Hello everyone. I have an LGB christmas starter set that I purchased a few years back and I would like to add DCC. Can someone please tell me what Decoder and Controller system I can purchase that is the easiest to install?
They all require the same thing. You need to isolate the motor from power, and isolate the track power power leads. Typically on most locos you have two wires coming from the motor, and two wires (eventually) coming from track power. LGB is annoying because they often have have one leg of the track power and the motor lead connected, so you see three wires instead of four. That has to be undone
Typically when you take the LGB starter set locos apart you find three or four pins sticking up out of the top of the motor block. If it's four you need to figure out which are power and which are motor, and then you're in pretty good shape. Just follow them, cut them, and then wire them to whatever decode you choose
If it's three pins you have to take the motor block apart and do a bunch of fiddling. George Schreyer has a descritption here that's excellent
You can use most any brand of decoder, NCE, Massoth, Digitrax, LGB or one of the many others. The installation would be about the same for any of them. Like already stated 2 wires direct from the rail, 2 wires direct to the motor, and a pair to the head light. More thought would go to choosing a system to run. Check the DCC forum for much information. I agree it would be good to visit others using DCC to see what you may or may not like.
Thanks Guys. I also have a sound speaker that is triggered by magnets on the rail. WIll the DCC decoders your recommended still be able to control that or will I have to add a sound board? Also, if you guys can make a specific recommendation on the actual decoders (part number, link to puchase, etc..); I would really appreciate it.
Also, to answer a previous question, this is the only link I can find that shows that actual model that i have. It was purchased 2 years ago brand new. I believe it was the last Christmas Starter set manufactured. The model number is 70325 Christmas Passenger Starter Set
That Loco should be Direct Decoder Ready, by indicated by a sticker on the bottom. That would have to be a LGB or Massoth decoder to be plug and play, others would require wiring. The Massoth # is 8154001. As far as the sound it would depend on what it is. It may or may not be DCC compatible. If it is DCC it could be triggered by the remote or track magnets.
Dan: You must be dealing with newer LGB motor blocks only. The older ones have only 3 wires exiting the motor block, this requires isolating one lead from the motor and the rail pick up. This is an additional pain.
Most DCC systems will operate on AC or DC. For large scale, 18 VAC is adequate, you'll get up to 22 volts on the rails. A DC power supply needs to be higher voltage, 22 to 26 volts will be fine.
What is MOST important is that the power supply can source the current needed by the command station or booster. If the power supply current limits before the booster does, the booster cannot properly detect and respond to a track short.
For an AC supply, it needs to be rated at about 1.4x higher than the booster rating. A DC supply needs to be rated the same or higher than the booster rating.
LOL. Any recommendations on a less expensive DCC system that would be compatible with the Massoth decoder (the one recommended above)? Something with a knob for throttle would be nice. I researched a few brands but I'm not sure on the compatibility. Do you guys know if these would work with my loco, power supply and decoder?