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Re: OK Tillig! What's up?!

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:03 am
by Bill Dixon
Digitrax - old tech. What a joke. Must be a pro NCE store. Of all the brands NCE users seem to be the most derogatory about Digitrax. Don't know why. I would speculate that it is because Digitrax outsells them five to one but I do not really know why. Been that way since the days of System One. Probably will not ever change. Just a bias you have to filter out.

Having used all systems (I operate regularly with Lenz and Digitrax) they all work well. Which one is best for you will be a matter of personal choice. Some require you to read and understand a manual. Some spoon feed it to you. There is yet no perfect system. They all have warts. They all have different interpretations as to how a throttle should be designed. You have to try a system out to see what you like. Of course if your group has already made a choice of manufacturer then you have to hope that you can work with that system. Modular wise Digitrax is the easiest to implement.

Strange your comment about TCS decoders. They are spoken of highly by N scale and HOn3 users. They have a good warranty.

I tend to use whatever decoder fits the model. I have no anti manufacturer bias (well except against MRC) for decoders. If there is a manufacturer specific decoder for a model I will use that.

I have not yet done any DCC installations in my TT equipment but will most likely use whatever small decoder comes to hand. Digitrax DZ125 or TCS Z2 will fit most models. Don't ignore the long thin Plug-N-Play boards for some N scale locomotives. A few wires soldered to the right points and you have a decoder that can fit in a low height location.

Most of my sound installations have used Soundtraxx decoders. The Micro Tsunami should fit the larger TT models but be aware they run hot. I have used the Digitrax SFX0416 sound decoder in two small models (MiniTrains HOn30 Plymouth and Bachmann HO Thomas). They work OK but are a little quiet in sound output. They are highly programmable if you want specific sounds for your models. That is not something I have gotten into yet. Not enough time to devote to it.

Digitrax DZ125IN decoders are available. Like all DCC products from ALL Manufacturers they are batch produced. If you are off cycle you will have to wait a while. We have never waited more than a month for a DZ125IN backorder to be filled.

A note - Digitrax does not deal direct with (i.e.sell to) end users. You must buy through a dealer.

When I get a module or two built I will be running Digitrax DCC as I have a full Super Chief Xtra Duplex Radio command station and booster module pair already setup with Anderson power Pole Connectors from my HO Modules.

Bill Dixon

Re: OK Tillig! What's up?!

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:39 pm
by ConducTTor
Maybe it's some weirdness that Tilligs experience with the Digitraxx chips. Kuehns for example have an issue with Lenz chips - an issue so well known that Kuehn themselves have posted the "fix" for their loco PCBs with Lenz chips on their site.

Re: OK Tillig! What's up?!

Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:21 am
by Bill Dixon
Maybe it's some weirdness that Tilligs experience with the Digitraxx chips. Kuehns for example have an issue with Lenz chips - an issue so well known that Kuehn themselves have posted the "fix" for their loco PCBs with Lenz chips on their site.
Do these models have noise suppression components in them, usually a pair of coils and a couple of capacitors?
If so these can screw up decoders especially if they are using back EMF. Removing the capacitors usually resolves the issue.

Bill Dixon

Re: OK Tillig! What's up?!

Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:54 pm
by Dibbedabb
ConducTTor wrote:So is this pretty normal or just in some countries / regions?
The headlights-topic is one of the things that are very different through europe (like train control systems) - every country has different regulations.
As far as I know, the regulations for Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland and Austria are basically the same when it comes to headlights on regular services. It consists of 2 white bottom lights and 1 top light symbolizing an A, plus an additional display for destination information on passenger trains (for Germany this must not replace the top headlight). The top light was introduced in the 1950s to differ railvehicles from roadvehicles during the night. If I remember correct, shunters and mainline vehicles in shunting movements are allowed to show only the bottom lights. (I have a book about all german signal regulations, from track sign to vehicle signals, but I don't know, where my girlfriend put it)
In the former eastern part of Germany the shunting signal was the bottom right light in driving direction.
The lights didn't have to be switched on during daytime until a few years ago, when the DB Netz (german network operator) regulated the use of the 3-light headlights for both night- and daytime.
Other european countries have other regulations. I think in Poland idling locomotives that are occupied by an engineer have to show the single top light. In Italy some (or any?) trains have to show two white and one green light. Somewhere else blinking lights are used, and so on.
That is why modern multipurpose locomotives like Siemens ES64 F4 (class 189) have light switches with many possible positions: Link to image. - for every country the locomotive could be used in (if it carries the required train control system).

Re: OK Tillig! What's up?!

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:29 pm
by Rich B
I've been happy with every Digitrax chip I've owned, they have smooth motor control and very customisable functions. Plus the fact that they're a "wrapped" decoder makes shorting worries on installation much less of a hassle.

For a small decoder to use for fucntion only, my preference is the Hornby R8249- make sure it's the later one with a NMRA conformance warrant though, the early ones were... not good. They're adequate as loco decoders, but I prefer the drive control of other brands. As a function decoder though, they're great- dirt cheap and four functions. All my driving trailers have them in. I have yet to try the new Sapphire decoder, which by reports sounds to be a good loco decoder.

The only decoder I've ever been REALLY unhappy with (aside from the early Hornby ones, which have been superceded) was an NCE one... it just seemed plain rough in comparison to others.

I'll rank my decoder preferences by brand....

1. Lenz
2. Zimo
3= Digitrax
3= ESU (normally the ones which come supplied with Roco locos)

Other brands are kind of a muddle in my preferences, tending to be for specific applications (such as the Hornby I've mentioned).