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Discussion in 'FAQs' started by coachsig, Jan 6, 2004.
What are the most "installer-friendly" n-scale locomotives..both diesel and steam?
From what i have gleaned so far ,most of the newer offerings with the plug and play feature.
Some of the older Kato units can be among the most difficult installations for diesel.
Steam installatons range from difficult to send this one in to be done by a pro
Yahoo sigs have a group dedicated to N dcc with a wealth of information in thier files section on installations.Well worth investigating if you plan on doing many of your own decoder installs.
The atlas u25b is a plug and play
the atlas new SD9 is also P&P with a decoder board expected to be available in late feb of this year.
My Bachmann connie is going in to be done by a pro.Ive read enough about the installation that i am just not comfortable doing it.Loys to the rescue
Appreciate your quick response! The plug and play would be the obvious way to go...but I really want to try my own installation on some old "junkers" just for the experience. I have some older engines that I would like to eventually convert to DCC.
I just bought 2 Kato F3's at a trainshow a week ago, bought the digitrax decoder for them DN163K-- also and had both units converted, programmed, and running in less than 30 minutes. Atlas plug and play are supposed to be good also. The older locos need to have some frame modifications (generally) to accept a decoder in the loco body. This usually means milling a space to accept the decoder. Aztech is supposed to have the ultimate in modified frames. They exchange your old frame for the modified one (at a cost also.)
Steam locos generally need tender mounted decoders and the modifications to isolate the motor from the frame. However, the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 can accept a small decoder in the boiler area. I purchased one (Lenz decoder installed) from Tony's Trains. Starts on speed step 1 and runs like a champ. It is not a speed demon but looks realistic hauling 7-10 cars.
The wife and I stopped in at Aztech a few years ago and was really impressed with the set up and computer operated machinery
I just had to install a Lenz decoder in a Lifelike Nscale 2-8-8-2. To Isolate the motor required grinding off the frame contacts for the lower motor brush, and adding a channel in the frame for the wire from that brush. There isn't much room for wires in the boiler.
I recently did an HOn30 "Galloping Goose" using an older Atlas U-boat. While the larger car body provided ample room for a decoder, the mech itself was pretty simple to isolate. As the original U-boat, it would have been a simple matter of cutting, filing or milling the frame halves to allow room for a decoder.