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Small Loco's HO Decoders

1440 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Road Foreman
OK I understand that many HO decoders have a 1 amp power rating. Should these be used in small G scale engines. I was thinking about Heartland PickUps and their Mack. I would think small LGB's would be no problem.
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I use HO decoders in my LGB handcar (Gustav) and in a speeder. One thing to be aware of when selecting a decoder is that it be able to handle the 24 volts or so of large-scale DCC. My understanding is that some of the smaller decoders have maximum voltage ratings less than that.
Hi Mike-

Yes. 1.0A is fine for the stated locos. These locos have few/no lights, low current motors, no smoke units, and they aren't asked to pull heavy loads. If you start adding lights and/or more motor load, you'll need to re-think the current rating. Please remember that decoders have a motor current rating, a function group current rating, and a total (motor+functions) current rating.

Make sure you check the voltage rating of the decoder. MTS track voltage is approximately 24V.

While it is a bit pricey, I like the Zimo MX-64H. Here is the manual...

Unlike many decoder manufacturers, Zimo does a good job of listing the decoder specifications. The MX-64H decoder has a ton of functions and Zimo also has the best slow speed operation of any decoder.

Of course, there are also cheaper HO scale alternatives from NCE, Digitrax, Lenz, ESU, etc. Not all decoder manufacturers list the voltage ratings of their decoders, so, as always, do your homework.

Good luck!

Best regards,
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For these I was looking for inexpensive. But what extra features does Zimo offer.
Hi Mike-

The manual and website lists a lot of the extra features like RailCom, asymmetrical DCC braking, SUSI, LGB serial pusle stuff, provisions for driving automatic uncouplers, special lighting features, smart stop management, built-in low voltage supply (certain decoder versions), PWM adjustable function outputs, software updates, etc.

If you want less expensive, try Digitrax, NCE, Lenz, ESU, TCS and others.

When I first started with DCC, the Zimo MX-61 decoders were only $25 USD. Thanks to the current USD value, the replacement for the MX-61, the MX-64, is about double!

Best regards,

The NMRA standard says decoders HO & larger have to work up to 27 volts.. But the manufacturer can make it to what ever they want to.. You need to check with the manufacturer as Bob said..

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