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Model Railroading > DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco


Date: 11/09/22 20:36
DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: funnelfan

Running a bunch of DCC wires between a tender and the locomotive on a brass steam locomotive presents some challenges. A light tender and enough wires will cause the tender to bind up and derail on curves. I was looking at a brass SP 4-10-2 I have that currently has a non-sound decoder that is installed only in the locomotive. The tender is still just providing the power through the drawbar. The locomotive runs well, but I've been meaning to add sound to the tender. Then I got the idea that I might have better luck just adding a sound decoder to the tender and leave the locomotive as is. I could program each separately using a jumper wire to the rail. I would program both decoders with the same number, but reprogram the functions to avoid each other. Has anyone attempted a setup like that?

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/22 22:37 by funnelfan.



Date: 11/09/22 21:13
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: ATSFSuperCap

That would work.   I like it.   I will have to remember this little trick.   I installed sound in my USRA 2-8-8-2, ATSF, X-N&W, with all of it in the loco boiler, so tender still just providing one electrical connection.   It works just fine.



Date: 11/09/22 21:51
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: TomG

Ted I have 3 different steam engines with Tsunami's in the tender with 5 wires between the Locomotive and the tender with micro plugs, the females hard mounted under the front of the tender. The wires are very flexible and there is no binding. If you like I can take a few snappies tomorrow. But there is nothing wrong with your plan.

Tom
Weaverville, CA



Date: 11/09/22 22:01
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: funnelfan

I would need at least 6 wires. 1 for power pickup, 2 or the motor, light common, headlights and firebox flicker.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Date: 11/09/22 22:17
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: MMD

Ted , attached are some photos of how I mount TCS decoders in my locos,








Date: 11/09/22 22:21
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: TomG

funnelfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would need at least 6 wires. 1 for power pickup,
> 2 or the motor, light common, headlights and
> firebox flicker.

A 6th wire is no big deal, I'll get you photos tomorrow.

Tom
Weaverville, CA



Date: 11/09/22 22:24
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: MMD

Some more photo Ted, as you can see the wires are hidden under the 'deck plate' the wire is TCS's 3 ga.. black wire and I make the plugs from the stip of pins showen BUT I brake the plastic off them and cover them with heat shrink and colour code them . the tender needs to have some weight in it and I tend to use 'Lead Shot' for this and glue it in with ACC or epoxie.
Loco is a NWSL model.

Malcolm
New Zealand.








Date: 11/09/22 22:28
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: MMD

A couple of photos of the Mill.








Date: 11/10/22 06:48
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: Frisco1522

Decoders aren't too bad to install in the loco, but the "keep alive" is too big unless its an articulated or something.  All self contained in the engine would be ideal, speaker and all.



Date: 11/10/22 10:02
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: sawdust

I've thought of this as well; but my reluctance has been that the sound output would be disconnected from motor feed back, as some decoders use Back-EMF.



Date: 11/10/22 10:06
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: PHall

Frisco1522 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Decoders aren't too bad to install in the loco,
> but the "keep alive" is too big unless its an
> articulated or something.  All self contained in
> the engine would be ideal, speaker and all.

There's plenty of room in the tender of the engine in the photos for the Keep Alive capacitors.
They don't have to be right next to the decoder.



Date: 11/10/22 15:21
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: TomG

Ted here is the setup on my tenders. My pad takes terrible pictures so the wires and the loco piping get muddy, but they just look like they belong when its on rails.

Tom
Weaverville, CA








Date: 11/10/22 15:43
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: TomG

Without the male end.

Tom
Weaverville, CA




Date: 11/10/22 16:46
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: funnelfan

TomG Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Without the male end.

That is a neat setup.
 

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Date: 11/10/22 17:17
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: TomG

funnelfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> TomG Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Without the male end.
>
> That is a neat setup.
>  

As you can see, you can easily add the 6th plug for your firebox light. What I like about this setup is you can exchange tenders with different locos if you so desire but more important, with a plug you can power the loco on the bench without the tender and you can plug the tender in without the loco to test the decorder. As a side note the plugs are color coded to the decoder wire colors as well as micro plugs are still stuck together in blocks of 3 and 2 so even I cant mess it up. There is no extra weight in the tender and the flexibility is like the wires arnt even there.

Tom
Weaverville, CA



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/10/22 17:25 by TomG.



Date: 11/10/22 19:00
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: KA7008




Date: 11/12/22 08:03
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: BAB

funnelfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Running a bunch of DCC wires between a tender and
> the locomotive on a brass steam locomotive
> presents some challenges. A light tender and
> enough wires will cause the tender to bind up and
> derail on curves. I was looking at a brass SP
> 4-10-2 I have that currently has a non-sound
> decoder that is installed only in the locomotive.
> The tender is still just providing the power
> through the drawbar. The locomotive runs well, but
> I've been meaning to add sound to the tender. Then
> I got the idea that I might have better luck just
> adding a sound decoder to the tender and leave the
> locomotive as is. I could program each separately
> using a jumper wire to the rail. I would program
> both decoders with the same number, but reprogram
> the functions to avoid each other. Has anyone
> attempted a setup like that?
I have a Mountain Models K37 with all of the full scale lights on it lit.  The fellow who I think is out of business now put two decoders programed to the same ID in it. This was before the higher amp Sound Trax units were out. It works fine. This engine is ON30 gauge and since I used Micro Engineering turnouts whihc are number 5 its going to end up being a Roundhouse queen.



Date: 11/16/22 08:27
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: Arved

Most square tenders are fairly easy to get into. That SP 4-10-2 will have a Semi-Vanderbilt tender, and I have yet to find one that's easy to get into. 

I also have a Max Gray SP 4-10-2 awaiting DCC w/sound. I got a Sunset F-4 (2-10-2) about a year back that had a DCC  decoder (sans- sound) installed in the cab roof. I don't know which one, but it looks to be about the same size as an ESU Loksound 5 Micro (=13.008px21mm x 10mm footprint). If you don't exceed the current draw limitiations of the Micro (0.75 Amps), that should be the way to go. There should be room in the smokebox for a speaker.

Please keep me posted on the progress of your model.

Warmest regards,
- Arved

Arved Grass
Fleming Island, FL



Date: 11/16/22 08:50
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: TrackGuy

Tom,

Where did you get your colored male/female plugs?  Those look sharp.  Are they glued to the bottom of the tender?

TrackGuy



Date: 11/17/22 15:49
Re: DCC Idea for Brass Steam Loco
Author: TomG

TrackGuy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Tom,
>
> Where did you get your colored male/female
> plugs?  Those look sharp.  Are they glued to the
> bottom of the tender?
>
> TrackGuy

They are run of the mill plugs you can get at micromark. They are black with just a little paint on them to match the wires. They come in  strip so 2 were separated as a pair and a group of three on the other side. They are secured to the floor with just a touch of epoxy. Mind you I didnt do this one myself, it was done for me quite some time ago but its the way Im doing all my brass steam since .
 https://www.micromark.com/32-pin-Micro-Connector-Set_2

Tom
Weaverville, CA



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/22 16:16 by TomG.




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