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Smallest 2 function non-sound decoder?

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Smallest 2 function non-sound decoder?
Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 05, 2017 2:26 PM

I need the smallest 2 function non-sound decoder available for a tow motor project. I had ordered a LokPilot Nano (8.0mm x 7.0mm x 2.4mm) but I have just been informed that they likely won't be out before the end of the year.Grumpy I have a TCS Z2 (12.95mm x 6.65mm x 2.79mm) which is pretty small, but I'm wondering if there is anything smaller available now.

FYI, the decoder will be disguised as part of a gondola load. It has to sit on top of the gondola because there is no room inside the gondola or the tow motor body. The drive is from a Bachmann N scale 4-4-0. The gondola is the original tender in disguise and it holds the electric motor.

Thanks

Dave

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Posted by trainmaster247 on Friday, May 05, 2017 4:32 PM

These seem pretty small:

 

http://www.lombardhobby.com/TCS-T1-Mobile-Decoder-p/tcs1023.htm

http://www.lombardhobby.com/Digitrax-HO-DH126MT-For-HO-Scale-Locomotives-Equi-p/digdh126mt.htm

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Posted by johnnyrails on Friday, May 05, 2017 5:49 PM

Digitrax DZ 146 looks pretty small, check it out...

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Posted by Geared Steam on Friday, May 05, 2017 7:15 PM

Dave

Digitrax I believe has the smallest I have seen, the example below is a DZ-125. (no longer available but replaced with the DZ-126 measuring 10.62mm x 8.64mm x 2.84mm

http://www.digitrax.com/products/retired/mobile-decoders/dz125/

9 volt battery and TCS T1 for comparision.  

 

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."-Albert Einstein

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Posted by tstage on Friday, May 05, 2017 7:33 PM

Dave,

Here's an N- & Z-scale decoder from TCS:

  • M1 - 0.567 x 0.359 x 0.135"
  • Z2 - 0.51 x 0.26 x 0.11"

Tom

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 05, 2017 7:52 PM

Thanks for your help everyone:

My go to hobby store suggested a Zimo MX616. It is almost the same size as the yet to be released LokPilot Nano. The MX616 is 8.0mm x 8.0mm x 2.4mm. Streamlined Backshop has them on backorder. They are expected "sometime this quarter".

I vaguely recall another European mfr. who had a very small decoder. I thought I had it bookmarked but it's not there anymore. Ring any bells?

Dave

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Posted by Mark R. on Friday, May 05, 2017 8:13 PM

I just put two and two together Dave ! I'm Mark from AHK !

You might want to check the TCS Z2 decoder ....

http://tcsdcc.com/Zen/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=43&products_id=284

Mark.

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Posted by RBusinger on Friday, May 05, 2017 8:14 PM

Digitrax DZ126T

http://www.digitrax.com/products/mobile-decoders/dz126t/

0.55" x 0.28" x 0.128" (14 x 7.13 x 3.25 mm)

 

Rich

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Posted by tstage on Friday, May 05, 2017 8:14 PM

Dave,

Sorry for repeating the Z2 that you already had. Embarrassed  ESU has a LokPilot micro V4.0 that is 10.5 x 8.1 x 2.8mm.

Tom

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 05, 2017 8:18 PM

Hey Mark!

I always thought your posts sounded pretty knowledgable. See you in a few days.

Dave

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Posted by Mark R. on Friday, May 05, 2017 8:32 PM

The smallest that I'm aware of is made by Uhlenbrock ....

The downside is trying to find them on this side of the pond.

Mark.

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 05, 2017 8:40 PM

Mark R.
The smallest that I'm aware of is made by Uhlenbrock

Thanks Mark:

I looked up the specs and they are actually a bit bigger than the Zimo MX616.

Dave

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Posted by Mark R. on Friday, May 05, 2017 8:46 PM

Next post ....

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Posted by Mark R. on Friday, May 05, 2017 8:53 PM

Last one ....

According to SBS, the CT Electronik DCX76zD is the world's smallest decoder ....

Mark.

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 05, 2017 9:21 PM

I just ordered a CT Electronik DCX76zD decoder from England. It is 10.8mm x 7.1mm x1.3mm so it is a bit longer than the Zimo MX616 but it is much thinner. Even got it on sale!Big Smile

http://www.digitrains.co.uk/ecommerce/search/ct-elektronik-dcx76zd-decoder.aspx

Thanks again Mark and everyone.

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, May 06, 2017 11:02 AM

 Was away or I would have mentioned the CT. Friend of mine uses them in his scratchbuult N scale locos. He crams a motor AND one of those decoders in a tiny slope back tender (tender drive, locos are amlost solid metal so they can pull anything.). Truly amazing how tiny that decoder is. And that his locos run so nice.

                          --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, May 06, 2017 5:25 PM

rrinker
Friend of mine uses them in his scratchbuult N scale locos. He crams a motor AND one of those decoders in a tiny slope back tender

Hi Randy:

You have inspired me to have another look at the tender/gondola. I might be able to hide the decoder in the back if I were to lose some lead weight and extend the length of the shell a wee bit. My concern would be losing the weight. The tender shell is plastic so it doesn't weigh much. I have added 1/16" lead sheet above the motor and in the back, and I have added brass sides to the shell. The lead weights would have to be drastically reduced in size to make space for the decoder and the wiring, and I think that would compromise power pick up performance. If I was to get really fancy I could put a capacitor in a second gondola I guess. Hmmmm...

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, May 18, 2017 1:05 AM

Hi everybody:

I got the CT Electronic DCX76 decoder today. It is indeed quite tiny. However, I need some help wiring it up because I have only found the manual in German. Here is the manual if anyone can translate (Ulrich, where are you when I need you?!?):

http://www.tran.at/Dokumentation/DCX76.pdf

The decoder does not come with a blue 'common' wire and the mfr's instructions are a bit cryptic. What I want to do is use the 'front' light white wire for both the forward and reverse lights which will stay on all the time, and I want to use the yellow backup light wire for a rotating beacon. What do I connect the common leads for the LEDs to???

Here is the manufacturer's website. For those who don't speak German, you will have to use the translation function on your browser to read it in English. If you scroll down towards the bottom of the page there are a couple of references that seem to suggest using the right rail as the common but I have never seen that done before, and I would rather not let the smoke out of the decoder by experimenting.

http://www.tran.at/Produkte/DCX76.shtml

Thanks as always for your help.

Dave

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, May 18, 2017 8:32 AM

Hi Dave,

I goggled "Lokdecoder DCX76z+English" and found the manual in perhaps a more understandable language for you:

http://www.sbs4dcc.com/images/DCX76z_English.pdf

The diagram of the decoder in the DCX76z manual looks slightly different from the one in German.  The DCX76 manual does seem to indicate that it's for Z-scale so perhaps it's similar enough to be of help?

FWIW...

Tom

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Posted by CSX Robert on Thursday, May 18, 2017 11:26 AM

hon30critter
The decoder does not come with a blue 'common' wire...What do I connect the common leads for the LEDs to???

Either Rail A or Rail B (red or black wire), it's pretty standard on decoders with then NEM651 6-pin interface.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, May 19, 2017 6:35 AM

 It's called "half wave" lighting. It's mentioned in some decoder literature. There's no special CV settings needed, and electrically it is wired the same regardless of decode brnad, so you cna likely find the diagrams if you need them in some other brand decoder literature - at one point it was in the Digitrax Decoder Manual, for one place I remember seeing it. 

 The half wave part is because relative to the function wire (which remember is the - side of the circuit), either one of the rail wires is positive half of the time. Since the LED gets effectively half the voltage, you can theoretically use a smaller resistor, although since the little SMD ones are already incredibly bright, using half wave power may be just the ticket to keep it from looking like the loco is on fire.

                           --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, May 19, 2017 9:53 AM

Thank you Tom, CSX ROBERT and Randy for confirming what I thought was the case but I wasn't sure. As I said, I wasn't willing to prove myself wrong by frying the decoder so that's why I asked for help.

Randy, I have already installed 2200 ohm resistors to dim the lights a bit but they are still too bright. The half wave effect might just do the trick.

Much appreciated!

Dave

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, May 21, 2017 1:03 AM

Well, I'm a little upset with myself tonight. My first attempt to connect the headlight, reverse light and rotary beacon that were already installed in the shell to the drive system resulted in me getting the wires crossed so the drive mechanism couldn't sit in the shell properly.AngryGrumpy I had glued the wires in fairly solidly so they couldn't get sucked into the worm gears. Bottom line is that I ended up scrapping all the lighting wires and LEDs and I have to start again. To add insult to injury, I lost one of the headlights. I can make another fairly easily but I'm not happy that I have to.Bang Head

Sorry, but you will have to wait a little longer to see the finished product.

Regards,

Dave

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Posted by Geared Steam on Sunday, May 21, 2017 2:50 PM

Been there done that Dave, when ever we are installing these things it's easy to cross wires or worse. I often CA shrink tubing to the inside of the shell to keep those fines LED wires away from gears, long story short, it all got messed up, so I tossed it and started over. Threading those wires through a lamp, into the boiler and through can be challenging, and I need to be in the right frame of mind. 

Give her another try when you had a break. Cowboy

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."-Albert Einstein

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, May 21, 2017 10:23 PM

Geared Steam
Give her another try when you had a break.

Thanks for commiserating Geared Steam. This is not the sort of club that I want to be a frequent member of!Bang Head

I'll have another look for the missing headlight tonight. If it doesn't show up I can make one pretty quickly with some .100" dia. styrene rod and a piece of wire for the mounting post.

Dave

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