G Scale Model Train Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
LGB Indoor Elevated Track
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have an 8' x 12' oblong indoor suspended layout running around my home office. The main locomotive is a "like new" LGB 27192 D&RGW #573 that was manufactured in early 1999, which has a consist of a stock car, baggage car, passenger car, followed by a drover's caboose.
Train Wheel Vehicle Rolling stock Steam engine

Shelf Picture frame Shelving Building Wood


It is powered by a LGB 50081 power block/throttle (1 amp) which was more than powerful enough until I added the stock car followed by adding lights to the passenger car and caboose as well as marker lights to the caboose. Now the locomotive just crawls around the track. I know that I need to upgrade my power supply (probably a 5 amp supply minimum), but this begs the question analog or DCC. For this particular layout, the likely hood or running multiple trains is small (no sidings), so DCC would be overkill If I was just looking for increased power. However, I like the idea of just having the car lights on or blowing the whistle or ringing the bell without actually engaging the locomotive power, so I am intrigued by DCC.

I have been doing my research and found some great information on Greg Elmassian's website about DCC. It looks like if I purchased the NCE Power Cab along with a Tam Valley 5 amp booster, I could have a basic DCC setup for under $300. What I haven't been able to determine is if this setup would allow me to control the locomotive, whistle, bell and lights as I mentioned above. I believe that 1999 was still early for LGB DCC, and there is much about whether the locomotives from that era were actually DCC or if they were just DCC ready. The literature for this model locomotive states "The Model is equipped with a factory-installed onboard decoder for the LGB Multi-Train System. It can be used without modification on analog or digital layouts... the model is programed to loco address 03...". These statements along with others lead me to believe that it should work.

So, for not much more than a good quality analog power supply/throttle, I can be in DCC. The questions are,
  • Will the above configuration work as I expect?
  • Can I program with the above configuration?
  • Are there other options I should look at?
Although I don't have anything other than a Bachmann Big Hauler to compare it to, I think the sound that comes from this locomotive is fantastic for a stock sound board, so I am not interested in upgrading. Also as I am invested in other hobbies (leather working and cowboy action shooting), I am not ready to spend a lot of money at this time. I am sure I will have more questions, but these are a pretty good starting point. One last note, I do have quite a bit more track as well as switches, so I could expand the system some point down the road,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
If it has a decoder already installed I would assume it would run on DCC and give you the ability to control the locomotive sounds. I am not sure how you wired your cars and caboose so my assumption is that unless you wired them through your locomotive they will not be controlled through the decoder.
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
22,262 Posts
(hey fsts2k is your name Festus? I remember someone on the forums way back)

OK, so having a decoder does NOT imply that the decoder has sound. It implies that you have motor control, and virtually always lights, at least a headlight.

So you need to find out what decoder it has to understand if it has sound.

All that notwithstanding the NCE system will control any DCC loco and will operate any DCC function in 99.9% of the cases.

(there are some weird decoders out there and weird installations)

So, yes you can do what you want if the loco has it inside.
 

·
Registered
LGB Indoor Elevated Track
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am not sure how you wired your cars and caboose so my assumption is that unless you wired them through your locomotive they will not be controlled through the decoder.
The car and caboose lights are track powered (connected to bearing wheels with pickups). My understanding is that with DCC, the track is always at max power, so would the lights always be on if the system is powered up? So even if the train is not moving there would be lights on in the cars.

OK, so having a decoder does NOT imply that the decoder has sound. It implies that you have motor control, and virtually always lights, at least a headlight.

So you need to find out what decoder it has to understand if it has sound.
This is where I get confused. This loco does have sound. There is standing, break, bell, whistle, chug/steam sounds to name a few. Standing sound is activated when low voltage is applied, while the bell, whistle, and chug are activated when more voltage is applied and the loco starts moving. Bell or whistle sound can also be triggered by magnets. So I am assuming you mean that just because there is sound, that does not mean it is controlled by the DCC decoder, correct?

I can only make one more assumption based on the manual, and that is, the sound is somewhat controlled by the decoder, or that it has its own decoder as there is a list of function keys and what they operate which is as follows:
  1. Whistle signal (2 long, 1 short, 1 long)
  2. Brake sound
  3. Bell
  4. Air pump
  5. Flickering firebox
  6. Whistle (1 long blast)
  7. Smoke generator on/off
  8. Sound off/on
  9. Loc lights on/off
I hope this helps to clarify my locomotive's DCC capabilities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
(hey fsts2k is your name Festus? I remember someone on the forums way back)
Sadly no,


OK, so having a decoder does NOT imply that the decoder has sound. It implies that you have motor control, and virtually always lights, at least a headlight.

So you need to find out what decoder it has to understand if it has sound.

All that notwithstanding the NCE system will control any DCC loco and will operate any DCC function in 99.9% of the cases.

(there are some weird decoders out there and weird installations)

So, yes you can do what you want if the loco has it inside.
good point, they did put motor only decoders in
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
The car and caboose lights are track powered (connected to bearing wheels with pickups). My understanding is that with DCC, the track is always at max power, so would the lights always be on if the system is powered up? So even if the train is not moving there would be lights on in the cars.



This is where I get confused. This loco does have sound. There is standing, break, bell, whistle, chug/steam sounds to name a few. Standing sound is activated when low voltage is applied, while the bell, whistle, and chug are activated when more voltage is applied and the loco starts moving. Bell or whistle sound can also be triggered by magnets. So I am assuming you mean that just because there is sound, that does not mean it is controlled by the DCC decoder, correct?

I can only make one more assumption based on the manual, and that is, the sound is somewhat controlled by the decoder, or that it has its own decoder as there is a list of function keys and what they operate which is as follows:
  1. Whistle signal (2 long, 1 short, 1 long)
  2. Brake sound
  3. Bell
  4. Air pump
  5. Flickering firebox
  6. Whistle (1 long blast)
  7. Smoke generator on/off
  8. Sound off/on
  9. Loc lights on/off
I hope this helps to clarify my locomotive's DCC capabilities.
my experience is that if those instructions are in the manual then the decoder is connected to the sound card

regarding lights, yes, when power is on then lights are full bright no matter what the locomotive is doing.
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
22,262 Posts
Agreed Kevin (I saw Sam call you that)....


The car and caboose lights are track powered (connected to bearing wheels with pickups). My understanding is that with DCC, the track is always at max power, so would the lights always be on if the system is powered up? So even if the train is not moving there would be lights on in the cars.
>>>> yes lights connected directly to the wheels/pickups will be on all the time, constant voltage lighting is one of the DCC benefits. (there are also special lighting decoders for passenger cars, but this is not likely the case you have.

This is where I get confused. This loco does have sound. There is standing, break, bell, whistle, chug/steam sounds to name a few. Standing sound is activated when low voltage is applied, while the bell, whistle, and chug are activated when more voltage is applied and the loco starts moving. Bell or whistle sound can also be triggered by magnets. So I am assuming you mean that just because there is sound, that does not mean it is controlled by the DCC decoder, correct?
>>> I did not pick up on that the loco already had sound... normally the sound is controlled by DCC commands besides any track magnet triggering... but there are sound cards that are not DCC, older ones, and also there are non-DCC sound cards..
I can only make one more assumption based on the manual, and that is, the sound is somewhat controlled by the decoder, or that it has its own decoder as there is a list of function keys and what they operate which is as follows:
  1. Whistle signal (2 long, 1 short, 1 long)
  2. Brake sound
  3. Bell
  4. Air pump
  5. Flickering firebox
  6. Whistle (1 long blast)
  7. Smoke generator on/off
  8. Sound off/on
  9. Loc lights on/off
I hope this helps to clarify my locomotive's DCC capabilities.

>>> absolutely, in fact when not being used for some other command, the buttons on the NCE unit issue the function commands 0-9, and there is a shift function for 10-19 and again for 20-28... you are in good shape...
Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I seriously doubt that an engine produced by LGB in 1999 has DCC. And if it has DCC it could be the old 55020 decoder and possibilty be the very restricted LENZ version. Tender would have the sound card and bell/whistle are activated by a track magnet, lsft rail is bell, right rail is whistle. Look for stickers on the bottom. MFG gold sticker date code is 6 digits in the format of YDDMMY and day is always 01. If digital there would be a silver sticker with MZS or MTS on it. Also if adding regular lights (not leds) to cars you will draw at least 33 ma per bulb which will make that engine go over the 1 amp available. With smoke on the unit draws a lot of current (200 to 300ma I believe as LGB runs the smoke unit at 6.2 to 6.8 volts)
Also note the older decoders only had one active function key and that was for the smoke unit.
 

·
Registered
LGB Indoor Elevated Track
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@piercedandan, unfortunately I believe you are correct. The sound board, speaker, volume control, and sound on/off switch are in the tender. I also believe that the sound is triggered when the tender traverses over the magnet, not the loco. I found a post by @Dan Pierce that explained the three versions of sound found in LGB Moguls, and I now believe that mine is the second version, not the third with MTS.

As I can't find my original manual, the manual that I have been referencing is the same manual found on both Tranli and GBDB for the 27192 (lgb-27192-user-guide.pdf). After looking at the manual again, I realize that nowhere does it mention which model LGB loco the manual is referencing, and the copyright mark is for 2003, and we know the 27192 was built in early 2019. Bottom line they are posting the wrong manual for this loco. Doing further research, I finally did find a manual that specifically references the 25192, 26192, and 27192 (copyright 1998). In reference to the 27192 it states that: "This model can be equipped with two LGB Multi-Train System Decoders (55020)."

I guess this changes the equation a bit. If I want DCC, it is going to take a lot more than just buying a DCC controller and booster for $300. I may just be sticking with analog for this layout.
 

·
Super Modulator
Joined
·
22,262 Posts
The DCC controller (command station) and booster is a one-time cost... better you consider what you want in the future, if you want remote control, then DCC is a tried and true way to go, long term the most bang for your buck.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
OK, knowint there are 2 of the 55020 decoders, one is in the engine for motor and lall light controls plus the smoke unit. The 55020 only has 3 function drivers and are for forward headlight, rear tender light, and for smoke. The tender 55020 is for controlling just the sound board. If it were me, I would get a modern decoder that has sound and get rid of all the present electronics. I place glass reed relays in the rear bottom of the engine and just run 6 wires to the tender as follows: 2 for track power, 2 for light and 2 for the Visiton FRS7 speaker. Zimo sells a decoder via trainli.com MX696S which has 10 watt audio output and for DCC remote volume control plus many other features like servo controls.
 

·
Registered
LGB Indoor Elevated Track
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Piercedandan, thanks for the tip about adding a MX696S decoder to the Mogul. This engine is in near mint condition, and has a great deal of sentimental value to me, so I am not sure I would want to alter it at this time. However, since I have two Stainz locomotives from starter sets, adding a MX645P22 to one of them (as you suggested here), might be a good starting point for me to try my hand at upgrading from dc to dcc. After watching a video, I am very confident I could do the upgrade myself and skip the labor fees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
When ordering the MX645P22 be sure to ask for the European sound install. They usually come preloaded here with the American sound file.

Also on the mogul there is a free sound file for the 4-6-0 Bachmann and a $35 charge for the 2-6-0 sound file. The free one works great for me.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top