Thursday, 22 May 2014

Going Digital II

Things are coming together. As mentioned in the previous post, I bought a Mobile Station, 4 TD101 deigital decoders and a 5 pole upgrade kit for my BR38 P8 analogue locomotive with the Drum Commutator Motor (DCM). All of these items have arrived!

So, given that I already had a Delta fitted loco (3393 Mhi BR52 Kreigslok 3604 Delta Digital System) shown in a post below I installed the 24088 connector track and plugged in the new transformer and the mobile station unit. I of course removed all the analogue locos from the layout and placed on the BR52 and turned it on....

And nothing! NOTHING! Hmmm. Probably should have read the manual..

OK luckily a full manual in 4 languages with pictures came with the mobile station. I waded through it and discovered that I had to set up my loco in one of the 10 slots that the mobile station has. I learned that the mobile station had all the delta and digital loco profiles programmed into it up until the date of manufacture. That looked promising.

So , I went in an deleted all the locos from the previous owner freeing up all 10 slots. I then went into slot 1 and went to select my loco from the list.... 3393? .... NOT THERE? Damn. I wonder which f the 80 channels I should use? What is the loco set up for? OK I read that delta has support for only 16 channels so I should be able to try the first 16 channels until one of them works.

30 minutes later, 16 channels tried. No luck. OK back to the manual. I turned to the technical section at the back and discovered that the 16 channels were not the FIRST 16 but rather randomly spread though out the 80.

30 minutes later, 14 previously untried channels later. No luck. OK back to the manual. No joy...

OK, it must be the loco of the mobile station is broken. Out with the Marklin jewellers screw driver set (philips head drivers) and I pulled the enitre loco to bits. I found the decoder in the tender, which is not surprising, it is just that the tender was a bit tricky to pull apart. I found the decoder buried inside and checked the dip switch settings. The manual from the Mobile station has a nice bit telling me how to set the DIP switches to choose a channel so I compared the settings. All DIP switches were set to "off" which apparently means it was set to run analogue!

I little switch flicking and re-assembly and I was ready to try again. I programmed slot 1 to the channel I chose and dropped out of edit mode. Turned the knob once again and....viola! It works! Success!

I felt very happy. I got it working all on my own. I ran the loco for a while and it developed a distinct "whiny burrr' sound that caused the loco to slow down and vibrate. I have never run this loco since I bought it about a year ago off eBay. That sound to me is the sound of worn bushes in a motor. I wonder, are bushes available separately from Marklin?

Anyway, nevermind. When I get some time I will install the new aregentinian TD101 decoders into my other analogue locos and see if they are as good as their word (IE do not need to alter the LFCM or SFCM locos). Apparently these decoders will even make the lights work properly without flickering or other issues! That said my plan is to upgrade the BR38 DCM motor to a new 5 pole motor first and install the decoder at the same time.

I will take some photos of the process and let you know how it all turned out.


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