run a mail list.  I've bought from them a few times, though not the Zimo KATO-compatible stuff.

 

They list two different EM13-type with sound decoders and one EM-13 without sound, as well as FR11 and FL12 compatible ones.

 

Here is all their Zimo decoder offerings including the KATO compatible ones.

 

https://store.sbs4dcc.com/ZIMODCC-3.aspx

 

 

I have no interest in sbs4dcc.com except as a satisfied customer.  I just mention them here as they are US based so you don't have to import if you don't want to.

 

 

 

Thanks Chad. I'm going to get a few when they're back in stock. If I like them I'll sell off my FL12s.

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3 hours ago, gavino200 said:

 

Duh, I could have sworn it said $. Which I though was odd. Still not bad - about the same as the FL12.

 

 

Thanks Chad. I'm going to get a few when they're back in stock. If I like them I'll sell off my FL12s.

 

I personally use the FL12 (and would use these when buying new ones).  For a light decoder they would all be the same for me if they fit the FL12 slot.

 

 

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I should also add I try and buy FL12 in Japan when I am there as they are  much cheaper than the alternatives.  However, obviously, no one is going to Japan and I've buy whatever FL12-compatible decoders are available.  Zimo, FL12, etc.  Unlike a motor decoder, I am just turning on the front or back of the Shinkansen/EMU/DMU lights.

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Maybe it's easier for me in Asia, but the last time I bought these decoders was from Plaza Japan (www.plazajapan.com) and I really got a good price. They can be purchased by 1, 10 or even 20.

I bought 10x EM13 in December last year for ¥1,685 / piece (that's $15 / piece).

The FL12 and FR11 are also available for ¥1,250 / piece by pack of 10 (that's $11 / piece).

I have also purchased many (for just one dollar more) from Rail Gallery Rokko (https://www.railgallery-r.com/n-main_1/02_N_RouH_2.html).

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8 hours ago, Madsing said:

Maybe it's easier for me in Asia, but the last time I bought these decoders was from Plaza Japan (www.plazajapan.com) and I really got a good price. They can be purchased by 1, 10 or even 20.

I bought 10x EM13 in December last year for ¥1,685 / piece (that's $15 / piece).

The FL12 and FR11 are also available for ¥1,250 / piece by pack of 10 (that's $11 / piece).

I have also purchased many (for just one dollar more) from Rail Gallery Rokko (https://www.railgallery-r.com/n-main_1/02_N_RouH_2.html).

 

yeah when I have been there I bought larger amounts at the Osaka kids land Joshin Denki for like $12 or so a piece.   I think the hard part is finding them in stock.

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I am just a bit worried because I keep buying these Kato decoders for my trains and I see that you guys are moving on. If there is a real advantage using other decoders (I mean, other than their availability), please tell me 😀

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Just now, Madsing said:

I am just a bit worried because I keep buying these Kato decoders for my trains and I see that you guys are moving on. If there is a real advantage using other decoders (I mean, other than their availability), please tell me 😀


I want to have RailCom available so I replaced my EM13 with the JNS EM13 board and D&H decoders.   I also have the ICE 4 with the Zimo EM13 decoder and may just end up buying more Zimo ones once my D&H supply runs out, depending on the cost to get more DH05 decoders.  (I have plenty of the raw boards to last my grandkids).


For the FL12 I will continue to buy the KATO ones since they are least expensive and I don't really care for the front/rear lights what decoder I use.  I may get some Zimo ones if that is all that is available but they are a lot more expensive.

 

As of right now I only sold off my unused EM13.  I did not replace any existing installed EM13.  I may just install a function decoder that has RailCom or something in those.  We'll see.  I am not actively using RailCom yet (past the novelty phase of watching the numbers appear in the app).

 

I also sold off all my Digitrax decoders that were unused.  I did not replace the one or two that were already installed.  Ditto the RailCom function decoder, for now.

 

Depending on the hassle I may end up replacing the EM13 and Digitrax with actual mortor decoders that support RailCom if the workaround doesn't work well.

 

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gavino200

For me it's mostly RailCom as well. I may not find it such a big deal once I use it. I agree, that telling the automation program which train you're using isn't a big deal at all. Really, you do that as you place the loco on the track from the menu. So, for identification, RailCom doesn't even save you a step. I do like the idea of reading CVs on main, but that's also not a huge deal. Maybe I'll find a use for it that I like. So I'd like to have it just in case.

 

I've never really liked the FL12. I've always found that programming it was a bit iffy. Not much, but a bit. I'm not sure if the alternatives would be better but I'm interested in giving it a try.

 

The EM13 has always worked ok for me (except with the KatoUSA GS-4 which caused them to emit magic smoke for unlcear reasons). It also seems to work reasonably well so far with iTrain.

 

I've always bought decoders fairly randomly based on size and availability. The downside of this is that I have a lot of reading to do to really understand them all. So I'm switching to making my decoder range as narrow as possible, and really learning the intricacies of those few decoders. I'd like to use more "advanced" decoders that I know so that if I have trouble I have more chance of being able to fix it.

 

I recently ran into trouble with a DZ123 from Digitrax which, like the EM13 is very basic. In this case the solution is simple to replace the DZ123. If I should have a problem in future with the EM13 that would be a big deal - lots of decoders to replace. So unless the price difference is significant I'd like to use an ESU or a Zimo instead. It's partly to expose myself to less risk. But I have to admit I also get some geeky pleasure out of the technology for it's own sake. (That probably applies to RailCom too).

 

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From a discussion on the Digikeijs mail list regarding LCC it was claimed that command stations that actually support RailCom can use that to limit the amount of traffic sent out -- most command stations will repeat the commands X times or indefinitely so that dirty track or other electrical problems do not cause trains to miss commands.  Smart command stations with smart RailCom decoders can talk back and forth to avoid this.  I don't know more than was claimed.

 

 (DR5000 doesn't directly have RailCom but the Digikeijs block detection modules for RailCom do)

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