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Offline Chad0x78  
#1 Posted : 24 December 2014 14:05:15(UTC)
Chad0x78

United States   
Joined: 21/06/2014(UTC)
Posts: 36
Location: Chesapeake, Va.
Hi I hope u guys can help me I recently received a Fleischmann br55 n scale loco and it is dc. I would like to convert it to dcc but information on Fleischmann trains are limited for me since I live in the US. Does anyone know of a good site were they show decoder installations that are hard wired for this type of loco? Thanks in advance. Also I plan on using DZ123 by digitracks.
Offline kimballthurlow  
#2 Posted : 24 December 2014 20:41:04(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 5,888
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Hi,
Decoder installation in its simplest form is four wire connections.

Red and black wires at the decoder, go to the electrical pick-ups (aka the tracks current where it comes into the loco).
Grey and orange wires go from the decoder to the motor terminals.

So first you disconnect all existing wires that connect the motor to the track current.
Basically, all electricity must now go through the decoder.

Check the Digitrax website, they must have advice and diagrams on how to do the job.
If not, your hobby dealer.

regards
Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
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Offline biedmatt  
#3 Posted : 24 December 2014 20:54:37(UTC)
biedmatt

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,343
Location: Southwest Ohio
Have you opened it up? Most current DC lokos are digital ready. They will typically have a connector or socket for one of the various decoder standards ready for the decoder of your choice. There will be a plug in that socket that connects track power to the motor for DC operation. Remove the plug and plug in your decoder.
Matt
Era 3
DB lokos, coaches and freight cars from across Europe
But I do have the obligatory (six) SBB Krocs
ECoS 50200, all FX and MFX decoders replaced with ESU V4s, operated in DCC-RailCom+ with ABC brake control.
With the exception of the passenger wagens with Marklin current conducting couplers, all close couplers have been replaced with Roco 40397.
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Offline JohnjeanB  
#4 Posted : 25 December 2014 22:40:10(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,129
Location: Paris, France
Hi Chad (Not sure)

In case it is an olderFleischmann Loco, make sure both connections of the motor can be insulated from the chassis and the weels (with a multimeter) otherwise it would destroy the decoder.
Cheers

Jean
My lay-out videos
latest vid
humping yard
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Offline H0  
#5 Posted : 26 December 2014 08:20:09(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,816
Location: DE-NW
Hi!
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
In case it is an olderFleischmann Loco, make sure both connections of the motor can be insulated from the chassis and the weels (with a multimeter) otherwise it would destroy the decoder.
Very good advice when converting older H0 Fleischmann locos.
Is it the same for N gauge Fleischmann locos?

Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline JohnjeanB  
#6 Posted : 26 December 2014 19:07:29(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,129
Location: Paris, France
Hi,
Not sure about N gauge loks but older HO Fleischmann used to have a direct connection between the chassis and one of the motor connection. If not insulated first it kills the decoder for sure.
Cheers
Jean
My lay-out videos
latest vid
humping yard
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Offline JohnjeanB  
#7 Posted : 26 December 2014 19:38:50(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,129
Location: Paris, France
Hi

Checking on the Fleischmann site I found the drawings (http://www.fleischmann.de/doc/ET/2/DE/715581_13582.pdf)
Apparently no problems, just make sure previous motor connections are removed
Cheers

Jean
My lay-out videos
latest vid
humping yard
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Offline Chad0x78  
#8 Posted : 27 December 2014 15:33:58(UTC)
Chad0x78

United States   
Joined: 21/06/2014(UTC)
Posts: 36
Location: Chesapeake, Va.
Hi guys so I received my decoders in the mail yesterday. I have two DZ123 decoders from Digitrax (and thankfully I bought 2). I did all the things you have said. It is an N scale train the description is a Fleischmann 7152. It does not have a DCC interface. This loco would have to be hardwired. I tested the motor to the chassis and to the feeders (or pickups) it is well isolated, all read "open" and I think from the right motor brush to the right pickup it is about 22k ohms (which is basically open, right?). When I hooked everything up I made sure there were no shorts. All wire connections were completely isolated from the rest. I connected RED to +rail, Black to -rail, Orange to +motor, Grey to -motor. I hooked up the front light (there were no rear light for this steam engine) white to anode (positve), and blue to negative.

Okay with that I turn it on it works. It runs forwards and backwards, lights can be turned on or off. I did not connect rear light wire so the light cuts off in reverse. I run it for about 5 minutes then it starts stalling on the curved turnout which is iso-frog. To make a long story short the motor in this model is in the tender and the whole body of the locomotive is basically the pickups. But there are a couple of pickups in the tender too and i had to hook those up to keep it from stalling. Which I did and that improved performance.
But after running it all together about 20 minutes it burned up the decoder :( I thought I was home free!!! I don't want to hook up the other decoder just to watch it overheat and burn out just as the first one did. One of the transistors (or maybe a TRIAC) smoked and that was the end of that.

I started reading more into Digitrax and it mentions that if you have a DC locomotive and you hook it up to DCC system (mine is the Multimaus) you have to adjust the output if it is more than the DC transformer would output. Well am I correct in assuming that if I have an analog train that takes at full speed 12 VDC on an analog transformer like a Marklin Miniclub and then try to convert it to DCC and run it on Multimaus which outputs a steady 18VAC that its going to overheat the decoder?

I initally assumed the decoder manufacturers took that into consideration when building decoders, especially the ones that have to be hard wired, and it would not be a problem. And I guess what I am asking is how do I fix this problem. I do have electronic experience but this was my first decoder install. And if the decoder cannot handle the increase in Volts and current, what can I do? I read up on Multimaus but did not see anything on adjusting Load current, etc. The Digitrax people say I need to reduce that to keep the loco form overheating.
I hope someone has had this problem and can tell me a way to fix this. I am trying my best not to hook up that other decoder and just add resistors to reduce voltage. I want to do this the right way but I find it difficult to with the vague advice given by manufactures and manuals. I thought the NMRA set standards to make sure everything is compatible. Any advice is much appreciated.
And to all that have tried to help me so far Thank You! I am new to this but love it. I only started about 10 months ago and am on my 2nd layout. The first was analog and so I am very new to digital.
Offline Chad0x78  
#9 Posted : 27 December 2014 16:02:20(UTC)
Chad0x78

United States   
Joined: 21/06/2014(UTC)
Posts: 36
Location: Chesapeake, Va.
Originally Posted by: JohnjeanB Go to Quoted Post
Hi

Checking on the Fleischmann site I found the drawings (http://www.fleischmann.de/doc/ET/2/DE/715581_13582.pdf)
Apparently no problems, just make sure previous motor connections are removed
Cheers

Jean


Thanks for researching this for me. I made sure that the motor was well isolated from the chassis and pickups. I also remove the capacitor and inductor which was recommended by the decoder manufacturer. I was under the impression that it acts as a filter to filter out frequencies that could cause interference. I hope you read the post I just put up in this thread about what I did and what happened to my decoder. I find it odd that the decoder manufacturer says to reduce the output voltage of my DCC system to 12 volts when it outputs 18. It seems that the decoder should already be created to take that into account and it should be smart enough to automatically make adjustments since that is a common output voltage for most DCC systems. It is just driving me crazy lol. I don't want to fry another decoder cause I don't see any mistake I made. So I would install it the same way, and so I would assume the same results.
Offline H0  
#10 Posted : 27 December 2014 18:16:56(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,816
Location: DE-NW
Hi!
Originally Posted by: Chad0x78 Go to Quoted Post
I initally assumed the decoder manufacturers took that into consideration when building decoders
IIRC then NMRA DCC requires decoders to handle up to 26 V.
Most people here run three-rail H0 - and decoders suitable for analogue AC operation can handle 40 V or more.

It seems that Digitrax makes smaller decoders - decoders that can handle lower voltages only.


How do you power your MultiMaus system? 16 V AC would be way too much, 18 V DC would be better. For your decoders you may need a power supply with 14 V DC or maybe even 12 V DC.

Or try decoders from a different brand that can handle higher voltages. ESU decoders without support for AC analogue still are specified for up to 27 V and they come with overload protection.
The smaller ESU Micro types are specified for 21 V only (not enough for a MultiMaus fed with 16 V AC), but still with overload protection.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline Chad0x78  
#11 Posted : 27 December 2014 19:57:54(UTC)
Chad0x78

United States   
Joined: 21/06/2014(UTC)
Posts: 36
Location: Chesapeake, Va.
How do you power your MultiMaus system? 16 V AC would be way too much, 18 V DC would be better. For your decoders you may need a power supply with 14 V DC or maybe even 12 V DC.


I bought the MultiMaus in a starter set. It came with a Fleischmann Amplifier to power it. It is number 680801. I double checked the voltage when i cut the system back on. It is 18.5V AC across the rails. The decoder is DZ123 by digitrax, it says it fits most Z, N and HO Locomotives. It says 1 Amp/2 Amp Peak. 2 FX3 Functions, 0.5 Amps. I have 2 other DCC locomotives by Fleischmann, I bought one new locomotive seperate and the other came with the starter set. They all run fine. I thought that 18VAC was normal for DCC operation.
Offline H0  
#12 Posted : 27 December 2014 23:47:29(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,816
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Chad0x78 Go to Quoted Post
It came with a Fleischmann Amplifier to power it. It is number 680801.
Which power supply do you use with your 680801? 18 V DC? 16 V AC? Other voltage?
Did you use a True RMS voltage meter to measure track voltage?

18 V track voltage is normal for two-rail H0. N gauge sometimes uses lower track voltage.

In the Digitrax manual they write: "Digitrax recommends running your DCC
command station and boosters at the lowest track voltage possible
that provides acceptable operation. The “N Scale (12V)” setting on
Digitrax equipment works for most HO, N & Z scale layouts."
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline Chad0x78  
#13 Posted : 29 December 2014 13:31:41(UTC)
Chad0x78

United States   
Joined: 21/06/2014(UTC)
Posts: 36
Location: Chesapeake, Va.
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Chad0x78 Go to Quoted Post
It came with a Fleischmann Amplifier to power it. It is number 680801.
Which power supply do you use with your 680801? 18 V DC? 16 V AC? Other voltage?
Did you use a True RMS voltage meter to measure track voltage?

18 V track voltage is normal for two-rail H0. N gauge sometimes uses lower track voltage.

In the Digitrax manual they write: "Digitrax recommends running your DCC
command station and boosters at the lowest track voltage possible
that provides acceptable operation. The “N Scale (12V)” setting on
Digitrax equipment works for most HO, N & Z scale layouts."


I used a standard multimeter to measure the voltage. I understand it is close to accurate. I would only know what the true peak to peak voltage is if I take it to work and put it on an oscope. Not sure how off the reading is to be honest. I've read a lot of posts from others about using a string of diodes or even using a laptop transformer to power the rails. I don't think that I should do anything like that. Also it came with a transformer that plugs into amplifier. I could certainly find a power supply around the house that I can plug into the amplifier and it should eother give me less V output. Im leary to experiment on a $300-400 system right now. And it was all bought new and barely used.
I had also noticed and this may have been why the decoder blew. The negative and positive connectionside to the motors were isolated I made sure of that. But, one of th two arms that come out of the motor which holds a gear to spin the wheels, was grounded to the chassis. It is my last hope to try it one last time. It is a little copper ring and it rests on the chassis. I feel stupid that I did not notice it. I found it odd that at the motor brushes there is isolation to chassis, but that little copper ring is shorted to the chassis. Do you think that is why my decoder blew?
Offline Chad0x78  
#14 Posted : 29 December 2014 13:39:09(UTC)
Chad0x78

United States   
Joined: 21/06/2014(UTC)
Posts: 36
Location: Chesapeake, Va.
Sorry Tom. It is an AC/DC adapter input: 100-240V AC, 50/60 Hz 0.8A Max, output: DC 18V/2A. Odd that it says DC output I have read the rails a bunch with and without a train on it. It is AC voltage 0 volts DC.
Offline H0  
#15 Posted : 29 December 2014 19:21:42(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,816
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Chad0x78 Go to Quoted Post
I used a standard multimeter to measure the voltage. I understand it is close to accurate.
The voltmeter was made for sine-wave AC. Track voltage is not sine-wave. In the best case the reading will be accurate, but 11% too high. In the worst case the reading will be hilarious (try such a voltmeter with a Märklin digital controller - measure both ways (red at red and red at brown) ...).

Originally Posted by: Chad0x78 Go to Quoted Post
It is an AC/DC adapter input: 100-240V AC
Wide range input, so it's a switching-mode power supply. Output voltage should be pretty stable at 18 V.
Output voltage of your amplifier won't be higher than the input voltage. Input voltage is 18 V. Theoretically track voltage should be below 17 V due to voltage drop inside the amplifier (diodes, transistors).

You measured 18.5 V. Minus 11% we get 16.65 V. That sounds plausible IMHO.
If you ever check this with an oscope, please let me know what you get.

Digitrax write: "Works with most DCC-ready Z, N, and HO scale locomotives up to 18V track voltage. UP6Z can be used to drop track voltage."
So your track voltage should not be too high.

And yes, a connection between motor output and loco frame (the copper ring you mention) could destroy the decoder.

The DZ123 sure comes at an attractive price. But it seems it does not have overload protection.
And they write: "DZ123 does not have Scaleable Speed Stabilization (Back EMF)" No back EMF? Normally this means no load regulation.
For my first conversions I bought the cheapest decoders I could get. Later I found that more expensive decoders offer a better value for my money. Your mileage may vary.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline Webmaster  
#16 Posted : 29 December 2014 19:27:42(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 11,036
As I understand, Digitrax recommend 12V to the track for N digital decoders, so 18V seems to stretch it a bit too far with their decoders...
Is the output voltage settable with the "MultiMaus"?

Measuring "DCC" voltage & current is not reliable even with the best multimeter unless you have "true RMS" measuring in it.

For those who wonder what a MultiMaus is:
http://www.fleischmann.d...S/10810_multimaus_en.pdf
Juhan - "Webmaster", at your service...
He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. [Old Chinese Proverb]
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Offline Chad0x78  
#17 Posted : 30 December 2014 01:43:06(UTC)
Chad0x78

United States   
Joined: 21/06/2014(UTC)
Posts: 36
Location: Chesapeake, Va.
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post


And yes, a connection between motor output and loco frame (the copper ring you mention) could destroy the decoder.

The DZ123 sure comes at an attractive price. But it seems it does not have overload protection.
And they write: "DZ123 does not have Scaleable Speed Stabilization (Back EMF)" No back EMF? Normally this means no load regulation.
For my first conversions I bought the cheapest decoders I could get. Later I found that more expensive decoders offer a better value for my money. Your mileage may vary.


Thanks again. Yes it believe it was that copper ring around one of the armature arms. I put a little electrical tape under it and it runs perfectly with the other decoder. I think I just didn't have the motor totally isolated like I hoped. I didn't even notice that copper ring until after I blew the decoder. The train has been running about 20 minutes straight now, I think its okay. Thanks again :)
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