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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pretty much exactly four years after it was first announced, the FEF-3 steam loco is now available.
Does anyone have one already or have one coming?
I would love to add a picture of the real thing, not just a USAT drawing, to the gbdb database

Knut
 

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We receved one last Thursday, it was for a local coustomer. He wanted to open it up here in the shop to check it out. We were quite impressed. Ran really smooth on test rollers, Phoenix sound, and pulse smoke worked extremely well. It is heavy, just the tender alone weighs 14 pounds. One thing that suprised me was that it runs all functions with out the tender connected. So all electronics are in the loco, the owner wants DCC installed, so I get the job of opening it up. I can get some pictures tomorrow.
Pretty much exactly four years after it was first announced, the FEF-3 steam loco is now available.
Does anyone have one already or have one coming?
I would love to add a picture of the real thing, not just a USAT drawing, to the gbdb database

Knut
We have one, that was sold locally.
 

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Super Modulator
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21,010 Posts
Similar to the USAT Hudson, which can coast great, BUT stop it on a grade with a string of cars and it rolls away (fast)

Greg
 

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Hard to tell, those Pittman motors have an obscenely high stall current when just starting and of course when actually stalled. But normal running current is actually pretty low.

It's really decoder dependent, i.e. how much "headroom" there is between the continuous rated current and the short term current handling, which brings unspecified parameters (from the manufacturer) into play.

I'd use a big Zimo or ESU decoder, for example the G scale Wowsound will probably not work well, nor a large scale tsunami.

The BEMF with a "free rolling" drivetrain can also make a decoder nuts, so if you get weird "fits and starts" try turning off BEMF.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I believe this and many common questions are answered on the main page from the manufacturer:
It says "DCC ready", but what does that actually mean?
Seems it's more of a Marketing buzz word.

I thought it meant that the locomotive has a standardized DCC socket, but when I asked the manufacturer (not USAT) who quoted "DCC ready" which DCC socket since there are a number of different ones for Large Scale - the answer was "no socket", you just wire the DCC decoder in any way you like.
So....what does "DCC ready" mean when it comes to this loco? Is there actually a DCC socket of some type?
 

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Super Modulator
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DCC ready has never always meant a standardized socket in large scale... it normally means there are connections to the motor, track pickups and lights and it also means that the track pickups are not permanently connected to the motor, one of the biggest issues in older locos.

Hard to tell from Mike's pictures, the board on the smoke unit may be just for pulsing the fan motor and controlling the heater, it does not look like a sound board, but it could be.

The board with the 3 toggles and 2 slide switches looks like a main board, but I don't see screw terminals or sockets to interface a decoder...

More pictures.

By the digitrax DG583 is a 5 amp decoder.... it has a "peak" rating of 10 amps, and it has a less than stellar reputation... for such an expensive loco, I cannot understand the logic of not using a top of the line decoder with better current handling, better BEMF, more functions, better support and better sound, but perhaps he is thinking this because it already has sound....

We will have to investigate the electronics... is the sound board a Phoenix, can give more shots of the electronics?

Greg
 

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DCC ready has never always meant a standardized socket in large scale... it normally means there are connections to the motor, track pickups and lights and it also means that the track pickups are not permanently connected to the motor, one of the biggest issues in older locos.

Hard to tell from Mike's pictures, the board on the smoke unit may be just for pulsing the fan motor and controlling the heater, it does not look like a sound board, but it could be.

The board with the 3 toggles and 2 slide switches looks like a main board, but I don't see screw terminals or sockets to interface a decoder...

More pictures.

By the digitrax DG583 is a 5 amp decoder.... it has a "peak" rating of 10 amps, and it has a less than stellar reputation... for such an expensive loco, I cannot understand the logic of not using a top of the line decoder with better current handling, better BEMF, more functions, better support and better sound, but perhaps he is thinking this because it already has sound....

We will have to investigate the electronics... is the sound board a Phoenix, can give more shots of the electronics?

Greg
Yes, it has Phoenix sound with battery.
 

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Ahh, so, would like to understand more, but I'd pull the Phoenix, and put an all in one decoder, so you get good motor control and synchronized sound.

I realize this is a lot more work, and maybe soimewhat risky without understanding the circuitry completely.

Adding a DCC decoder could have issues with syncing the sounds with the motion... more than just the chuff sync, which must be separate, and most likely with actual chuff switch.

But perhaps it will work easily just tuning CV2... worth a shot... like in our conversation, maybe try the NCE D808.

Greg
 
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